WOT NO BUS?
For some, the bus can offer the perfect respite from the crowded hussle and bussle of the Jubilee Line / District Line / Victoria Line / Northern Line *delete as appropriate*.
Plonk yourself down on the top deck with a copy of the daily rag and the journey should whizz by in no time at all. The sites over the park, the wide array of interesting commuters to peruse, the quaint nature of the English red bus. Ok, so it’s got to beat the underground or the overground into Waterloo, right?
In my mind, the best journey into work in London if you can’t run to work or take the train post rush hour is the London bus.
But it’s not all good news on the bus, y’know. For a start London bus fares are set to rise by a minimum of 7% in 2012. That’s almost twice the rate of inflation in tough economic times.
Pollution is also a major problem caused by the generally inefficient engines of the older style bus. It’s looking like bus design is getting more sophisticated, but the chug of the diesel will be a familiar happening to any Londoner or inhabitant of a major city with this mode of transport.
Putney has been branded a national disgrace for levels of pollution which, in 3 days, exceeded the NO2 levels permitted for the entire year. Figures indicate that 120 vehicles use the Bus depot in Putney High Street and causing 2/3 of the pollution for the area alone.
For those of you familiar with the London bus during the summer, you’ll know all about the stifling heat. Buses during rush hour can be packed. Whilst the newer style buses should be better able to cope with the heat, the older style have inadequate ventilation. Some can’t even turn the heat off during the summer! Check out this report.
Seemingly, also, the bus driver has a foot on the brake pedal akin to a rock star on a set of drums. I might be imagining this, but am I the only person who thinks the occasional driver brakes hard for fun, right?!
Whilst the vast majority of bus routes will be safe and pleasant during the light morning hours, statistic show that bus crime is on the way up in London.
Whilst the overall trend is down over the last 4 years, perhaps due to the alcohol ban, its no doubt the latest statistics are a worry and show that the problem is not under control.