Hold Tight! - Perks of the job
Chapter 2
Page 11
Hold Tight!
Chapter 2
7 First day
8 Getting started
9 On my own
10 You with me?
11 Perks of the job
12 Winchester fleet
1 Beginnings
2 Learning
3 Getting Away
4 Winchester
5 Freedom
6 Southampton
7 City Transport
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When I started on Hants & Dorset employees and their wives (but not husbands) were issued with a quarter-fare pass after three months service. Up to two children could travel with them at the same fare. Travel to and from work was free if you were in uniform but only on the company's buses.
We could also apply for a limited number of free passes for one day at a time. There were restrictions on both quarter fares and free passes, particularly that we couldn't take advantage of them on bank holiday weekends.We were not supposed to travel free or at reduced rate within Southampton or Bournemouth.
The restrictions were largely ignored, often no fare at all would be collected. And nobody charged any driver or conductor in uniform no matter who they worked for or what bus they were on. Although the companies were rivals, the crews were all on the same side.
Certain inspectors were always keen to catch us but seldom did. The penalty if caught was for the passenger to have their pass withdrawn and the conductor to be disciplined. The solution was to keep an eye open for inspectors and quickly issue a ticket.
Eventually the quarter fare and free passes were dropped and travel became free for staff and wives but it took a while for husbands to be included and it would be many years before other partners were accepted.
Rules 75 to 78 set out the regulations for staff travel.
Another advantage of working on the buses was being picked up and dropped off between stops. The driver would slow but not stop. I quickly got used to getting on open platform buses and getting off was not too difficult but I never liked jumping on buses with doors, particularly when the doors were at the front.
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