A DRIVER on Dorset’s popular Purbeck Breezers can take a busman’s holiday after being named his company’s employee of the year.

Nigel Curtis has scooped £3,500 in vouchers plus two weeks’ extra leave after winning the honour from Morebus and its parent company Go South Coast.

Nigel was described as a favourite among passengers on the Purbeck Breezer, which links Bournemouth and Poole with Swanage via a trip on the Sandbanks Ferry.

He was praised for his always friendly and amenable manner.

As well as coming top among Morebus staff, he was awarded the Employee of the Year accolade from Go South Coast.

Nigel was presented with the honour by managing director Andrew Wickham at the company’s annual ceremony.

Mr Wickham said: “As a driver of our Purbeck Breezer service, Nigel takes the many challenges of this tourist-led route in his stride, and regularly provides us with invaluable feedback and suggestions on how we can enhance our offering still further.

“One example of his professionalism is the way he dealt with an unexpected delay, following a breakdown to the chain ferry, which forms part of his route.

“Nigel was praised by many customers for making sure they were all looked after and kept up-to-date with developments.

“This award is richly deserved. I would like to congratulate Nigel, and wish him a successful year ahead.”

The Purbeck Breezer services, which are often run with open-top double decker buses, were themselves recently nominated as Britain’s most scenic bus routes.

Passenger watchdog Bus Users UK is urging people to vote for their favourite routes.

The Breezer routes are the number 50, which links Bournemouth to Swanage via Sandbanks and the ferry, and the 40, which travels from Swanage to Poole via Corfe Castle and Wareham.

Voting in that award continues until May and details are at busuers.org