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30 Reviews
  • too many beggars kept unchecked, even though there are security cameras, no-one seen doing anything about prolific amount of begging going on
  • Smelly
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      14.10.2008 01:39
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      A journey in hell

      First off I will apologise as this is just a rant about what bugs me on my journey to and from work. I won't be reviewing the bus company but I think that the things that bug me will be issues that everyone has.

      I hate it when buses are late. I'm not talking five minutes. I once waited nearly 30 minutes one morning. It was raining and I was absolutly freezing. When I got on the bus the driver didn't apologise for being late. It made a great start to the day.

      Buses not turning up. This used to be quite a problem and I was turning up for work upto 30 minutes late every couple of weeks or so. Luckly I have very understanding collegues. When you eventually got on the bus and enquired where the bus had gone you were told that it had turned up. One day I was even accused of lying. Think about it, why would I choose to stand in the cold for nearly 30 minutes?

      Overcrowding. This used to be a very bad problem in the mornings as it was a single decker bus that was full of screaming school kids (very annoying), college kids and people going to work. My journey is 40 minutes but it's not fun standing for that long. Eventually the company got the message and have put an extra bus on, a double decker, so the mornings are great. Coming home is terrible. I'm lucky that I get a seat as I get on at the actual station, but I am squashed as I always seem to end up with someone bigger then me sharing the seat or one of those rude, ignorant people who decide to sit on you. The drivers continue to let people on so that people can't get off the bus and often miss their stop. Everyday the drivers are breaking the law by letting more people on then they are legally allowed to. If their was an accident god knows how many would smash through the front window. It just bugs me as it makes the journey home after a busy day at work very stressful noisy and annoying.

      Other people. So many listen to their Ipods and feel the need to share it with everyone else. Well I don't want to listen. If I did, I'd have one wouldn't I.

      God I didn't realise how angry the bus can make me. I'm ending it here as I have to get the bus tomorrow and don't want to be too wound up!

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        10.04.2002 05:12
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        • Smelly

        Come on Ken what are you doing? I thought that you were supposed to be improving Londons bus services. I was obviosly wrong. I live in Greater London and I have to get two buses to college and two buses home everyday. Both are London buses but are run by two different companies, Tellings Golden Miller and London United. The former runs every 20 minutes and is generally late. The later is supposed to run every 8 minutes but either comes in threes or every half an hour. When it does turn up it is often packed and you cannot even get on. Even using different companies doesn't guarentee a good journey. I advise anyone wishing to travel on any London bus that they leave with plenty of time to spare as you cannot guarantee you will get to your destination. Timetables should generally be taken with a pinch of salt. They are only useful to get an idea of when the last bus is due, although I don't advise trying to get the last bus of the night just in case it doesn't turn up. Some routes have now been given the title of N at night. Meaning that the buses run all day and night, thought perhaps not very frequent. I have to say that the choice of destination by bus is quite good. I can get to quite a few places from where I live. There are also quite a few that follow a similar route. Prices in central London are £1 for adults and it is 70p in greater London. I buy a monthly student bus pass which saves me money but i'd much rather drive if I could afford it, as the roads to college are never very busy. So the buses cannot use traffic as an excuse. Travelling by bus is really good if you want to see the sights and have time. The views you can get from a double decker can be brilliant especially in Central London. But for getting to work etc it is quite a chore. Getting to central London or across it, is definetly easier with public transport, especially the buses as you can walk a distance and just j
        ump on a bus if one comes when you are near a stop The majority of Londons buses are quite dirty. Inside and out. The seats sometimes have grafitti on or occasionally gum or the like. Compared to a black cab they are disgusting but then again black cabs prices are ridiculously high so the bus would win. We are being told to use public transport more as they are improving it. Don't be fooled. My advice is to carry on polluting the earth or if you don't care(which is a selfish attitude) or buy a bike and cycle to your destination (not helpfull if you need to travel a long way though). .

