Wednesday 24 April 2024
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Bus driving couple are Trent Barton’s Heroes of the Year

A friendly bus driver who waves at his regulars has won the top prize in Trentbarton’s 2022-23 really good service awards.

Freddie Dempsey, who drives the sixes between Derby, Belper, Ripley and Bakewell, was judged the best of the best, winning Driver of the Year at the awards ceremony at Nottingham Trent University. The award was sponsored by Gallaghers.

Freddie, 42, who lives in Duffield, beat all the other winners of Trentbarton’s driver of the month competitions from 2022-23 to bag a big shiny cup, an extra day off work every year and £1,000 to spend on a holiday.

Driver of the Year winner Freddie Dempsey (r) with awards host Paul Sinha


Freddie, who has been driving trentbarton buses for five years, said: “It’s great to win for doing something I enjoy. I’m a people person who likes driving a big bus and meeting customers and making them happy.”

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Before driving buses, Freddie tried being a factory worker, a care assistant and a lab technician. He said: “I thought I’d try bus driving and found that it was amazing. I really took to it. And trentbarton is a really good company to work for.”

The mystery customer judge said Freddie achieved a perfect score and delivered a first-class level of service, spending time talking to the passengers and waving at his regulars along the route.

The really good service awards ceremony was hosted by radio presenter Andy Miller and featured as star speaker the TV and radio quizzer Paul ‘The Sinnerman’ Sinha from The Chase. 


Hero of the Year was, unusually, won by a couple, husband and wife drivers Tracy and Peter Hayes, who showed great teamwork to get an elderly regular home. Peter spotted the lady waiting at a Sutton stop waiting for a bus which he knew wouldn’t be arriving.

the nines driver Peter called the threes driver Tracy, who was in her pyjamas at home. Tracy hopped in their car to collect the customer and take her safely home. The couple, who live in Skegby, met at work where Peter has been driving for 36 years and Tracy for 14 years.

Tracy said: “Winning this award is brilliant.” And Peter said: “We’ve both put a lot into this job so it is good to be recognised for what we do.”

Colleague Choice was won by Andy Worthington, a driver based at Langley Mill who drives on the Ilkeston routes. The award was sponsored by Personal Group.

The judges said: “Andy is quite the character around the depot and is constantly entertaining his colleagues with his classic tunes and dance moves. There’s always a positive vibe with Andy around so it’s no surprise his peers have rewarded him.”

Voted as winner by the trentbarton team, Andy, 62, who lives in Brinsley, said: “It’s lovely to win this award. I really appreciate it.”

Dozens of passengers voted for the Customer Choice winner Joanne Rich who drives on skylink Nottingham. The award was sponsored by Ticketer.

Joanne, who lives in Clifton, received glowing praise from customers, with the judges saying: “Almost every nomination said Joanne made their day whenever she was behind the wheel of their bus and praised her driving manner and a smiley face.”


A former nursery nurse who started driving buses 10 years ago, Joanne, 37, who drives on skylink Nottingham, said: “This is the award I have wanted to win for years. I’ll really enjoy telling my customers that their support meant I have won.”

Unsung Hero was won by Richard Sherratt, from Hilton, who has been trentbarton’s scheduler for 32 years until retiring at the end of March

(l-r) Awards host Paul Sinha, trentbarton Unsung Hero winner Richard Sherratt and Managing Director Tom Morgan

Engineer of the Year is Paul Harrison. The award was sponsored by PSV Transport Systems.

The judges said: “Paul is a great all-round engineer who turns up every day to his shift early and is always eager to work as hard as he can. He consistently goes above and beyond for his colleagues and he has taken many of our apprentices under his wing to expand their knowledge and training.”


Paul, 71, who lives in Chaddesden and works at the Derby engineering depot, said: “It’s great to be recognised with this award, I’m really happy.”

Apprentice of the Year is Ben Selby, 21, who lives in Hucknall and works at Langley Mill. The award was sponsored by PSV Glass.

Ben joined trentbarton as an apprentice in 2019 and: “It’s brilliant to win this award. I’m really pleased.”


Brand of the Year is my15. Operations manager Aaron Irwin said: “The my15 team is really hardworking and dedicated. All the brands would be worthy winners but my15 always go the extra mile for each other, for the service and for its customers.”

Tom Morgan, group managing director of buses at trentbarton’s parent group Wellglade, said: “It’s wonderful for us to get together to celebrate the excellent work of our teams who exceed expectations day in and day out.”

The team from trentbarton Brand of the Year my15

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