Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News

Jab bus driver at No10 for party


A Widnes bus driver has enjoyed a garden party at 10 Downing Street after an invitation from the Prime Minister in recognitio­n of his work getting the public vaccinated.

Neil Atherton drove Arriva’s vaccinatio­n bus in and around Liverpool in what his employer described as a “Herculean effort” to combat the deadly virus, having regularly been seen enthusiast­ically shepherdin­g passers-by to the bus to have their jabs, while lifting spirits and cracking jokes.

He was joined by four colleagues from around the country including Muhammad Mubarqa whose invitation rewarded his heroic quick-thinking in helping to rescue a casualty in a serious car collision in Mold in June.

Arriva said the event took place to recognise the drivers for their “outstandin­g contributi­ons” following the outbreak of the pandemic and the role played by transport workers in keeping neighbourh­oods connected and services running.

Neil’s good nature has previously been celebrated when he was named Arriva’s “Ultimate Champion” in 2016 to celebrate his wit and rapport with passengers.

He also raised £4,300 for the Trussell Trust foodbank charity last year by walking the entire length of the seven routes that run out of Arriva’s depot in Runcorn , Cheshire.

Paul O’Neil, Arriva buses UK managing director, said: “I am so proud of our employees and delighted their great work has been recognised by the Prime Minister.

“My colleagues across Arriva have gone the extra mile for the communitie­s we serve”.

 ??  ?? ● Arriva drivers Neil Atherton and Muhammad Mubarqa
● Arriva drivers Neil Atherton and Muhammad Mubarqa

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