Monday and Paignton Bus Station closed for much needed repairs. I am sure it will look wonderful when it reopens in May with its super-duper new roof but sadly still without a loo, shame. Being an inquisitive sort I went over to Paignton to have a look. There was a controller on duty but she had just popped in the office for some more of the leaflets she was handing out. The leaflets showed where all the buses were stopping. While she was gone ( only for 2 minutes at the most) there were 3 groups of people wandering around looking lost so I tried to help. The first person complained that there were no notices in the shop window explaining where the bus stops were. Not true, there were two but out friend hadn’t bothered to look all that carefully. The next person complained that he couldn’t find out where his bus went from so, as I had just(metaphorically) dragged one bewildered customer up to the window to read the notice clearly displayed, I suggested he went in the Travel Shop and ask in there. He expressed the opinion that as he wanted a Local Link bus and not a Stagecoach bus they wouldn’t tell him. Well, I assured him the Stagecoach staff weren’t petty minded and would gladly provide the information he needed. Which they did. By then the controller had reappeared with a large bundle of informative leaflets. Just then this bloke walked passed and attempted to walk past the barriers blocking the station of from the public.
The controller politely asked him where he was going. “To catch a bus”. Pointing at the empty of buses but not workmen and building materials bus station. The controller explained the bus station was closed and asked the man where he wanted to get to. “Home”, Just the tiniest bit of eye rolling there I have to say. “Which bus do you require?” Well he wanted a number 12. Now the 12s to Brixham go from Hyde Rd and the 12s to Torquay and Newton from Torquay Rd opposite the Post Office. So the controller persevered and asked did he want to go in the direction of Brixham or Torquay. “No, I don’t want to go either of those places”. Where exactly do you want to go to was the next question. “I’ve told you. I want to go home.” (Don’t we all). Eventually Preston was forced out of our reluctant bus passenger and the was directed in the right direction. Whether he got there is anyone’s guess.
The other problem along the 12 route, apart from Fleet St, is Livermead sea front. Work has started, or I should say the site is being set up. A couple of bus stops have been blanked off, both outside the Livermead House Hotel and a large track laying vehicle is parked on the pavement on the seaward side of the road. Oh, and that pavement is closed as well. Really windy down there today, from the east and high tide was in the middle of the afternoon.
Not nice working conditions. And there are of course two way traffic lights along that stretch just to add to the delays the buses are suffering. Road works up at Torre Station aren’t helping either. There are times when I am glad I’m not a bus driver, though they are few and far between.