London's Transport, and Passengers Back To Normal in Walthamstow

Martin Belam by Martin Belam, 14 July 2005

I knew things were back to normal yesterday morning when the quietly simmering rage of the average commuter broke through once again in Walthamstow. All the goodwill towards London's brave and long-suffering transport staff evaporated as a bus driver on the Arriva franchise 275 route refused to stop outside Walthamstow Central Train station, instead turning straight into the bus station. Before he even managed to turn right there was a cacophony of shouting, pleading and bell ringing. He shouted back that he didn't have to stop there. Which is completely untrue.

The next time the bus ground to a halt was inside the bus station, and as the doors open a stream of commuters emerged, sprinting across the station, shouting "Oi! Oi!" to get the attention of the bright yellow jacketed bus officials who patrol the station.

Naturally I'm one of those who has subsequently written to complain. The irony of posting this the day after my 'complaints about public services cost too much money to handle' worries of yesterday isn't lost on me. I'm not concerned for myself, occasionally drivers do this and it costs me two minutes on my journey - big deal, in fact, bonus, I get to listen to more music. However, I look around the bus and see people with children, people with luggage, the elderly and the infirm. Once a driver has decided not to stop outside the train station all these people are forced to walk further to continue their journey, having to cross a busy and dangerous road junction into the bargain. And all because of one driver deciding not to follow the rules.

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