by Mel Wright, Kilburn Older Voices Exchange (KOVE)
Following KOVE's recent film about bus stops and ABC/KOVE published pamphlet about bus travel from the OPAG meeting last December, KOVE recently visited Cricklewood Bus Garage to discuss with George Marcar of TfL and a group of Metroline, managers and driver-operators aspects of bus travel that older people experience - good and bad!
The bus staff were very attentive to our questions and the meeting was constructive. Topics included:
How to best manage Priority Seating spaces when non priority passengers are taking up these seats - the TfL badges 'Please Offer me Your Seat' help (they are free and available via TfL) and if non priority people do not cooperate by giving up their seat the bus driver should be able to assist.
Buses should always pull into the kerb before stopping (unless an obstacle is in the way). Passengers are encouraged to ask the driver if this is not done.
If there is a queue of buses waiting to pick up passengers, all drivers should still stop at the bus stop before continuing their journey. Put out your hand to indicate to the driver you require the service. TfL say that it should be unnecessary for passengers waiting at the stop, especially those with disabilities, to have to move forward to get on the bus.
These are some of the points raised on our bus garage visit and we agreed to keep the dialogue going!
KOVE plans to arrange occasional visits. Let us know if you want to join us. In the meantime remember if you have any comments to make to TfL about travel services call their customer services: 0343 222 1234.