To continue this week's theme of public transport….
Now that Human Granny has given away her car, when in Nottingham I am having to accustom myself to travelling around with Gail by bus. This is a new experience for me, and something Gail has not done since her school days.
Here is a picture of the type of double decker Gail caught every day for eleven years:
The fare on the number 11 bus from Valley Road to the City Centre was 4d when Gail started doing that journey into Nottingham, age seven, with no parental supervision and a walk of nearly a mile through a rough part of town at the other end.
Well that's quite enough of the nostalgia-fest Gail! And we won't even think about all that secondary cigarette smoke you inhaled on the top deck of the bus…
Back to the present day.
Gail was most upset to learn that these days on Rushcliffe Mainline bus services, unlike on trains, dogs no longer travel for free. She was indeed quite outraged that it costs a whole 50p per trip to buy me the privilege of boarding the bus from Nottingham railway station to Radcliffe on Trent, where Human Granny now resides.
Fear not friends, it didn't take me long to realise there is an upside to this charge! (And, let's face it, only someone who has lived too long in Aberdeen could begrudge a pup less than the price of a Mars Bar for a six mile bus ride…)
So anyway, as I see it, certain consumer rights attend my new status a paying customer. I now feel entitled to demand a superior quality of service on the bus and to bark loudly if these requirements are not met.
After four bus journeys, I wish to make the following observations regarding various deficiencies in the service on offer, and to request that these be remedied as soon as possible…
- My first complaint concerns the dog unfriendly nature of the driving. Really, everything on a bus is so stop-start it is hard to settle down, and reckless cornering does not help.
- And speaking of "hard to settle down", where are the soft cushions to lie on? I accept that my 50p ticket might not qualify me for my own seat, but really, the bus floor is cold and rigid and those vibrations go right through the belly and are most uncomfortable.
- Not only is there no refreshment trolley available, nor friendly attendant with a pocket full of shortbread (as one sometimes gets on Scotrail) but I was not offered a bowl of fresh drinking water once during any of my journeys. So inconsiderate.
- Although ‘free wi-fi’ is advertised prominently on every bus, I was unable to read my friends' blogs whilst aboard due what that Gail described as bandwidth so narrow that the data download speed could be measured in individual bytes per hour.
Well all this aside, I must say I found my new bus travel experience quite agreeable. On the basis that it's the squeaky wheel what gets the grease, I am confident that the bus company will act on my complaints and all future travel around Nottingham will be plain sailing.