Runcorn bus driver, Neil Atherton, has been unveiled as Arriva’s ultimate champion in its annual hunt for superstar drivers, following an unprecedented surge of support from customers in the North West.
As part of its company-wide ‘Made A Difference’ (M.A.D) recognition scheme, Arriva invited it’s passengers to nominate who they thought were the real champions of their commute – the drivers who consistently go above and beyond to deliver great service.
Neil, who originally hails from Widnes, has now been named as the person whose dedication to their duties stood out more than any other, having received well over 3,500 votes from people wanting him to scoop the national prize.
Branded as a “top bloke” who is “very funny, with great sense of humour” and is “always very friendly, laughing and joking, and has a lovely manner with kids”, Neil received double the amount of votes than his nearest competitor, which saw him crowned as the overall champion at a glittering gala dinner in Hinckley on 21st April.
Phil Stone, Managing Director from Arriva North West, said: “Our drivers play such an important role within the communities they are part of, and this award gave those who have experienced truly exemplary service from our team the opportunity to say ‘thank you’. We’ve always known that we had a real gem with Neil, but I don’t think until now we fully appreciated what a huge difference he clearly makes to people’s lives.
“He is a fabulous example of someone who strives for excellence in everything he does, but still goes quietly about his day to day just ‘doing his job’. It’s this humble, personable persona that has clearly left its mark on so many. He is a real credit to our team, and we can’t thank him enough for his dedication to his work. He is a true inspiration and a role model to others.”
Arriva’s M.A.D Awards are a national recognition programme which looks at all elements of the bus company, including; engineering, depot management and back office functions.