Monday, August 30, 2004
WELL WE HAD TWO CRASHES TO DAY, IN THE SAME PLACE. AN HOUR APART. NOT BUSES, CARS. BUT THERE IS ONLY HAS ONE MAIN ROAD IN AND OUT OF TORBAY AND WHEN IT IS BLOCKED ALL CRASHES BECOME OURS. WE ARE ALL DEEPLY INVOLVED.
BOTH CRASHES HAPPENED AT COVENTRY FARM ESTATE. JUST NORTH OF THE ROUNDABOUT. TRAFFIC APPROACHES THE ROUNDABOUT FROM THE SOUTH ON A TWO LANE DUEL CARRIAGEWAY ROAD AND FROM THE WEST ON THE TOWN BY PASS. ON LEAVING THE ROUNDABOUT THE ROAD IS TWO LANES FOR 100 YARDS BEFORE REDUCING TO ONE LANE. SOME DRIVERS TAKE MAD RISKS TO GET IN FRONT OF 1 OR 2 CARS WITH THE STUPID IDEA THAT THIS IS GOING TO GET THEM SOMEWHERE FASTER BUT ALL THEY DO IS SIT IN BUMPER TO BUMPER, 5 MPH TRAFFIC FOR THE NEXT 3 MILES. IT IS THE START OF A 3 MILE BOTTLENECK THAT IS KINGSKERSWELL.(TORBAY HAS BEEN TRYING TO GET A BY PASS FOR YEARS BUT TONY BLAIR WOULD SOONER SPEND THE MONEY ON MAKING WAR NOT BY PASSES)
WELL TO DAY SOMEONE'S RISK TAKING DIDN'T PAY OFF AND THEY ENDED UP IN MANGLED WRECK'S ON THE HIGHWAY AND TRAFFIC CAME TO A DEAD STOP. WELL IT CAME TO A HALT AFTER THE BOYS IN BLUE ARRIVED TO RESTORE ORDER. the FIRST BUS HEADING FOR Torquay MANAGED TO GET BY WITH A DELAY OF ONLY 10 MINS BEFORE THE POLICE ARRIVED. THE NEXT ONE CRAWLED TO WITH IN 4 CARS OF THE PROBLEM AND WAS ONLY 15 MINS DOWN WHEN THE POLICE ARRIVED AND SIGNALLED THE SLOW MOVING TRAFFIC TO STOP. THEN FOR 10 MINS THE TRAFFIC COMING OUT OF TORQUAY WAS WAVED ON. THEN ALL TRAFFIC WAS HALTED WHILE AN AMBULANCE ARRIVED. THEN THE TRAFFIC COMING OUT OF TORQUAY WAS WAVED ON FOR A FURTHER 10 MINS.
RESULT, THERE WERE HUNDREDS OF PASSENGERS ALL OVER TORBAY WONDERING WHAT STAGECOACH WERE UP TO AND WHAT KIND OF BUS SERVICE THEY WERE RUNNING.
THE PROBLEM IS THE POLICE ROUND HERE DON'T SEEM TO HAVE A CLUE WHEN IT COMES TO DIRECTING TRAFFIC. WHEN I LIVED IN WEMBLEY THE POLICE THERE WERE EXPERTS AT GETTING 80 000 PEOPLE AWAY FROM THE STADIUM IN A VERY SHORT SPACE OF TIME. MAYBE WHILE WEMBLEY IS CLOSED DEVON AND CORNWALL CONSTABULARY COULD BORROW A FEW OFFICER FROM THE MET POLICE TO TEACH THEM A THING OR TWO ABOUT DIRECTING TRAFFIC.
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Late Running Buses On a Grand Scale.
BUS COMPANY FINED FOR LATE-RUNNING SERVICES From the Torbay Herald Express
Transport watchdogs have fined Stagecoach £18,600 for its buses failing to meet punctuality standards in Exeter. And Traffic Commissioner Philip Brown has told the firm it must try harder to provide reliable services in the city. Mr Brown, the independent watchdog for public transport in the South West, has fined the company £60 for each of the 310 buses it operates in Exeter and Torbay.During the investigation, punctuality was measured for a sample group of buses in Exeter following complaints from the public and city MP Ben Bradshaw. It was revealed that only 83.7 per cent of those monitored by an independent group met the standard of arriving between a minute early and up to five minutes late. The target is 95 per cent.SOME QUESTIONS.
