JOBS: Driving a bus could be just the ticket

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BUS and coach drivers transport passengers on local, national or overseas journeys.

Road safety is an important part of the job and drivers would be responsible for the safety of their passengers.

As a bus driver, you would travel along local routes, making scheduled stops along the way to pick up and drop off passengers. Your duties would include:

TAKING fares and issuing tickets

CHECKING transport passes

GIVING timetable or route information

IN some cases, assisting passengers who may be having difficulty getting on or off the vehicle.

You could also work in community transport, ferrying schoolchildren, hospital patients and the elderly to their destinations.

Your duties as a coach driver would be similar to those on a bus but the journeys would be longer, for example travel between cities, taking out day trippers or driving on holiday tours. Other tasks would include:

LOADING and unloading luggage;

MAKING sure that all passengers are back on board for the return journey and after any scheduled stops.

You may drive to overseas destinations, which would involve extra duties, such as keeping passengers up to date with travel information and dealing with foreign authorities, for instance when going through border controls.

You could be responsible for keeping the coach clean, making basic vehicle checks before taking your vehicle out and reporting any incidents to inspectors back at the depot.

There are regulations governing your weekly maximum driving hours. You could work up to 48 hours a week, including evenings and weekends, from 6am to midnight on local services.

As a coach driver, you would be limited to 56 hours’ driving a week, with a maximum of 90 hours over any two weeks.

If you take holiday tours, you could be away from home for several days at a time.

Trainee and new drivers usually earn between £12,000 and £14,000 a year. Experienced drivers earn £15,000 to £20,000 a year. Specialist tour coach drivers can earn around £25,000 a year, but overtime and shiftwork could increase these amounts.

To do this job you need a Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) licence. You must hold a full EU driving licence and be aged at least 21 (or 18 to drive minibuses).

If you have a full EU driving licence, many companies will take you on and train you to gain your PCV licence. You could also train independently to get a PCV licence by taking private lessons through a local driving school.

A recent EU directive says that new PCV drivers need to gain a Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) as well as the PCV licence. It is known as the Driver CPC. Existing PCV drivers will be able to gain the CPC through regular training.