Saturday, 30 July 2005

Incident On Paignton Bus Station

Yesterday afternoon I pulled into Paignton Bus Station with about 60 people on board. Most of them got off. There were about 20 people waiting to get on. The first was a little old lady followed by two Asian teenagers. Behind them were two while males, holiday makers in their thirtys.While I was checking the little old lady's ticket one off these bastards asked me in a loud voice if we allowed Muslims on the buses in Torquay.
I told him, "Yes we do; but not you." I told him to get off the bus. He seemed to think I was joking and was most upset when I said I wasn't joking and that I found his remark offensive. His companion then walked round the off side of the bus and squirted water at me through the open window. They then walked off the bus station.
I called the Station Contoller over and pointed them out and asked him to make sure they did not return and board a later bus.

This is Page One from al-Qaeda's manual on "How to Recruit Suicide Bombers" which states:-
"First get Stupid White People to Make Racist Comments to Non White English Teenagers. All will be hurt by them, most will ignore them but a few of them will turn up at our Training Camps. This is our biggest area for recruitment of future heroes."

Thursday, 28 July 2005

Two Developments on Brixham Park and Ride.

There were two developments in the saga of Brixham's Park and Ride today. One major and one minor. The minor one was the fact that a bus got stuck in the field but a farmer was on hand with his tractor and dragged the bus out. I belive the Council are looking at this problem.
The second development is the fact that the Travellers were served will an Eviction Notice and have gone.
This is good news as it will leave more space for more cars to use the Park and Ride. Parkinfg is free and the ride is only £1.00 for adults, 50p for children and £3.00 for a family up to 5.

This is Brixham Park and Ride.

Wednesday, 27 July 2005

Question for the RMT Union.

Reader's letter, Herald Express


27 July 2005

I am tired of the continued prattle concerning the age of retirement - the horror that we might be asked to work a few months longer than the stipulated 65 years retirement age.
I commenced work on July 26, 1950, and have been continuously employed ever since. I have normally worked 12 hours a day for six of the seven days each week, for years on end, as a travel agent, bus company operator and now bus driver for Stagecoach.
Having survived a "tin hip" and cancer of the lymph glands, I handed my company over to my daughter to run.This caused me to have time on my hands, so I looked for something to do.At the age of 70, I approached Stagecoach in Exeter for employment as a "casual" bus driver.
I was appointed initially with the idea of driving for two or three days each week.There was and is, a shortage of drivers, so I found myself working 13-day fortnights, six days a week or sometimes 55 hours a week.
My only complaint is when the work is not available.This, at the age of 71, I am still undertaking.In my situation I just fill up the "blanks" when someone fails to report, or there are advanced warnings of staff shortages during any day.
What has this country developed? A generation of wimps?For me, retirement is the first step to a premature death and I am not ready to do that just yet.


I seem to remember not so long ago two drivers at Torquay Depot wanting to drive on after 65 but were forced out by the Union. Can some one tell me why they had to leave and the above gentleman (good luck to him) can start work for the company at 70 years of age?

Tuesday, 26 July 2005

Bikers and The County Council

Devon County Council recently put this and several signs like up along the Newton Road. Probably because they are fed up with having to scrape bikers and their bikes up of the road.
Personally I feel they should have gone for a more aggressive notice such as:-
Bikers, take care. You know car drivers are homicidal maniacs who will kill you at the drop of a hat. Especially if you

  1. Ride down the centre of the road at 70mph.
  2. Overtake in the face of oncoming traffic round blind bends.
  3. Overtake on the left using the cycle lane.
  4. Over take cars that are turning right.
  5. Have total disregarde for double white lines
    As the top right photo shows, not all bikers would need this warning and some just wouldn't heed it..

PS Torbay Council expect the Travellers on Brixham Park and Ride to be gone soon. They also say it is safe for motorists to use the Park and Ride.

See Duplicate bus for full story.

Monday, 25 July 2005

More Buses Than Ever

When I first started driving the number 12 we drove single deckers that carried 50 passengers and we ran every 12 minutes during the day. That reduced to every 10 minutes and then the single deckers went and we drove double deckers that carried 90 people. As from to day we now run every 7 1/2 minutes between Newton and Brixham. So in 7 years we have gone from a carrying capacity of 250 passengers per hour to 720 per hour in each direction
More people are using the bus, why not join them?

Sunday, 24 July 2005

I am not a great reader of news papers and TV news is almost always full of bad news but a couple of stories caught my eye in the last couple of days.
The first was the story of the Basking Shark that had got trapped in a fishing net and was almost dead when some divers found her. They cut her free and she swam away, hopefully never to go any where near any of these nylon death traps that litter sea beds all over the world. These nets have, to use a term from nuclear technology, a half life of thousands of years. Long after the effects of Global Warming have wiped out the human race fish and marine animals will be dying because of them.

