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Issue 32 • February 2015

New Routemaster shows its heritage Vintage livery for Year of the Bus - see page 4

In this issue

Free health checks prove popular Page 4

Drivers benefiting from IAM course

Advanced tests raise standards T

HE elite group of advanced drivers is growing at Go-Ahead London. Each year, increasing numbers of employees are passing the Institute of Advanced Motorists’ test. The scheme started at Merton garage in July 2010 and was pioneered by Graham Oliver, Accident Prevention Manager at the time, and Colin Langford, then General Manager. The first two drivers in the company to pass the test were Natasha Lambert and Steve Riches. Both went on to win the Top London Driver award. The scheme was then rolled out to other garages, starting with New Cross, Stockwell, Camberwell and Peckham. Drivers who passed the test were shown to have significantly fewer accidents.


Up, up and away for new airport service Page 5

So much so that in 2013 Go-Ahead London received a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award for the programme. Drivers are tested by independent examiners on a number of practical skills and may be asked a few road safety questions. Any driver who achieves a rating of one in all categories becomes a member of the IAM’s prestigious One Club. The scheme has since been introduced at Belvedere, Bexleyheath, Blue Triangle, Docklands, Mandela Way, Sutton and Waterloo. It will soon be put in place at Croydon, Northumberland Park, Orpington and Putney, where mentors have been trained ready to help drivers prepare for the test. Waterside Way garage is also preparing to introduce the test. Richard Duke and Steve

Waterside Way driver and mentor Steve Chipperfield. Chipperfield both completed a four-day course with an external trainer in October and will act as mentors to other drivers. Steve said: “I found the course really useful and the test was fine, I enjoyed doing it. I would definitely recommend it to my colleagues.” All drivers are encouraged to sign up for the programme. As well as improving their driving skills and reducing the risk of accidents, drivers who pass the test can benefit from cheaper car insurance.

Clampdown on drug-driving Missing boy found thanks to Richard Page 8 2

A NEW law comes into force on March 2 limiting the permitted levels of certain legal and illegal drugs when driving. The 16 controlled drugs include cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine, as well as eight prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Drivers who are on medication should check with their GP or pharmacist if the prescription is affected by the new legislation and, if so, ensure they do not

exceed safe levels for driving. The new law has been introduced to make it easier for the police to detect and prosecute drug drivers. The penalties are the same as those for drink driving and can result in a driving ban, criminal record, a fine or up to six months in prison. For more information on the new law, please visit:



REA General Manager is a relatively new role, created last year as part of a restructure to help manage the expansion of Go-Ahead London. To find out what is involved in the job, we spoke to Colin Langford, Area General Manager for the south east, and asked him what a typical day might bring. Colin has worked for the company for 40 years, starting as a conductor at Catford garage. After two years, he progressed to driver, which he did for eight years, followed by various admin, supervisory and management roles. “I start the day by reviewing how each of my garages are currently performing,” said Colin. “I’m based at New Cross but with eight garages covering London Central and Metrobus, I spend most of my time visiting all of them and attending review, H&S and management meetings.”


Colin's focus is on performance

On a typical day, Colin will monitor performance to ensure KPIs are met, speak with the team to ensure everyone is working together, forward plan to ensure things do not get overlooked and liaise between the Directors and garages. Colin’s current priority is improving mileage and performance to ensure routes pass their Primary Assessment Period (PAP). If this is achieved, routes normally get a two-year extension to the contracts. Outside work, Colin is a keen wildlife photographer, predominantly working with big cats at the Wildlife Heritage Foundation in Kent.

The hazards of not reporting By Tom McGlew IT COULD have been just another day at work if the driver had done the right thing. But on this day, someone got hurt … a driver tells his story: It was 4.30 in the morning, I had just swiped on in the output, picked up my duty card and got a cup of coffee from the machine. Nice early finish today, makes up for rising at silly o’clock. I walked out to the garage to find my bus. I was on the walkway reading the duty card when I slipped on something wet. I didn’t fall, but almost dropped my coffee. That was lucky I thought, I’d have looked a right idiot. Later, as I arrived back in the garage, there were a few drivers milling around in the output. I could hear them talking: apparently earlier today, another driver had slipped and broken a leg. I felt the blood drain from my face and was suddenly feeling a bit queasy. “Where did this happen?” I asked. “Just out there on the walkway. She slipped on water or something. Poor girl

was in agony, crying and screaming, never heard anything like it,” was the reply. Oh no, my head is swimming, I can’t think straight! Why didn’t I tell someone this morning when I slipped? I should have told someone, I’m silently screaming at myself. I try to justify it: “There shouldn’t have been something on the floor, it’s not my fault. Definitely not my fault.” Why didn’t I tell a cleaner or engineer or do something myself. Five minutes is all it would have taken, I was finishing early anyway. Now, someone is in hospital. But it’s not my fault, I’m not responsible. Am I?


