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07 Sep 2018
Local family man Graham Hall has been crowned one of the UK’s top ten bus drivers.
The 37 year old father of five was one of 91 drivers who battled for the ultimate accolade for passenger transport professionals; to be named Bus Driver of the Year at the national finals in Blackpool.
Graham, who has worked as bus driver for Stagecoach for the last six years, received a trophy and a cash prize after being placed 5th overall in the national contest. He was also the third highest rated Stagecoach driver in the UK.
He said: "You don't get much bigger than the national competition which is why I wanted to apply. I like a challenge!”
This was the second time Graham has entered the Bus Driver of the Year having achieved 35th place last year. “I was determined to do better this year and although I’m very pleased with the result I’m aiming to improve further and win next year.”
Graham, who lives locally, regularly drives buses in and around Hastings including coastal route 99 to and from Eastbourne.
Finalists secured their places following tough regional heats across the UK. Graham was the winner for the South East region and therefore went through to the national final in Blackpool.
During the competition the 91 drivers from bus operators across the UK undertook a series of driving tests in a bid to win the Bus Driver of the Year title. Drivers are required to drive on a simulated route can include any of the hazards normally encountered during their working day. The test is completed on both private and public roads and, as in ordinary operations, drivers are required to keep to schedule. All competitors are also required to complete a combined written test on the Highway Code and Driver CPC Knowledge.
Hugh Loy, Stagecoach Operations Manager for Hastings said: “To achieve fifth place in such a prestigious national competition is a superb achievement. The competition was fierce and it’s great to know that one of our drivers from Hastings is one of the best in the country.”