Post by Recliner Post by MissRiaElaine Post by Richard
I don't think the articulated buses were monstrosities either, in my
opinion they were the most user-friendly buses we've ever had. That
the mayor would have started a campaign of lies about them won't be a
surprise to anyone now.
We still have bendy buses up here, and long may they remain, they do the
My comment on the PC brigade was valid. I never said Routemasters had to
be the only buses in service. My brother is disabled and uses a
wheelchair, I know all about the requirement for disabled access.
Apart from that, the old buses needed conductors, while modern buses are
OPO. That was the main factor in the initial switch from the popular RMs.
Thereby making even more people redundant. And reducing safety. Buses
with conductors never suffered the same level of antisocial behaviour as
they do now, with only one person (the driver) on board.
Not long after I started work driving, probably around 1999 or
thereabouts, one of my colleagues on a late night service reached the
point where he was due to come out of service for the night. This was
some way short of the normal terminus, and was so that the bus didn't
have too long a journey back to the garage. It was well after midnight
and was rarely busy.
When he got to this point, there were still three males on board. He
told them they would have to get off, as he was now out of service. The
destination was, of course, clearly shown on the front and side blinds
when they boarded, but they were very loud and abusive and were having
none of it.
"We want to go to Chelmsley Wood" they kept saying. This, for those who
don't know the Birmingham area, is an area to the east of the city, not
far from the airport and about another three miles or so further on from
where this particular bus terminated for the night.
The driver politely explained that he was now out of service and could
not take them any further. After several more abusive (on their part)
exchanges, they forced their way into the cab, dragged the driver out,
and gave him such a severe beating that he suffered three broken ribs
and was unable to return to work for several months. In fact I believe
he never did return to bus driving.
This is what happens when you get rid of conductors. Two people on the
bus may or may not have been a deterrent to these particular yobs, but
they would deter many others.
Ria in Aberdeen
[Send address is invalid, use sipsoup at gmail dot com to reply direct]