H& S


Bus garages are working environments and there may be occasions when a new hazard emerges. If so, your employer needs to manage it; but it can only be managed if it’s identified. Please, do your bit, and report to a manager or supervisor anything you think may cause someone harm.


Prevention is always better than cure FREE NHS health checks were available to staff at Northumberland Park garage in November, following requests from a number of drivers. Healthcare representatives from the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation came to the garage to carry out the health checks, which were primarily targeted at men aged 40 to 74. This group was chosen for the following reasons: n 42 per cent of men die before the age of 75 compared to only 26 per cent of women n Men are 20 per cent less likely to visit their GP than women

n Reducing lifestyle risk factors for cardiovascular disease in men over 40 is a priority to help reduce the life expectancy gap. The health checks increase the chance of early diagnosis and support individuals to make lifestyle adjustments and access health services that could reduce the impact of the condition. Due to the success of the scheme, arrangements are being made for the team to come back so more employees can benefit. Look out for details on information screens in the garage once the date is confirmed.

Free health checks proved popular with staff.

Colourful tribute to a bygone age A

NEW Routemaster has been given a unique red and white livery, which is a modern take on classic London General colours. The design was proposed by Go-Ahead London, with support from the London Transport Museum, after TfL asked operating companies to come up with ideas to celebrate the Year of the Bus in 2014. Resources Manager Keith Wood adapted the London General livery to complement the lines of the New Routemaster. The red and white areas are separated by black coach lines and decorated with gold leaf General logos. In November, LT60 started operating on Stockwell’s route 11 service between Fulham Broadway and Liverpool Street station.

Positive The bus has been well received by the public, attracting plenty of positive comments. It was also pictured on the front page of Bus and Coach magazine. TfL borrowed LT60 for a road show at its Palestra headquarters in London and for the New Year’s Day parade. Keith said: “We came up with the idea with one eye on the fact that in 2016 it will be 160 years since the London General Omnibus Company was formed. We are hoping to retain the livery to celebrate the anniversary.”


Yesterday and today... The London General B-Type Class of 1913, left, and, below, the New Routemaster LT60 with a modern take on the London General livery to commemorate the Year of the Bus.

Engineer is a hero after foiling battery theft AN ATTEMPTED theft was thwarted just before Christmas by New Cross Senior Vehicle Engineer Kevin Crane. Kevin was carrying out repairs in a bus cab when he heard a vehicle racing into the garage at well above the speed limit. He looked out and saw a silver Transit van being driven towards the bus wash. Suspicions aroused, Kevin followed the van in his bus and spotted two men loading batteries, stored behind the bus wash, into their van. Quick-thinking Kevin parked the bus across the narrow gap along the side of the bus wash, totally blocking them in. The two men, realising they were completely trapped, pleaded with Kevin to let them out. Kevin refused and fully isolated the bus so it couldn’t be moved. He then went straight to his manager, who immediately phoned the police. About ten minutes later, the police arrived, arrested both men and took them away in handcuffs. Amazingly, despite CCTV footage from two buses and the garage system which clearly shows the men loading batteries into their van, both are pleading not guilty to the attempted theft. Kevin is due in court to give evidence against them on March 19.


O-AHEAD London has a new operation in Luton, comprising a bus service between Luton Parkway railway station and Luton Airport, plus rail replacement services. The operation was acquired from First Group, with Go-Via Thameslink Rail awarding a five-year contract to GoAhead London, which started on the weekend of December 6/7. There is an option to extend for two more years.

One single-deck and four bendy buses in Thameslink livery link the railway station and airport 24 hours per day. There is a frequent service throughout the day and at night, buses connect with late night and early morning trains. Steve Timms is the Operations Manager at Luton. The majority of the 27 drivers and revenue personnel transferred from First Group. Commercial Manager Colin Farrant

The target of thieves: vehicle batteries.

said: “We’re delighted that the majority of staff transferred over to Go-Ahead London which ensured a smooth transition and enabled us to maintain the high quality of service required by Thameslink’s passengers.” There are plans to add two coaches to the Luton operation at the end of February to assist with both planned and emergency rail replacement work in the area.

