Friday 1 April 2016


Good morning, boys and girls and welcome to this episode of Listen With Steve. Are we sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin. (need to be a certain age to remember that phrase)

Once upon a time, in a strange land far, far away there were two groups of people who thought it would be a good idea to provide a service to the good folk of the land. This involved some mechanical devices called buses. Buses, boys and girls are very big cars with many more seats, and the peasants who choose to use these buses have to pay the group of people providing the bus some money, known as a fare, unless they are very, very old people, or are unlucky people who can't drive.

There was a place in this strange land, far, far away, where many people lived. One of the groups of people were providing buses to the area. However, many times these buses were either full or late, and the grown ups who lived in the area got very cross. The other group of people who provided buses took notice of this, and thought it would be a good idea to start providing their own buses, thinking the cross grown ups would start using their buses instead. And so messages were sent to the cross grown ups that there would be new, better, more reliable buses for them to use.

Now, boys and girls, this made the people already providing the buses very angry indeed. "Why", they said, "we are better at providing buses than the others, and we will keep the peasants choosing our buses." Now in the past, children, there had been an easy way for the peasants to save money on their bus fares. They were able to pay for ten rides on the bus at a time, which was cheaper than buying them one at a time. But the people providing the buses got greedy and stopped the peasants from paying for ten rides at a time. This made the peasants very cross again.

So the new providers of buses gave the peasants the chance to buy their rides ten at a time again as they were not as greedy and knew what would make the peasants happy.  They set the fare at £17 for a grown up and £12 for a peasant not yet a grown up. This made the original providers even angrier. "How dare those new providers allow the peasants to pay for their rides ten at a time", they said. "We will bring back our tickets too, and the peasants will surely carry on using our buses" So sure were they that the peasants would be too scared to use the new buses that the original providers said they would charge £20 for a grown up, £16 for a nearly grown up, and £14 for a little boy or girl peasant. This despite their buses either being too full, late or going a longer way round.

Now the clever grown ups, once they had stopped laughing, were not clever enough to work out why the original provider had decided to charge much more money than the new provider. "Surely", they said, "if a provider has made the peasants very cross, and their buses are either full, late, or go a long way round do they think making the peasants pay more money than the new buses will make them carry on choosing their bus over the new bus?"

There is an old saying, children, that pride comes before a fall. This means that if you think you are better than anyone else, or that everyone you upset will forgive you and still want to be your friend, then you may end up very disappointed indeed.

And the moral of this story? If you have already made your peasants very cross by giving them a poor service, you won't make them happy again by charging them lots more money than the new boys. If you believe that, then on this day you are bigger fools than any made up story could invent.

Thank you for listening, boys and girls. It's time for a nap now. Goodbye.


  1. Fank u unca Steve We do like your stories and do learn lots about the busses If we are good can we have the one about all the pretty coloured buses in the magical town that go everywhere and nowhere and are directed by the Mystical Wooley Man and his magic carrier bag......

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  3. Smurf....rumour thst Stephenons hsve bought Galloway any goss doen there ? I am aware of the date lol

    1. Will keep my ears open. They've certainly been spending, but seem to expand organically rather than by acquisition thus far. But if the opportunity arose and it fitted . . .

  4. Amended post. Rumours abound that First Essex might subject to DTp approval be chosen for the trial of the new Google bus driver app: A spokesman said "We have got a lot of information from our American trials of driverless cars in traffic; and are anxious that in the next stage of our development, our robots which are programmed to be reasonable and logical, learn more about human behaviour in the real world, and know from experience that their greatest difficulty is with understanding the behaviour of bus drivers". In this experiment passengers must tender exactly the right change and stand in precisely the right position at the bus stop and signal correctly when they want to alight or depart; and comply with all Regulations; and for safety and convenience the buses will go automatically out of service at the slightest problem. The program has at the moment a limited vocabulary "No"; "I don't know" and "Nobody told me anything". The Google spokesman said "We want to identify the teething problems such as chronology, ride and location issues, and wanted a location where passengers are well-used to dealing with these sort of problems, and are used to their buses turning up out of sequence, early, late or not at all. We are pleased that First Essex fitted our profile completely. Once we get the all-clear we look forward to experimenting on the passengers. In fact we are confident that passengers will experience an improvement, or even notice no difference at all". The DTp said they are anxious to conduct a trial. "We see this as the future of bus travel, and hope that it will teach those nuisance bus passengers a useful lesson".

  5. Considering Galloway have been investing heavily in their bus and coach fleets,I really don't see them selling out. Probly just a rumour to see how far it goes

  6. No alledgedly it's true ETH has bought Galloway

  7. It's true. 3 different sources have confirmed it. Galloway directors are retiring but it looks like the Galloway name will remain.

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