It’s a double whammy as National Express crown two Coach Drivers of the Year
Chris Hardy, Derek Campbell, Tim Robson and Paul Lois-Fernand
Not one, but two coach drivers from Suffolk and Salsburgh have beaten the best in the business to be crowned the joint ‘Drivers of the Year’ after a thrilling racing event.
Tim Robson who drives for Galloway European and Derek Campbell who drives for Bruce’s Coaches, both operators that run services on behalf of National Express, swapped their uniforms for race overalls to fight off competition from 20 National Express coach drivers at the annual Driver of the Year showdown at the PalmerSport racing track in Bedford.
Tim said: “It was a surprise when I found out I’d won National Express’ Driver of the Year alongside Derek. I was shocked but I’m very proud of myself. It’s great to feel appreciated and makes all the hard work worthwhile. I am even more motivated to hold on to it next year.”
Derek said: “I was overwhelmed and honoured to win this award. I am very grateful for being nominated in the first place and to have shared such an amazing experience on the track with so many deserving colleagues. It was a day to remember.”
The Driver of the Year competition is a prestigious in-house event in which drivers can only compete if they had been awarded a National Express ‘Driver of the Month’ commendation during the previous year for their outstanding professional work in customer service, safety and driving skills.
The event, sponsored by transport data experts Traffilog, is a measure of each driver’s skills and knowledge, and involves five exhilarating tests in high-powered sports cars, before the winners are selected by a panel of judges.
Tim was nominated for Driver of the Month by his bosses after receiving great feedback from passengers. Comments included: ‘The driver was a pleasure’ and ‘He was very thoughtful and kind’.
Derek was nominated for his professionalism and quick thinking when a passenger fell ill on board. His manager said he deals with difficult situations well, always putting he customer first.
National Express’ Managing Director, Chris Hardy, said: “This event is a great way of celebrating our drivers and their efforts, and rewarding them with a slightly different driving experience.
“Both Tim and Derek have really impressed us, not only did they beat off some tough competition on the track, but they do a tremendous job of representing National Express on the road with their colleagues and customers on a daily basis.”
Traffilog UK’s Managing Director Paul Louis-Fernand said: “It is our great pleasure to organise and sponsor the Driver of the Year event for National Express for a third year. This was a special day where we recognised the professional performance of drivers across the coach network who face difficult challenges on a daily basis.
“All of the drivers who took part in the event have at some point become National Express’ Driver of the Month over the past year. With criteria including Traffilog’s safe driving scores, customer and staff praise, and tales of exemplary customer service, it is a fantastic achievement to be a finalist at this event. They should all be very proud.”