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          20.11.2001 18:09
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          I have just returned from a weekend in Amsterdam. A few friends and I decided to go, but after much hassle only 4 out of 20 went, due to there being a lot of use we all decided to go by coach, once this was decided I went on to gobycoach.com and found that It would only be £33 per person return if the tickets where purchased 7 days before travel. With this in mind I would certainly advise going by coach ? it?s cheap, gets you there and if there are a few of you, you can have a great time/laugh on the way over. In a different light look at the time it takes, and the comfort, we where on the coach for 11:30 hrs so the journey was quite cramped, after that being my second time to Amsterdam I wouldn?t do it again. My sugestion to anyone would be to travel short distances by coach for the benefit of the cost. Another advantage i can think of is that you can get your tickets online or throught other alternatives, also the staff where helpful

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            24.10.2001 06:24
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            I catch a bus twice every day in the week. Here is an account of my typical journey: Arrive at bus stop at seven-thirty in the morning. Stand stamping feet for a good ten or fifteen minutes, asking self why on earth bloody bus company made timetable ten minutes earlier at the beginning of September. Bus turns up at seven-forty-five. Let the schoolkids go first - well don't have a choice as am shoved out of the way by small boys in over-sized blazers. Finally climb aboard the bus to be greeted by a stony-faced grouch of a driver. Cheerily (and politely) ask for ticket. Grouchy driver jabs his little ticket machine and asks (v. impolitely) for fare. Pay up and find change dropped into my hand with not so much as a word of thanks. The search for a seat begins. Most occupied by rowdy schoolkids. Ask one if they would mind moving their bag, child grudgingly moves his bag three centimetres. Perch upon edge of seat, bag clutched on my lap, being careful not to sit on the chewing gum next to me on seat like the other day. Bus growls along the country lanes, unfortunately the ill-sounding racket of the engine is not enough to drown out the din made by the surrounding children. Most of the journey is spent trying to keep warm. Bus has no heating, windows will not shut and water spurts through the floor vents (intended for warm air) every time we splash through a puddle. Also choking as the older children upstairs enjoy looking "cool" and smoking. As well as battling to retain body heat, am constantly disturbed from book by kids yelling at each other over me, and from getting hit by conkers, the current fad as it is that time of the year. Bus reaches last stop before final destination. Now very full, mostly schoolkids squashed into the aisle, fellow members of public are out of sight, lost in a sea of school uniforms. At this point am being jostled from all directions, air supply is limited du
            e to cigarette smoke. Oh well, at least it is slightly warmer with all the extra people. Typically my stop is also virtually everybody elses. Decide to be assertive and push past schoolkids. Practically fall off bus in eagerness to get away from the kids, the smoke and the cold. Watch bus as it rumbles on up the street, windows are so dirty and steamed up that it is impossible to see through them, but can make out a mass of black, being the uniforms of the remaining kids. Savour a breath of fresh air, free from cigarette smoke, free from tightly packed bus and free from racket of those blasted kids. Can safely say that am looking immensely forward to my next journey on the old wreck.

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              17.09.2001 19:22
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              When I moved to Milton Keynes I was looking forward to enjoying all the advantages a new city has. Shops, Restaurants etc. But I didn't allow for the oversite of not being able to travel to these destinations. Milton Keynes bus "service", leaves an awful lot to be desired. I have had to wait up to one hour for a bus on several occasions, usually when it is pouring with rain or freezing cold. Employers don't take kindly to the old bus didn't come excuse for being late, as most of them have comfortable cars. What makes matters worse is the lack of seating when you are waiting for the non-exsistent bus. Even worse for someone much older then me. When you actually get a bus to stop and let you on, a good proportion of drivers are miserable, unco-operative and rude. Maybe they should look for other jobs if bus driving is so tedious! Then the journey starts, usually before you get time to sit down, and we're off, speeding down the road with passengers hanging on for dear life. After several near misses with pedestrians and other vehicles, and sometimes the helpful navigation skills of the passengers, you arrive at your destination. Now, do you ring the bell but stay seated as instructed only for the driver to speed past your stop, or do you chance breaking a limb and stand at the door. At last you depart the bus hopefully still in one piece but invariably late! There is also the added problem of getting from A-B using as few buses as possible, but it usually takes two. Also the last buses are usually around 9.00pm which is pretty useless if you are going out for the evening. There have been countless complaints in the local papers, but to no avail. Having lived in a large city, (Birmingham) and a vey small town in Devon , I can safely say they both have superior bus services to Milton Keynes. I hope this problem will be sorted out before we get city status or the jokes about Milton Keynes will never stop!

