7 September 2023

A fantastic set of results for us at today’s Institute of Road Transport Engineers (IRTE) Skills Challenge Awards event in Birmingham.  

Today’s prestigious ceremony followed a competitive, but friendly, practical competition in June this year, where numerous groups of qualified and apprentice bus technicians from right across the UK took part in a series of bodywork, electrical and mechanical challenges to establish the best in the business.

We won in the following five categories:

• Electrical Apprentice – William Keith.

• Electric Driveline Apprentice – Diego Duran Cuadros.

• Master Technician – Chris Bissett.

• Mechanical Apprentice – Scott Blakesley.

• Outstanding Apprentice Team – Cameron Barton, Diego Duran Cuadros, Fabio Janota and Tiago Da-Silva.

Well done also to Ben Stacey, who was runner up in the Electrical Technician category.

Today’s event additionally saw Richard Harrington, The Go-Ahead Group’s Engineering Director and Head of its Zero Emission Centre of Excellence, win the Philip Margrave Memorial Award in recognition of his outstanding achievements during a 39-year (to date) career.

David Cutts, Managing Director, said: “Well done to all for a truly remarkable performance.  Special credit to Richard Harrington and Chris McKeown for laying the foundations of today’s success via a visionary programme of continuous improvement, which has enabled this extremely talented group of engineers to display their expertise.”

Chris McKeown added: “Today is an incredibly special one and I congratulate my entire team for playing a part in this phenomenal triumph.  The engineering department’s professionalism ensures London has a world class bus service and one that is making great strides towards a carbon free future.”

Richard Harrington stated: “Phil Margrave was a well-known industry legend and I am humbled to be associated with his name and Memorial Award.  I am also delighted that Go-Ahead London, where I was Engineering Director for 12-years, has been publicly acknowledged for the outstanding quality of its personnel and vehicle maintenance.”

Dated 3 September 2023:

Multiple awards for Go-Ahead London colleagues at the National Bus Driver of the Year final

Exciting developments from today’s National Final of the annual Bus Driver of the Year competition, where Croydon’s Raj Viswanathan won the accolade as London’s best.

Now in its 56th year and with a focus on safety, this event sees drivers from across the UK demonstrate their roadcraft through a series of complex vehicle manoeuvres, in addition to a being judged on positioning and signalling, plus a demanding test of the Highway Code.  The final was once again held in Blackpool, which has been its home since 1982.

Before drivers attend the National Final, they are locally assessed.  Following careful consideration earlier this year, the following represented Go-Ahead London:

·       Manuel Lopes Dos Santos – Camberwell Garage

·       Muhammad Harun – New Cross Garage apprentice

·       Raj Viswanathan – Croydon Garage

·       Stephen Appiah – Merton Garage

·       Zaman Farrukh – River Road Garage apprentice

Not only was Raj first placed in the capital, but he was also judged top driver from across The Go-Ahead Group.  In an amazing accomplishment, apprentice driver Muhammad Harun came second in both the London and Go-Ahead categories. Raj (on the left) and Muhammad (on the right) can be seen with their trophies in this photo.

David Cutts, Managing Director, said: “Well done to all participants, but especially Raj, Muhammad and the entire Go-Ahead London delegation.  There are around 25,000 bus drivers in the capital and it is remarkable that two colleagues took first and second place in the London competition.  Congratulations to the whole team for this superb achievement.”