Billy has been a PSV driver for 32 years, starting with Northern, the local bus operator, in 1979 at the age of 23. He  joined the team at Cochranes, a small family firm based in Peterlee in the North East, in 1981.

His boss Ian Cochrane told us, “We know that when Billy goes away on tour, our coach and the passengers are in the safest of hands. We trust him to look after our coach and his passengers impeccably because that is the caring professional he is.”

As the company’s lead tour driver since 2002, Billy has trained and supervised many Cochrane drivers over the years, hel

ping them to learn the ropes, including his boss Ian Cochrane, whom he partnered for 3 years. He is always keen to pass on his vast amount of knowledge of both the UK and Europe.

Highly respected in the industry by his colleagues, tour operators and tour organisers, Billy is personally requested by tour operators and clients as their preferred driver and only recently was entrusted by Goldcrest Holidays when a reporter from the travel trade press joined him on a Paris tour.

When the Coach Tourism Council had a familiarisation visit to the North East in January 2008, Cochrane’s were selected as the coach company to transport  fellow professionals during their stay, and of course Billy was their driver – a superb ambassador for the company.

Ian Cochrane told the judges, “Billy is a people person and very quickly establishes a good rapport with his colleagues, supervisors and passengers.  He is confident and can put you at ease immediately, always aware of the needs of his passengers he is helpful and informative, always friendly and an entertainer with a great sense of humour.

He added, “We are very proud of our team of drivers and in particular Billy whose experience, professionalism, knowledge, driving and customer care skills are second to none.  It is wonderful that he has been nominated for the coach driver of the year award and of course we can’t think of anyone more deserving.  We can honestly say Billy loves his job and the job loves him!”

You can read more about Billy’s award here

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