Who’s Who: Ever wondered what it’s like to be a 236 bus driver?
- Credit: Archant
Cheery 236 bus driver Nelson Campos tells the Gazette why he loves his current route between Islington and Hackney – and reminisced about working for the home office, courts and the police.
Ever wondered what it’s like to sit in the drivers seat of the 236 bus?
The Gazette caught up with a veteran driver who’s been ferrying passengers all across the capital for 14 years.
Nelson Campos, 49, told us about the small gestures that make his day, why time flies on the 236, and his past life as a home office interpreter.
“I see all sorts of fun things,” said Nelson. “If people like me they try to give me drinks and sweets.”
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“I really like the route and the people of Islington and Hackney are very pleasant and polite and usually stop and say hello.”
He added: “The good thing is the time goes ever so quickly on this route.
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“I normally do late shifts, so I start at around two or three in the afternoon and I finish at two in the morning.”
Nelson has been working the Finsbury Park to Hackney Wick beat for the past two years, but drove the D6 for a 12 year stint prior to that.
The D6 runs from the King Edward’s Road bus stop to the Isle of Dogs.
“My colleagues are my great friends and time goes very quick on this route, which is a good thing,” Nelson added.
When asked about the perks of the job, he said: “We have a group gym in Leyton where we have discounts and most of the drivers go there.
“We also have a company party once a year were we all get a plus one. Last time we went on a big boat in the Thames and that was a really fun occasion.”
Nelson works for Tower Transit, one of the biggest bus companies in the UK.”
Transit Towers is a company contracted by TfLto run 450 buses and it also has 1,700 staff members on its books.
But Nelson wasn’t always a gym-going bus driver.
He told the Gazette he used to work as an interpreter, where he would translate both Portugese, his native language, and Spanish into English.
Nelson said this involved jobs with the Home Office, the police, different magistrates’ courts and also a spell working for social services.
“I really enjoyed that job,” said Nelson. “I got to meet people from different backgrounds and every day was different.”
But Nelson, of Newham, said he is happy driving the 236 because he still gets to meet kind and interesting people at work.