Nottingham City Transport bus driver describes challenges he faces on city's roads

A top Nottingham City Transport bus driver has revealed some of highlights and tests when behind the wheel. Gary Parr, who drives green line buses through West Bridgford, said traffic could be a problem when Nottingham Forest were at home. It is a particular issue in the The Meadows, the 42-year-old said.

“Obviously with it being the old streets the roads aren’t very wide so at particularly busy times, such as football events or events at the Embankment, or even bin day, the roads can be busy and cause you delays,” said Mr Parr. “It’s Forest really. Notts the attendance is lower and you tend to find that County fans park at the Lady Bay Retail Park side which we don’t travel down. (Forest get) probably double the attendance.

With the extra 15,000 people there can be a lot more cars.” Mr Parr, who himself lives in The Meadows, began working for the bus company in April 2016. He drives the green line number five, seven, eight, nine and 11 buses.

His routes take him through West Bridgford, Gamston and from Lady Bay to Nottingham, via The Meadows. With the southside of the city centre undergoing a multi-million-pound transformation, he said this had caused a knock-on effect. “With the amount of buildings that are going up in the city and the associated road works, especially like Broadmarsh, it sort of has increased the chance of delays to services around that area,” said Mr Parr, who previously worked as an IT technician.

“But living in the city there’s always going to be roadworks and buildings going up somewhere so I think it’s just part of day-to-day driving here really.” Earlier this month, Mr Parr was named NCT’s driver of the year for 2019, after scoring 92 percent in a round of mystery traveller assessments. A mystery traveller described him as “a confident, caring driver who was exceptionally polite towards every passenger”.

“We’ve got a lot of drivers so to be first nominated to possibly be driver of the year was in itself a proud moment,” said Mr Parr. “But to actually then go and win it I’m very proud, the family are proud as well,” he said. “It just gives you job satisfaction.

You know that you are meeting expectations of the company.” He said he enjoyed speaking to customers, saying: “If they know you’ve got family they’ll ask how the family are.

Award-winning bus driver Gary Parr.

“Over time you do start to build up relationships with customers. “They know your face and you know what stops they get on at and what stops they get off at.

“You do notice your regulars and some might want to have a bit of a chat as they’re getting on. “Obviously you don’t want to discourage that. So obviously you want to show customer service and show an interest.”

Passengers on-board Mr Parr’s bus earlier this week described him as ‘pleasant’. Doreen Robshaw, 82, a volunteer for the Age UK charity, of Mansfield Road, on the outskirts of Nottingham, explained she caught the number 11 weekly. She said it “usually turns up on time”, adding: “Most of the drivers are all right if you are all right with them.

“He is usually pleasant, this driver, I have seen him before.” Pooja Pathak, 33, a carer of The Meadows, who also travels on the green line, said it was important drivers didn’t set off until passengers sat down. “It’s really important for everybody,” she said.

“Even mums who have got pushchairs, until they get settled on the bus they should not drive.

“I think all of them are nice.

When you get off they try to help us if you do not know the stop.”

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