Blackpool hosts Bus Driver of the Year as promenade packed with buses

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Blackpool seafront was packed with buses at the weekend – but they weren’t there to pick up fares.

It was all part of the 55th Bus Driver of the Year National Final, held on Blackpool’s lower prom on Sunday, September 3.

The event, which has been held in the resort for the last 50 years, attracted drivers from all over the UK, including Scotland and Wales.

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The top prize was won by National Express bus driver Lee Grantham, who won the BDoY Trophy and pocketed £4,100 prize money.

The 35 year old has been a driver based at Acocks Green depot, Birmingham, for more than 16 years and is allocated to Solihull routes.

Having come 30th in his first National Final in 2022, he was visibly overcome with emotion, saying: “I am simply lost for words.”

Andrew Jarvis, First Bus Chief Operating Officer, presented the awards at a ceremony in the Imperial Hotel where 300 supporters and family joined the competitors to hear the results.

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All the Bus Driver of the Year winners, including top prize winner Lee Grantham (centre), who won the BDoY Trophy and £4,100 prize money.All the Bus Driver of the Year winners, including top prize winner Lee Grantham (centre), who won the BDoY Trophy and £4,100 prize money.
All the Bus Driver of the Year winners, including top prize winner Lee Grantham (centre), who won the BDoY Trophy and £4,100 prize money. | nw

Mr Jarvis, who has enjoyed a 30 year career in the industry, commended the high standards of driving on display.

Runner-up was Gary Black from Lothian Buses, winning the BDoY Trophy and £2,600.

In third place was Thomas Gillhooley of Lothian Buses – East Coast Buses who took home the BDoY Trophy and £1,000.

Joe Mackie, Chairman of the UK Bus Driver of the Year Association, congratulated all the trophy winners and thanked the dedicated volunteers who make the competition possible and the industry sponsors for their generous financial support.