Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Arriva Bus Driver Training information blog



2017. UPDATE,

The BLOG NOW HAS OVER 125K VIEWS..


So it's 2017,

The main news I can give anyone looking into a Job as a Bus driver is that there is currently a major shortage of drivers across London from a number of companies. That does not mean standards are any lower but it does mean if you have a strong application you should have no issues. 

I still would like to keep the information on here as current as possibly so please keep posting up comments about your own experience regardless of what company you are training with.


So on that note below is my own experience of becoming a driver for Arriva......
 


THE START:: 

For the record I have had no experience of LGV driving and haven't really had to take any form of test for the last 12 or so years.

So my application to Arriva was accepted, and a date was set for me to visit an assessment day at a London based Arriva office. The letter that I had been sent said I would have a Maths and english test and if successful I would be given a Driving assessment. I was warned to study up on the highway code as I can imagine they have a lot of people that turn up with a lack of preparation.

The day started with a quick sign in at the head office and a longish wait before being taken into the exam room. There where 7 of us that sat the exams the day I was there, we where all from different backgrounds and all ages most of us where nervous :-)

The exam is a paper format NOT computer based like I was expecting, the first section was the highway code test this was a two page paper that would show our basic knowledge of the highway code. YOU DO need to study for this part as there are around 40 questions (mainly) regarding road signs that you have to answer and even if you have been driving for years a refresher look and re-study of the road signs will be needed. A copy of the standard highway code with colour signs will do perfect, no need for DSA theory books for this...

There are also a few written questions such as. ( You are driving down a slip road joining a motorway, what should you do???) there are 3 options and you would answer using a X (maintain speed but give way to traffic already on the motorway)

Next paper is the Maths and English.
First up is a quick message regarding a typical memo that would be given to drivers before a shift regarding some sort of change that has happened on there route, such as along Oxford street you will now have to use your lights between oxford circus and regents street on the contraflow bus lane.

The question may be (what do drivers need to have on when using the contraflow bus lane??) Answer {Lights}

Next up is a cartoon strip with a scenario and you have to write a flowing report of what you see as if you was one of the people in the picture.
This is a bit hit and miss and we was told people do fail on this part, it would really test you if you have a poor understanding on the English language so be warned if English isn't you first language take your time and re-read what you have written and make sure it makes sens.

Next up was the Maths section this was about 15 questions ranging in difficulty (Most) are very basic I.E you have a passenger that wants two 90p fares and one child fare at 40p please write what change she would get if she paid with a £5 note. There is a small area at the bottom so you can do some working out if needed.

OK so I passed this section. I have no idea how anyone else did on this as I was the first to get the call into the office after the exam, I was given a score and told I had been accepted for the driver assessment,
one thing I was told was that only 1 IN 6 people pass the next stage!! Yes 1/6 so there is a high fail rate! be warned.

Next day I was booked for the assessment, I was nervous as anyone would be but im quite confident in my driving skills so had the mind set of just driving as I did on my normal car test years ago and make sure I listened to the examiner.

The guy with me was really good, he reasurred me and gave me some tips before setting off. Again be warned they want a high standard of driving and I can see that they have a load of application's for these postions so they really can just pick the best of the best, I would say if your a bit nervous regarding your driving book a few hours with a driving instructor before your assessment. One thing is for sure your not going to BLAG this test.

So we was on the road for about 40mins the vehicle of choice was a Ford mini bus, we took in loads of tight small roads and a about 7 main roads. Roundabouts where thrown in for good measure, they are looking to see how well you steer the van and that your observations are done in the correct fashion and at the right time, you are told what is expected before you set off. I get the idea they are looking to see if you have potential as a bus driver not the your at the level to start working tomorrow so think of this as a pre training drive.

I made a few silly errors but my drive was solid enough that I was granted a pass. They do allow for a few errors just nothing really bad!!. Lucky though as im sure I was on the limit of being one of the 6 that doesn't make it!.

So there you go it is quite demanding if your not a natural driver and yes you should be driving like you would on your DVLA car test, take your time AND PREPARE for the assessment and you should be Ok or at least give yourself a fighting chance at getting through, one thing that helped me was when I was booked onto the assessment the day I passed my Maths and English exam I asked about possible routes that I will go on for the drive. Info was forth coming and so a few days before the assessment I went out for a recce of the area and that helped me loads as I found out where most of the 20mph limits where and a few other "fail" spots.

UPDATE::::::::::
So after my assessment was complete it was then a few days wait for a interview with a manager, this if I'm honest I wasn't that concerned about as i'm good in interviews and always look at them like you will just have a chat. Anyway the day came and I went into the room with a older gentlemen and we sat down with my papers and I was asked a few simple questions, stuff like driving experience and conditions I had driven in. In my case I have a full motorcycle licence and have toured most of Europe, I have also spent time in the third world so was use to way lower standards of driving than you would get in the UK. Then it was onto contract information regarding wages and hours, I also had to sign a declaration to say that after my training was finished I had a contract of 1 year that I had to stay with the company before I could leave, otherwise I was liable for part payment of my training fees to the sum of £2000. If i'm honest this is fair as they will be investing in me so only right they get there monies worth.

Another good note is that they pay you whilst your training to the sum of £220 a week this was a pleasant surprise and made leaving my old job very easy.

The last bit of the selection process was a medical.
I'm fit and health so no real issues there, the exam took about 15 mins and was very basic no nakedness or probing so that was good, YOU DO have to give a urine sample!!! so don't do as I did and pee just before heading into the doctors office. I guess the sample is to see drug abuse or similar.

With that all done my licence was then sent off to the DVLA for the provisonal section to be added this took about 9 days to get back to me and I had to then call the head office to arrange a training start date, this I did and now I have a date to start.

BORED. So I've had a bit of time and after reading a few things online I started to get a bit nervy of the Hazard Perception test, The pass mark is 67/100 and Ive seen that a LOT of people are failing this!. If I remember I did ok on mine for my car and motorcycle but after doing a few free online ones and failing badly I started to panic, my Girlfriend suggested I have a look and see what the cost was for the HP test as its in two parts. You can do the HP test one day then the multiple choice another and pay for each as and when needed.
I looked around at test centers and was able to get a seating the next day (result), I thought to my self "stuff it" why not just get it out the way.
So £15 was paid to the DSA and in 10 hours I would have my HP test.

So i've sat the HP exam this morning and passed with a mark of 76 so i'm chuffed.. TOP TIP don't bother with the online rip off websites as there software is nothing like the real test just go along (I didn't even practice) sit down watch the explanation clip and do it, very straight forward no issues. (BUT A WASTE OF TIME FOR SURE)
So next up is the Multiple choice test this I may even do myself and pay the £35 out of my own pocket just so its one less thing to worry about when the proper driving starts?? I haven't decided as of yet though so keep posted.

UPDATE::::::

So i'm a week into my training now and today was my first chance at getting behind the wheel of a Bus but a bit about that in a moment.

I've mainly this week been doing my BTEC training this is class room based with very minimal written paperwork and lots of discussion and listening from our tutors, it has been quite a good thing that i've done all this first as the next few weeks I can concentrate on driving.
The normal setup is to do classroom work and driving on alternate days during the week but due to my start date being near Christmas it has worked out a bit different for me.

So Ive had 5 classroom days and topics have been from Health and safety to discrimination in the work place and everything in between, during the discussion it shows that all of us are totally different in our approach to our new roles as bus drivers and i'm sure a few people in the group will have to have a mindset change if they are going to last in this type of job.

All in though we have all had some good banter and already helping each other out as a group, the tutors have been top notch and the way they teacher is perfect for a broad range of learning styles so no one really should have a problem.

Multiple Choice Exam::

So after passing my Hazard perception I only had my part 2 to fully complete this part of the training,
the task was 100 multiple choice questions and a bit of revision score needed 85/100.. WARNING I used the AA theory book for my revision and I would say that on my test about 20% of the questions are not in the AA book MAKE SURE you get a revision book that says DSA approved on the front.

But anyway with the right prep the AA book should still be fine but i am sure someone out there will have a issue on their exam because of questions not being in it. Anyway passed with 94/100 score.

I 'AM SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy I did the Hazard part first as there are a number of people that are having issues with it,
so I would honestly say "get it done before your training starts", it has allowed me to train without the stress of this stupid test hanging over me and you can tell that a few of the girls and guys have pressure on them now to pass to allow them to move on with their training. AGAIN FORGET THE DVD JUST DO IT.

First drive, Bus type DLA Double decker...
Had a quick drive today as we where breaking up for Christmas so it was quite short but after a chat with a instructor I was in the seat doing a few basic things in the yard then it was out on the open road.

If im honest it is just like I thought it would be, getting used to the width and lenth will be the biggest learning curve but overall i'm happy with how I did.

Not much more to say really as I was only out for about 45 mins, but still good fun though.

Next up is the CPC Case study exam I will post up information on this when I do it and record what my practical training consists of.

UPDATE:::::

Well today was the day I had my CPC case study exam, I had purchased the DSA guide to buses and coaches and also bought the DSA CPC handbook DID ANY OF IT HELP?.

The exam is really a continuation to the PCV theory test, more than a few people in our training group failed their CPC exams and I had heard a lot saying that they had trouble relating the questions to the case studies that are shown.


I would say for a few questions they are right, my break down of the test would be that about 35 questions will be answered by your previous knowledge that you have obtained during your Theory test however there are questions that go a bit deeper into drivers hours and accident information etc so read the mundane small print type stuff in the books as they will have questions about it in the exam.

Most of the info you need is in the DSA books but for a few questions it was just an educated guess as to the correct answer as it did not relate to the case study or any info I had read in my prep work.

My exam started off bad with a few questions I had no idea about then it got a bit easier as the test went on, Anyway I passed with a score of 46/50 the pass mark is "40" they also say the test will take around 130mins I was in the room approx 20 mins even with all the DSA rubbish you have to read so not really a long test by any means.

Best advice I could give is read the DSA books making notes as you go, (I filled up 5 A4 pages with prep work putting down keys points) and then keep reading small sections at a time leading up to the exam.

Im not going to lie I was unsure if I had passed this test as on loads of questions you can give 2 correct answers when only one is correct but i'm happy to say I did. Most of the other students ive spoken to had only just scrapped a pass with scores of 40 or 41, this exam IS harder than the standard theory test and you will need to read as much resource information as you can to give yourself a decent chance of a good score.

I would say rather than doing stupid memory tests like these I would much rather get a chance on a skid pan and learn something that could really make a difference. But I dont make the rules the DSA do.

I have about 3 hours logged at the moment and everything is going ok apart from still brushing the odd curb here and there on tight turns, but there is still loads to do driving wise and I have my module 4 show and tell to complete in the near future.

