The male-dominated world of bus driving is slowly reversing thanks to Yellow Buses, which is seeing more women at the wheel.

The Bournemouth-based company has nearly 30 female drivers and this year aims to steer even more into training.

Yellow Buses found that many women never consider driving as a career, and is urging them to do a U-turn and think about it.

Driving often fits in well with mums who have children, and the multi-tasking required is right up their street.

For some bus users, chatting with the driver is a highlight of their day and Yellow Buses staff are renowned for their friendliness.

With a mix of men and women driving the buses the company believes it will be able to offer an even better service.

And to introduce women to the industry the company is holding an open day on Wednesday, 23 January between 1pm and 7pm at Yeomans Road.

UK Bus Awards finalist Vanessa Knowling, 38, has been driving Yellow Buses for almost three years, and is proving a great success along with others including Sam Bowen, a driver and mentor, and Alison Mountford who drives coaches for National Express and has received lots of customer praise.

Since she has started, Vanessa has had 19 commendations from the public and was “highly commended” in the bus driver of the year competition.

Vanessa said, “When I decided to leave the catering trade I had to do something with an element of customer service because I like talking to the public.

“I had never thought about driving a bus but I filled in the application form and went for an interview and then I started training…

“I love what I do, meeting all the different people. Women are as good as men and are able to multi-task and are good with the public.

“But driving is not a career that many women think about. But I definitely think more women should consider it.”

Currently Yellow Buses employs about 350 drivers.

PHOTO: (l-r) Sam Bowen, Alison Mountford and Vanessa have all received lots of customer praise.

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