New service takes off in Luton 5

We welcome new WELCOME to the following employees who have joined the Go-Ahead London team in recent months:

u ISAAC OPPONG Assistant Operating

u CATHERINE BOOTH General Manager

BEFORE joining Go-Ahead London on December 8, Isaac was a Graduate Trainee at Arriva plc, then Trainee Operations Manager at Arriva London. “My first impressions of GoAhead are excellent,” said Isaac. “It’s a company willing to try new things to maintain and build upon its position as the biggest bus company in London. This, combined with an exceptional senior management team, puts the company in good stead for the future challenges of the London bus market. “Outside of work, I enjoy going to the Emirates to watch the Arsenal play. I also enjoy travelling abroad and take every opportunity to sample other cultures and countries. My favourite country that I've visited so far is Thailand because of the natural beauty and friendly people.”

Putney and Waterside Way

CATHERINE joined on December 1, having previously worked at CBS Outdoor, where she ran the bus and train advertising operation for the south of the UK. “I managed around 150 operatives, contractors and suppliers, working with bus and rail operators on advertising and media displays, including the New Routemaster vehicles,” said Catherine. Previously, she worked at Royal Mail for 20 years in a variety of operational roles, including Delivery Sector Manager, Mail Centre Manager and Programme Manager. Catherine says her priorities in her new role are “to provide a safe, quality and commercially-focused service for our business, our partners and the travelling public”. She added: “This is an excellent company to work for and I am delighted to have been selected for the General Manager role.” Outside work, Catherine’s main interest is foreign travel.

u STEVE MURRAY Operating Manager


STEVE joined the company on November 3, having previously worked his way through the ranks at Arriva Merseyside in Liverpool. He joined Arriva as a driver, then later worked as a Revenue Inspector, Traffic Supervisor then Operating Manager. His priorities in his new role are to get to know the staff at Stockwell, become part of the Go-Ahead London team and develop as a manager. Steve said: “I’m very impressed with the way the garages operate and the opportunities that are given to all staff. I know about the various pre-promotion courses that are run that help anybody to develop themselves.” He loves football and follows Everton FC where, until recently, he had a season ticket with his daughter. “I like spending time socialising and being with my family,” said Steve. “I have just started on an allotment, so that should be interesting.”


Manager New Cross

and those CONGRATULATIONS to three employees who have been

u ALAN HUNT Quality Auditor Merton Head


ORIGINALLY a Shift Manager at Camberwell, joining in June last year, Alan commenced his new role as Quality Auditor in early December. He previously worked at Wincanton Transport’s Greenford depot as a Workshop Supervisor. His main responsibilities were MOTs and health and safety issues. Alan’s priority now is to make sure all garages are compliant with ISO 9001 quality standards and are up to scratch with procedures in the ISO manual. “Go-Ahead is a good company to work for,” said Alan. “They’ve looked after me well since I joined and they seem very organised and professional.” In his spare time, Alan enjoys classic cars and motor racing, particularly Formula 1.

w faces... u ANDY JONES Operating Manager ANDY, who joined the company on December 15, has been in the industry all his life. He drove buses and coaches until 2004, when he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and enter the management side of the business. He took his national and international management CPCs and has held management positions for the last 10 years. Before commencing with Go-Ahead London, he was Operating Manager for London Mini Coaches, part of the Anderson Travel Group. Before that, he was an Operations Manager with Stagecoach South. “I have already found Go-Ahead London to be a very professional company, offering all of their employees whatever help is needed to assist them with their own personal growth. I am very much looking forward to what I believe will be a very long and happy career,” said Andy.

u JAMES BARLOW Service Delivery

Management Trainee Merton Head Office

DELIVERING is something James is very familiar with. In his previous job as Traffic Manager for Tuffnells Parcel Delivery Service, his team ensured that drivers had the tools and information to deliver up to a hundred packages per day, per vehicle. James joined Go-Ahead London on November 17 and is getting to grips with bus operations and performance monitoring. His next priority will be trying to cut down excess waiting times on routes. A particular focus will be on improving response times on routes affected by sustained changes in road conditions, and trialling new techniques to reduce delays. “There’s an extremely high standard of information tracking and performance analysis, with a continuous focus on improving standards,” said James. “Especially impressive is the clarity of remit for each employee’s job; everyone knows exactly what they and their colleagues do.” Outside work, James enjoys outdoor sports, particularly rock climbing and skiing. He did a sprint triathlon last year and is looking forward to doing something similar this year.

