Hello and welcome to my Blog, my name is Chris, a bus driver for First Mendip based in Wells, Somerset. Married to Fiona, we live in Midsomer Norton near Bath, with Harvey the dog and Boots the cat. My main hobby is Amateur Radio and I hold the call sign G4KVI. I am the repeater keeper for GB3UB and MB7UB. I have a fascination for the weather and all things to do with nature and science. I am a biker and currently ride a Honda CBfF600. As a Christian I worship, when shifts allow at St. Nicolas Church in Radstock. These are my observations on my life, both at work and at home.

29 Dec 2006

Same old problems

Not much to report apart from.

The middle lane hoggers.

Women drivers not using lane 3

Mobile phone users.

And many more. Will not be posting until the New year so happy New Year.

21 Dec 2006

Fog and women drivers

No post for a while been busy. The last few days have been busy and very difficult with fog and frost. Well ice. Had half an inch of inch form on the mirror brackets yesterday and very patchy freezing fog.
Still the same old things. I would love to know why women will not use lane 3. It is so dangerous when they tailgate behind slow moving lorries in lane 2 and slow all the traffic behind them.
I note the powers that be want to increase the fines. Not much good when there seems to be complete breakdown of law and order on the roads. Mobile phone usage, dirty vehicles, lights not working etc. Never mind hopefully most schools have finished so should be better on the roads for a while.

11 Dec 2006

Not much to report

Well not much going on. Good trips up and back and no problems with passengers. Weather has been a bit iffy and a couple of Motorway problems have meant diversions. The roadworks at Membury have finished so should make things a bit easier.

2 Dec 2006

Lots of trouble

had a very funny day Friday. Had lots of shift changes this week so Friday had a day round Bath on local buses.
First problem was a lady who did not the rules of the road and wanted me to reverse a bus back along a road (this is not legal) things came to a head and the police where called. However with the help of some other motorists we managed to resolve it.
The next was a breakdown, just got to the furthest point from the town when every alarm bell light went off. Made it to the next stop. Checked the engine and what was left of the fan belt was on the ground. A call to the engineers brought a swift response and found the pulley has ceased and taken the belt with it. Off we went again and due to the large volume of traffic in Bath that was it for the day!!!

27 Nov 2006

Not much going on.

Well, enjoying a few days off. Means I can relax in the evenings with a few beers. Worked on Saturday to help another driver. Very wet and windy day!! Back to work tomorrow so take it easy today. Tonight off to cell group so will leave at 2100 to get a good nights sleep.

18 Nov 2006

What happens when a pheasant hits a coach?



Well early start and a lovely day until we broke down. had to get a coach sent out so was nearly 1 hour late when we hit the M4. Just got to the roadworks and BANG! The photo's tell the rest.

This is what a pheasant can do. But what would have happened had it been 1 foot lower??

The rest of the day was good and the window got fixed later.

16 Nov 2006

My pet hates

Rather than my usual ramblings I thought I would list my top hates on the road
  1. Middle lane hogers. They are one of the most dangerous groups of drivers. They seem unaware of the danger they cause.
  2. Mobile phone users. Enough said.
  3. Tail sitters. They sit just on your tail in the middle lane and match your speed.
  4. Overtakers who pull in front and slow down 2 miles from a junction.
  5. Drivers who do everything but drive.
  6. Old drivers
  7. Drivers who seem unable to drive over 30mph in the dark.
  8. Once a year motorway drivers.
  9. Drivers who not use their mirrors or even do not fold them out.
  10. All the other prats who should not have a licence.

11 Nov 2006

Bus work today & Wells carnival

Had a change today. Rest day working. Been on the Park and Ride. All around Bath so made a change, most of the passengers were Ok, apart from some prat who could not read. I had 74 seated and 15 standing but the bus does not look full, his comment 'how would you get on in London' ? Well the buses are not the same and have more standing space. Still it washed over me as usual. Sunday is a day off so enjoying a nice pint of real ale.

