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YOUR NEW LOOK BUS TALK

Issue 26 • February 2014

Focus on Go North East operations See page 7

Why we're switched on to electric buses See page 2

Staff encouraged to kick the habit See page 11


In this issue

YOUR NEW LOOK BUS TALK THIS isn’t just the first Bus Talk of 2014 – it’s also the first sporting a brand new look! And what better way to start the new year than having all your news, features and interviews presented in a bright new format? Plus there’s a bumper bonus – you’re getting four extra pages! So if you have any comments, suggestions or would like a story included in the magazine, just call 01932 243400 or email go-ahead@ruxley.co.uk.

Go-Ahead scoops London-wide first Course helps prepare staff for promotion Page 5

A day in the life of a chief engineer Page 6

Electric bus trials coup G

Cycle to Work scheme is a big success Page 8 2

O-AHEAD London’s commitment to providing a cleaner, greener service is plain for all to see following the eagerly anticipated launch of London’s first two electric buses on December 19. The Chinese-built buses run out of Waterloo on two inter-station services, the 507 between Waterloo and Victoria, and the 521 between Waterloo and London Bridge. Weighing in at 14 tonnes, the buses take around four or five hours to charge overnight and can travel roughly 250 kilometres on a single charge – enough to run on their routes for a full day. Not only that, running costs are around 75 per cent lower than for a regular diesel bus. The zero-emission buses will be monitored

closely both by Go-Ahead London and TfL, with the hope of introducing more onto London’s streets in the near future. General manager Pat Mahon was quick to highlight what a privilege it is for Go-Ahead London to be the first company selected to trial the new vehicles. He said: “It’s an honour for Waterloo to be the first garage with the buses on London’s streets. “I know TfL will be watching the trial closely, so it shows the amount of trust they have in us.” Pat also praised the buses for their positive impact on the environment. “The buses will help cut carbon emissions and improve air quality, which is something GoAhead London is 100 per cent committed to.”


Singing the praises of London’s buses

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T’S Go-Ahead London’s time to shine in 2014, with Transport for London declaring 2014 the Year of the Bus. Following on from 2013’s Year of the Tube celebrations to mark 150 years of the underground, TfL has decided that it’s time to sing the praises of the London bus network.

Celebratory Throughout the year, celebratory events will be organised every month to pay homage to London’s most heavily used form of public transport. Go-Ahead London has used digital signage screens and the employee website to help spread the word about the Year of the Bus. TfL has promised a number of events throughout the year and we are looking forward to being part of the celebration of the iconic red bus. If you are keen to find out more about how London has been celebrating the Year of the Bus, then keep an eye out for news of the latest events in future editions of Bus Talk.

Wi-Fi rollout goes ahead

INTERNET users at Go-Ahead London will soon be well catered for, with Wi-Fi currently being rolled out across all garages. So far, Stockwell, Camberwell, Peckham, Waterloo, Rainham and Bexleyheath have already had theirs installed, with all locations expecting to have it by the end of March. “We want to enhance communications between everyone at Go-Ahead London,”

said communications manager Sheldon Malcolm. “It will also allow employees to easily keep up to date with everything going on in the company via the portal, which is currently being tested.” ABOVE: Camberwell driver Mark Alleyne makes use of the new Wi-Fi facility at his garage.

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Tender NEWS from across the capital IN OUR regular column, we highlight recent announcements made by Transport for London. All are retentions unless stated otherwise. Abellio London n Route 49 (Clapham Junction to White City), won from London United. Contract begins September 6, 2014, using new double deck hybrid vehicles (20 PVR).

Arriva Kent Thameside n Route 375 (Romford to Passingford Bridge), using existing single deck vehicle (1 PVR). Contract begins on July 5, 2014.

London Central n Route 286 (Greenwich to Sidcup, Queen Mary’s Hospital), won from Arriva Kent Thameside. Contract begins on July 12, 2014, using new single deck vehicles (13 PVR). n Route 661 (Petts Wood to Eltham College), using existing double deck vehicles (1 PVR). Contract begins on October 4, 2014. n Route 669 (Thamesmead to Cleeve Park School), using existing double deck vehicles (2 PVR). Contract begins on October 4, 2014.

