I must I MUST get there before the bus - Rob the Bus {P}
This is not intended to be a rant, nor is it intended to stir up any latent hostility.

BUT - as a bus driver I am totally mystified as to the attitude of the vast majority of car (and other) drivers. Many people seem to have it set in their head that they must get ahead of the bus at all costs, despite the fact that it may be turning off shortly, or pulling into a bus lay-by.

I'm sure that PeterPerfect and others will know what I mean, but allow me to expand (not much further though - my trousers can't take it ;-) )

I'll list a few examples and see what you all say:

1) A bus is indicating to pull out of a stop. It is creeping along so that it can move out quickly when (if) someone lets it out. A car driver moves past the bus, then quickly nips into a parking space directly in front of it. Why?

2) Simliar situation, but a car moves past the bus and then stops in the middle of the road to turn right, blocking the bus's path. Why?

3) A bus is travelling at 40mph (yes, some buses can go that fast - in fact I've had one up to 72 mph before now!) on a dual carriageway with a 40mph limit and yet every single car is trying to squeeze past before the dual carriageway ends. Why?

4) Roadworks - the afore-mentioned dual carriageway suddenly narrows to one lane (I'm thinking Woolwich Church Street here). Every single car has to stay in the lane that narrows right until the last moment and then try to force their way in front of the bus.

Which, on a related point - do car drivers really think that I give two hoots whether or not my bus gets scratched or dented? 'Course I don't. So why do they put themselves in the position where they could so easily get hit by my bus? One of these days I just won't brake...!

Anyway, as I said at the start, this was not intended to be a rant, just little old me relating some of the things that happen on more than a daily basis and inviting comment.

Over to you....

Cheers

Rob
"Lord of Lard"
I must I MUST get there before the bus - welshy
Hi Rob , yes I have exactly the same problem . I work as a coach driver for Shearings Holidays , Do the normal car drivers actually know how big these coaches are , just amazes me why they cant wait to pull out of a junction to get ahead and almost all the things you have allready mentioned !
Just madness !!!!
I must I MUST get there before the bus - bafta
Welshy, you're not one of the guys I oft see at Aust? Shearings seem to have some sort of base there. In fact, I think you have your own 'office' at the Travelodge.
I must I MUST get there before the bus - welshy
Yes I am one of those guys , even though im not there that often as im allways away !!!! Nice this week that im home for a while .
I must I MUST get there before that car - No Do$h
Then there's the numerous incidences of coaches swinging out on dual carriageways having driven to within a gnat's tadger of the lorry in front, without a blind bit of notice of the indicator button or the vehicles driving within the speed limit who had the audacity to be overtaking....... And the buses that just pul out of a bus-stop using telepathic indicators (you know the ones, you can't see 'em but you should have known....)
If I don't reply it's nowt personal, I'm just working!
I must I MUST get there before that car - Morris Ox
By and large bus and coach drivers do get a raw deal, and probably for three reasons.

As has already been said, most drivers have no conception of what it\'s like to shift something of that size and gain momentum; second, most of the encounters which get Rob\'s back up probably take place during rush hours, when everyone but everyone is focused on completing their journey as swiftly as possible (and devil take the hindmost).

Finally (and I\'d be interested to hear other Backroomer\'s views on this) I suspect there\'s sometimes a trace of not being beaten by the anti-car conspiracy, i.e. we poor car drivers pay for all these roads but get less and less space to use them because of pro public transport highway chiefs...so the buses can darn well wait. Not nice for the Rob\'s of this world but you can see where it comes from.

And I don\'t think bus drivers are entirely perfect, as I\'m sure Rob would acknowledge.
I must I MUST get there before that car - Rob the Bus {P}
Morris,

>>most of the encounters which get Rob's back up probably take place during rush hours

Actually, these encounters can happen at any time of day. Admittedly they are more prevalent at rush hour, but that isn't really a factor. And they rarely get my back up - nine times out of ten I just watch with a resigned shrug of the shoulders. Life's too short to get wound up all the time!

