Surprise award for customers’ favourite bus driver

Derby bus driver Mick Smith got a big surprise at a bus stop on the allestree route – a group of his biggest fans were waiting there to present him with trentbarton’s customer choice award.

Mick was to be one of the winners at trentbarton's 2017 really good service awards. But as he couldn’t make the ceremony, trentbarton recruited a group of his regular riders to do the honours in a surprise presentation at the Park Farm Shopping Centre.

Mick, who joined trentbarton in 2003, received more than 250 nominations for the award from customers who told trentbarton how great Mick is. He even arranges flowers and cards for when his regulars have been ill. Their comments included:

  • “A great role model and a worthy winner”
  • “One of life’s gentlemen”
  • “You can't get bored on his bus”
  • “He's a tonic”
  • “Always looks out for 'runners'”
  • “He sent me a card after I had a heart attack”
  • “A joy to travel with”
  • “He always lifts your spirits”
  • “He waves to me, even when I'm not on the bus”

To check Mick, 58, who lives in Derby, is a worthy winner, trentbarton sent mystery passengers on his bus and they reported back “customers seem to respect and like this driver very much”, “he’s got such a great relationship with his regular customers” and “took the time to have a laugh with customers”.

Jeff Counsell, managing director of trentbarton, said: “Mick is a real character who is positive and friendly. He scores top marks across the board for customer service standards – this really sums up Mick. “As it’s the customers who voted in their hundreds for Mick we thought he’d be thrilled that it is customers who presented him with his very deserved award.”

Mick said: “It was a big shock. I had no idea whatsoever. I saw my boss at the bus stop and wondered what was going on. I do enjoy every minute of my job, having a laugh and a joke with folk. To learn I was nominated by 250 customers is amazing.”