Royle approval for driver Kevin

Trent Barton Really Good Service Awards 2011 : Driver of the Year Kevin Wood with guest speaker Ricky Tomlinson : Photograph by �Lionel Heap 07977 597674.

Trent Barton Really Good Service Awards 2011 : Driver of the Year Kevin Wood with guest speaker Ricky Tomlinson : Photograph by �Lionel Heap 07977 597674.

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a BUS driver has won a top award after impressing judges with his helpful attitude and infectious smile.

Kevin Wood was named Driver of the Year at a special gala dinner featuring TV legend and star of The Royle Family, Ricky Tomlinson, at the Crowne Plaza, in Nottingham.

In addition to a trophy, the popular driver, who works on Trent Barton’s 141 service between Mansfield and Nottingham, also received holiday vouchers worth £1,000.

To win the award, Kevin recorded consistently high scores from ‘mystery customers’ who commented on his cheerful and helpful approach, his infectious smile and smooth driving style. Jeff Counsell, managing director of Trent Barton, said: “Kevin is a very worthy winner of the award. He has worked for us since 2003 and in the past 12 months his dedication to customer service really stood out. Now in their ninth year, our Really Good Service Awards celebrate the efforts of staff who go the extra mile to please customers. Once again they have proved a huge success, showcasing excellence across the company.”

During the awards dinner a number of other accolades were handed out, including a new Customer Choice Award. The first winner to be nominated by customers was Allan Gilmour, from Calverton, who works on the calverton connection service. Customers who voted for Allan said that he is always cheerful, very polite and never fails to make them smile.

Allan was joined on the winners list by Neil Brown, from Glossop, who picked up an Outstanding Achievement Award.

During a severe winter snowstorm, Neil made sure all the passengers on the skyline 199 bus he was driving between Manchester Airport and Buxton got home safely, even dropping off one customer at their door in his own car.

Other winners included Apprentice of the Year Ryan Smith, who lives in Bulwell and works at the firm’s Manvers Street Garage in Nottingham and David Melady, from Cotgrave, who was named Most Improved Driver. Jeff added: “All the award winners and runners-up deserve praise for demonstrating dedication and commitment to customer care, often in difficult circumstances.”