First Bus wins awards at UK Bus Driver of the Year 2017
First Bus drivers have celebrated major success at the UK Bus Driver of the Year 2017 finals, with First Aberdeen driver Adam Ksiazek taking top spot, First West Yorkshire's Michael Leech in second place and a total of six drivers in the top 20.
- First Aberdeen's Adam Ksiazek is Bus Driver of the Year 2017
- Michael Leech of First West Yorkshire takes second place – for a second time
- Alison Owbridge of First York is highest placed female finalist once again
- First Cymru's Michael Myatt wins best competitor from a depot in Wales
- Peter Mascall of First Cymru is winner of Best Theory award
The top competition for the UK's bus drivers saw Adam, from Aberdeen, step up from fourth place last year to win the Bus Driver of the Year top prize and be named best bus driver in the country.
Meanwhile Michael Leech, from Halifax, repeated the second-place success he first enjoyed in the competition in 2012 by finishing as runner-up.
The finals in Blackpool also saw Alison Owbridge of York achieve “the double" as the top ranking female driver, something she previously achieved in 2014. Alison finished 16th in a field of 99 finalists.
Adam said: “It is amazing to win this competition. I couldn't believe it when my name was read out but when I saw my scores it started to sink in.
“I would like to thank my wife Monika, the First Bus training team and my colleagues for all of their support. It has also been wonderful to receive messages of congratulations from drivers from other companies."
Michael said: “It's great to win second place for a second time. I was spurred on by my previous success and it means a lot because you know you are in a competition with the best drivers in the UK. It's a great honour."
First Bus Managing Director, Giles Fearnley, said: “It's an outstanding achievement for us to have not one, but two drivers in the top positions of this highly coveted competition. Huge congratulations to Adam, Michael and our other finalists in this year's competition.
“I'd also like to particularly congratulate Alison Owbridge from First York who again has become the highest ranked female driver, having achieved the same feat in 2014.
“These results are wonderful news for First and show the skill and professionalism of our drivers from across the UK. More than a quarter of the drivers taking part in this year's finals were from First Bus and this reflects positively on our industry-leading driver training programme.
“We are very grateful to all those who organise this annual competition on behalf of the industry."
The annual driving competition is in its 51st year and recognises outstanding driving, focussing on safety, customer service, general driving standards and proficiency.
First Bus has announced that its top 10 driver finalists will be invited along as VIPS to the company's Excellence Awards later this year.