Friday, 28 September 2007
Found this on YouTube. It happened in Leeds a few days ago. I have never had any thing like this happen to me, thank goodness.
No one was hurt in the making of this video.
Tuesday, 25 September 2007
I have heard from people who were there and from newspaper reports that the ambulance had come to a stop at the lights. While this photo, taken later in the day and sent to me by a reader, shows it was on the right hand side of the traffic island it also appears to show that the red car had taken the corner very wide. The damage to the ambulance also suggests that it was stationary, one impact site, not a long mark that that would be produced if it was moving when the red car hit.
Today I was at this junction and I watched cars turning left from the Totnes Rd and they all managed to do so without moving out of the left lane.
Monday, 24 September 2007
When you want the Brixham bus it is a 50/50 chance the White Rock bus will turn up.
So check the timetable.
Remember Please; these changes were not my idea so don't shout at me if I'm not going where you want to go.
Sunday, 23 September 2007
This is Regent Close where Torquay Depot is situated. The car on the pavement in the two photos does not belong to a driver. At least I hope it doesn't. The two photos were taken 16 days apart and at first glance it would appear that the car has not moved. But look closely and you will see it has. It's pretty consistent parking, even if it is crap parking.
Friday, 21 September 2007
Thursday, 20 September 2007
Wednesday, 19 September 2007
It is run by a company called OzBus and the fare is £3750 one way, takes 12 weeks so bring a good book. The first trip left on the 16 September and the next trip is due out on the 23 September so get booking.
More info click here
Saturday, 15 September 2007
Later on in the day a woman gets on in Paignton and shows me a Rover Rover ticket for her dog. 75 pence and the dog can make as many bus trips as it likes all day long, save going walkies, a bargain. She doesn't bother showing me her ticket and I have to ask a couple of times. Now because of the above item I am running late and as every bus driver will tell you, when you are running late every second you lose like this sends the stress level up a couple of points on the Ricter scale. Down the road we go and I pick a young man up who is playing his radio. I politely ask him to turn his radio off, I don't want to listen to his music and I am sure no one else on the bus does either. (If you wish to listen to music on a bus get a pair of well padded earphones and every one will love you). The young man turns his radio off. A few stops down the line the lady with the dog gets off but pauses with one foot on the platform and tells me how wonderful I was for, and I quote, "Telling that young man off." I didn't, I merely asked him, politely to switch his radio off which he did. I try to point this little but important fact out to the lady but she was having none of this and was now trying to explain her pet hates, people having a conversation at the top of there voice on a mobile phone. She was telling me this, you've guess it, at the top of her voice. Remember I, and everyone on the bus is running late and getting later. We don't wish to know her pet hats. Really we don't. Stress level going up. Oh yes; and the punch line. She is the mother, and therefore should know better, of one of our bus drivers.
Thursday, 13 September 2007
A similar incident occured a few days ago when I was doing one of my rare excursions into the world as it exists before 8 am. I'm not sure I like being up that early. Anyway, I was following an X80 through Preston (we need a Preston by pass by the way). It had stopped at St Paul's church and one passenger had boarded. I was dropping a couple of passengers off at the same stop and pulled in behind. I could see through the back window of the X80 that the passenger had had a short and apparently unfulfilling conversation with the driver and had got off and was now walking back to my humble bus. I knew what was coming. Sure enough passenger got on with an Around Torbay Concessionary Pass in hand and wanted to go to Christchurch a mile down the road. I said exactly what the X80 driver would have said, "Twirly" (1) Around Torbay passes can not be used before 9:30 on weekdays. I must have been more convincing than the FirstBus driver, or maybe a more honest face because the passenger believed me and paid the fare, grumbling while I prised the coins from a very unwilling hand. My advise to write to Nic Bye the Mayor probably went unheard as the passenger wandered down the bus looking for some poor soul to tell his tale of woe to. But that early in the morning poor souls are hard to find.
Footnote (1) "Twirly"... Too early!
Wednesday, 12 September 2007
An other little thing from Newton today is about the up coming road works due to take 11 weeks. Today someone had been round with little cans of spray paint marking the road out so the contractors know where to dig and where to plant. Lets hope they get it right this time. Also the road is to be closed completely on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. As it is the only way out of the bus station it means the bus station will be closed. I did ask what would be put in place as one or two passengers have asked where they will catch the bus but so far information is thin on the ground. All will be reveled, probably Saturday lunch time. Maybe we will all drive into the bus station, do a three point turn, (though with a 34 foot long bus it could be a 23 point turn) and out again. Could be fun.
Sunday, 9 September 2007
Saturday, 8 September 2007
Friday, 7 September 2007
After the shoot, I asked the councillor if he was actually going to take a ride on the bus. He didn't come up with the words, "Don't be daft." but he may as well have done.
