Brave Elaine is driver of the year

A bus driver has received a top honour from her employer for her bravery when faced with a hooded youth who demanded her takings.

Elaine Stokes was named Trent Barton’s Driver of the Year at the Heanor-based firm’s annual Really Good Service Awards.

The 53-year-old, who only joined the company just over 12 months ago, was rewarded for her calm actions when confronted by the youth who claimed he had a gun.

Mrs Stokes, who drives Trent Barton’s Indigo buses between Derby, Long Eaton and Nottingham, was presented with a trophy, along with £1,000 worth of holiday vouchers by comedian and television presenter Tom O’Connor at a gala dinner.

She will also receive an extra day’s leave for the rest of her career at the company.

Before joining the company, she had a varied career, working as a van driver, receptionist, PA, carer and customer care assistant.

She is only the third female bus driver to win the Driver of the Year title since Trent Barton started the awards 11 years ago.

She said: “I’m delighted and surprised at being named Driver of the Year but it’s fantastic to be part of such a hard-working and friendly team on the Indigo route. Every day is different and you get to meet so many different people from all walks of life.”

Trent Barton managing director Jeff Counsell said: “Every year choosing a winner gets harder but Elaine has consistently scored top marks from mystery customers over the past 12 months.”