In a hurry? Make sure your bus is late.
I asked a driver in this situation what he thought he was doing... for once he had the chance to arrive in good time?
He explained that they're not allowed to arrive early. Unbelieveable. Having zoomed happily down unusually empty roads all the way along the route, he was now afraid that he might be punished if an inspector saw him driving ahead of schedule. So we had to sit for about 15 minutes, doing absolutely nothing. Inefficiency at its most ridiculous and frustrating.
The same thing happens heading out of town on an X (express) service. We belt up the M32. "What a good idea to have an express route" the passengers are all thinking. Then, at UWE, the bus stops for almost 20 minutes, before proceeding to Parkway Station.
The timetables are written with hours of slack to allow the service to be called "on time" when the traffic is heavy and slow. So when all is smooth - instead of enjoying a journey in good time - the passengers have to spend ages sitting on a stationary bus, doing nothing.
On one occassion I was lucky enough to be carrying a "day ticket". So I got off the stupid-not-going-anywhere bus, and caught the one behind to the last stop. (I think that bus was running late - it was so much quicker.)