After they had gone and I continued with the journey a lady passenger came up to me as she was getting off and asked what the photo shoot had been about and I explained. "Oh," she said. "I thought it was a councillor. Not a word of explanation to us poor passengers. Some of us have appointments to keep. Just do as he wants. Just like the council." I often wonder why people want to be councillors, what ever they do someone will have a go at them. It wasn't as if the bus had been delayed in any way, I was only waiting time; we get 3 minutes waiting time in the summer on the Harbour. If I had been late I would have said so and let the poor sod in the bus behind get his photo in the paper.
The second photo is likely to have longer implications, 11 weeks longer. A little history concerning this set of road works is in order. Some time last summer a new supermarket was built in Newton Abbot and the road lay out was changed some what. The main road was re-routed round the back of the super store and a roundabout removed. While the work was being done temporary traffic lights were erected. They have been there over a year now. A new road was laid which was only 12 feet wide, not wide enough for two buses to pass each other. So we now have a single lane road controlled by traffic lights at either end when there is plenty of room for a really wide road. Waiting at these lights, right out side the library which is full of "SILENCE" notices, delays the bus up to 2 minutes which is 3% of it's journey time.
At the time I believed that some one had misread the plans or the distances were in metric and the road workers measured in feet or some such thing. I even email Devon County Council last December and asked them when the road would be finished and had the been a problem. I got an email back saying the work would be done in April and the road width had been on the original plan to allow for pedestrian access and no mistake had been made. Yeah, right, I believe you. We shall see in 11 weeks if the original plans have been changed and the road widened or the single lane road remains in place just to show what the original plans were.
Well now we have 11 weeks of possible delays getting out of Newton Abbot bus station, there is no other way out and no where else we can put the bus station for the next 11 weeks. Should be fun.
Thursday, 6 September 2007
A little unpleasant incident on the bus today. One that happens but only rarely, three times so far in ten years. I took over the bus in Paignton heading for Torquay and Newton with about 40 passengers. Most got off in Torquay and I continued on to Newton. I suspect the deed had been done by this time but I am not sure. In Newton a couple boarded the bus for Paignton and the gentleman came down stairs and gave me the bad news. Some one had been sick up stairs. I had a look and used some ticket feed to put a police line don't cross style barrier across the seats affected and advised passengers as they boarded of the problem. I did pick up about 40 more passengers as I headed down towards the depot on the Newton Road where a replacement bus awaited me. It was a hot day today, up to 24C and the bus was getting a little smelly by the time I got there and transferred to a nice clean bus to continue the journey.
Now I can understand why some one who has been sick on a bus may not wish to tell the driver that they have been sick, a bit embarrassing to say the least. But what they could do when they are getting of the bus is say to the driver, "I am sorry driver but I think some one has been sick on your bus." The sooner I know about it the quicker I can do some thing about it and it get less chance to start to smell.
The other little problem I came across to day was on the Stagecoach in Devon web site where the timetables are kept. At the moment the 12A runs from South Devon College to Brixham every 15 minutes. From 30 September it will still leave the College every 15 minutes but only every other bus will make it to Brixham and the others will only get as far as Roselands. They wont even connect with a bus that does get to Brixham. So, if you are driving the Roseland’s bus when you get to the College then you will have to explain to some one who may have already been waiting up to 15 minutes for a bus to Brixham that they will have to wait an other 15 minutes or catch the bus to Roseland and then walk down to the main road, 5 minutes, and wait for a 12 going to Brixham. Possibly an other 15 minutes wait. I am really looking forward to that experience.
To end on a bright note, the temperature got to 24C today and the good weather looks set to stay good for several days yet.
Wednesday, 5 September 2007
An other problem we have with these holidaymakers is timing. They all have breakfast at the same time and then go for a sit down in the hotel lobby while the all decide to go to Brixham, all at the same time, 10:15. This morning I had just left the Strand in Torquay heading for Paignton and Brixham via the bus stop at Belgrave Road. There are lots of hotels in Belgrave Road and about 75% of the guests are standing at the stop waiting for little old me. I know it isn't personal but I have a little problem, I'm a 12A which goes the long way round to Brixham and takes an hour to get there; the 12 only take 40 minutes so it is better for them to get a number 12. It is a lot of explaining and not all believe the horror story of what a trip to Brixham is like on a 12A. Still they get there in the end. So on to Paignton Bus Station where an other large crowd await. Including a young lady seated in an electric wheel chair. A brand new electric wheel chair. Which she has not yet quiet got the hang of. I get out of the bus and put the ramp down so she can get on the bus but one of the wheels misses the ramp. I manage to grab the chair before it topples over and redirect so we manage to get it on the bus. It was even worse getting it of the bus, she managed to jam it in the aisle. a bit of brute force and swearing under breath got it out and of the bus but all this took time. We finally got to Brixham 1 hour 15 minutes after leaving Torquay and those passenger who hadn't believed me when I said, "Wait for a number 12, it will get you to Brixham quicker than me." certainly believed me now.
