Duty Cards

Pat1105

Member
Joined
4 Feb 2020
Messages
149
Location
West Midlands
Does anyone here have an example of a duty card/running board? I have seen that there are some variations between different operators cards e.g Arriva cards stay on the bus whilst Stagecoach cards stay with the driver.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

harz99

Member
Joined
14 Jul 2009
Messages
645
In my admittedly very old LT experience, buses carried running numbers and attached (not physically) to a running number would be Time Cards and log sheet which the first crew or dvr/op of the day took to the bus and then left it on the bus until the last crew/dvr op of that running number handed the card(s) and sheet back in at Depot.
In addition each crew or dvr/op had duty cards which they collected and retained from start to finish of their duty each day, handing in with takings daily. Other areas of the UK may have had different systems.
 
Joined
15 Sep 2019
Messages
248
Location
Scotland
In my time with United/ Northumbria/ Arriva, we had paper, laminated running boards which were always going missing, these were replaced with wood and metal running boards but even then they would go missing. Eventually every driver was given a copy of every RTC.
 

TheGrandWazoo

Veteran Member
Joined
18 Feb 2013
Messages
13,767
Location
Somerset with international travel (e.g. across th
In my time with United/ Northumbria/ Arriva, we had paper, laminated running boards which were always going missing, these were replaced with wood and metal running boards but even then they would go missing. Eventually every driver was given a copy of every RTC.
My father was a United driver as well. The RTC (known as a key board) stayed with the vehicle. It was originally a metal framed piece of wood with the document inside when I was a kid but progressed to the laminated A4....interesting that it went the other way with Northumbria!
 

Whisky Papa

Member
Joined
8 Aug 2019
Messages
126
When I was compiling schedules for Greater Manchester transport pre-deregulation, it was definitely bus based, hand-written onto an A4 grid. Those for Manchester and Salford garages were stuck to a folding case that was about 2/3 A4 size, the others garages used the full sheet size, sealed into a plastic cover with a stiff board for backing. The drivers (and remaining conductors) could consult a display of the rota, but would have to consult a depot copy of the running boards if they wanted to check exactly what they were doing beforehand. Occasionally they went missing or got soaked in coffee, but generally it worked very well.

At Bee Line Buzz Company, as a driver I was presented with computer-generated, driver-based boards. Initially we tried to relieve the correct vehicles, but once most reliefs were moved to the garage site, most drivers just took the nearest bus from the yard. What was the point in waiting for an incoming vehicle that might be running late? Or worse, a Sherpa if you preferred driving a Dodge? It did throw up a problem briefly whenn service 14 (Stockport-Hyde-Ashton) was introduced, as alternate journeys ran only to Hyde. Unfortunately, on journeys due to relieve, the driver duty board simply showed a two-minute journey from the terminus at Princes St to the relief point at Portwood, so the driver did not know where to set their blind for! The suggestion that it was up to the driver to trace the bus working to establish where it went was not received well - fortunately the timetable was altered to remove this situation after a few weeks.

By 1988, Yorkshire Rider was also using a computer system, but back to a bus-based running board. One nice touch here was that every driver was given a printed copy of their rota, although these were fairly short so probably never more than four sheets of A4. I believe this is still the case with its First successor.

At UK North, every driver took a bus out, parked it for their break, and brought it back to garage at the end of their shift, so there was no distinction between bus or driver duties.
 

Pat1105

Member
Joined
4 Feb 2020
Messages
149
Location
West Midlands
At UK North, every driver took a bus out, parked it for their break, and brought it back to garage at the end of their shift, so there was no distinction between bus or driver duties.
We have a two companies in Wolverhampton who do this: Banga Buses and Let’s Go (Travel Express). Their timetables are built around drivers hours to save the need for driver changeovers, which can be frustrating at times. For example, Banga’s 530 (Wolverhampton - Rocketpool) runs every 12 minutes Monday to Friday. However, there is a large 30 minute gap between 1240 & 1310 where there is a driver break.
 
Joined
15 Sep 2019
Messages
248
Location
Scotland
Once we went to every driver having every RTC ( running time card) there was a problem with drivers " accidentally" taking the wrong bus, often so they got a better vehicle. Bit like when we got fleetlines, no one liked them until the winter, fab cab heaters.
 

Observer

Member
Joined
3 Nov 2014
Messages
422
We have a two companies in Wolverhampton who do this: Banga Buses and Let’s Go (Travel Express). Their timetables are built around drivers hours to save the need for driver changeovers, which can be frustrating at times. For example, Banga’s 530 (Wolverhampton - Rocketpool) runs every 12 minutes Monday to Friday. However, there is a large 30 minute gap between 1240 & 1310 where there is a driver break.
If there's multiple buses on the same route they should really be staggering breaks over a few hours instead of having them all at the same time. Less hassle for passengers and all that.

And 30 minutes isn't much of a break anyway, it's the bare minimum. But here is a picture of a Travel Express running board that someone was tipped off with.

