Thursday, 28 October 2010

Half Term.

Came into work this morning and noticed a few skips near our new gates. The name on the side made me chuckle a little. Sadly I can’t sit here making up lots of jokes about Enviro and Skips but you get the picture. Interesting choice of company!
Busy day tomorrow. Got to call to Hyde road for an hour or so at lunchtime so hope there is something interesting going on there because Ashton seems to have died this week. It’s been very quiet.
I think the main problems we have had this week have been the road works. And this time it’s not confined to the New Road. However. That has been truly ridiculous. Especially yesterday. But I won't bore you with more stories about how people hate us because the tram is coming lol.

We also have road works on Huddersfield Road Stalybridge, So the 217 218 is going like a 348. Chatsworth turn around was shut so that was missed out on the same routes.  Half of Hyde bus station is closed for refurb so that puzzled some of the lads who don’t know the area too well and some gas leak in Stockport earlier in the week made the 330s run slightly late. Like I say. Luckily it’s been quiet.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Just checking

Just come off my 217. What a drag. This first bus inspector seems very interested in the times of the s50. Very rare to see a first bus supervisor in ashton these days. Mixed day. 3 trips on a 216 spoilt by some little shite putting one of my windows though. Followed by 3 hours of dragging my heals on the 217. Back tomorrow at 5am.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Intersting day.

Back to work today. Metrolink replacement on the bury line. First trip was a bit odd. Had one guy at Bury who was puzzled at why he could not use his first weekly pass on my bus. He was soon sent on his merry way no thanks to the metrolink staff in there pantomime uniforms. Come on. How can you take anyone seriously when they are dressed up like school crossing patrols? Then i had to remember the route. This was interesting as i route learned it in the daytime and right now it's still dark and everything looks different. There was then an announcement on the radio of a route change on corporation street due to roadworks so that puzzled me a little. And top that with very tight times it becomes a very challenging drive. Some of the turns need extra attention too as they seem a little tight. Just got one and a half trips on my first part which ment starting at Bury. Two full trips later. Easy money still though. Although i am expecting some interesting characters getting on today if the woodlands we did the other month is anything to go by. Off tomorrow and back in early monday on a split.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Holiday time

I'm off until saturday this week. Just on the 396 heading home from the gym. Had a very easy late shift on the altrincham metrolink service on sunday night. Almost felt guilty about getting paid to do it lol. Only almost i said. Forgot to mention last week. We have started running some night services out of ashton at weekend. I think it's to attract more people into doing it as previously they were all run out of princess road and this put a few people off. I think all depots now run some if there are drivers that wish to stay on after their late shift finishes. Not much else going on in bus land that i know off. Lots going on behind the scenes but will tell you about that in time.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Tameside Depot 1978

One of our inpectors who started out on the Little Gem buses many moons ago lent me this brochure.
It was produced when the new Tameside Depot was built in 1978. I thought i would share it. Interesting some of the comments in the publication." The pits have been designed for vehicles 12mtrs long - The maximum envisaged in the forseeable future" Now with 15 mtr coaches on megabus work its easy to see how quickly technology moves on in the industry. Hope you enjoy.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Been a while

I'm on the 231 that we do through the day. Only one bus but it's such a relaxing change to come up the new road from town without having to worry about keeping time. On the way down i even had 3 minutes to spare at aldi. The back half of the duty is just as easy. 2 trips on a 330. Made better as the bus comes off the 346 so its going to be a MAN. I prefer them on the 330s. Nice too to see the lights back at bank street. I had missed them so much lol. I got given a great brochure on the opening of the old tameside depot today so i'll scan it tomorrow and post it so you can all have a look. Also found out today we have bought a company in london which has 1250 buses and our md who you might see at most photo ops is moving there to look after it. My thinking is its a move towards doing the bus services for the olympic games. Hope so. I'll be ready for another trip away by 2012. I was off from sunday to saturday but now i'm at princess road on them very same days doing metrolink replacement. Late on sunday and an early next saturday. Few other things going on at the moment but i'll write about them as and when they happen ;)

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Not good.

Here is a lovely picture of the fountain at piccadilly during a bike ride the other day. Thought i'd post it to livid the mood slightly. Today has been so mixed. Firstly did a trip on the 330 nice and easy, was in a great mood. Had my lunch then went and waited for my 236. Whilst i was stood waiting an old lady who was walking with her husband fell to the floor at the bus station. It was pretty clear that the lady had suffered a serious heart attack or something similar. A few members of the public very quickly ran to the scene and started cpr. The ambulance took about 3 minutes to come but there was very little they could do. So it's been a somewhat crazy day that i will certainly never forget for the wrong reason. I'm doing a little extra tonight finish at 7 instead of 4 but i don't mind. Just hope the rest of the week is a little more uneventful :(

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Not a nice day!

