The Rules Followed


Richmond – Hammersmith – West Brompton – Return

It’s amazing what a difference the school holidays make, especially early in the morning. The bus, and the roads, were almost empty. Which would have made for a quick journey, except the very thoughtful driver kept insisting on pausing at each stop to make sure he kept to schedule.

Once we got to Hammersmith it was the same old, very depressing story. The bus arrived and the ramp failed, sticking it’s nose out into the fresh morning air but clearly decided it was too cold and wouldn’t go any further. The driver leapt out of the cab quickly to give it a good kick. It turns out he was not surprised by the failure. It had worked when he tested it at the garage (the first time I’ve ever had this confirmed) but he did admit that it had already had problems out on the road.

To his credit he did apologise to me, report the failure to the garage and let the following bus know to expect me. Exactly the set of actions proscribed by The Big Red Book, but so seldom followed.

The amazing thing is that the return journey was with the self same driver, though he was keen to point out, not the same bus. The failed bus had been (correctly) withdrawn from service. There must be 20 or more buses trawling up and down that route. What are the odds of getting the same driver? (a rhetorical question. Maths geniuses don’t need to work it out)

So really this proves that the processes can work, even if the bus should have been withdrawn quicker. The question therefore must be, why aren’t the processes followed more frequently?


About Alan

I'm an Economist, Geek, Campaigner & wheelchair user who's been using all forms of public transport for 20+ years.
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