Thursday, May 04, 2006

Mildly amusing

Not every Bristol Bus Travel Anecdote is about our satisfaction (or otherwise) with the service.

I was once on a 73 bus as it pulled into Bristol Parkway Station. A bloke in a hurry jumped on and asked "Is this bus going to the Mall?"

The driver said "No. The centre. The 73 to the Mall uses the other bus stop."

The bloke asks, "How long will the next bus be?"

The driver honestly looked slowly over his shoulder, down to the back of the bus, looked back to the bloke and said, "Almost exactly the same length as this one."


Blogger Bernard said...

Found this article by Jayne Taylor here


Bristol Observer reporter Jayne Taylor suffers a daily trauma - and that's before she gets to work... Read on to find out how she copes with the local public transport.

ARGH! I might be in the wordsmith business but sometimes they just fail me - especially when it comes to summing up my feelings about Bristol's bus service.

But, for the sake of this article, let me try a bit harder. First of all let me use the word 'service' loosely because getting into work on time is nothing short of a trauma for myself and the thousands of other long-suffering workers commuting daily to the city centre.

Every morning you'll find me on Hanham High Street, teeth gritted and hoping like mad the bus will turn up on time.

If it's raining - forget it. If it's Monday, you haven't got a chance in hell. In fact, if there's an 'r' in the month, don't even think about getting in on time. It would be quicker to ride on the back of a tortoise with a broken leg.

I used to ring First City Line to complain every time my bus failed to arrive. But to be honest, it was getting a bit expensive.

After the classic, "the driver slipped on some oil and wasn't fit to drive", I decided I was wasting my time.

I continually win the Most Imaginative Excuse For Being Late contest - but the prize, a steely look from my boss, is going to get me, like the 45 bus, nowhere fast.

But they're all true - along with continual road works, fatal accidents and let's not forget the odd train derailment.

Take the other morning, the bus arrived more or less on time. It was a good start despite the condensation droplets falling from the ceiling onto my nice new coat.

Then, as we reached Redfield, the bus came to a complete halt. I assumed we were experiencing the phenomenon known as gridlock until I heard this voice say "someone phone an ambulance".

We all had to trot off the bus treading carefully to avoid some poor girl who'd collapsed on the lower deck. Now I'm not a betting girl, but I'd wager she fainted due to excessive heat caused by overcrowding. Either that or she'd had no breakfast.

But there's something about a bus journey which brings out the worst in people. Apart from a few kindly people administering some sort of first-aid until the ambulance arrived, the rest of us just tut-tutted about the inconvenience.

And please, if anyone's reading this who owns a personal stereo, don't play it on the bus. A design fault means they're not that personal at all.

They're just annoying to fellow passengers who don't happen to think Steps are in any way, shape or form musically gifted. Neither is the band appropriate anywhere other than in the Top of The Pops studio.

Another bug-bear - and major challenge - is trying to get off the bus from the top deck without doing yourself a mischief. If you wait until the bus has stopped, the driver would have gone past your stop before he notices you.

So you've got to negotiate the stairs while the bus is jerking along. Quite frankly, it's deadly. I've suffered many an agony including bruises and a dented engagement ring. But then I did warn him against buying it from Argos.

And this is before we get to the subject of price. The Millennium Dome provides better value for money. Nearly makes Rio Ferdinand look like a bargain. No returns before 9am? Does this company want workers' custom or is it just content to stand back while the city grinds to a complete halt?

A friend of mine, a former bus driver and Bristol Rovers' fan, once told me how he used to sail past Bristol City supporters waiting on bus stops. It was his way of getting sweet revenge.

Now I could see the funny side (I'm a gas head) but it's pretty indicative of the attitude of many beleaguered drivers. They're underpaid and struggling to do a job in impossible conditions.

Give 'em more dosh and at least we might get service with a smile even if the service is falling on its knees.

I'm trying to do my bit for the environment but there's only so much a girl can take before she rushes, screaming and dribbling, for the car keys.

3:40 pm  
Blogger Dave Shoare said...

That's mad- It looks like a 73, but it isn't??

10:07 am  
Blogger Bernard said...

I think you've missed the point Dave. The 73 runs in both directions. They go out of town, and into town. One bus stop for each direction. Clever.

Are you the bloke who asks how long buses are?

1:55 pm  
Blogger Dave Shoare said...

Funnily enough no- I stupidly misread the post first time round, but I get it now!!

6:41 pm  

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