There I was, just turning into Eugene Rd in Preston on my way to Brixham when the radio called out my call sign. I was stopping at the stop and answered the radio. It was the driver of the 12 in front of me. He had just gone past the Torbay Leisure centre and had a slight problem. The bus stop at the centre has a small shelter with a couple of seats. Now there are 3 bus services that stop at this stop, the 12 for Brixham, the 120 for Kingswear and the 200 for Totnes. So some one sitting in the shelter may not want the approaching bus and if no one has rung the bell the driver will be very reluctant to stop with out some sort of signal. The most comprehensive signal, recognised the world over is to put your hand out. Even at the South Pole this signal is understood as a way of showing the bus driver that his/her services are required. We will react to almost any signal, standing up for instance works just as well as the arm out. Throwing your self under the front wheels just as the bus arrives at the stop also has the desired effect of stopping the bus but is considered too dangerous to be tried at home and may involve a trip in an ambulance.
Any way the slight problem. Sorry but I do get a little carried away on the subject of lack of mind reading ability amongst bus drivers. No signal; no stop. Any way the problem, there was a gentleman at to stop who had remained seated without an extended arm and the poor driver in front had continued unabated in the direction of Brixham. Only as he went past the stop had the seated gent become unseated and the unextended arm become extended. Too late to stop safely, my colleague had used his radio to make me aware that the gent did wish to go to Brixham and would I stop even if the seating continued when I got there.
Anyway, when I got there 15 minutes later the gent was indeed standing and did have an arm out. He had had 15 minutes to think about it after all. He got on and I provided him with his ticket to ride (free oap ticket). Ten minutes later as I drove into New Road at Monks Bridge and past the first stop there was a gentle cough in my left ear, well close by my left ear and a voice saying, "I wanted that stop." A quick check on the dash showed that the bell had not been rung and I apologised saying that I had not heard the bell. I dropped him off at the next stop.
So a bus ride that should have taken about 15 minutes had taken about 35 and involved a walk back from the wrong stop. All because some people think we are mind readers. We aren't; please put your arm out to get on the bus and ring the bell when you want to get off.