I’m a teenage bus driver in Greater Manchester - people like seeing a young face behind the wheel

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Tobi started out by cleaning buses after school.

When you ask teenagers about their dream career, you might not get many replying they want to be a bus driver. Yet for Stockport’s Tobi Dekker this was his ambition and now he’s achieved it. 

At just 19 years of age, Tobi has obtained his PCV license after passing all of his tests at the first time of asking. He passed his car driving test less than 18 months ago in December 2022. 

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The enthusiastic teenager has worked at Belle Vue Manchester since the summer of 2021. This was a full time job at the company as a transport consultant, however his association with Belle Vue goes back further than that. Tobi began working at the company back when he was still at school. After class, he would go to the depot to help clean the fleet of vehicles after they had been out.

Tobi Dekker started working at Belle Vue Manchester by cleaning busesTobi Dekker started working at Belle Vue Manchester by cleaning buses
Tobi Dekker started working at Belle Vue Manchester by cleaning buses | Belle Vue Manchester

Starting work at 5.30am, Tobi gets behind the wheel of  school buses on Greater Manchester routes. He also drives public services operated by Belle Vue, such as the 391 and 392 between Stockport and Macclesfield and the 280 between Altrincham and Partington. The early starts are no issue to Tobi, as the job is a dream come true for him. 

He said: “It hardly feels like I’m working when I’m on driving duties because I enjoy it so much. It’s a dream come true. It’s great to be out on the road and meeting the passengers. People often comment how nice it is to see a young driver.

“However, I do a lot more at Belle Vue besides driving – I also have a lot of experience of working in the office on the operational side of the business and helping to ensure our services run as smoothly as possible. I get the best of both worlds in an industry that I love, and I would encourage anyone who is interested in a career in transport to go for it – it’s always great to be doing a job you enjoy.”

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Phil Hitchen, managing director of Belle Vue, said: “From his days as a school student, Tobi has advanced with the company through roles as a bus planner and operations assistant, and has now attained his goal of qualifying as a bus driver.

“He’s been eager to immerse himself in the world of buses, has a true passion for the industry and an unwavering commitment. He’s demonstrated remarkable progress at every turn. His encyclopaedic knowledge of our routes, coupled with his attention to detail, ensures that our operations run smoothly day in and day out. He’s an integral part of our team.

“We’re immensely proud of his journey and achievements, and we look forward to supporting him as he continues to progress his career with us. He has a bright future ahead in the bus industry.”

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