Elliott on the bus, clutching his ticket on his way to his first afternoon at playschool
To me these days travel sadly doesn’t entail jetting off to foreign climes and embarking on international adventures – travel means getting from a to b with two young children in tow.
This is all easier said than done especially as, at present, I don’t drive and during the week we are at the mercy of good old Transport for London!!
WARNING MOAN ALERT!!!!
First of all I fully believe that ANYONE who is training to be a bus driver should be made to travel for a day on buses with a single buggy, a double buggy and a wheelchair so to best appreciate how difficult bus drivers make it for travelers. In case I have anyone of influence reading these words here are a few do’s and don’ts
DON’T pull the bus up so far away from the kerb that a mum is forced to ether pick up the whole buggy to lift it out of the bus (not always possible) or angle her child so vertical to get them down onto the road that they are practically falling out of the buggy — it’s even worse with a pram as the baby isn’t even strapped in!
Also DON’T park at an angle where the bus is too far away from the kerb to be able to get the buggy on the pavement and too close to it to be able to get the buggy onto the road
If you pull up badly to then realise someone is trying to get off of the bus with a buggy DO close the doors and maneuver the bus into a better position rather than tut because its a struggle for the passenger
DO use that marvelous up and down button to lower the bus to get the buggy off
DO wait just a minute or so to make sure a mum has managed to park the buggy in the allocated space and PUT THE BRAKE ON BEFORE moving off! – trying to angle, park and lock a buggy on a moving bus is extremely difficult
DO drive around tight corners with more care when there are buggys on board – I had a buggy with a weak brake system which would unlock itself on roundabouts and corners when the driver was going to fast. Worse than that however was actually when we upgraded our buggy to one with a superb brake system; the driver decided to rush around a very tight roundabout and tipped my rear facing buggy over into the aisle with Elliott attached – he was 4 months old – to add insult to injury leads on to my next point…
When you tip a buggy over DO STOP THE BUS to make picking the child up possible!! It took 3 of us to pick a screaming Elliott up off of the floor and right the buggy and despite the passengers yelling at the driver to stop the bus because he had thrown the baby over he just kept on going – he was later disciplined by the bus company as apparently was another driver who did the same thing to a 10 week old baby!
DO allow double buggy users to use the central doors to get the buggy on without arguing about it.
Also DON’T refuse to take a passenger because they have a double buggy and it wont fit down the aisle going in through the front doors! This happened to me the other day, the driver REFUSED point blank to allow my children on the bus because he said if the buggy wouldn’t fit down the extremely narrow aisle then it wouldn’t fit in the allocated space for it, I assured him that my double was not only narrow enough to fit through my front door but we always travel on the bus and that’s how we got there in the first place. He accused me of “making it up” and told me he would not open the central doors or allow me on the bus with “that thing”! This resulted in us waiting another 20 minutes for another bus with Elliott kicking off because he was bored and wanting to get out of the buggy to run around next to a busy main road and Sam crying for a feed!
When the bus already has too many buggys on it and another needs to get on DO ask the existing passengers if any of them can fold their buggy up BEFORE refusing to take anyone else – Before Sam was born we were on the bus and someone with a sleeping child had to take their toddler out of their buggy and fold the buggy up or the driver wouldn’t have taken them. If we had been asked before it happened I could have taken a very awake Elliott out of his buggy and folded it instead.
The government want to get people out of their cars and onto public transport but until they start to address even these minor points it is always going to be the preferable and less stressful option for parents just to jump into the car – not to mention cheaper!
So this ends our first entry into the gallery – please feel free to comment I would love to hear what others think!
Oh pants!!!!! – I just realised that its actually THURSDAY and this was supposed to be in on Wednesday – oh well onto next weeks I guess!