UPDATE:::::

So im now about 3 weeks into my driver training and have logged approx 21 hours in my test book, I have just had my first progress check which is conducted by a senior training officer..
Its very much like how a test would be carried out and you are on the road taking direction for around an hour.

It all went well for me and i've been granted an extension with my training to 35 hours where you will have another progress check.

The overall view of my driving was said like this . Your over confident slow down a bit so you can better read situations as they happen and iron out a few other little things but I should be ok.

The word on the grapevine is that some students get the hairdrier treatment due to there driving at this stage so overall im happy and going to take his advice and put it to use ASAP.

Seems there is a massive gap in how many hours students are doing before test, average seems to be around 50+ but there are a few that past on 65+, my instructors aim for me is around 48 , one thing I cannot fault is the level of training, its very very high and i'm now starting to see that peoples misconceptions of bus drivers is ridiculous, the driving standard you need to reach is really high.

So far I i've really enjoyed my training I think a big part of this is my instructor and the other people that we are training with, most have bonded well and we all enjoy a bit of banter at our lunch stop's.

I would say my overview of being a bus driver at this stage is::

Its way more hard work than most people will ever know mentally, the level of driving they want is extremely high, definitely not for everyone in fact i've just found out the % of people that make it from first application to being qualified and doing the job is under 6% so that should tell you something.

Coming soon is (Module 4) Show and Tell...

Update::::

Module 4 Today..
Yep Today was the day I had my final test before the main PCV driving exam and it was Module 4 show and tell, Basic outline is that the examiner has approx 7-8 test questions that he could ask you with about 7 different variations on how he can word it, "hope that makes sense"

So out of all the possible question you have to answer 5, this isn't a quick recall of facts its very hands on with lots of small pieces of information and correct wording to remember.


My instructor has been pushing me to do really well in this as the examiner that does this section will also be the same examiner that is doing the driving test, if you come across knowledgeable in module 4 it may give you a boost for the final test.

Its quite hard to write down how this section is done but one of the easier questions is something like ::: On this bus demonstrate how you would check all passenger seats for safety and comfort,
You have to start at the floor fixings and work your way up the seats talking about no sharp edges, secure cushions , no tears or something that will soil clothing etc etc etc. There are key words in your speech that have to be mentioned for you to get a pass, the scoring is set as 20 points per question with an instant fail on the complete test if you score below 15 on anyone question.

Time allowed for the exam is 45mins we had quite a good run and after about 20mins I was finished with all 5 and got a pass with 100% so can't moan, this was due to how good my instructor is if i'm honest and how he drilled all the information into me.

So onto the last bit now, i've completed about 33 hours and nearing test standard just need a few more very small tweeks and I will be booked on test within the next week or so...

::::UPDATE:::: MODULE 3 Practical Test

I had my Module 3 test yesterday THE BIG ONE, and yes it did go ahead even with the bad weather aka snow.

We had a very early start as I had a morning test so it was a 6am clock in at the training depot then a quick dash over to collect our DWL that had been serviced over the weekend.

This was good as it gave me a taste of driving at in the dark and I found this quite useful, we then went round a few possible test routes and had a look at a few sketchy places that I could fail on.

The test starts with the examiner asking you about 8 questions similar to module 3 just not as indepth, these ranged from emergency exit information to checking power steering etc etc not really hard with a bit of prep work leading up to your test.

But It is possible to start the test with 8 minors if you cant answer the questions, so 1 minor per wrong answer.

Sod's law the route we thought we may take wasn't the right one (typical) so I started the test going in totally the opposite direction to what we thought it may be.

There is about 8 possible test routes with any number of variations that the examiner can pick all with little section that can really catch you out.

So the drive was about 1 hour 20 mins plus a Reversing maneuver, It went quite well and having finished everything the examiner sat down and asked me a few questions on how I thought I did and what I needed to do in the future to improve, but the good thing is I passed with only 2 minors for the whole test!..

I was well chuffed but more for my instructor who really put in all the effort and hard work to get me to that standard from the start.

I've already been allocated a garage and now start type training, tickets and route knowledge ...

So thats it mission accomplished, all tests passed and a new career.

Only tips I can give anyone for there PCV test is don't think to much about what your doing by the time of your test it should all be all natural and flowing, don't be worried to ask people for advise as you can learn tons from their experience. The level of training that I have been given has been second to none but then the Module 3 test you will get from Arriva is far hard than a normal DSA test so the extra effort is needed for you to pass it believe me.

Buses used for training DLA and DWL 38
 


Please comment and keep visiting as I will be up dating this Blog with information in the future...

459 comments:

  1. It is really help full for me.As i am a automatic car driver arriva ask me to take my own car.I wonder why do i have to take my car for second assessment. I passed the first assessment.Please help

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  2. As far as I know Arriva doesnt have Automatic cars on its fleet, there is a driver at my garage that doesnt have a manuel licence and if he needs to use a "ferry" car to get to another garage for a duty or to pick a bus up he has to be driven there by another employee...

    The fact the will allow you to bring your own car is a good one atleast you will get a chance, also having just a auto licence is fine as Arriva do not have any buses on there fleets that are stick shift as far as I know??? :-)

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  3. Thanks. I passed the test and waiting for my reference to be clear. They said once its clear i will be ask for joining date. But if the reference come back with negative answer then my application will be unsuccessful. I don't know what is going to the out come ,really its frustrating.

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  4. Sit tight there is a fair bit of waiting at the start, you have to have your licence sent away to get a provisional PCV added so you can drive the training bus.. Then you have to wait for the medical and then start date and believe me there is a MASSIVE cue of people waiting to get into these positions, im told arriva London still has something like 1200 applications its sorting through and I guess maybe 15 of these people will have what it takes to get through to becoming a driver...

    Since you passed the driving exam you now have your foot in the door so get ready for all the DSA exams now as that will be your next problem area if you dont do the leg work.. Good luck

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  5. What type of questions did you have for the english and maths test? Could you provide any more examples please? Also the Highway Code test is it like the car theory test??

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  6. Sorry being late. For maths, at the first page there were some pictures and u have to write the hole sammary whats going on there.on the picture there was some clues also.then following page was maths for example: (child fare .40p) 1 adult fee of £1.20 and child fare .40 customer gave u £5 how much u will give change.then 2 adult 3 child fare how much u ask for,3 adult and 2 child fare customer gave u £1*2 and £2 coins how much more u need.The maths wasn't that hard.then there were a question: the bus should arrive 9am and it arrive 15mins late and the total journy is 1:45 mins that means you will reach at the destination at 11:00. but you wanted to get the bus at 11:05 on you way back. would u able to get the next bus. yes/no. then there was chat bus time table chart for example :start bus stop from A and end stop J.from A-J is 10 stops each stop to reach 10mins. now the quistion is if u start from A stop at 10:00 and reach at 10:45 how long it will take to reach there.from c stop till e stop how long it take time.this sort of question i use A-J as an example but on the exam they put places name which i cant remember.high way code i bought the official high way code book. from there page num 106-109, 112,113,68,44 all the road mark question was from those pages. I got start date on the 15th may in beddington. I just want to know one thing what time training starts and what time they finish. I mean entire training course. because i have to fix the time for my kid with the child minder.please let me know. Thank you.

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  7. When I was training we started at 7.30 am and was finished by 3.30pm that was the training centre in North London Lee valley (LV) im sure the other centers run the same times as when we had our lunch breaks we would sometimes bump into other training schools buses that made the trips over to North London for the day....

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  8. Ive added another Blog that is a insight to the day to day workings of the job and what situations we contend with.. see
    http://beingalondonbusdriver.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/london-bus-driver-truth.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Working direct link at the bottom of main blog

      regards

      Delete
  9. Hi
    I have just passed my driving assessment and have my interview on Wednesday. I am worried about leaving my current job and then at the end of my training I fail the test and then will be out of a job. How many people who you were training with failed if you don't mind me asking?
    Thanks

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  10. Hi sorry for late reply, The pass percentage is very high if im honest say out of 30 students only a handful didnt make it 2-3!!!
    BUT even on the off chance you dont the level of training you get will easily get you through a standard DSA PCV test with a private company, so worst case train with Arriva and then do the test privately for a minimal fee..You should defo have a job at the end of it,,,,

    Arriva do there own driving test as they have DSA instructors on there books and as such can make the final driving test much harder than a normal private DSA centre, a normal driving school would advise 25 hours before test with Arriva you could have more than double that before test...

    Good luck P.S where are you based for the training????

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  11. Hi, I'm currently training in Arriva South London and I'm going to be on my fourth week. I passed my theory and hazards last week. I had my first progress check done and was told that I lack confidence and drive way too slow. Road, reading and planing is poor. Also mentioned that I'm making slow progress.

    Could you please give me some help with road plaining and speed? If this messes up I;ve run out of options.

    Many thanks. Su

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  12. Hi Suresh..

    Im surprised that they are saying that you are driving to slow?? All of our group where told we where driving to fast!!! When im in a service bus im rarely over 25mph and when I was training I never felt as though I got over 20mph in built up areas with all the observations that we had to do..

    Just out of curiosity are you on a single decker or double for your training??? I found it much easier to drive the single when I started mainly due to the engine pick up being more responsive etc..

    When they say you reading and planning is poor they prob mean your road positioning is wrong or your heading into a bad situation when it can be adverted.. With me I was stopping to close to parked cars infront of me on side roads with on coming traffic and then having to pull out to far and do to much to continue up the road, this was a problem right up untill I had a drive with another instructor and for some reason it all clicked???..

    If im honest I DO NOT remember any "positive" comments, even when I was on my last pre test check where I was out with the head North London training official for over a hour and not making a single error it was still a bit negative and they pick the smallest things that they can so you dont get over confident... Even when I passed my test with only two minors they ask why did I get them and that it should have been zero lol, perfection is what they are about..

    The way they work is to make you think your doing poorly and putting pressure on you so you concentrate more and in the end you will be a better driver, I had a few days I wanted to say bugger this and walk out as you dont seem to be doing anything right :-/ but its a training aid that they use to make you better and believe me when your out with the public on your own you will see that it was all worth it...

    The other thing is of course that there is different level of instructors, not saying that any are bad but you need to have a good working relationship with your instructor and they are getting the best out of you..

    My instructor was a nightmare at first but my god he was good and by the end we really clicked and he got the best out of me, so maybe it would be worth looking at another instructor if you think that could be a problem???

    Last note 4 weeks is still early days most people are in training anything up to 10 weeks and over 60 hours or atleast they are in North London..

