Saturday, October 28, 2006

London's bus route from hell - C11

Warning - expletives follow!
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I fucking hate so many of the passengers and drivers on this route - as Oswald Bastable would say, oxygen thieves the lot of them.
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There... There may be worse bus routes, after all I’ve hardly rode on the 600 or so routes that collectively suck in £750 million a year in subsidies (which is utterly ridiculous for a city with low car ownership, exhorbitant and rare parking and horrendous congestion, especially since subsidies were nil in 1998), but that doesn’t matter. Of the two I use most, the C11 Archway to Brent Cross is dire. I only get it from Finchley Rd to Belsize Park with groceries - but no more.
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It was operated by a local company Thorpes, which you notice because half the buses haven’t been repainted in the colours of the new owner – Metroline – but there is no indication that Metroline has done anything to improve service. Besides the delays (which are somewhat not up to the operator, London is hell to drive around), there are many problems.
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It’s not just the pokey little buses that have few bell buttons (so if you are standing or not seated in the right spot you have to get up and walk through the other passengers to get at it). These buses are small single deck, cheap and uncomfortable.
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It is the rude scum of the earth who ride on it and the drivers. I mean it – the world would be a better place if around a quarter of the people who ride this bus were eradicated and about a quarter of the drivers (see I am nice!)
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I’ve had the driver who kept packing in people on the bus even though there was little room. Didn’t matter, after all we are human freight. The driver who wont tell kids to stop being loud and obnoxious while they don’t give up seats to the elderly. The driver who drives right past your stop, well after you pushed the bell and then says “you didn’t push it, I can’t pull over” when there is no traffic and then says “oh well get off at the next stop”, ignoring my elderly mother who then would have to walk a further 100 metres and a pensioner who also wanted the same stop. The driver whose driving caused a child to fall over and hit her head. and wouldn’t pull over to let the parent and child get out. In other words, the drivers show a level of service that I’d have expected in Tirana in the 1980s. There is not the slightest level of interest in the passengers being comfortable, safe or even valued – frankly, many drivers would happily drive empty buses back and forth (given the bus companies get paid a subsidy independent of the number of passenger that ride it, I wouldn’t be surprised). Driving fast and furious and braking suddenly, why should they give a fuck? Demand for bus drivers in London outstrips supply, clearly because there are plenty of useless fucks living in London and anyone who is any good is snapped up quick.
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There must be good drivers, I assume they work at the crack of dawn, when the passengers are few and better quality (sleeping off their booze, crack, pot and late night watching quiz tv).
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Most of the drivers have the personality of a rock – the buses may as well be remote controlled. Stagecoach Wellington drivers are truly people to be grateful for – I can see why drivers don’t ever get thanked by passengers leaving.
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Then the passengers. Besides the handful of brave pensioners and others who live in Belsize Park, Hampstead and the like using it because it is raining or to short cut a trip to Waitrose, this route goes from Brent Cross to Archway, through some of the direst estates in Camden Borough. From these estates yes you get people on low incomes, they in themselves are not a problem, it is the subset of space wasters that are the problem. The subset are:
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- Obnoxious chavvy kids and teenagers. They are travelling for nothing (thanks to red Ken Livingstone’s socialist mayoralty). Besides being stupid and rude, they are just oxygen thieves when they occupy seats while pensioners stand, take up lots of seats and don’t move when they are in people’s way. They all need boot camp and if that fails castration to stop them producing more space wasting scum. Britain’s first problem is putting up with these shits – other cultures would threaten them with violence and treat them with disdain, in the UK the kids have knives and everyone is scared (legitimately) of going to court for hurting the poor parasitical fuckers.
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- Unhygienic people. The ones who stink of urine, faeces, pick their noses and eat it and other practices that are too revolting to mention. I’m sorry, people who are that revolting need someone looking after them and they shouldn’t be out on their own. This is Britain’s second problem, people are too fucking polite to say “hey nose picker, fucking do it somewhere else you revolting creep”.
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- Thieves. Pickpockets, need I say more. Not enough prisons to lock them up, being tough on crime would help reduce traffic congestion.
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- Other rude scum. The ones who sit while pensioners stand, who sit in the aisle seat while the window is empty. The ones who stand in the aisle blocking people from getting on because they are talking to their mate and wont move out of the way.
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I do have a solution for this. The Metroline bus franchise should be terminated. The route should be open for a commercial operator who can charge commercially viable fares – which will mean no free fares for the young and the underclass of the filthy and rude will be less likely to afford to catch it. Disadvantages people? Does it bollocks! It means they might get off their arses and walk, the distances aren’t that far and the most obese country in Europe needs it.
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Meanwhile, I’m following my own advice. I have a large umbrella, I can walk the distance I use this bus in 20 minutes.

8 comments:

CD said...

And here I was thinking Wgtn bus drivers were mostly a bunch of grumpy old bags. I will approach Stagecoach with a new appreciation!

We even have the happy #3 bus driver, who spreads magazines across the front of the bus for you to read and announces the stops :-) He once slowed down to 10k past the botanic gardens so we could see the tulips!

Sus said...

Hi Scott! I love a good rant. And rude bastards deserve to be called rude bastards. They also deserve a bloody good smack around the ear, too, but that's just me!

Send this piece to one of the Sunday papers; (it's been so long since I lived in the UK I wouldn't know which one to suggest - or even if they're worth it); they printed the odd rant once upon a time and it always gave me a thoroughly good, *politically incorrect belly laugh. And I love a good belly laugh, too.

*Gee. That was even before the phrase was coined, come to think of it.

Anonymous said...

i hope you get hit by a C11 so the rest of us can carry on our journeys without hateful snobs like you onboard.
get a life somewhere else you sad blogger, stop being so self obsessed and you might make some friends in the real world

libertyscott said...

Fortunately I do have friends and they are not pro-violence lowlife like you. It says it all that you'd say you hope I am hit by the bus, you and your fellow rude mediocrity worshipping friends can wallow in the general standard of crap service that is almost universal in the UK. When someone demands something better, it's rocking the boat.

If you like dirty poor quality buses, with unfriendly drivers and think it is fine for people to be rude and not to bathe - then good, continue to wallow in the life you choose.

Fortunately I have moved and now catch the 268, which operates a not dissimilar bus route, but is a delightful ride with nicer buses, drivers and dare I say fellow passengers.

Auntie Em said...

Whilst my solution wouldn't be as *ahem* radical as yours, I agree with the part about sacking Metroline. I was on the 43 up to Archway a few weeks ago with a driver who seemed to think that he was operating a pedallo (*brake* *gas* *brake* *gas* *brake* gas*). He decided to accelerate past a blind corner and had to slam on the anchors when he realised there was a car in his path. A woman on the rear seat was jettisoned down the aisle. Her face was smashed and her ribs badly damaged - I know cause I took her to casualty - the driver wouldn't do a damn thing to help, wouldn't radio for assistance, nothing. I complained to ML who sent the pro-forma back ("not acceptable, we've given him a talking to") but nothing ever changes.

I think the 188 is another company, but I used to get this one often too and I am sickened but not at all surprised by what happened today.

This is why I have no problem with the amount tube drivers are paid - you don't want cretins like these running the Underground.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree that C11 is the route from hell - I take it almost every day. Often the driver doesn't open the door although passengers are getting out. Last week the driver completely lost it, got off from his seat, stood in the middle of the bus and said he refused to drive further because some 'idiot' continuously pressed the stop bottom.

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Anonymous said...

In one sentence you mention how rude people are followed by a claim that people are too polite, do make your confused mind up.