A bus driver has been named the best in the region to win a top accolade.
Hartlepool-born Simon Broughton, 29, a bus driver and relief duty manager at Stagecoach North East’s Hartlepool depot, has won the Regional Bus Driver of the Year accolade.
Simon, who lives in Peterlee, was joined by Bob Miller, from Trimdon, who is a bus driver at the Teesside depot in Stockton, to be recognised for his exceptional driving and named third place in the competition.
All three drivers had to complete a series of vigorous tests to challenge their driving skills, including a theory test on all aspects of the Highway Code, road safety and hazard awareness, and a comprehensive driving test assessed by Driving Standards Manager Joe Carr, who organised the competition.
The drivers had to achieve at least an 85% score, and were given penalty points for any incorrect answers or marked down for wrong manoeuvres.
Each driver was also assessed on their individual record, with a high level score from the company’s Green Road driving programme, excellent attendance and no accidents.
A bus driver for only three years, Simon was delighted to win, and will now be going forward to represent Stagecoach North East at the national Bus Driver of the Year Awards in Blackpool in September.
He said: “This is the first time that I have entered the competition and I am over the moon to have won the regional award.
“I enjoyed the challenge and pushing myself, and it is very satisfying to be put forward for the national competition.
“I am looking forward to the occasion and fingers crossed I bring back a second award!”
Competing with 120 bus drivers from across the UK at the national finals, Simon will be required to complete a second series of practical and theoretical driving tests to assess his driving technique and knowledge, acquiring as few penalty points as possible for a chance to win national Best Driver of the Year 2015.