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 : Thu 30th Mar. 2017 - Wed 10th May. 2017
The visit had been organised following Leon meeting Enfield bus driver Malkiat Birdi, whilst he was attending the TfL initiative for drivers called Hello London.
Making the capital’s buses as simple to use as the London Underground is a new initiative being trialled on seven London bus routes, including Arriva London routes 150 and 128.
In association with TfL and HCT Transport, we opened our doors to welcome the public, giving them the opportunity to explore the garage, meet our operations teams, ride on a bus through the bus wash, tour our operations control centres and see & ride on some historic preserved buses.
Our recent route gains in North London include route 19, from Finsbury Park to Battersea Bridge (South Side), which has meant implementing an extensive mobilisation programme to maintain our high standards.
One of the most important elements in Arriva London’s development is the training and education it offers its staff, from engineering apprentices to graduate trainees, everyone in the business is offered the opportunity to develop and flourish.
The introduction of all new Hybrid vehicles on route 249, which Arriva London starts operating this Saturday, underlines one of our key brand values - ‘Great customer experience - We keep our customers happy every day’.