e on the move... promoted to new roles:

u RICKY FIELD Accident Prevention Manager


RICKY Field was a driver and acting SGA with East Thames Buses in 2009 when Go-Ahead London bought the company. He was very pleased to become part of Go-Ahead London, which he considers to be the flagship bus company in London. In November, Ricky was promoted to his current position as Accident Prevention Manager. His aim is to reduce accidents by informing and educating drivers. He is producing route risk assessments and information booklets and is planning open forums where drivers can share information about accident hot spots. In his leisure time, Ricky enjoys watching football and boxing and going on walks in the countryside around Chelmsford, where he lives.

SHE may be a new face at Head Office but Tricia has worked for Go-Ahead London since 2006, previously driving buses while based at Stockwell garage. Prior to that, Tricia worked for British Gas, ordering spare parts in the requisitions department. In her new role as Commercial Assistant, which started on January 12, Tricia supports the rail replacement operation based in London, which was acquired from FirstGroup. This includes clerical tasks, organising duties, ensuring deadlines are met and arranging signage for sub-contractors. Outside work, Tricia is doing computer courses on graphic design and advanced excel. She also enjoys spending time with her teenage daughter.

Northumberland Park

Assistant Merton Head Office



Sutton driver Richard McGrath.


IN OUR Face 2 Face column, we chat to Diana Smolarek, a driver/ mentor at Waterloo garage who has worked for the company for more than four years. We ask Diana a series of light-hearted questions. Q: If you could win a holiday, where would you like to go? A: Dubai, it looks very posh! Q: If you could have lunch with someone famous, who would it be? A: The actor Steven Seagal. Q: What was the last film you saw at the cinema? A: Kaththi, which is a Tamil film about friendship (my husband is Sri Lankan). Q: What do you think is an important skill in life? A: Being able to understand other people. Q: Name three things you can’t live without. A: Family, health and money. Q: Which celebrity annoys you most? A: Justin Bieber. Q: What one thing would you change about yourself if you could? A: My tendency to get angry too quickly! Q: Who do you most admire? A: My father, who’s always helpful.


Missing child found by driver Richard O

N A dark December evening in Morden, a young boy was standing alone at a bus stop in a distinctive pair of dark blue trousers with fluorescent green stripes. As Sutton driver Richard McGrath pulled into the stop, he noticed the trousers immediately. He had earlier heard an appeal to drivers from CentreComm to look out for a young autistic boy who had gone missing in Kingston. The boy and the trousers fitted the description they had given exactly. Richard asked the boy to get on the bus and closed the doors to keep him safe. After asking him a few questions, Richard called a code red and informed CentreComm that he had found the missing child. It was evening rush hour, so the bus was full of passengers but they were all very understanding when Richard explained the situation. Some

were happy to wait and others got onto other buses after they pulled into the stop. Richard chatted to the boy and found out that his name was Alfie and he was 11 years old. He was a Liverpool supporter and liked Steven Gerrard. He had already been on three or four other buses and said he was waiting for a number 154. Police arrived after about half an hour and took him away to be reunited with his very relieved parents. Richard, who has been driving at Sutton for nearly seven years, says he’s heard that Alfie went missing again since this incident and was found in Tooting. If any driver sees a young child alone and a bit lost, please keep them safe and check with CentreComm if they have any reports of a missing child.

Bruce comes to the rescue A FEMALE travelling alone was saved from the intimidating advances of another passenger by a night bus driver who went beyond the call of duty to assist. Stockwell driver Bruce Maragh saw that the passenger was looking distressed when she came and stood near him at the front of the bus. He asked her what was wrong and she explained how she was trying to get away from a large man who was harassing her. The man had sat next to her and proceeded to make her feel very uncomfortable. She said he then tried to grope her, so she moved away to another part of the bus but he followed her. She was concerned that if

she got off the bus he would also get off and follow her. Unsure what to do next, she went and stood at the front of the bus where Bruce was alerted to her predicament. He pulled into the next stop and asked the male passenger to leave the bus. The passenger was aggressive towards Bruce but did eventually get off. He then hammered on the side of the bus as it pulled away. “That encounter was honestly one of the most intimidating experiences I have had,” said the female passenger. “I cannot thank the driver enough for helping me.”

