Thursday, 8 March 2012
I noticed before an announcement was made so decided to take this picture.
As soon as an announcement was made it was all hands to the pumps so to speak. All the people on the platform and from nearby stations flooded the bus station in Piccadilly. Now lets remember that Manchester United have an home game tonight so there is already a lot of people trying to get home from work and to the match.
The passengers were all told that there tickets were valid on the buses and they should go to use them.
This would have been fine but Metrolink had sadly not called us to arrange for this to happen and as a result we could not take there tickets and passes.
Arriva however had been asked so hundreds of people swamped the 263 stand and waited for that.
This was followed by question after question after question. When yo wear a hi vis jacket, No matter who you work for you are supposed to know the answer. "whens the tram back one" Why are the 263s Small buses" "Can we use our tickets on your buses" The list was endless.
Between 5 and 6 it was a case of finding extra buses to run on the 41,250 and 256 service from nowhere. There were thousands of people in Piccadilly and i must say we pulled it off.
I do think that Metrolink and Arriva however were left looking somewhat amateur. As soon as we knew the tram was in trouble we got extra buses from everywhere. It was a huge undertaking and whilst i write this now at 9pm i can still feel the adrenaline working overtime and felt the need to say what happened. At one point i had a group of 45 school children who were going back to school following a day out and they were just left stranded. They had no money to pay for the kids to get back and there was no way they were all going to get on a service bus together. So following a phone call i arranged for a bus to take them back to school safely and away from the organised chaos that was going on around.
I know i shouldn't knock other companies but i have got to say the Metrolink has really let a lot of people down recently and i just hope that it gets fixed very soon. For this sort of thing to happen on match day is not acceptable i think. And i would hate to think what would happen if it was a Manchester Derby game.
Anyway we made sure the majority of peple got home tonight and it has really made me realise what a great job we can all do, drivers and Inspectors when things go a little wrong. I left work about an hour late but it was worth it and by that time it was just the usual footbal fans and the hundreds still waiting for the 263.
Whilst i do like to big our company up because i can. I will add these to even things out....