All entries for Tuesday 25 October 2005

October 25, 2005

Now it's My Turn.

Hey,

I knew the time would come. I need a vent for the anger that builds inside me. The new Stagecoach pink buses are shite.

Even that helps. I'm sure every last person in Leamington trying to get to Warwick University feels my pain. I live next door to an ex-X12 driver and now a dispatch worker and he agrees they have a serious problem.

Need evidence? I almost had the photograph that would have been front page Boar material. Whilst walking down the parade to south Leamington, on the opposite side of the road, in the space between the top crossroads and the town hall were four, yes four, U1 pink buses. Sodding four of them! Print cannot convey the strange amusement I drew from it and the sheer astonishment at the situation.

What was it they said? The new timetable will prevent bunching. If my mobile phone had a decent camera i'd have got the lot of them in frame. It was a joke. I might have laughed at the time, but it did piss me off thinking i'd be screwed had I been on one.

Only this morning the eight past bus went five minutes early leaving me to wait for the twenty past. When that turned up and left at quarter past I started to see something forming in my brain that might explain the bus services current plight. More on that shortly. By the time we reached the top of the parade, the twenty past bus I was on, overtook the two buses infront of it. So as a threesome we ran to uni. So I wasn't late, as the bus would normally have been in getting me there.

Ok, so the parade is causing some issues, now with the middle bus stop missing on one side confusing old people tempers are starting to fray. The other thing i've picked up on is the fact that downstairs now fills up first on the buses rather than the top as it has done over the past two years. Yesterday, I found out why. The radios on the top are seldom tuned in and the buzzing and squealing drove me nuts.

The other day my housemate and I waited nearly 40 minutes for a bus. Two went past in the space of a minute just as we got ready to depart the house. Then the long vigil at the bus stop meant I was late for an important project meeting. Which buses were the ones we saw? and where the hell were the ones in the gap? Which one was the one we caught? Argh. To top it all off, there is this trend for U1's to stop at the top of campus and sit for some twenty to thirty minutes before leaving. In which time two buses will have just driven straight past without stopping. It's then that the bus driver informs you he doesn't leave until ten past and we should try to get on one of the buses that leaves before him. Then why did you get here first?

The other thing that's catching me lately is the random buses that only go as far as the railway bridge on the way back. They don't go to st helens road (the official start and end of the route) or sydenham. Looking at the timetable they are supposed to go to st helens road. But becuase it's easier to just go to the depo from the bottom of town, they seem to do this.

My next door neighbour and I have agreed its an attitude problem on the bus drivers part. They all have a stop they like to make up time at. Ever got on a bus and it's sat there for some twenty minutes? Feel sorry for the sods who are waiting for it at the bus stops behind it. The big bald bus driver the route has likes to stop at the bottom of sydenham to make up his time for example. Some sit at the parish church and grab a bite to eat from the newsagent or some sit on campus. Some want to get to the driver swap as soon as possible as well. So there is this growing trend for buses to just past stops even if they are early. To carry on driving regardless of the fact that they aren't supposed to leave that stop for another five minutes. Screwing the entire timetable and bunching things up.

What's the net result of all this? It seems to be more appreciation from the customers. Don't get me wrong, in previous years i've been the only guy to say thanks, no everyone does it. Which is nice and polite of us all. Perhaps though if we were more vocal about the idiocy of the situation things might change. Rant over. Meh.

Cheers

Daniel


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