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Old March 6th 07, 08:50 AM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Diamond West Midlands Bus Story

My mother came back from a shopping and doctor's appointment trip with a
pretty amazing bus story yesterday.

I know that there are all sorts of anecdotal stories about Polish bus
drivers with limited English skills floating around but this is a first
hand one and - despite being a bit funny - is actually rather worrying.

She was waiting for a Diamond 123 bus at Bearwood with a few other
people. The bus appeared at the stop from, unusually, the wrong
direction. Anyway, the all boarded and set off. It had only gone a
few yards when it stopped and the driver leaned out of his cab and made
"some helpless grunting noises", then pointed left and right and
shrugged his shoulders. The usual gossip among the passengers ensued
and then someone already on the bus said, "he doesn't know where he's
going and he can't speak English". Mum took this to mean he can't
speak *much* English but as she and another lady tired to help him, she
said it became apparent that he really seemed to speak none. I realise
this can't truly be the case but for the next 20 minutes, they guided
him only by pointing and Mum heard not a single word of English from
him. She also said he seemed very agitated and apprehensive.

Now she's not a Daily Mail ("they were all foreign and I'm going to
exaggerate this to make a story") type of person, so it seems that there
really was a pretty big problem here. The other lady left at the stop
before Mum and she then left watching the bus set off into the depths of
the black country. The 123 is a *very* involved route, passing though
Causeway Green, Blackheath and Cradley Heath to Merry Hill. If he
didn't find anyone else to help him, I suspect that Diamond might
currently be missing an ex-Pete's Travel/People's Express Dart and one
driver!
--
Ian Jelf, MITG
Birmingham, UK

Registered Blue Badge Tourist Guide for London and the Heart of England
http://www.bluebadge.demon.co.uk

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Old March 6th 07, 10:05 AM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Diamond West Midlands Bus Story

In message , Ian Jelf
writes
My mother came back from a shopping and doctor's appointment trip with
a pretty amazing bus story yesterday.


Many apologies. I hit the wrong key and posted this to the wrong group
(meant to send it to uk.transport.buses).

Sorry again.
--
Ian Jelf, MITG
Birmingham, UK

Registered Blue Badge Tourist Guide for London and the Heart of England
http://www.bluebadge.demon.co.uk
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Old March 6th 07, 03:52 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Diamond West Midlands Bus Story

On Tue, 6 Mar 2007, Ian Jelf wrote:

In message , Ian Jelf
writes
My mother came back from a shopping and doctor's appointment trip with a
pretty amazing bus story yesterday.


Many apologies. I hit the wrong key and posted this to the wrong group
(meant to send it to uk.transport.buses).


No worries - it's something to add to our stockpile of pro-tram arguments!

tom

--
`,,,,`,,,,`,,,,`
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Old March 6th 07, 07:23 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Diamond West Midlands Bus Story

Ian Jelf wrote:

The usual gossip among the passengers ensued
and then someone already on the bus said, "he doesn't know where he's
going and he can't speak English".


I've been on a railway replacement bus where the driver had nothing but a
scrawled road list written by his friend from an A-Z. I asked to look at it,
and it went down some tiny roads and around tight corners where a bus
wouldn't fit. Given that a Tomtom satnav can easily handle multistop
itineraries, it's very poor that the bus companies aren't issuing something
like that to drivers doing unfamiliar routes.


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Old March 6th 07, 10:00 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Diamond West Midlands Bus Story

John Rowland wrote:
Ian Jelf wrote:
The usual gossip among the passengers ensued
and then someone already on the bus said, "he doesn't know where he's
going and he can't speak English".


I've been on a railway replacement bus where the driver had nothing but a
scrawled road list written by his friend from an A-Z. I asked to look at it,
and it went down some tiny roads and around tight corners where a bus
wouldn't fit. Given that a Tomtom satnav can easily handle multistop
itineraries, it's very poor that the bus companies aren't issuing something
like that to drivers doing unfamiliar routes.


I've had a bus driver in North Yorkshire ask to borrow an OS map I had
in my pocket, and one ask if he had to call at all the little places on
the route, or could he just stick to the main road bypassing them.

A bus I was on got trapped within some roadworks near Norwood Junction a
while back, and passengers who knew where the diversion was had to guide
the driver back out of the mess and onto the temporary route.

--
Arthur Figgis Surrey, UK


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Old March 6th 07, 11:00 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Diamond West Midlands Bus Story

Arthur Figgis wrote:

I've had a bus driver in North Yorkshire ask to borrow an OS map I had
in my pocket, and one ask if he had to call at all the little places on
the route, or could he just stick to the main road bypassing them.


I remember the driver of a double decker on one of those once a day
route variations having to do a three point turn in the entrance to a
farmer's field, somewhere outside Woodstock. That was over 30 years ago.
--
Joyce Whitchurch, Stalybridge, UK
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Old March 7th 07, 12:02 AM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Diamond West Midlands Bus Story

Joyce Whitchurch wrote:
Arthur Figgis wrote:

I've had a bus driver in North Yorkshire ask to borrow an OS map I
had in my pocket, and one ask if he had to call at all the little
places on the route, or could he just stick to the main road
bypassing them.


..... which is inconsiderate for anyone actually waiting to board at these
little places.

I remember the driver of a double decker on one of those once a day
route variations having to do a three point turn in the entrance to a
farmer's field, somewhere outside Woodstock. That was over 30 years
ago.


IIRC, the 174 journeys to Noak Hill "Pentowan" in the 1970s were scheduled
to do a 3-point turn in the entrance to a farmers field.


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Old March 7th 07, 06:42 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Diamond West Midlands Bus Story

On Tue, 06 Mar 2007 23:00:07 +0000, Arthur Figgis
wrote:

I've had a bus driver in North Yorkshire ask to borrow an OS map I had
in my pocket, and one ask if he had to call at all the little places on
the route, or could he just stick to the main road bypassing them.


The most memorable one I had was directing a Stagecoach bus driver
around Manchester Airport. Seemed to be a bad place for it; on
another occasion I encountered another Stagecoach bus stuck between
the old bus station shelters and a pole on the other side, having
tried to do a 3-point turn after entering the bus station on the wrong
side...

Neil

--
Neil Williams
Put my first name before the at to reply.
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Old March 8th 07, 06:57 AM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Diamond West Midlands Bus Story

John Rowland wrote:
Joyce Whitchurch wrote:
Arthur Figgis wrote:
I've had a bus driver in North Yorkshire ask to borrow an OS map I
had in my pocket, and one ask if he had to call at all the little
places on the route, or could he just stick to the main road
bypassing them.


..... which is inconsiderate for anyone actually waiting to board at these
little places.


The driver didn't know if any would-be passengers would be waiting on
the main road, or in the centres of the villages strung along the "old"
road.

I remember the driver of a double decker on one of those once a day
route variations having to do a three point turn in the entrance to a
farmer's field, somewhere outside Woodstock. That was over 30 years
ago.


IIRC, the 174 journeys to Noak Hill "Pentowan" in the 1970s were scheduled
to do a 3-point turn in the entrance to a farmers field.




--
Arthur Figgis Surrey, UK
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Old March 9th 07, 10:25 AM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Diamond West Midlands Bus Story

In message , Joyce Whitchurch
writes
I remember the driver of a double decker on one of those once a day
route variations having to do a three point turn in the entrance to a
farmer's field, somewhere outside Woodstock. That was over 30 years ago.

Don't know about now, but then, it was illegal to reverse then until
you'd detrained.
--
Clive.


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