I haven’t used a bus for almost 7 months. It’s not because they aren’t on time, it’s not because they’re expensive. The reason is that the attitude of some of our local drivers can be at best negative – and at worst appallingly rude!
The first encounter I had with a bus driver was shortly after I started a college course 15 years ago. I was locating a seat with my white cane – when the driver shouted:
“Don’t just stand there! (then swore) sit down!”
I was really upset – but had to use the buses frequently as I had a guide dog and wasn’t willing to get taxis everywhere.
For a few years the drivers were kind and polite – but when I started having to take the bus from my home town to Bangor where I was working for the RNIB I encountered the worst of the company’s drivers.
One of them told me that I shouldn’t ask her which stop I should get off at, as she’s responsible for all the passengers – not just me.
I reported this to the depot – and they said they’d put a notice up informing the drivers to let people know when they reach the requested stop.
I’m not asking them to do anything particularly difficult – and it’s not just me that asks, tourists often get on the bus and ask if the driver can let them know when they get to Conwy.
Some drivers don’t even stop but drive purposely past.
I’ve asked the bus company if I can go and give a talk about the difficulties some people face through the actions of some drivers – but they’ve just written back saying they have a sign on the wall saying that bus drivers must be more helpful.
It’s not all bad though – the bus broke down once, and the driver helped me to the next bus – and one driver even took me to the next bus stop as the one I was standing at had been taken out of service temporarily.
I wish that we had talking bus’s – like they do in parts of London.
The rail network impliments this quite well – but sadly it’s always a case of “not having the funding” or: “not many people would use it”
I actually think that tourists would really benifit from it.
I’d like to end with a story of how a passengers kindness helped me – after a driver dropped me 5 miles out of my way.
I’d asked him to let me know when we reached my stop – he said he would – but then gleefully announced:
“Oo, I forgot to let you know when we got to your stop – sorry about that!”
OK,” I said
“Where are we?”
“Conwy!” he said.
He told me that I’d have to get off there as it would be a long time till we reached my stop as he was going somewhere else.
It was 6 o’clock at night – in December and bitterly cold.
I only had £3 as I wasn’t expecting to have to spend alot.
A lady said she’d give me the money for a taxi – I tried to tell her that I’d wait for another bus to come along – but she was insistent. I thanked her profusely and she went on her way.
I wrote to the paper. She told me her name was Linda – so I wrote to the paper to tell them what had happened and that I wanted to thank Linda again. She wrote in saying she was appalled at the bus drivers actions and was glad she could help.
The kindness of strangers never ceases to amaze me – I’m just so glad she was able to help that particular day.
Sarah@childrencount on why aren’t we listening… Sarah@childrencount on access all areas? Ian Braisby on access all areas? ianbraisby on I’m not brave –… ianbraisby on I’m not brave –…
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