Cumbrian bus drivers are celebrating after being named among the best in the country.

One hundred and eighty-eight local Stagecoach drivers have been awarded Fleet Elite status.

The accolade is achieved by drivers who perform well when recorded by onboard monitoring equipment which penalises any sharp braking or manoeuvres.

Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire also notched up an overall safety score which placed it in the top three of all the Stagecoach UK operating companies for 2019.

At the Carlisle depot 66 drivers received a Fleet Elite award this month.

“I’m pretty chuffed!” said Tom Waterhouse, Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire operations director, who is based in Carlisle.

“It is especially impressive given the significantly challenging driving conditions faced by our drivers in Cumbria.

“For example, they are driving in the Lake District, through places like Ambleside and Grasmere and up to Coniston when there is a huge influx of tourists.

“We also have drivers going over Kirkstone Pass and up past Honister Slate Mine on the single-track road which has a 25 degree incline – it is very impressive that they can do this and maintain these elite standards of driving.”

The Fleet Elite winners are located across the division’s depots at Carlisle, Workington, Kendal, Barrow and Morecambe.

“Each of the buses in our fleet is fitted with a device which measures the G-forces in the vehicle when you accelerate, brake and turn,” said Tom.

“It converts these readings into a safety score for each driver.

“We are continuously measuring the driving standards and tracking them.

"The lower your score the safer you are as a driver, and it means that you are driving smoothly."

Drivers with five events or fewer over a year qualify for Fleet Elite awards.

Each driver who achieves an overall safety score of 20 or less receives a bonus.

Fleet Elite awards are conferred by Greenroad, the company which produces the Eco Driver monitoring telematics equipment which monitors drivers’ performance.