Monday, March 21, 2011

Another Mr Angry on the phone

Westleton relic by The original SimonB

Westleton relic a photo by The original SimonB on Flickr.

OK, I know I'm ever so slightly biased as it is part of my job to decide locations for them, but I do fail to understand quite how worked up people can get over the presence of a bus stop somewhere in the vicinity of their house. And let us be clear about this, I am not talking about a bus shelter, or a raised kerb for wheelchair access or even something as sinister as a timetable display case. Just a simple sign on a pole (and often on a lamp column that was there already, rather than a purpose built post). And in at least 9 out of 10 of complaints we are talking about locations that have been bus stops (not necessarily marked with a flag, but registered with us, with the bus companies and showing up on Google Maps) for as long as anyone can remember.

Over the years I have been accused of:
Endangering lives - if people are waiting at the bus stop when I want to pull in or out of my drive I won't be able to see and may hit them/oncoming traffic. Well, try looking with your eyes, and anyway it is rare indeed for most stops to actually have someone waiting for most services.

Ruining sleep - how can I get any rest with a bus stop outside my house? This is a pretty rural county and we only have two bus services that run past 11pm, and one of those sticks to the A12, and only a handful that start before 7am. Apologies to the night shift people, but the road would be there anyway and, indeed, so would the buses be passing by.

Devaluing property - I want at least £10,000 in compensation as that's what my house has lost in value. Er, no it hasn't. In fact, in this day and age I can see people choosing a house because there is a stop handy and they don't need to buy that car.

Destroying property - my 16th century cottage is being shaken to pieces by bus-induced vibrations or people waiting are leaning on my wall and knocking it down/leaving marks on it. You can prove that can you? We survey our stops regularly so I've got photos of your house going back at least ten years I can look for cracks on...

And so much more. My pet favourite is when children can no longer play in the garden because somebody might look in from the upper deck. Which, again, they could have been doing all along as the bus route has been passing your hosue for years.

MrsB and I lived with a bus stop outside our flat before we bought the house and it never bothered us one little bit. And that had a shelter and everything. OK, so some stops get kids hanging around them with nothing better to do, but then so do 100 other street corners without a bus stop and I'm not taking responsibility for that one.

There are more pressing things in this world to worry about.