Gold Cup for bus drivers to take place at Cheltenham Racecourse
By Andrew Merrell | 5th July 2019
The famous Cheltenham Racecourse is to see runners and riders of a very different kind, as staff from Stagecoach West line up for Bus Driver of the Year 2019 driving competition.
Ten drivers from the Gloucestershire company will hope to add to its 2019 25th anniversary celebrations by winning a ticket to compete in the national finals in August.
Last year's 52nd national finals saw 91 entrants test their mettle, with Stagecoach West's Anthony Quinn winning the Giles Fearnley Shield for the Best Competitor from a Depot in England and coming runner up UK-wide.
This year's hopefuls will line up on Sunday (July 7) at the Prestbury racecourse - home of the world-famous National Hunt Festival - for the preliminaries, with the top two progressing to the national final.
Spectators are encouraged - including children - and particularly those interested in joining the ranks of Stagecoach West.
It will be a chance to find out more about what it takes to drive a bus, with Stagecoach West also using the event as an open door to anyone considering starting a career with them.
Rachel Geliamassi, operations director at Stagecoach West, said: "We take pride in training our drivers. They all meet our very high standards - both for their driving ability and customer care.
"This competition is their chance to pit themselves against one another and show just how good they really are.
"As well as a chance to watch Bus Driver of the Year is would be great to think some of those who attend would be inspired enough to come and work for us as drivers.
"We offer a great training package, a good salary and flexible hours. This is a great chance to see what we are all about as a company."
The 10 Stagecoach West drivers will be put through their paces on a specially-designed course complete with numerous obstacles and challenges.
They will be assessed for their driving, with the spectators able to jump on board and witness the test first hand - without having to pay for a ticket.
There will be free tea, coffee and muffins available on the day and Stagecoach West managing director, Rupert Cox, will be attending to speak to budding drivers.
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