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Buses
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Ooperlooper


Posts: 104
Joined: Jun 2006
Post: #1
26-10-2007 09:45 PM

Today I was on a 176 from Waterloo which unexpectedly terminated at Dulwich Library.

The driver chose to communicate this message by turning the lights on and off a few times.

Having recently learnt (after living in London for several years) that this is not just an electrical fault, but is in fact bus driver code for 'bus terminating here for no apparent reason', I was able to tell a confused old lady and family that they needed to get off.

Am I the only one puzzled and annoyed by this bizzare and utterly unprofessional behaviour?

Why, oh why, can't the driver just tell the passengers over the intercom what's happening and why?

And while we're on the topic, why do buses suddenly terminate at Dulwich Library at all?

My guess is that at certain busy times there are so many passengers wanting to get on a bus from central London that if the bus company sends half of the buses (which are about half empty by the time they reach Dulwich Library) back into central London, they can shift more passengers overall, and this is actually quite a sensible and efficient system.

But why, oh why, don't they make any effort whatsoever to explain this to angry passengers?

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RussB


Posts: 15
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #2
26-10-2007 11:06 PM

I am often disappointed by bus drivers who clearly don't know the basics of bus driving. Drivers who don't know the difference between a bus stop and a request stop, not knowing that dogs are allowed on buses, not thinking to ask someone to fold the baby buggy rather than refuse to let them on. Worst of all, drivers who don't even know how to say "move along the bus now" when a few people are crowding the door.

It happens so often that I can only assume that the drivers aren't trained properly. I'm rarely worried about the way they drive, so obviously they're trained to drive properly. It would be nice if they were also trained in other areas that make for a good bus driver.

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,347
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #3
27-10-2007 07:32 PM

Or they bang on the ceiling of their cab!

I can only assume the sudden termination is to make me pay again for the rest of the journey!

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Ooperlooper


Posts: 104
Joined: Jun 2006
Post: #4
27-10-2007 07:50 PM

If you ask the driver, I think they have to print you a voucher for completing your journey.

I got one the other day after a bus I was on stopped, apparently due to a problem with the suspension.

Incidentally on that occasion all the passengers were sat on the bus for about 5 mins not realising that there was a problem with the bus...as the driver hadn't bothered to tell us.

Is there some sort of policy against drivers talking to passengers using the mic/speaker system?

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Applespider


Posts: 283
Joined: Feb 2006
Post: #5
29-10-2007 12:50 PM

I spent 45 minutes last week waiting on Oxford St for a 176 around midnight with every other bus serving that stop coming along except the 176.

A call to the LT helpline brought the response that they weren't starting at Oxford Circus that night and only starting at TCR - but there was nothing to say that anywhere on the bus stop or anywhere else.

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roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #6
29-10-2007 09:21 PM

There was a news item some weeks ago about Polish bus drivers being recruited by London Transport- these guys tend to be so polite and communicative that I am looking forward to seeing them on the buses. Probably a generalisation but I've found Eastern European businesses and shop/ tradespeople so nice to deal with from a courtesy point of view- not so often found in the west.
Bus driving is a semi skilled job where there is a shortage of qualified personnel. Those in the job currently tend to be overworked and perhaps not the happiest as a result. They also suffer a lot of violence and abuse from the public so probably which probably forms their attitudes and behaviour. The sad thing is that whilst economic migrants fulfil a need in the UK and do a great job, it doesnt do much for the local UK skill base in the future. Theres a bigger issue.....

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PVP


Posts: 271
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #7
30-10-2007 05:28 PM

It's always worth phoning the TFL number as they can actually speak to the driver to see where they are. It prevents jumping in a cab 2 seconds before the bus FINALLY turns up.

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baggydave


Posts: 384
Joined: May 2004
Post: #8
30-10-2007 07:14 PM

Terminate early - terminate early?? the 63 from Kings Cross always terminates early. You should be so lucky.

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baggydave


Posts: 384
Joined: May 2004
Post: #9
06-05-2008 06:48 PM

Can we get onto important matters like bendy buses, conductors (which of course Ken said he'd bring back 8 years ago) and do we really need routemasters when of course BMMO made better buses.

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,347
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #10
06-05-2008 09:09 PM

The routemaster was designed specifically for London. Therefore, it must be the best bus for London. Personally, I preferred it. No waiting at bus stops. Passengers got on quickly. Cheerful clippie came round and collected your fare. No fare dodging. Clippie shouted the name of the stop up the stairs, e.g. "MI5 HQ" when the bus got to Thames House!

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Applespider


Posts: 283
Joined: Feb 2006
Post: #11
06-05-2008 09:38 PM

Oh but those 'lovely' 176s now tell you the name of every road you're passing and that you're on a ONE seven six to Oxford Circus - drives me absolutely batty. They need to turn the volume down a little - it's more irritating than the 'bus stopping at next bus stop please stand clear of doors'. It must have been designed by someone who only ever gets on buses for one stop journeys.

I liked the Routemasters for going along busy routes since being able to hop on/off meant that if traffic snarled up you could walk along and pick up a bus further along. but they were a pain if you had larger bags or buggies. Would have liked to see alternate modern/Routermaste routes with one of each every 5-10 minutes. Those who needed the space/accessibility of a modern bus could wait til one came but those in a hurry could still hop on or off.

Bendy buses aside, I quite like the new double deckers although I think they could double the frequency in the mornings/evenings. After the Plough, they don't even stop at most stops since they're so full - and forget it if you want to get on after the first stop or two in the evening too.