Rewind 10 years...

ANOTHER dip into the archives from 10 years ago brings back memories of the Asian tsunami, a prize for Sutton garage and some successful DQA (driver quality monitoring) results at London General.

rs, we “Over the past few yea t er of DSA officers carried ou mb nu a ce pla in t have pu oss help 6,500 assessments acr schemes to support and We lls. London in 2004 and the ski ir the ties drivers improve g inin average number of penal tra r ou de have also ma more was 26.1 per cent, but more robust in line with re figu London General’s rigorous demands. 17.4 stands much lower at “The training school y per cent. and garages work closel n this Operations Director Joh e liev be we and er lighted togeth Trayner said: “We’re de ver dri e rais to d pe hel has but it with the latest figures, standards. be to rd affo t no can shows we “But, at the end of the w, sho complacent. They also the drivers Buses day, it’s up to however, that London most do an and es elv ms the t our driving tha es nis og t by rec s in the capital, excellent job, borne ou n the major operator s are better than ga ard be nd al sta ner .” Ge res ON figu all ND LO these latest M figures for sition in based on DQ most. new year in second po . 04 20 of of 10 London Buses’ league

Where General stands in league

members of LOVELY jubbly! All smiles from ive a cheque rece they as on Sutt the team at Transport for £5,000 – their prize for winning 4. 200 in r yea for London’s garage of the y Ton , que che the of They are, in front tings and Ringrow, Dave Weller, Tony Get . wer Bre Trevor th, Tony Behind the cheque are Garth Smi re, Mick Moo l Pau ber mem Merrell, TfL board ur Arth and le Doy n Joh e, Rolf ol Sadler, Car Tingey. the garage. The money will fund benefits for

ia s A r o f t e s s n ia p Olym Olympian buses to Asia neral is contributing two LONDON Central / Ge tsunami tragedy. in the wake of the Asian Bus Response following appeal, which was the to is sending 10 buses ole wh a as up gro e Th aid and reconstruction p provide transport for set up nationwide to hel the earthquake. in those countries hit by bodies, such as local also appealing to other Asia Bus Response is supplies. d de icles with much-nee authorities, to fill the veh le have contributed on op pe any Brown said: “M Chief Executive David m as a company in the are delighted to join the a personal level and we s.” ded practical contribution provision of much-nee


Staff enjoy museum depot trip L ONDON Transport Museum Depot at Acton offered Camberwell garage employees a private tour of the extensive collection on January 9. Seven employees and family members went on the latest visit, following a successful trip in November. The visits were offered to Camberwell garage as it held an open forum for LT Museum colleagues to ask drivers questions about their role. These quotes were then included in an exhibition for Year of the Bus. The LT Museum was grateful for the opinions and frankness! The depot holds the majority of collections that are not on display in the main museum in Covent Garden. It opens to the public for special events, including themed open weekends and guided tours. There are more than 370,000 items in 6,000 square metres of storage space, including many original works of art from the museum's poster collection, vehicles, signs, models, photographs,

engineering drawings and uniforms. Together, these form one of the most comprehensive records of urban transport in the world. Driver Garry Watson took his son Elijah on the trip, (pictured right). “Elijah loved looking around the depot as he’s a big fan of buses and trains,” said Garry. “We enjoyed sitting inside an old tube train which was just like one I used to travel to school on. “I was interested to see an old Titan bus like one that ran on route 35 from Camberwell garage. "They also had a trolleybus with six wheels, which was the same length as one of the New Routemasters.” If you are interested in visiting the Museum Depot at Acton, have a look at the website for details of open days at http://www. whats-on/museumdepot

Alan's on the march for cancer charity JOIN Team Hodge on the Marsden March if you want to get fit and raise money for a very worthwhile charity at the same time. The 14-mile walk takes place on Sunday, March 22, in aid of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. The route runs between the charity’s hospitals in Chelsea and Sutton. The charity provides world-class care for cancer patients and does pioneering work in cancer research and education. The Go-Ahead London team is


being organised by Sutton driver Sutton driver Alan Alan Hodge, who is the their Hodge on last year's captain. He has ten people signed march. up to join him so far but would welcome more. If you want to help them raise their target of £1,000, you can donate to: TEAM9HODGE or text 70070 and quote ‘TMHD78’ plus the amount you wish to donate. Contact Alan at Sutton garage or email him on: alan.hodge@ if you would like more information.

