Master Driver repeats grandfather’s success – fifty years on

Fifty years after his grandfather Ronald Smith received a Master Driver award from his Birmingham employers for driving excellence, grandson Stuart Wilkinson has repeated that success with National Express West Midlands.

31 year old Stuart from Erdington, Birmingham, has been driving buses at the operator’s Perry Barr garage for over five years. He was recently presented with a Master Driver award after achieving three years of safe, incident and accident free driving and after completing a unique Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) driving test - an accredited advanced driving test for bus drivers that is unique to National Express.

Stuart said: “My mum had grandad Ron’s certificate on her bedroom wall for as long as I can remember. He learnt to drive in the Army and then went on to drive articulated trucks with GKN here in Birmingham where he received his Master Driver award at the age of 37.

“I only knew him briefly as a small boy, but somehow he has always inspired me. I knew that when I grew up I was going to become either a bus or lorry driver.

“This award, coming on the fiftieth anniversary of Grandad's award, really does mean something special to me and my mum. I’m so proud of my success and pleased that my mum now has another certificate for her bedroom wall.”

The National Express Master Driver programme was created to encourage and recognise excellence in driving. It provides a framework to measure the performance of drivers and identify those with an impeccable safety record and outstanding driving skills. 

But it goes beyond driving skills, also recognising drivers who are ambassadors for customer service and impress customers each and every day through consistent and exceptional demonstration of National Express’ customer service standards. 

To date National Express has over 250 Master Drivers at sites across the West Midlands. 

Published 5th July 2017