Driving their way to success

IPSWICH: Two of the town’s bus drivers have taken the fast lane to success by reaching the finals of the Bus Driver of the Year competition.

Both drive for Ipswich Buses – and finished high on the leaderboard at the national competition in Blackpool.

Leon Wells, 35, who lives in the town centre is an old hand at the competition – he was bus driver of the year back in 2008 when he worked for First.

He moved to Ipswich Buses 13 months ago, and became Municipal Bus Driver of the Year in this year’s competition.

That section is opened to employees of companies, like Ipswich Buses, which are owned by local authorities.

Leon said: “The national competition is always held at Blackpool, but it is always a bit different year on year so there is always a new challenge.

“You have to spend a day driving around the town and there are special problems like chicanes and that sort of thing.”

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For Richard Ashby, 32, who lives in Stowmarket, it was the first time he had won through to the national final. He finished 29th in a field of 116 entrants.

He said: “It was a great day. I was delighted to get to the national final and really pleased to do so well when I got there.”

Leon has been behind the wheel for 13 years and Richard has been driving for seven years, four with Ipswich Buses.