Bus Renamed After Local Bus Fan

A bus has been dedicated to local bus enthusiast John Cooze, who is an avid fan of all things Arriva. John, who is autistic, has a vast picture collection of Arriva buses, but has a clear favourite from the local fleet.

John likes to visit bus depots in the summer. His love for ‘his bus’ started four years ago when he was invited to Arriva’s Wigston depot and was given an exclusive tour of a bus before it was first put into service, including testing all the bells and going through the car wash in the bus. John was ecstatic to test all the bells and to be the first person to go out in the vehicle around the town for an exclusive ride before anyone else in the city. Since then, John has felt a connection to the bus, tracked its movements and always refers to the bus as ‘his bus’.

Arriva were informed that John has been having a really difficult time of late, so decided to cheer him up with a special surprise. 

There are around 700,000 autistic people in the UK. Because it’s a spectrum, every autistic person is different and will have their own strengths and face varying challenges. Some autistic children and adults need 24-hour care and support.

Paul Hickinbottom, General Manager at Arriva Midlands said: “After hearing of John’s love for his bus, we knew we had to name the bus after him to thank him for all of his support. We are delighted that John is such a big fan and it was so heart-warming to see the photograph showing his reaction at having his bus officially named after him. We look forward to welcoming John onto his bus when it is safe to do so. We also can’t wait to invite John into the Thurmaston depot to celebrate for an exclusive behind the scenes tour as soon as we can.”

Sam Freeman, who supports John at the National Autistic Society, said: “John has always been interested in buses. He's a real bus enthusiast and he’s often said his dream is to see his name on a bus. John loves being around or travelling on buses and he hasn’t been able to do this in the same way in the past year, due to Coronavirus. 

“The disruption to his routine has been really tough for John, as it has been for the 700,000 autistic people in the UK, and their families too. So, to have his dream realised is absolutely amazing. 

“All of us at the National Autistic Society are delighted to see John so happy after such a challenging year. A big thank you to Arriva for making this happen.”

To find out more about autism or the charity, visit www.autism.org.uk.

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