Yorkshire Dale's named among Britain's bus driving elite

31 October 2017

Cityzap express driver in the running for national honours.

His is the smiling face that welcomes customers onto Yorkshire’s booming Cityzap express bus service between Leeds and York – and now Dale French has been named among the nation’s finest. York-based Dale, who drives the popular Cityzap express bus service between York and Leeds, has been shortlisted as Top National Bus Driver of the Year in the 22nd UK Bus Awards.

Dale is part of a hand-picked team of dedicated drivers for the Cityzap service, which has proved an outstanding success since its launch in 2016. A second Cityzap route between Leeds and Manchester is to be launched on Sunday (November 5th).

The UK Bus Awards are the industry’s premier competition which showcases the best of British transport talent from hundreds of bus and coach operators up and down the country, and celebrates the people, projects and organisations shaping the bus industry of the future.  Two of Cityzap operator Transdev’s most innovative branded services have also been shortlisted in the national awards.

The 36: Riding Redefined luxury service linking Ripon and Harrogate with Leeds has been shortlisted for the Sustained Marketing award, setting the seal on a year which has seen a rapid rise in passenger numbers. The 36 service has just been increased to run every ten minutes between Harrogate and Leeds, supported by a £750,000 investment in additional new buses for the route, which was successfully relaunched in 2016 with a new fleet of luxury twin-deck vehicles packed with passenger-friendly features, including leather seating with tables, free 4G Wi-Fi, USB power points at every seat and on-board announcements by one of Yorkshire’s best known media personalities, BBC Look North presenter Harry Gration.

Transdev’s pioneering VAMOOZ service has also been shortlisted, in the New Horizons category which recognises the bus industry’s most creative and imaginative ideas.

VAMOOZ is a crowdfunded bus service which gives customers the flexibility to book return trips for shopping, sports events and destinations across the North, using a specially designed app built for ease of use. Passengers can suggest their own trips, and the more that ride, the lower the price for everyone on board. Since its launch earlier this year, VAMOOZ has grown rapidly and the concept has been successfully extended to offer bespoke school and college services in North Yorkshire and East Lancashire, and also under licence outside the Transdev group, to Reading Buses in Berkshire.

Transdev CEO Alex Hornby said: “I’m delighted that Dale has been shortlisted for these prestigious awards, He has a keen dedication to providing the highest standard of customer care for our passengers.

“Our people are at the very heart of our business, and Dale makes an Immensely important contribution to our shared success.

“I’m also very proud that two of our most successful branded products have also won places on the awards shortlist, against fierce competition from transport operators across the UK.

“Both the 36 and the VAMOOZ concept demonstrate our relentless approach in being customer focused and forward thinking in everything we do.”

The UK Bus Awards 2017 will see transport operators across the country competing in 21 award categories covering the full range of skills required to plan, promote and deliver high quality bus services to customers.

Mystery traveller checks and interviews are underway before the award winners are selected, in time for the annual presentation ceremony, which this year will take place on Tuesday 21 November at the Troxy music and events venue in east London.