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michael


Posts: 3,196
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #12
07-05-2008 07:33 AM

Applespider Wrote:
I liked the Routemasters ... but they were a pain if you had larger bags or buggies.


...Or knees. The seats were far too close together and the ceilings were too low for anybody close to 6 foot. And each routemaster came with an over officious conductor who inevitably told you that you were standing in the wrong place.

Bendy buses have large doors with can let people on or off very quickly without them falling off the back when drunk. If too many people are evading the fares then put conductors on bendy buses, less conductors and you don't need a new fleet of buses.

The campaign against bendy buses is led by drivers and cyclists who don't like the fact that they are difficult to over or under take on the roads. Passengers on bendy buses seem happy with them.

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Snazy


Posts: 1,495
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #13
07-05-2008 08:07 AM

I think bandy buses, with sensible drivers and a conductor would be a good solution.
I have never travelled on one to be honest, and quite frankly I would rather keep it that way, but if the users are happy, there must be something right about them.

However at the moment there seem to be quite a few idiots driving them (no different to other buses too), and they are very good an pulling across junctions with no clear exit, taking corners so close causing the people on the pavement to scatter, and in general, I honestly dont think they cope too well on some of the routes they are on.

Will be interested to see what ideas come up for the routemaster though, I did love those :D 36b to and from school, yay.

People falling off the bus drunk. Simple answer, dont let stupid anti social drunk people on them in the first place. If people cant control their own behaviour, why should others suffer for their lack of decency.

In short, bendy buses work very well in modern cities.... of which London is certainly not.
They are very good on the right roads with the right drivers.... something which London also seems to lack.

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Applespider


Posts: 283
Joined: Feb 2006
Post: #14
07-05-2008 08:48 AM

I quite like that you can get on/off from any door since it does make it quicker to load them up.

But as a non-driver and non-cyclist, I still would rather they weren't there. Why? Since they clog up the bus-stops meaning that if your bus arrives behind one (or even two) on occasion, you're faced with the dilemma of whether to walk along to it or not. If you do and the driver doesn't choose to open his doors, then you walk back and depending on how crowded it is, might not get on the bus. If you don't and the driver has opened his doors, he won't then stop at the bus stop once the bendy-bus has moved on. Yes, it happens with regular double-deckers too but it's not quite so bad.

And try crossing roads where bendybuses proliferate. There's a section at Victoria Station where in the mornings, pedestrians really suffer trying to cross the roads since when the bendy buses stop to wait for a gap in the traffic, they completely obliterate the pedestrian crossing. It's not just drivers and cyclists who don't like them.

And when you're on them, there aren't enough seats, many of them are backwards which isn't a pleasant way to travel so they appear even more crowded since so many people have to stand.

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,347
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #15
07-05-2008 12:19 PM
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Ghis


Posts: 321
Joined: Jan 2007
Post: #16
07-05-2008 01:49 PM

I used to travel every day from Peckham Rye to Trafalgar square to work on the 12 when it was a routemaster. I loved it and had some of my best trips to work in it. When they switched to a bendy bus I felt a lot less safe. It was always packed without anyone controlling the overcrowding, full of fare evaders and there were abosultely no ventilation in the summer (not enough windows and they do not open properly, too much glass and not enough shade inside) making it one of the worst buses to travel on in the summer. If you had to stand or sit at the end of the bus you were so far from the driver that you felt intimidated if tempers were starting to boil up. I was glad when we moved closer to Honor Oak Park train station and did not have to travel on the 12 bendy bus.

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nevermodern


Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #17
07-05-2008 02:08 PM

As far as I remember, Ken did put conductors back on the buses for a period when he first came into power, and if I remember, the experiment was abandoned because the conductors didn't speed up the process of people gettting on and paying. As has previously been said, Bendy buses weren't designed to be used in a city which largely still follows its medieval street plan: there's only so much a bus can bend! And the fare dodging is rampant. I think the current double-deckers are fine and practically much better than the routemasters (although they don't have those pleasant curves). More of some kind of authority presence on the buses, though, would I think be welcomed by most people, especially at night. Not sure whether the best way of doing that would be more PCSOs or the return of the conductor.

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,347
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #18
07-05-2008 08:33 PM

Ken may have been brought down by his bendy buses.
Will Gordon Brown be tripped up by Bendy Wendy?

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,347
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #19
09-05-2008 10:58 AM

See this link about a possible new routemaster;

http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/content/arti...ture.shtml

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baggydave


Posts: 384
Joined: May 2004
Post: #20
09-05-2008 06:39 PM

BMMO buses were of course superior to the Routemaster. But for the bus freaks amongst you the buses that predated the Routemaster were sheer class.

Trouble with bendybuses is that the Luftwaffe failed to do what allied and other bombers did in Germany, ie destroy whole cities so that they could be rebuilt with wide roads and ring roads that could accomodate such articulated vehicles, whilst at the same time still having space for proper separate cycle paths.

Whilst I blame the Victorians for not having the foresight to build a propertly integrated London rail network (damn that unregulated speculative free market) (I had a letter from Thameslink along these lines years ago explaining why London Bridge was such a bottleneck), I similarly blame those in the first few centuries of the last millenium for not designing central London roads to accommodate long buses. I am pretty sure that they were responsible for the Peckham one way system, Rye Lane and pedestrianised area. Really, my good readers, see how poorly the number 12 copes with those roads.

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