DID STAGECOACH KNOW THAT THEY WERE NOT MEETING THE REQUIRED TARGET BEFORE THE TRAFFIC COMMISSION TOLD THEM?
IF THEY DID, WHAT DID THEY DO TO IMPROVE THEIR PERFORMANCE?
IF THEY DIDN'T, WHY DIDN'T THEY?
Posted at 22:50 by desfordaveRing the bell Monday, August 23, 2004
23 AUG 04
while I WAS AT NEWTON ABBOT THIS MORNING I SAW A WOMAN DRIVE A BIG 4 WHEEL DRIVE OFF ROAD VEHICLE INTO THE BUS STATION AND PARK ON THE SANDYGATE STOP. Sorry I have lost this photo due to lack of memory.
NOW THE BUS STATION HAS NO ENTRY EXCEPT FOR BUSES SIGNS AT EACH END AND NO PARKING SIGNS ALL AVER THE PLACE. I HAD MY CAMERA WITH ME AND I DECIDED TO TAKE A PHOTO TO WHICH I WOULD HAVE ADDED A WITTY CAPTION SUCH AS "DRIVER SPENDS SO MUCH TIME OFF ROAD SHE HAS FORGOTTEN WHAT NO ENTRY MEANS."
WHEN I HAD TAKEN THE PHOTO I TURNED TO GO BACK TO THE BUS AND RIGHT BEHIND ME WAS AN OTHER CAR JUST DRIVING INTO THE BUS STATION. SO I TOOK A PHOTO OF THAT CAR AS WELL. Click Here to see this photo; You can if you want but it's just a car.the DRIVER, A YOUNG WOMAN STUCK HER HEAD OUT OF THE WINDOW AND SAID SHE WAS LOOKING FOR A CAR PARK. I TOLD HER NICELY THAT SHE SHOULD NOT DRIVE THROUGH THE BUS STATION BUT REVERSE BACK AND TURN ROUND. I THEN GOT BACK ON THE BUS.
NEXT THING SHE IS ON THE BUS DEMANDING THAT I DELETE THE PHOTO. SHE HAD JUST SEEN THE NO ENTRY SIGN.
I REFUSED. SHE CALLED ME A PERVETE AND SAID I HAD NO RIGHT TO TAKE HER PHOTO. I TOLD HER SHE WAS IN A PUBLIC PLACE BREAKING THE LAW AND I COULD TAKE HER PHOTO. SHE CALLED ME A VERY RUDE NAME AND GOT TOLD OFF BY SOMEONE ON THE BUS. ANY WAY SHE STORMED OFF SAYING SHE WAS GOING TO REPORT ME TO THE POLICE. WHAT A GOOD IDEA.
the WEATHER HERE IN DEVON HAS BEEN VERY UNSETTLED ALL MONTH. UNLIKE LAST YEAR WHEN WE HAD LOTS AND LOTS OF SUN.
Friday, August 20, 2004
Unauthorised Bus Stops.
To day, I got called a jobsworth, a mother....ing jobsworth. Plus one or two more or less similar nasty things by an upset passenger. To some extent I could see his point of view so I refrained from seriously headbutting him half to death.
The reason he called me all these names was because I drove past the Casino stop in Abbey Road with out stopping and he wanted to get off there. The problem is the number 12 doesn't stop at the Casino Stop, only the 32 stops there. However some drivers do stop there. The stop is handy for two hotels that cater for the older holiday maker who find it difficult to climb the hill up from Castle Circus or from the bottem of Abbey Road where the 12 does stop. The other day when I was a passenger on a 12, four elderly ladies got on in Paignton and asked for the Casino stop. The driver said the bus didn't stop there but he took pity and said he would let them off there. So he stopped and the ladies got off. So did my foul mouthed passenger from to day. He did not know the bus should not have stopped there and when I drove past to day he demanded to know why. My explanation that Torbay Council wont let us stop there fell on deaf ears but my ears got the full force of his abuse. Verbal only, fortunatly.
