Sheffield bus drivers steering way to success

Stagecoach regional driver of the year Umied Omar (left) and runner-up Wayne Suter are pictured with their awards at firm's Ecclesfield depot.

Stagecoach regional driver of the year Umied Omar (left) and runner-up Wayne Suter are pictured with their awards at firm's Ecclesfield depot.

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Dribbling around a line of cones is a familiar task for footballers in training – but imagine making the manoeuvre with a 10 metre-long vehicle...

That was among the tough tests faced by two Sheffield bus drivers who steered their way to success in Stagecoach’s UK Bus Driver of the Year contest.

Umied Omar, aged 32, has won the regional heat, held at Woolley Edge services on the M1, and Wayne Suter, 43, came second.

Both men live in Woodhouse and work for Stagecoach, with Umeid based at company’s Holbrook depot and Wayne driving buses from Ecclesfield.

The pair will now go through to the final, which will bring together regional winners from across the country in Blackpool on Wednesday and Thursday.

Umied, who joined Stagecoach four years ago, said: “It feels great to have won and be representing Sheffield and Stagecoach Yorkshire at the national finals.

“I take great pride in my role and I’m passionate about being the best I can be and providing a safe service for passengers.”

Before being entered for the competition, both drivers were assessed during their day-to-day shifts around Sheffield.

The regional heat involved a quiz about all aspects of their jobs before the driving challenges around bollards and cones.

Competitors came from Stagecoach’s bus depots across the Yorkshire region – including staff working in Barnsley and Doncaster.

Kev Crossland, Stagecoach Yorkshire’s examiner for the regional heat, said: “The competition keeps growing year on year and the standard was, once again, extremely high.

“Ahead of the competition, the drivers were assessed during service before the series of challenges when they took part in our regional heat event.

“Umied and Pat are worthy winners and we wish them the best of luck for the finals.

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