Friday, 24 March 2006

A Question for you.

Here's a question for you.

But first a little background information. The 12 and the 12A both travel from Newton Abbot to Brixham. They both follow the same route and use the same bus stops from Newton to Torquay and on to Paignton Bus Station. After Paignton they take different routes to Brixham. The 12 goes through Goodrington and Waterside, the direct route to Brixham. The 12A goes via the Zoo, Roselands estate and South Devon College before rejoining the 12 route at Windy Corner. The journey time to Brixham is 22 mins longer on the 12A. So if you want to get to Goodrington or Waterside you must take the 12. If you want the Zoo, Roselands or the college you must take the 12A.

However if you are getting of at Paignton or somewhere before Paignton then either the 12 or the 12A will take you to where you want to got. If you are going to Brixham you can get either, the 12 is much quicker and an easier ride, so most people in Newton, Torquay and Paignton who are going to Brixham will want to catch the 12. Even is it means waiting 7 or 8 mins for the 12, it is worth the wait. Personally I would not travel to Brixham on the 12A unless someone paid me (which of course they do).

O.K. Here is the question.

You are a 12 driver. you are traveling 100 yards behind a 12A which is stopping at the stop outside Torquay Library. There are 8 or 10 people waiting at the stop. You have no way of knowing if any of those people want to catch your bus, the number 12, or if they are all going to get on the 12A that is at the stop.

Do you accelerate up to a noticeable fraction of the speed of light so you can get past the 12A before some little old dear who wants to catch your bus to Waterside (12A don't do to Waterside, remember) can manage to get the 30 feet to the back of the 12A and put her hand out for you to stop?

The correct answer is of course YES.

Surprised by that answer. I hope so. But read the question again. It asked what do you do. Well O.K. You might not do that. YOU might slow down, pull in to the left and watch the people at the bus stop carefully to see if any of them are interested in catching your bus. Unfortunately there are a large number of our drivers who don't.

Now you might think I am having a go at them, well you would be right. But when I think back to the introduction of the 12A seven months ago I can not remember receiving any training or instruction on this matter from the company training officer. Perhaps now would be the time we did.


Anonymous said...

Right about the training mate. Happened to me last week in Fleet Walk. the driver of the 12went straight past. The 12A driver said get on I'll catch him on the harbour. 12 had gone so we had a mad dash to Paignton, got there 10 mins early so I could catch the 12 I could have got in Fleet Walk. The other thing that is a problem is this stupid roll call us passengers have to listern to on the bus. Do you loose points if you are running late? Thats why buses drive past passengers, dont want to stop and waste time. One day we will here a driver report that he is on time but has no passengers on the bus.

Owen said...

Why would anyone want to go round another bus? There are only going to be more people to pick up further on.

The successful "scratcher" will simply hold back around the previous corner - letting people cross zebra crossings and so on - so if you time it right you can come up to the stop as the 12A pulls away. Result: everyone has gone on the 12A because they can't see anything else coming. Then you can follow it at a nice steady 15mph down to Paignton and arrive nice and relaxed without too much money to pay in.

The moral of the story is: Nothing good ever came of going round another bus.