Bus driver who transported two generations around Hartlepool is honoured for 40 years service

Stagecoach driverJames Leslie
Stagecoach driverJames Leslie

A BUS driver who has transported two generations around Hartlepool has been honoured for his long service.

Hartlepool bus driver James Leslie has been recognised by Stagecoach North East bosses for his 40 years in the job.

The 66-year-old, from the Belle Vue area, said: “I started working for the company at just 26 years old. Over the years I’ve provided transport for kids, watched them grow up and then eventually transported their kids around town.”

James said thanks to his bosses he had been able to work part-time to allow him to care for his wife Kathleen who has been in ill health in recent years.

“Management have always been supportive of personal matters,” said James, who is dad to Ian and Darren.

“I changed to a three-day working week that really helps with being a full-time carer for my wife and the depot was very understanding and accommodating.”

The grandfather-of-two added: “I really like the job as the management is excellent and serving the public allows for a more personal approach to work.

“I’ve stayed with Stagecoach for so long as I believe it excels in customer service, and it’s great to be a part of that.”

James is one of 14 employees at the town’s Brenda Road depot who were honoured with long service awards totalling 439 years.

They were among 98 members of Stagecoach’s regional depots who have clocked up an impressive 2,857 years between them.

They received their awards during a ceremony at Newcastle’s Thistle County Hotel.

Stagecoach’s managing director Phil Medlicott said: “We are dedicated to making sure our employees are able to get the most out of their job and have an outstanding number of long serving staff. I am proud of all staff for their loyalty and dedication.”