The National Final

Timetable of Events
 
The majority of teams arrive in Blackpool during the Saturday afternoon in readiness for the briefings in the afternoon and the gala dinner in the evening at the Grand Hotel Blackpool, formerly the Hilton Hotel. 
 
The purpose of the dinner is to bring together all the competitors, their colleagues, families and supporters in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere before the serious business of competition on the Sunday morning. It is an ideal opportunity for bus company directors, managers, staff and drivers to meet with colleagues from all parts of the UK. 
 
There is a detailed briefing of the competitors by the Operations Director on the theory and driving tests they will encounter on the Sunday morning, and it is for this reason that we encourage all competitors to attend the briefing, even if not staying at the Grand Hotel, as this completes their preparation for the final.
 
The BDoY team sets out the course early on the Sunday morning, and all competitors are welcome to walk round the course to help understand the briefing and perhaps to decide on strategy.
 
On competition day, all entrants are deemed to be working for BDoY’s fictitious Middle Walk Bus Company, and all drivers will have received a copy of that company code of conduct.
 
The day seeks to simulate a driver’s normal working day. All competitors will have received a personal timetable, which requires them to undertake a breathalyser test, sign on , show their driving licence, which will be free of endorsements, along with their DCPC card and present themselves at the specified times for both the theory test in the Hilton Hotel and for their driving test.
 
Buses are kindly loaned by competing and other companies, and any operator who brings a bus to Blackpool is most welcome to lend it for use in the competition. The Vice-President’s cup is awarded for the best –presented vehicle used in the competition.
 
For a period of 3 or 4 hours, BDoY operates the most intensive bus service in the UK. Competitors leave every 2 minutes on the 3 mile course, which incorporates some manoeuvring exercises followed by a circuit, in normal traffic, along the Promenade and Middle Walk. Drivers are required to stop with precision at a number of bus stops, and marshals will be stationed around the course to judge drivers signalling, positioning etc.
 
Each driver’s run normally lasts about 15-20 minutes. The buses carry passengers (but fares are not charged!) as the competition vehicles may be used by drivers, their families and friends to travel between the Grand Hotel, where the theory tests take place and the starting point for the driving tests.
 
The tests are normally finished by 13.30, giving everyone a break for lunch while the results are compiled prior to the awards ceremony in the Grand Hotel at around 15.45.