KELTY'S Graeme Gilfillan was praised by his bosses after reaching the finals of the UK Bus Driver of the Year.

The Stagecoach East Scotland employee travelled to Blackpool for the contest on September 2 and 3 which involved a written test and proving their skills on public and private roads.

Graeme and the best bus drivers from across the UK were given a route to negotiate, including some of the hazards they face every day.

Points were deducted for infringements including the bus touching the kerb and failing to follow the Highway Code, as well as more obvious infractions such as speeding and driving without due care and attention.

The Kelty bus driver qualified for the UK final through a regional heat and finished in 6th place in Blackpool, the second highest placed Stagecoach driver in the competition after James McCormack from West Scotland.

Graeme said: "It's the first year I've entered the competition so I was delighted to make it to Blackpool and finish near the top of the table.

"I only had aspirations to finish somewhere in the middle so I'm really happy with the result.

"I look forward to trying to finish even higher next year!"

He works at the Aberhill depot and its operations manager, Lee Skinner, said: "It's great to see our drivers being recognised at this national event.

"I'm delighted Graeme made it into the nation's top 10 bus drivers – very well deserved."