A Mayfield man has been crowned UK bus driver of the year from a field of nearly 100 entries from around Britain, at an event held in Blackpool.
Father of three Adam Stitt (35), who drives for Lothian Buses, was also crowned top Scottish bus driver. Adam has been driving for Lothian for nine years and has become one of the company’s most knowledgeable and popular drivers, going the extra mile to deliver customers to their destination in comfort and safety.
He said: “To win the UK bus driver of the year award is brilliant and not something I was expecting when I entered the competition.
“It was a great experience to attend the event and our full range of skills were put to the test by the organisers – it was even more challenging when you are up against some great colleagues from across the industry.”
Adam was one of a group of five Lothian drivers represented at the competition, including Stephen Wibden, who finished in fourth place.
Adam added: “We have a fantastic group here at Lothian and we’re helped enormously by the training and support we receive from the company. I’m delighted to win the title but I’m sure my friends in the garage won’t let the success go to my head too much!”
Now in its 53rd year, the national bus driver of the year competition was founded in 1967 with bus operators from around the UK entering their finest drivers to battle it out of the title. Nominees who attend the competition are put through their paces on a range of theoretical and practical driving skills that reflect every aspect of their demanding job.
Adam’s win is the third successive title triumph for Scottish drivers after wins for drivers from St Andrews and Aberdeen in recent years
Lothian managing director Richard Hall, who set up an internal competition three years ago to allow drivers to demonstrate their skills before going forward to the National finals, also attended the event in Blackpool and said he was really thrilled for Adam and his colleagues on their achievements.
Richard said: “It is great news for Adam to be crowned UK Bus Driver of the Year against really difficult competition from operators across the country. It is a remarkable achievement and our congratulations go to him and our other drivers who were nominated for the event and attended with their partners and families.
“Lothian prides itself on its high standard of training and development and we are working hard to further professionalise the role of the bus driver. This then allows us to deliver an increasingly higher level of service to all our customers across the region. We’re really pleased for Adam, he is a prime example of some of the great staff we have across the Lothian group.”