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Business Travel Masters behind the wheel


National Express has teamed up with IAM RoadSmart (formerly the Institute of Advanced Motorists) to train and certify its bus drivers. The industry-leading ‘Master Driver’ scheme means


National Express is the only bus company to train its expert drivers using an IAM RoadSmart-accredited course. Some 103 drivers are now certified Master Drivers.


Ross Pettit, assistant master driver manager for the bus company, said: “The National Express Master Driver scheme is about more happy passengers. We want to drive standards up so journeys are even safer and more comfortable for our customers.


‘I’m doing the job I love and becoming a Master Driver is the pinnacle of my working life’


“Master Driver is an advanced driving qualification which gives our bus drivers extra skills training accredited by the Institute of Advanced Motorists. It’s the same level as police pursuit drivers and Bentley limousine drivers. "National Express demands very high standards. All


our bus drivers are already professional drivers and we continually monitor their performance, both in person and using our in-bus tracking systems. "To attain Master Driver status, a National Express


bus driver must have three consecutive years of unblemished safety records, excellent customer service and top-performing driving ability." Among the 56 drivers who have successfully


completed the Master Driver course are Roderick Dicken and his son Paul Dicken, who both drive buses from National Express’ West Bromwich garage.


‘Master Drivers’: Paul and Rod Dicken Roderick said: “I’m so proud of achieving this Master


Driver qualification, even more so as my son and I did it together. I’m doing the job I love and becoming a Master Driver is the pinnacle of my working life.”


Sector Focus


Turkish Airlines doubles service


Turkish Airlines has launched double daily services between Birmingham and Istanbul in a major boost for business travellers in the West Midlands. The increased capacity will


give passengers access to a total of 289 onward destinations via the Turkish city to locations across the Middle East, Far East and Africa. The airline has experienced a


significant level of growth since it started operating from Birmingham Airport with five services a week to Istanbul in December 2008. By increasing its frequency every year, the airline has now reached 14 flights weekly. Paul Kehoe, chief executive, Birmingham Airport, said: “I congratulate the Turkish Airlines team on doing a great job here in the region. “The Turkish Airlines in-flight


product is first class and extremely popular with its customers, which is demonstrated by more and more people choosing to experience the service, reliability and affordability it offers from Birmingham and beyond.”


July/August 2016 CHAMBERLINK 53


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