9:30am Wednesday 11th September 2013
By Sophie Scott
HE SPENT years studying science and the physics of the universe.
And Gordon Cutting says his grasp of the subjects have helped him to become the best bus driver in the country.
The 42-year-old from Charlbury competed against 104 other drivers in the national Bus Driver of the Year contest held in Blackpool at the weekend.
For the last 20 years he has been driving passengers around Oxfordshire and has been with Stagecoach since 2004 – most recently on the S3 service between Oxford and Chipping Norton.
On Sunday, his dedication paid off as he was crowned winner of the annual competition. The father-of-one and stepfather-of-three of Thicknell Piece Road, said: “I couldn’t really believe it when I won, I was just astounded “I thought I had done ok but when they were reading the top five out they still hadn’t got to me and I just kept thinking either I have really messed this up or I have actually won it.”
It was Mr Cutting’s third attempt in the championship and he was one of four Oxfordshire drivers who entered.
He graduated with a degree in physics and astrophysics from the University of Birmingham in 1992.
And he said the spatial awareness and analytical skills the degree required were a bonus when it came to manouvering a large bus down narrow lanes and around tight corners.
He said he spent a year thinking about what he wanted to do before becoming a bus driver and added: “I was always good at the maths side of things and thought I would go into the scheduling side of the bus industry.
“I wanted to find out about it so I got my bus driver licence and started from the bottom.” He said he had no regrets about not “properly” using his degree.
He said: “When you find something you are good at, why should you do something else just because you have a degree in it?” He said: “The route I do from Chipping Norton to Oxford definitely helped me prepare for the competition.
“There are a lot of narrow lanes that I have to get down in a specific way each day.” Mr Cutting’s customers can see the plaque he won above his bus door when they use his S3 bus.
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