The reason the Coucil wont let us stop there is because Abbey Road is a two lane One way street and the stop is 150 yards from a set of traffic lights at which the 12 turns right. The Council think it is too dangerous for us to stop the bus and then pull away and change lanes to make the right turn in 150 yards. The 32 turns left at the lights, no danger there.
The council don't think pulling away from the stop at Windy Corner too dangerous; we only have to pull out of a bus lay-bye, across two lanes whilest watching for traffic coming from behind us at 40 mph, traffic emerging from a road on our left, traffic turning right across us into the road on our left and traffic coming out of a road 20 yards behind us on our right while watching the traffic lights just in front of us. The worst bus stop in Britain to pull away from. To help us the Council put up a notice saying "Please let the bus out" The notice is the size of a cornflake packet, a small cornflake packet.
CYCLISTS, BRAVE SOULS.
ARE CYCLIST MAD?
nO, I WILL REPHRASE THAT.
cYCLISTS ARE MAD.
nOW I KNOW THAT CYCLISTS ARE DOING THEIR BIT FOR GLOBAL WARMING AND WHEN I GET STUCK BEHIND ONE I KNOW THAT IT ISN'T FOR EVER. IT JUST SEEMS LIKE FOR EVER. SO I JUST FOLLOW CAREFULLY, BIDING MY TIME UNTIL I CAN SWOOP PAST AND GET ON MY WAY.
WELL TO DAY I GOT STUCK BEHIND THIS MAN ON A BIKE AND WAS THERE FOR A LITTLE WHILE. I JUST FOLLOWED HIM AND HE GOT A LITTLE NERVOUS EVEN THOUGH I WAS KEEPING A STEADY DISTANCE BEHIND HIM AND NOT REVVING THE ENGINE IN HIS EAR OR PRETENDING TO KNOCK HIM OF HIS BIKE.
WHEN I FINALLY GOT PAST HIM HE MADE A GESTURE WHICH SUGGESTED THAT HE HAD JUST HAD THE WORST TWO MINS OF HIS LIFE.
A LITTLE WAY DOWN THE ROAD I STOPPED AT SOME RED LIGHTS. I WAS THE FIRST VEHICLE IN THE QUEUE AND WHAT DID OUR BRAVE CYCLIST DO? HE CAME UP ON THE OUT SIDE OF THE BUS AND PULLED ACROSS IN FRONT OF ME. THIS MEANT I NOW HAD TO EITHER PROCEED TO NEWTON AT 10MPH (16 KPH) OR, YES YOU'VE GUESSED IT, OVER TAKE HIM.
wELL IT TOOK A LITTLE WHILE AND THIS TIME HE INDICATED THAT IT HAD BEEN THE WORST ONE MINUTE OF HIS LIFE.
nEXT LIGHTS, SAME AGAIN. THIS TIME A FLOCK OF HUNGRY SEAGULLS RIPPED HIM APART BEFORE I COULD OVERTAKE HIM.
IT MUST BE THE ADRENALINE RUSH THAT MAKES PEOPLE RIDE BIKES AND TOO MUCH ADRENALINE ROTS THE BRAIN CELL.
Thursday, August 19, 2004
It's a dog's life.
What ever you do;DON'T TURN ROUND.
A car cuts you up.
You flash the lights,blow the horn, suggest the driver's
parents aren't married, make a friendly guesture.
The car stops and 18 stone of solid muscle dressed all in
black gets out of the car and heads for the bus.
That how this pussy feels right now.
The photo has been moved to save memory
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
Rain, in summer, in the Bay.
IF IT RAINS IN TORBAY PLEASE DON'T GO FOR A DRIVE.
