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Apprentice Bus Driver

Operating over 750 buses and employing 2,500 staff across 6 depots in Central, South and West London, Abellio London Bus is at the heart of providing transport on the roads around London.

Abellio London Bus aims to deliver a great service to its customers and has made plans to sustain its success in the long term through building strong partnerships with stakeholders and investing in staff to give them secure and rewarding careers.

Reports to: Driver Manager

Division/Department: Operations

Location: Based at a depot but must be flexible in respect of travelling to other locations both inside and outside the business as required

Purpose of Role

To undertake apprentice training and PCV driving duties in a safe and professional manner and in accordance with all the applicable legal and company requirements, whilst maintaining a professional image and the highest standards of customer experience at all times.

As part of the apprenticeship training you will be required to attend monthly workshops to enable the completion of the apprenticeship. The apprenticeship itself will last 12-14 months.

Key Accountabilities

Road Safety

  • To drive in a safe manner at all times, applying the Three “Sees” and utilising the Mobileye collision prevention technology in your cab.
  • To allow customers to reach a place of safety (i.e. a seat or be holding onto a handrail) before moving off from a stationary position at a bus stop.
  • To conduct proper mirror checks (internal and external) at regular intervals and particularly before, during and after a manoeuvre – Mirror, Signal, Mirror, Manoeuvre (MSMM).
  • To not stop too close to the vehicle in front, ensuring you keep tyres on tarmac visible at all times, remembering that Mobileye will alert you if you stop too close.
  • To keep a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of 3 seconds, knowing that Mobileye will help you to manage this distance.
  • To carry out a thorough first use check each time you are given a new vehicle (this applies for buses and ferry vehicles) – this could be in the depot or on the road / at a bus stand / station.  The first use check process is demonstrated via a video and practical learning on induction and documented in a booklet for you to keep as an aide memoire.  You should re-watch the video at least annually to keep your skills fresh.  The first use check allows you to ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy and will not pose a risk to you, your customers or other road users.
  • To report any defects found with your vehicle immediately by logging them on your Vehicle Condition Report (VCR) and notifying iBus via the radio (for defects found on the road) or the Yard Supervisor (for defects found in the depot).
  • To read the route risk assessment booklet for your route so that you are fully aware of the hot spots and hazards so that you may drive accordingly to ensure road safety at all times. The same applies for the route risk videos.
  • To never use a mobile phone, head phones, ear pieces, radios, e-readers, smart watches or any other portable electronic device while in control of the vehicle. NB: “Use” means any handling of such a device.
  • To report any collision, injury or incident on your bus to iBus at the time of the incident and again to the incident helpline on your return to the depot. To check on the welfare of your customers and any third parties in the event of an injury or collision occurring on your bus / involving your bus.
  • To ensure you are fully rested and fit for duty each day.
  • To be free of alcohol and / or drugs when at work. 

 Customer Experience

  • To maintain a smart and tidy appearance at all times by wearing your uniform smartly, not wearing a hi-visibility vest while driving and wearing appropriate footwear (i.e. not trainers / open toed shoes).
  • To actively welcome on board your customers with eye contact, a smile and a verbal greeting (“hello”, “good morning” or similar) and answer any questions they might have in a friendly manner.
  • To serve bus stops whenever customers are waiting and be mindful of intending customers who may be running to catch your service.  Where possible, bus stops should be served by serving the bus stop flag, i.e. keeping the flag as close to your front doors as possible, but certainly by serving the bus stop cage. At busy stops with multiple routes serving one stop you must always pull forward to check if anyone else wishes to board your service.  Read the TfL Bus Stopping Guide for more information.
  • Ensure all your destination blinds are correctly set and report any faults via the VCR and via the radio to iBus.
  • Be mindful of providing an accessible service for all, considering that not all disabilities are visible, by ensuring that they are able to get a seat and that you offer any extra assistance that may be required.

Make PA announcements on your vehicle to keep your customers informed. There are pre-recorded messages on iBus to use. PA announcements must be used:

  • To notify customers about delays 
  • To notify customers about curtailments 
  • To notify customers about diversions
  • To manage a busy bus
  • When a buggy user boards
  • When a wheelchair user wants to board (if the wheelchair area is not free)

To lower (“kneel”) the bus for customers, especially if they appear to be elderly, frail, have a lot of bags with them or are incapacitated in any way.

To examine all passes presented for travel and ensure everyone taps in or shows a pass. To be familiar with and to comply with the relevant procedures for ticket issuing and recording passenger journeys.

To follow the TfL Big Red Book guidance on transferring customers in the event of a curtailment, including the issue of a transfer ticket.


  • Having a good working knowledge of the UK Domestic Drivers’ Hours’ Regulations
  • To ensure that you abide by all applicable legal requirements in relation to the condition and use of vehicles.
  • Ensuring First Use Check (FUC) quality is maintained and acting on any issues found.
  • To be familiar with and to comply with the Abellio London vehicle condition reporting procedures at all times.
  • To ensure that any equipment issued to you by Abellio London or used by you in the course of carrying out your duties is not mistreated or abused in any way. 
  • To ensure that all equipment is kept and returned to the Company in good condition.  This equipment includes, but is not limited to, any vehicles used or driven.
  • To undertake refresher training on an identified training needs basis and / or in accordance with development reviews.
  • To maintain your driving licence and notify the Company of any changes to it.  To maintain your DQC card and ensure it is always valid.  To carry both your driving licence and DQC card with you at work and especially while driving a bus. To present your licence at any time for inspection or audit purposes.
  • To attend company medicals provided by a third party doctor in order to renew your driving licence in a timely fashion and send away the necessary documents to the DVLA, again in a timely fashion.
  • To disclose any medical condition or medication that may affect your ability to drive to your line manager and the DVLA where appropriate.
  • To ensure that a bus is never driven for more than one rounder with a faulty ramp, ticket machine or oyster reader.  To ensure that a bus never leaves the depot with a faulty ramp, ticket machine or oyster reader.
  • To take time to read your duty card and all Notice of Events to ensure avoidable errors are not made.
  • To always sign on and off work using the system provided.
  • To clearly and accurately complete the log card and VCR at the time (not in advance).

 Depot Safety

  • Reporting or acting on any depot safety issues found.
  • Ensuring full compliance to Abellio’s Health, Safety & Environment policies.
  • Adhering to personal protective equipment (PPE) rules around the use of hi-visibility vests and other local safety rules such as speed limits, reverse parking and the use of hazard lights while driving in the depot.

Route Performance

  • To work with the iBus and roadside teams to deliver good route performance.
  • To comply with instructions given over the radio or in person.
  • To monitor and follow the MDT in your cab.
  • To understand the difference between high frequency and low frequency services.
  • Any other duties commensurate with the role. 

 Abellio Values

At Abellio London Bus, we share a set of common principles and processes with the wider Abellio group known as the Abellio Way. This strategic framework supports the achievement of our goal of becoming ‘the best bus company in London’ and is underpinned by our organisational values. It is expected that all colleagues demonstrate these behaviours in their work.

Person Specification

Essential: Ability to communicate effectively

Essential: Ability work flexibly on a shift work basis

Desirable: Experience of providing excellent customer experience

Desirable: Ability to work as part of a team and on your own

Desirable: Awareness of Health & Safety requirements

Job Details

Job Title:
Apprentice Bus Driver

Job Type:
Full Time, Permanent


Greater London

Closing Date:

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