The Volvo B10m with Plaxton Interurban body work is getting on a bit now but it is still a fanatstic bus?, coach? to drive. That is assuming it has been well maintained by our highly trained professional mechanics. On express limited stop services it really is a fine vehicle but on stop start multi stop town routes, to be honest its a complete pain in the neck, which is exactly what happened to me today.
The said route is the 79, which takes in the grand delights of Kelty, Dunfermline, Inverkeithing including the ever exciting Fraser Avenue and finally Dalgety Bay. One major convenience of this route is the fact it links all these areas with the town's main hospital, the Queen Margaret. As a result we carry a lot of elderly folk and the infirm, a prime candidate you might think for an easy access low floor bus.
Well no not according to Stagecoach. Lets use a high floor coach instead. As exciting as it is watching those less fortunate and on crutches negotiating this tortuous climb I have to say it does get a bit tiresome when you have a timetable to keep to. Mind you if only I had £1 for every passenger who told me what high steps the bus it would have made the day a bit more bearable, even more profitable. Hell, I might even be able to retire.
Oh yes before I forget, to the elderly gentlemen who got on at Rosyth Cross and went to Dunfermline, you made me five minutes late after eventually climbing aboard. It was like watching Sir Edmund Hilary ascending the torturous climb on Mount Everest. It was just a shame I didn't have a bottle of oxygen waiting for you at the top, you certainly looked like you needed it. Mind you, you may have done it in half the time if you had put more effort into climbing and less into moaning about the steps. If you had listened to me and got on the nice new low floor bus behind it would have taken you the exact same route into town and dropped you nearer the shops but what do I know, I'm only a bus driver you obviously knew best.
P.S. Don't get too excited, the nice new bus behind me was from Dunfermline depot, I don't want to start any rumours of new buses at Cowdenbeath.