    As regards speed they want you to be driving fast enough to maintain progress but still have enough time that you can stop if needed without any recoil "you or instructor moving back/forward in the seat" and by that I mean nothing not even a small amount.. Im sure your doing fine and just need sometime to iron out a few learning problems, the two lads on my bus had a few bad progress checks and one guy was ready to leave but both passed ok and now work at the same garage as me and are doing fine...

    Hope that helps????? anything else just ask..

    Good luck

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  13. Hi ya, thank you for your reply. I did my module 2 today and failed badly. I got 35/50. Yesterday afternoon, I was told I'd be doing the test this morning. I didn't have much time to prepare. I looked at the theory book again and also the bus driving manual from 1997. Everyone told me that the case study was easy but it was the complete opposite for me, even though I'm the only one to have failed it. I've tried researching on the net but can't seem to find anything. What would be the best way to prepare and pass the case study?

    Suresh

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  14. I'm training on a dla double decker bus. My instructor was a guy called Sam but he's looking after type training. I have a new instructor called Steve Mac. He seems good and also easy going.

    I live in Ilford, Essex, and I had my at Wood Green. My first day was spent at Lea Valley and then I was told to travel to Norwood for my training because there was no space for me. In fact, Six of us had to train at Norwood.

    Average time in South London is Six weeks training. This is what I was told by a guy called Nick Hanbury or something like that.

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  15. Shame you wasnt able to stay at LV I know for a fact that all the best drivers come from North London or atleast thats what all the instructors say..

    CPC case study exam is a total joke if you ask me as you have no real world experience to put into the exam so you go in blind, NO ONE in my group said it was easy and most just about scrapped a pass!!!!! and I could have failed it im sure but just got lucky..

    The way I studied for it is outlined above in the blog, you need the correct training books for the CPC subject and just write down lots of key facts and notes over and over again until you have a good amount of information covered such as driving allowance times and all the fringe info....

    Another thing with LV is that they move you onto a DWL single decker quite fast, I was on a DLA for maybe one week before getting on the test bus as thats all they use for the practical exam..



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  16. Hi ya, sorry for the late reply. I did my CPC Case Study retake and got 46/50. Also, I did my second progress test and the guy in charge told me that I've made improvements since the last check but not ready for test. I touched a couple of kerbs and also mounted one. The mounted one was not a regular turn. I was told to make a right turn but the road was closed off so the guy told me to go round. Very tight with no room to play with. Still showing signs of hesitation. My other colleagues on the bus messed up their progress check and all three of us are going to be checked again for the third time. If examiner is not happy there is a possibility of being terminated. Next week will be our sixth week.

    Instructors at both North and South London have been having their driving tests. Six instructors at North London failed their test, one of them was Nick Hanby.

    I was so nervous for my progress test that I started shaking. Have to contend with both getting ready for both progress check and show me tell me. It's getting tougher.

    How are you getting on as a bus driver?

    Suresh

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  17. Good you passed the CPC

    A curb touch you can "sometimes" get away with esp if its very very tight but mounting a kerb even a tiny bit will be a straight fail (I did this on two progress check's but it was due to being taken down a stupidly tight road)..

    Theres a saying in the bus drivers world your only as good as your last drive, meaning anything can happen to even the best drivers you really need to be a robot when you drive and be 100% confident you are doing everything right..

    If you feel nervous on a progress check it's a 10000 worse when you pull up to the stop to pick up your first passengers so just look at a progress check like a drive with another instructor no more no less, the nervous should go away quite quickly..

    The threat of being sacked is always put infront of you (even when you are in a garage driving!!!!!) its a scare tactic to keep you on your toe's.. People at my garage have been sacked though for breaking a few wing mirrors (very easy to do) so be warned take as much time as you need and defo DO NOT RUSH ANYTHING.....

    Im sure you will be on your test soon..

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  18. Hi ya, my colleagues and I have our third progress check tomorrow and I'm really scared, Yesterday, we we are has our fifth instructor and he ripped us to pieces. He told us that we are no way near test standard and this is our sixth week. On top of this, We will be having a new instructor for Thursday and Friday, depending on Wednesday's outcome, and we are going to be driving a single decker bus for the first time today, and our check will be done on the single decker.

    Different instructors have different things to say; I had no bad comments about my mirror work but yesterday I was told it was crap. Also, last three weeks we have just been driving to Thornton Heath, Croydon, Brixton and Norwood Garages; not been tested much at all.

    After yesterdays experience, My confidence has been damaged a little bit but I still believe I can secure the bus job. None of the instructors have gone through the show me tell me.

    Will keep you informed.

    Suresh

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi ya, we didn't have our progress check today. After discussing our issues with our new instructor he spoke to the training manager for South London and managed to cancel the progress test.

    This morning, myself and my colleagues drove the single decker for an 1hr 20 mins each. Instructor told us that our driving is equivalent to week one. My confidence was in pieces and I told the instructor that I may quit. I was hitting a couple of kerbs and this is very poor for someone at week 6.

    My training book mentions that I need to improve in the following;

    msn
    lane discipline
    road reading and planning
    awareness
    close to nearside kerb
    hesitation
    right turns too close to kerb

    Currently feel dejected but still have belief that I can pull this off. I'm certain that the training instructor will call us in for our final progress test next week.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I think you should have been on the single decker way before you have, most of us where off the double after about 2 weeks but one group did only get on one about 1 week before there test..

    Honestly if im being blunt if your really nervous then maybe it isnt the job for you, HOWEVER I do believe with the right level of training most people that get this far should atleast get there PCV and get to a garage..

    Biggest complaint that the students had from my enrollment class was that they where getting swapped around with instructors everyweek and getting taught different things and methods but all passed in the end..

    I was very lucky I had one instructor for the first few days then was moved to another and was with him for all my training so there wasnt any confusion..

    If your not 100% certain of what needs to be done now then ask as many questions to your instructor as you can, you really should just be a robot in the cab now and the instructor trying to catch you out with width or height restriction signs and taking you to all the really tight and twisty ares to get you ready for your test... Good luck with it and defo DO NOT QUIT

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi, I agree with your comment about being nervous all the time. I feel nervous because I don't feel 100% confident in what I'm doing.

    I always enter anything in life without fear. Fear takes 50% of your overall effort. This is a personal theory of mine.

    Having different instructors, six, over the last six weeks hasn't helped our progress, especially the last three weeks where the instructor didn't take us anywhere. Obviously, none of us can turn back the hands of time but we can control what happens in the future.

    The instructor we had over the last two days told us that we are ready for a pre-test. I'm waiting for Monday to see what happens because we have our "shouty" instructor back. That guy ripped me to pieces last Monday and Wednesday. I felt emotionally raped.

    Anyway, I'm going to continue to give everything I have to achieve my mission in becoming a qualified bus driver. Will keep you informed.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi, just an update on my situation.

    My instructor gave me a really bad roasting both today and yesterday. I told him that my confidence had been shot to pieces and would like to resign. Also added that I felt tense when he was around.

    South London training manager decided to move me with another instructor and has given me until Friday to be at test standard or be terminated.

    My new instructor had the DLA BUS and I've been driving a DWL single deck for the past week. My pretest check will be carried out on a double decker.

    I know everything I writing is all doom and gloom and I apologise for that. Will update end of the week.

    Take care
    suresh

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Suresh

    Thanks for the updates the more info on this page the better for new or people thinking about the bus driving industry..

    Seems you may have had the ruff end of a deal with different instructors that cant be good for learning, like I said I only had one instructor for the main training and he was very good, dont get me wrong we had a few fallings out but in the end it all worked and I still speak with him often now and always look out for his training bus..

    Something I did before my pretest stuff was to head out in my car around the known routes and did a bit of a recce, even get out the car and look at a certain corner or tight bit that helps lots.. I agree its a bit OTT but thats what I felt I needed to do, you REALY REALLY need to forget all the stuff before and start fresh in your mind and get the test sorted... IF AND ITS A BIG IF you dont get a test with Arriva then get a test done straight away with a DSA school I know a good one and will sort info if you want..

    You will pass a DSA test with ease and then you can look at other options for employment with one of the other London operators or start fresh maybe with someone like GO AHEAD who I believe have started to train new drivers..

    The bus game is a decent career and my good days always outway my bad, however I think its a bit of a Marmite job you either really like it or hate it theres not much middle ground if im honest.. The money is decent but could be better but then I guess if your on 100k a year you still want more???

    Hope you get sorted with it and defo post up what the outcome is at the end of the week..

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi ya, sorry for the late reply.

    I did my pretest check today and I passed. I'm going to be being doing my Module 4 first, probably Monday, and pcv test probably Wednesday.

    My new instructor has helped me by giving me the confidence and the belief to drive the bus. Moving onto a DWL bus helped too. Also, I still kept my personal belief that I can drive the bus after last weeks disasters. Problem now is that my instructor is off from next week for two weeks. I have no idea what's going to happen. Also, instructor hasn't gone through much of the show me tell me questions(mod 4).

    I've looked at the questions and they seem ok, except for one about projections. Don't understand it at all.

    Will keep you posted. Take care.

    Suresh

    ReplyDelete
  25. For the show and tell the best thing to do is to video a instructor going through all the questions and answer's then just right down your own script from the way he does it, for some reason I just couldn't remember everything in the right order on a few of the questions..

    I asked my instructor if I could video tape him doing the module 4 and that was how I learned it and have since found out that Arriva will be doing a video DVD for there new students to learn the module 4 section of the training...

    Good to see my idea has been taken on by the company as it's by far the easiest way of learning the Module 4 as the standard way just takes to long..

    A lot of the shown and tell is geared towards people who will be driving coach's as they have questions regarding checks to be made before a border crossing and how would you go about this etc etc.. And some others that you will use everyday when you fill out the VCR form when you take a bus out such as checking the seats lights etc..

    So my advice get a video done of the instructor going through the questions and answers and learn it that way..

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi ya, I managed to pass my module 4 and will now be doing my test this Thursday.

    South London instructors just showed us the immigrants question and last question about 10 things you do when you check your vehicle. One cover instructor helped discussing about wheelchairs users, fire extinguishers and seat belts. Majority of questions weren't discussed by instructors.

    Your idea is spot on and I asked if It was ok to record everything but wasn't allowed.

    I have a new instructor as my old one has gone on holiday. I've been told to signal when entering a bus lane, not just for bus stops. Other instructors have told me to drift into the bus lane. Don't know what to do on test.

    I did some reversing today and I have problems getting the bus straight. It's always wonky and was told that I would get a minor for it. Obviously I'm trying to get as less minors as possible. Don't know how to get the bus straight.

