Hayley Lewton

Joined Stagecoach in: 2008

Role: Temporary Classroom Trainer

Location: West Ham

What attracted you to a career as a bus driver?
I took a gap year from University where I was studying Dramatic Theatre and Psychology. I wanted to earn some money to pay my uni fees, came across bus driving and decided to give it a go. The job was stable with a good income and I thought it would be a good skill to learn. My dad said that I couldn’t do it but I took the challenge, and proved him wrong! Once qualified, my plan went out of the window; I loved the job and the opportunities it could offer, and decided to stay and make it my career whilst having drama as a hobby instead.

Why did you choose Stagecoach London?
Stagecoach was a very well known transport company across the UK. They operated bus services local to me so I applied to them, as it’s good to work for a reputable company.

What’s the best thing about your job?
The people! Whether they are the customers or colleagues this is a very people-orientated industry. When out on the road as a driver, the interaction with the customers and meeting new people is what makes the job for me. When I’m teaching in the classroom, I love to encourage people and make them realise that they can achieve anything when they put their mind to it.

What has surprised you most about working here for Stagecoach London?
I was surprised with the level of support you get from the company when new opportunities arise. The feedback you receive when applying for things, whether it’s negative or positive is essential in pushing you to be the best that you can be.

What are your top three tips that you’d give to anyone thinking of applying to be a bus driver at Stagecoach London?

  • Don’t lose your personality; bring it to work with you.
  • The most beautiful thing someone can wear is a smile, so make sure you smile when you are driving your bus and it makes the job more enjoyable.
  • Get involved in social activities when you start your job, build friendships and enjoy it.

Did you think of doing a different job before you joined us?
I wanted to be in musical theatre, in West End shows!

Please tell us about your experience of being a woman working in the sector?
I’ve found that I’ve been respected a lot more being a woman in a male dominated industry. As one of only a few women drivers in the garage when I first started, I’ve always felt very safe and protected by my colleagues. I’m extremely proud to be one of a growing minority in the business and it feels good to set an example for the younger generation, especially girls, showing that women can be bus drivers too.