Driving Mavericks make Bus Top Gun

Eight 'top-gun' drivers based at National Express West Midlands Bordesley Green bus garage recently became the first bus drivers in the whole of the UK to be recognised with new independent professional driving qualifications.

The drivers, dubbed ‘top gun drivers’ by colleagues for being the best of the best – like the iconic Tom Cruise film of the same name, have been selected for two new qualifications.

This follows a demanding process that has seen eight drivers demonstrate the best safety and professionalism in the industry. The qualifications, which are independently accredited by both the Education Development Institute and the Institute of Advanced Motorists, require a great deal of commitment from each of the drivers who chose to participate.

Six local drivers Neil Evans, Janice Arnold, Fabian Ramos, Imran Hussein, Peter Simpson and Barry Middleton achieved the top level of Master Driver status for completing a three year period of excellent driving as well as undertaking additional advanced driving and customer service qualifications. 

The new master driver will be recognisable to customers by their special blue tie – a move from the company’s signature red tie that marks them out as the best in the business. Two drivers, Naseer Ahmed and Mohammed Imran also gained Advanced Driver status for achieving two years of excellent driving and customer commendations.

The National Express West Midlands master driver programme is the first of any bus company in the UK meaning that Birmingham’s bus drivers are the first to earn an Institute of Advanced Motoring accreditation, an award that has historically been reserved for emergency service response drivers.

Madi Pilgrim HR Director at National Express West Midlands said:

I am really proud to be able to award all eight drivers with an Advanced or Master Driver badge and tie. This is the most rigorous assessment we have ever put drivers through and makes them truly world-class. Their performance and professionalism are outstanding. It was an extremely proud moment for them, their families and our business.”

Newly appointed Master Driver Neil Evans said:

“I was very keen to test my own ability as a driver, and even though it was a tough personal challenge, I am extremely proud to have gained some new skills and an even greater awareness of the importance of my driving role.”

Published 12th May 2014