The second story was about Scotty from Star Trek. He is finally to be Beamed Up. His ashes are to be sent into space where he spent much of his acting career. We were told that Mr Spock came from Vulcan but never where Scotty can from. Cirtainly not Scotland, not with that accent.

Crash a Day in the Bay

One day as I was going to Paignton over the Ring Road I saw a white van and a blue car that had been in an RTA.(Far left) Then the next day while travelling along the Torbay Road they were at it again. Some people never learn.

When I seen the results of an accident I try and work out what happened but in these two incidents I have no ideas. If you were involved prehaps you could let me know.

Thursday, 21 July 2005

An unexpected development on Brixham park and Ride

All though the Brixham Park and Ride was not due to start until Monday a group of people were so anxious to make use of the facility that they arrived 4 days early in order to book their places.
Click for full story on the duplicate bus.
Remember you can always park in Paignton and catch a bus direct to Brixham. There are two large car parks handy for the bus station and buses every 7 1/2 mins during the day.

More on Park and Ride for Brixham

12 Leaving Paignton Bus Station Posted by Picasa
From Monday the 24 July 2005 if you drive into Brixham and find no where to park your car you will have to drive half way back to Paignton to park your car in a field. Then you will have to wait for a bus (£1.00 return plus car parking fee) to take you to Brixham.
So why not park your car in Paignton and catch this bus into Brixham and save your self, family, the nice people of Brixham and the field lots of hassle and wasted time. Thanks.

Monday, 18 July 2005

Park and Ride for Brixham

Over run Brixham is to get a new Park and Ride Car Park.
Stagecoach Devon have won the contract to ferry motorists fron the new car park into Brixham.
Click here for full story on Duplicate Bus

Also from Stagecoach Devon's web site.
24 July 2005

The daytime frequency of service 12 will be increased from Monday 25th July. On Monday to Friday between 0930 and 1800 there will be a bus every 7/8 minutes.

Don't Park in the Bus Station

The lady who parked her car in Paignton Bus Station the other day had to drive past the No Entry (Except Buses) sign, also past a sign that showed her where a Car Park is; just the other side of that wall in front of her. She could not have not seen it. But she was only going to be a minute. Little did she know she was going to be a little longer than a minute.

The Moral of the story is, don't drive past No Entry signs, and don't park in bus station, even if it's only for a minute. Your bus might be closer than you think.

Sunday, 17 July 2005

Park and Sail in Torquay

When I drove along the sea front the other day this ship was parked in Torbay. I decided that it was just an other cruise ship. We get the odd cruise ship in the Bay now and then, a little boost to the Town's ego. Later on I discovered that it was not a cruise ship. It is called The World and people, mega-rich people, live on this ship and it just sails round the world for ever, calling in at about 100 different places in a year's sailing. Think of 100 places in the world you could sail to and it turns out that Torquay is one of them.

Friday, 15 July 2005

A Beautiful Day

To day was a beautiful sunny warm, some would say hot, dry day. Lots of people about as there has been for the last week. We have had dry sunny days with the mercury about the 25C mark. Very nice for the beach. Traffic has been light and the job easy.
Don't you know some b-----d is going to turn up and spoil it.

This morning I went down to the Harbour at about 10 am to catch a bus to Paignton to start work. While I was waiting for my bus an elderly couple asked me where the Open Top bus went from and I explained that the could take the 15 min trip up to St Marychurch or the 45 min trip to Totnes. They decided that the 45 min trip to Totnes was ideal. An hour and a half traveling on the bus in the beautiful sun shine admiring South Devon's glorious country side with the wind blowing gently in their faces, an hour in Totnes for a cup of tea and a bun and back by 1 pm for lunch at their hotel.

What I, and no one else knew was that at that very moment workmen were erecting 3 way temporary traffic lights on the road, the only road, between Paignton and Totnes and my couple would take 2 1/2 hours to get to Totnes and 2 1/2 hours to get back; if they were lucky the might make it back in time for Afternoon Tea.

We all know that road works have to be carried out, a burst water main threatening to leave thousands without water on one of the hottest days of the year, a fractured gas pipe which may explode and distroy dozens of houses, telephone cables melting and leaving the whole of South Devon cut off from the rest of the world. No, Contractors were laying an Anti Skid surface to a short section of road. A job that could have been done any time. Well I suppose this time was any time for the contractors but up to 10 000 people had their day upset by these very important road works. As one of my colleges asked, If I was the contractor would I care?

