Driver mentor to head up Bus Driver of The Year team

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Ed Wills (left) presents Stewart Richardson the regional competition cup
Ed Wills (left) presents Stewart Richardson the regional competition cup

morebus driver mentor Stewart Richardson from Poole will lead a team of 10 from local bus companies to compete at the annual UK Bus Driver Of The Year Competition to be held in Blackpool in September.

Stewart, who is a mentor for new drivers joining morebus at Wilts & Dorset, competed against 11 drivers in the regional heat held in Salisbury by Go South Coast, the Go Ahead Group-owned division bus companies in the South which include Wilts & Dorset, Bluestar (Uni-Link’s operating company) and Southern Vectis.

Tim Parry, Driving Standards Manager at Go South Coast who organised the regional competition, said only drivers with over one year’s accident free record can enter the event.

The contestants first had to sit a theory test and were then required to drive around a specially designed course that included 12 skill tests such as forward and reverse parking, two simulated bus stops, a narrow slalom and a width test.

Stewart said that he was genuinely surprised to have received the least amount of penalty points with a score of 415, ahead of runner-up Darrell Hadland from Southern Vectis, Newport (435) and Mark Cole from Salisbury Reds (455) in third place.

Ed Wills, Operations Director for Go South Coast, presented Stewart with the regional trophy and £500 for the achievement which drew on his eight years’ experience. “Stewart will lead a team of 10 drivers from the Go South Coast companies against more than 100 drivers from operators across the UK,” Ed said.