London General n Route 100 (Elephant & Castle to Shadwell), won from Abellio London. Contract begins on September 20, 2014, using new flywheel single deck vehicles (17 PVR).

London United n Route 71 (Kingston to Chessington), using existing double deck vehicles (13 PVR). Contract begins on July 5, 2014. n Route 281 (Tolworth to Hounslow), using existing double deck vehicles (25 PVR). Contract begins

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July 5, 2014. n Route 681 (Teddington to Hounslow), using existing double deck vehicles (2 PVR). Contract begins on July 5, 2014.

Metroline n Route 232 (St Raphael’s Estate to Turnpike Lane Station), using new and existing single deck vehicles (13 PVR). Contract begins on August 2, 2014. n Route 611 (Stonebridge Park to East Finchley), using existing double deck vehicle (1 PVR). Contract begins on August 2, 2014. n Route 640 (Harrow Weald to South Harrow), won from Arriva the Shires. Contract begins on September 6, 2014, using existing double deck vehicles (2 PVR).

Metroline West n Route 112 (Ealing Broadway to Brent Cross), won from Abellio West London. Contract begins on August 2, 2014, using new single deck vehicles (9 PVR).

Quality Line n Route 418 (Kingston to Epsom), using new and existing double deck vehicles (7 PVR). Contract begins on June 28, 2014.

Stagecoach East London n Route 8/N8 (Oxford Circus to Bow/Hainault), using New Bus for London vehicles (30 PVR). Contract begins on June 28, 2014. n Route 205/N205 (Paddington to Bow), using new double deck hybrid vehicles (27 PVR). Contract begins August 30, 2014.

Small idea has a big impact A

N ALARM used to remind drivers to insert their blue key has been made more efficient – thanks to two senior garage administrators. Bexleyheath’s Rob Conedera and Belvedere’s Michael Perfect noticed that the blue key alarm that sounds when a bus’s engine is switched on only lasted ten seconds. They observed that the alarm would often switch off too quickly and there was a chance a driver may forget to insert their key. At a MiX meeting, they suggested that the alarm be left on until a driver has inserted their blue key. The blue keys are vital to the company, as without them there is no way of monitoring an individual driver’s telematics. From February, all GoAhead London garages will use the new alarm system. “Once our idea was accepted, we had to go through all of Bexleyheath’s and Belvedere’s buses to ensure that they were properly equipped,” said Rob.

“A trial then began last September to see what kind of an impact the new alarm system would have.” Data from the trials has been extremely positive, with a lowering of incidents and increase in fuel efficiency. Blue key usage has also increased by 20 per cent, with total blue key usage now at an incredible 99 per cent. “It’s been really positive to see that a little idea can have such a big impact,” added Rob. “Telematics are a vital part of ensuring that Go-Ahead London drivers are as fuel efficient and safe as possible, so we are pleased to see every garage using our idea.”


Discovering the talent of the future G

O-AHEAD London colleagues are learning more about the company with a view to furthering their careers. A seven-week prepromotion course was kicked off by managing director John Trayner on January 14 with an intake of 24 candidates from across the business. “We have around 4,500 drivers and engineers in our business, some who have joined us very recently, and there is a real talent pool out there,” said general manager service quality Nigel Wood. “It is a chance for staff to say that they would like to be considered for promotion in the future and would like to learn more about the company in order to achieve that. “This year, we have a mix of people on the course, some of whom don’t normally come up on our radar.” The pre-promotion course

teaches colleagues about various aspects of the business as well as exploring different skills, such as CV writing. Candidates also sit an exam at the end of the course on what they have learned, something which could stand them in good stead for future promotion. Although there is no guarantee of promotion, the most successful candidates may be offered a secondment in their preferred field. “Everyone learns something from the course and at the end we will give further guidance on any strengths and weaknesses as well as giving them a leg-up onto the career ladder,” said Nigel. “There are a lot of opportunities in this company and candidates have already proved themselves to be successful by simply gaining a place on the pre-promotion course.”

