A BUS driver has been given an award for serving more than four decades behind the wheel.
Bus driver Malcolm Bell, who is based at the Hartlepool depot, has been recognised for 45 years service at Stagecoach North East.
Malcolm, 69, was in his mid-20s when he first started working for the bus company and says he has never looked back since.
Malcolm, who is set to retire next month, said: “My father-in-law was an inspector at the bus company and got me the job. I started out in the driving school and then became a bus driver. I thoroughly enjoy my job and if I had to do it all again I would.
“I love to be out and about and meeting new people and that’s the best bit about the job. I have always had a great management team here at the Hartlepool depot and Stagecoach is a great company to work for.”
Long serving staff at Stagecoach North East have been recognised and celebrated for their prolonged commitment over the years.
A total of 85 members of staff based at Stagecoach North East’s depots across Hartlepool, Teesside, Newcastle, Sunderland, and South Shields were awarded for their long service at the bus company, which altogether equals an impressive 2,555 years.
Among the employees are bus drivers, engineers and management staff.
Martin Finlayson, from Billingham, a charge-hand fitter and part of the engineering team for the Stockton depot, has been recognised for an impressive 20 years service.
The 37-year-old said: “I really enjoy my job and I have been with Stagecoach since I left school. Seeing the results and getting the bus back on the road gives me a real buzz. My job is very varied and can consist of anything from repairs at the garage, MOT preparation or roadside recovery. I really appreciated the award, it’s nice to be recognised and the ceremony was a great night.”
The awards were presented to the staff at The Hilton Hotel, Gateshead where the celebrations took place.
Phil Medlicott, managing director, Stagecoach North East, said: “The bus industry is all about people and we are fortunate to have a team of dedicated individuals. The Long Service Awards are a way of recognising and appreciating the great service they provide and their on-going loyalty. It’s fantastic to see so members of staff achieving awards for between 20 and 45 years service, it demonstrates real commitment and I thank them all for their hard work over the years.”
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