Forgot to say, went to Wells carnival yesterday. Nice curry before with friends and then enjoyed the hugh floats. Good night but got soaked.

5 Nov 2006

Frome

Today was the Frome up, ie start at Frome and travel through Wiltshire and Berkshire to London. It was an early start 0515 and due to driving rules I had to have a 45min break at Frome before I set off. It was very foggy in places but for the most part sunny , but very cold. As it was Sunday not much traffic about so arrived in London in good time. Time for a break and some food. Left for Bath at 1230 and a very good trip back with no problems and several compliments over my driving. Arrived home at 1630 for a nice chilled out evening watching other peoples fireworks.

4 Nov 2006

Overnight

Well back after a lovely couple of days in the garden and dog walking. Was on the 'overnight' so had some bus work to do. Due to the traffic the coach arrived late. Howewever after refuelling and cleaning we got away on time. Just on the way aout of Bath some joker went to park right in the middle of a one way street.
Still had a good trip up and a goods night sleep in the hotel.

1 Nov 2006

Two days off

Not a bad day today. On the late one and as usual ran late. I do wonder if people in high places really know what is going on. Anyway less of the moans, all in all a good trip up and back, got in to Bath at 0000 and back home by 0030. have two day's off now so off to tax the cars and take the tree cuttings to the dump. The apple tree looks a bit sad. If it stays dry may have a go at that on Thursday.

30 Oct 2006

Silly Passengers

Very early start today at 0340. Dog woke me up at 0302!! Not that busy but sold a few tickets. Had a passenger going to Poland. Had only allowed 10 minutes between arrive and depart time!!! Got the hump when we arrived a bit late.

Left Victoria OK but as we came on to the M4 noticed a bit of vibration. rang the depot and was told stop and wait for it to be checked. Was a bit of hassle waiting for a spare coach to take the passengers and had to wait a couple of hours to be told it was OK to take back. It was nice to know that I am not forced to drive defective coach's. Unlike some companies. Drove it back empty which was abit strange. Got back to bath OK at 1600.

28 Oct 2006

Where do they get their license from?

Bad start. Just about to set off. "M4 closed" Had a think and in the end went up via melksham and the A4. A wonderful journey and on time. Apart from, do people look in their mirrors?Watched a women in lane1 not looking in the mirror , indicate and move out!!Still arrived Ok in Victoria and went for a very nice Liver and bacon in a little cafe in Vauxhall. Full load going back so had a dupe. Sent him off full to Swindon. Dropped the first passengers off at Reading. Just rejoined the M4 when I here " are we at Reading?"!!!!! Poor guy had missed his stop. Took him to Swindon and pointed him towards the train station. Back to Bath OK.

24 Oct 2006

If you can't see my mirrors.

Not a bad day started at 1400 full load from Swindon. Arrived at Heathrow OK. Just reversing off the bay and some ****** walked straight behind me. How I missed them I don't know. I have to say I lost my temper and issued my own verbal warning. I await the complaint. People do not think they are at risk, but do not realise they cannot be seen when the vehicle is reversing.
At Victoria handed the vehicle over to the Frome driver helped him load and after finding my coach had my break. Good trip back to Bath having helped some stranded passengers get to Bristol. Trip to Street was Ok apart from the rain!!! Dropped everyone off OK and got back to the depot at 2330.

22 Oct 2006

Rest Day

Yesterday was a rest day so worked for some extra caah. Two trips out to Midsomer Norton then a trip to frome and back. Got to Frome Ok. Just left Sainsbury and an alrm went saying light fault. I had no indicators. Had to stop and get help. Had the passengers transfered and a relief bus bought out, an old manual mini bus. Got back to Bath one hour late so missed a trip on the 13's. Finished on time and went to pict Fiona up from J18.

21 Oct 2006

Two Hours late!!!

