Arriva London helps a retired bus driver make his dream come true
Arriva London values its role in the community and values the relationship that it develops with bus drivers across the country. We recently received a request passed on by TfL and, as all the elements were right at the time, decided to help make a bus driver’s dream come true.
It started with a note from the driver’s daughter Sam:
My Dad, Mr Ken Shipp, drove a Routemaster bus for London Transport for over 15 years, working out of Tramway Avenue. Back in 1988, our family relocated to Norfolk and my dad took a small break and then returned to drive a double-decker bus in Norwich in 1994. Finally, nearly 67 years old, dad has decided to retire from bus driving. He hangs the driving wheel up on Thursday 2nd June after driving for First Group for exactly 22 years to the day . His memories of London Transport along with the people he worked with are amazing, my memories as a child were fantastic of my dad driving a bus, and on many occasions my mum would take my sister and I into London just so we got a ride on his bus.
My family and I would love to surprise my dad and hope someone at TFL can help us make it possible for my dad to drive one of the new Routemaster buses (just a short trip obviously). Dad's licence does not expire until the middle of August, just in case the question arises. We are planning a trip to London on Thursday 4th August, to hope we could surprise him.
And surprise him we did on 4th August, with a New Routemaster to drive and Perry, one of Arriva London’s driver trainers to supervise his drive. First, Perry gave him some ‘Type’ training at Arriva’s Edmonton garage, then an obstacle course was put out to test Ken’s abilities, and finally he drove to Tottenham garage via Tramway Avenue with his family on board.
Perry was very impressed with his driving and awarded him a special certificate for his endeavours. Ken was really impressed with the New Routemaster and said:
“I’ve had a fantastic day thanks to Arriva. The new Routemaster bus is such a smooth drive and such a difference from the old Routemasters I used to drive. It’s a day I’ll never forget”
Ken’s daughter was full of praise as well:
“Words escape me as to the amazing time we all had today. Dad was non-stop talking about it all afternoon. I just can't thank you enough for everything you did to put this together for us all. We all can't thank you and Perry enough.”
Published : Wed 6th Dec. 2017 - Wed 7th Feb. 2018
As part of our commitment to developing our business, we invest heavily in training for all of our staff to offer the great customer experience. We also look at other ways in which we can develop our relationships with the communities we serve, and allow them the opportunity of learning about our processes and to meet some of the team.
Over the past few months we have been working with TfL, conducting Accessibility Awareness forums at our garages.
Doing the right thing, one of our four brand values, is what we have been doing for the last six years by encouraging all of our employees to give to their favourite charities through our Payroll Giving scheme - during this time, they have given more than £1,000,000 pounds to over 160 charities.
Going to school is something we all had to do, but going to school with a red London double-decker bus, and letting four classes from year one come on board to ask questions about the bus, is a privilege we experienced this week at Newbury Park Primary School in North East London.
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As the festive season approaches, we all look forward to the good-will of giving and receiving, and this was truly illustrated last week when members of our staff made a tour of London, on our open top bus, to meet representatives of some of their charities they give to through their Payroll Giving and celebrate #GivingTuesday.