UWE Bristol illustration student Rosalyn Burroughs stands in front of a double decker bus featuring her winning design
UWE Bristol illustration student Rosalyn Burroughs with her winning design wrapped around a double decker bus

A new bus wrap designed by student Rosalyn Burroughs has been unveiled to mark 80 years since the first female bus drivers were employed in Bristol.

First Bus launched the competition to transform the double-decker, with Rosalyn’s winning illustration telling the story of key moments of women behind the wheel in the city and across the UK.

Rosalyn, an illustration student at UWE Bristol, said: “I am a firm believer that public transport can change and improve people’s lives and believe that a city or town is only as good as its public transport links.

“I really enjoyed creating this design and learning more about the women in Bristol and across the country who made advances in the transport industry, as well as all of the support women in the transport industry are continuing to provide for one another in the form of online training and advice.”

Photo shows the back of the bus with a sign saying the illustration is by UWE Bristol by Rosalyn Burroughs

The initiative by First Bus marks eight decades since Mrs V Hoyes passed her official driving test, making her Bristol’s first female bus driver, and therefore marking a major change in Bristol’s public transport workforce.

At the time, the then Evening Post in March 1944 reported: “Bristol is among the first of the major towns of the country to train women for this work, and it will be greatly to their credit if they come through their final tests under such difficult driving conditions as exist in the city.”

There are further celebrations of women at the wheel with a special window display at Sparks – the former Marks and Spencer shop - in Bristol city centre where a photo from 80 years ago showing the company’s first female drivers has been recreated to reflect today’s workforce.

Doug Claringbold, the Managing Director for First West of England, said: “It is important to recognise and celebrate the achievements of all our female colleagues. Women work across a variety of roles throughout the business, and we are delighted to showcase the opportunities a career in the bus sector offers, and to inspire the next generation of female colleagues to achieve their goals.

“An industry like the transport sector is heavily dominated by men, so we owe a lot to those women, who 80 years ago, got behind the wheel and transformed our public transport workforce in the West Country. The ambition to create greater gender equality continues today and is essential for any business to succeed and achieve its goals.”

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