Paul Cleaver, aged 53, from Arriva Yorkshire’s Wakefield Depot, has been awarded the National Bus Driver of The Year title for the second time in recent years. The competition, which is the UK bus operators’ equivalent to the Oscars, saw 100 drivers from companies across the industry put through their paces in both theory tests and practical examinations.
Paul, who has worked for Arriva for 24 years, won the final in Blackpool by a clear margin of 70 points over his closest rival. In addition to being the overall winner, Paul won awards for Best Arriva Driver, Best driver from an English depot, and as a result of his success Arriva Yorkshire won the Company Award. Paul, who was crowned National Champion in 2007, is one of a very small number of drivers to win the championship more than once in its 43 year history.
Paul Cleaver qualified for the final at a local event held at Elland Road (Leeds) in June, at which drivers from various Arriva Yorkshire depots were put through their paces to find the top three who would go to the national final.
Nigel Featham, managing director for Arriva Yorkshire, said: “We are so proud of Paul’s achievements, to win this award twice is absolutely outstanding. At Arriva we pride ourselves on a high level of service and the skill of our drivers is paramount to providing a quality journey experience. Paul is a real credit to the company.”
Paul Cleaver, Bus Driver of the Year 2009, said: “I am over the moon it feels absolutely fantastic, even better than the first time I won. I am very honoured to have been awarded the title twice. Apparently I am only the fourth person to ever do this in the 43 years it has been running. I’m definitely going to be entering next year.”
There was more success for Arriva with Arriva North West winning the award for best presented bus loaned for the competition and its driver John Birchall, 15th overall, won the award for the greatest number of appearances in the national final.