WE ONLY HAVE ONE MAIN ROAD THROUGH THE BAY. SO IF YOU ARE ON HOLIDAY AND IT'S RAINING WATCH TV, READ A BOOK, SLEEP, GO FOR A WALK IN THE RAIN BUT DON'T GET YOUR CAR OUT. IT IS BORING SITTING IN A TRAFFIC JAM. I SHOULD KNOW. because EVERY TIME IT RAINS IN THE SUMMER, PRESTON, WHICH IS BETWEEN TORQUAY AND PAIGNTON COMES TO A DEAD STOP. ALL THE TRAFFIC HAS TO GO THROUGH THE JUNCTION AT HEADLAND PARK ROAD AND TORQUAY ROAD. hUNDREDS OF CARS AN HOUR DRIVE VERY SLOWLY ALONG TORQUAY ROAD (THE MAIN ROAD THROUGH THE BAY) AND TEN CARS AN HOUR DRIVE OUT OF HEADLAND PARK ROAD. FOR SOME REASON KNOWN ONLY TO TORBAY COUNCIL BOTH ROADS GET THE SAME LENGTH OF TIME ON GREEN AT THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS. IT SHOULD TAKE 9 MINS FOR THE BUS TO GET FROM PAIGNTON BUS STATION TO HEADLAND PARK ROAD AND WHEN IT IS DRY IT USUALLY DOES. A BIT OF RAIN AND ALL THE HOLIDAY MAKERS SAY, "IT'S RAINING. WE'LL GO FOR A DRIVE." DON'T GO FOR A DRIVE. PLAY SCRABBLE, STRIP POKER, RUSSIAN ROULETTE, GOTO THE NEAREST PUB OR JUMP OFF BERRY HEAD. IF YOU GO FOR A DRIVE IT WILL TAKE YOU 35 MINS TO GET TO HEADLAND PARK ROAD. IF YOU GO FOR A DRIVE TAKE PEN, WRITING PAPER ENVELOPE AND STAMP AND WRITE TO TORBAY COUNCIL AND ASK WHAT THE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT DOES ALL DAY.
Monday, August 16, 2004
A study has found that there is Prozac in the drinking water. Fair enough but now the funny bit.The Water Standards Agency has urged people to stay calm.
Saturday, August 14, 2004
God hates us.
GOD HATES US.
ON WEDNESDAYS IN THE SUMMER THERE IS A CARBOOT SALE COME GENERAL MARKET IN A FARMERS FIELD IN CHURSTON ON THE WAY TO BRIXHAM. FARMERS WILL DO ANYTHING FOR MONEY. tHIS TENDS TO SEND MORE TRAFFIC DOWN THE ONLY ROAD INTO BRIXHAM AND THE ONLY WAY OUT IS THROUGH THE JUNCTION AT WINDY CORNER.
WELL TRAFFIC, INCLUDING THE BUSES GETS HELD UP. LAST WEDNESDAY IT WAS HELD UP FOR 25 TO 30 MINS AND BUSES ENDED UP RUNNING LATE. WHO GETS THE BLAME? WE THE POOR SODDING BUS DRIVERS DO. BY THE TIME THE TWO HUNDREDTH PASSENGER GETS ON AND SAYS, "WE'VE BEEN WAITING 1/2 HOUR WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? WHAT KIND OF BUS SERVICE ARE YOU RUNNING HERE?" THE ANSWER GETS TO SOUND A BIT FLAT.
Thursday. NO MARKET AND BUSES WERE RUNNING FINE AND GOD LOOKED DOWN AND SAW THAT STAGECOACH TORQUAY WAS HAVING A GOOD DAY AND THOUGHT,"THAT'S NOT RIGHT." SO OVER Newton ABBOT THE Heavens opened and the roads were flooded and buses were running a half hour late. IN TORQUAY AND PAIGNTON THE SUN WAS SHINING SO THE ANSWER TO THE ABOVE QUESTIONS RE WAITING TWO DAYS FOR A BUS SOUNDED A BIT FLAT.
FRIDAY GOD MUST HAVE BEEN IN IRAQ OR SOME WHERE HE WASN'T NEEDED AND THE BUSES RAN MORE OR LESS ON TIME BUT NO ONE SAID," WHAT A GOOD BUS SERVICE YOU HAVE HERE."
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Day off and I nearly set the bus station on fire.
10 Aug 04
I seem to be getting into trouble a lot recently, nothing serious but still a pain.