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                21.08.2001 19:16
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                I think I have discovered the evil plan of the government. Make the kids walk, and get some exercise. But it goes a bit far. The way I see it, kids have a choice of either paying sky-high prices, or walking all the way to the nearest town or city. The buses are crazy! The government have to realise that you can only earn any real money when you're over eighteen, by which time you're old enough to drive. But those 16 and 17 year olds, who don't earn money, still have to pay adult ticket prices. For me to get to the town 4 miles away, it costs about £2. Not much maybe, but still too much for me. By the time I get to town, my bank account is already wiped out. That is a little extreme, but you get the picture. I am left to walk the distance, a total of about 10 miles. My whole trip takes about 4 hours; time that I don't have. To me it seems quite obvious what the government should do. Firstly, raise the age for adult prices to 18, so kids don't waste their money on travel. Next, simply lower the prices. Something dramatic needs to be done in order to draw more people to public transport. This can help the enviroment, lower the risk of car accidents, even help lower petrol prices. This may just be the over simplistic view of a teenager, but if the buses stay like this, then I just can't wait to get a car.

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                  04.08.2001 20:46
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                  • "Barely Exists"

                  BEELINE Buses Formally -> SouthEast Berkshire Bus service. Now -> Bought out by FIRSTGROUP PLC. Part of the outsourcing of local authority transport services during Tory days (It's not that long ago really - just feels like it. Having used the Service over the past 10 years on a daily basis, on the it whole has made little progress since being handed over. The frequency of the general service remains unchanged with some routes being extended to encompass the rapid expansion of Housing & Business Estates.- eg. I can walk from Bracknell to Ascot Racecourse in 45 minutes -1 bus takes 20 minutes. Serious ZigZagging to try collect passengers. The service is like so many others, used primarily by the elderly, young and students - Where fare concessions have been defended and fare rises have not been capped and exceed the rate of inflation. Shiny new buses may look pretty, but when the drivers basic wage is so low that shortages are common. To be quite honest without a fat subsidy from la taxpayer I would be surprised if it makes any money at all.

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                    04.08.2001 20:36
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                    BEELINE Buses Formally -> SouthEast Berkshire Bus service. Now -> Bought out by FIRSTGROUP PLC. Part of the outsourcing of local authority transport services during Tory days (It's not that long ago really - just feels like it. Having used the Service over the past 10 years on a daily basis, on the it whole has made little progress since being handed over. The frequency of the general service remains unchanged with some routes being extended to encompass the rapid expansion of Housing & Business Estates.- eg. I can walk from Bracknell to Ascot Racecourse in 45 minutes -1 bus takes 20 minutes. Serious ZigZagging to try collect passengers. The service is like so many others, used primarily by the elderly, young and students - Where fare concessions have been defended and fare rises have not been capped and exceed the rate of inflation. Shiny new buses may look pretty, but when the drivers basic wage is so low that shortages are common. To be quite honest without a fat subsidy from la taxpayer I would be surprised if it makes any money at all.