I agree entirely with your third paragraph - the world is becoming more 'me me me' and fewer and fewer people are willing to wait even five seconds to help me and my colleagues on our way. I should acknowledge though, that there are quite a few courteous drivers about who do let me out and do wait for me, which restores my faith a little!

>>And I don't think bus drivers are entirely perfect, as I'm sure Rob would acknowledge.

I do, only too readily! I've seen some frankly appalling driving by bus drivers. I don't pretend to be perfect myself either - I've made mistakes with the best of 'em!

One final point though, with regard to other drivers' no doubt perception of bus drivers being arrogant and rude and never letting cars out - we have a timetable to keep to and if we are late, pausing at every junction to let someone out will only make us more late! Anyway, I always try to be Mr Nice Guy and let cars out - only because it takes the drivers totally by surprise!

Cheers

Rob


I must I MUST get there before that car - Ben79
One final point though, with regard to other drivers' no doubt
perception of bus drivers being arrogant and rude and never letting
cars out - we have a timetable to keep to and
if we are late, pausing at every junction to let someone
out will only make us more late!


Honestly, are timetables achievable? Should the timetables be rewritten to allow for realistic traffic conditions?

Maybe then busses will run on time, and arrive at the destination more on time, peoples perception of busses may change and bus users increase.


Anyway, I always
try to be Mr Nice Guy and let cars out -
only because it takes the drivers totally by surprise!


I have even been known to let a bus out, I wasn't in a hurry.

Rob, do you think that the bus stops that stick into the road are in the best overall interest of road users?

Ben
On my 3rd Citroen. Saxo, Xsara, C5.
I must I MUST get there before that car - THe Growler
One final point though, with regard to other drivers' no doubt
perception of bus drivers being arrogant and rude and never

letting
cars out - we have a timetable to keep to and
if we are late, pausing at every junction to let someone
out will only make us more late!


>>Honestly, are timetables achievable? Should the timetables be >>rewritten to allow for realistic traffic conditions?

>>Maybe then busses will run on time, and arrive at the >>destination more on time, peoples perception of busses may >>change and bus users increase.

....who, if anyone, recalls the golden days of "never mind luv, there'll be another one along in a minute"? And there always was.
I must I MUST get there before that car - SteveH42
Honestly, are timetables achievable? Should the timetables be
rewritten to allow for realistic traffic conditions?


Depending on the situation, I think timetables should be scrapped completely. Stagecoach Manchester tried rewriting the 192 timetable for the morning rush so that unless traffic was really, really bad they could keep time. What ended up happening was most of the time the buses spent more than half their journey waiting time at the stop, much to the frustration of the passengers. My suggestion, which was rebuffed by those in charge, was to run a slightly reduced frequency but not to a timetable and use the buses saved to fill any gaps. I'd prefer a bus every 5 or 6 minutes that took 20 minutes to do the journey to one every 3 or 4 minutes that takes 40 minutes due to waiting time.
I must I MUST get there before that car - JohnM52
Depending on the situation, I think timetables should be
scrapped completely.


Sorry, but the enforcement autorities in the form of VI and Traffic Commissioner will not permit such a solution. Part of the process of application is that a timetable must be submitted; it must then be adhered to no worse than plus one or minus five minutes achieved by 95% of the service. The timetable cannot have excess recovery built in towards the end of a route.
Failure to comply results in some quite severe penalties.
I must I MUST get there before that car - SteveH42
That is just plain stupid. In heavy traffic situations it is just impossible to predict with any accuracy how long a journey will take so the only solution is to devise a 'worst-case' timetable and as I commented, that seriously disadvantages the passengers as well as making the service very unattractive to car users.

As for the targets, if they are that strict then either Stagecoach must have found a dodge or they got hit hard in penalties as the 192s in the evening used to be terrible - I often had to wait 15 to 20 minutes for a service that is supposed to run every 3 or 4 minutes. If they just ran buses and didn't try and fit in to a timetable it would make a much better service for the public and when they are this frequent it's not going to make any difference.
I must I MUST get there before the bus - volvoman
Agree and sympathise RTB!