    I've done 60 hours of driving now and I can't afford to slip up because Arriva are unlikely to give me another shot. 60hrs are from 10 different instructors.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I was turned down for a drivers job because I have an automatic licence, this was not until I had passed the first tests and was invited for the test drive and I ask about if it would be automatic. I was shown a form saying Arriva only hired manual licence holders. Had not seen that anywhere before.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Lesley thanks for the message..

    Im sure Arriva did take on Auto drivers in the past but i'm guessing the problem now will be that a good number of routes are located at different garages..

    You may be a driver at say the Tottenham garage and your bus will be at Lea valley depot so you would have to take a ferry car to collect the bus everyday, this would be a problem as all the ferry cars are manual..

    For the record you only get a (Auto) PCV licence after you have completed your training as all buses that Arriva operate are Automatic..

    Regards

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi,
    I have my first interview with Arriva in Maidstone next week.
    Can you please tell me what I need in preparation for the interview? Also, do I need to buy all the theory test revision equipment (books etc)?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, you need to buy DSA THEORY BOOK FOR LARGE VEHICLES. CD-ROM would be a better option as it will give you an insight on how your exam will be when you take it. Buy HAZARD PERCEPTION, also dsa, on your computer.

      Delete
  30. Hi, I did my driving test today and failed badly. I received 20 minors, 6 of them resulting in serious.

    I was given a new bus to drive an hour prior to the test. I didn't complain but the brakes were poor. This week, I had to try three different DWL buses. The one I drove today was DWL31. Not only the brakes were crap, the indicators had no sound.

    Anyway, I've been given a second chance next week. Training manager told me if I don't get a result next week I'll be terminated.

    ReplyDelete
  31. For the "first" interview all I did was sit down and have a chat with a garage manager regarding working condition's and such, this was after I had passed the written and driving exam section of the application. Im not sure how these things are conducted outside of the London garages though??..

    I didn't need any more than a highway code book for my first entry exam to get me a training position with the company, then once you have a training place offered to you then you will need the DSA books to get you through the PCV exams..

    Good luck

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi I have passed my high way code test English and Maths test and my driving assessment. I now have my interview next Wednesday. I was just wondering how much do you get paid after you have done all the training?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Richard

      This was a question most of us where asking as soon as we started training :-) it really depends on your garage location and what route you do as they do not all pay the same..

      My average take home for a normal working week will be around £405 after tax, the absolute minimum I get is £380 that is on a low hour working week however there are some routes that only pay a average of £350ish a week..

      There are also spread duties where you will have up to a 4 hour lunch break on a 13 hour shift, these pay really well and you should see around £480 approx after a week of spreads..

      At some garages that are short of drivers you can also do a load of overtime if you want to really top up your income so taking home in your hand over £500 a week is quite obtainable at most locations..

      You also get paid overtime by Arriva so if your shift ends at same 19.02 and your 15mins late as long as you put in your overtime docket you get paid overtime on ever minute that you are late back to the garage..

      Something that you should also take into account is the fact that TFL give you and someone else at your address free Oyster travel on buses and trains, this is a massive saving if you and say your partner would commute everyday via public transport and in my case will save my wife thousands on travel expenses..

      Hope that helps..

      Regards

      Delete
  33. hi

    i have passed my maths english and my driving assessment... i have been booked in for my interview this wednesday and was just wondering what questions will they be asking and is there any way that you can fail this interview and be terminated from going any further... (could you please detailed information as how this interview goes)

    thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ali

      It seems people are really stressing over the interview but honestly I would say the hard work has been done.. There are no trick questions or anything it's just a chat (mine was 30mins) with a garage manager and it was mostly regarding the working enviroment such as hours and wages...

      They just through everything that you need to know before you commit to training full time..

      Just go in there with the mind set of having a chat and you will be fine..

      Regards

      Delete
  34. Driving me crazy,

    Thank you do much for all the information it really helped. Just one more question do you get allocated to a garage close as possible to your home address?

    Once again thank you

    Richard

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi

      Could you please give me an insight to what the interview questions are as ive passed the driving assessment and just waiting for my interview now... Would there be any reason for me to fail the interview or is it a definite pass?... Started to get nervous now..

      Thank you

      Delete
    2. @Richard

      In most cases yes.. my garage is within 2 miles of my home and the other guys I trained with are all within 4 miles of there garage..

      You can have a small say in where you go but honestly its a bit of pot luck where you end up, I could have been sent to 3 garages within my catchment area and was lucky to get the closest to me, however I would have been happy with any of them... All 3 are within 5 miles..

      The only issue I can think of is if you have no garages close to you!!!

      Regards

      Delete
  35. @James

    Regarding the interview I would say YES you could fail it if you come across as a know it all or someone that doesnt show common sense..

    They want drivers that are well rounded and not the sort of person that would see the red mist the moment something happens whilst on the road, as long as you dont come across like this you will be fine...

    AND IF this behaviour is normal for you or anyone reading this DONT BECOME A DRIVER!!!!!!!!! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  36. Should have added regarding garage location..

    After your 6 month probation is over you can request a transfer to any garage you wish this can however take a bit of time to get sorted..

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hi

    Thank you for your reply... So what questions will i be asked and how shall i answer them...?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  38. HI
    thanks so much for taking the time to do this blog the info is great.can you please answer a few things for me please.

    what is the working environment like is it a good place to be everyday?

    what is the most i could earn as a london driver for arriva?

    what are the main pros and cons of the job in your eyes?

    thanks again



    ReplyDelete
  39. Ok I will answer both questions here..

    First James:: In my interview I wasn't really asked any questions that you can fail!!! the guy asked me a bit about my background and driving experience, then what I thought regarding working shift patterns etc etc.. Just remember that the main thing they are looking for is for the passengers to be safe..

    The Stig:::

    I can honestly say since I stated my training and right through to now I have not met a bad person!!! All the drivers when you are new help you out tons with stuff as they have all been there at some point.. There's always something to chat about so I find it quite a sociable atmosphere to be in..

    Bus drivers come in every shape and from every background, we have people that where factory workers that wanted a change to people that have trained in law and every in between..

    Earnings:: Well I would say you could get into the 30+k a year bracket if you did overtime, some of the older drivers are well into the 30k bracket as they are on a higher wage structure :-/ lol

    Pro's and Con's::: I would say the pro's are that your able to work on your own without someone constantly watching over you (we have all had a boss like that), as long as you fob on at the right time for your duty and have good time keeping your left alone to get on with it..

    Its a very self sufficient job, the only time you need to see a manager is if you have had a accident/someone falls on the bus or a DSA assessment, avoid the first two and drive well most of the time and you should be fine...

    Its a opportunity for someone that may not have the qualifications in another field to get above the rubbish wages that company's are paying now and increase there income without any cost's..

    They pay YOU for training and at the end you have a job that pay's decent in this economical climate, however being a bus driver has it's own skill set you either can do or you can't..

    Free Oyster travel is a big bonus..

    A few con's:: Biggest thing most people will struggle with is staggered working times however with a bit of planning I find this works to my advantage, if im on late's I have all day up until 4pm ish to get everything done at home or go something..

    Driving in London is stressful, I have now started to just be really calm regardless of the time of day and never rush.. The first few months are the worst until you get into your own rhythm with the job and learn to drive your route with the minimum of stress..

    Being cut up constantly by cyclist's HGV drivers and cabbies, I feel sometimes I spend all day just trying to avoid being hit by these groups.

    Passengers: Like I have said 99.999999% will be no problem but you always get one!!!.. It could be someone that has been waiting 10mins for the bus during a busy rush hour that only as they start boarding the bus start to get there oyster ready and they never know what pocket it's in, this situation eats up a lot of time on busy runs.. Also people standing or walking right on the edge of the curb is dangerous as the nearside mirror is a big over hang..

    Dealing with drunk passengers is never fun but I have not had any real issues yet!!!

    Its very very easy to get sacked!!!!!!!!!!!!! One accident or you break to hard and someone falls and that "could" be you out the door....

    Bottom line if the job works for you then you will enjoy it if not the you will hate it, as ive said there isn't much middle ground..

    Regards

    ReplyDelete
  40. Quick question:

    Im not sure if arriva have single short bus, but can you choose what bus to drive or route for that matter?

    I'm guessing it up to the garage manager?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi the smallest bus that Arriva use is a Single door PDL, do a simple google search for images..

      They run these on short local routes such as the 318 and I believe the 192..

      You can choose a route after 6 months or so but at the start your on a spare rota and will do all kinds of duties and routes, one day you may be doing a spread shift on a 2010 hybrid going up the city the next your on a 12 year old bus doing a local route on a late..

      If im honest I would much rather be in a nice new double decker in the city than a old small bus on side roads. They tend to use the smaller PDL bus on some stupidly tight roads that can cause all sorts of issues as the driving standards of normal road user's near my garage is so bad..

      You still need a full PCV licence for the smaller buses and if you want to only drive a small bus it may be worth looking at the dial a ride scheme that TFL run.. There buses are more like a large mini bus..

      Regards

      Delete
  41. Wish me luck people i have my interview in the morning... Really nervouse :(

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hi everyone, ive passed my interview today and as people on this forum have said before it is just a formal chat rather than a full on interview... I have my medical soon and now am worried about my reference....

    ReplyDelete
  43. Failed my pcv driving test at second attempt and was terminated today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What happened... If you dont mind?...

      Delete
    2. Sorry to hear that was it a bad fail or just one or two majors????

      Best bet is now straight away go to a private DSA school and do it yourself, you should be able to pass a dsa test no problems, then look for employment with another company..

      Regards

      Delete
  44. Hi can anyone confirm when doing your training is this just week days ?

    Thank

    ReplyDelete
  45. Well, my first test I failed on signals and other road users. This was all down to following wrong instructions from my instructor. The training manager wanted to sack me there and then but decided to give me one last chance. He also told me to drive faster because being hesitant can cause problems for other road users and passengers.

    I took on board what he wanted and went for my second test. I failed on speeding and mounting a kerb. With the kerb, I was at the traffic light and on my right hand lane there were two lorries waiting to turn right. I felt that if I could go very slowly I could get through the gap but I was wrong.

    I had another interview with the training manager and he terminated me straight away, bearing in mind that someone else in the same position has been given a third shot at glory. He failed his first test mounting kerbs, getting 4 serious. Second test he had two serious and the examiner had to drive back. He's had the same hours as me. Do you think this is fair?

    ReplyDelete
  46. I have an option to appeal the decision. Thinking about it.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Also another colleague of mine had 3 serious,26 minors and was given another shot without getting roasted. Although this was his first test, he failed the show me tell me with 60%. That time, the training manager told him he should be terminated because of all the bad comment on his book but let him off. I feel hard done by. Now I'm just feeling depressed and demoralised.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Right im going to say what is on my mind here...

