Not all heroes wear capes and drive bat mobiles - some wear a hi-vis and drive buses!

A National Express West Midlands driver has won a top global accolade for her actions during a robbery which ultimately led to the arrest of three men.

In recognition of her heroic efforts, 42-year-old Tracey Evans was invited to join colleagues from across the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Bahrain, Spain, Morocco and North America, at the National Express Group Values Awards, held at the London Transport Museum.

At the prestigious awards event, Tracey was awarded the National Express Group Value of Values award by Chief Executive Dean Finch, in recognition of her actions and her help in capturing the offenders.

West Midlands Police arresting officer PC Burrows said:

“It is without doubt that Tracey’s decisive thinking, calm instructions - without suspicion - and her heroic actions in identifying the offenders helped to secure the arrests.”

National Express Group Chief Executive Dean Finch said:

"We are extremely proud of Tracey for her calm and courageous actions during what was a rare but nasty incident onboard one of our buses. 

“She has unequivocally demonstrated the core values of our company, keeping our customers safe and doing the right thing. I was delighted to be able to present my Value of Values award to recognise her efforts.”

National Express West Midlands driver Tracey Evans said: 

“When I noticed what was happening I knew I had to alert control and make sure we got the police involved. I was just doing my job so I tried to keep everything as normal and as calm as possible and I continued in service while making sure our customers were comfortable and safe.

“I felt so privileged to be invited to the awards ceremony and get the chance to meet managers and other colleagues from across the business who have had some brilliant achievements. I had a fantastic evening anyway - and then when I was announced as the Value of Values award winner I was so shocked! I couldn’t believe it. It’s really lovely to be recognised by the company.”

Pensnett based Tracey, who has been with National Express West Midlands for two years, was driving a 126 bus between Birmingham and Dudley when she realised a serious incident was unfolding on her bus. She had looked in her cameras and saw a customer was being robbed and assaulted on the top deck.

She immediately pressed her panic button to alert the company’s central control team who contacted police. After reporting the incident, Tracey remained calm and continued to drive her bus so that the offenders did not know that police were on the way.

Meanwhile, brave Tracey kept an eye on the cameras to make sure her passengers were safe whilst relaying up-to-date information on her exact location for police officers who were en route. Her calm and clear commentary meant that they were able to execute a precise and planned capture.

Once officers arrived and stopped the bus, Tracey stepped out of her cab, stood in the entrance and fearlessly identified one of the offenders who had tried to conceal his identity. Without hesitation she also pointed out the other two perpetrators to the officers.

When they were arrested, the police found that the men were carrying a hammer and a knife. 

While the incident could have been so much worse, Tracey’s courageous actions played a key part in helping police officers secure all three arrests. The victim had also their property returned to them and nobody else was hurt. Other passengers onboard the bus were full of praise, sharing their appreciation with a round of applause.

The annual National Express Group Values Awards was launched across the National Express Group during 2012. The awards ceremony celebrates and recognises the work of teams and individuals across the global business, which employs nearly 50,000 people worldwide. 

Published 6th June 2019