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5 things London bus drivers wish you would do

Updated on March 10, 2017

1. Stand back from the kerb

You wouldn't do it at a train station, so why do it at a bus stop. At almost every bus stop you see people standing far too close to the kirb, some even with their toes sticking over the edge as the bus approaches. This can be potentially deadly, and is the number one pet hate for a bus driver. Buses generally weigh in the region of 5 tonnes and the nearside wing mirror overhangs by about a foot. There have been numerous cases in the past of people being hit by mirrors or even by the bus itself because they are simply far too close to the edge as the bus approaches. There was even one case of a young lad who was standing at a bus stop on the edge of the kirb, as a bus approached the stop the lad slipped and ended up under the bus. So, this is'nt just the professional drivers pet hate, it's a major safety concern, one the general public seem to be oblivious too on a daily basis. So take this advice, as the bus approaches stick your hand out and then stand well back from the kirb until the bus has come to a full stop.

2. have your pass or payment card ready

We are now in the age of the oyster and contactless debit card payments. It's quicker, more convenient, and most importantly, it's cheaper. The pre pay oyster system was introduced to make the boarding of London buses during busy periods quicker and therefore easing congestion. There's nothing more frustrating for a bus driver (and all the passengers waiting behind) than a passenger who decides that despite having already stood at the bus stop for 10 minutes waiting for the bus that their going to wait until they get to the drivers cab before they start rummaging through their Mary Poppins style handbag to find their oyster card. This type of complacent selfish behaviour slows down the service and is number two on my list of 5 things bus drivers wish you would do.

3. Say thank you

Don't get me wrong, bus drivers aren't expecting every passenger that boards or alights their bus to say thank you, although it would be nice. However, if your running for the bus and you notice the driver has purposefully waited for you before departing the stop, say thank you...It costs nothing.

4. Please move down the bus

Ever seen a London bus approaching with a completely empty upper deck and even seats empty at the back of the bus with what looks like 50 people all crammed in like sardines near the front a rear doors. This prevents the bus from reaching capacity and forces the driver to leave passengers behind despite there being plenty of spaces free on the upper deck. Please...If you see room at he back of the bus move down into it. If you hear an announcement stating there are seats available on the upper deck, do the right thing and make some room for your fellow commuters who are also trying to get home or get to work.

5. Plan your journey

London bus drivers are trained to drive specific routes on the London bus network, they are not a tourism information point. Most drivers will know their specific routes really well and will be happy to give you information locally to that route if they can.. However if you board a bus in Finchley and are looking to travel to some obscure training building in Fulham don't expect the driver to know how to get there. Please plan your journey as best as possible before leaving your home.


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