    3 SERIOUS AND 26 bloody minors!!!!! that is very bad...

    Everyone in my group passed in the end, some did have 3 test's most passed though first or second time..

    I don't think anyone had anywhere near even 15 minors, A guy in my training bus had to have 3 tests as he kept on doing silly mistakes when out with the examiner, I think one test he had 5 minors but he slighty mounted a curb on a difficult roundabout so that was a fail but he passed in the end with no problems and is actually a really good driver..

    Another guy who was great all the way through training messed up his reverse exercise but he only had 3 minors on the whole test..
    He failed but passed second time no problems..

    If you appeal maybe ask to try out North London for training if they allow it????

    From memory
    By the time we was in the 40 hour bracket the instructor most days didnt even need to speak to us, we would get the bus ready in the morning then be told where was going and that was it we wasn't hitting curbs or anything just sorting out very very minor stuff..

    Have a lot of your training group passed or are most failing???

    ReplyDelete
  49. One guy failed his reversing manoeuvre and the examiner still passed him. This happened last Monday.

    Pass rate varies; some pass first time and some pass second time. Few have third and final attempt.

    One of my colleagues got terminated yesterday because the training manager came out to see him drive and he had 6 serious faults. I wasn't offered this and was terminated straight. There is always behind the scenes corruption which I'm not willing to discuss. The guy that had 26 minors and 3 serious also went on a drive with the training manager and he impressed him with 9 minors. The examiner told the trainer to sack him but his instructor fought for him.

    My instructor did fuck all and sat there like a dummy. My previous instructor would have backed me, in fact I would have passed first time if he didn't go on holiday.

    Having 10 different instructors, clocking up 70 hours of driving is poor. I understand why I was terminated but for the examiner to say I'm a danger to the road is total bullshit.

    Right now I feel depressed and lonely. I went for the buses to change my life, to be known as somebody, to make friends and most importantly, provide a safe and comfortable journey for my passengers. Obviously, this didn;t work out and I'm still a nobody.

    Everyone in my btec group passed first time in north london because they continuous drive all the time. Garage to garage driving will not benefit anyone and will give you false sense of confidence.

    One of my colleagues passed Third time with a different examiner. His first test, he nearly ran over someone on the zebra crossing but that's not sackable.

    Basically, if your instructor has confidence in you and fights for you then you'll get another shot. My instructor didn't that. That's life. I'm used to disappointments.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Suppose to say serious behind the scene corruption.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Hi

    Quick question... Do arriva do a CRB check?...

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No or at least they didnt when I joined, however they do a detailed back ground check as im led to believe..

      Delete
  52. Passed medical and licence has been sent to dvla, if i hand in my notice is there any way i can mess up

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes of course there is but really if you mess up that bad then driving a bus defo will not be for you...

      Take your time learn for your mistakes and you will be fine...

      Delete
  53. which instructors are good at LV?

    I'm on my third day into the training and finding it ok, I want to find out which names at LV are good in terms of the instructors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honestly I think they are all decent, I had two instructors for my training and a third that did a progress check, all where good...

      Its more if are they are good with/for you??? all have different styles of teaching..

      Plus with this being a open Blog it wouldn't be right for me to name drop ;-)

      good luck

      Delete
  54. How do i get to lee valley training centre?

    ReplyDelete
  55. A little confused here... I have bought the DSA theory cd and am abit confused am i meant 2 recise the LGV bit or the PCV bit or am i doing both?... Would appreciate if someone could tell me

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  56. The training at lv is this Monday to Friday only?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Training is Monday-Friday 7.30-16.00 approx and your paid weekly on the Friday

      Regards

      Delete
  57. How do i get to the training centre? Can i use public transport and when do i get my free oyster pass?...

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The LV depot is located at the back of the BIG Ikea just off the A406 a Google map will show you, there is also a TESCO that you can use as a land mark..

      There is also parking on a industrial estate next to the garage, and yeah you can get a bus from Tottenham hale I just have no idea what number though as I drive buses and never catch one :-)...

      Getting your Oyster is a bit of hit and miss, some get it there first week but I had to wait 6 weeks for mine!!!! sadly it's in TFL's hands not Arriva's

      regards

      Delete
  58. I start my training in a week but im goin to do my theory and hazard test before i start... Will they have any problems with it?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  59. Thanks for your very informative page... I've got my assessment drive next week. a tad nervous, haven't driven anything bigger than a car for a few years. My dad's already a driver at Tottenham and has given me some words of encouragement.

    ReplyDelete
  60. If you can get a few hours driving in a van that could help, they use a long wheelbase mini bus for the assessment so it drives just like a transit..

    I would also do a few drives around the Woodgreen/Allypally area as that is where the driving part is done..

    Good luck with it..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the advice, passed :) the assesment. Now time for the interview (and diet.)

      Delete
  61. Hi

    I have passed my pcv theory and hazard test and i start trainin in a week... Will this be a problem when i start?...

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Defo not a problem!!!!

      You have just saved yourself a fair bit of hassle when your training starts..

      Just take the certificate with you the first day you start training and let them know it's already done... Start to read up on the CPC case study now and be ready for the exam with some good prep work, once that is out the way all you really need to concentrate on is the driving..

      good luck Regards

      Delete
  62. Thank you for all your help...
    This site is a lifesaver

    ReplyDelete
  63. How would you say the cpc exam is? And what are your tips to pass this?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  64. Well like I said before most of the CPC stuff is covered in the Theory test that you have done but there are sections regarding health and safety and in depth bits regarding drivers hours.. I would read through the books make sure you know and understand the legal stuff (work hours/days allowed etc) and go from there..

    If you dont understand something or think they may ask you a question on it then right it down on a pad and keep re-reading it leading up to the exam..

    Regards

    ReplyDelete
  65. Thank you for the informative text

    Question

    I have just passed my driving assessment at wood green garage, I was invited for an interview next week which surprisingly I am a little bit nervous about, although i have no convictions or points on my licence, is there anything i should be aware of (eg: questions, what to expect ) and any tips. also should I start revising for the tests and not bother about the interview. thank you again

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi

      I would look at a few of the comments above this and that should give you everything you need to know regarding the interview stage of the application.. I would say passing the driving assessment is the hardest part as its a one shot deal, mess up and that's it!!! the interview is very straight forward with no real problems..

      I would 100% get started with the revision for the theory test and would advise on doing the hazard part before you even start training as it's a problem area for lots of people.. Look on the DSA website for a test centre near you get the Hazard part book and that is a major piece out of the way before you start training..

      Good Luck..

      Delete
  66. Ive just finished my first week and am finding it difficult driving the bus as there is so much to take in... How long did it take you to be confident in driving the bus, and what would your advice be?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  67. Well for me it was about 4 weeks before the Instructor could sit without worry and just correcting small things..

    Hard things to get right are the tight turns and narrow sections with curbs as its totally different than driving a car as the front wheels are behind you.. Just make sure your getting in the mirror checks and that your breaking is good the rest will come with practice...

    ReplyDelete
  68. Is it true that the practical test is easier than the progress check?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It depends on who does the progress check???

      Like I said above on my pre test check I didn't have so much as one minor yet it was still put across that I was only just about at the level they wanted for me to go on my test..

      The progress check I had before that I was driving well and the guy took me down this stupidly tight road with lots of islands and parked cars, of course I hit a curb and that was done on purpose by the tester to get a few negative things in my book...

      They are hard on you because you cant get over confident in yourself otherwise you will do something stupid that could really hurt someone or do a lot of damage.. By the time you are at test standard you shouldn't find the test hard if im honest but for some people getting to test standard is the tough bit :-/




      Delete
  69. How many weeks was it until you felt confident in your training, meaning until when you were proper confident in driving?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was driving ok after about 3-4 weeks and was 99% consistant after about 5 weeks.. However even the morning of my test I hit a curb at the Southgate roundabout when we was doing a practice run so anything can happen and you will still make the odd mistake even right up to your test date..

      I was trying to get myself to a standard that even if I had a off day on my test I would still scrape a pass..

      Delete
  70. How many hours did you do before you sat ur practical?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From memory I had about 50 hours give or take, The problem when I was training was that we where also picking up a few of the Arriva engineers that where doing there PCV so they could drive the buses on the public road..

      The first hour of each day was just going over to there garages to collect them, so for about 3 weeks 1/2 of my driving hours was on the same route going from depot to depot and they where open main roads so not much to test me on..

      I think the highest hour driver to pass was a guy who had over 68 hours, this was due to him not owning a car for over a year and living in the USA so was use to driving on the wrong side.. He passed first time though no problems...

      I was speaking to a friend of a friend that use to drive route masters way back on a route from Chingford to Victoria and when he was training he only had 9 days at a training school and was then let loose with the public, obviously peoples attitudes and the number of vehicles on roads has changed a lot in that time...

      Delete
  71. How many progress checks are you recommended to have before you get a pre test check? Ive had my 1st and got the usual feedback (youre driving into situatioms to fast and plan ahead more)

    And out of youre group did everyone get through?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You will normally have 3 progress checks before your pre test check..

      I also had a hour drive with another instructor kind off as a progress check just to iron out a few things..

      In my total group there where about 16 people and all but one passed and we did have one leave after about 2 weeks of training..

      On my bus there where 3 other people and two of us passed first time and the other guy passed on his third...

      Delete
  72. So would you say everyone you start training with should be going through?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry for late reply ive been flat out of Christmas and New Year,

      I would say 95% that start training get through without any issues.. However even once you pass and get to a garage some people find out the job isnt for them for whatever reason, normally it will be the shifts or the realization that dealing with the public can be very hard..

      You must be near test standard by now I would think???

      Delete
  73. Ive had my 2nd progress check and it hasnt gone good i made silly errors, they guy said he will come back after 10hours of diving to see me for a PTC... Is this a good thing or should i be worried?....

    ReplyDelete
  74. Also does the company work to get you through or do they give up hope on you quickly?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didnt have any good progress checks until I had my pretest check, we all made stupid errors and even if you are driving well they will take you down a road that is stupidly tight so you hit a curb and turn it into a negative against you..

      The main one to get right is your pre test check, and also make sure when you do your show and tell you make a good impression as more often than not the examiner will also do your practical test..

      They normally give you two chances at the final test and a third if you was just unlucky, the worst thing that could happen is that you fail your first test on something stupid then your next test may take you to Epping which in my view is a very very hard test route as its so tight and the odds of hitting a curb are very high.. You can fail badly here and then a third test may be harder to secure but you should still get one..

