Sunday, 6 December 2009

66 To Day.

Last Sunday I went up to Walsall as usual. One little incident on the way up happened just before Bristol as it was getting dark. A car in the left lane travelling at 50 mph was showing no rear lights. It really was dark enough for then to be on and several drivers had flashed their lights as they pulled out to pass the car. I joined in the fun but as I went past the car I noticed something that passing car drivers would not be able to see. The dash board lights were on even though the rear lights and front lights weren't. So the driver of this dark car would be wondering why everyone was flashing lights at him. I hope he got home safely.

Later on as I pulled away from Michealwoods Service area it started to rain. I still had 75 miles to go and it rained all 75 miles. Driving along a crowded, rain drenched motorway is not my idea of fun.

The next day on the way home I was 10 miles down the M5 when one of those little incident happened that I still don't understand. I was following an other coach at 60 mph ( a safe distance behind) in the centre lane. In the left lane were several HGVs travelling at 55 mph. I could see there was a white transit van in front of the other coach also in the centre lane but doing 55 mph. It continued doing 55 mph in the centre lane along side a tanker which was in the left lane. me and the other coach followed the white van for 10 miles, stuck in the centre lane. Eventually the tanker slowed down slightly to allow the van to move in. What did the white van do? Yes go it in one. It also slowed down. Another 5 miles passed before the van finally pulled in to the left lane. Me and the other coach stayed in the centre lane to pass the white van. Remember it had been doing 55 mph. But as the other coach drew level with the white van it increased it's speed to 60 mph leaving us still stuck in the centre lane. We stayed like this for another 5 miles before white van left the motorway, hopefully never to return.

Couple of days later I watched on the news a 25 metre long HGV attempt to take to the road from a depot in Lincoln. It was stopped by the police who said it is too long, legally, to drive on British roads. The developer of this vehicle is going to take the Department of Transport to court in an attempt to change the law. It seems that if a HGV is carrying light items like corn flakes the vehicle volume is full well before it’s maximum weight is reached. I await the outcome with baited breath but not too baited.

It’s still raining more often than not and one of my gutters is dribbling water down the wall and it’s coming into the house decidedly uninvited. All I need is a dry day and I can fix the problem but every time I look at a weather forecast there is a big blue cloud centred over Torquay,

I took a trip up to Newton Abbot today, at least on a bus you are out of the rain. Waited for the number 12 then two turned up together. Should I get on the first or second bus. Two together means one must be running late. Usually in this circumstance I get the one that’s running 5 minutes early and spend 5 minutes waiting time while the other bus hurtles off to Newton Abbot. It’s bit like the old days when there were spertrate queues in banks, I would always end up behind the guy paying in £6000 in pennies. I still have the same luck. My driver set of like Jason Button only slightly quicker. Every set of red traffic lights were approached at top speed with brakes applied only at the last minute and with much shuddering. Bus stops the same, it was as if the driver hoped the passengers would exit through the front window. Except at one stop where he didn’t even bother to stop even though someone had rung the bell. Actually he forgot someone had rung the bell he was too busy getting upset by an incident of his own making. We went round a corner and there was a stationary car blocking the road. The door was open and an elderly gent was struggling to get out. Our hero drove a bout a centimetre from the back of the car and blew the horn. Several times. Now I knew exactly what was now going to happen; and it did. The struggling elderly gent ceased struggling and took his time getting out of the car. He then discussed the world situation with the driver of the car, in depth. Eat your heart out Jeremy Paxman. By the time all this was over and the car set off the bus drivers memory had failed and he went straight passed the next bus stop even though someone had rung the bell. We did stop at the next stop and two people both much older than me got off and had an uphill walk back to where they had hoped to have got off.

I would point out that the reason I mention this well below expected standards ride is because such rides are rare, it’s a long time since I’ve been on a bus driven so badly.

The journey back from Newton Abbot wasn’t without it’s little problem but more on that tomorrow. Also I am not working tomorrow (Sunday) so I might go and watch some rugby. If it isn’t raining.


Dave said...

You have had an eventful few days Dave. - Dave

Nathan Thorn said...

It seems Stagecoach prefers these sorts of drivers now as opposed to a loyal safe driver, such as yourself.

retired driver Peter said...

A friend of mine (a retired ex teacher and an ex bus driver similarly to yourself) recently had a similar experience of bad driving on a Stagecoach in Lincolnshire bus. As she had taken note of the incidents during the journey I suggested she write in . The result was that the compnay investigated and wrote to inform her that the driver despite his long service and good character was to be sent for a period of retraining. Perhaps your man (not very likely to be a woman) would also benefit if the company were informed.
I am not one for causing trouble but such behaviour is one of the causes why people do not ride on the buses.

Anonymous said...

Well, let's face it. At least the driver didn't take a photo when stationary in a queue. Far worse.