A Bus With Added Service
I have travelled on a New Bus for London about five or six times now and like all things, be they cars or corkscrews, that have been properly designed, you see more and more good features, the more you use them.
Today, I picked up a New Bus for London at the Angel to go back home. The downstairs wasn’t full, but there was a lady in a wheelchair in the wheelchair space, sitting opposite her two friends.
I was sitting at the back, as given luck, I might have been able to get off a few metres or so before the stop and save myself some walking. Just after the stop before mine, the conductor walks past me to the lady in the wheelchair and has a short chat. At the stop, I jump on to the rear platform and step off, but without saving any walking, although I did save a half-minute or so. As I walked to the lights to cross the road, I saw the reason for the conductor’s chat. The lady and her friends had exited smoothly from the middle door. Wheelchair entrance and exit on a standard London bus is not difficult, but it sometimes does result in a time delay. On the New Bus, not only does the design minimise loading and unloading delays by allowing three routes for the able-bodied, but a conductor with a bit of forethought, like today, can minimise any problems before they happen. I think the lady was impressed with the service she received.
Incidentally, it was originally stated that New Buses for London would run with the rear platform closed and no conductor at weekends. According, to the conductor, this policy has been reversed. Read into that what you will! I just think that passengers like the extra service and security. Several users have also told me how much they like the ability to get on and off at convenient places using the rear platform.
The stop I used on the Balls Pond Road illustrates how by being clever Transport for London can use the new buses to advantage. The stop shown in the picture is perhaps thirty metres before a set of traffic lights, where most of the buses get caught for a couple of minutes. The conductor can use this time to allow late-arriving passengers to get on the bus. And they already do! So I think we’ll see a lot of bus stops moved to create and then take advantage of an increased loading window, if the stop is just before traffic lights.