National Express drivers congratulated for keeping Birmingham moving during snowfall
National Express West Midlands kept Birmingham moving this week despite the worst snow the region has seen for years. Customer commendations have been flying in for the hard work of drivers who kept buses on the road despite blizzards and icy conditions.
One bus driver in particular has been congratulated by passengers for his quick thinking during Monday’s heavy snowfall.
Tahir Chaudhry, aged 33 from Walsall, was driving the number 17 bus service from Birmingham city centre to Marston Green when driving conditions became particularly difficult.
Tahir said: “It had been snowing all day but by 4pm it was really coming down. The roads were very icy and I had to slow down and keep calm to ensure the bus didn’t slide. It was peak time and a lot of people had left home early because of the bad weather, so the bus was jam packed.”
Tahir has been driving for National Express West Midlands for six years and is based in the company’s bus garage at Lea Hall.
“It was probably the worst snow I had ever seen during my career as driver. I kept thinking ‘I’ve got over sixty people on board this bus and I need to get them home safely.’ Cars were sliding around either side of me and teenagers were trying to bombard the bus with snowballs, which didn’t help!”
“After negotiating a particularly bad patch of road I got a round of applause from my passengers and they started clapping. It took almost twice as long to finish the route because of poor visibility and road conditions, but the passengers understood I was trying my best.”
The next day National Express West Midland’s customer relations team was inundated with commendations for the driver who had worked so hard to keep the bus moving. Comments from passengers included:
“I want to commend the driver for his driving standards in this adverse weather as well as in the face of some very inconsiderate drivers on the road.”
“Hobmoor Rd was very bad and despite the bus becoming stuck two or three times, the driver remained calm and was very professional throughout. He managed to get the bus off the slippery ice and continue to journey, much to the happiness of all his customers. He even got a cheer and round of applause at one point.”
Tahir said: “It’s a great feeling to know passengers wrote in to thank me. All the drivers have worked really hard this week and it means a lot to receive that positive feedback.”
Kevin Belfield, Director West Midlands, said:
"Our drivers have worked really hard this week to ensure the buses in Birmingham keep moving, despite severe weather conditions. Mr Chaudhry's story is an example of the hard work of our dedicated team, who carry over one million passengers everyday. Tahir's quick thinking and careful driving ensured all passengers safely reached their destination in icy conditions."