      Delete
  75. Hi guys, inciteful blog into the training aspects of becoming an Arriva bus driver. I have my driving assessment on the 15th and hoped I could get a few pointers from those that have been there.
    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've recently done mine. The best advice i have ( i got from this site) is take a look at the area around wood green garage. I went up and around alexandra palace.

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    2. i passed mine by treating it like my car test, useful tip especially if you have been driving for a while, remember to watch your speed and dont cross hands or drive one handed.

      Delete
    3. I will put some pointers at the comments section below this for you...

      Delete
  76. Just make sure your doing your mirror checks and your not speeding or driving too slow and you will be fine mate

    ReplyDelete
  77. Does everyone get a shot at a pcv test or can they terminate you on your ptc?

    ReplyDelete
  78. your blog has made exellent reading and has given me an insight into becoming a bus driver.
    i have been accepted for training by first bus in colchester.
    i have had the written test, maths and english and then the interview, following day i had a driving assesment in the engineers lwb transit and had to complete a highway code test on my return to the depot. i have to say that it is as close to a car driving test as you would probably have got. i have passed everything now next is my medical. then on to the training hopefully.

    ReplyDelete
  79. one thing i would say as regards the medical, i thought i would just check my eyesight as i was going for a medical because it comes up on your D4 application, bloody good job i did, as i thought my eyesight was good as i could read the plate at the required distance but after going to the opticians, it turns out that i was borderline requirement for the medical so got myself some driving glasses. and got it in writing from the optician, was worth covering myself. would have been stupid to go to the medical and fail the eyesight requirement. (EYESIGHT REQUIREMENT FOR PCV AND LGV IS MORE STRINGENT THAN A CAR TEST )

    ReplyDelete
  80. As said above the only way to come into the assessment drive is as you would for your driving test, and doing a drive round the Alexandra palace area is a must in my book.. There are so many 20mph limits to watch out for..

    James:: Your not 100% going to get to the PCV test faze but 99% do.. There is a chance that once your in a bus you just dont have the motor skills to do all the checks in the correct order to be able to pass out of training and be safe with the public, it is rare but does happen and with Arriva the training is way harder than almost anywhere else..

    Steve H
    Glad you like the Blog im far from a Blogger but thought the information would be good as I went into the training totally blind as there was no info.. Im glad that people are in putting there personal experience to top the data up..

    One thing to remember regarding the assessment drive is that MOST people do fail it, it is no way a given that you will get to the training school!!!!..

    ReplyDelete
  81. @ Richard Jeeves:: Glad I have helped :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :-) thanks, got a letter today, start 11th feb at lea valley :-)

      Delete
  82. Got my job offer today subject to medical and refs .......almost there.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Ive just passed my mod 3... done around 55 Hours I must admit this site has helped me alot.

    If anyone wants to ask me any questions pls feel free... providing thats ok with 'DMC'

    I will try to get back to you as soon as I can...

    ReplyDelete
  84. 1)Can you tell how the rota system work?

    2)I'm guessing I start as a spare driver?

    3) I was told doing a spread is good money....

    4) Can you specify what route you want to do at Garage? I really want a certain route that I love...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK with the rota you have early, middle and late shifts.. When you get put on the rota you will at some point do all possible duties so its swings and roundabouts regarding start and finish times, sometimes you have a week of really early starts but a early finish others will be on late starts with late finish.

      A early shift can start from anytime between about 3.30am and I think 9am after that you go into middle duties and then late's start from around 3pm and the latest finish will be about 2am...

      Best paying will be lates, however most drivers want earlies as they are far less busy and they finish with most of the day still left to do stuff..

      Not all routes have the same hours, some pay more than others and you only get paid for driving time not stand time, this is important to understand as there are routes at my garage that have a shortish run time and lots of stand time so obviously the pay scale will be less on these routes but the bonus for some drivers is the rest time in between runs...

      You will start as a spare but for how long is anyones guess, I was a spare for 6 months and that from talking with people is common, there are however some drivers that get put on a rota within a week..

      It comes down to supply and demand, if you want a specific route then keep dropping memo's into the the GS and then when a opening comes up you should get put on.. The first thing if you want a specific route is to make sure you get the right garage that the route comes from!!!. I requested a garage on completion of my training but wasnt given it sadly...

      If by chance you do get to the desired garage you may find that the route you want is really sort after and these routes have a LONG waiting list, there is a route at my garage that I know I wouldn't have a chance of getting on as so many people want on it...

      A spread shift will normally be around 12 hours and you will get something like 4 hours for your meal relief, if like me you live near work then its great as I go into work in the morning and do a few hours then head home for 4 hours then go back for a few runs in the afternoon.. My average pay "after" tax for a week of spreads will be around £500 so not bad, if you want spreads you also need to know what route has a lot of them!!!! some routes have maybe one or two duties that carry a spread and then there is some like mine that have a load!!!...

      Best bet talk with drivers at the garage for the low down on what happens on each route..

      Delete
  85. Hi
    I wonder if you could give me any advise. I recently applied to Arriva buses for a job as a Driver, on the application form I did put down that my last employment was in dispute, due to me having an injury at work " got hospital letters and sick notes to prove the matter " this led me to being dismissed for misconduct. In fact Unite the union are in the process of trying to take him to a industrial Tribunal and sue him for an industrial injury as well on his works premises.
    However after I sat the assessment then the drive and the interview of which I mentioned to the manager about my last job, That obtaining a reference from my last employer would not be a good idea, He said that's fine and that he was happy with that.
    Once my interview was over i was congratulated and told that I would be offered the Role and given a two page contract which I signed, next I was given a medical test date which I passed.
    When I returned my documents from the GP to Arriva my Driving license both parts was taken from me to send away to add the provisional for PCV to be added. This was when the receptionist told me that they would now contact my previous employer for a Reference which I told her was not a good idea because of the aggro I got with him at the moment. But she said they still would contact him.
    But even though the Manager who interviewed me was happy about this matter and I got 3 previous good reference do you think I'm finished.

    Many thanks

    Jim H

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is it not illegal in the UK to give a bad reference???? You either give a good ref or non at all???

      Im sure on my application they just wanted two references from past employers, they didn't say it had to be my "last" employer from memory..

      I cant really comment though as im just a lowly driver you will need to speak to human resources, but if the manager was ok with it then im sure it will get sorted...


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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  86. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  87. in truth they are not allowed to lie on a reference otherwise they are open to being sued by you for defamation of character, so in practice they may choose not to reply to a reference request, but it is not currently illegal to give a bad reference as they are required by law to be truthful on answers to specific questions.

    ReplyDelete
  88. what would you say is a good drive in terms of bus model?

    Eg is there a difference between VLA vs DLA?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For training a DLA is perfect as its quite a basic bus and the brakes are just about right (not to sharp not to soft)..

      For a service bus though the DLA is really quite old now, main difference that I was told between a DLA and VLA is the engine, the VLA uses the Volvo engine is normally used on routes that will go down faster roads such as the A406 on routes like the 123..

      Im lucky as I drive near brand new buses DW or HV Hybrid, HOWEVER there are more than a few DW's that run very slowly for some reason (think 20mph max with your foot through the floor on a hill)..

      I actually picked my route as it used new buses :-)

      Overall I would say the best buses are the HV hybrids, the brakes are quite good its very hard to cause lots of recoil as there is so much feel, some 0f the DW brakes are mega harsh and I never seem to get two buses in the same day that feel the same???..
      Bad point with the HV is the aircon is rubbish in saying that the DW isnt great either but on the VLA its brilliant!!!..

      Rumor has it that all DLA buses will soon be gone and will be replaced with either T Buses or DW's how true this is im not sure but I have seen a lot of new buses at my depot being prepped for garage delivery..

      Delete
  89. DMC, how long was you in training for from 1st day till passing.
    just want to know how long i can expect. thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was in training around 2 1/2 months all in, that would include ticket training and all that side of it as well..

      Delete
    2. CHEERS MATE i will keep the page updated with my progress.

      Delete
  90. Got myself a copy of the practice hazard perception dvd and the theory test book to day, had look at both , and its amazing how much of it is pure common sense. going to take your advice and try and get these out of the way sooner rather than later.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've decided to get mine out of the way before i start on the 11th. I'm doing my Hazard Perception tommrow and the theory test next week. All being well that will be a few less things to worry about whilst doing the training...

      Delete
    2. I can see the training staff now looking at each other going why the hell is everyone doing there HP and theory before they started training??? lol..

      The theory test is very easy but do learn and understand the hours allowance and how long you can drive for without a break as this is real world stuff you need to know..

      You may think that the duties are arrange for you to not go over your hours and you would be right but some are very close to the 5 1/2 hour limit that you can do in one sitting, I was caught out last year when a water main burst at Seven Sisters, it was taking us about 1h 45mins to do 3 miles and on my last run I was right on my hours limit so I had to sit at a bus stop with the Engine off for 30mins to bring my driving time back into line.. Go over your hours and you break the law so that will mean a not to nice discussion with the garage manager!!!!!...

      Also start to get yourself ready for the Case study exam, there will be a lot to learn first off but keep on top of it and dont underestimate anything...

      Delete
  91. :-) After my driving assesment thy encouraged me to get the book and start reading up... The hours side of it was what i kept getting stuck on (EU rules ... domestic ... ?!?!?!) I passed the HP test and doing the theory on tuesday. I got the DSA book for PCV CPC from the library (yes people still use libraries). Its quite goo, even has a examply case study in it. Do you have to wear anything in particular when you start training?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AHH YES , I WONDERED THAT, DO YOU GET A UNIFORM PRIOR TO TRAINING OR DO YOU JUST GO CASUAL AS YOU WOULD NORMALLY.?

      Delete
  92. The main thing is foot wear make sure you wear shoes not trainers, you will not be allowed to train if your shoes do not have a heel..

    Dress code well there isnt one really just wear what you feel comfortable in but be warned this time of year the training buses are very cold as the LV garage is fully outside with no roof so the buses sit out for 12 hours in all weathers before you get in and they takes ages to warm up.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Hi
    its me again with dreaded news that I was not waiting for. A letter this morning arrived from ARRIVA, saying that my last employer "surprise surprise" has given me a reference which did not meet ARRIVA'S standard and that they have stopped my application .
    I'm devastated by this, I been working for over 30 years and never had a bad word from any previous employer, one employer i worked for 26 years until the Proprietor died and the business closed.
    But one error of taking my last job with an arse that lasted for 9 months until he decides to dismiss me whilst I'm off sick, because of an injury on his premises which has been certified by Doctor and Hospital and I'm Dismissed and its cost me a job that I had my heart set on .


    its so unfair.

    Jim H

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would agree with Steve if you honestly feel that what they have done is unjust then you have to contest it!!!!

