'Lost' bus driver asked passengers for directions

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PASSENGERS on a bus trip from Aberdeen to Inverness found themselves on a journey into the unknown when it appeared that their novice driver from Poland had become lost.

They claim the driver of the No 10 Stagecoach Bluebird service, one of 44 Poles recently recruited by the North-east's main rural bus operator, had problems navigating the busy A96 and that, at one stage, one of the passengers had to help direct him with the aid of a map.

Yesterday, as the wife of one of the passengers called for Brian Souter, Stagecoach's chief executive, to "hang his head in shame" over the fiasco, the company insisted that, while the driver might have asked passengers for directions, it did not mean he was unaware of where he was going.

Lesley Tock, whose husband Colin, 56, had boarded the bus to the Highland capital, said he had phoned her to complain that the driver appeared "totally lost".

Steve Stewart, a spokesman for the bus company, denied the driver had been lost. He said: At no point did he have to refer to a map. He talked to a passenger to reassure himself he was on the right route, in the same way that anyone who was unfamiliar with any journey would clarify directions."
 
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Tom B

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Happens quite often - particularly with stand-in drivers who aren't trained on the route but are just doing it as cover for another one.
 

Lewisham2221

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Even locals who know their way around get 'lost' from time to time. It's happened to me a number of times when bus drivers have taken wrong turnings and ended up missing out parts of a route whilst they find the way back to a main road.
 
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HR2

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Oh, drivers in the Tyneside area often seem to go off route. Not because they are lost but because they know alternatives in disruptions. For instance when high winds prevent buses using Redheugh Bridge to get to Metrocentre they'll go along Scotswood Road to Scotty bridge and cross that way. Sometimes on controllers instructions but often on their own initiative.
 

Tom B

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Veering slightly OT, but we had an occasion a bit like that a few months ago. The regular route is a country road and was closed due to an RTA, but traffic was light and no-one had bothered to put signs up so our decker was trundling along and the driver saw this accident ahead, so she coshed the brakes and we stopped with a few cars ahead of us. A constable said the road was staying shut for a while, and whilst the car drivers did 3 point turns in the road this isn't a good idea in a double decker bus. However, there happened to be a field entrance nearby so the driver reversed back up the road to this entrance and turned backwards into it. Puts bus in forwards gear, pushes the accelerator, and all that happens is a mixture of wet mud flys out from the back wheels. We all debunk and have a good laugh whilst the driver contacts control and organises for the towbus to be sent out. However a passing lorry and a rope provided a quick way to pull us out, so then the challenge was to get back to the normal route... a couple of us directed the driver along an alternative route, taking a 16t double decker over a 7.5t rated bridge in the meantime (! - but the driver is the one who knows the buses weight) and eventually turned up home about half an hour down. Highly amusing, and the driver still gets sarcastic comments about it at the depot :D.
 

66526

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TBH I think it's disgusting. Train drivers don't stop trains and ask the passengers the route. They are proffesional and have to sign the routes and know them thoroughly. Should be the same with bus drivers. They don't have to remember anywhere near as much as train drivers yet they can't even remember that.
 

yorkie

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James 66526 said:
TBH I think it's disgusting. Train drivers don't stop trains and ask the passengers the route. They are proffesional and have to sign the routes and know them thoroughly. Should be the same with bus drivers. They don't have to remember anywhere near as much as train drivers yet they can't even remember that.
I agree absolutely 110%.

The problem is that the road industry is able to get away with far more than the rail industry.

This is part of the reason why the government want to replace some train services with buses. Lower staff costs, as you don't need to train them anywhere near as thoroughly. No need to sign routes! Less safety systems, etc. But people just compare the cost of the service, and of course the bus will be cheaper because they can get away with loads of things that rail companies can't!

It's not a level playing field, and it probably never will be.

The excuse given by the bus company is laughable and just proves that they consider a driver not knowing the route thoroughly perfectly acceptable. Imagine if a train driver needed to "reassure himself he was on the right route", yeah I can just see the driver getting out of his cab and saying to the passengers "can you just look out the window and check we're on the Manchester line please? No, I am not lost, no I don't need a map, I am just re-assuring myself, don't worry". ROFL!
 
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James 66526 said:
TBH I think it's disgusting. Train drivers don't stop trains and ask the passengers the route. They are proffesional and have to sign the routes and know them thoroughly. Should be the same with bus drivers. They don't have to remember anywhere near as much as train drivers yet they can't even remember that.
In London in the fifties and sixties a bus driver HAD to know the routes he worked. At that time there were 'links' which were groups of related routes in a bunch. They were not called links however. No driver had to know all the routes his garage operated but just kept to those in the link. They did occasionally do off link work on rest days and if they got lost there was a conductor on the back to put 'em right. Having said that some of the smaller garages like Hornchurch did know all the routes they ran as there were only about half a dozen. You also got some dual garages where buses and trolleybuses lived together and on occasion a trolleybus driver did a bus route on a rest day and vice versa
 

Nick W

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This does seem very poor, since if someone wanted to be mallicious they could direct the bus under a low bridge and cause a health and safety risk.

No doubt what other's have said applies and there will be no enquiry.

What do you suppose happens if a bus driver refuses to sign a route on the ground of unfamiliarity? Perhaps the bus drivers should get unions involved.
 

0118999

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yorkie said:
The excuse given by the bus company is laughable and just proves that they consider a driver not knowing the route thoroughly perfectly acceptable. Imagine if a train driver needed to "reassure himself he was on the right route", yeah I can just see the driver getting out of his cab and saying to the passengers "can you just look out the window and check we're on the Manchester line please? No, I am not lost, no I don't need a map, I am just re-assuring myself, don't worry". ROFL!
Wait until you get on a Ryanair flight... "Ladies and Gentleman this is your captain speaking... if you look to your right-hand side you can see an airport! Can anyone confirm this is the airport we are suppose to be landing at? Yes we do have sophisticated instrumentation but the pilot isn't sophisiticated enough to understand or use it" - Oh no sorry that happened didn't it... :)
 

Nick W

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ckyliu said:
Wait until you get on a Ryanair flight... "Ladies and Gentleman this is your captain speaking... if you look to your right-hand side you can see an airport! Can anyone confirm this is the airport we are suppose to be landing at? Yes we do have sophisticated instrumentation but the pilot isn't sophisiticated enough to understand or use it" - Oh no sorry that happened didn't it... :)
Oh Ryanair can afford sophisticated instrumentation?
 

0118999

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TAS said:
But not to train staff to use it!
My point exactly! And just to point out Ryanair can't actually afford to "buy" the instrumentation, they have to lease it from eirJet on an ad-hoc or wet lease basis, they certainly own no A320s.
 
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