A schoolboy whose first word was ”bus” and can recite every route in his home town was celebrating today after he was rewarded for his obsession – with a free yearly pass.
Dedicated Jamie Taylor, seven, has collected hundreds of bus timetables and maps for Swindon, Wilts., and knows them off by heart.
Jamie’s obsession began when his mother Carly, 28, took him on his first bus trip as a baby and he has been ”transfixed” by the numbers, routes and vehicles ever since.
His first word was ”bus” one he used continually for six months at the expense of ‘mum’, ‘dad’, ‘grandma’ and ‘grandfather’.
He learned to read and write using timetables to note down routes on maps and ticked off buses when they reached his local stop in Penhill, Swindon.
The walls and doors of his bedroom are now ”completely covered” with the timetables and maps, which he spends hours studying every day.
Jamie, who travels on the vehicles for an hour every day, hopes to be a bus driver when he leaves school and his ”dream” is to have a bus named after him.
His fascination with buses was noticed by his local service provider Thamesdown, which provides the number 24 bus that he catches every day at 8.03am to go to school.
Full-time mum Carly entered her son into their Bus Stories competition and was stunned when Jamie was named as the winner and given a year’s free travel.
Carly said: ”I couldn’t believe it when he won. It was a lovely surprise. Jamie is absolutely obsessed with buses.
”Since he went on his first bus everything has been buses. I often wonder what he’d do with himself if he didn’t have them.
”It is great to see his eyes light up when we get on a bus. If it is a double decker it is double the excitement for him.
”Every weekend when we go into town he always asks to go to the Thamesdown shop and tourist information so he can pick up the latest timetable.
”He then spends hours in his room looking at them. I keep throwing them out because they fill up our house but he has collected hundreds over the years.
”When he was younger he had trouble with his speech and saying the numbers and routes really helped. He now knows all the routes around Swindon off by heart.
”It is lovely for me to see him have a hobby which he enjoys so much.”
Carly, who is expecting her second child, first realised Jamie had ”incredible” knowledge of buses when he was four years old and began collecting maps.
He decided he wanted to be a bus driver when he was six and now spends hours at home creating buses out of cardboard boxes, which he pretends to drive.
Jamie also helps out fellow passengers at his local stop by reeling off times and stops, including for places he has never been to or past.
Paul Jenkins, managing director of Thamesdown Transport said he was ”blown away” by Jamie’s knowledge and ”heart-warming” dedication to his beloved buses.
He said: ”It is clear to see that Jamie is shaping up well to be the next generation of bus enthusiast.
”Bus journeys are integral parts of everyday life for many people.”