      The problem with the Bus driving game is that the employer needs people that are reliable, if you cant work or are always late it messes so many things up its crazy.. I guess they are just covering themselves against a possible liability.

      If you want to be a driver there still are options, I see Go ahead, Metroline and Stagecoach training buses on the road most days so they must be recruiting I would def get on the phone and ask the question??

      I struggle to see with your situation how a company can right you off so to speak if you had a genuine doctors certificate due to illness or injury whilst at work??

      Delete
  94. Sorry to hear that mate , but as i said earlier there are no good or bad references , they are just legally bound to give the truth as they see it , if you feel it is not the truth then you must contest it otherwise they will stuff your chances in other jobs aswell

    ReplyDelete
  95. Confirmation at last, start training 18th feb refs and meds all done, the doctor moved so fast no sooner i was in , he had finished , im sure he werent paying attention . i got the impression he was only in it for the easy money.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. congrats, i got the same feeling lol ;-)
      looks like you're starting a week after me. i've passed my HP and theory test (cue the weird looks from the training staff).

      Delete
  96. I've got my interview and transit van test tomorrow, what's the interview like? What kind of questions do they ask you? Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  97. Best bet look at a few of the comments above this as there is indepth info regarding what they ask..

    Its very easy and basic, it is more to sort out your contract and to discuss with you how the bus industry works than a job interview so dont worry..

    ReplyDelete
  98. here we go !! theory passed 98% hazard 87% passed thats less shit to worry about now to start training no 18th with them two under my belt already, more time to get used to driving the big shoe box around.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congrats... its a great help (trust me), Ive just finished week one :-) and got my module 2 case study test on monday morning...

      Delete
    2. What did they say when yo walked in with the first two bits passed ?

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    3. They didn't say much. The just booked me for module 2 this Monday. The other 5 that started with me this week have their hazard perception / theory test. The 1st day will be classroom.

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  99. How did your cpc go richard ?? mod 2

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Passed it 47/50 :-) hopefully your training should be going well our DLA is quite a good one...

      Delete
  100. Hi All,
    This blog is a god send-Thanks to all on here,
    Passed my Highway and Maths+English and have my driving test and interview with garage manager book but my Question is, What's the eye sight requirements that they look for, Do they accept drivers who wear glasses etc etc etc, This is the only bit I'm worrying about and what do they put you through @ medical???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi john , eye sight requirements are pretty stringent , and are far more intense than a standard driving eye exam. that said, as long as you can read an eye chart with your glasses on then no problem . they are looking for no sign of double or tunnel vision really. medical involves your blood pressure being taken , weight, height, etc, nothing to worry about really only concerns would be heart problems , diabetes, alcoholism and drug taking , not to mention mental disorders.
      scary bit over, it was a piece of cake and I got the impression like many others that the doctors were only in it for the money in my particular case I was in and out inside of 15 mins nothing to worry about , you`ll be absolutely fine.(contrary to what anyone may tell you , you do not strip off ) in respect of your driving assessment, treat it exactly like you would your car driving test remember no speeding and mirrors mirrors mirrors. keep in touch and let us know how your getting on.

      Delete
  101. john this might help if your really worried,
    http://www.deakin.edu.au/health/medicine/optometry/eye-tests/images/snellen-chart.pdf
    click on the above to download a chart and print it off on a4 paper and stand 3 m away and you should be able to read just above the green line with glasses. regards steve

    ReplyDelete
  102. Cheers "Steve H" I shall,
    Thanks for the useful information :-)
    So Another question, Where in Essex are there Arriva garages ???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know of 1 in Barking and 1 in Dagenham but that's it!!!!

      Delete
  103. Arriva only has one garage that I would class as Essex and that is Barking, all Barking buses are "London Buses" IE Red..

    There is however Arriva the shires and these are outer London garages and routes. The buses will be green and white in colour and you will not have the IBUS system or centre comm assistants regarding diversions etc As far as I know if you want a truly essex route such as Southend etc then you will need to apply to "Arriva the shires" as im 90% sure they conduct there own training, plus wages are a fair bit less..

    One note regarding the Barking garage is that you will not get a spot there anytime soon!!!!!! they are full up and have been for years, there is a long waiting list to get in there also..If you are a new recruit you will more than likely get Tottenham at the moment..

    Hope that helps

    ReplyDelete
  104. hi everyone. excellent blog. thanks Driving me crazy. i am PCV holder-thus have already my bus license. soon have driving assessment. what to expect and any advice? i am pretty confident i can drive buses safely but rumors are some bus companies are failing people with bus license at driving assessments interesting. any "fail spots" around wood green area? any advice would be highly appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi

      The biggest fail spot will be all the 20mph limits and the road that leads over Ally Pally that is "now" a 20 limit as its always been a 30 zone..

      Apart from that its just normal city driving!!!

      Im surprised your not going to Lee Valley for your assessment in a bus as your a PCV holder or it could be that you have not driven a bus in many years and thus they will take you out in the van..

      On reflection I had a fairly poor assessment drive but I did all my mirror work at the correct times and that is very important, I would say get out for a few hours and drive the local roads and atleast you will have some idea of the road layouts..

      Regards

      Delete
  105. this SMOOTHDRIVERTALKER!!!! sorry i forgot my login details so had to open new acoount!!Thanks for the speedy response i did not know they take PCV holders in a van to asses! they only told me come to wood green for tests which includes maths,english and HW code. Maybe i will do the tests in wood green and then go to lea valley? Who knows? Also I heard they pay PCV holder's as a new driver to start off? With 8 years experience that would be a bad for me as they will get experienced driver for peanuts. i still remember how my for employer paid me at least 100 pounds a week less than everyone else for the first year. Anyways nice to have bus driver blogs as it is very rare

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like your being put through what a new employee has to do to gain a position at the training school???

      How long ago did you last use your PCV licence for a Job?? I was under thr impression that if you hold a current PCV that you will have a driving assessment at LV and go from there into ticket training, however this is only a assumption?!.

      As for pay again I thought you would be coming in at the higher rate of around the £11 bracket..

      I hate to say it but maybe Metroline would be worth a look as word is they higher current PCV holders near the £13 bracket??? again this is really only canteen talk but would be worth the phone call..

      regards

      Delete
  106. Thanks. ONE WOULD THINK ARRIVA IS RICHER THAN METROLINE. LOL

    anyways arriva is closer to my house so that the extra 50 a week is not worth the travel expenses and commuting stress i guess.
    i drove 2 years ago last time

    ReplyDelete
  107. Hi DMC,
    First of all great blog. Just a brief question to ask:
    How much annual leave are you entitled to with Arriva?
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi

      Well I can only say from my own experience as im sure there have been some changes for new recruits..

      Last year I had 25 days paid Holiday, HOWEVER there are also options regarding bank holidays these would be work the bank holiday and get paid the extra cash "everyone will take this as its a decent amount" or work it and have a day in loo added to your normally holiday allowance..

      The pay for bank holidays is really good.. A quick email to HR will give you a up to date answer..

      Delete
  108. Hello Everyone,

    This is an amzingly informative blog - thank you!

    My brother has received an invitation to sit the HW and Maths/English tests. I wanted to help get him prepared - Please can you provide examples of questions for both tests please? I have heard you can get questions re timetable etc for maths - can you give an example of this?

    Thanks in advance

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Newbie...

      The only thing that really needs revision will be on the Highway code and in specific road signs..

      If someone cannot pass the basic maths and english test then there is no way that they will be able to do this job fact...

      The driving assessment is the deal breaker for everyone your either in or not sadly..

      Delete
  109. hi newbie, the tests for maths and English are basic primary school stuff, for example with the maths - a fare is £2.40 adult and 70p child, customer gives you £5 note how much change is required ? etc
    another would be 24 hour clock ie - if you start at 05.45 and finish 15.50 how long have you been working.
    the English side of it test how you answer questions and basic understanding of the English language , after all no good driving a bus if you cannot speak English. and as for the highway code this should come second nature as you would presumably no this off by heart whilst you have been driving your own car. hope this helps. anything else you need to know you should find within this blog its been absolutely invaluable to me as I am already in the process of training and it has given me the heads up as to the processes towards passing the pcv and ongoing bus life.

    ReplyDelete
  110. @Steve H
    a lot of bus drivers wish they did not understand English because of all the abuse words they get lol. also some drivers from my old garage who spoke limited english seemed much happier than the once that understood english well lol gues why.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should my experience that Ive had with abusive passengers and I will tell anyone that you get as much grief in this job as "you" want to get!!!!

      I very rarely have any problems but then I dont talk to passengers and I refuse to argue with them full stop, it makes for a much nicer day.. Some drivers are always having problems and most of the time that is there fault for getting drawn into a argument.

      Perfect example: last week im coming through Dalston and a women gets on with her daughter, now it was obvious the daughter was older than 10 and as such needed her free bus pass.. The mother said she was 9 :-/ when I questioned her about a pass she went into one, straight away I said no problems sit down then and if a ticket inspector gets on im telling them what happened.. Her response "Oh I dont give a f***", Ok great I thought as I knew that a few stops up TFL revenue where doing ticket checks.. What happens the very next stop Revenue officer gets on :-) I tell her what had happened she said no problem driver then went straight up to the women and daughter and after a quick conversation pulled them off the bus.. Instant Karma so that is the women now stuck with a £80 fine and possibly a criminal record if they have done it before..

      Delete
    2. absolutely priceless , that's what I call poetic justice lol well done dmc I think that what you did was probably the way to go with out a doubt.

      Delete
  111. one thing about the highway code, is it the traffic signs only that is assessed or other things? if you see this link below traffic signs is only small part of the hw code. cheers

    https://www.gov.uk/highway-code

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    Replies
    1. if your talking about driving assessment ,then its mainly road signs but on the theory it could be absolutely anything, Ie signs , road markings , traffic signals etc

      Delete
  112. For the Arriva assessment on the highway code 95% of the questions are road sign orientated..

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  113. oh dear !! I am now driving a Volvo b10 coach, apparently the rest of my driving and my test will be done in this. the driving view is excellent but the brake is a little on the sharp side, must remember that. lol don't want to be throwing the examiner through the window.

    ReplyDelete
  114. Can anyone please update me with what is going on with the pay freeze??? Am due to go for my Assessment this Friday 15 TH march and want to know what the situation is with that...

    All comments are welcome...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nehal

      When you join Arriva as a new driver you will be on a pay freeze for 7 years!!! now don't get alarmed just yet..

      I have been with the company around 1-1/2 years and we have just had a pay rise all be it a small one, however this year alone I have had about £1800 in a lump sum as part of a pay deal. I would however say that £500 odd of that was for doing the Olympics.

