Monday, 26 July 2010

More Fun on the Coaches

Sunday was a normal day, that is I took a group of guests home to the West Midlands and stayed the night in a hotel next to Walsall football ground. Next morning was slightly trickier in that instead of picking up locally I was up at 4:45 and away from the hotel at 5:15 heading for Wigston 40 miles away in Leicester. Here two people were waiting for me. I was lucky to get there as the satnav provided by the company suddenly decided to send me back to where I had come from and I got lost in South Leicester. As I sat in the coach wondering if I should switch the engine off and walk away the satnav began to work again. Following the direction on a satnav can bring it's own problems. Today's problem was a railway bridge with a 2 Tonne limit. I am not exactly sure what the coach does weight but I have a strong feeling it is more than 2 tonnes. From Wigston to Leicester to pick 3 people up and then Hinckley for two more. Then fallowed a mad dash along the A5, the M42 and the M6 back to Wednesbury for 9 o'clock. So far so good. At Wednesbury an other driver was going to drive the coach down to Torquay. We should have left at 9:15 but finally manager to get going at 9:45 arriving at the next pick up point 10 minutes late. We left 35 minutes late, God knows how getting 10 people and their cases onto a coach can take so long but some people obviously practice their skills to the highest degree.

Long experience of motorway driving have taught me that when you see those overhead lights flashing nastily telling you there are long delays ahead you done not leave the motorway, the side roads you are heading for just can not take the volume of traffic and if you are going to sit in as traffic jam you may as well do it on the motorway. My driver saw the flashing sign and was off the M5 and into hell before I could say NO!, 45 minutes, 5 miles and shattered nerves later we rejoined a free flowing motorway. Eventually at 3 pm we go down to Torquay where we quickly unloaded the coach then loaded it again with those going home and I headed north arriving back at the hotel in Walsall at 8pm, 14 and three quarter hours after I had left it that morning. Not better than bus driving.

Cabbie, was a taxi driver once and have been there, you could try going up to the depot in Regent Close and asking for an application form. I am not sure if the training school in Exeter is excepting new recruits at the moment. Worth a try.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There are several small-sized devices on the market, some of which are portable and just plug into the cigarette lighter, that will tell you of the delays ahead on the motorway and the likely duration of the delay.

It is true to state they are not much good when the incident has only just occurred and traffic is stationary but is still to queue back past the sensors (blue looking devices many mistake for speed cameras)located every few miles on the motorways and some 'A' class roads.

But to be fair they are superb in the vast majority of cases and extremely helpful in planning what to do next and informing your passengers of the delay, the reason for it, and how much it is likely to delay the journey.