Monthly Archives: October 2007

The lies passengers tell

This morning I did two back to back Portsmouth to Winchester runs whilst another driver did the two corresponding Bournemouth to Winchester runs. The first run from Bournemouth departs at 06:40 and the second at 08:40. When we chatted at the end of our duties my colleague told me of a passenger getting on the 08:40 bus saying that she should have been on the 06:40 but it hadn’t turned up! “What time were you here?” he asked her. “Six thirty” she replied. “Then I’m sorry but your lying” he told her! She looked confused so he told her that he was the driver of the 06:40 bus as well as this bus. He told her that he had infact left 5 minutes late at 06:45 and would she like to apologise to him, admit she was late and missed the bus and ask if she could catch this one. Seemed a fair enough to offer to everyone else on the bus who was listening intently to the conversation. But no, she continued to claim to having arrived at 06:30 and that no bus had come until now. The driver, who would have taken her if she had admitted the truth, then told her that he wasn’t prepared to take someone who lied and continued to lie when confronted with the truth. Seemed fair enough to me. It’s passengers like her who try to get drivers into trouble, the driver is told of the accusation and then has to produce proof of his timekeeping by producing the tacho chart for the journey. Quite a number have complained about me going before they got to the stop but never has one been telling the truth.

CCTV

I’ve just viewed the downloaded CCTV file of my accident earlier this month. It’s absolutely amazing how much it shows! Seven cameras all recording simultaneously and in colour (I’d expected the pictures to be grainy black and white). When I used the direction indicator this was indicated on the screen by either a left or right arrow and as the brake was applied the word ‘BRAKE’ was up on the screen. The video very clearly shows the taxi pulling out of the side road and at the same moment ‘BRAKE’ flashes up on the screen and the forward view shows the bus swerving right. The side facing camera was directly facing the taxi when I came to a halt and you can see the taxi driver’s features! It then records his putting the taxi into reverse and ‘wriggling’ his way around the back of the bus in order to drive off.

Megabus promotion codes

This blog is being inundated with hits from Google users who type in “megabus promotion code”, “promotion code for megatrain”, “megabus promotion code US”, “megabus promotion code from oxford to london”, “megabus UK promotional code” etc. etc. I guess the idea is put into their heads by the megabus website asking for a “Promotion Code (optional)”. The words Promotional Code are a link which says:-

“What is a Promotion Code? We will occasionally run special promotions offering even better value for money on our wide network of services in the UK. These promotions will be run in local and national press and on marketing campaigns across the UK. Watch out for these promotions and enter the appropriate Promotion Code in the promotion code box to ensure that promotional code pricing is offered whenever available”.

The only instance I can find of a promotional code being available was October 2006, the details are here.

Of course, by writing this posting and using the words ‘promotional’ and ‘code’ and ‘megabus’ several times, the number of hits from seekers of this magic number can only increase :-(

Could have been a perfect day

Yesterday could have been a perfect day. I drove the 07:10 from Winchester to Birmingham and didn’t have a single passenger. Arrived in Birmingham before 11:00 so would have three and a half hours break – it was a lovely day with bright sunshine and no wind. The return again produced not one passenger. So what spoilt a perfect day? A bloody cold! I felt terrible with a throat like the bottom of a parrot’s cage. The long break was spent curled up under my padded jacket asleep on the bus. What a waste of a day. Things are even worse now – I’m on a three day break so I’m unwell in my own time :-(

A slow day

Yesterday the traffic in London was terrible, the queue to turn down Earls Court from Cromwell Road stretched back almost to Barons Court. I later heard that Kings Road was closed but I don’t know why. I went straight ahead through Knightsbridge which was also painfully slow because of the ongoing roadworks at Scotch Corner. Finally got into Victoria 35 minutes late which would mean that I’d be leaving Victoria for Brighton 20 minutes late (by law we’re required to take a 45 minute break after 4.5 hours driving). But it wasn’t to be so because the bus I was due to take to Brighton was still inbound and the driver had taken the Earls Court route :-( I left for Brighton 1 hour and 5 minutes late but got to Brighton only 30 minutes late. Which I didn’t think was bad going. Again due to the 45 minute break period required I couldn’t leave Brighton ontime for the return, I’d be leaving 30 minutes late.

I put the bus on the stand as soon as I could and explained why I was late and said the moment the time was 14:10 I’d be legal to drive and we’d set off. Then Little Miss Moan started “Can you guarantee I’ll catch my 16:30 connection?”. “Sorry, I can’t guarantee anything but I expect to make up the lost time and you should be fine” was my response. But she wanted a guarantee that that she’d not miss her connection. In the end she stomped off the bus never to be seen again! I arrived at Victoria at 16:00, the scheduled arrival time :-)

The final leg from Victoria to Winchester went like a dream, I was in Winchester on time which is almost unheard of on a weekday during school term time!