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.

24 Sep 2008

You missed the bus

After yesterday things could only get better. However check with the local news showed that Bath was still affected by road closures so decided to catch the coach in. That meant I would not have to battle from the depot to the bus station. However as we drove in to Bath the roads were opened! Had plenty of time so nice easy loading. Left bang on time and made my way round the bus station. I noticed a guy coming towards me as I stopped on the crossing. He gestured that I should open the door and let him on. I think not and I gestured he should go to the ticket office. He then got VERY angry, would not move. A stalemate. Just what you need first thing. He became more aggressive so I used the horn to attract some attention. This worked and an inspector came over. The gent said the same thing to him and got the same answer. He would not be getting on my coach. Finally after being told he would have to move or the Police would be called he moved out the way. This is one situation that some people find hard. They cannot understand why we cannot let people on.

Well, once the vehicle doors are closed and the vehicle has begun to leave the stop that is it, no boarding. The main reasons being.

a. They should have been at the stop before the coach left. Their ticket states 10 mins before departure.

b. It is dangerous as the passenger could slip and fall in the road or be hit by another vehicle as they run in to the road.

c. An accident could be caused by other road users taking avoiding action or becoming frustrated.

There is ONLY ONE exception to this. That is if you are instructed to stop by an inspector. In that case you would return to the stop and load ONLY THAT passenger.

So make sure you arrive on time.

23 Sep 2008

The wrong stop and an explosion

Today started very well, good trip up and a nice break in London. Time to chat and just chill. Little delay going home due to a breakdown at J13 in the new roadworks. but arrived at Chippenham only 5mins late. Had a passenger for Corsham and she asked me how long we would be, '10 mins'. Ok I will ring when we get past the over bridge. WHAT OVER BRIDGE! I then had that horrible feeling. You are going to CORSHAM? Yes Cosham, near Portsmouth. OH S..T!!!!! I checked my ticket and confirmed she was booked to Corsham. She was. I contacted control and it was decided to put on the 1830 back to Heathrow and then on to Cosham. This happens a little too often when the ticket office does not understand/ listen correctly. Ok that sorted 10 mins to Bath and home. The next phone call turned everything on it's head. 'Chris. Three explosions in Bath. Bus Station and city centre closed. Helicopter in Bus station!' Well that's different never had that before. So what to do? After various phone calls it was confirmed that the Bus Station AND the Railway Station were closed and that passengers would have to be dropped off along the Lower Bristol Road. Did the announcement for the passengers and tried to answer as many questions as I could. However it would appear that pedestrian access was limited so as I dropped them off I informed them they would have to go to the cordons and find their way to the various buses, car parks and taxis. They all seemed to be happy with the situation and I hope they got to their various destinations OK.
Below is video from our local paper. Watch for the helicopter and National Express coach.

21 Sep 2008

Sat Nav

Last week has gone well and apart from a few hiccups the new working conditions have worked well. I think a few people have new grey hairs, but there you go. 

The thing that stands out this week is a Finish driver in London. This guy was going through Knightbridge and obviously was lost. No problem there I  always try and give visitors the benefit of the doubt and give them space. However. This guy was weaving from side to side as he was adjusting his Sat nav. I gave him a flash of the lights. He then amazed me by handing the Sat Nav to the passenger who held it in front of him while he continued to fiddle with it! He finally did the correct thing and pulled over. As I always say just when you think you have seen it all something else comes along.

16 Sep 2008

First Day

Yesterday was the first day working for First Coaches. We now have leading drivers who look after the day to day work. Things are still a bit chaotic, but given the situation that can only be expected. We have more changes next week when we start to go to the Uni. However we have only been given four minutes to get there! It takes five just to get round the Bus station. Obviously someone has looked at a map and seen it is less then a mile and the direct route has a 6ft 6in width restriction and 3.5tonne weight limit! Given this I think the change will be good and will give more scope.

9 Sep 2008

Didn't get the job

Well holiday this week. Yesterday up to Stratford-upon-Avon to see my GodSon on his Fifth birthday. Today had an interview for a Leading Driver. This is a supervisor job looking after the department running. Not sure if I wanted the added responsibility. However phone call this afternoon and I had not got the job! Anyway good luck to the successful ones. Now need to find out what shift I am on Monday as all the shifts are changing.

4 Sep 2008

Sitting at Heathrow

Had a good weekend.It was my Niece, Leah's Christening and we are her Godparents. The service was very good and it was nice to meet up with members of family. Stayed up for a couple of days so had some time to be with my parents. They had a few jobs for me to do, fix the wifi, fix a GPS etc. We had a family lunch and I cannot remember the last time we were all together. Got roped into feeding Leah and as is a tradition with Uncle Christopher she was sick all over me!
Bad trip today.Got the call that the M4 was closed at J15. The route I was going to go was also closed so ended up going via Avebury to the A4 and along to J13. Arrived at Heathrow the time I should have been at Victoria so had to terminate. Not the worst thing to happen as they have a good rest room. Not off until 2115 so enjoying my tea and a cup of coffee.

My weather data