Elected Mayor for Torbay

Troubled Torbay votes for mayor.
Local residents voted for the change in a referendum on Thursday. The first elections to chose a mayor will take place in October.
Thank you to all those who voted.
I know that this is not a cure-all. The Mayor will have his work cut out to produce the results Torbay needs if it is not to continue to lurch from closed toilets to massive pay rises for councillors to chain link fences on Paignton Green etc.
The vote is in October for the Mayor, please do vote.

For Full Story from Local Paper Please goto to duplicate bus using link on your left.

Thursday, 14 July 2005

An Other Crash

Last night at about 10 past 5 there was an other bad RTA. I class an RTA as bad if the road has to be closed and buses diverted. This one happened at the bottom of Cheery Brook Road on the duel carrigeway, a fast streatch of road, the first streatch of fast road as you head for Brixham from Paignton. Probably some in a hurry to get home.
The police closed the road for a while. As our MD Mr Hilditch once explained, if some one is hurt in an accident then the road is closed as it could be the sceane of a crime. Doesn't help people to get home though.

I don't know any details as yet. One of the drivers involved in the crash at Torre Station had to be cut out of her vehicle and sustained a broken arm. Serious but not too bad.

Further to my post about seagull a readers sent me this email:-

sorry to tell you dave but the death of all those gulls was because there was a hatch of flying ants that night and once they start feeding they dont look out for cars.

Thanks for that Sandy, one little mystery cleared up.

Monday, 11 July 2005

Two Incidents

Today I arrived at Paignton Bus Station to start work. I was due out, heading for Newton at 10:55. My bus had the Bus Working Number Papa 10. All number 12 buses have a call sign between Papa 1 and Papa 20. Also they run in order Papa 9 would be in front of me and Papa 11 behind me.
It first began to dawn on me that there was a problem when I noticed the queue for the 12 was getting fairly big and it was 11:00. Since there are no road works in the Bay ( a small piece of history there) the buses should not be running so late. Then a bus turned up and I walked over to it to change places with the driver. He indicated that he was not coming off and I asked him his running number. 7, three buses before mine. What was going on. Then the Controller came out and explained that a low loader had come from the Ring Road onto the main Paignton to Brixham Raod and got stuck. Big Time.

He was there over 2 hours and all the buses coming from Brixham were running up to 40 minutes late. This was on the hottest day of the year so far and town was full of holiday makers and foreign language students. Fortunatly most were down on the beach enjoying the sun (1) and sand and traffic was fairly light. Once the low loader had been moved it only took a couple of hours to get all the buses back on time.

Then in the afternoon over the radio one of the drivers reported a serious accident near Torr Railway Station. Traffic moving into Torquay had to be diverted and would have missed out stops at the College and the Coach Station. Buses going out of town were getting through with only a slight delay. When I went past the crash scene a black car had been cut open and some one was being put into an ambulance. No other details as yet.

Then even later in the afternoon as I was just about to go into Paignton to hand over to an other driver, Control informed me that due to problems caused by the crash my replacement driver would be 25 mins late in Paignton and that I would have to transfer my passengers going beyond Paignton to the next bus, a wait for them of 10 minutes and a wait for those passengers in Brixham of an extra 15 minutes. Well I don't mind a little over time so I took the bus to Brixham and back. One passenger who had heard the above conversation gave me a big thank you when he got off, which was nice.

(1) A short message to all our Foreign Language Students. On very hot, sunny days in England, Sun Block 30 if you are out in the sun for more than 20 mins. Some of our visitors from the Mediterranean seem to think the sun isn't strong up here in the North.


Torquay has lots of seagulls. The local football team are called 'The Gulls'. Holiday makers on the sea front feed them fish and chips and say how majestic they look as they glide in to take the offered chip; Them an other hundred turn up and all want a slice of the action. Gulls are strong, aggressive and permanently hungry birds and that beak is very sharp, so feed them at your own risk.

Many locals dislike them for many reasons. They are noisey,crap all over the place and rip rubbish bags open for the food inside and make a mess. Several years ago, when I had just moved to the Bay I was driving down New Rd in Brixham when a young gull hit the windscreen of the bus. The only person on the bus was a little old lady and I, being new to sea side living though she would be upset. "Oh good, an other of the buggers dead." was her coment. I was quiet shocked, at the time.

At this time of year the young gulls have flown the nest and are fending for themselves, poor things. Unfortunately they don't get taught the Green Cross Code and some of them get run over. Yesterday was a bad day for the gulls. I counted 8 dead gulls in the road between Torquay and Brixham. This is a lot more than usual which must mean either there are more gulls about or local drivers are get better in their aim.

