Co-op’s Fraser Macalister has been crowned Microlise Group’s ‘overall driver of the year’ at its 2024 awards ceremony.

At a black-tie VIP dinner, Macalister also came top in the Group’s ‘short distance’ category, with Andrew Phillips from Tesco and Kevin Bullard from CCF Colchester/Travis Perkins coming a close second and third.

The ‘long distance’ category was won by David Staley from BSS Group, while David Rideout from Gist raised this year’s ‘medium distance’ winner’s trophy.

Microlise said its ‘driver excellence’ award – for the operator with the highest percentage of drivers in the ‘final 1,000’ as identified in the overall driver of the year process – was presented to Maritime Transport, with Menzies Distribution and last year’s winner Yodel coming second and third.

Collecting the award for going the ‘extra mile’ and delivering an outstanding level of service was John Lewis Partnership driver Terence Childs, while EV Cargo’s Marlon Lessey walked away with this year’s ‘compliance’ award.

Meanwhile, in recognition of new talent, Stobart’s Kamil Krakowiak took the ‘young driver’ award and, for time served with outstanding loyalty and commitment, the ‘lifetime achievement’ award went to Hovis driver, Philip Devonport.

This year’s ‘most improved’ award was proudly received by Jade Small from Waitrose and the ‘driver hero’ award – for remaining calm in an emergency while courageously helping others – was received by Gordon Adair, from Tennent Caledonian Brewers.

Paul Jurevicius, Microlise business development director, said: “This year’s judging was incredibly difficult, as the standard of candidates was extremely high across all disciplines, with so many worthy winners.

“It makes me proud to be part of an industry with so many professional, dedicated drivers, who constantly go the extra mile to help others.”

Fellow judge Andy Stewart, editor of Truck & Driver, added: “It’s fantastic to see such strong contenders in this year’s competition.

“Having so many deserving nominees across each of the categories made picking overall winners very difficult.

“So huge congratulations to the winning drivers, and also to everyone who was nominated – you’re all outstanding drivers and great ambassadors for the industry.”

All 24 finalists received a Porsche track day at Silverstone, and winners were presented with commemorative trophies.