Lothian Bus driver named one of best in Britain

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He is a familiar face on the number 15 bus route.

And it was fifth time lucky for Scott Crosbie, from Leith, after he was named one of the best bus drivers in Britain in a tough national driving competition.

Scott Crosbie faced a gruelling series of theory and practical tests in the industry competition. Picture: Greg Macvean

Scott Crosbie faced a gruelling series of theory and practical tests in the industry competition. Picture: Greg Macvean

Mr Crosbie represented Lothian Buses at the UK Bus Driver of the Year contest and was awarded bronze after a gruelling series of theory and practical tests.

Considered the ultimate skills test in the bus industry, the two-day competition took place last weekend in Blackpool.

About 100 competitors were put through the wringer with a theory exam, bus safety check and manoeuvring exercises, as well as a three-mile driving test.

“It does get competitive and it’s nerve-wracking,” said Scott, 47, who had entered four times previously.

All the hard work and training I had received beforehand really paid off

Scott Crosbie

“At the end of the day, you’re representing your city.

“Sunday is the big day of tests and at breakfast no one is talking to each other – they’re just trying to get into the zone.”

Even before the Blackpool contest, Scott had to beat off stiff competition – selected with 16 others for trials at Ingliston.

Bosses put the 16 through their paces with obstacle courses and theory tests, before selecting the top five to take on the UK’s finest.

“The theory test covers everything, the highway code, vehicle servicing, drivers’ coach manual – there’s three books that must be 500 pages long,” said Scott.

But not even that rigorous selection process could cover everything, with a few surprises thrown in at Blackpool.

“There were obstacles we didn’t know about, like a bicycle on a stand which we had to stop the bus alongside at 1.4 metres away – we had to be a couple of inches either way,” said Scott.

It all became a little too much for Scott’s partner Zoe, 43, as his podium finish was announced in front of 100 fellow drivers.

“I was absolutely gobsmacked,” said Scott. “Zoe was with me as well and she just burst into tears.”

Back at work this week on the number 15 route, Scott has been the talk of the Longstone depot.

“There’s been a bit of banter – other drivers saying how come I only got third,” he joked. But mostly they’ve been coming up and shaking my hand because they know how competitive it is. This was my fifth year and it was a real privilege to represent Lothian at this year’s finals. The competition was really high and it was a great achievement for me to come third. All the hard work and training I had received beforehand really paid off.”

Fellow Lothian drivers taking part were Adam Stitt, Stephen McLeod, David Swaney and Jim McDonald.

Richard Hall, managing director of Lothian said: “Our drivers do a great job day in, day out, providing a high quality, reliable service for our customers. We’re extremely proud of Scott and all the drivers who represented Lothian at the final in Blackpool.

“This national competition was their opportunity to showcase their technical expertise and professionalism and they have all proved they are worthy of being ranked amongst the best in the UK.”

andy.shipley@edinburghnewws.com