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                    22.07.2001 21:05
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                    What do people have against public transport especially when there are fast frequent services running. I have just finshed my first year at Leeds Uni and my Hall of Residence was about 3 miles out from the Uni. There is a great demand for buses in Leeds due to the 3000 plus students who reguarly need shipping into Uni and back again. The main bus service in Leeds is First. It is an extremly efficient service. There are loads of routes that run a "turn up and go" service and with buses every 5 mins. And the other routes are very frequent. The buses run from about 6am until 3am the next day. There are special night services to take students back from the town centre late at night. The cost is very reasonable with a trip from the outskirts to the centre costing about 80 pence. The bus route I used had large sections with bus lanes. This meant that at rush hour, the buses were much faster than cars. However due to the sheer volume of traffic, mainly cars, the trip was usually long and tedious in the places without bus lanes. However it would be long and tedious in a car too! What I don't understand is why all the car owners don't get the buses aswell. Fair enough they might live further away or may require to change buses, but getting the bus for easy trips would be so much better. I only very occasionally use public transport when at home. This is mainly because it's very poor and trains only run every half hour. I also usually have a car full of people so it is cheaper. But in Leeds the buses are so efficient I can't see how it can be cheaper (sat in traffic empties the tank very quickly) or quicker when there are bus lanes. The other factor that car commuters should consider is the pollution. In this day and age everybody should try their best to reduce pollution and if you think that about 100 people can get one bus, then a huge differnce could be made. I think the main reason that people don't get
                    the bus more often is because they never have and can't see how it could be better. I suppose they need their cars to break down for a week so they have to use them and will then see that the buses can be good too. The bus companies also have a responsibilty to keep the buses clean, comfortable and cheap. I am encouraged by the number of park and ride schemes that are operating and I just wish there were more throughout the country. I also think that the introduction of trams into Leeds is an excellent idea. These will be much more efficient and faster than the buses are and I am positive more commuters will leave their cars at home. I think everyone should check out their public transport system and if it is possible, change from the car to the bus, train, underground or tram. If the public systm isn't up to much, then try sharing lifts or even cycling. It might just make a differnce to our air quality.

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                      21.07.2001 00:50
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                      • "too many beggars kept unchecked
                      • even though there are security cameras
                      • no-one seen doing anything about prolific amount of begging going on"

                      Twice in the last 2 months I've had to use Victoria Coach Terminal in London and on both occasions it was an unpleasant experience. The first time was after a lady had been mugged then run down as she tried to retrieve her handbag from theives as she sat in a Euston station coffee shop.It served to make us more aware, especially the single women I spoke to who were like me, waiting transport home. In my case, I had to wait 5 hours, there being no other bus back to Cornwall until 11.30pm (something else I find ludicrous). During my time there, I was stopped several times by beggars asking for tube tickets, I assume they were hoping to find unused portions to cash in? Another young man came up to me whilst there and asked if I wanted to buy drugs off him...he was funding his ticket back to Glasgow any way he could!! After asking the same question to three others and getting a negative response, he fliped and started shouting the he 'had to get back to Glasgow'.During the 5 hours I was there, not once did I see any British Transport Police. I was extremely cold waiting at the bus station so decided to walk the short distance to the more welcoming Victoria British Rail terminus with it's small shopping mall, but more importantly to me, somewhere warm to sit whilst feeling secure due to the presence of security staff constantly walking through the mezzanines. So my advice to anyone, in particular women, having to use Victoria Bus Terminal in London, walk a block to the train terminus for warmth, safety and confort.

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                        17.07.2001 06:18
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                        I am glad to announce that people travelling through the centre of London may prefer to take the bus and keep our london streets clear of traffic after the London Mayor Ken Livingstone introduces the £5 congestion fee's. Today the plan for this venture was released and he plans to put checkpoints and cameras in a circle around central london from Kings Cross to Old kent rd and hyde Park to Tower of london hopefully encouraging people to take the BUS or Tube to avoid the fee. There will be 178 checkpoints in a circle round the areas i have said(if you want to see full picture see the Evening Standard)and when passing these check points you will have to have paid your fee which is i presume on a computer via your number plate or else you get a fine in the post and failure to pay seems to get dealt with in the same way as a civil recovery and civil courts if necessary. Once the £5 has been paid which they want to sell from local shops much in the same way as you'd get a lottery ticket you can travel around and in and out of the zones all day as long as you use the same car. But you would want to get the bus instead im sure. Vechiles excempt from the fee will be Taxis(black)Royal mail,council vechiles,disabled badge holders and police and fire services and of course ambulances,there is a 90% discount for residents of the area which i believe should be waivered. I like the idea and am all for getting people on the Buses and Tubes but there are a few problems i can see with this plan 1.what if police divert you for some reason into the zone and you get snapped on the cameras? 2.What happens when people start to drive around the zones surely this will clog up surrounding areas and just move the problem elsewhere? 3.What if you have to enter the zones in a hurry to say get to the local A&E? Until these questions are clearly explained and answered to me then i don't think that it is g
                        oing to work but we live in hope and hey we should all be taking the bus and helping to save the environment anyway.