Performance Manager Bradley Faithfull, above left, delivers the ‘Roadside and Service Performance’ module during the pre-promotion course.

Welcome to the 500 Challenge 2014

THE competition is now in its sixth year and is open to all fulltime Go-Ahead London drivers. The final is being held at Millbrook Proving Ground in September. Once again, we have a Fiat 500 Twin Air worth around £12,000 as our top prize! This car boasts the latest fuel efficient engine and runs on two cylinders delivering an astonishing 60 mpg. There will also be a number of other great prizes to be had,

which may include an iPad, iPhone and cash. Sounds appealing doesn’t it? Make sure you have the chance to be entered this year by becoming a Driver of the Month winner between March and August. You never know – it might be you becoming the proud owner of a brand new car in this year’s competition! Good luck!

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A DAY IN THE LIFE OF... chief engineer CHRIS McKEOWN

There is never much time to sit back but at the same time the job is always varied, which is one of the things I love about it.

Smooth running is the key for Chris

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NGINEERING is a vital cog in the Go-Ahead London machine, and it’s chief engineer Chris McKeown’s job to make sure it keeps turning! Chris began his career with the Group as a graduate engineer trainee in 2005. He has worked in a number of different roles since then, including engineering manager and operations engineer. He took on his current role in February 2012, and works alongside fellow chief engineer Les Bishop to ensure the smooth running of all things engineering. There is never a typical day in the office for Chris, although there are some jobs that need to be done on a more frequent basis. “Day to day, one of my responsibilities is to review the garages’ call-overs,” said Chris. “These tell me the vehicle status for a garage so that I can make sure we keep

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tabs on what is going on with repairs.” The rest of Chris’s job tends to revolve around garage reviews. “We have to monitor engineering performance at our garages and ensure that they are all meeting the relevant KPIs," he said. “The reviews are done regularly to ensure that we catch any problems that may arise as early as possible.”

Responsibility When an engineering issue has been identified during a review, it is then Chris’s responsibility to help resolve it. “An example of an issue we have had recently would be providing buses to cover the strike which took place on the Underground. “It was important that we had the

appropriate amount of vehicles ready to go so that we could deal with the increased workload.” Chris also works on more long-term projects too. In the past, these have involved working on events such as the Olympics or acquisitions like Northumberland Park. “We tend to get one big project after another,” added Chris. “There is never much time to sit back but at the same time the job is always varied, which is one of the things I love about it. “At the moment, the big project I am working on is the restructuring of the Metrobus engineering team. “In a couple of months, we will see the fruits of our labour. Being able to see the positive change you have made first hand really does make all the hard work worthwhile!”


Focus on Go North East n To kick off this Bus Talk feature, we look at different Group operations outside of Go-Ahead London n Go North East is a bus operator offering services in County Durham,

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O NORTH East operates a fleet of around 700 buses and employs more than 2,100 people. Its branded services include ‘Angel’, between Newcastle and Durham, ‘Crusader’, between South Shields and Newcastle, and ‘Drifter’, between Parkside and Sunderland. Go-Ahead London and Go North East may be at opposite ends of the country, but Paul says there are still some similarities between them. “Both businesses operate in a high performance, target-driven environment whereby our staff are required to maintain a punctual, reliable service and deliver a high

Northumberland and Tyne and Wear n We talked to Go-Ahead London’s Paul Coyle, who is currently on a six-month secondment as a divisional manager at GNE level of customer service,” said Paul.

