An item in the Herald Express headed "New Bus Service" caught my eye. It appears that the bus service that goes to Buckland in Newton Abbot suffers from a slight draw back. Buckland is built on the side of a hill, quiet a steep hill, and the 77 bus goes round the estate anticlockwise so if you live on the far side of the estate you have a longer ride home than the ride into town. Now County Councillor Gordon Hook has persuaded Stagecoach to introduce an other service (78) that goes round clockwise. This will also help people that live at the bottom of the estate to get to the top.
Now there are two little problems here, one, it isn't a new service. When I started driving for Stagecoach I spent 9 months on Newton Abbot locals and there were two services to Buckland. The 77 which went round anticlockwise and still does and the 78 which went round clockwise. Then in Oct 2004 one service was considered sufficient and discussions were held between Stagecoach, The RMT Union and Devon County Council to decide which bus to withdraw. Now as the buses travel round there are parked cars on one side of the road all along the route. The 78 had them on the right which made it easier, oncoming cars had to move out of your way, the 77 on the left, much harder as the bus had to keep pulling into small gaps to let oncoming traffic pass.
So when it was announced that the 78 was being withdrawn I asked the Union rep to explain this apparent illogical decision. He stated that the reason was, and everyone was agreed on this, the 78 had to come down a steep hill and there was a danger the driver might loose control if there was ice on the road. Well the 78 will be coming down this steep hill once again so look out if you live at the bottom of the hill. That of course is the second problem. If it was considered too dangerous in 2004 how come it isn't too dangerous now? Maybe Global Warming has something to do with it, no more ice in Buckland.
Global Warming has benefited Buckland. It can't be all bad.