A Conversation for Bus-Stop Logic

Conundrums and petty irritations of bus travel

Post 1


Where have all the double-deckers gone?

Is there an "elephant's graveyard" somewhere where double-decker buses go to die?

I ask because a depressingly constant feature of travelling by bus in this fine city has been the steady replacement of the old stately double-deckers by long through-deck single-deck buses.

Indeed, in central and north Manchester they've taken this to the logical extreme - double-length bendy-buses in two halves, connected only by a frail looking concertina arrangement of something plasticky, looking like a scaled-up off-cut from one of those kiddy toys that you whirl around your head to make an adult-annoying noise.

Watching one of THOSE babies take a corner, particularly on the sort of street that was laid out in Victorian times for nothing more challenging than a horse and cart, is a sight to behold. Believe me, the spectacle of a ninety-foot bendy-bus taking a corner has the power to bring traffic to a halt!

The great disappearing double-decker. Every bus route I have travelled on in the past couple of years, and I mean EVERY, has started out running double-deckers. Yet sooner or later the double-deckers have dwindled and vanished from the route to be replaced by singles. Where have they all gone to?

This is not a frivolous question.

For the work commuter in the mornings, the DD had many advantages. You could travel downstairs, safe in the knowledge that schoolkids would be magnetically drawn to the upstairs. Up there, the little darlings (well, SOMEBODY must love them) could yell, scream, throw things, and for all I care eat each other alive on their journey to the day borstal, out of sight and with the sound slightly muffled from the rest of the human race.

Also, space for standing passengers was drastically limited on the DD, with no more than five or six standing downstairs. This made it possible to get off without stress and undue barging into and through a press of other people.

However, both these advantages vanish on the long-aisle singles.

You end up in a rapidly confining space full of other people's disgustingly behaved brats, and, worst, up to forty people can stand. I realise it's even less fun to have to stand on the bus in these circumstances, particularly when a large bloke with a briefcase is trying to get past you and thirty-nine other people to be able to get off.

But ye Gods, the hassle in getting off one of these things when it's chokka with bodies and nobody has anywhere to move to!

Most annoyingly:- the tendency of schoolkids to huddle up front by the driver, clustering tightly everywhere including down in the doorwell, so the driver can't even open the doors properly. They even do this on a bus where there are seats free and resist any attempt to get them to move down the bus and sit down!

Ah well, this is where elbows, knees, and the occasional accidental tread on an unwilling-to-move-foot comes in handy. Not that I can be in any way nasty or vindictive, naturally….

Conundrums and petty irritations of bus travel

Post 2

Lady Pennywhistle - Back with a vengeance! [for a certain, limited value of Vengeance; actual amounts of Vengeance may vary]

wow, double-deckers... what an exotic way to travel! smiley - bus

We don't really have them here - there used to be some on some inter-city lines, but I haven't seen one for ages. The bendy-buses, as you call them (we call them accordion-buses, for obvious reasons) are very common inside the city, and I actually kinda like them. There is something about sitting in the back of the bus and watching it bend around the corners, and the little children that seem to be fascinated with that pole in the middle of the accordion. A friend of mine once called them wannabe-strippers, which is disturbing and yet quite amusing.

Schoolkids, especially teens, also seem to favour the accordion part, because it allows a lot of them to stand facing each other and talk (and block the aisle, of course). And also people with large bags, or prams, or anything that is too big to fit in regular chairs. They block the aisle too, but who cares? You're sitting at the back and watching them all.

Conundrums and petty irritations of bus travel

Post 3

riotact : like a phoenix from the ashes

london double-decker buses are being phased out because they were built in the 50's to last 20 years and they're now well over 40. reportedly they will be replaced by modern handicapped-friendly models and by 2005 a london icon will disappear.

this summer we're stopping in london on the way to california, so my kids will be able to ride on one before they're gone.

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