Amanda Ogelsby has become the first female Nottingham City Transport bus driver to be crowned NCT Driver of the Year!
Announced at a special ceremony at the Nottingham Playhouse last night, where all four of the competition finalists, their friends and families were treated to dinner and a showing of the Pantomime, 27-year-old Amanda received her prize of a £1000, an extra week’s holiday – and of course the coveted NCT Driver of the Year 2015 title!
Amanda has been a driver for Nottingham City Transport for 2.5 years and qualified for the Driver of the Year competition after winning the Seasonal Driver Award earlier in the year. Along with her fellow finalists – Terry Bell, Nick Hill and Gary Slater – Amanda was assessed by mystery travellers over a number of journeys, and had demonstrated exceptional driving skills, route knowledge and a consistently high level of customer service.
Although the scores were close, it was Amanda who pipped her male colleagues to the post, making her the first woman to win the title in the five years the competition has been running, and the first driver from NCT’s Trent Bridge Garage.
“Amanda is a truly worthy winner of our Driver of the Year Award!” says Nottingham City Transport Marketing Manager, Anthony Carver-Smith. “Not only is she an incredibly skilful driver with outstanding knowledge of many routes on our network, she’s also a very warm and friendly person who genuinely cares about the wellbeing of her passengers. She’s received several commendations from customers over the years, and she’s highly thought of by her managers and colleagues.”
Amanda’s caring nature first came to the attention of her employers, colleagues and customers two years ago when she embarked on a ‘charity head shave’ to raise money for Diabetes UK – a cause close to her heart as she sadly lost her brother to the condition in 2006, aged just 23. The event took place on board her very own Nottingham City Transport bus, parked on the embankment, where her hairdresser friend shaved her long hair completely off – raising over £1000 in the process!
A very surprised Amanda received last night’s award from Playhouse favourite, John Elkington, aka Sarah the Cook, and she’ll now be put forward for the chance to win UK Driver of the Year at this year’s UK Bus Awards in November – a title previously won by NCT’s Les Roome.
“I can’t believe I’ve won!” said Amanda. “So many NCT drivers do a fantastic job every day, so to be recognised with this award feels amazing!”
Comments made by Amanda’s mystery passengers included:
- “The driver was very friendly and helpful to all customers and assisted a gentleman who appeared confused by which side of the road to catch the bus home.”
- “The driver saw an older person waiting at a stop that was obstructed by a delivery lorry and pulled in front of it to see if they wanted the bus. The lady boarded and was greeted very warmly and thanked the driver for looking out for her.”
- “Overall, this driver is a great credit to NCT. She welcomes everyone on board the bus in a warm and friendly manner, gives them time to sit down if they need it and thanks everyone as they get off the bus.”