On Trains & Buses

Travel news, views & information from Europe & North America by an independent public transport user

Late when you really need them

Posted on November 13, 2008

Reading time: 2 minutes.

Yesterday, my bus to work was delayed by twenty five minutes on what was a wonderfully sunny day. My suspicion is that heavy traffic along the inbound route from Manchester to Macclesfield or temporary traffic lights outside Macclesfield General Hospital come have been to blame. Broken down buses and missing drivers don’t help either, of course.

The thoughts that are giving birth to this post do not pertain to the occasions when you really need to get somewhere on time but rather when the weather is being at its most grotty. Freezing cold, heavy driving, gale force winds and snow all come to mind and can wreak havoc on road traffic. It’s as if those times when things were at their most precarious that are coming back to me now.

Like the evening when all the traffic had ground to a standstill after a passing storm downed trees and electricity power cuts (that put traffic lights out of action, adding to the misery); I was lucky enough to catch a passing bus that was not in service but its driver doing some good beyond call of duty by carrying wayward souls home for free (yes, there is some welcome kindness in the world). Another instance was when a broken down lorry added to the problems caused by snow and I took up the offer of a lift home after a two hour bus crawl into work.

Yes, winter is ahead of us and, while they have been milder of late, that doesn’t preclude the appearance of wilder weather and we may become less well able to deal with cold snaps as time goes on. That may mean traffic snarl ups with buses caught up in them and passengers left out in weather from which most of us would stay in and enjoy the warmth of the indoors. It might be time to release buses from their encasement in other road traffic around where I live so that they can make headway while all about them has ground to a halt.