Alex collects Young Driver of the Year honour

Award-winner Alex Tilley, of Moy Park, Sleaford.
Award-winner Alex Tilley, of Moy Park, Sleaford.

A Sleaford man is celebrating after ‘driving off’ with a top honour in a national award scheme for van operators.

Alex Tilley, 30, a joiner at Moy Park, near Sleaford, has been named the Van Excellence Young Driver of the Year.

It follows a rigorous assessment day, open to Van Excellence accredited operators, which also sees an overall Van Excellence Driver of the Year being named.

The aim of the event is to celebrate ‘unsung heroes’ in the sector, as Mark Cartwright, Head of Vans at the FTA, which administers the Van Excellence scheme, explained: “From delivering our online shopping to keeping businesses and schools stocked with the vital materials they need, the essential services van drivers provide are often overlooked.”

Alex was pitted against 12 other finalists in the competition to complete a set of tasks which covered all areas of their roles, including legislation, driving skills, and risk assessment.

Mr Cartwright continued: “Van driving is a challenging task; it is both mentally and physically demanding. Drivers must draw from several skills sets on a daily basis, including time management, legislative knowledge, mechanical insight, technical driving skill, as well the ability to lift heavy goods and walk vast distances. It is vitally important that the complexity of their roles, as well as the value they provide, is recognised on a national level.”

Alex said: “To be named as the best young van driver in the UK is an overwhelming feeling, and I never expected to achieve such an accolade so early in my career. I would like to thank my colleagues at Moy Park for helping me become the driver I am today.”

Bott Ltd, Brigade Electronics, Hertz UK, Lex Autolease and Quartix sponsored the event.