      The Union and the Arriva are always in pay talks and anything is possible in the future regarding wage rises.

      I believe the idea of the pay freeze is so if something drastic happened within the company then they are not liable to have to pay a year on year pay increase to a large number of new drivers.

      But as I said each year they give the drivers a lump sum bonus just before christmas..

      I have done "no" overtime this year (not one single day) and I cleared about £28k you could get well over £30k if you do a bit of overtime.


      Hope that helps

      Regards

      Delete
  115. module 3 now booked , nerves are kicking in cannot wait to get it over with, anyone got any ideas on how to control the nerves ??

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    Replies
    1. Go into it like your a robot that can't fail, if your have put in the leg work before hand you should be 100% ok..

      Delete
  116. Just thought that I would update my situation. I had my assessment with 7 other guys on Friday and passed. All of the others in the group also passed but I had answered 38 out of 40 for the traffic signs and also scored highest on the othere questions. Next I have an assessment drive and then interview on the day.

    Can anyone please tell me when the company check references???, as my last job manager is going to be away for 3 weeks, on the week that I have my driving assessment and interview.

    All answers are welcome......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The first assessment is really basic and most people will get through that.

      It's the driving assessment that most will fail on. The pass average for this bit is as low as (1-6) the rest will fail sadly...

      If you pass the assessment then its a two-three week wait whilst your driving licence is sent off for the provisional PCV licence to be added so you can drive the training bus then you will get a start date about a week after that. From memory they need the references sorted before you start your training so you will just about have a three week window.

      From experience if you have a little wait for the reference to come back its fine and you will just get a later start date, the HR department will best answer this question though!

      Regards

      Delete
  117. HI there. Am waiting for my driving assessment on 2nd April. Just wanted to know what Arriva do if you have already passed your Hazard Perception and Multiple choice questions???

    I was going to do the whole thing privately before I got a letter from Arriva to attend an assessment. I have my PCV provisional entitlement on my licence and like I said have done Module 1. I will not have to do it again and also will it be helpful if I take with me the Mod 1 pass sheets at the interview???

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  118. HI

    If you are lucky enough to pass the driving assessment then your place at the training centre is secured re references and medical, having the PCV entitlement on your licence will speed up your turn around time from interview to joining the training program..

    I would mention it at the interview that you have done the Module 1 but honestly it will not affect anything, best just to take the cert along on your first day of training and present it to your instructor..

    The big hurdle is the driving assessment not the interview!!! I cannot stress this enough, the interview is only a chat regarding the working environment and for "you" to ask any questions you may have..

    Ive just checked the date on your first post and you stated that you had part 1 of your assessment on 15 March have you had to wait until 2nd April for your driving assessment? also is this taking place at Watson Road head office?

    regards



    ReplyDelete
  119. Hi, Yes I have my driving assessment at Watson road head office on 3rd April and first assessment was on 15th March,

    Why did you want to know mate???

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  120. It just seems a very long time between the assessments I was under the impression they tried to get them done within a few days of each other. I can only think one of the assessors is on Holiday??

    well good luck anyway and post up how you get on good or bad!!

    regards

    ReplyDelete
  121. GET IN THERE!!!!!! ALL TESTS SUCCESSFULLY PASSED WITH ONLY 2 MINOR FAULTS cannot wait to get started type training , route learning , and ticket training , sad ain`t it i`m as excited as a kid at Christmas..lol this blog as been so helpful to me and respect is due to d m c for getting it started cheers mate , it felt like you was there with me .......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thats brilliant news!!!!

      2 minors is very good, just remember that you now have a licence to lose so whatever you do for the first 6-8 months drive live a 90 year old gran and do not rush, if your running late then so be it!!!!!. If the company thinks your a risk it will be bye bye!!!!... Harsh but true!

      Delete
    2. the examiner said when he passed me , that I have all the skills needed and not to change my driving style as it is exactly as required at all times, praise indeed !! the only thing about the drive that gets me everytime , is my arch enemy the dreaded busy roundabout, no bugger will use there indicators and I am sorry but its got to be said 80% of car drivers on the road are DICKHEADS AS SOME ROUNDABOUTS I WAS ON WAS LIKE PLAYING RUSSIAN ROULETTE its amazing if car drivers could see from the prospective of the large vehicle driver, the world would be a happier place.

      just a note dmc, I have left details of your site in the canteen noticeboard in case anyone else needs help.

      Delete
  122. WELL DONE MATE. Your right man this blog is very helpful and has given me a lot of information and support so far.. Special thanks for DMC as well. Sound advice is very happy with all the responses....

    ReplyDelete
  123. No problems lads, information when I started was very sketchy so thought it only right to get a resource blog put up..

    Regards

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  124. I have my driving assessment this Tuesday. A bit nervous but all in all I have been driving for 22 years so I should hopefully pass the assessment. I have driven transits before and know the area well but off course I will feel the pressure and I hope I don't get any dangerous....

    Well, I will post you what happens and will keep you updated with results.....

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  125. all should be fine , just treat it as though you are on a driving test. keep calm, and make sure you don't speed and check your mirrors all the time. oh and good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  126. started route learning today, I have 19 routes to learn in 6 days, now I am supposed to be memory man?????? ticket machine training is tomorrow morning for around 2 hours so I am told????
    they tell me don't worry drivers do get lost occasionally (NO SHIT!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry but having to learn 19 routes is just stupid!!!! I only learned 3 routes and each take at least a day as you need to see the turn points.. As for 2 hours for ticket training I had 1 week for ticket ,duty card, and Ibus and even then your no 100 % as there is a fair bit to learn...

      And yes drivers get lost quite a lot lol.. Best advice I was given is of your diverted just wait for another bus to overtake you then you can follow!!!!! I have done it a few times when I started,.

      Delete
  127. Hi all,

    I went for my driving assessment and the assessor got called to go somewhere and it was cancelled and another date given. A bit pissed off !!!!!. Anyway I have to go back on Sat 13th April now. It felt like on the busses!!! I'll get you Butler!!

    Will keep you updated with what happens.....

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  128. routes all learnt , and have been buddy driving this week , got to say what a buzz ........my company operate a drive green system which for those of you that dont know is a system inbuilt into every bus on the entire fleet throughout the uk and each driver carrys with them an id tag which monitors your driving style no matter what vehicle you drive. my own personal one is picking up on the fact that I am braking when going into a corner which I know I am doing so proves it works . its really a way of getting you to tidy up your driving and be more green efficient.
    overall the job is going great and wished I had done this bloody years ago!!! as for the colleages at the depot , there brilliant laugh its like being at the comedy club.

    ReplyDelete
  129. I have passed everything and have a training start date for 29th April. Just curious of the pay!!!
    The letter I got said that 38 hours will be about £430 per week, which I have worked out to be £11.30 p per hour if you work late or early shifts and no overtime. That totals to about £22k per year. Twenty days holidays is not really all that, but to be honest I do not have any children, nor am I married so I can do overtime. Just wanted to know what rate bank holiday pay is??? also how can some people have earned 28k???

    All answers welcome.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the answer to that one is probably workaholics doing every available shift, anyway well done!!

      Delete
    2. 38 hours is only your contracted hours you will end up doing way more than that in a normal working week once on the rota..

      I average anything between 45-60 depending on duty for the week, remember you get paid for spread shifts and these can have over a 4 hour lunch and you may do that duty for 7-9 days straight so times £37 approx X 9 and add that to your normal shift pay and it soon adds up...

      My contracted pay was only something like £10 hour but when you do late duties you then go into unsociable pay and thus there is a increase in your hourly rate..

      It all comes down to your route and what the TOD or Time of driving is on that route, some of the shorter routes have lower pay due to longer stand times. My route is mid level regarding pay in my garage and I earned £28k just doing my normal hours and could have made way more if I did rest days and rail replacement jobs..

      You will get a large Christmas bonus and who knows what else during the year due to union talks etc etc.

      There have been of late a slight adjustment to starting wages and holiday however it has just been put into place and as so I haven't got any information on it...

      Oh and well done

      Delete
    3. Sorry didn't answer Bank Holiday pay, There are a few options when it comes to bank holiday but a rule of thumb is that you will get about a extra £60 for every bank holiday you work..

      I ended up doing a late shift on Christmas eve that finished about 1.45am Christmas morning and also Boxing day and I ended up with something like £680 "net" for the week..

      Sorry I cant be more help and as ive stated I believe in a far earlier post My average take home pay would be about £400 a week my Lowest would be £380 if I was doing a 7 hour "early" shift and my max would be £490 approx if doing spreads..

      Delete
  130. Thanks for explaining that to me mate. I now have an idea of what to expect, obviously depending on what shift I get and what route.

    Cheers for that.....

    ReplyDelete
  131. Hi this is a message for DMC. I just want to know when the company give you an oyster card?. I handed my photo in on the day of the medical...Also when can I get an oyster for my spouse???

    I have a starting date for the training on the 29th at lee valley training centre. Just wanted to know so that I can work out the cost of my travel from home to training centre. Also, can you tell me what times the training starts and finishes and what days??

    Can you recommend any CD's that I can use to practice my Mod 2 case studies. Remember that I have allready done Mod 1 and passed both theory and hazard perception...

    Cheers mate

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ok your oyster "should" be given to you the day you start training but I found this wasn't really the case..

      Most people will get there pass within the first week or two.. You cannot get the nominee pass until you have finished all your training, these take about 1 week to process at TFL ..

      Training time's have just changed I have heard, your best bet will be to ask the Head office.. I would say post up times when you find out to keep the page undated!!! :-)

      For the case study just get the normal DSA reading material and go through it with a fine tooth comb, at the moment no DVD is published for the Case study..

      Regards

      Delete
    2. I have just found my old training time table and we started at 7.30 am and finished at 15.30, I believe the training time is now 7.30am-16.00

      Its a very quick day and you will at mostly only be driving for around 2 hours max depending on how many new drivers are on your training bus..

      This free up a bit of time to study for your other bit's..

      Regards

      Delete
  132. Hi DMC,
    Thank you for a really informative Blog. I have applied with Metroline. I am guessing it must be a similar procedure?

    I have passed my interview which included questions about the Highway code, English and Maths. I also passed my driving assessment and also the medical. Now they have sent off my driving license to get a provisional PVC license. The next stage they said is to put me in for the Hazard Perception and Theory tests.
    I was wondering at which point do you start getting paid for the training? Is it after or before you start learning/taking the Hazard Perception/Theory Tests?
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sonny.

      At Arriva I was paid from my first day at the training school, Sadly I have no idea how Metroline do thing's but im sure it will be similar??

      regards

      Delete
  133. How long roughly did it take time wise before you actually drove and were fully employed?

    ReplyDelete