I’ve been to mum’s today, to discuss the upkeep and maintenance of her solar panels after the company who installed them went bust around 12 months ago. Basically, I’ve been to sit in a room and talk about the Government shafting a green sector, which lead to sector-wide bankruptcies and what the hell can be done about it. Which, obviously, is pay again for something that, technically, was paid for at the outset. There were a lot of percentages. And a lot of explanations which made the company that’s dealing with it all seem like arseholes because they don’t want to help the customers but do want to protect their market share.
But hey ho.
What this trip afforded me – due to the annoying (for me) placement of the meeting at 2pm – was a snapshot of the chaos that is travelling to Halifax from Huddersfield in the mid-morning, and the further nightmare of travelling from Halifax to Huddersfield in the last afternoon.
On the way in you’re basically spending your time dodging pensioners who are EVERYWHERE. Serving, if nothing else, a reminder that all travel should be done before the bus pass cut off kicks in.
The way home, though, subjects you to rush hour traffic. And, in my case, three broken down lorries and a broken down car on the bypass which slowed everything down ridiculously. But we nearly didn’t get that far. We were lucky to still have a driver for the bus after she was almost lynched by a miserable woman who demanded to know where the bus before the one we were getting onto was.
Now in my bus riding experience, which covers nearly forty years, I can safely say that I have never once been under the impression that a bus driver has any idea where the buses preceding and following that service actually are. They just don’t know. And that’s evidenced by the classic “there’ll be another one just behind me” which is a phrase uttered by drivers of full buses. Or the Arriva buses I used to catch home who would randomly suspend themselves partway home and leave the passengers waiting for the next one in order that they could fudge the timetable stats.
A bus driver’s definition of “just” is very, very different to anyone else’s definition of the same word, let me tell you.
And they’re even less likely to know where the bus before theirs is. I mean, why would they? And yet people insist on asking. “Where was the bus before this one? I have been waiting x minutes…” It’s a pointless complaint. There’s a bus here now, shut up and get on it. I can understand you might be annoyed. It used to piss me off no end when buses wouldn’t show up when I was trying to get home from Leeds. But I didn’t then immediately question the next driver. I used to piss and moan about it on Twitter where someone would feebly advise me to fill in a form so that they could deal with my complaint.
I never filled in a form.
If I was the driver of the bus that showed up, rather than the one that should have showed up, I’d let everyone else on apart from the person who was complaining. I’d make them wait at the bus stop, driving off with a cheery “The other one is just behind me…” as the doors hissed shut.