Local bus drivers named among the top in the UKNational competition held in Blackpool to crown best bus driver

Thomas Gilhooley, Gary Black and John O'Hara at the competition in Blackpool.
Thomas Gilhooley, Gary Black and John O'Hara at the competition in Blackpool.

Two local bus drivers have been named among the top 3 of the UK’s best bus drivers in this year’s UK Bus Driver of the Year Finals held in Blackpool at the weekend.

Gary Black (Lothian Buses) and Thomas Gilhooley (East Coast Buses) finished second and third respectively, with Gary also scooping prizes for Best Driver from a Scottish Depot and Best Placed Finisher by an ALBUM (Association of Local Bus Company Managers) Member.

Drivers from all over the UK participated in a series of tests on Sunday 3 September, including a two-mile road drive through the iconic seaside town, and a highway code and theory test.

Lothian held its own local competition in May of this year at Ingliston, with Gary, Thomas and John O’Hara (from Lothian’s Longstone depot) going through to the national final where they took on the best of the best from other operators across the country.

Willie Hamilton, Operations Director for Lothian, said: “We are thrilled that two of our drivers have finished in the top three at the UK Bus Driver of the Year Finals.

“The final is a fiercely contested affair, with the competition fought in the best possible spirit between all the drivers. I would like to congratulate Gary, Thomas and John for their excellent performances over the weekend.

“Their success is a testament to their talent and skill, but also our amazing driving teams and incredible in-house training school.”