News and views from north Bristol's urban village

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Bristol Bus Secrets

Returning home by bus this this week, I have twice found myself transported from my place of work by trainee bus drivers and have thus been able to observe (discreetly, from behind my copy of the Metro) part of the process by which a new driver is inducted into the profession, at least as far as employees of First Bus are concerned.

As a result of this eavesdropping, I have discovered the following tricks of the trade, passed on apprentice-like from an experienced driver to a novice:
  • the way to remember the correct route when driving the number 20 as it passes through Bishopston is to think of the game of chess - "King ('s Drive), Bishop (Road)"
  • when seeking to pull out of a bus stop, the procedure is to indicate right, check the mirror and drive on. Waiting for cars to stop is ineffective, apparently
  • If your route takes you along a narrow road, indicating right while driving along it raises your profile before oncoming vehicles and encourages them to pull over to their left
  • the Lake Road bus stop near the junction of Henleaze Road and Southmead Road is "tricky". Very few passengers there actually wish to board the 20 or 21 and are in fact waiting for another service. Pulling over at this point places your bus in the left hand lane of a short dual carriageway, immediately before you need to be in the right hand lane in order to turn into Eastfield Road for Westbury on Trym village. The policy, therefore, is to ignore the stop unless flagged down.

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