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. Nicholas Church in Radstock. These are my observations on my life, both at work and at home.

20 Mar 2012

Thinking on your feet

Most of the time driving a bus is fairly straightforward. You drive down a road you know, a bus you know and even passengers you know. So apart from weather, traffic etc you tend not to take much interest in the area you drive. However, every now and then a situation arises that forces you to think and act in an 'out of the box way'. Monday was one of those days. I had the 319 to Cribbs Causeway I like this route and until Parkway Station had been uneventful. As I approached Parkway the traffic stopped, I managed to fight my way to the bus lane and got into the station. The traffic had still not moved much so I assumed it was an accident. Leaving the station I saw two of our vehicles at the side of the road and I thought the worse. I pulled up behind them and saw that the cause of the hold up was the road towards Cribbs was closed with Police carrying out accident investigation work. This is never good to see, one, because someone is very badly hurt or worse, and two, it can mean the road is closed for hours.
So we now had a situation where we had three buses with passengers wanting to go to Cribbs.'Can't you go another way?' was the question. Well yes but which way? This is where you have to contact the Traffic office and seek advice. they have to check width, height, weight restrictions. It turned out that the only way out of this was a long detour back the way we came. Having sorted the route what to do with the passengers. Out of the tree buses I was the only one with enough time so I took all the passengers off to Cribbs. At Cribbs the situation was interesting as very few buses had got there many passengers were stranded. I decided to take any one going beyond Parkway. This worked well and a few others came along as they could be dropped off along the way. I was displaying 'Not In Service' so would not normally stop on the way. However, the situation dictated that I stop and enquire where waiting passengers were going. This resulted in some very relieved passengers getting to their destination. Back on time at Downend a passenger boarded and said my doors were broken. They were correct as I discovered the air working the doors had failed. The procedure for this is to take the bus to the depot empty as you can not have passengers on with open doors. However, I had about twenty elderly passengers who were going to Kingswood. So the 'procedure' used here is to move the passengers as far down the bus and drop them at a safe stop which in this case was their destination. A some say driving a bus is boring.
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