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19 July 2010, 12:03
A student told how she became a bus driver to fund her way through university.
Louisa Burton would drive her fellow students home from pubs and clubs in her night job, which was aimed at covering her tuition fees and living costs. The 22-year-old is to graduate from the University of Portsmouth's business school tomorrow after completing her studies in accounting and business.
Miss Burton did her bus driving training in her home town of Inverness at the age of 18, making her the youngest bus driver in Scotland. She said: "I saw this advert saying 'Are you 18? Can you drive?' and I thought 'yes and yes'. "I really like being busy and I thought this would be a good way of earning some money while doing something completely unique - most of my friends were going travelling or working in restaurants but I thought it would be fun to do something different. "The summer was a huge success. I really enjoyed the bus driving and decided that it'd be silly not to continue with it once I'd started university.''
Miss Burton travelled down to Hampshire two weeks before her course was due to start so she could learn the local bus routes. She did five shifts a week, three from 3pm until midnight and then two "Guildhall shifts'' where she worked from midnight until 4am collecting her fellow students from local pubs and nightclubs. She said: "The Guildhall shift was always good fun - as you can imagine everyone was usually in quite high spirits but I had two bouncers on the bus and never had any trouble.''
Miss Burton now works as a trainee accountant back in Inverness and is not planning to continue her career as a bus driver. She said: "I'll miss the bus driving though - it was a fantastic career to have whilst studying.''