Rest of the day passed by without much noticeable incident. Oh, an X46 broke down and blocked Union Street for a few minutes. I was no where near. Oh, and who ever the driver is who like to make odd noises on the radio is still at it. I wish he would get some help before the rest of us need help. It's very childish and very annoying.
Footnote (1) No such thing as free bus travel; lots of tax payers somewhere have to pay for it.
Tuesday, 4 September 2007
Full story here from the BBC
Listen, read my lips, what part of,"You can't bring that motor bike on this bus" don't you understand?
So you can't bring motor bikes on buses so don't park the bloody thing on a bus stop, pillock.
Sunday, 2 September 2007
BUSES DRIVING US CRAZY
11:00 - 27 August 2007
The floods also once again brought home how silly it is to have a 'pedestrian priority' area where the welfare of pedestrians clearly comes last.Shopkeepers in Fleet Street were incensed that as the flood waters rose Stagecoach buses were still running up and down the road.
But how come so many are there in the first place?It's something Ann Williams raised after visiting Fleet Street.The former Torbay councillor said: "I sat in the precinct and there were buses everywhere. They were queuing up and beeping their horns. It was horrible."
Ann said she spoke to three visitors while she was in Fleet Street."They said they wouldn't be coming back to Torquay," said Ann.Stagecoach does a good job in the Bay and it obviously has to get its buses through the town and down on to the harbourside.But Fleet Street is either open to traffic or not. At the moment it's in between and that's a tragedy in the making
Lets take a few points from this short article. One the flood waters arrived in less that 3 minutes and were not Stagecoaches doing. The shops were flooded by the rising water and would have been flooded even if Stagecoach had stopped running. What was the former councillor doing about the buses using Fleet Street when she was a councillor? Answer, nothing. And three, in the nine years I have lived here and driven up and down Fleet Street several times a day and walked up and down Fleet Street several times a week I have NEVER heard a bus horn being blow. She makes a brief visit and hears them being blown all the time. She is one unlucky councillor. I have also spoken to visitors who say they are never coming back to Torquay and they give me lots of reasons, none favorable to the local councils efforts to improve Torquay for the visitor. I have also spoken to thousands of visitors who will be coming back to Torquay.
Watch the video and see if you think any of the pedestrians or in any danger from the buses. The buses are 34 feet long and take 5 second to pass a given point. That is 6.8 ft per second which is slightly over 4 mph. Stopping distance at 4 mph is 6 inches.
BUS FAN TAKES THREE FOR A RIDE
11:00 - 01 September 2007
A tipsy 56-year-old bus enthusiast from Teignmouth climbed into a Stagecoach bus and tried to drive it home, a court heard yesterday.Gary Millgate was even wearing a Stagecoach tie and shirt given to him by other bus drivers he had befriended.He had a few drinks before he clambered into the red and white bus - unaware that there were three passengers already on board.Millgate managed to start the vehicle which was parked in Exeter's main bus station and reversed it just 10 feet, drove it forward 10 feet and then struck a metal bollard causing £400 damage.The real bus driver came out of a canteen to find Millgate at the controls and he was arrested.He was given a breath test and found to be around two and a half times over the legal limit.
Exeter magistrates heard that Millgate used buses to travel between his home in Teignmouth to go to the Exeter bus social club.The court heard the bus doors were open, he got on board unaware of the passengers sitting in their seats, and pushed a button to start the engine.He told police: "I tried to be clever. I thought I could drive it but I couldn't. I moved it forward and backwards and hit the pillar."
Millgate, of Lendrick House, 4 South View, Teignmouth, admitted taking the bus without consent, drink driving and having no insurance.Mr Peter Seigne, defending, said: "This is rather a strange case. He is a single man who lives in a flat next door to his elderly mother."He is a lonely man who has not worked for a number of years."He has developed an interest in buses."He is an associate member of the bus station social club and knew all the bus drivers. He expressed an interest in buses to various drivers who gave him bits and bobs of old clothing they did not want."He turned up at the club dressed as a bus driver. He does not hold a driver's licence."But earlier this month he had drunk some alcohol in Exeter and went to the bus station.Mr Seigne said: "He did not realise there were passengers on board. He decided to get on and foolishly and regrettably he tried to drive it."He drove it about 10 feet in reverse and was back in first gear when he struck the bollard. He spent a frightening night in the police cells."
The magistrates ordered reports on Millage before they pass sentence and said custody was an option.And they banned him from the roads in the meantime.Mr Seigne said he was still travelling to the busman's social club but using other forms of transport.
OK. Now all bus enthusiast out there; don't try this at your local bus station unless:-
a) you have a bus driver's licence
b) you work for the bus company
c) you are on duty at the time
d) you haven't had 6 pints of beer.
Please note b) and c) don't count if you have your own bus.