New National Express volunteer

National Express Driver Trainer, John Crossland, has completed a two-week placement with Transaid’s Professional Driver Training project in Zambia.

Crossland, who in his role at National Express Start Hill coach depot trains new drivers to earn UK PCV licences, and provides top-up training to existing drivers, was seconded to the Industrial Training Centre – the nation’s main commercial driver training facility.

During the placement, John trained four instructors as part of Transaid’s ‘Training of Trainers’ programme, which aims to reduce the number of road crashes in the country by providing internationally recognised training for local instructors, who subsequently implement and run their own training courses.

John’s work focused on improving the trainers’ driving abilities, demonstrating instructional techniques and championing safe driving practices. He also talked the instructors through a daily vehicle check process. Thanks to a greater emphasis on on-the-road training, rather than classroom-based theory, the instructors gained a wealth of hands-on experience during the course.

James Donnan, Head of Communications at National Express, says: “Safety is one of our core values, and Transaid’s driver training projects give us the perfect opportunity to make a difference and help reduce the number of fatalities on Africa’s roads.

“Our partnership with Transaid allows us to offer our employees the chance to share their hard-earned skills, while also providing an opportunity for the volunteers to enjoy an enriching life experience.

The Professional Driver Training project was launched by Transaid with the aim of reducing death and injury on the roads in the country, and to raise the professional standards of HGV and PSV drivers.

Transaid CEO Gary Forster says: “According to the World Health Organisation, the road fatality rate for Africa is almost three times that of Europe*. Professional volunteers are a core part of the work we do in Africa to try and bring that rate more in line with Europe. National Express has always been a strong partner, and we are grateful to the company for continuing to bolster our life-saving projects in the region.”

Since joining Transaid as a corporate member in 2010, National Express has been heavily involved with the charity’s employee secondment programme – most recently sending a professional volunteer to Uganda in October 2015. In addition to employee placements, National Express has also participated on the Transaid Driver Training Management Board, and raised funds for the charity last year through its Operator of the Year Award.

*Based on the road traffic fatality rate per 100,000 population by WHO region, Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015 , World Health Organisation.