Innovative

“Both companies operate a mixture of high and low frequency services across a wide span of the bus network in both locations. Similarly, we are focused on running as efficiently and as lean as possible through good cost control. Both companies are innovative, but there is perhaps more opportunity for GNE to be creative, and an example of this is the branding of their vehicles and investment in technology (e.g. the Key travel pass, on-board Wi-Fi). Brand identity and vehicle investment is very important up here, as it helps generate customer loyalty.” However, there are pronounced differences between the two companies as well. “The main difference is the market set-up and competitive environment," said Paul. Go-Ahead London submits tenders to TfL to operate a route for a minimum of five years whereas Go North East registers to run commercial services in areas where there is the opportunity and demand for patronage. There are some secured services regulated by Nexus (the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive who administer funds on behalf of the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority) but they are far less and mainly include student services. At GAL, there is a bonus structure in place where TfL sets performance targets in the form of Quality Incentive Contracts, whereas this type of contract scheme hasn’t been introduced yet in the The Go North East 'Angel', 'Crusader' and 'Drifter' deregulated environment. branded services. One of the main differences

Paul Coyle, on a six-month secondment as a Divisional Manager at Go North East. is that GNE holds the ‘revenue risk’, which means the business is dependant on passenger numbers and achieving revenue targets, whereas in London, TfL holds the risk, so the income is contractually based and isn't specifically dependant on the amount of passengers you carry.

Successful Paul believes that sharing ideas and remaining connected holds the key to all companies in the Group continuing to be successful. “It’s easy to forget that we are part of a larger group due to the decentralised nature of the business," said Paul. “Sharing best practice between the companies leads to greater efficiencies and improved performance for everyone. Collectively around the Group, it is clear that we share the same strategic objective, to provide locally focused transport services that are run and managed in a safe manner.” Despite the differences in the market environment, Paul recognises that the central theme to the success of both businesses depends on the people, as it's our drivers, engineers, clerical, supervisory and management staff that can help us achieve the value we need in maintaining and improving performance, and both companies recognise the benefits of a more informed, engaged workforce.” If you want to find out more about Go North East and the services it provides, just visit www.simplygo.com.

Sharing best practice between the companies leads to greater efficiencies and improved performance

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FACE 2

FACE

IN OUR Face 2 Face column, we chat to Karen Smith, who is a GA at Docklands. We ask Karen a series of light-hearted questions... Q: What was your favourite subject at school? A: P.E. Q: What person, living or dead, would you most like to go for a drink with? A: David Beckham or maybe Paul Walker. Q: Where in the world would you most like to visit? A: Dubai. Q: Do you have any hobbies? A: Shopping! Q: What was the first single that you ever bought? A: I think it was something by Five Star or New Kids on the Block. Q: What do you enjoy most about your job? A: The people I work with. Q: Do you have a favourite film? A: Love Actually. Q: Describe yourself in three words. A: Loud, scatty, bubbly.

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Merton senior garage administrator Danny Prescott has taken to two wheels through the Cycle to Work scheme.

I would thoroughly recommend the scheme...

Staff get on their bikes!

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YCLING fans at Go-Ahead London have been busy taking advantage of the company’s Cycle to Work scheme. Employees have had the opportunity to apply for up to £1,000 for a bike and associated equipment, paid for through a salary sacrifice arrangement. Nearly 200 bikes have been ordered, worth around £140,000. Not only does the scheme help keep participants fit, there are also tax incentives to really make it worthwhile. The money for the bike is taken over a 12-month loan period and repayments are deducted from pay prior to calculating tax and national insurance to the advantage of the employee. Once the 12-month period is over and the loan is repaid, ownership of the bike is then transferred to the employee. “The scheme fits very nicely with Go-Ahead London’s aim of reducing its impact on the environment,” said personnel manager Des Farthing.

“It’s also a great way for our employees to take up cycling and get fit without the sting of a large initial outlay.” Merton senior garage administrator Danny Prescott purchased a bike through the scheme and has been using it to cycle to work ever since. “The main reason for getting involved in Cycle to Work was that I wanted to get fit,” he said. “I have always enjoyed cycling, so it was great to get the chance to get a good bike without having to fork out a large amount all at once. “Not only have I been using it to get to work, instead of taking the bus, I also regularly cycle round Richmond Park. “I would thoroughly recommend the scheme to anyone who wants get a bit fitter and help do their bit for the environment.” The current cycle scheme has now closed but Des Farthing advised: “Keep an eye on the information screens around the company because we’ll be publicising the launch date when we have a new scheme ready to go”.


