Thursday 8 May 2014

Is This How To Treat Drivers?

I was somewhere in Eastern England today. I was changing buses at a location when I saw a driver sitting down eating a sandwich at the entrance to a public toilet. When I enquired why they were there I was informed that there was no shelter for drivers on break at that location. The Council had objected to the facilities that had previously been provided and so now there was nothing. It was chucking it down and so the only shelter was the loos. (Bus stop shelters were full)

I used to be a driver. Our accommodation for breaks was situated behind an Indian restaurant, which meant unholy smells at 8am but it was warm and provided a place of sanctuary. The driver told me that arrangements had been made with a couple of local businesses for drivers to take breaks there, and even get a free coffee from one of them, which is good but missing the point.

Anyone who works with the public will tell you that your break needs to be AWAY from the public. Working with the public is stressful, and the last thing you need when you are on a "break" is for the same public to be approaching you asking timetable questions and moaning about their bus being late. That is not a break it is added stress and stressed drivers make mistakes.

I can say without any doubt that had that situation happened in London there would have been no buses on the road until something was in place. If your drivers are hacked off they don't care, and so accidents increase, maintenance costs rise, and not to provide a decent rest room becomes a false economy. Happy drivers are better, more attentive and careful drivers and so everyone is happy, except maybe the body repairers. Don't give a damn about your drivers and they won't give a damn about the vehicles or the passengers. I hope the situation I saw today will improve. It was quite sad to see.

I will not entertain any suggestions about where I was or the company involved. Any comments suggesting such will be removed. I would think the company involved recognises themselves and will take steps to rectify the situation. I'd like to think so anyway.

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