Bus driver Barry Polkey, from Clifton, is delighted to be judged the 'best of the best'
A CLIFTON man has been hailed as a city bus company's best driver.
Nottingham City Transport (NCT) has named Barry Polkey as its Bus Driver of the Year for 2012.
The 60-year-old was shortlisted for the award after achieving top marks in an assessment by a mystery passenger while driving his usual L53 route, which connects people in Arnold and Clifton with the Queen's Medical Centre and City Hospital.
Mr Polkey said: "I've been driving this route for two years now and the best part of my job is interacting with the passengers.
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"To know I've won this award thanks to their feedback really means a lot to me and puts an extra spring in my step on my way to work.
"My friends and family are really proud of me – it's a great way to start 2013."
Mr Polkey joined NCT in June 2010. He had previously spent 23 years as an insurance agent and 11 years as a postman covering Clifton and Wilford.
Away from work, he has been an FA-qualified linesman for the last 34 years.
The former Ipswich Town FC apprentice has officiated several high profile games, including the 1998 Coca Cola Cup Final between Chelsea and Middlesborough.
His expertise also saw him patrol the touchline at the 1996 Paralympics, and at the Olympics in 2000 and 2004.
Mr Polkey was one of five NCT drivers who was in the running for Bus Driver of the Year.
They had all achieved the NCT Seasonal Driver Award – meaning they had 100 per cent attendance, always turn up on time, have no disciplinary incidents or blameworthy accidents on file, and have a clean driving licence.
Mr Polkey was assessed by a mystery traveller between January and March last year.
He was given his title at an awards dinner held earlier this month that included a trip to see Cinderella performed at the Theatre Royal.
Actor Adam C Booth, who played Buttons in the pantomime, presented Mr Polkey with his accolade.
As well as winning the award, Mr Polkey will also receive £1,000 and an extra week's holiday.
Anthony Carver-Smith, NCT's marketing manager, said: "The Seasonal Driver and Driver of the Year initiative was launched to recognise and celebrate the continual hard work and professionalism of our drivers.
"Winners are decided wholly by mystery travellers who measure customer service, driving standards and overall competence over numerous random trips. Barry achieved outstanding marks of 91 per cent, making him the 'best of the best' and this is a fantastic achievement he should be really proud of."