‘Being out and about in the community is the highlight’

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Originally from Yorkshire, Kathy Platt has worked as a bus driver for over 20 years at Translink Coleraine Bus and Rail Centre.

Here, Kathy tells us about her typical day:

6am: Before I set off for work I grab some breakfast, feed my two cats and my tropical fish then I head down to the Island Equestrian stables where I muck out my two thoroughbred horses Princess and Barney. Thankfully there is a shower at work so I don’t start my first journey smelling like horses! I love that I can fit my horses in around the hours as a Translink Bus Driver.

7.30am: Before I set off, I check of the bus just to make sure everything is in good working order such as the lights, mirrors, windscreen wipers, tyres and bodywork . Once this is done we are good to go. The first journey today is to Ballycastle. The beauty of my job is that every day is different and I look forward to seeing both my regular passengers as well as tourists travelling in the area.Over the past number of years I have seen the numbers of visitors grow as they enjoy scenic journeys along the Causeway Coast without having to concentrate on driving.  Many of them have also told me that using the bus allows them to see the landscape from a whole new perspective so it is a great way to see new places and old favourites.

10am: Quick break and then back on the road

10.30am: For my third run of the day I’m in one of our new eco friendly town service buses now operating around Coleraine town centre. I love this time of year because we have a lot of Christmas shoppers on board heading for the Diamond Centre in Coleraine,

I have had the odd passenger approach me with some mistletoe but that’s definitely not part of the service. The local routes around Coleraine are my favourite because I get to interact with my regular passengers. Being out an about in my local community is a highlight for me, I love the social aspect of being a bus driver.

1pm: Lunch

2.00pm : My next journey is a school run from Coleraine to Portstewart, the children are always so excited at this time of year and on the countdown to Christmas holidays. I have been a bus driver in Coleraine for over twenty years and I really enjoy driving - I don’t think you could do this job if you didn’t, there’s something incredibly relaxing about the open road and the local picturesque scenery. My husband Will is also a bus driver and we regularly pass each other on the road.

4.30pm: My final run of the day is through Old Coach Road taking in the University of Ulster, Coleraine. A lot of the students who come from outside of Coleraine praise our famous Coleraine hospitality and friendliness, they’re always very grateful when we help them find the right service or fare. It’s lovely to hear this feedback. Sometimes a student will fall asleep on the bus or miss their stop because they are engrossed in their mobile phones, but overall it is great to have so many young people on board.

5pm: Work day ends

It’s back to the stables where I have to muck out the horses for the second time before I head home for a well deserved night on the sofa.