Thursday, 15 July 2010

Worst Group Rant No. 94 (change at Dalkeith)

BBC photo

Princess Anne was in Aberdeen today opening the new First Bus depot in the Granite City. I do believe that's my old boss in the photograph above - the one in the suit. It's nearly 21 years since I worked there and a lot of water has flowed under various bridges since then. I wonder, however, if Princess Anne had travelled to Aberdeen by one of First Group's infamous trains. Probably not.

I have blogged here several times about 'Worst Group' and their notorious bus services in Edinburgh. I now use Lothian Buses although I have, on occasion, dared to take a First Bus service from Dalkeith to Auld Reekie. Here was the timetable for such a journey the other week:

07.40 Service 86 due to leave Mayfield terminus
07.43 Driving sitting at said terminus finishing the sudoku puzzle in the Metro newspaper
07.46 Service 86 departs...
07.50 First rude comment to passenger who dared to complain the bus was late
07.51 First swear word from driver
07.55 Due at Dalkeith town centre
08.05 Arrives Dalkeith town centre
08.10 Woman with child in buggy can't get on as the 20 year old bus does not have a facility for the buggy.
08.11 Driver advises woman 'there'll be another bus along in a few minutes' Translated that means 'tough luck, dearie...'
08.15 Bus breaks down at Sheriffhall Park and Ride
08.16 Second swear word from driver
08.17 Second rude comment to passenger who dared to complain
08.18 Third swear word from driver.
08.20 Driver makes radio contact with bus depot
08.23 Depot replies - don't expect a replacement bus until a week on Tuesday
08.24 Fourth swear word from driver
08.25 Several swear words from irate passengers who leave the bus.
08.27 Said passengers board Lothian bus service number 49 and head into Edinburgh city centre
08.28 Fifth swear word from driver
14.00 Worst Group announce passenger numbers on their Edinburgh bus services drop dramatically...

Some things never change....

6 comments:

Adullamite said...

Do I detect a HR problem with First Group? Are they employing the correct people? Could it be there is a contractual problem somewhere? Is it a possibility that the company is badly run from top to bottom?
They are the ones who dropped a service here. It runs in the morning, and again at night, but in between nothing. As this is the ONLY way direct to the ONLY hospital for A&E it leaves many wondering what to do during the day?
Remember the 'service' element?

(Is this 'Stagecoach, or is that still separate?)

Adullamite said...

Do I detect a HR problem with First Group? Are they employing the correct people? Could it be there is a contractual problem somewhere? Is it a possibility that the company is badly run from top to bottom?
They are the ones who dropped a service here. It runs in the morning, and again at night, but in between nothing. As this is the ONLY way direct to the ONLY hospital for A&E it leaves many wondering what to do during the day?
Remember the 'service' element?

(Is this 'Stagecoach, or is that still separate?)

Scotsman said...

Probably about the only thing I like about the public transport system here in Salt Lake City is that the drivers are friendly - they would probably get fired if they weren't. They supposedly get fired if they the late to their stops twice within the space of 2 weeks.

Sadly though I don't think much else of the buses here in these parts. The design of the coverage is weird. All the streets are laid out in a grid system and the buses seem to be designed to go in straight lines so unless your destination is from one side of the city to the other is in a straight line you pretty much have to get off and on buses and the trax system 3 or 4 times in the space of a couple of hours. In that sense I prefer the buses from back home, it might be dirty, it might be late but it was far more efficient and I got where I wanted to go far quicker.

Mike Smith said...

Adullamite - First Group and Stagecoach are different companies - and rivals in some parts. First Bus began as Grampian Regional Transport in the mid 1980s when buses were run as a public service. But Sir Moir Lockhead soon changed all that...

Scotsman - In Edinburgh, Lothian Buses do a pretty good job. They have modern buses with wheelchair facilities and, crucially, their services are reliable. That's why I use them rather than Worst Bus...

Joanna Jenkins said...

Are you sure you weren't on a bus in Los Angeles????

Cheers,
jj

PS How's your new grandbaby doing???

Mike Smith said...

Wee Ava is grand, thank you Joanna. I hope all is well with you and yours.