It's a very strange mentality which seems to pervade society I'm afraid. These stupid, selfish people only cause themselves and everyone else more delays.

Forget congestion charging, I sometimes wonder how much less congestion there'd be if only drivers were more thoughtful by giving way, not blocking junctions etc.

A classic example yesterday as we returned home and found ourselves behind a short queue of cars halted at a pinch point in the road. Cars were parkedall along the opposite carriageway therefore only 1.25 lanes were free. A black cab a couple of cars in front of us did the decent thing and flashed the oncoming traffic to come through. What followed was a very long procession of cars/vans very few of which acknowledged the taxi driver's generosity. Worse still when a gap appeared and the taxi driver pulled off, 2 white vans came the opposite way knowing full well there was no room to pass. Behind them another long line of cars/vans etc. Result ? Everyone got stuck with nowhere to go !! Eventually after lenghty manoeuvres the 2 vans got through and then decided to turn right despite the fact that their exit was blocked by cars queueing behind us and they were blocking the long line of traffic behind them which was in turn preventing their exit from being cleared! Result ? Yep, you guessed it, nobody could move again !! Would it have been so difficult for the idiots responsible not to have blocked the junction or indeed for the van drivers to take the next right turn and a very short diversion ? No, but it's the "I couldn't give a stuff about anyone else" mentality which is so prevalent these days and the sad thing is that it just makes driving more difficult, time consuming and stressful for everyone.

RANT OVER !!!
I must I MUST get there before the bus - Jazzmag
Hi Rob,

I can certainly go some way to helping you with a few answers ? my mother is a physiologist and I have discussed just the very subject with her! So, from a psychologist?s viewpoint here goes:

People see their cars as their own little ?kingdoms?, over which they are supreme ruler. They control everything: temperature, speed, ride comfort and where the car is going - they even control the fate of everyone inside. It gives a tremendous amount of satisfaction ? especially when other another area of a person?s life is not so controllable (job, relationship etc). Frustration felt in other areas are often cleared by going for a ?good blast? in the car (or on a bike). It?s cleared because the person is ? for a short time at least ? in total control of their own destiny: literally over their own life and death.

Now, any other road user ? and that includes you in your bus ? that?s seen as a threat to our driver?s little ?kingdom? causes a defence reaction. The ?threat? is any action that goes against the perceived ?right? of the driver ? cutting in his lane space (invasion of territory), overtaking in an older car (a sign of defeat) or not going fast enough (preventing his choice of speed) for example. Being courteous to your bus is an admission of ?defeat? either consciously, or sub-consciously.

Of course no two motorists are the same ? just as no two people are the same, but put people behind the wheel of a car and certain definable psychological groups emerge ? some groups sharing common characteristics.

So I guess you?re just witness human psychology at work in the real world. The only way to deal with it is to relax! You won?t educate people by insisting on pulling out in front of them: any action that seen as a threat will only further provoke defensive behaviour.

Now you now the reason for their ?less evolved? behaviour, you can play spot the Driver Psychologist Group!

Sorry if the answer is a little long. Hope it helps in your understanding ? even if can?t solve the problem.
I must I MUST get there before the bus - Rob C
Always bear in mind that if you get into a road rage fight with a bus driver, two of his mates will be along very soon.

Couldn't resist crow-barring that in, sorry.
I must I MUST get there before the bus - Rob C
>>They control everything: temperature, speed, ride comfort and where the car is going - they even control the fate of everyone inside. It gives a tremendous amount of satisfaction ? especially when other another area of a person?s life is not so controllable (job, relationship etc). Frustration felt in other areas are often cleared by going for a ?good blast? in the car (or on a bike). It?s cleared because the person is ? for a short time at least ? in total control of their own destiny: literally over their own life and death.<<

Blimey, never thought of it before that way, but I always feel happiest when driving to and from meetings etc.
I must I MUST get there before the bus - BobbyG
On the point of trying to get past on a dual carriageway before it goes back to single lane, I do this.
The theory I use is that if the limit is 40, I will probably do 45. If there are bends in the road or if the road narrows then I will get though quicker than the bus.
So, rightly or wrongly, if a road goes from dual carriageway to single lane, for say 2 miles, then I feel that if I get in front of the bus then I will be able to travel that 2 miles and its associated obstacles quicker than a large bus will. Tell me that I'm wrong?
Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't do a silly manoeuvre to get in front of the bus, but if I can do it safely then I will do it.

