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2008-08-25

On the Road


This is close to the bus stop I posted earlier.

I suppose to local viewers it will seem obvious that this was taken through the rear window of a coach travelling out of the city.

At first glance, though, it confuses me. In the UK traffic drives on the left. The road is fairly quiet but it doesn't take too long to focus on the car coming towards us and realize we are travelling in the same direction as it and not towards it.

On the other side of the road, that is the back of a bus, not the front. It is one of those bendi-buses as we call them. They are the length of two normal buses and can be seen across Europe. There may be some in the UK but I have never seen one. I hardly think they would cope very well with the corners in most of our city streets.

7 comments:

P844jMMT3tItpzz1TaDlbrZs41cJ said...

"There may be some in the UK but I have never seen one."

Oh my, how long have you been gone? They have been one of the biggest issues in London for several years.

Despite only being used on around a dozen of the busiest routes here since around 2003 they have been incredibly controversial.

While then Mayor Ken Livingstone promised no new bendy bus routes, a key part of Boris Johnson's mayoral manifesto was that he would withdraw them completely. The Liberal Democrats also wanted to see them replaced.

So with Johnson being elected last May the current plan is that when the contracts for bendy bus routes come up for renewal they will revert to double decker operation.

They are used in limited operation elsewhere in the UK, but I am not sure where. I know when I lived in Hull they were used on the express service to Sheffield via Humberside Airport. That route no longer operates though.

Incidentally, the first time I ever travelled on a bendy bus was the airport service from Västerås to Stockholm.

Peter Fristedt said...

I like your discussion on this everyday photo!

An interesting insight in London politics by P844jMMT3tItpzz1TaDlbrZs41cJ! So if Boris gets his way Ackworth Born will be right: no bendi-buses in Britain!

P844jMMT3tItpzz1TaDlbrZs41cJ said...

Sorry about the username, for some reason that is the one Yahoo decided to give me!

There will still be some bendy bus routes in other parts of the UK, but not many. Maybe when the London ones are sold other cities will be interested in buying them?

They would not be able to sell them to European operators because they are right-hand drive ones so will probably be available cheaply.

For longer distance routes that go along long major roads without lots of turns they are not so bad.

Ackworth Born said...

Well I've never been to London for donkey years as I detest the place. (yes yes, I'm sure it has some redeeming features - evrywhere does)

I know there was some uproar over the demise of the Routemasters in London and the blame seemed to be put on the provision of buses with low-loading entrances. Got a lot of those around Manchester but they are no use for most wheelchair users and you can't rely on them much anyway.

Good to see my post provoke some response.

fristedt said...

No problem with the username P844jMMT (for short). I thought we got a glimpse into the future when we all will be one galactical family with strange names.

I thought it might have something to do with Yahoo. When I use my open id (www.myopenid.com) my name is still the old-fashioned Fristedt.

Per Stromsjo said...

According to our seemingly infinite sources at Wikipedia, modern articulated buses (yes, that seems to be the term) were introduced in Sheffield in the 1980s. The official term in Sweden is "ledbuss" but if you say "accordion bus" most people will understand. In fact, there's even a duet for accordions.

Ackworth Born said...

OK someone take the bullet out of my foot - Sheffield is 40 miles down the road from here - I lived in Sheffield in the early 70s.

plenty more from Stockholm, Sweden - click on photos to enlarge!