Friday, 26 August 2011

Tallyho Coach parked on a bus stop.

At the top end of Torbay Rd, Paignton there is a lay-by which is about 40 metres long. The first 20 metres is marked out as a loading bay. That means that only vehicles actually loading or unloading goods can wait in that part of the lay-by. More importantly it means that delivery vans can stop near to the shops they are delivering at and drop the goods you might one day wish to walk in the shop and expect to find on the shelves, not still in a van being driven round and round the block by a driver desperately trying to find some where to park. The second half of the lay-by is marked out in bright yellow paint as a bus stop. That is so buses can pull in off the road so all those people with cars can drive past while all those people without cars, or chose not to use them, can get on the buses at the stops. Most parking places in Torbay Rd are consistently in use, being a busy part of town but the loading bay and the bus stop spend about 90% of the time sitting there empty. It can be tempting just to pull in and hope a bus or a van doesn't want to use the bay while you are there. Now I don't actually have too much of a problem with that; provided the driver remains with the vehicle moves away the moment someone who has a legitimate reason to occupy the space turns up. Parking attendants might have a different point of view to me in this area so don't quote me. The problem comes when the driver wanders off or refuses to move. It means the delivery van driver or the bus driver has to stop in the roadway causing congestion and inconvenience to all passing motorists.

This is where parking attendants come in. They might not be able to magic the offender away but they can charge the driver of the illegally parked vehicle a substantial sum of money for the pleasure of making life a misery for the van driver who has to drive round the block a few times or be forced to carry heavy goods much further than expected, the bus driver, the bus passengers, the passing motorists, the shoppers who's goods aren't in the shop when they should be, the shop keeper who looses a sale, the shop worker who gets laid off because the shop keepers profits have gone down just so some selfish bastard can park where he/she shouldn't.

While we are on about parking attendants or civil enforcement officer as they are called these days. I have heard people say, "Why don't you get a proper job?" to them when that stick a ticket on a car. It is a proper job, those who say the above haven't got the brains they were conceived with. I started driving 50 years ago, driving round Manchester in 1960. It was a nightmare, far worse than it is now, even though there were far fewer cars on the road. So why? Because people used to park anywhere and no one did much about it. People still risk parking illegally to day even though there is a strong chance they could end up paying an £80 fine. Imagine what it would be like in a world without parking attendants. You would have to get up early to get anywhere and I mean really, really early.

Anyway someone parked a coach from the Tallyho Coach company in the loading bay this morning, he didn't get a ticket but the coach behind did. It was also from the Tallyho Coach Company and was parked in the bus stop with no driver to move it should I or a civil enforcement office turn up. A civil enforcement officer turned at the same time I did. Brightened up my day enormously.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Spot the difference

What do you mean, you can't?

Both photos were taken on the Totnes Rd outside Hayes School which is almost 3/4 mile before the by now world famous Tweenaway Cross. One was taken in June while the road works were in full swing. Remember, the road works designed to improve the traffic flow at Tweenaway Cross. The road works that cost millions and the council assured us would be well worth all the waiting in endless traffic jams hoping and praying for the roadworks to be finished. The road works that dragged on for an extra 6, or was it 8 weeks. Well they are finished and the second photo was taken yesterday. Can you tell the difference, spot the vast improvements, was it worth the waiting in the road works and all the millions? Sorry Torbay Council, the answer is a big fat NO.

PS You could try doing something different with the timing of the traffic lights.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Happy Birthday Voyager 2

On August 20 1977 Voyager 2 was launched and is now about 14 000 000 000 km from Earth. Signals from the space ship are presently taking 26 and a half hours to get back to Planet Earth. It's been going for half my life time, heading out of the Solar System taking a few photos on the way. Now it is sending back information about the point where stellar space becomes interstellar space.

Since it set of we have all got mobile phones and computers and zillions of TV programs including Big Brother. We have also had famine in Africa, a tsunami has ripped south east Asia apart, floods and earth quakes have devastated Pakistan An American President and a British Prime Minister went to war because they didn't like someone. Smallpox has gone but replaced by AIDS. Afghanistan continues to suffer war and death because to is in the wrong place. Several countries have built nuclear bombs but not yet uses them and we have had genocide in Central Africa, Global Warming has been invented, Ethnic Cleansing replaced Yugoslavia and East Germany vanished of the map of Europe and a black man is president of a country that is 10 trillion pounds in debt. Mars has had several visitors looking for life and England has had several mobs looking for something to burn and Maggie Thatcher came and went and England FC have failed on 8 occasions to win the World Cup. the population of the planet has gone up by 2 billion to almost 7 billion, most of then want a car and a lot of the have got a car and oil is running out and flat screen plasma tellies are all the rage and the biggest thing on the planet, the internet, doesn't actually exist, it just IS, looming over us all like big brother waiting to pounce or be completely disable by a coming solor storm. Talk about all our eggs in one basket. Glaciers and ice caps are joining thousands of animals and plants on something called the "Endangered List". Everyone knows we must "Do something" but just as many people know that in reality there is nothing we can do so no one does anything apart from think, "2050 is a long way of".

And Voyager 2 will just carry on going and given the emptiness of space could just keep going for ever. One day in 5 billion years a brief flash of light from the direction Voyager came from will announce the end of the Solar System and Voyager will just drift on and on wandering why no one talks to it any more.

Or maybe some time next week it will be found by an alien space craft whose occupants will say, "Looks like we have found somewhere interesting. Lets invade."

Happy birthday Voyager 2. Live for ever.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Bristol VR

Actually this was the photo I meant to post, even better. Shows Torbay Rd and Devonian buses as well.

Bristol VR LFJ862W

River Link here in Devon have got a new bus. Well not exactly new, it was registered in 1981 by the Western national Omnibus Company and has passed through several hands since then. I saw it making it's way up Torbay Rd Paignton yesterday morning running in service between Paignton and Totnes ( service 100). Later in the day it appeared to have been replaced by a single decker.

Click on the link to learn more of this bus's history.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Still going on about Tweenaway

Sorry, I'm still going on about Tweenaway. Thursday mornimng on my way to work I drove throught in a couple of seconds but that was because the lights had failed and traffic always ends up running smothly through the junction. Some time I wonder way they don't just do away with traffic lights all together.
In the evening the lights had been fixed and traffic was all the way back to Hayes School, easily 600m from the lights. Almost no traffic coming along the ring road or from Totnes. Come on torbay council, admit the millions spent on this junction were wasted and should have been spent elsewhere.