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                          04.07.2001 00:54
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                          • "Not recommended to those with low patience levels"

                          I really don’t like to complain, I try not to but sometimes you have to… I’ve always believed (and despite everything I still do) that is better to use public transportation and walk a lot than having a car and contribute towards pollution and traffic….In my opinion people who don’t leave in the cities or have big families are the only ones justify to own cars the rest are just lazy…but then again is just my opinion. I’ve been taking the same two buses to go to work for almost four years now and still the service is as bad as it always has been. I live in Ilford and work in Enfield which means two bus journeys each day each way. That’s why I have named my journey “ daily journey from hell”!! I take 179 from Ilford to Chingford and 313 from Chingford to Enfield. And when I say that these are the worst bus services ever you have to believe me…I know what I’m talking… My normal journey should be less than a hour in an ideal world where buses run on time and there are no traffic or roundabouts that cause traffic, but then again unfortunately I live in the real world and my normal journey is more than an hour and half or two to even three hours, it depends of how lucky I am… Bus 179 is known, especially in the morning as the kids bus as it is always full with school kids from at least three different schools.. I don’t know if you have been in a bus around eight in the morning full of screaming kids who if they are not shouting at each other they are shouting at their friends on their mobile phones (another mystery which I haven’t solved yet, why kids consider shouting as a normal way of talking with each other?)…So basically being on a bus journey for sometimes over an hour (it depends of how bad the traffic is) is not my kinda of idea to start my day but then again kids have to go to school I guesss so there is no point of m
                          e moaning about it… On the other hand because of these kids buses in the morning are running regular because if you want to get the same bus after 9 in the morning you have to ask the oracle first so you know approximately when it might turn up (Time tables!!! What a joke…who invented them again? And what’s the point?) Buses never follow those timetables, they come any time they like. Of course I understand that it is difficult for a bus to be on time for various reasons: traffic, road works, accidents, broke down bus (I’ve been in a few of those when I was left in the middle of nowhere hoping that the next one will be on time…). What I can’t understand is why last month I had to wait over two hours for a bus that runs every twenty minutes (twice??) ? I do understand the factor of bad weather conditions in the winter but in the summer? Last month it was the worst month ever….there was hardly a day when the bus came on time and the worst thing of all was the luck of excuses from the drivers, not even an apology or explanation in the two cases when we had to wait that long…. Unfortunately this isn’t the only bus I use daily that it’s comes late or in some other days doesn’t run at all. It’s the same scenario with the 313 (from Chingford to Potters Bar) another 20 minutes service (with their time keeping I guess). It’s not just in the morning but in the evening when I come back from work too…I spend almost every evening from half an hour to 45 minutes waiting for one of them (usually in the evening is the 313). So my return home lasts another hour and half to two hours….(Joy I spend almost four hours every day traveling) As I said early I do understand that sometimes buses run late for the obvious reasons but what I don’t understand is why almost every day there is a problem with the service, why there is timeta
                          ble on the bus stops when obviously it doesn’t serve any purpose and the most important of all is the bus drivers’ attitude not just rude but in some cases they do believe that we are stupid and we will believe their lies. (I’m on time according to my watch…) I sincerely hope that the problems I face almost every day is not a common thing in other areas or towns and things aren’t so bad. I enjoy using the public transport and I don’t want to be forced to buy a car so I don’t have to face this daily torture especially when the weather is bad . I do believe that things can get better with a bit of effort not just from the drivers but from the passengers too, by being a bit friendly, tolerant and patient.

