A COOKSTOWN man has been named as Northern Ireland’s top bus driver at a set of prestigious industry awards.
Sean Hampsey, who works for Ardboe based J&K Coaches, scooped Coach Driver of the Year at the Federation of Passenger Transport (FPT) awards gala last month.
The 32 year-old from Cookstown beat of competition from across the province to take home the first class accolade.
Sean’s was one of three award winning successes for the County Tyrone firm who were also named Most Improved Operators, as well as taking home an FPT
Award for Best Pre-Owned Coach.
The event was held at the Galgorm Hotel where some 200 members and guests attended the event.
Environment Minister Alex Attwood was a special guest at the event and handed over some of the award to the best of Northern Ireland’s Transport industry.
“I love my job, and to be out on the road every day is a pleasure,” Sean said this week.
“In my eyes, the fact that I had been nominated through the company as a nominee for this award, was an honour in itself.
“But to actually win the award has blown me away. I am chuffed to pieces that our clients feel that they are in good hands, whilst away on days out and tours with me.
Sean added: “It is great getting to meet new customers on a daily basis. It is also lovely to see existing customers return year in year out and have a catch up with them. As a driver, you do get to build up relationships with the customers, and it’s lovely to see them all return each year.
“I would also like to add, that we have a great team of drivers here at J&K Coaches, and we all work well together as a team. I know that whichever driver our customers may have out with them, that they will have a safe, comfortable and enjoyable trip away with us.
“I hope to have many more years ahead of me, driving with J&K Coaches.”
It is not the first time the Ardboe bus firm has been awarded for its standards.
The company has won numerous industry awards including an Industry Civic Award from Cookstown District Council for its outstanding contribution to the area. J&K were also crowned the FPTNI Industry Newcomer for 2009-2010.
Speaking about J and K’s recent awards, Director Jim Quinn contributed the company’s success to his entire work force.
Mr Quinn said: “It is great to be recognised in the transport industry for all of our company`s hard work from office staff to drivers, mechanics and cleaners these awards could not be achieved without a great team working together.
“Since our company was formed in 2005 we have always strived to raise our standards with new systems and vehicles being introduced to the company on a regularly basis. Customer care and passenger safety is very high on our agenda at all times and we strive to improve this at all times.”
“It was a great honour for our company to receive three awards at this event and sets very high standards for our company to follow in the future but I have no doubt that we will achieve these because of the great work force currently employed by our company.”
The Director added: “I would also like to acknowledge the federation of passenger transport for all their assistance over the years in keeping our company up to date with changes to legislation which greatly aids our company to always be in line with current regulations.