Jane’s drive for national prize

busram'award-winning Sheffield bus driver Jane Greenacre
busram'award-winning Sheffield bus driver Jane Greenacre

A BUS driver who went the extra mile to help elderly passengers during the big freeze in Sheffield has been shortlisted for a national award.

Jane Greenacre beat off competition from thousands of drivers to become the only woman on a shortlist of seven aiming to become best driver at the UK Bus Awards.

She will attend a gala dinner at the Park Lane Hilton Hotel in London on November 29 to find out if she has won the top prize after being assessed anonymously while at work.

Jane, based at First’s Olive Grove depot in Sheffield, said: “I am happy to receive this nomination, which isn’t just for me but for all the other First staff in South Yorkshire who work extremely hard to provide a first-class bus service each day.”

A First spokesman said: “Jane won our 2010 annual First Superstars award for her exemplary behaviour and assistance to customers during poor weather.

“She was nominated by a customer for her excellent driving and customer communication during atrocious weather conditions.

“Jane was driving the 53 service between Lowedges and Ecclesfield in very difficult conditions.

“Whilst having to focus on her driving, Jane still found time to explain to customers the diverted route she was following and kept giving customers regular updates. Despite having some very elderly people on her bus who were very frightened at the ever-worsening weather conditions, Jane’s calmness under severe pressure was customer service of the highest order.

“She ensured all passengers were taken as near to their homes as possible and that they were not left isolated and alone when disembarking from the bus.”

Phil Robinson, operations director for First South Yorkshire, said: “Jane is a model professional with an exemplary record for safety and customer service in a tough working environment.”

Jane, who has been with the company since 1997, has six safe driving awards.

lTwenty-one drivers at bus company Stagecoach’s Holbrook depot - 19 men and two women - have stripped for a calendar in aid of Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity.

They are posing in front of the company’s new energy-saving buses.

Chris Brownhill, who came up with the idea after losing a granddaughter to cancer, said: “I wanted to come up with a concept that would attract lots of interest and raise a really big total for the charity.

He added: “It is fantastic the whole depot and company is behind the idea.”