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                            12.06.2001 19:06
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                            Whether you use the bus regularly or just once in a while, there are many factors relating to the transportation of the public by operators in the business. Let me start by stating that this profession is not every females cup of tea, but i like it. My experience of bus drivers had not been a very pleasant one until recently. I became one. In order to qualify to drive a public service vehicle the prospective driver must first undertake several tasks as dictated by the governing body.(Driving Licensing Authority) Initially a theory test must be sat and passed with at least 30 out of 35 answers correctly answered. Upon completion of the theory test a form is completed and soon after, an appointment for a medical will wing it’s way to you. The theory test costs under £20 Upon completing the medical and passing, the driver is then permitted to drive under instruction according to the provisional entitlement allowed on their licence. That is where the fun begins. Have you ever driven something as large as half a house around a crowded city? You haven’t, I am surprised!!!. An average single decker bus is about 40 ft long, 8ft wide and stands approximately 10ft high.A double decker has similar dimensions but stands around 14-15 ft high. After learning the basics, you are permitted to drive on the road with your instructor close at hand. Lesson from an approved centre can set you back a fortune though. I was lucky enough to be offered training through the local bus company, whose rates are normally around £29 per hour. It never ceased to amaze me how many people walk out on novice drivers who are obviously new to driving such large vehicles, and are driving a coach adorned with several L plates. Nor can I believe the amount of drivers that feel that it is their lives one desire to chop up the driver, or to scream obscenities at them.
                            For weeks you will practice, practice, practice, and hopefully achieve the highest standard of driving required in order to pass the stringent examination. Even then you might blow it all. The actual test is so difficult to pass; it is proven to be the hardest test with the highest standards required to do so. Only when you have passed the practical test are you permitted to actually drive a large vehicle solo. The practical test costs around £75. Not only are there the rigorous tests to be achieved there are other essential factors to be learned and practiced. In order to do this job properly you have to be articulate with figures and have a certain way with the public. The ticket machine functions need to be mastered, as do routes, and the destination blinds. A new driver will receive approximately 2 weeks on the road and in service instruction before they are let loose on the public. Before a driver leaves the depot he/she, must inspect the vehicle to ensure that there are no defects. If hailed by a ministry official and faults discovered, the operator will only be informed, the driver will be prosecuted. The driver has no control over the timings of routes, nor the amount charged by the operator. They do, however have control over how the customers are treated and will usually try to ensure that the customer arrives at their destination after a comfortable and safe ride. There are certainly disadvantages for both the passengers and driver. In a perfect world every bus would run on schedule, and would suit everyone’s pockets. But, unfortunately this is the real world, where you will always find a miserable driver, and a sullen passenger, but I do try to ensure that good eye contact is made whenever possible, even when the customer is moaning about the timetable. I politely thank them for waiting, and apologise for the delay that s
                            eems to dispel any ill feeling and the journey continues. Incidentally in order for a bus or coach firm to continue to renew their passenger carrying licence they must account for any “lost” journeys (abandoned routes, due to scheduling) I am sure that the people who time the routes do so on a motorbike at 4am in the morning, often setting impossible goals for the drivers to achieve. The buses in Plymouth do generally run on schedule with a couple of exceptions, which are nigh on impossible to complete on time. Some routes are subsidised by the council in order to continue the services on an underused but needed route. Drivers of smaller vehicles often seem oblivious