A “BUBBLY, smiley, lovely, welcoming and friendly” Keighley bus driver has driven off with a top award from her firm’s parent company.

Stephanie Graham – who drives for the Keighley Bus Company – has become the first winner of a new Customer Choice prize at Transdev’s Amazing Awards, as teams from seven companies serving Yorkshire and Lancashire competed to be named among the region’s finest.

Stephanie said: “I was surprised about my win but really appreciative – I celebrated with family and friends. I like meeting new people and no two days are the same as a bus driver – I really like that.”

For the first time, Transdev asked its thousands of customers across the north to name their favourite driver via postal and online nominations – and to give reasons for their selection.

And as well as the kind words for Stephanie’s personality, many also commented favourably on her skills behind the wheel, with added praise for her driving which makes customers feel safe and comfortable every time they travel on her bus.

Transdev chief executive officer Alex Hornby said: “Our valued customers are always our most critical judges – after all, they are the people who pay to enjoy their travels with us every day – and it’s their consistently warm praise for Stephanie which makes her our first winner of this new award.

“In a company with 980 drivers, it’s a real achievement to be chosen by our customers as the best, and Stephanie epitomises everything that’s amazing about the people who deliver our service.

“Our business is about people serving people, and we believe in three things – employing people who are happy to work with us, serving people who are proud to be our customers, and creating a business which is innovative and successful. Our Amazing Awards celebrate the pride and passion of the teams and individuals who deliver a high-quality service for our customers, every day.”

Held at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, Transdev’s Amazing Awards ceremony was attended by over 130 nominees and partners – each shortlisted from a total of 1,250 people who keep the wheels turning safely each day, from Preston in Lancashire to the Yorkshire coast.

Comedy star Ted Robbins guest hosted the event alongside master of ceremonies and BBC Look North presenter Harry Gration.