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.

Stagecoach East London n Route 248 (Romford to Cranham), using existing double-deck vehicles (14 PVR). Contract begins on September 26, 2015. n Route 498 (Romford, Queen’s Hospital to Brentwood), won from GoAhead London (Blue Triangle). New contact begins on June 27, 2015, using new diesel double-deck vehicles. n Route 499 (Gallows Corner to Beacontree Heath), won from Arriva Kent Thameside. New contract begins on June 27, 2015, using new singledeck diesel vehicles (7 PVR).

London United n Route 285/N285 (Kingston to Heathrow Airport Terminals 1,2,3) using new hybrid double-deck vehicles (18 PVR). Contract begins on June 27, 2015.

Employee Commendations BEXLEYHEATH n "ABSOLUTELY fantastic man” is how customer Miss Gallery described driver David Harvey after he helped her and a friend who were lost. She says that he went out of his way to explain what route they needed to return home safely. n TWO drivers on route 229 received praise from customer Mrs Mothobi. Jason Martin extended the ramp without being asked and Stephen MacKrill aligned his bus properly at the stop, allowing passengers to get off safely. She said: “Both drivers acted pleasantly and were spot on.” CAMBERWELL n DRIVER Efe Oyeghe was commended for providing a “thoughtful and considerate service” to customer Janet Richards. She had asked if he could wait for her to be seated as she has an artificial leg. Efe told her to take her time and not rush as the floor was slippery. n A DISABLED passenger called in to the garage to personally thank driver Ian Williams for always being “polite, dignified, respectful, helpful and friendly”. He also makes sure she is seated before pulling away and drives at a comfortable and smooth pace. n PASSENGER Mr Walker praised driver Leon Gibbons for the “calm and professional way he dealt with a few angry passengers”. He thanked Leon for “providing an excellent service under great pressure”. CROYDON n “I CANNOT thank the driver enough,” said passenger Ms Somovilla. She described driver Joseph Jay as “very patient, professional and helpful” when she had a problem with her Oyster card. n DRIVER Marvin Morrison “went well out of his way” to help an elderly lady who had missed her last bus, according to passenger Mr Chamberlain. “I was impressed by how he cared for his passenger,” said Mr Chamberlain. n “THIS driver was a perfect example of how we should all be,” said passenger Mr Wickham after travelling with driver Phillippe Davies. “He was polite and professional,” he added. MANDELA WAY n “A VERY comfortable journey” was customer Ms Weston’s assessment of her bus trip with driver Edward

Prowse. “It was a very smooth ride with no jerking brakes or sudden stops,” she added. n ALL route 1 drivers have been commended by disabled passenger Mr Davies. “I have nothing but praise for all your drivers on this route, which I have been using on a regular basis,” said Mr Davies. NEW CROSS n DESPITE the bus being late and overcrowded, driver Peter Ruth “made up for it”, according to customer James Elliott. “He took the time to explain to his passengers why the bus was late, due to an incident in the tunnel,” said James. “His driving was great too,” he added. n CUSTOMER Ms Groenewegen would like to pass on her gratitude to driver Adrian Johnson for “good driving and showing a considerate attitude to his passengers”. n ALEKSANDR Selezniov received acclaim from Ms Westcombe-Evans who said: “The driver this morning was a perfect gentleman. He drove well and carefully, at a steady pace without jerks and sudden accelerations.” n MRS Allen was grateful to driver Razvan Ghent who noticed she was heavily pregnant and waited patiently for her. “It was massively kind of him and made a big difference to my day,” she said. NORTHUMBERLAND PARK n OZKAN Maldar’s “quick thinking and skilful driving” averted what customer Miss Talbot said could have been a far more serious collision. She thanked Ozkan for showing “obvious concern for all the passengers”. n A 'MYSTERY traveller' rated driver Deniz Karakuzu as excellent for “helpfulness, patience and politeness”. Deniz was also praised for keeping passengers informed about traffic delays. n “THE drive was fantastic,” said passenger Mr Clark after travelling on route 20 with driver Mehmet Kose. “He had great awareness and even lowered the floor for all elderly passengers. Please let him know he’s doing a good job,” added Mr Clark. n “MY journey with this driver was a pleasure,” said Ms Stocker who travelled on route 257 with driver Shaun Farrant. “He obviously cares for his customers and took care of them in an extremely pleasant manner,” she said.

