A retiring National Express West Midlands driver trainer with over half a century of service behind him has been honoured with a special bus.
Pat Hughes, 74, (pictured above with wife Jan) was the operator’s longest-serving employee. He began his career in the industry after moving to Birmingham from Ireland in 1966. First a conductor at age 18, he passed his driving test at 21 and went on to drive the operator’s route 97 service for almost 40 years.
As a driver Pat competed in the Bus Driver of the Year competition for 17 years, winning the title five times, and attending many more times as a photographer.
Pat later moved into the operator’s training department in 2006 and because an “integral part” of the National Express West Midlands driver training team, producing thousands of bus route videos with voice overs to help other drivers learn routes.
Colleagues honoured his service with the unveiling of a specially named bus to mark his retirement.
“As our longest-serving employee we are delighted to be able to celebrate over a half-century of loyal service from Pat by dedicating one of our buses to him,” says Operations and Safety Director for National Express UK Mark Hefferman. “We hope when he sees it out on the road he’ll smile and be reminded of the many fond memories during his time here at National Express.
“Pat has demonstrated excellent dedication and commitment not only to the company but also to the thousands of customers and drivers he’s helped during the course of his career.
“On behalf of everybody at National Express West Midlands I’d like to thank Pat for his tremendous efforts throughout his journey with us and wish him all the best for his well-earned retirement.”