It must be one of the most-muttered phrases in car parks all over the northern UK … “See that space – I could drive a bus through there!” The Transdev subsidiary in West Yorkshire, Team Pennine, invited car drivers to turn those words into action and take the wheel of a bus for real.
The bus firm hosted a unique “Be A Team Pennine Driver Day” this past Saturday, and anyone with a car license could simply turn up and prove they’ve got what it takes to handle a double-decker in the tightest of situations.
The challenge was offered to show motorists that with Team Pennine’s expert training and support, driving a bus is well within their capabilities – and for those encouraged by the experience, the local company is fast-tracking applications to join its team and drive straight on to a brand-new career.
Team Pennine are also looking to welcome qualified bus drivers attracted by the prospect of higher pay and investment in newer buses, in line with Transdev’s promise to replace one in two of the vehicles it took over from previous operator Yorkshire Tiger in July.
Transdev is promising to fast-track applications to get on board with its driving team, and there’s an extra incentive for those who already hold a current bus drivers’ PCV license – a £1,000 welcome bonus to all qualified bus drivers on joining the company.
Team Pennine’s General Manager Joy Devine said: “Our Be a Team Pennine Driver Day was a chance for motorists aged 18 or over who think they could easily drive a bus through the narrowest of gaps to come along, show us your driving license and then try it for real – and while they were here, meet our training team who showed them how it’s done.
“Today’s buses have become easier to drive thanks to the latest technology, although as motorists who took up our challenge on Saturday discovered, there’s also an element of skill required at the wheel!
“As well as taking one of our buses for a test drive and showing us what you can do, this past Saturday’s event was an ideal opportunity to find out more about joining our friendly team in Huddersfield and Elland and becoming a fully-fledged bus driver with us.
“Driving with us is a ticket to a great career earning up to £24,500 a year with up to 25 days holiday per year, and an excellent benefits package including free travel for you and your partner on our buses and many others across the North of England. Our industry leading ‘StepUp’ people development program also offers plenty of opportunities to progress to more senior roles.”