to the fact that a large vehicle not only needs longer times to brake, the are also far slower to accelerate. Many are restricted to 56mph, which is fine in the city, but be aware that many have a hard time achieving 40mph let alone the higher limit. In order to manoeuvre the vehicle around bends and parked cars it has to be steered in such a way as to avoid the obstacles. A buses weight is increased by around a tonne for every 15 passengers carried. Buses in general are far more comfortable these days with the advent of the kneeling bus, which lowers the floor to allow easy access for pushchairs, and wheelchairs, which can be simply pushed onto the bus unfolded with its occupants in their seats. Our firm uses Mercedes minibuses for the smaller less busy routes, which do not currently accomodate wheelchairs, but according to European law will have to compliant by 2017.Any new vehicle bought after 2007 will have to be equipped with a ramp and a facility for disabled passengers to be seated on the bus in their chair. They are cleaner and kinder to the environment. There is one difference however, gone are the days of the conductor taking the fares, now the driver takes the fares and drives the bu
                            s as well, requiring them to have to learn more skills and do more in the same amount of time as it used to take two people to do the job. Fares available range from 20p concession/over 80 tickets to more comprehensive returns(Which are actually capped by the local council at £2.00 maximum)and from child and adult dayriders(Unlimited travel within the city)for £1.60 for 14 and under and £3.20 for adults and over 14s. It is possible to buy a card allowing travel for 3 months but these cannot be bought off the driver and have to be purchased at the post office or at the shop in the city centre or depot. The bus drivers have to run to a schedule and pick up passengers in the meantime, attempting to appease any disgruntled passengers that they may come across. I am not trying to make excuses for the more miserable drivers out there because there are plenty of them where I work. Many of the drivers have forgotten the lessons that they learned whilst under instruction, which is unfortunate. One thing that I have noticed is the amount of people that think that Bus lane means unlimited waiting, and that Bus stop means Car park. Nothing would make me happier than to run on time every time and be greeted by a happy smiling driver or customer every time. There is something that you as a concientious passenger could do for the driver. I like to have more than 1 seconds notice of a passenger wanting to embark/disembark. Not only is rapid slowing uncomfortable for the other passengers, on occasion it could be deemed as downright dangerous The correct change is nice, but not always practical, however, many bus companies now decline £20 notes as forgeries are rife. According to Union rules drivers are not permitted to "help" passengers on and off the bus for fear of litigation should something untoward happen, nor are they permitted to allow a passenger to get off their vehic
                            le anywhere other than a designated bus stop for the same reasons. In an average depot the ratio of women to men drivers is around 1 to 10. I do accept that this job has previously been deemed as a "mans" job, but the times are a changing, and personally without trying to sound like a feminist, a woman can do the job equally as well. There is obviously some amount of heckling between the men and women drivers, but in general it is well meant and well recieved by all. A driver can expect to earn anything from £5+ per hour for standard stage carriage work depending on the size of the vehicle driven rising to around £10 p/h, more if you are lucky!! A real downside however is the antisocial hours and the token bad tempered customer or two!! Now the other more humourous downsides to being a driver are....... and no laughing please Wandering over to the bus lane whilst driving your own car. Allowing 3ft extra on corners and kerbs. Slowing at bus stops when prospective passengers are loitering, and even thinking about pulling in to pick them up as they make a movement. Looking upwards for the mirrors(Which are not there) Forgetting to dip the clutch(Our buses are automatic) and..... last but by no means least..... leaning over to press the button to open the door to let your passengers out. I enjoy my job, and hope that if you happen to visit Plymouth one of these sunny days you may have the pleasure of travelling on my bus. Ding ding tickets please.

