First Aberdeen’s Adam Ksiazek named UK Bus Driver of the Year

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UK Bus Driver of the Year 2017, Adam Ksaizek, with one of his many trophies from the day and his wife, Monika. JONATHAN WELCH

First Aberdeen driver takes home a total of £4,100 in prizes, after the event is able to maintain the heightened prize pool from its 50th anniversary year

The 51st national final of the UK Bus Driver of the Year Competition took place in Blackpool on Sunday, September 3, and among 99 finalists from large and small operators throughout the country, the overall winner was Adam Ksiazek from First Aberdeen.

Adam received the BDoY Trophy and £1,500, sponsored by the Road Operators’ Safety Council, plus £1,000 from Unite the Union as well as being awarded the John Boxall Medallion as national champion (John founded Bus Driver of the Year in Coventry in 1967).

A further £1,000 was awarded to Adam as highest-placed finalist from FirstGroup, and as best competitor from a depot in Scotland he received another £100, accompanied by the Joe Mackie Shield. All the trophies were presented by Bobby Morton, National Officer of the Unite trade union responsible for docks, passenger transport, rail and waterways.

Runner-up was Michael Leech from First West Yorkshire, who won the BDoY Trophy and £1,500 and was also second-highest-placed finalist from a FirstGroup company, winning a further £500 plus £100 as best competitor from a depot in England, which saw him awarded the Giles Fearnley Shield.

In third place was Scott Crosbie from Lothian Buses, winning £1,000 with the BDoY Trophy plus a further £1,000 for being highest-placed finalist from a company in ALBUM – the Association of Local Bus Company Managers. Kevin McCormick from Stagecoach West Scotland finished in overall fourth place, winning £750 plus £1,000 as highest-placed Stagecoach competitor and Raj Viswanathan of Go-Ahead London was fifth, picking-up a £500 prize plus a further £1,000 with the Go-Ahead Trophy as best-placed finalist from that group and £1,000 as highest-placed driver from a company operating services for Transport for London.

Joe Mackie, Chairman of the UK Bus Driver of the Year Association, which organises the competition, offered his congratulations to all the trophy winners and thanked the many volunteers who make the contest possible.

He added: “We are also indebted to our sponsors for their generous financial support which has allowed us to maintain the enhanced range of prizes from our 50th anniversary last year.”

Winner Adam Ksiazek won a total of £4,100 in prize money, along with a trip to London courtesy of TfL, which includes a New Routemaster driving experience.

In his first year of taking part, Adam finished fourth overall. When CBW spoke to him shortly after the presentation of his trophies, Adam was still somewhat speechless. He said: “I feel good, I still can’t believe it. I thought my theory test wasn’t good, but maybe the Enviro bus I drove gave me a good chance, and the marshalls were kind to me.

“I have too many trophies to carry though!”

Adam’s wife Monika and their two young daughters were on hand to help. “He deserved it,” said Monika, “after coming fourth last year I wanted him to win. He didn’t think he’d done well. It’s brilliant.”

Joe Mackie added: “It’s fantastic – to win having only competed twice speaks volumes.”

The full results are as follows:

  •  Best competitor from a depot in Scotland: Adam Ksiazek – First Aberdeen
  •  Best competitor from a depot in Wales: Michael Myatt – First Cymru
  •  Best theory test result: Peter Mascall – First Cymru
  •  Highest-placed competitor from ALBUM member: Scott Crosbie – Lothian Buses
  •  Highest-placed competitor from independent company: Andrew Cawley – Peoplesbus
  •  Top Arriva driver: Noel Law – Arriva London (second place Darren Kelly – Arriva London)
  •  Top FirstGroup driver: Adam Ksiazek – First Aberdeen (second place Michael Leech – First West Yorkshire)
  •  Top Go-Ahead Competitor: Raj Viswanathan – Go-Ahead London (second place Stephen Appiah – Go-Ahead London)
  •  Highest-placed London competitor: Raj Viswanathan – Go-Ahead London (second place Stephen Appiah – Go-Ahead London)
  •  Top National Express driver: Stephen Bate (second place Lee Williams)
  •  Top RATP Dev driver: Jason Wright – RATP Dev London (second place Martin O’Conner, Bournemouth Transport)
  •  Top Stagecoach driver: Kevin McCormick, Stagecoach West Scotland (second place Graeme Gilfillan, Stagecoach East Scotland)
  •  Highest-placed competitor from member of ROSCO: Adam Ksiazek – First Aberdeen.

Three awards were presented for the best-presented buses on the day. These were:

  •  Newly delivered or up to one year old: SN17 MHO – Blackpool Transport
  •  One-five years old: LJ16 MUV – RATP Dev London
  •  Over five years old: FJ08 BYU – Rossendale Transport