Hold Tight! - A different world
Chapter 7
Page 57
Hold Tight!
Chapter 7
City Transport
57 A different world
58 Portswood
59 Decisions
60 Home and away
61 Shirley routes
62 Football
63 Emergencies
64 Centenary
65 Driving school
66 End of the road
1 Beginnings
2 Learning
3 Getting Away
4 Winchester
5 Freedom
6 Southampton
7 City Transport
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After more than seven years with Hants & Dorset, Southampton Corporation was a culture shock. On Hants & Dorset the conductor had been in charge of the bus. In particular the conductor was responsible for time keeping and it was possible to go several days without seeing an inspector on the road. The Corporation put drivers in charge and had inspectors and regulators to make all the important decisions. The inspectors and regulators did not seem to be there to assist the crews, the relationship was more confrontational than I had been used to.
We had our share of rough drivers on H&D but here there seemed to be a rule that conductors must be bruised. I worked with one driver who would leave late so that he could drive flat out. One kept his foot on the clutch pedal all the time giving a rough ride, another hit the kerb on almost every corner. Another driver never took a tea break. He drove so slowly that I was always busy while the next bus followed almost empty. So I didn't get tea breaks either. The co-operation which was normal on the old company seemed to be completely missing here.
One reason for this may have been the fact that new drivers and conductors did not go on the rota but were given work one day at a time. It could take months before a vacancy arose. Once on the rota a crew, whether they got on or not, stayed together until one left or the conductor became a driver or the driver went on the one-man routes. Even on the rota there was a difference, the week was made up of a different duty every day.
The ticket machine was different too, the Ultimate. This machine took pre-printed rolls of tickets, each a different colour and with a different value.
Some fares required a double ticket. To print this you had to press the button under the counter as you flicked the lever to issue the ticket. This way the fare stage only printed on one of the tickets and a double ticket could be distinguished from two individuals.
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