Peter Russell leaning into a corner on his Yamaha R1.

Peter likes to get his knee down! WHEN it comes to hobbies, there is nothing Peter Russell enjoys more than escaping to England’s finest race tracks for a bit of ‘knee down’ action in the summer! Peter has been around motorcycles from an early age. His father, also a keen motorcyclist, bought him his first off-road bike when he was just 10. It was love at first bike for Peter, and he started competing in motocross and trials events riding for his club at county level. “Motorcycles have always fascinated me, and I was lucky to have a supportive

dad who encouraged me to compete,” said Peter. “As much as I enjoyed motocross, however, I purchased a sports bike as soon as I was old enough to buy one.” Peter then took his hobby to the next level, travelling round England to riding at some of the country’s finest tracks, including Cadwell Park, Snetterton and Brands Hatch. “Riding on track is very different from the roads and I advise anyone to have a go if they really want to hone their riding skills.

“I recently replaced my 2006 Yamaha R1 with a 2010 model, which I have started to prepare for the track but it remains road legal and I still use it for commuting. “Modern superbikes are incredibly powerful but need careful setting up to get the best results on track. Everything is adjustable, from suspension to engine maps and slipper clutches, so I’m going to spend some time getting the best out of it. “It can be quite a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth it for the thrill of taking a difficult corner perfectly!”

Automated licence checks one year on Go-Ahead London has automated driving licence checks with Chalcheck - a driving licence checking service that is authorised by and linked up to the DVLA. Chalcheck started in Go-Ahead

London in January 2013. “The process of copying driving licences and recording each check has always been a slow and laboursome task, as well as generating a lot of paperwork” said Oliver Boulton - IT Projects Manager for Go-Ahead London.

“The new process automates the checks and records them on the company’s HR system automatically.” The secure service transmits all driver licence checks to the DVLA and then returns the DVLA checks to Go-Ahead London. Chalcheck are bound by the Data Protection Act - so they can’t share any of our details.”

For more information on data security go to: http://www. chalcheck.co.uk/data_security. html Automatic driving licence checking has been running successfully across all garages for a year now with well above 90% of the business having joined the automated process. For more information and for those that still need to consent - please speak to a supervisor or manager to complete your consent form as soon as possible.

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Commercial department rises to the challenge I

T’S been all systems go for the commercial department over the holiday season, with a heavy workload and a particularly wet winter to contend with. First on the ‘to do’ list was rail replacement work at Gravesend station in Kent. From December 22 to January 6, the department was busy coordinating bus replacement services while the station was upgraded. Bexleyheath, Blue Triangle and Belvedere provided the majority of replacement services, with a number of local companies also stepping in to help. A huge undertaking, it took 100 driver duties a day to cover the work. “The main challenge was the weather we had just before Christmas, which caused bad traffic congestion in the area,” said commercial manager Colin Farrant. “Everyone involved did a fantastic job and Southeastern were very quick to say how happy they were with the service Go-Ahead London provided.” The second big job for the department was the Gatwick blockade, following the closure of the Gatwick Express service for redevelopment of Gatwick Airport station and track repairs over Christmas. There were 150 driver duties needed per day to cover the work, with Sutton, Merton,

Gatwick rail replacement following the closure of the Gatwick Express service over Christmas.

Waterloo, Stockwell, Camberwell, Peckham, New Cross and Putney garages all helping to provide the necessary resources. “Because of the nature of the work, we needed baggage handlers, conductors and other specialised employees,” added Colin. “In total, there were up to 250 people working on the Gatwick rail replacement services every day. “I am thoroughly impressed with the way everyone banded together to get the work

Welcoming new faces on board The new year has heralded in employee changes in the commercial department, including two fresh faces. Commercial operations manager Tony Bull is now covering the Southeastern emergency rail contract, working away from head office, and fellow commercial operations manager Phil Seago has stepped in to cover rail replacement services. Commercial operations

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supervisor John Hopkinson has now retired, although John will still assist with Southeastern emergency rail cover, and commercial assistant Carly Moram has taken maternity leave to look after her son Joseph, who was born on December 16. Stepping in will be new commercial assistant Sara Kent and new clerical assistant Rosie Ward.

done, especially considering the scale of the undertaking. “We are now looking to continue the good work into 2014, with preparations already under way for contracts involving the Farnborough International Airshow and the Wimbledon tennis.”