Well yesterday was bad. Sarted well (is) Fiona and I were picked up but found the coach was faulty. Arranged for a replacement at Bath and got going. Dropped Fiona at Heathrow and arrived in London early. Nice Lunch in the Cafe helped the driver load the 1400 and sat in the park reading untill 1530. Got to J13 on the M4- standstill - for TWO HOURS. Had to take break at Swindon. Got some passengers home by taxi the others came directly to Bath with me. Complete nightmare. Still think of the money. Then today - well off to bed.

18 Oct 2006

Early start (again)

Up at 0310 today!!

Got to the depot at 0340. Got the coach ready only to be told it had to have to have the tyres changed. That meant redoing all the checks, tacho etc. In the end I was just on time. No worry as only had 15 passengers. fair bit of fog at membury but did not cause too much of a problem. Nice pleasant passegers and chaty. Not meant to talk and drive but as long as it is not too distracting fine by me. Arrived in London at 0750 just in time to say morning to the 0800 on his way out. Had some food and a bit of a read. Then load again at 0920 with only 15 passengers. back to Bath with time to spare to pop into Iceland and get some tea. Home by 1400 nice!!

17 Oct 2006

Falling a sleep at the wheel!

Well no post for a few days. been on mixed duties. Had a day on Thursday. A post office van going from lane 1 to lane 3 on the M4, In the end it looked like he had fallen a sleep at the wheel!!!!! That must be the most scary thing that can happen as a professional driver.

Once we got to Bath only had 8 passengers on to Street and Wells. Just past Dunkerton and some joker was going 15 mph up the hill. gave them a bit of time to get going but they got slower. I was getting flashed and tooted by drivers behind who thought it was me, Once we got to the to went for the overtake and - yes the prat sped up then matched my speed in the end we cam down to 15mph again. Finally got passed him and left the other drivers to sort him out!!!!!!

The passengers thought I had the patience of a saint and wondered why I didn't ram him!!!

Tomorrow I am on the 0430 from Bath so 0320 wake up.

11 Oct 2006

Accident and hours

No post for a while. Today had all day in London. Left at 0945 and had a good drive up. Lunch at Sainsbury and then time spent doing my NVQ. Left London at 1730 hit the traffic at Earls court and took 2 hours to get to heathrow. It is only 16miles!!! Got back to Bath with 30 seconds of my driving hours left!!

30 Sep 2006

New Area

Well today was great but scary. Was out on routes I had only been out before with a shadow driver. The weather was terrible floods, thunder but I made it. I am well pleased, hard work but worth it. Tomorrow more new routes so hope the weather is better.

23 Sep 2006

Early start and prats on the road

Start at 0400 today!! Very foggy on the M4. The road seem to be full of Saturday drivers. Middle lane hogs, people doing 50mph on the m4 all in all lots of prats.

21 Sep 2006

New Seat Belt law

Well back after a few days off. Bad traffic in London A4 accident and the M4 shut. However made it up and back without too many problems.
New seat belt law came in to effect on Monday. Had to chage the safety brief but noone seems to notice some wear them and some don't.
Nice day today so looking forward to a good drive.

15 Sep 2006

Been Away

Did something strange. Went off and tried myspaces. Not good seem to full of very wied people with not much else to do. So I am back on here.

Have a few days off, drivers hours and all that had plans but they will have to change due to the rain!!

28 Aug 2006

Bank Holiday

Did the 'Frome up' today London via Wiltshire. Very nice drive, no traffic and not many passengers. Had 15minutes at Marlbourgh. Got to London just as the rain came down. Motorway was full of the usual Sunday drivers, why do women not use the outside lane?

Way back was busy, over 70 passengers so 2 coaches. M4 had a bad crash a J6 so off down through Slough. Load to pick up at Reading, no mud luckily!!. After Swindon had a good run back and back home by 1645.

