Latest News | 7 March 2022

Britain’s best bus driver calls on more women to hit the road

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A driver at trentbarton who was recently named the best in the UK has called on more women to get on board with a career in the bus and coach industry.

Karen Miles was crowned at the UK Top National Bus Driver at the Bus and Coach Awards 2021 just months after receiving a Covid BEM (British Empire Medal) for her work during Covid-19.

The 53-year-old was only the second ever female winner of the UK bus industry’s premier driving award in its 26-year history.

Karen, who drives trentbarton’s red arrow service between Nottingham and Derby, now wants more females to consider a career in public transport.

She said: “The first ever female Top National Bus Driver was also a trentbarton driver, Carole Hind in 2015.

“Today, there are more and more women driving buses – and working in the other varied roles that keep us on the road.

“It’s a career with training and many benefits, plus you are part of a real team that works so well together.”

Karen, who has been driving buses for seven years after joining trentbarton in 2015, described her role as her dream job.

She said: “I love my driving job. I get to meet so many different people every day and have a laugh with them.

“I love the little conversations and how I start their day off right, taking them to work or to meet family and friends, and finish their trips right too.”

Karen Miles

There are women working throughout trentbarton, including in marketing, customer service and senior management – half of trentbarton’s depot managers are women.

Sharon Bailey started as a trentbarton bus driver in 1989 and went on to be an operations controller and then manager and is now head of operations for the whole company.

She said: “My partner at the time, now my husband, worked for trentbarton and I suggested to him I could become a bus driver. The rest, as they say, is history.

“I fell in love with the job. For me, the job is not about buses it is about people.
“We’re so pleased and proud to have Karen, Carole and our other female drivers – indeed, one in seven of our drivers are women.

“And women are thriving in many other roles too, all of which are vital to keep our services running and our customers satisfied. The bus industry has many wonderful career opportunities for women at all stages of their working lives.”

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