To day I went to Cartridge World in Paignton to get some ink for the printer. They said the ink would be 1/2 hour so I decided to go to my favourite pub in Paignton. Winstons. Round the corner from the bus station. Two or three pints later I went round to the bus station to get the bus down to Cartridge World. As I had 5 mins I rolled a cig and had a quick smoke. Then I stubbed the cig out (or so I thought) and dropped the butt in the bin. No litter lout me. I got on the bus and sat down. Then an other passenger said, "Oh look, that litter bin is on fire." And sure enough smoke was billowing out. I could have let it burn the bus station down but some one would be sure to recognise me on the CCTV and I am sure burning a company bus station down would be classed as Gross Misconduct.
So I got of the bus to make a quick dash to dial 999 but Lawrence Fielding, a controller came out with a kettle of water and put the fire out. Well done Lawrence.
Monday, August 09, 2004
To day I ran early; sort of. The Time Table on the bus stop says leave Newton at 18:30. But the one on the running board says 18:35. Now the passengers don't care what the running board says so I ran by the Time Table. Why should people have to wait an extra 5 mins for a bus just because some one in the office has made a mistake. Now I noticed this mistake 7 weeks ago and reported it. It's only a small mistake but I had hoped something might have been done about it. I think I will give up hoping.
Any way a controller saw me leave at 18:30 and consulted his running board which is a copy of mine and reported me for running early.
I will report further developments.
Turning at Jury's Corner.
Sunday 8 Aug 04
I started from Paignton 20 mins late due to heavy traffic at the Steam Fair in Churston.
Then when I got to Scott's Bridge another driver reported trouble at Aller Brake. A car driver had a lapse of concentration and when he (or she ) looked up it was either crash into the car in front or drive onto the pavement. Driving onto the pavement (sidewalk in the USofA) ripped a front wheel off and the car ended up side on and blocking the Newton bound side of the road. within 5 mins traffic was stationary for 2 miles. Including me and 2 other buses. So I passed my 2 passengers over to Reg in one of the other buses and turned at Jury's Corner and headed for Torquay. It was 4:30pm and all the holiday makers were heading home and I was the first bus they had seen for 1/2 hour. Then 9 people got on with the wrong type of ticket. An other driver had sold them by mistake. By the time that was sorted I was well late.
The second half went smoothly.
Saturday, August 07, 2004
THOSE WHO KNOW ME WILL KNOW THAT I REGARD RUNNING EARLY AS THE WORST THING A BUS DRIVER CAN DO. well YES THERE IS LOBBING A HAND GRENADE ON TO THE TOP DECK OF THE BUS DURING A SCHOOL RUN OR telling sOME SWEET OLD LADIES THAT THE CRAZY HORSE PUB IS A NICE QUIET PLACE TO HAVE AFTERNOON TEA. bUT EVEN I DRAW THE LINE AT RUNNING EARLY. ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU ARE THE LAST BUS.
wELL ONE OF OUR DRIVERS MANAGED TO RUN 10 MINS EARLY OUT OF NEWTON ABBOT THE OTHER NIGHT FOLLOWING A MIX UP OVER SOME WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING ROAD WORKS IN TORQUAY.
fortunately AN OTHER DRIVER SAVED THE DAY. hE GOT TO nEWTON ABBOT FROM BRIXHAM AND WAS DUE TO RUN EMPTY (DEAD IN BUS TALK) BACK TO THE DEPOT. hE FOUND ALL THESE PEOPLE WAITING FOR THE BUS THAT HAD GONE AND TOOK THEm TO THEIR DESTINATIONS. wELL DONE THAT DRIVER. iF I FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED TO THE DRIVER THAT RAN EARLY I WILL LET YOU KNOW.
Friday, August 06, 2004
An ordinary day
Well I went out and spent the whole day more or less on time while all a round me other drivers were hitting traffic or broken down cars or hordes of students or breaking down themselves or just running late.
It did help having the bus in front of the one in front of me off the road for a while. This means that the one in front of me has to pick up more passengers and starts to run slower and starts to do some of my work. If it gets bad enough I will be able to catch him or her up and help them.