11 Aug 2006

Problems In London

Yesterday was difficult. On the way up to London at 0430!! Found out that a terrorist plot had been uncovered. By the time I got to Heathrow at 0700 t1 and t2 had closed and the traffic was building up. Passengers had to repack their luggage and it did make me a little nervous. Had to pick my nephew up and luckily he had been left with of the staff and I got him on the coach. Went to London and had my break. Was concerned that the airport would be busy but it was quieter then a normal day. Picked passengers up and got back to Bath at 1250.

8 Aug 2006

London

Had the 'overnight' Sunday. City bus work followed by trip to London and stay overnight. Was not looking forward to it as the temperature was forecast at 20c however as I got into London it got much fresher so got a good nights sleep. Monday had a good trip back apart from some drunk walking out in front of me in Bath. Good job we have ABS!!
Day off today so grass cutting and house tidying and spending some time with Fiona.

4 Aug 2006

Summer holidays

Well you can tell the holidays are here. Lots of caravans and the usual collections of CLOGS (centre lane owners group) and the 'look at the map not the road brigade'. Still that said a couple of great days. Not much work traffic about so being running on time, even early. Had some very good comments on my driving, so things really looking up.

30 Jul 2006

Back after New Wine

Back on Saturday after a week at New Wine. A Christian conference held at the Bath and West Showground in Shepton Mallet.
Busy on Saturday, had over 80 passengers so had a 'dupe' coach. Got into London OK, airport a bit busy went over to Battersea for Lunch and started back at 1400. Again a dupe. Just got to J13 m4 when the signs said congestion ahead a driver coming east signaled me to get off the m4 so we headed to Swindon via Hungerford. A very nice run!! Got back to Bath at 1730. Checked in with the boss and got the bus home arriving at 1830. Very tired!!

21 Jul 2006

A much better day

Wonderful day today. Ran on time to London and enjoyed a nice couple of hours sitting in the park!
Journey back good as well. Now enjoying a nice pint of black sheep.

Off to New Wine Saturday so a change of scenery.

19 Jul 2006

Chilling

Well a peacefull couple of days. Had a few beers last night as I have 24 hours to sober up!! Very hot today 34c at present. Off again to London tomorrow so hope it is not as hot as today. Poor dog & cat are finding it hard the pavements are so hot I am keeping the dog in. so no walkies until latter.

18 Jul 2006

What a day

Yesterday was a very interesting day. I was running very late into London so left 45 minutes late!! Just past J8?9 of the m4 I overtook a lorry and as I did so great clouds of smoke came from under the coach!!! We made a hasty stop on the hardshoulder (not a place I would reccomend) After a few phone calls we had all the passengers transferred and I was off to Bath in a breakdown truck!! Turns out a high pressure fuel hose had given way!! Finnally got home at 0500 6 hours late!!
Going to enjoy the sunshine for a couple of days.

Pages from Yahoo

Entry for 15 July 2006
Well another day spent driving buses around Bath. I think most of the UK must have come today. There are coaches everywhere. So want can I moan about today?

Passengers. Why do they stand before the bus has stopped? Then complain they cannot stand!!

Crossings. Why has the green cross code gone? Stop! Look! Listen? Now it is walk!!! the fact a 20ton coach is three feet from the crossing doesn't matter. People seem to think vehicles HAVE to stop. They do when someone is on the crossing that does not mean walk out in front of them!!

Entry for 08 July 2006
Hi, driving on a Saturday is always bad news. All the weekend drivers come out. Here are some of the things that make my job of driving a coach less easy.
  • CLOGS (Centre Lane Owners Group) I am limited to 60mph and not allowed in the outside, lane 3. People sitting in the middle lane cause all sorts of problems.
  • WNULT (Will Not Use Lane Three) these people will not overtake if I am in the middle, lane 2. They sit right up close so I have trouble seeing them for miles. Why will they not use lane 3?
  • When I indicate to pull out to overtake some people, especially women see this as some signal to speed up or worse sit half down the coach. This is so dangerous as it means I can end up having to take avoiding action to avoid rear ending someone.
This is just my mutterings. I will try and add what goes on each day.

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