Plymouth man crowned as Coach Driver of the Year
National Express' service delivery director Ed Rickard, Driver of the Year Billy Weir and Traffilog's operations director Dean Parker
A National Express coach driver from Plymouth has beaten the best in the business to be crowned ‘Driver of the Year’ after a thrilling racing event.
Billy Weir who drives for Parks of Hamilton that run services on behalf of the UK's largest coach operator, swapped his uniform for race overalls to fight off competition from 23 National Express coach drivers at the annual Driver of the Year showdown at the PalmerSport race track in Bedford, where he came first in the competition.
Billy said: “The whole day was amazing, it was one of the best experiences of my life. I’ve always dreamt of driving fast cars so it was definitely a day to remember.
“There are over 2,300 approved drivers on the National Express network so to be chosen as one of 24 to take part in the day was amazing, I felt like a winner just being there. Being named the Driver of the Year was the icing on the cake.”
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.
Billy was nominated for Driver of the Month by colleagues and bosses for his professionalism and willingness to go above and beyond for customers and staff.
His manager said: “Billy is always full of energy and never fails to put a smile on people’s faces. Customers say he is very welcoming and he is always happy to help anyone who needs it.”
National Express’ service delivery director, Ed Rickard, said: “This event is a great way of celebrating our drivers and their efforts, and rewarding them with a different driving experience.
“Billy has really impressed us, not only did he beat off some tough competition on the track, but he does a tremendous job of representing National Express on the road with his colleagues and customers on a daily basis.”
Traffilog UK’s managing director Paul Louis-Fernand said: “At Traffilog we take great pleasure in sponsoring the National Express Driver of the Year recognition programme for the fourth consecutive year. We believe that National Express has every reason to be extremely proud of having a workforce that delivers such consistent professionalism whilst navigating the highly demanding and ever-increasing challenges faced on the UK roads, and we are honoured to be part of this day.”
“Every single one of the 24 drivers is already a winner and it was great to see them letting their hair down and having fun at PalmerSport race track. Well done National Express and well done to all the drivers who qualified.”