Prompted by a comment from Debra regarding the limited public transport in Southern California I thought a brief visit to the wilds of North Norfolk to show another side of Public Transport in the UK was in order.
Providing a bus service in sparsely populated areas such as North Norfolk is always going to be difficult as the returns are unlikely to make the service cost effective. Yet a public service of some sort needs to be provided as the population is often elderly and without their own means of transport. Back in the 1980’s the Eastern Counties bus company working with the local council, came up with an innovative solution to the problem – provide a vehicle and let volunteer members of the community drive it to provide the service. Communities were provided with a minibus at a secure location which then operated a set of routes specified by the company on each day of the week with a single journey each way. The unpaid drivers collected the fares which went back to the bus company to cover the fuel and maintenance costs of the vehicle. The company also provided training and medicals for the volunteer drivers.
The scheme was altered in 2001 when the bus was replaced by a Dial-a-Ride service provided by the local council. Still following the same routes, passengers intending to travel now call the day before to book collection from their front door.
So – He’s gone… If I abused a Police Officer I would initially have been warned and had I continued I would have been arrested (I’ve watched enough Police Camera Action to know that’s how it works) so I wonder if the then Chief Whip was warned by the Police Officer or did his position prevent that, making it an example of a one rule for them and another for us situation? 4 weeks after the event, the resignation letter admits to the fact that the Officer was sworn at which contradicts the Chief Whip’s claim in the House of Commons just a couple of days previously that he had not sworn at the Officer. So the story on one side of the arguement changed whilst the Police story stayed as constant as the Northern Star – based on the record of the incident in the Officer’s notebook which reputedly includes the word ‘Pleb’. Those of you who have seen Hot Fuzz will appreciate that an Officer’s Notebook is the most important tool in his armoury 🙂 Whatever the Conservative Chief Whip may have said to a Police Officer who was only trying to do his duty, it has left an impression with me and many others that the Conservative Party remains the party of those who sneer down their noses at the rest of us. The fact that it has been widely reported that he told the officer at the gates to “learn your place” and “you don’t run this government” doesn’t challenge this view of them either. And they should be doubly embarrassed as they have always stood on the plank of being the party of Law and Order!
As the resignation grabbed the headlines, another political story involving the Chancellor briefly raised its head on Radio 5 Live. Having bought a Standard class ticket, the Chancellor and his aide decided to sit in First Class. Now why would you do that? An honest mistake? I doubt it very much – I know the difference and I can remember the good old BR days when at weekends you would sometimes find First Class coaches carrying stickers with the legend ‘For the use of passengers travelling with Second Class tickets’ (in those days the standing joke was that there was also a sticker for the toilet window saying ‘for the use of passengers travelling without a ticket’). But, I digress… Were it a strange route on a local suburban train then maybe, just maybe, it could be an honest mistake but the Chancellor was travelling back to London from his constituency – a journey that I hope he does lots of times as I assume that he still represents his constituents! No, the story appears to be very different – the Chancellor chose to sit in First Class with a Second Class ticket. The bad news for the Chancellor is that he chose a carriage with a Journalist in close proximity so what went on has become public knowledge. Apparently the Chancellor “couldn’t possibly sit in Standard Class” – Now why would that be? Because it’s full of Plebs? If he couldn’t sit in Standard Class, why did he buy a Standard Class ticket? – surely he should have bought a First Class ticket to start with. It begs the question as to whether he has tried travelling First Class on a Standard Class ticket before and got away with it? – I guess we will never know but there is no smoke without fire (or over heating electric motors and excel spreadsheets on the West Coast mainline). Anyway, it made most of the National papers today – You can read all about it with the reporter’s tweets that were sent as events took place.
So much for the Prime Minister’s ‘We’re all in this together’ speeches 😦
It’s that annual occasion that every UK Motorist dreads – the day when the car has to go for its MOT test. The idea behind the test is simple – detect faults so that they can be rectified and thus enhance road safety. What this invariably means for the motorist is an annual repair bill. My car was due in for its test on Tuesday so I booked it in with my maintenance people and dropped it off at their Mill Hill workshop. I usually drop it at the Finchley branch but I’d decided to take the day off and use the opportunity to do some transport photography around Mill Hill and Borehamwood. It proved to be a glorious autumn day and my decision was full justified.
Lets look at some shots from Borehamwood first…
And now some shots from Mill Hill…
Now wasn’t that much more pleasant than going back to work and worrying about the MOT all day? Ahh – That’s better as Nancy would say…