Pulling away

A couple of days a go a young man approached the bus in Brixham and asked me when I was going. I replied "Now", and started the engine. He asked me to wait for his mate. I asked him where his mate was and he said,"There." and pointed. As I could not see any one coming towards the bus I politely told him it was time for me to go. He got on the bus and tried to make me wait, but there was still no sign of his mate so I explained that if he stayed on the bus I would leave with him but without his mate. He got of the bus and stated his belief that my mother and father were not married, at least not to each other. Plus one or two other remarks about his imagined knowledge of my sexual practices.

Now if you wonder why bus drivers some times wont wait a few seconds while you come running up at the last minute let me tell you about what had happened earlier that day. I had arrived in Paignton heading for Torquay and Newton. There had been 25 people at the stop and I had loaded up and was just about to leave, now a minute down. A minute late doesn't matter too much.

Just as I closed the doors and elderly couple came hurrying up to the bus and I opened the doors to let them on. He got on, looked how full the bus was and said to his wife, "Oh no, the bus is full. Lets wait for the next one." She meanwhile had disappeared down to the back of the bus with 3 bags of shopping. He moaned a bit down the bus at her but she wasn't getting the next bus. (Little did she Know).

He then searched through his pockets for their return tickets, didn't find them, went down the bus to wife who said he must have lost them. He decided to buy two more tickets and searched through his pockets for some money, didn't find any, went down the bus to wife for some money. She had meanwhile found the tickets, he had a moan at her,He brought the tickets to me, I looked at them, Waterside the Paignton return.

Now you may remember (if you have a good memory) that earlier in this story I told you I was heading for Torquay. Unfortunately Waterside is in the direction of Brixham. I told him, he didn't believe me, his wife didn't believe me, This is a number 12 bus and the number 12 bus goes to Waterside. True said I but it goes to Torquay and Newton first and will take 2 1/2 hours to get to Waterside. If you get the 12 heading for Brixham
it will take 10 minutes. They got off.

Meanwhile 15 more people were waiting to get on the bus so I left Paignton not 1 minute late but 8 minutes late. Now when you are that late you are picking up some people who should have been catching the bus behind and you are also picking up people who have been waiting any thing up to 18 minuets for you. So you are picking a lot more people up and dropping a lot more people off and all this takes longer.

There had been over sixty people on the bus when I had first shut the doors and before I got to Newton I picked up at least and other 50 people. Also I was so late in to Newton that the next bus had past me and cleared the Stand in Shearbourne Road for me, They meant the people waiting in Newton were starting their journey 10 minutes late. I was still 5 minutes late by the time I got back to Paignton. All together because I had opened the doors and let the elderly couple on in Paignton about 120 people had been delayed by about 10 minutes each. A total of 20 hours. Just to save the couple with the shoping a wait of 9 minutes.

So next time the bus pulls away just before you arrive at the bus stop and the driver sees you, but carries on going, you know why.

But then of course the driver could just be a mean bastard!



Sunday, 10 July 2005

Elected Mayor for Torbay.


Time is running out for Torbay residents to use their vote on the directly elected mayor. The deadline for votes to be returned to the council is 9pm on Thursday.

Yesterday 23,000 ballot papers had been returned to the town hall.

Ballot papers can be returned by post to the counting officer or can be delivered to Torbay Council's Connections offices in Torquay, Paignton or Brixham.

The counting of votes starts at 9pm on Thursday.

If you have not voted then put an X in the yes box and sent your vote in NOW.

Friday, 8 July 2005

London 7 th July 2005

I don't believe in God

But at times like this I wish I did.

Because then on the Day of The Great Judgement God would call together all those who did this thing, and all similar acts and say to them,


Shame there is no God.

Thursday, 7 July 2005

Sorry Paris

Sorry Paris, who am I kidding?

I didn't really care too much where the Games went as long as it wasn't to France. Now London has got the Games I am very pleased. I am just old enough to remember the last time the Olympics were in London 57 years ago. I lived in London for many years and
I know a lot of people have worked hard for this return visit. I know the cost. You could build 3 Hospitals, 200 schools or fifteen thousand two hundred and seventeen buses for the money about to be spent over the next 7 years. But The Olympics is an event the whole world takes part in every 4 years so it's good to be hosting it again.

The cynic in me has to add that Global Warming is a world event too but no one will admit to being the Host Nation.


Friday, 1 July 2005

More from Manchester

Well the fine weather held fine for a few days so we went out into Derbyshire and stopped for a picnic lunch and here we are looking round a 5000 year old millenium dome called Arbor Low . Probably cost about one millionth of the one our belovered leader Tony built in London. Almost cirtainly visited by more people than Tony's Folly.