please empty your brain below

The main problem re destination indicators is TfL Buses' absolutely insane prescription that - even though digital indicators are good enough for every other bus operator in the world - they're not appropriate for London.

So the options are a) print dedicated destination blind rolls, even if they're only in use for a week, or b) the half-arsed status quo.

Have LURS changed their policy?

They always used to allow non-members to attend?

I wish this culture of ringing up the local coach company and getting them to run a half-arsed skeleton 'service' would go away. By it's very nature, a bus isn't and never can be a replacement for a train.

What's the theory on TFL not using digital displays - it's always intrigued me...?

I'm willing to bet the decision was made when digital displays *were* crap and unsuitable for London. And not revisited the notion since.

That response isn't anywhere near good enough! "Sadly supplies have now run out" - WTF? Is there a war on? Well done for getting a response even if it is pathetic.

"I've received an email from somebody very high up in one of the companies that run rail replacement buses."

And I think the email explains exactly why he is very high up. A load of excuses and "can't do"s.

Which, of course, explains *exactly* why you had the problems you did, and why nothing will change anytime soon, despite your best efforts to put the evidence right under their noses.

What a missed opportunity.

In these situations, I always wonder what the CEO of a really successful company would do if they read such a helpful exposure of problems. Probably give the person involved a job I'd think... or at least invite them to become involved in a problem-solving seminar.

Far too easy Greg.

Mr Excuse would hide behind "Health and Safety" - suppose the A3 sheet detached from the window and someone fell over it and killed themself? - and "Company Brand" - such a temporary notice would spoil the company image, not being 'professionally' presented in the correct typefont and with the company logo. And a few other things, no doubt.

Oh yes, there's an excuse for why every sensible (and cheap) solution won't happen.

Multiply this by every single organisation in the country, and you're a long way to understanding the mess that is the UK currently.

Great series I've been reading with interest. Mainly cos I hate rail replacement bus services, although thankfully here at the southern end of the Northern Line we have it relatively easy as all the stations are connected quite well by main roads. No backstreet trundling - Morden to Stockwell is relatively simply, although not as fast. So simple we have a nightbus that does it every evening.

But whilst TfL isn't perfect, it's far superior to some experiences I've had on the mainline.

One time at Clapham Junction no one even bothered to put up signs, and no staff anywhere to explain anything. It was so bad I wrote an open letter (

Meanwhile in the north of England I saw people standing on platforms waiting in vain as the replacement bus service I was on sailed out of the car park barely batting an eyelid.

Then there was the time on the Settle to Carlisle Line where Northern Rail published a timetable that completely contradicted everything on the ground. I asked a member of staff about it and he looked at me confused until I pointed him to the poster sat right behind him in the ticket office. His response? "I've never seen this before. This is utter nonsense" (I repeat - it was RIGHT behind him, and he'd been sat in front of it for half the day)

Oh and then there was the three hour coach journey from Windermere to Preston on a coach that was designed for kids, bumping around country lanes. No leg room, FIVE seats in a row AND the audacity to claim "Executive Travel" on the outside. Getting to the station I felt absolutely ill.

TfL are far from perfect, but they could be so much worse.

Blue: I'd rather there wasn't an A3 sheet of paper in the windscreen, thanks. You like your driver to have a reasonably clear view of the road, yes? The fact DG contardicts himself so many times (line of route criticised, direct routes criticised, what do you want?) explains the lack of response from 'on high'. "Steve" wants TFL to invest in something DG has already decreed as unsuitable. I'm sure of DG comes up with a consistent set of recommendatiosn that don't contradict each other he will be taken more seriously.

I was a Bus Driver with London Transport for ten years, I was also in the mid eighties the first driver in london to be trained up to do multi route working on the Night bus System and was designated as a spare driver with a standby bus running out from Victoria Bus Garage in Gillingham Street SW1, I had to route learn 37 different night routes and the buses we used were Round london Sightseeing Buses that obviously were normally unused overnight. We had a large route number displayed in the upper destination panel and a very very long bus blind fitted that showed just the ultimate destination as there was no room for anymore detail, when I was doing short workings or a newly introduced route and did not have a destination or a number to display I always carried with me some A3 white paper, a piece of stiff card and some bulldog clips along with a large black felt tip pen and some sellotape, I would spend a couple of minutes making my own information board and would display it very clearly in the nearside front winscreen so that it was very visible to all intending passengers, I also followed this up by bellowing out at any intending passengers every time I pulled up at a bus stop. I loved that job and did it to the best of my ability, and I was proud of the service I gave. There are still lots of good Bus Drivers around but unfortunatly the bad ones outnumber them.

Dear "Occassional rail replacement bus driver"

Some rail replacement routes would be better if they didn't stop right outside the station. Some rail replacement routes would be better if they did. There are so many different cases, depending on where you are, that it would be ridiculous to come up with a sweeping generalisation. So I didn't.

I shouldn't worry DG, the only person who actually suggested putting an A3 sheet on the windscreen was a regular commentator with 10 years bus-driving experience in London, who commented *after* him.

He clearly has problems with understanding the written form. Which could explain quite a bit, when you think about it...

You haven't been on a proper rail replacement safari until you have done the entire length of the Waterloo-Weymouth line in rail replacement buses and taxis.

One one occasion, I managed this entire journey in one trip which must have cost SW Trains at least £100 per passenger.

DG - OK, but you have criticised Underground for trying to do something to speed up journeys with the Canning Town service, then criticised them for doing an all stations Jubilee service, and then criticised Overground for trying to straighten out journeys. So 'different cases depending on where you are' is what TFL have done, so they should be praised, no?

No, he criticised LU for not publicising the Canning Town service, and for not running an express bus to replace the Metropolitan line (instead forcing people from Amersham to take the stopping Jubilee bus). Both of those are completely legitimate criticisms and not in the slightest bit contradictory.

ORRBD - Can you see the difference in attitude between yourself and Fishislandskin?

Your job, your day, your life is what you make it, and I know out of the two of you what character & personality of a drive I'd rather have in charge of my replacement bus.

I can never understand people who worship the companies that they work for, taking any company criticism personally. There are too many nasty RRBS experiences out there, and any attempt to gloss over these is disingenuous to say the least.

My own employer buys my time, buying my soul would be somewhat more expensive.

Sorry for the misunderstanding over the windscreen. No need to get so angry over it! Geofftech, you have no idea how I behave, fwiw I verbally confirm the line/destination of the bus as customers board, and shout out the stations we stop at (and I physically stop at every station as I know the roads/stop locations aren't necessarilly familiar to the customers). With experience common questions can also be pre-empted, in case you wonder why I point people [Americans, usually] with suitcases towards the Swiss Cottage Marriott.

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