n “A BIT of Monday morning generosity set me off to a good week,” said customer Mr Heapy. Driver Paul Manning waited for him to run back to his house nearby to drop off his wife’s phone, which he had picked up by mistake. ORPINGTON n FOLLOWING a security alert, buses had been stopped and passengers asked to get off. Elderly and disabled customer Mrs Russell was grateful to driver Mark Harper, who allowed her and others to wait on his bus. He was “very nice” and kept them updated with reports he received over his radio. PUTNEY n DEREK Peters received a commendation from passenger Ms Leigh who said: “He is always helpful and cheerful and makes sure his passengers get on and off the bus safely. He also takes the trouble to pull up close to the kerb.” STOCKWELL n PASSENGER Assistant Nicola Jordan was commended for her positive attitude and excellent service. Customer Ms Donovan said Nicola had “a natural rapport with customers” and “ensured our safety at all times”. n DRIVER Clive Wilson was “considerate to all passengers, especially the older ones”, according to passenger Mr Joannou. “He is very polite and allowed them time to sit down and drove carefully,” he added. n CUSTOMER Mrs Rufini said driver Joao Abreu was very helpful and she was exceedingly pleased with his customer service. SUTTON n CHRISTOPHER Ramsey is “one of the best drivers on the 213 route”, according to passenger Miss Hutchinson. “He is so nice and always says hello and good morning and he waits for elderly people to sit down before he drives off,” she said. n ANOTHER route 213 driver was described as “an absolute gem” by customer Miss Gillespie. She said Colin Dorling welcomed her and smiled and was “very pleasant and chatty”. WATERSIDE WAY n “VERY cheerful and polite” was customer Mr Wilson’s verdict on driver Ibrahim Mehiri. “It was great, outstanding service,” he added.


School kids enjoy their garage tour with Tomas T

HIRTY excited schoolchildren enjoyed the big red bus ride and bus wash experience when they visited Peckham garage. The class of five-year-olds and their teachers were from St Mary Magdalene Primary school, which is just around the corner from the garage. The children were invited to come and learn more about buses and how to travel safely. Driver Tomas Petr, who has been at Peckham for more than five years, showed the children around the garage. They were shown how the

bus ramp works and given the chance to sit in the driver’s cab and beep the horn. “The children seemed to really enjoy the visit and they had lots of questions to ask,” said Tomas. A large, hand-made thank you card arrived after the visit, signed by all the children. Tomas went to thank the children and was given a tour of the school. “It was really nice to receive the card,” said Tomas. “The children seemed pleased to see me again when I went round to thank them.” Peckham driver Tomas Petr with his card.

Gill's greyhounds get her retirement on track A DISTINGUISHED career lasting just short of 40 years came to a close in November for General Manager - Service Performance Gill Tynan. Gill joined the company as a driver back in 1975, then progressed through the ranks, becoming an Inspector, Road Manager, then Senior Road Manager. She later became General Manager - Service Performance and finally General Manager at Putney and Waterside Way. In 2013, Gill was one of just five women shortlisted in the lifetime achievement category of the Women 1st Shine Awards. The awards celebrate the achievements of women working in the hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism sectors. At the time, Gill said: “It is absolutely brilliant, I am up against women who are

Steve opts for the quiet life by the sea

STEVE Burchnell left GoAhead London on December 23 after nearly 18 years’ service. His last role was Payroll Supervisor at Head Office but Steve wasn't just handy with figures. Previous roles included acting GOS and SGA at Peckham. In September 2006, he was invited to join the Grampian Project, which was set up to roll out the new Duty Allocation System (DAS). As with the new OARS project, it


directors and have OBEs, so to get into the top five is a real achievement for me.” Pat Mahon, General Manager Operations, has known Gill for many years and said: “Gill was a pleasure to work with, very professional and a magnificent manager.” Gill started her well-earned retirement with a cruise and now looks forward to spending more time with her three retired greyhounds, which she is very passionate about.

was introduced one garage at a time. Speaking of his time at GoAhead London, Steve said: "I've worked for Go-Ahead London for nearly 18 years and I can say, hand on heart, that I will sorely miss the company, and my colleagues!” Steve has moved from the hustle and bustle of London to a much more sedate and relaxed life in Hemsby, Norfolk. All of us that know Steve wish him the very best. What a way to start the new year!

Bus Talk - Issue 32 - February 2015  
Bus Talk - Issue 32 - February 2015