This will be the last entry for about 9 days, we’re off to Majorca in a few hours.
I’ve just got home having finished the dreaded 193 duty which again wasn’t all a smooth ride. On my first circuit of the town a very well built lady hit the floor like a sack of coal! She’d tried to sit down in the pushchair area where the seat squabs are sprung to fold the seat up when no one is sitting on it. She’d failed to notice that the seat was folded up and just threw her not inconsiderable sized behind at the non-existent seat! She insisted she was fine and wouldn’t give me her name even though I told her I needed it to report the accident. When she got off she appeared to be in considerable pain and had difficulty walking. I went straight to one of our Controllers to report what happened and was advised that I must go and report it to the Police which I did. After that I had to complete a company accident form.
A few weeks ago one of our drivers was taken to Court for failing to take proper care of passengers (or wording similar to that), causing injury and failing to report the accident. It involved a 5 year old who wouldn’t sit still on the bus and was running riot up and down the aisle while mother did nothing. He tripped and cut his head (minor). Next thing mother was at the Police station blaming it all on the driver. On the day of the hearing the Police tried to do a deal – plead guilty to one charge and we’ll drop the others. The driver would have nothing of it, they’d asked the mother to contol the child which she’d failed to do and it didn’t fall due to the movement of the bus, it tripped up because it was running. The Magistrates found the driver not guilty of all charges :-)
I’ve been driving a Megabus up and down the M3 for 15 months now and ever since I started there have been roadworks around Junction 4. Restricted width lanes, lots of cones and a 50 mph speed limit – no problem with a 50 mph limit …….. if only you could anywhere near that speed! Then this morning it was all gone :-) Not a cone in sight, not a bright bunch of stop lights ahead heralding several miles at an average of 10 mph, it was straight ahead keeping my foot flat to the floor. Joy!
I’m not sure my happiness will last long I’ve got 193 Duty, which I wrote about on 16 June, tomorrow.
“Jaja Stone thrills a crowd in Jakarta, Indonesia, by pulling a bus along… with his penis.”
“It was part of a strong man contest to mark the city’s 480th anniversary. He managed to pull the 8.9- tonne bus 50m.”
I wonder if he could do that with a 15 metre Plaxton Megabus?
Thanks to A Welsh View.
This must be the ultimate passenger carrying vehicle to drive! The Midnight Rider is the world’s largest and grandest limousine. In fact, she is a traveling luxury ground vehicle, cruising Southern California and Las Vegas with an 1,800 watt Sony surround sound system in each of her three lounges, large screen televisions, a full bar, two bartenders… and yes, a bathroom!
I forgot to write about something amusing which happened yesterday during my Park + Ride stint. When I stopped at the Sainsburys bus stop in town a passenger asked “Is this the best stop to get off?”. “It’s the best stop for Sainsburys but not very good for the Railway Station” I replied, “Where do you want to go?” He then said “anywhere”!! “In that case all the stops are best stops” seemed a suitable response.
This was today’s duty, the first bit is fine, drive a Megabus out of service to Portsmouth and then start the 05:50 Portsmouth to London service, via Southampton. At Winchester hand over to another driver who will take it on to London. Have a break and then the misery starts – nearly 4 hours of Park and Ride which stretches my patience to near breaking point. During the week the Park and Ride customers are 99% regulars who work in Winchester, all wish you Good Morning when boarding and say Good Bye when getting off. Constantly driving in a small circle is boring but the passengers are fine. Then along comes Saturday with a totally different type of customer – they know nothing but think they know it all! The way the Winchester P+R scheme works is that the car park is pay and display, a tear off portion of the display ticket then acts as the car drivers’ bus ticket for a return into town. Passengers from any car are issued a return ticket from the ticket machine on the bus at nil cost. This is where the Saturday users think they know it all, the passengers from a car will rush on while the driver holds up their ‘ticket’. “Hold on”, “Wait a moment”, “Come back, please” I have to keep calling up the bus. They sometimes stop and stare at me from the back of the bus but rarely do they come back to the front. I try and tell the driver that their passengers need tickets and then they tell me they don’t! “It says that the driver and passengers go free on the bus”. I’ve tried explaining that they need tickets, even though it’s free, to prove on the return trip that they are actually car park users and not people trying to get a free ride, but it’s useless. Now I just tell them they need tickets for their passengers and if they wont come and get them, argue that they’re not needed, or just leave them hanging out of the ticket machine that’s their problem. They will have to pay £1.10 each (single adult fare from town to a car park) to get back to the car park!
Saturday also brings the “I wanted that stop” scream! How do I know a passenger wants to get off at the next stop if no one presses the bell, no one stands up or moves? I usually respond by saying “Sorry, I didn’t hear the bell. Did you ring it?”. Like a well worn script the passenger will say “you always stop there” to which I’ll say “I don’t think so, we only stop if the bell is rung or someone at the stop signals that they want to get on”. This was repeated several times today once with the addition of a second passenger chipping in with “How do tourists know where to get off if you don’t stop?”. “Madam, if they’ve got an ounce of sense they say ‘would you please tell me the best stop for the Cathedral, Great Hall,Wolvesly Palace, Law Courts etc”. If they think they’ll be able to guess where to get off that’s up to them, I don’t think stopping without being asked will improve the chance of the guess being any better. None of the ‘sights’ are actually visible from what is the nearest bus stop to them.
I feel better now having got that off my chest :-)