YELLOW Buses’ Pete Diffey has driven off with a top national award.
Just three years after retraining as a bus driver, the 53-year-old was named ‘Newcomer of the Year’ at the prestigious UK Bus Driver of the Year final in Blackpool.
Pete, a father of two, was also placed eighth overall in the competition which attracted a field of 112 entrants from across the country. Fellow Yellows’ driver Dennis Maheve was 47th.
“I was well pleased to get the ‘Newcomers of the Year’ award and feel it’s quite an achievement,” said Pete who spent 33 years in the catering butchery industry before joining the Yellows in 2008.
He added: “I really enjoy being a bus driver. It’s not just the driving but the fact that you meet different people and that no day is ever the same.”
The UK Bus Driver of the Year contest is regarded as the bus industry’s premier award for drivers and is now in its 45th year.
The gruelling set of theory and practical road tests included a three mile driving test involving manoeuvring exercises followed by a circuit, in normal traffic, along Blackpool Promenade.
Drivers were required to stop with precision at a number of bus stops while observers stationed around the course judged drivers` signalling, positioning and bus handling.
Derek Lott, Yellow Buses’ Managing Director, said: “Pete is an absolute credit to the company and we’re very proud of him.
“To be named the UK’s ‘Newcomer of the Year’ – and come eighth in the fiercely competitive Bus Driver of the Year contest – just three years after retraining is a huge achievement. He deserves all our congratulations.”