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                              10.05.2001 05:33
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                              • "No buses"

                              I’ve completely rewritten this op as my previous effort was lazy and deserving of the number of “somewhat useful” and “useful” ratings it generated. In common with a number of dooyoo members, I have begun to revisit some of my earlier efforts and make changes. We should all use public transport. Yes, get those nasty cars off the road and we can all become civilised again. Everyone will get from A to B faster, traffic jams will be a thing of the past, business will improve, the air will be cleaner and there will be no more school runs. This is the dream and to help us live this dream the mayor of London is going to charge a levy on cars coming in to London. This will be in addition to the red routes, the prohibitive parking charges and the over zealous parking wardens intent on generating as much cash as possible for their employers. All roads lead to public transport and I’m going to concentrate this op on buses in London, as this is where I live. I will give a typical example of attempting to travel on a bus at peak times in South London. I arrive at the bus stop. We’re off to a good start here; the word “stop” is a contradiction in itself. It should read “The bus might stop but don’t count on it.” I look around and note there are only three people waiting for a bus. This is good; hopefully a bus will come along soon before the numbers start to build up. No such luck, the number of people waiting has now increased to twenty plus. After a while, there is still no bus and more and more people arrive. Finally a bus arrives but it stops twenty metres short of the stop. One person gets off and the bus drives by. Is that a smirk I can see on the driver’s face? This little routine repeats itself two or three times and the bus stop is now surrounded by a mob. A bus comes along. It’s dirty, noisy and is spitting out filthy exhaust fumes. It stops, the
                              crowd surge forward, people I’ve never seen before come running from shops and behind walls. It’s the summer sales; everyone wants to get on that bargain bus. The conductors voice can be heard “Let the people off the bus first.” The people get off and push their way through. Everyone else tries to get on at the same time. There is shouting and swearing. The lucky ones get on and the rest become even more determined to get on next time. Welcome to the number 36 during evening rush hour. Travelling home, some are standing and the rest are sitting. The seats (we are told) will seat two people. The reality is the seats will usually seat 1.5 people. The .5 of a person has one cheek on the edge of the seat, the other cheek hanging loosely over the outer edge and their knees pushed up hard against the seat in front. I'm sure baked beans all squashed together in their little tins have more space. They would certainly win in the leg room department, if they had legs. A lot of the time the conductors won’t even bother collecting fares or checking passes because it’s too much of a hassle to fight their way through the poor sods that have to stand. Finally, upstairs in no mans land some kid travelling home from school is about to have his mobile phone stolen. In fairness I’ve not witnessed this but it does happen, kids do get mugged on buses, at best they are picked on because they are unlucky enough to be wearing the wrong uniform or better still happen to be travelling on their own. Most parents with a little bit of cop on tell their children not to sit upstairs but always to stay downstairs where it’s safer. It’s your choice, car or bus?

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                                01.05.2001 04:49
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                                There is no doubt about the fact that its cheaper to travel by bus or coach than it is to take the train. (If you don't drive that is.) I don't drive so I am forced to use buses every day and coaches three or four times a year. Stagecoach runs our local bus service and I am really puzzled by the timetables. According to the latest published ones there should be a bus every fifteen minutes. How come I have often waited for an hour (but only on wet and windy or freezing cold days.) I have asked the driver why there have been so many missing buses and been told that his particular bus is running on time. Who's time? Coaches are a different matter. They are usually late but I can understand this as they have often travelled long distances before arriving at the coach depot. Understanding doesn't help much when I've been standing in the rain in the middle of the night waiting because there are no facilities at all in the depot at that time of night. Even the toilets are locked up tight. There was hardly any leg room and I felt really cramped. The person next to me was fairly large and I was squashed in against the window. (I am only very small.) The floor was littered with sweet wrappers and drinks cartons. I am sure I could smell cigarette smoke even though the vehicle was 'no smoking'. No sooner do I get comfortable than we pull into a motorway service station and everybody disembarks for a half hour break. there is no heat on in the coach while it stands there so I'm forced to follow suit, or freeze. This is a sceduled stopping place for long distance coaches and the fact that it's only twenty minutes from where I get on is my problem. Eventually I settle down for a six hour journey. A child behind me starts screaming and the parents add to the noise by shouting at it. Someone nearer the front than me decides to ask the driver to make an emergency stop as they feel sick. The req
                                uested stop comes too late and the rest of the passengers are forced to put up with the consequences. There's nowhere to escape to and I can't even open a window. I arrive at my destination and vow that I'll never travel by coach again but somehow I always do. It's the price than lures me back. Something inside my head reasons that I am saving such a lot of money by using the coach and that maybe it won't be quite so bad next time. If you are going to travel by coach you need to very resilient. If you get 'wound up' easily by other people don't it! There's nowhere you can escape to. How long before we start hearing stories about 'Coach Rage?'

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