One of the main factors of my work is getting to and from the office from home in Tottenham. As I am not a car owner I am finding the most direct route (and cheapest) to be on London’s buses, and on the whole it is rather pleasant.
After lengthy periods spent commuting on the Piccadilly and Victoria lines, it is rather pleasant to be outdoors and actually see the rolling hills of Wood Green and Whetstone.
However I have some grievances with London’s bus drivers and considering what they have to deal with generally, I chose to put my thoughts in this blog than one on one with them. Also because I am not a prat and recognise when someone doesn’t have as good working conditions as I do.
So firstly, London bus drivers have an issue with driving defensively – a source told me that drivers are actually encouraged to drive in this manner. Well for the passenger who sits waiting and watching as you let car after car go ahead of you while you wait to pull out, this is daft – pull out, no driver is going to hit you and it is in the Highway Code that drivers should give way to buses so enforce it. In fact insist on it. I’m usually running late and want to get to work/home.
Second, you pick up passengers and somehow the stops can be busy – so when the bus is full, carry on driving until people get off before letting others get on. Don’t just cram us on in the hope that there will be more space somewhere. There isn’t any more space as we are in it, and there is someone eyeing up that spot in my armpit.
Thirdly, the brake and accelerate pedals are there to be used gradually, not to intentionally make sure we fall over and get seasick as you slam on one and then the other. I know it is fun, but you were trained to drive and when tackling hills or heavy traffic, take it gently please.
Finally, we know passengers are an inconvenience but would it be an ask to make driver changeovers a little easier and faster by not stopping for a cigarette and chat and getting going? Some of us have work/home to get to.
Yours sincerely, a London bus passenger.