This week just gone has been cold, wet, windy and miserable. It has also been half term for the local school children, poor dears. Well by Friday afternoon, after the chaos of the previous days road closures, the traffic was extremely light. So light in fact we were having to stop and wait time at every timing point we came too. The alternative would be to drive along the road at 5 mph. I don't like following buses that are crawling along the road at 5 mph and I don't expect anyone else does either. So you end up at timing point early. Dead boring for the driver and the passengers on the bus. Now you can drive on early if you want, There is no body standing there stopping you. Problem with this is one of the few people in the Bay who actually can read and understand our timetables (1) will turn up just after the bus has driven off and get on the phone to complain. Given the fact that the bus company view running early as not a nice thing to do and that the company keep notes about drivers who do not nice things and if you do too many not nice things they have been know in the recent past to suggest in very strong terms that you find an other job.
Anyway, I digress. At one timing point on Cary Parade in Torquay some one got so bored waiting that they decided to take it out on one of the bus seats. With a knife. A few stops later when he got off the bus an other passenger came running up to me, very excited, and told me what had happened. I am not sure what they expected me to do. Perhaps to jump off the bus and chase the slasher, wrestle him to the ground and hold him in an arm lock while shouting, " I am making a Citizens Arrest." and waiting for the police to arrive. This guy was not an unloved teenager but in his mid thirties of unkempt appearance and 6 foot 2 ins and sporting several tattoos(4) and carrying a knife(5). I used the radio to inform control.
Note (1) If you do wish to join this happy band of people who can read and understand our timetables, please phone South Devon College and ask them if they run a Timetable Reading and Understanding Course. If enough people do phone then may they will run such a course. They could do with the students. If they don't then you could phone our head office and ask some one there how to explain how the timetables work and what you have to do to qualify for the free magnifying glass(2)
Note (2)Have you seen one of our timetables (3).
Note (3) Our Managing director once described timetables as getting the most information possible on the smallest piece of paper possible.
Most of the information on a timetable is of absolutely no interest to you. If you are in Torquay you really don't need to know what time the bus left Brixham at, or Broadsands or Paignton Bus Station or Preston Shelter. All you need is when the next bus is due ( allegedly) at this stop.
Note (4) I am not suggesting for a moment that tattoos = seat slasher.
Note (5) I am suggest that someone carrying a knife = dangerous and should be avoided. And/or spend some time as a guest of Queen Liz 2. Though not actually in Buck House, somewhere up on Dartmoor would be just as nice.