Uploaded a cropped and edited (for obvious reasons) picture here, hopefully this won't cause any problems. But since someone wanted to see a running board here's one.
 
Last edited:

carlberry

Established Member
Joined
19 Dec 2014
Messages
2,202
Once we went to every driver having every RTC ( running time card) there was a problem with drivers " accidentally" taking the wrong bus, often so they got a better vehicle. Bit like when we got fleetlines, no one liked them until the winter, fab cab heaters.
I've never heard them refereed to as RTCs before, it strikes me as an odd acronym to select in a transport company!
 

Pat1105

Member
Joined
4 Feb 2020
Messages
149
Location
West Midlands
If there's multiple buses on the same route they should really be staggering breaks over a few hours instead of having them all at the same time. Less hassle for passengers and all that.

And 30 minutes isn't much of a break anyway, it's the bare minimum. But here is a picture of a Travel Express running board that someone was tipped off with.

Uploaded a cropped and edited (for obvious reasons) picture here, hopefully this won't cause any problems. But since someone wanted to see a running board here's one.
Yes, I agree that it is a hassle for passengers having a gap in the timetable. Banga do stagger their brakes, but there does come a point in the timetable where there is no bus to continue the timetable, which therefore results in a gap in the service. Travel Express seem to be running their drivers ragged with a duty like that! I’d hate to be doing 11’s all day for that length of time 7 days a week.
 

robk23oxf

Member
Joined
30 Jul 2017
Messages
200
Does anyone here have an example of a duty card/running board? I have seen that there are some variations between different operators cards e.g Arriva cards stay on the bus whilst Stagecoach cards stay with the driver.
Stagecoach running cards most definitely stay on the bus. There are some minor variations between operating companies but all use the same design. Some depots have the driver changeover times marked on and others don't. Some running cards are simply numbered 01, 02, 03 etc and others have a call sign which is used to identify that vehicle for the day.
 

mb88

Member
Joined
17 Aug 2012
Messages
45
Stagecoach running cards most definitely stay on the bus.
I worked at Stagecoach West Scotland and, at Cumbernauld depot at least, we had duty cards listing that driver's whole day's work and which stayed with the driver.

Stagecoach London, and as far as I'm aware all London companies, use this system too. I have some examples of Stagecoach London duty cards somewhere which I will try and hunt out and post on here.
 

Pat1105

Member
Joined
4 Feb 2020
Messages
149
Location
West Midlands
And a few from Stagecoach West Scotland.
I never knew that megabus carried the same cards as SC (makes sense now as they’re the same company really). Does anyone know if National Express coaches carry duty cards similar to the Megabus ones? I’ve never noticed a NX driver with one before.
 
Joined
15 Sep 2019
Messages
248
Location
Scotland
Here's a copy of a diagram a former colleague sent me when he was working in Bournemouth. Quite a long day.
A long day indeed but that appears to be the norm now in many places. I am quite impressed at some of the lay over times, the company I worked for would have shaved these down to 2 or 3 minutes, it killed them to let you sit for even a few minutes.

Would I be right in saying it's a legal requirement to have a running board when in service?

Is this why local service buses don't need tachographs?
 
Last edited:

Pat1105

Member
Joined
4 Feb 2020
Messages
149
Location
West Midlands
A long day indeed but that appears to be the norm now in many places. I am quite impressed at some of the lay over times, the company I worked for would have shaved these down to 2 or 3 minutes, it killed them to let you sit for even a few minutes.

Would I be right in saying it's a legal requirement to have a running board when in service?

Is this why local service buses don't need tachographs?
I’d guess it would be a legal requirement as it would be evidence driving time if fkr any reason the driver was stopped by the police, DVSA, VOSA e.t.c
 

Whisky Papa

Member
Joined
8 Aug 2019
Messages
126
I’d guess it would be a legal requirement as it would be evidence driving time if fkr any reason the driver was stopped by the police, DVSA, VOSA e.t.c
My understanding was that a combination of a bus running board and a depot rota display was sufficient to satisfy drivers' hours requirements, along with paperwork detailing any alterations to the rostered hours. I certainly hope so, as that was all we ever provided to hundreds of drivers!
 

Megafuss

Member
Joined
5 May 2018
Messages
296
I have only ever known drivers to be given duty boards and controllers to be given bus boards and duty boards. So please forgive the question. In operations where only bus boards are used and they stay on the bus - how does the driver know what they are doing after a break when they get off the first bus?
 

bussnapperwm

On Moderation
Joined
3 Jul 2019
Messages
347
I have only ever known drivers to be given duty boards and controllers to be given bus boards and duty boards. So please forgive the question. In operations where only bus boards are used and they stay on the bus - how does the driver know what they are doing after a break when they get off the first bus?
They usually have details of what bus board they'll be doing next.

Example: a driver may be starting on board 9/3 for his first portion, then 6/6 for his second portion, then 9/18 for the final portion of his duty (NXWM example). This would be noted on a Rota on the board at the garage (or by a company app/internal website) so the driver would know what runs he was on.

