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Nottingham bus drivers honoured after going the extra mile

todayApril 17, 2022 1

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Nottingham’s bus drivers, including those who saved children’s lives and protected a 15-year-old girl from being followed, have been recognised during an awards ceremony. Nottingham City Transport (NCT) runs bus services in the city and hosted its annual awards celebrating their achievements of staff on April 10 at Nottingham’s Albert Hall.

Among those recognised include Mark Dawson, who performed first aid on a schoolgirl who was choking and saved their life, and Elliot Taylor protected a 15-year-old girl who was being followed by inviting her onto the bus he was driving and waiting with her while she called her father to meet her.

Chris Doran also saved the life of a child who was on their own, and appeared to look likely they may run into oncoming traffic. Chris persuaded the child onto the bus he was driving, sitting with them quietly until the police arrived.

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Those three drivers were among the 11 to receive a driver customer commendation award. The 10th bus driver of the year was announced too.

That gong went to Jonathan Smallman, who joined NCT in 2019. He was described as “100 percent perfection” by a mystery traveller.

On winning, Jonathan said: “It means a lot to me and my family, who are filled with pride and joy that I won and it was great to have them there on the day to see me collect my prize. It feels fantastic to be up there with the past winners who still work for NCT, who I know well professionally, and to be a role model for others starting out their career with NCT.”




David Astill, managing director of NCT, said: “Congratulations to all of the finalists and winners and it was great to celebrate the achievements and successes of colleagues from across NCT. Well done to Jonathan on being crowned the 10th NCT bus driver of the year, who received some very complimentary remarks from the mystery traveller and is a great front line ambassador for NCT.”

When reviewing Jonathan, the mystery traveller said: “This driver is 100 percent perfection. The way they speak to every single passenger is amazing.

“The driver treats passengers with so much respect, it’s as if they are friends and family. They handle traffic lights, corners and bends with ease, giving a very comfortable ride.

“They are totally committed to their job, a great role model and an asset to NCT.”



Customer commendation award winners, who saved lives while working for NCT
Customer commendation award winners, who saved lives while working for NCT

Full list of winners at the 2022 awards

Driver of the Year

  • Jonathan Smallman

Driver Customer Commendation Awards

  • Marilyn Vardy – ensured a lone toddler was safe when they wandered onto their bus unaccompanied.
  • Joe Marshall – came to the aid of a motorist who was involved in an accident involving a school child who ran in front of their car, staying calm, dialling 999 and ensuring the child was cared for until the paramedics arrived.
  • Thomas Holmes – helped a mother get the right bus to the Queen’s Medical Centre in time for her daughter’s operation when the tram wasn’t running because of an incident.
  • Elliot Taylor – protected a 15-year-old girl who was being followed by inviting her on to his bus and waiting with her while she called her father to meet her.
  • Jason Brown – assisted a passenger who had collapsed at the bus stop with chest pains, staying with her and reassuring her until the ambulance arrived.
  • Chris Doran – saved the life of a child who was on their own, who looked like they may run into oncoming traffic, by persuading them on to the bus, sitting quietly with them until the police arrived.
  • Dave Chamberlain – praised for his “insanely quick” reaction after someone stepped in front of his bus, managing to pull the bus around a pedestrian, missing them by inches in a manoeuvre described by a passenger on the bus that defied the laws of physics.
  • Paul Henderson – got off his bus to help a blind passenger and their guide dog across the road.
  • Richard Travers Ayre – helped an 82-year-old man who had fallen on the pavement back to his feet and home again.
  • Paul Gaunt – assisted a distressed passenger by passing their charging cable to them so they could contact home to arrange to be picked up, when they had no money or phone charge left.
  • Mark Dawson – performed first aid on a school girl who was choking and saved their life.

Charity Champion

  • Rob Squires – raised more than £4,000 for the NHS by walking or cycling every single one of NCT’s bus routes. His 11-day journey covered 330 miles, which consisted of walking 175 miles and cycling 155 miles.

Unite Made a Difference Award

  • Chris Hall – who interacts with everyone in NCT. According to the operator, without Chris, there are so many little, but vital, things that just wouldn’t happen.

Unsung Hero

  • Tina Christian – described by NCT colleagues as the glue that holds many departments together.

Rising Star

  • Joanne Mitchell – recently taken over the running of NCT’s payroll department. Despite challenging times to ensure everyone got paid during Covid, working out furlough payments and then responding to NCT’s cyber-attack, Jo stayed calm and led her team.

Team of the Year (Joint Winners)

  • Service Planning
  • Operations

According to NCT, running a bus service has been very challenging over the last couple of years and it’s thanks to the service planning team for designing and building the network and the driver rosters – several times – and the operations team for managing it on the road, that NCT has been able to provide a good level of service. Both teams have worked tirelessly to try and ensure NCT serves its customers as best as it can.

Engineer of the Year:

  • Mark Swanson – provided excellent maintenance support and emergency responses to the numerous problems that can arise from NCT’s century old premises.

Special Recognition Awards:

  • Mario Mastrangelo – swiftly, decisively and sensibly responded to a cyber-attack on NCT in summer 2021 as the IT person on call. Mario made the difference between an awful scenario and a truly catastrophic one, that could have prevented NCT from trading for days or weeks.
  • Aaron Lockhart – acted as NCT’s Covid marshal, helping minimise the impact of staff absenteeism during the pandemic, as well as providing a single point of contact for advice and guidance to colleagues who were self-isolating, ensuring they knew what to do, were supported and safely returned to work.

Written by: thehitnetwork

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