Nottingham City Transport has crowned its new Bus Driver of the Year alongside recognising and rewarding engineers, teams and unsung heroes at its annual Excellence Awards.
The awards day was held at Nottingham’s Albert Hall on Sunday 7th January, hosted by NCT’s “voice of the buses”, David Lloyd.
David Townsend was crowned NCT’s Bus Driver of the Year 2024, the first driver to do the double after he was named NCT’s first Driver of the Year in 2011. He met a stringent set of criteria covering good attendance, good punctuality, no blameworthy accidents, live disciplinary awards or upheld customer complaints to make it through to the mystery traveller assessments, which ultimately decide the winner.
David scored over 90% in his mystery traveller assessments and was described by the mystery traveller as someone who
“is an excellent driver, clearly well regarded and liked by his passengers with lots of them knowing him by name. He is a lovely man who knows exactly what it means to deliver excellent customer service and is safe and considerate in his driving. His care for passengers was demonstrated through him assisting a lady on to another bus by helping her off his bus and carrying her bags for her. An absolute gem!”
On his win, David Townsend said,
“There is a very high level of competition for Driver of the Year, as all drivers demonstrate professionalism in driving skill and interpersonal skills. I had not anticipated I would win the Driver of the Year award again and when I heard my name being read out by David Lloyd, I can only describe myself as being stunned and shocked. This was a very proud moment for me, I would call it the proudest moment of my life. A personal works award will live with you for the duration of your working life and beyond”.
Engineer Mark Lawson, who retired from NCT in November 2023 after completing 50 years of service received the Special Recognition Award for his dedication and loyalty to NCT over five decades. Mark followed in his mother and grandmother’s shoes, seeing a member of the Lawson family working at NCT since the 1920s.
Five bus drivers received Customer Commendation Awards. Adam Barber, Andrew Blackburn, Andrew Cranfield, Ian Coaton and Paul Allen were all awarded for going above and beyond for their passengers.
Andrew Hayes is NCT’s 2024 Rising Star as he earned recognition for his swift career progression and positive impact. With a notable history at NCT as a Driver, Trainer and Rota Specialist, Andy’s recent promotion to Delegated Examiner showcased his excellence.
Engineer of the Year celebrated outstanding performance by Natalie Monaghan-Smith and Adam Zapasnik. Natalie played a crucial role in NCT achieving Earned Recognition Status. This accomplishment places NCT in the ‘Premier League’ of operators signifying our active compliance with the required processes and procedures to operate a safe service. Adam, known for providing solutions and delivering excellence in the engineering department to assist his colleagues, is a constant support and a go-to person for his colleagues, earning high praise.
The Team of the Year was awarded to the Sage, Yooz and Freeway Delivery Team for successfully executing one of the biggest system migrations in NCT. Comprising colleagues from Finance, Stores, IT and Engineering, their remarkable efforts ensured uninterrupted payments to suppliers and improved stock control.
Brian Bowater has earned the title of Unsung Hero for being the driving force behind the day-to-day operations of NCT’s Social Society, which provides activities for NCT colleagues and their families. Beyond his role in supporting reopening of the company gym after the pandemic, Brian coordinates charity events, coach trips and various activities, showcasing a selfless dedication that resonated with colleagues and contributed to the society’s widespread impact.
Ian Beech, the recipient of the Unite the Union Made a Difference Award, was acknowledged for his dedicated efforts in supporting drivers facing various issues. Ian ensures fair resolutions, providing crucial support to drivers and fostering a sense of trust within the team.
David Astill, NCT Managing Director said, “I express my thanks to everyone who attended the awards ceremony, making Sunday such a memorable day for the NCT family to mix and enjoy each other’s company. I repeat my congratulations to all winners and nominees and a special mention to Mark Lawson for his Special Recognition Award and to David Townsend for achieving the accolade of being our first Driver of the Year on a second occasion”.
NCT will be showcasing the winners on its social media platforms over the coming weeks and months.
Posted on 15 January 2024