Wednesday was chaos, people were arriving early for the Bank Holiday weekend. The weather was predicted to be fine,dry and sunny for the whole weekend so lets go down to the coast seemed to be the motto. We managed, we always do even if we ran one or two of our buses a little late. Thursday seemed a little easier, most visitors had arrived so the traffic was just a touch lighter. Until that is I got to the bottom of Hyde Road in Paighton Town centre. I was stuck in unusually heavy traffic, i.e. , it wasn't moving. At the top of Hyde Rd there is a left turn which goes over a level crossing. We go to the right to get into the bus station. Just at that moment the voice of the controller came drifting out of the radio going on about a message from the police. They were looking for a green jeep type vehicle towing a trailer. We often get messages from the police to be on the look out for missing persons and missing cars or cars involved in some incident or other. What was this one about? Didn't they know Hyde Rd, and therefore Paignton had come to a stand still. The controller continued. I seemed that the driver of the jeep had tried to beat the barriers at the level crossing and had forgotten he was towing a trailer, the jeep got under the descending barrier but the trailer had hit it. It was jammed half way down. Driver, jeep and damaged trailer had left the scene, the damaged barrier hadn't, it was sat there blocking the road for the next two hours while a RailTrack engineer came down from Exeter to fix it.
Friday I had a day of and went to Brixham for the afternoon. On the way back I stopped of at Paignton Bus station for a little light entertainment. Queues every where, buses some where else stuck in lines of cars driven buy visitors admirring the beautiful scenery; or the back of the bus in front of them. I was going to put a photo of the bus station here but it would have been X Rated so here is a photo of Brixham Harbour instead, much nicer.
Saturday was mayhem. Those visitors who were here already either got in their cars for a drive round the Bay and those who hadn't yet arrived decided to arrive a day or two late and miss the rush. What a wonderful idea. Those visitors without cars ALL said, "I know, lets get on a bus and go to Brixham." Now that is a good idea, as you can see from the photo Brixham is a very picturesque place. Unfortunately someone decided that holding a car boot sale in a field at the side of the only road into Brixham would be a wonderful idea. Traffic was queuing twenty cars deep in both directions trying to get in to the car boot sale. The road there is only wide enough for one line of cars in each direction. Result? Road blocked. If they didn't want their car boot why did they buy a car that had a boot in the first place. I know we kept our heads above water, just. I didn't hear of any bus drivers being strapped into one of them stiff white jackets with the long arms and taken away screaming, "I'm only an hour late. I'll soon make that up."
Sunday I had put my name down to do over time and that nice Allocations Officer had given me this wonderful 9 hour 49 minute duty. Such a generous man. I got to work and we were all expecting more of the same. I started at 8:30 and never ran late all day. Everyone with a car decided that they were going to do their bit to Save the Planet and left it at home or outside their hotel. Traffic was so light I though the fuel tanker drivers must have been on strike and there was not a drop of petrol to be had anywhere in the Bay. What a let down. Still there is Easter Monday to look forward to. That is usually busy with lots of people heading home early to avoid the traffic. What an original idea, I wish I had thought of that. Problem is most people do think of it and worse still, they think they are the only ones to think of it. So, what do I care, I ain't working Monday. I shall go out for a bus ride some where. Get some photos of Paignton Bus Station.