KEIGHLEY Transdev workers are having their talents put to the test.

They are taking part in a national Bus and Skills Challenge, being held next month in Bristol.

Keighley-based engineering supervisor Zach Loker and bodybuilding engineer Mason Beanland are entering as a two-strong team.

Also competing from across the firm are engineers John Knox, Joni Ruston and Tim Bowman, whilst Drew Fleming will participate in an apprentice challenge.

The annual event, now in its 12th year, is organised by the Institute of Road Transport Engineers to recognise outstanding talent across bus and coach engineering.

Since its inception, more than 650 employees from national bus groups and leading regional operators have taken part.

The theme this year is Challenging the Status Quo.

Competitors will do battle over five days, starting on June 3, at the S&B Automotive Academy.

A panel of judges will choose winners across 16 categories, and results will be revealed in July.

Prizes will include a trophy and membership of the Society of Engineers.

Transdev operations director, Vitto Pizzuti, says: "Through a combination of theoretical and practical tests, everyone taking part gets the chance to show what they are made of – whether individually or as a team.

"As well as 'road-testing' our industry’s newest technology, it’s a great opportunity to meet others with a passion for engineering and share knowledge, experience and ideas.

"We think we’ve put together a very talented team. Every one of them is looking forward to taking part, and hopefully being amongst the winners."

Oliver Teasell, membership and registration manager with the Society of Engineers, says: "The skills challenge doesn't just celebrate excellence, it redefines it.

"By challenging the status quo and embracing new technologies, we’re empowering the next generation to thrive in an environment where innovation and alternative fuels to power public transport will become essential."

Last autumn, Transdev announced it was investing in 15 new electric buses to convert one of its most popular routes to zero-emission operations.

The Shuttle service, which runs between Keighley and Bradford, is set to be transformed by the end of this year.

Transdev, parent firm of Keighley Bus Company, is pumping £4.4m into the venture.

And a further £3.1m was secured from the Government's Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) fund, following a successful bid by West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

An order has been placed for Mercedes-Benz E-Citaro all-electric single-deck buses after successful trials, including on the Shuttle route.