Drive me to the moon...on the Number 19

PETER Hubert and Graham Jackson have each driven two return trips to the moon . . . without leaving Ipswich!

PETER Hubert and Graham Jackson have each driven two return trips to the moon . . . without leaving Ipswich!

The two Ipswich Buses drivers have this week celebrated a landmark by completing 40 years on the buses - and both have many more miles in the tank.

They are both 58, and Mr Jackson, of Ainslie Road, remembered starting as a conductor because he was too young to drive a bus.

“In those days you had to be 21 before you could have a licence to drive a bus so I was a conductor for three years before I got my driving licence,” he said.

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“Since then I've driven all around the town - I enjoy being out on the road. It beats being stuck in an office.”

Ipswich Buses' drivers all cover every route - they are not dedicated to a particular part of the town.

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“My favourite is the Number 19 up to the Dales, it has reasonably easy timings and the people are very nice. But then I like my job or I wouldn't have stayed with it all these years.”

Mr Hubert, of Serpentine Road, joined the Ipswich Corporation Transport in 1969 after working at Ransomes.

“I was involved in making a line which they stopped and then trained as a welder but I didn't like that and I thought I'd give the buses a year . . . I'm still here!”

He said working outside and meeting passengers was a great plus.

“Most of the passengers are very good - if you treat them with respect they treat you with respect. It's a great job,” he said.

The two men are each estimated to have travelled 1.4 million miles on Ipswich roads over the last four decades and to have carried 7.2 million passengers each - almost the population of London.

Company managing director Malcolm Robson said: “It is through the commitment and endeavours of staff such as Graham and Peter that Ipswich Buses is held in such high regard both locally and nationally.”

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