Yesterday I drove 18071 on the first half of my duty. Nothing really wrong with 18071. It pulls away briskly, the steering is light and the brakes work. The seat is comfortable and its no great stretch to reach the ticket machine. The bell is loud enought to be heard without scaring me half to deaf and the doors open and close fairly quickly. The radio is easy to set up and the mirrors have a good view of the road behind. But I don't like driving this bus. Come to think of it I haven't liked driving this bus since last October. Before that this bus was as unremarkable as the rest of the deckers we use on the 12/12A route
What happened in October that makes me uncomfortable with this bus. The catch that releases the drivers window broke off and now it is impossible to open the window. Now, if you have read your Highway Code some time in the last 40 years you will come across a section that says, "Please let the bus out from a bus stop if safe to do so." Yes I know there are bus drivers out there who think that car drivers HAVE to let buses out and just pull out no matter what. And there are car drivers out there who would sooner die than let a bus out in front of them and now and then these two come into contact; violently. Happened in front of Mojos pub on the sea front on Sunday. Front of car and side of bus buried deep in each other. Me, I like to put the indicators on and put my hand out the window and wait until some one lets me out, usually indicating by flashing their lights. At this point I will pull out and give them a little wave by way of thanks. Shows what a nice, friendly bus driver I am. In 18071 this is impossible as the window wont open. So to the 37 drivers who let me pull out Monday lunch time and only got a quick flash on the Hazard Warning Lights; Sorry. Very impolite of me but not my fault. I still feel bad about it though.
I know this problem has existed since October as I sent a Memo to the Engineering Manager re this window about 3 months ago and he wrote back and assured me that a new window had been ordered in October. If you had a new car and had to wait 8 months for a replacement part would you be happy or would you be on the phone every other day wanting to know where it was and what the Daily Mirror would make of the fact that you had bought a Â£120 000 vehicle and were still waiting 8 months later for replacement window.