The bus running board would denote what board it is, and new driver would check with the driver he's replacing the board number to confirm he's got the right bus, and vice versa.

In that example, a driver would start on the 9 Stourbridge to Birmingham, move to the 6 Dudley to Stourbridge for his second part and then move back to the 9 for his final part.

Some drivers/staff make notes on their running board with things like changeover times, stand changes etc.
 
Joined
15 Sep 2019
Messages
248
Location
Scotland
We had a variety of rotas or the years and you were expected to know what your shift was doing. Some companies drivers only did one route but we were expected to know every route, at on point I knew over 70 different routes although many of these were school and works services with minor variations.

I have been on rotas with only 8 lines of work and some nearly a hundred.
 

Pat1105

Member
Joined
4 Feb 2020
Messages
149
Location
West Midlands
We had a variety of rotas or the years and you were expected to know what your shift was doing. Some companies drivers only did one route but we were expected to know every route, at on point I knew over 70 different routes although many of these were school and works services with minor variations.

I have been on rotas with only 8 lines of work and some nearly a hundred.
NXWM have some rotas with a quite a few routes on them, and some with only one. For example, at Wolverhampton, there is the 529 rota which involves route 529 only whereas the Bilston rota includes routes 27,27A,81,82,79
 

Whisky Papa

Member
Joined
8 Aug 2019
Messages
126
We had a variety of rotas or the years and you were expected to know what your shift was doing. Some companies drivers only did one route but we were expected to know every route, at on point I knew over 70 different routes although many of these were school and works services with minor variations.

I have been on rotas with only 8 lines of work and some nearly a hundred.
Halifax uses sectionionalised rotas largely covering one route or group of routes. At one time there were also various specialised rotas that covered early or late staff buses or works or school contracts that were a perk to long-service men. Quite a few of these were only four weeks long, rising to about 36 weeks for some of the major route groups.

Back to GMT in the 1980's, and a big garage like Stockport or Princess Road would have a main OPO rota in excess of 300 weeks length basically covering every route, and only a few oddments outside that for eg night buses or Centreline, or the remaining conductor-opertated work.
 

TheGrandWazoo

Veteran Member
Joined
18 Feb 2013
Messages
13,767
Location
Somerset with international travel (e.g. across th
I have only ever known drivers to be given duty boards and controllers to be given bus boards and duty boards. So please forgive the question. In operations where only bus boards are used and they stay on the bus - how does the driver know what they are doing after a break when they get off the first bus?
Some firms will give drivers a full rota.

However, back in the day, my late dad's firm would have RTCs for each vehicle. The rota would be pinned up on the board together with any variations (e.g. rest day working). He might be on line 6 for the week and that would have duties for the week. He would have to write in a diary at the end of the week before what he was doing each day the following weeks (would be check for any subsequent changes each day) so Monday might read:

Duty 8
Start 06.25
RTC 27C 06.40 Depot -11.18 Mkt
Break
RTC 34A 12.25 Mkt - 14.35 Mkt
To depot 14.40
Finish 14:50

That would mean he'd start in the depot, do his checks and admin, then drive from the depot into town with his first vehicle (27C). After coming off in the town at 11:18, it would be time for some smoking and games of cards in the canteen then take on the next vehicle (34A) and then bring that back into town. He'd then need to get back to the depot as a passenger to finish.
 

175mph

Member
Joined
25 Jan 2016
Messages
550
If there's multiple buses on the same route they should really be staggering breaks over a few hours instead of having them all at the same time. Less hassle for passengers and all that.

And 30 minutes isn't much of a break anyway, it's the bare minimum. But here is a picture of a Travel Express running board that someone was tipped off with.

Uploaded a cropped and edited (for obvious reasons) picture here, hopefully this won't cause any problems. But since someone wanted to see a running board here's one.
Very nice. I've got a picture somewhere of a sheet for a Stagecoach route, although it doesn't have any contact details included for in the event of a breakdown, nor a reminder not to leave the station before the correct time. It does however, list the types of ticket that are valid on the route. I'll have a look for it later and upload it. It is from 2015 though.
 

Maltabus

New Member
Joined
31 Mar 2020
Messages
2
Location
Gloucester
Does anyone here have an example of a duty card/running board? I have seen that there are some variations between different operators cards e.g Arriva cards stay on the bus whilst Stagecoach cards stay with the driver.
Running boards at Stagecoach Oxfordshire certainly stay with the vehicles!
 

Pat1105

Member
Joined
4 Feb 2020
Messages
149
Location
West Midlands
Very nice. I've got a picture somewhere of a sheet for a Stagecoach route, although it doesn't have any contact details included for in the event of a breakdown, nor a reminder not to leave the station before the correct time. It does however, list the types of ticket that are valid on the route. I'll have a look for it later and upload it. It is from 2015 though.
It’s quite ironic that the Travel Express example attached instructs drivers not to leave the stand early as they were at a Public Inquiry not too long back, with one of the reasons being failure to comply with the timetable as some journeys were running early in order to get in front of NX
 

Top