Now you can follow us on twitter SOCIAL media users can now get all the latest Go-Ahead London news through the company’s Twitter page. Not only can you keep up to date with the latest goings-on from throughout the company, the page also features commendations, photos and other useful tidbits. If you want to check out the page or even tweet something to the company yourself, just visit www.twitter.com/Go_Ahead_ London.

Obituary Kevin Lane of Northumberland Park CCTV analyst Kevin died tragically on Sunday 9 February in a cycling accident, in Woodford Green High Road. He worked within the industry for 13 years and was a keen cyclist, attending the Tour de France as part of his holiday last year. "We were shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Kevin," said general manager Angie Ryder. "He will be missed by his colleagues and our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time."


Staff urged to give it up! K

I am over the moon ICKING the habit about. has been on “Due to how the agenda for successful it was, we employees at Merton, have another visit taking following a visit by the place on March 28 and local stop smoking then every three months service. after that.” On January 17, a nurse Driver Cliff Grant chose was in attendance to to sign up to the scheme talk not only about the on the day and says he dangers of smoking, but is looking forward to a also how people could cigarette-free life. give it up. “I have been smoking Employees were for 45 years and I’m not offered the chance to getting any younger, sign up to a programme so now seemed like as designed to help them good a time as any to stop smoking once and quit,” he said. for all, and the nurse “The programme offers answered any questions you a lot of support and or queries that people I have also been given a had. prescription for the drug “We were approached Champix to help with the by a representative from Kicking the habit: Merton driver Cliff Grant is determined to quit smoking. cravings. the service last year, but “I’ve still got a long way to go, be a great opportunity for my manager Glenn Harper. decided to wait until January so but hopefully in a few months' colleagues. “As an ex-smoker myself, I that we could tie it in with New time I’ll be able to say I’ve “Five people have signed up know how hard it can be to Year resolutions,” said organiser completely given up!” to the programme so far, which give up and thought it would and assistant operating

Employee Commendations BELVEDERE n MR NORONA has praised Chris Hill for being “proficient and very pleasant on the job”. n A CUSTOMER has described Gabriel Ferreira’s driving as “fantastic all round” and says he is “definitely a 10/10”. BEXLEYHEATH n COUNCILLOR M Clare was impressed by the way David Musoke approached a flooded bus stop with “extreme care and consideration”. n THE high quality service provided by Alex Burrows was praised by a customer, who observed “he takes great pride in his job”. n CENTRECOMM has commended Paul Horne for assisting in the apprehension of a suspected drink-driver. DOCKLANDS n A GRATEFUL Miss McCarthy commended Jamie Wright for being “calm and polite” when dealing with an aggressive customer. MANDELA WAY n MS BURROWS has passed along her thanks to Andrew Omuero for waiting while she ran for the bus. MERTON n ALLOWING customers to step out

of the cold and sit in his bus until it left has earned Anthony Brewster a commendation. NEW CROSS n HELPING to diffuse tensions between customers after a fire caused disruption on the roads has earned Osman Hassan a commendation from Miss Bourne. n DAVID Gibbs has received a commendation from Ms Blake for being “polite and calm” as well as “an excellent driver”. n A RELIEVED Mr Lindsell has thanked SGA (?) Wilkinson for helping to retrieve a laptop he left on the bus. MS JAMIESON has written to compliment Janice Cooper for helping her to retrieve a lost purse. NORTHUMBERLAND PARK n AN IMPRESSED Ms Dodd thanked Mohamed Jabir for “remaining calm and professional” when dealing with difficult customers. n MR PAUL has described Donnah Carp as “the best part of a long journey” and said “she really makes a difference”. PECKHAM n PAUSING before heading off so that Mr Miller’s children could climb the bus’s stairs and get safely seated has earned