The bus in front of the one in front of me was of the road because the engine cover had come off. A bit of brute strength and ignorance instead of reading the instructions on how to close the engine cover.
warm, sunny and dry day, the only thing that went wrong was that I spilt a cup of coffee down my leg. I had only had a small sip of it as well.
Thursday, August 05, 2004
Children and buses in Fleet Walk
To day , as usual, I drove down Fleet Walk. Fleet Walk is a semi pedestrianised section of road leading down to the harbour and is well used by holiday makers. It is also used by about 50 buses an hour during the day. People walking along Fleet Walk are some times supprised when a bus turns up, buses these days are very quiet and company rules say they must travel at less than 10 mph and have the headlights on.
The reaction of people when they see the bus varies; most see that they are in no danger ( which they are not) and just move out of the way, some panic a little and hurry out of the way. Those with small children are the ones that cause me the biggest problem. The problem is the way they treat their children when they see the bus. They tend to grab the child, drag them to the side and shout at the child for being in the road. They always blame the poor child for not looking out for the bus even when they them selves didn't see the bus coming. No one is in any danger from buses in Fleet Walk but some parents seem to want to find fault with there children's actions even though there is no fault to be found. I suppose to some extent it is a natural reaction: child appears to be in danger, shout at it for being apparently in danger so child will be more careful in future. But now the child gets upset without reason. Parents are upset without reason and everyone blames the bus.
We always drive slowly down Fleet Walk and no one has ever been hit by a bus but I think it would save dozens of unpleasant incidents a day in the summer if the council could paint warning signs in the road way or erect notices at each end of Fleet Walk saying "Buses Drive Down This Road".
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Two miles in 45 mins
Today I started in Paignton and went first to Newton Abbot. Got there on time then headed for Brixham as usual. Got to Torquay and Paignton and on the Windy Corner no problem. Windy Corner is 2 miles from Brixham and usually takes 8 mins. Well to day it took 8 mins but there was a queue of traffic coming all the way out of Brixham to Windy Corner and I passed 5 buses heading for Windy Corner. When I loaded up in brixham I warned the passengers that the usual 20 min trip to Paignton would take 50 mins. It took an Hour.
The traffic was due to a Market in a field. People come on holiday and just want to go shopping.
I ended up getting exactly 30 mins for my meal break. I have to have 30 mins, that's the law. Buses were running late all over the place.
Monday, August 02, 200
dyslexic bus driver
From the Herald Express
RESIGN OR BE SACKED, DYSLEXIC BUS DRIVER TOLD 11:00 - 02 August 2004 A bus driver who drove in the wrong direction, ran out of petrol and left stops too early was unfairly treated because he was dyslexic, an industrial tribunal has ruled. Tom Adams, 32, claimed that he was told to "resign or be sacked" by operators Stagecoach because of his disability.He quit because he feared that he would be dismissed.An employment tribunal ruled that the firm discriminated against Mr Adams because it had not taken his needs into account, even though he had informed his employers of his condition.The hearing was told that Mr Adams had been given a final warning for using a mobile phone while driving the minibus.He had also been disciplined for failing to refuel the bus, and for leaving stops too early.Mr Adams claimed that the reason for this was because he could not understand his running card - the timetable that tells drivers when they should be leaving a stop.On one occasion, Mr Adams headed for Stoke Canon, near Exeter, instead of his home town of Crediton because of his difficulties.He told the hearing in Exeter: "When I went for the interview, I said I had dyslexia."The tribunal heard that he would often stand his bus on the wrong side of the road because he misread his card.Once he ran out of fuel going to Sidmouth in East Devon because he failed to refer to his running card, which gives details of how much petrol is left.Stagecoach Devon denied knowing that Mr Adams suffered from the condition.But the tribunal ruled unanimously that Mr Adams was treated less favourably because of his disability, and that Stagecoach had failed to discharge its duty to make reasonable adjustments.They said that although Mr Adams was "a disorganised individual, we nonetheless judge him to be a truthful person".A hearing to decide how much compensation Mr Adams is entitled to receive will be held at a later date.
I now know the Law is an Ass.
Posted at 15:35 by desfordavethe bell has been rung (1) Permalink