Thursday, 25 February 2016

Fares please! Ta Duck!

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.


  1. Well....we're not allowed on a bus at any price! Not that we want to go on one after your experience.

  2. In Bawston I got to ride for free.

  3. Bertie they do not know who they are messing with do they? Do they know you have a free pass to the WWW and will be advertising their deficiencies to the World Wide WEB?
    Years ago my peeps transferring from one airport to another in London via bus. It was about 6 am and boy were they surprised when they were served a delicious cup of hot tea.
    Hugs madi your bfff

  4. maybe you picked the bus from that hairy potter movie? apart from being unable to ride on a train my mom and busses are enemies fur ever... she entered the wrong one together with her mother and the evil bus driver refused to bringthem back to civilization, because he changed the route. So my mom and my granny had to walk 4 km through the wilderness to go back to the town. And because they are ole chicks now, no car driver stopped for them, boy that was an adventure...

  5. We think you are lucky to be on the bus at any price. Wouldn't happen here.

  6. you are so lucky they allow dogs at all - most places here in the USA dogs are not allowed on buses, trains or even taxi's!

  7. Hari OM
    I have to concur, Bertie lad, that the buses of the UK are not the most comfortable of transports - even for hyoomans let me tell ya; however I do think, on balance, that life without buses would be rather less interesting... hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  8. You have some very sound demands there, Bertie. We hope those transportation peeps know who they are up against!!
    Dory, Jakey, Arty & Bilbo

  9. Bertie - ' No refreshment trolley available' !
    If you took a mini cab you could stop off at a kebbab house.

  10. Mum remembers her happy days of travelling by bus in Nottingham butt I is disgusted that you haf to PAY and no drinks trolley...just not right. Lets stick to train travel eh Bertie?
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

  11. hmmph no refreshments for shame

  12. And just think, thankfully, Gail live to tell about it. We think we would turn green around the gills with all that stopping in going
    Lily & Edward

  13. As a paying customer you have these reasonable rights!!!!

    Keep Calm & Bark On!

    Murphy & Stanley

  14. Hi hi hi! Ojo here! We are not allowed on the buses here, so I have never been on one! But after your story I think this is okay.

  15. Bertie-
    The ticket did say "Dog, thanks for traveling with us". That was polite. Now, if they would only provide you with a pillow and a snack!