Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Inspired by Omnibuses .

Okay guys, anoraks on! One of the many blogs I read regularly is called Omnibuses , no surprise there to anyone who knows about my day job. The author of Omnibuses has written a rather witty post on the 17th May 2011 about Ye Olde Flag & Shelter Tavern . No, this is not about real ale drinkers and anoraks but the British habit of queue forming. It is a very witty post and his opinions are spot on. I did not add a comment to his post but it did bring a smile to my face because of passengers in Newport waiting for a coach from the nationwide company on Stand No 2.

At most locations served by the nationwide company, passengers form an orderly queue. It is strictly a nod at the other passengers and then queue in a first-come-first-served order. But not in Newport where the nationwide company is allocated two stands in the bus station, numbered 2 and 3. Stand number 2 has a wide platform and passengers gather like a herd of rioters at a Middle East popular uprising in protest of fair and democratic elections. If you are foolish enough to drive your coach onto stand number 2, you can't get out of your entrance door before the intending passengers charge towards you. There is no recognisable queue whatsoever and the passengers charge towards you as though you were a relief lorry offering food to starving refugees. These passengers just charge to get on first, there is not a queue, just a surge forward with a risk to the infirm and elderly getting crushed in the drama.

So, seasoned drivers on the nationwide company contract drive onto stand number 3, which is clearly labelled "Nationwide Company Stand 3". Then the surging mass of intending passengers form a queue at stand number 3 and natural yogurt loads the passengers in the traditional British fashion of queue forming. It is not first-come-first-served but first-legged-it-first-served! Although I am always greeted by the familiar chorus of "All the other drivers pull in on the other stand" to which I gesture to the sign above which proudly declares "Nationwide Company Stand 3".

The thing is the nationwide company can use stands 2 and 3. Stand number 2 is wide and attracts the mob of passengers. Keen regular passengers spot a Crapano Levante driven by a guy with a white beard and quietly stroll across to stand number 3, where they form a queue, tender their ticket and declare "Hello Stephen".

Oh, I do use stand number 2 - but only for unloading and politely inform intending passengers that I will NOT be going to London and the destination of Cardiff is not a joke but a fact.

Oh, and who's daft idea was it to offer Priority Boarding to passengers in London Victoria Coach Station? There is a narrow boarding gate and management request that drivers call Priority Passengers forward before the charging mob of 40 other passengers. Do they really want another Hillsborough disaster happening because of their greed to grab another pound from the passenger before the mob tramples them into the concrete?
Very true
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