Glad to be home right now. I am totally wiped out from a day on the 216s. It's been a while since i did a full day on there and today was just horrible. The only problem however was getting from Snipe retail to Droylsden. The queue put me 20 minutes late on each trip. I got the time back each time i got to Ashton but lost it again on the next trip. This sign caught my eye whilst i was sat in the traffic. It's a very clear indication of the damage all these works are having on the local businesses. Glad to be home now anyway. My holidays were supposed to start on Sunday but i'm now working a late shift on the metrolink replacement again. Easy money though. The following saturday should be interesting too. The bury line is closed on the 23rd and 24th and i am doing a shift on the saturday. Should be fun.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Troubled times

Just in piccadilly watching world go by. Heard that Bluebird had a few problems this week with fuel. I know of two occasions in the past week of buses running out of fuel whilst out on service. An inside source tells me the company was rationed due to financial issues but i couldn't confirm if this is true or not. Maybe the bus wars are taking there toll?

Where am i?

I'm off today so i am having a little ride out on the bike. I always seem to forget with all the road works we have to endure on the new road that other metrolink works are also ongoing in other areas of the county. This place isn't to hard to figure out. Its changed so much in the past 10 years and is about to get a whole lot busier than this road looks now i'm sure.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Come here often?

Seems ages ago since i have been on the 347s. Just started and on my first trip of the day. Not the best duty today. Got three trips on the 216s after which are chaos at the moment so doubt i will be finishing on time. Nice weekend off and feeling refreshed today. Off for a week next week too which i am very ready for.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Change around

A comment the other day asked about the 217 and 218 service. The tendor was due to be awarded this month and it was anticipated we would lose it completly. Instead an emergency tendor has been put into place i believevc jpt are going to run the service on a sundays and on bank holidays. Now i'm not a big fan of sharing routes. For the main reason it's bad on the punters. Why should someone who buys a megarider have to pay on the same route on a sunday. It's a little unfair. Will have to see what happens to it in january when the decision is made. On a split today, bit crap for the first day back. Just waiting to go do my 216 and 231. The 216s have got to overload again i believe due to more lights going up in droylsden. They have all been coming in 20 and 30 minutes late so i'm not lookin forward to this. Back in at 430am so coming on my bike so i can head out after work.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Back Home

This is the transporter in Newport. Odd device that takes cars over the water in place of a bridge. Apparently there arn't many of them around anymore?
Took this just after we left this morning at 10am. Been a brilliant week which from a company point of view has been very succesful. In the afternoons we were moving over 13000 people an hour with a bus leaving celtic manor every 25 seconds. Its been great to be a part of it and i look forward to the next "big job" as it was called by a few people. I couldnt answer any comments on my phone this week not sure wy so sorry if you asked anything and didnt get a reply. We took an LED programming key with us thats why the 15*** bus had the Manchester detination blind on it. Not sure whats going on with the 217 218 as i have not been in but will find out. Probably best if JPT did the daytime mon-sat too really as its been spoilt since the times changed. I used to like the 5 hours on there bus now its hard work having to sit around waiting time out. I know its up for tender so i am guessing we have won the Mon-sat and lost the Sunday work. Will find out on Thursday. Got far too many pictures to put on here. I have put them on facebook for them who are on there. If you want me to share the album please email me and i will send u the link to it. Back to normal on thursday after i have slept for a day to catch up. The extra day made it special too as most were sent home but we were kept, Even had a leaving party last night which i have to say was one of the best nights i have had all year and i like to socialise somewhat.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Nearly the end?

It's 5am sunday morning. I'm not getting picked up until 7 but the rain and wind are keeping me awake. Not a good sign because if play is stopped again then we stay another day. It's no holiday camp here and i really am ready for my own bed now. It's been a very interesting week though. Loads of waiting around which the manchester drivers are not use to. So as soon as the nod was given you could be sure we were leading the way to wherever we were sent to. When the punters did all come out at once it was brilliant. There was a bus leaving roughly every 8 seconds over a period of 2 1/2 hours. I've never had 50 thousand people wanting to get on my bus so much lol. The organisation was great. The passengers where stored into a pen then the bus pulled up got them and away in just a few minutes. Precision organisation and very well planned i think. The pictures are the wash at the depot which is located within the massive east park and ride complex. The buses are washed and fuelled twice a day and the platform is mopped after every trip. The other pic is how to park a solo in a tesco car park lol. Looking forward to home now and a day off weather permitting. Most drivers will stay the extra day but some will have to leave. We will keep our fingers crossed.