Arriva London’s Grays garage double-decker bus visits Newbury Park Primary School
Newbury Park Primary School welcomed a visit by one of our double-decker red buses this week from our garage at Grays, with route 66 driver Danny.
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.
At Arriva London, we take our role in the community very seriously and are always looking for ways to be involved with the communities we serve so, when asked by the school to bring a bus and driver along for the morning to give their 5 and 6 year olds a taste of what it’s like to be on a bus, and give the children the opportunity to talk to the driver, we were only too pleased to be of help.
The school is very close to route 66, which we run on behalf of TfL from our garage at Grays, from Romford Station via Ilford to Leytonstone. It was therefore a natural fit to send one of our buses and Danny, one of our route 66 drivers.
Each of the four classes, which are named after Spanish colours - Azul (blue), Rojo (red), Amarillo (yellow) and Verde (green) - were brought out to the bus individually and, sitting on the top deck of the bus, had the opportunity to ask Danny about his role as a bus driver.
The questions were many and varied, with subjects as interesting as 'does the bus have a clutch', 'how many kilometres does the bus go in a day', 'how many stops are there on the journey' and a very perceptive one - which led us to demonstrate to the pupils the electronic access ramp - 'how do people in wheelchairs get on and off the bus'.
One of the pupils, when told ‘Danny is the driver’, volunteered that this was alliteration and another, when asked to calculate the sum of seats from the upper and lower decks, did so in just a few seconds, so we were as impressed by the pupils as they were by our visit.
Having finished all the questions, the children were then offered the opportunity of sitting in the cab and experiencing what it is like to be a bus driver - holding the steering wheel, looking in the mirrors, operating the windscreen wipers and tooting the horn. Even some of the teachers enjoyed this experience.
The children were extremely well behaved and very polite with their thanks, and each child when returning to class was presented with a red model Arriva bus as a memento of the visit.
As Danny, our driver, said:
"This is the first time I’ve been involved with a school visit and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The children were very excited, but very good with their questions and their behaviour in the cab. Also, I recognised some of the children who come to school on my route 66 bus in the morning with their mums, so it’s good to know they’ll understand now how we serve our communities in other ways as well.”
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To see more images of our visit, please visit our Facebook page.
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’.