A 78-year-old bus driver who still drives customers between Nottingham and Derby has been congratulated for his 50 year – and counting – career with us.
Avtar Lachhar, also known as Terry, topped the bill at our recent long service awards.
Not only does Terry drive indigo or i4 buses for customers every day, he starts with the early morning staff taxi run. And he does plenty of overtime.
Terry, who was born in India and lives in Beeston, first joined the then Barton Transport as a conductor on July 7 1967. He said: “I remember the day really well.”
He got his bus driver’s licence in 1972 and started driving the number 5, which was much later rebranded as indigo. Terry said: “It was a busy time back then and I soon learned all of the 53 routes that Barton operated.
“We had garages all over the East Midlands and I used to drive from all of them. I also worked on our express services and over the summer used to go to all of the seaside towns around the UK. We used to do a regular service to Skegness and I also did a run to Glasgow.”
The first bus Terry drove was a Leyland PD1: “I have driven many different buses since then. It’s amazing how things have changed.
“We used to have to stand in the seat sometimes to turn the bus and the old-style crash gearboxes were really tough. Now the new buses are like driving a car. The new technology is great, and it has made the job easier for us all.”
Not everything has improved, said Terry: “Traffic has really changed. When I started sometimes you would only see a few cars all day. Now everything is bumper to bumper.
“In the old days it was the weather that we had difficulties with. 1972 was quite bad and I can remember buses stuck in the snow on Derby Road in Nottingham.”
Terry has a medical every year and is now thinking about slowing down a bit and going part-time: “I still love my job. The time has gone really quick. The thing I most enjoy is meeting the customers, that is the best bit.”
Jeff Counsell, managing director, said: “Terry’s story is a shining example of what makes trentbarton the really good bus company. He loves his work, he loves helping our customers and he has an incredible drive for outstanding work."