On Trains & Buses

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

News Snippets

16:40, November 6, 2008

The route taken by my bus to work in the mornings passes through the grounds of Macclesfield General Hospital. However, the bus driver decided against it on this morning’s run due to the fact that she reckoned that she’d never get the vehicle through. She might have had a point because cars and other vehicles are parked anywhere and everywhere there, making the job of getting a long wheelbase single decker through there an unenviable task at the best of times. Limited space ensures that car parking is never going to be plentiful there so taking the bus seems a sound proposition and you get to save on parking and other charges too.

The incident does highlight a problem for bus drivers: their vehicles are large and all it takes is one inappropriately parked car or van to obstruct when road space is none too plentiful anyway. The town of Macclesfield has only recently gained traffic wardens and, whatever some may say, it really does need to be said that they have their use. If anything makes people think about where they are parking and whether an obstruction would be caused, then it only can be a good thing.

17:52, November 4, 2008

One of the things that is part and parcel of using public transport is having to share the same space with others. I don’t know if it is more prevalent these days but there are always some who bring there noise with them. It could be the young person at the back of a bus playing their music aloud rather than containing it in earphones or a group of lads engaging in loud banter on a night out (I encountered the latter while coming home from the Lake District last Saturday and some clearly were disturbed by it; some cringeworthy behaviour was on display when the train conductor was trying to get them to buy tickets, particularly by one individual who was “trying it on”). There are other examples of course but, when you fancy a peaceful journey, either of these could have you reaching for the personal music player (iPod?) or heading to a quieter part of a train. I suppose that our own tolerance of other people’s behaviour should temper our own so that we behave like we would like others to do. Maybe, if we all learnt that lesson, then using public transport could be a far more pleasant experience for all.

11:21, November 2, 2008

Transpennine Express is a train company that you could see mentioned here a lot. It just so happens that I was on one of their trains yesterday morning and in a carriage where there was no heating. It’s not exactly warm in the U.K. right now so having no heating meant that the Polartec fleece that I had on me came in very handy and I also had a down jacket in my rucksack that could have been used too if the need arose. To be fair about this, heating can fail even on very new trains like the one on which I was travelling. Older ones can be similarly afflicted too of course, like the one on which I was coming home to Edinburgh (where I lived at the time) from Coventry after a long taxing day at a selection centre for a certain large multinational IT services company. That was a good few years ago and those trains were subsequently replaced with Voyagers by Virgin Crosscountry and they still ply the U.K.’s tracks at the behest of Arriva’s CrossCountry and Virgin West Coast.

11:08, November 2, 2008

You have to wonder what some people are thinking when silly stuff happens. I was off to the Lake District for a day trip yesterday morning when the sickening announcement of trespassers on the line came through over the Piccadilly tannoy. It took the most of twenty minutes for the authorities to sort things out and things to get going again. I was lucky enough to be only delay by a matter of minutes but there were cancellations caused by someone’s thoughtlessness.