Mateusz Setnik a commendation. PUTNEY n MRS Quintavalle has nothing but praise for Derek Peters, who she has described as “one of the most courteous and friendly” drivers she has ever encountered. STOCKWELL n THE trio of Jorge Perea, Akhtar Iqbal and David Cline have received a commendation from Mr Ottaway for helping to return his bag, which was full of valuables. n COMING to the aid of a pensioner who had fallen in the rain has earned Saare Tsehaye a commendation from Mrs Henwood. n PASSENGER assistant Matthew Nikbakht has received a commendation for being “a polite young man” who is “always cheerful and energetic”. n A CUSTOMER has described Jacqueline Thomas’s driving as “careful and smooth”. n MRS Tate commended Andrius Sausravas for returning her missing wallet. SUTTON n CHRIS Mulligan and Lawrence Mills both had commendations sent from TfL. Chris was described as “a very positive” driver while Lawrence was praised for helping a customer get off at the right stop.

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Staff at Mandela Way make children's day M

ANDELA Way was busier than usual in December, when a group of children from Kintore Way Children’s Centre came to visit. A teacher had earlier approached the garage to see if a special treat could be organised for bus enthusiasts among the pupils. Organiser and senior garage administrator Jan Howell travelled to the school to pick the children up, with driver mentor Carol Ellington assisting her behind the wheel. Once at the garage, the group took a trip through the bus wash, stepped on board buses, listened to a few specially prepared iBus announcements and even got to sit in a driver's cab for a photo opportunity! When it was time to leave, the children were thrilled to find out that they were going for a quick ride over Tower Bridge and round the one-way system before being dropped back at school. The garage even presented the young visitors with a special gift of a red bus moneybox from the Transport Museum and a bus book for their classroom. “Kintore looks after children with special

needs, many of whom had a keen interest in buses,” said Jan. “Having worked with similar children in the past myself, I was really keen to get them down to the garage and show them around. “The whole group had a wonderful day and really enjoyed themselves. There are not many places better to visit if you are a

bus enthusiast! “I must also say a big thank you to Carol for driving everyone around as well as to all my colleagues who made the visit such a success.” ABOVE: Children from Kintore Way Children's Centre enjoying their day at Mandela Way bus garage.

And bidding us a farewell... A LOT of fond farewells have been said at Go-Ahead London recently, with a number of long-serving employees retiring. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••• New Cross has lost not one but two well-loved colleagues, with operating manager George Morton and garage administrator Jeanette Morton both retiring on January 10. George worked for the company on and off since 1967 in a number of roles, while Jeanette hit the 25 years of service milestone shortly before retiring – time spent entirely at New Cross. “We spent a lovely last day and were pleased that some fellow retirees came to see us to say goodbye. We will miss our work colleagues who are a great team and we wish them all well for the future,” said Jeanette.

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George added: “We are still getting used to it all but are looking forward to a cruise round the Fjords in Finland very soon.” ••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Quality manager Roy Sayers also retired in January, following a career spanning 36 years.

and indulging in his hobby of golf, it’s not the end of Roy’s relationship with the company, as his son Christopher completed his apprenticeship last summer. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Finally, commercial operations supervisor John Hopkinson has retired after more than 25 years with Go-Ahead London.

Beginning as a craftsman fitter, Roy worked in roles John joined the commercial including maintenance department in 2002 on a examiner for rolling stock and as a technical support engineer. three-month secondment and enjoyed it so much he took on While Roy may be relaxing

a permanent role there. He won’t be leaving the company completely, however, and will still assist with the cover of Southeastern's emergency needs twice a week from home.

Have you got a story? If you have, why not get in touch? At Bus Talk we are always on the lookout for interesting articles about our readers, so give us a call on 01932 243400 or email us at go-ahead@ruxley.co.uk

Bus Talk Issue 26 February 2014  
Bus Talk Issue 26 February 2014