Diss bus company declares open event a success

Simonds Coaches is hoping to recruit more drivers, and talk of an industry shortage.''Pictured: Carl Lummis ANL-150325-145914009
Simonds Coaches is hoping to recruit more drivers, and talk of an industry shortage.''Pictured: Carl Lummis ANL-150325-145914009

A Diss-based bus company which offered people the chance to get behind the wheel at an open event earlier this month could employ up to eight new drivers after a “good response.”

Simonds, based in Oak Drive, hosted the event earlier this month, allowing potential additions to staff fleet to drive some of their vehicles at Eye Airfield.

Carl Lummis, operations manager at Simonds, said he was pleased with the response and feedback to the event, which attracted 23 people over two days.

“All in all it was a really pleasing weekend. It went really well and we had a good response,” he said.

“It was the icing on the cake to let people actually have a drive.

“To be perfectly honest I think we were wondering whether anyone would turn up at all but there was the added bonus of being able to go to Eye Airfield and letting them have a drive.”

Mr Lummis said around half of those who attended applied for roles with the company, and added further such open events could be held in the future.

“Drivers come and drivers go and there will always be the need for them,” he explained. “Everybody to a man said that it was really good to have a go.

“It is one thing driving a car but it is a completely different story driving a 40-foot vehicle that does not bend in the middle.

“Everybody pitched in and I think we will end up getting a good result from it.”

A similar open day, held more than two years ago, saw four people hired.

The firm currently employs almost 100 people, 65 of which are drivers. They conduct regular bus services, day excursions, school runs, and coach hire.

For more see www.simonds.co.uk