‘The family is back together’

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The industry came together once again in Blackpool after a two-year gap for the Bus Driver of the Year National Final on 2 October. Jonathan Welch reports on the event

The annual Bus Driver of the Year (BDoY) competition has been a staple of the industry calendar for over half a century. Having been paused for two years because of the pandemic, the organisers were delighted at the level of response, which saw 86 entrants from 35 companies arrive in Blackpool on the weekend of 1/2 October for the 54th competition. Entrants, along with supporters and sponsors, were in high (but sober) spirits at the traditional gala dinner on the Saturday evening; this year, the event was based for the first time at the Imperial Hotel, which proved a great venue with attentive, highly organised and on-point staff, spacious public areas for the many attendees, and excellent food.

As always, buses started from the ‘bus station’ alongside the Metropole Hotel, and contestants made their way northwards through a series of challenges spaced out along Middle Walk, before returning via the Promenade. Not to be forgotten, of course, was the theory test, which gave drivers as much to think about as ever, with questions about all aspects of a driver’s knowledge.


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