Former Dorridge bus route driver retires after 56 years on the buses - The Solihull Observer

Former Dorridge bus route driver retires after 56 years on the buses

Solihull Editorial 25th May, 2023   0

A BUS driver who drove an old Dorridge route has retired after 56 years – the longest-serving employee at National Express West Midlands.

Bob Smith joined the bus company as a bus conductor in 1967 when he was just 18. From the age of 21 he then spent the next 54 years driving hundreds of thousands of National Express West Midlands bus passengers and colleagues around the region.

He was also the designated driver on the company’s former Dorridge bus routes before he became a staff bus driver for the last 20 years of his career.

The 75-year-old’s lengthy career was celebrated by family, friends and colleagues at the bus operator’s Acocks Green garage with a traditional bus pull of a MCW Metrobus.

The bus was provided by Bob’s colleague, National Express West Midlands’ driver development coach Andy Walcott, who acquired the Metrobus for preservation in 2010.

Mat Dale, Operations Manager at National Express West Midlands, said: “Bob will be sorely missed. He was a top-notch bloke – very honest, kind, and always willing to help whenever he could. He’s a bit of an icon at our Acocks Green garage and we’ll all really miss him.

“On behalf of everyone at the garage, I’d like to thank Bob for his dedication over the years.

“He’s been a brilliant driver which was proven by his recent Master Driver status, and his knowledge and experience of the roads was unrivalled.

“We’ve really enjoyed working with Bob and wish him all the best for his retirement.”

Bob was considered a top-class driver and was awarded Master Driver status, making him one of the safest drivers on the road.

He plans to spend his retirement renovating his house, working on his garden and travelling.


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