STAGECOACH bus driver Stuart Doidge has been brightening passengers' days with his colourful hair and keeping spirits high among his colleagues!

That's why his mum Lorraine nominated him for the Press' 'Thank you' to key workers who have kept West Fife going in these unprecedented times despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Stuart, from Dunfermline, only joined Stagecoach as a driver last year but he's been getting stuck in, making sure his customers leave his bus with a smile on their face.

Lorraine said: "I am so proud of him. He dyes his hair all sorts of colours to put a smile on passengers' faces.

"Right now he's got a Mohawk which is orange and blue!

"His partner, Claire, also made him a bear similar to the NHS ones but it's decked out in the Stagecoach uniform and colours with a lanyard!

"She's also made others for his colleagues.

"The bear goes all over with him.

"He was on furlough for a few weeks at first but he was happy to get back because he is a hard-worker.

"He gave up his job as a pipe-fitter so he could be closer to his family after his daughter was diagnosed with autism. He's just a good guy."

Stuart had no idea that his mum had nominated him so it was a bit of a surprise when the Press contacted him!

The 30-year-old, with two daughters and a stepson, said: "My partner has just contacted me to say what was happening because my mum was too scared to tell me herself!

"I thought I'd just do my hair as a lockdown thing and it's certainly got some interaction from customers!

"A lot of people have been stopping me and it's great to have a laugh with my passengers – next week I'm thinking of doing a rainbow!

"A lot of key workers have been travelling on my buses particularly to get to the hospital so I've got to know them well.

"For some people, it's the only interaction they get so it's good to have a chat with them."

Stuart says there have been a lot of changes for bus drivers and the transport industry has a very different feel to get used to.

But his bears have been bringing the team together.

"Claire's made 10 bears now for each department," Stuart added.

"I've taken pictures of my bear on his travels with me and he seems to have quite a following on Stagecoach's social media.

"The public named him 'Hero'. It's lovely to see the children getting on the bus and engaging too when he's beside me."

Jamie Lawrie, operations manager from Dunfermline depot, said: "Stuart joined Stagecoach in February 2019 and since then he has been a valued member of the team who always goes out of his way to assist his passengers and work colleagues with a big smile.

"During this pandemic, Stuart has gone above and beyond to help not only drivers, but members of the community, smile through pictures of a bear his partner made, out on adventures during his daily walk and breaks at work. He is a credit to the depot and to Stagecoach."