All your other points, I am 100% with you but don't necessary think it would be any different if it wasn't a bus ie. if its a taxi / van or even a car pulling out from a layby would they be treated differently?
I must I MUST get there before the bus - Wales Forester
Oh Rob what have u started!

From a fellow PCV driver's point of view I agree with you wholeheartedly on all points.

With regard to getting the idiot car driver out of trouble when he/she is about to come to grief with your bus through a situation of their own making, I'm afraid that on more than one occasion I have not braked.............and have been blameless in the eyes of the insurance and the company, so next time you are 100% in the right, don't give them an inch and if there's a coming together you'll feel the satisfaction of crunching someone's vehicle, knowing you're completely vindicated.

I will add that the vast majority of bus drivers, myself included, go about their work in the professional and safe way that is expected of a vocational licence holder. However, there are always exceptions and I have over the years witnessed some diabolic examples of bus and coach driving which have made me cringe with embarrassment.

I'll finish by saying that buses these days are a lot quicker off the mark than they used to be and are not as likely to hold you up while they get up to speed. As Rob says, in the majority of cases it'll not be long before the bus stops or turns off anyway.

PP

I must I MUST get there before the bus - Rob the Bus {P}
Thanks all for your varied and intersting comments so far, and special thanks for not letting the thread degenerate into a "****** bus drivers!" thread.

Jazzmaq - thank you for your very indepth reply. All of what you say makes for very interesting reading, and I can identify with it all.

Ben - >>Rob, do you think that the bus stops that stick into the road are in the best overall interest of road users?

Not really, no. They are great for me as I don't have to nudge my way into the flow of traffic to get moving again. But for the traffic behind I think that they are an unecessary imcumbance.

PP - I have lost count of the amount of times I have thought "right, next time that happens I'm not braking". Sadly, when it comes to it I find it impossible to actually hit the other vehicle. It's not for the want of trying though... ;-)

Keep the comments coming please!

Cheers

Rob
I must I MUST get there before the bus - borasport20
Hi Rob !

how are things at the other end of the Universe ?

I don't know that i've got much sensible to contribute to this debate other than there is much weight to be attached to that every car driver is in his own personal environment argument

There is also a suspicion that most drivers think 'I drive something faster than a bus, therefore if I let the bus out, I will be limited to the speed of the bus'. - this ignores the fact that your only letting the bus out into a stream of traffic doing 30, and you could do 30 behind the bus, or 30 behind the car in front of it.


I have to grow old - but I don't have to grow up
I must I MUST get there before the bus - Rob the Bus {P}
Bora -

Good to hear from you. Things here are great thanks. How's things back in the frozen wastelands ;-)?

I agree with all that you have said and indeed was considering posting something similar but held back on the grounds that I've said quite enough already!

It'd be good if you e-mailed me - try "wobblybob1 'at' hotmail 'dot' com"

By the way, did you change your car after all? Is it going well?

Take care

Cheers

Rob
I must I MUST get there before the bus - passat
Could I ask a question of coach drivers, which is also applicable to most tourists in Scotland. What stops you from using the passing places on single track roads to allow following vehicles to pass? While the bus loads of happy holidaymakers can't be in that much of a rush, those of us who live and work up here don't always have the same amount of time to spare.
I must I MUST get there before the bus - frostbite
For some reason, Passat's posting has reminded me of a story I heard, only marginally on-topic:-

Back in the days of Baywatch and Pamela Andersonm the lads in a Scottish village used to refer to the local, 42D bus as 'The Pammy'
I must I MUST get there before the bus - Rob the Bus {P}
passat -
There is no excuse for that in my book.

By the way, where in Scotland do you live (purely out of interest)?

Cheers

Rob
 

Value my car