Nottingham-Ilkeston bus driver Tracey triumphs at trentbarton awards

Published on: Tuesday, 30th April 2019
trentbarton driver of the year Tracey Pemberton
trentbarton driver of the year Tracey Pemberton
Jeff Counsell, Chris Waine from award sponsor Alexander Dennis, trentbarton driver of the year Tracey Pemberton and Scott Quinnell
(l-r front) trentbarton winners Alan Walker, Craig Trueman and Kelly Jago, (back) Shaun Feuer, Caroline Webster, Tracey Pemberton and Leeann Shearer
(l-r back) Jeff Counsell with my15 brand winners Jamie Hobson, Valerie Wright, Phil White of award sponsor Gallagher, team leader Leeann Shearer and Scott Quinnell, (front) Glyn Whaley, operations manager Aaron Irwin and Shaun Murphy

A bus-driving star who treats her customers like personal friends and did not miss a single day’s work last year won the top prize in trentbarton’s 2019 really good service awards.

Tracey Pemberton, who pilots the two between Ilkeston and Nottingham, was judged the best of the best, winning Driver of the Year at the awards ceremony at Derby’s Roundhouse..

Tracey, 51, who lives in Heanor, beat all the other winners of trentbarton’s driver of the month competitions from last year to bag an extra day off work every year and £1,000 to spend on a holiday.

The mystery customer judges said they were bowled over by Tracey's star performance: “Like all top professionals, Tracey has a way of making it all look so smooth and effortless.

“Even on a busy run she had a smile and a friendly word for absolutely everyone, drove smoothly and still kept perfect time. She treats customers like personal friends – and people on the bus could be overheard saying how much they liked her.”

Tracey, who has driven for trentbarton for 13 years, said: “This is a brilliant surprise. It’s an honour having the title Driver of the Year, being part of that family. I really enjoy my job, it’s the best job I’ve ever had.

“I used to work as a cleaner at the QMC but decided to try being a bus driver because my friend was one. And I’ve loved it since day one.”

The really good service awards ceremony featured as star speaker the Wales and British Lions rugby union legend Scott Quinnell.

Hero of the Year is Kelly Jago, who helped an older woman whose purse was stolen on her indigo bus and later identified the perpetrators. Kelly was about to give evidence at Crown Court when one defendant changed his plea to guilty.

Kelly, 39, from The Meadows, was praised by the Crown Court judge, rewarded with £300 and commended by the High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire. Kelly, who now drives the keyworth, joined trentbarton in 2015.

Kelly said: “I wasn’t expecting to win this award, but it’s nice to be recognised amongst our family of drivers.”

Dozens of passengers voted for the winner of the Customer Choice winner Alan Walker who drives the comet between Derby and Chesterfield.

Alan, 29, who lives in Derby, received glowing praise from customers, including “one of the most positive, friendly, helpful drivers I’ve ever met”, “a smile on his face and a kind word”, “he helped an elderly and struggling lady by taking her shopping with her to her next bus” and “the driver that everyone talks about”.

A mystery customer judge said: “His enthusiasm and passion are clear to see in the way he interacts with customers and drivers alike. He had the whole bus laughing and personally made me leave his bus with a smile.”

Alan said: “Winning this is overwhelming. I have a great rapport with lots of my customers and look forward to sharing this with them.”

Unsung Hero was won by Caroline Webster, who supports customers in Nottingham by answering any questions, giving advice and helping them when services are disrupted. 

trentbarton director of service delivery Tom Morgan said: “Caroline is someone who gives their all to trentbarton. She’s always available to help and look after out customers. She can morph into any role needed."  Caroline, 40, who lives in Mansfield Woodhouse, said: “I just do my job every day.”

Engineer of the Year is Craig Trueman, who in 2018 achieved a 100 per cent pass rate with the 60 buses he prepared for their rigorous PSV test.  Craig, 32, from Aspley, is described as an excellent engineer.

Based at trentbarton’s Nottingham depot, Craig took on responsibility for servicing and repairing the air conditioning systems on trentbarton’s buses. To do so, Craig had to study for and pass certification exams which he did with flying colours.

Craig said: “It’s great that all the hard work has paid off with this recognition by colleagues and the company.”

Apprentice of the Year is Shaun Feuer. Shaun, 19, who lives in Kirk Hallam, will tackle any task presented to him. He applies his learning and experience, demonstrating how quickly he can adapt. The judges said: “This is something quite special to see in a young engineer.

“He made excellent progress at college, confidently completing all his course work early and qualifying as a skilled engineer six months ahead of schedule.” Sean has now graduated to a full time position.”

Shaun said: “I’m very pleased to have been chosen. I really enjoy the role and it’s very nice to have the support of my colleagues.”

Brand of the Year is my15, a service that was extended in 2018 to connect the people of Ilkeston, Stapleford and Sandiacre to access the thousands of new jobs being created in and around East Midlands Airport.  The new link welcomed 50,000 customers in its first nine months and my15’s drivers scored a whopping 99 per cent in customer satisfaction in a 2018 survey.  Leeann Shearer, my15 team leader, said: “We’re delighted to win, we’ve got the best team. So we’re really chuffed.”

Colleague Choice was won by Phil Simpson, an engineer who worked in Nottingham and is now at Kinchbus in Loughborough. Voted as winner by the trentbarton team,  Phil, 55, who lives in Clifton, joined trentbarton a decade ago.

The judges said: “Phil has been described by his colleagues as the perfect team member. Not only is Phil helpful and approachable, but is happy to go the extra mile to help his team mates out.”

trentbarton managing director Jeff Counsell told staff: “We’re celebrating great successes, great service and great passion. It’s what everyone does that makes such a massive difference to how out on the road that we treat our customers.”

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