Arriva London helps a retired bus driver make his dream come true

  
  

Ken drives the obstacle course
Ken drives the obstacle course

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:

Ken in the driving seat
Ken in the driving seat

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.

Arriva trainer Perry presents Ken with his certificate
Arriva trainer Perry presents Ken with his certificate

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:

Ken and his family
Ken and his family

“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.”

 

  
  

Tags:   News
Published : Wed 10th Aug. 2016
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