Two accomplished Reading Buses drivers competed in the Bus Driver of the Year Competition at Blackpool for the second successive year.
Both Ed Love, 27, and Jonathan Berkolds, 32, also took part in 2018 and once again have given a good account of themselves.
Ed, of Thatcham who has worked for Reading buses for six and a half years, was the leading Reading Buses driver finishing 27th. Jonathan, of Spencers Wood who has nearly five years service, also performed well coming 53rd out of 82 competitors.
Said Reading Buses HR Director Caroline Anscombe: “We are extremely proud of both Ed and Jonathan who did very well in all areas of the competition.
“It is no surprise that Ed performed so well as this was his fourth time representing Reading Buses at the competition. His best performance was a couple of years ago when he finished 13th.
“Jonathan was participating in his second competition and so performed incredibly well.
“Both of them really enjoyed their experience and are looking forward to trying again next year.
“The requirements of each test were very stringent,” explained Caroline, “with millimetres deciding whether the driver got an excellent score or not. Our Academy team were very pleased with how Ed and Jonathan performed against a backdrop of a lot of very talented drivers from around the country.”
The competition measured various driving skills as well as featuring a theory test that challenged the drivers’ knowledge.
Some of the driving tests included the left and right tail swings requiring them to stop the back of the bus by a post and the distance measured to ensure the bus had the optimum tail swing of one metre.
There was also a test to see how far away the drivers were when overtaking a bicycle with points being deducted for being either too far away or too close.
Ed said he was enjoying being back in the competition: “It has a nice relaxed atmosphere – everyone is approachable from the organisers to the other competitors.
“It was nice to have Jonathan back again too – having experience really does count for something. It’s almost a shame that it is only once a year – after you have competed, you want the opportunity to do it again to improve.”
Jonathan commented that the competition was ‘very tough’ this year. “The conditions were very windy which meant it was challenging. But that’s what I like. It’s all about having a go and challenging yourself.
“The other competitors were very talented and it was nice to go back and compete again.”