Wednesday, 24 September 2008

On the Buses: Or Not

Tales of Two Buses

Talking about buses. What? You missed the Eddie Izard-esque segue? I had the misfortune to have a bad day and two different results on the buses yesterday and neither had anything to do with David "Blakey" Miliband.

As I mentioned yesterday I was taking a midweek game in the Corporate Insurance Cup as a chance to catch up on my table topping Livingston.

"You’re no, you’re no, we’re top of the league and you’re no."*

So knowing that the road works around Haymarket are delaying buses I was quite expectant that my 90 second walk from desk to bus stop would enable be to get on a delayed 15:57 bus heading Livingston direction leaving at the end of my working hours on time for a rare change. Sure enough as I looked down the road towards Edinburgh Zoo I soon saw the First Bus livery waiting at the lights at the zoo exit. It was in the outside lane so I knew I’d have to use all my usual tricks to get it to see me and stop.

The lights changed just as the Lothian bus picking up from the stop before the lights pulled along side, this is a worse case nightmare for us First Bus customers along the Glasgow/St. John’s/Corstorphine Road even more so when you are desperate to be somewhere else at the end of your trip other than your sofa. With my week pass in hand I looked straight at the driver of the First Bus as both approached my stop at the Forestry Commission the Lothian driver pulled in and also indicated to the First Bus driver to do the same. Just beyond the stop it indicated it was coming in I thought to stop, so to ease the wait time I ran along to hop on quickly. However, I ended up running after the bus all the way to the next stop where when I was about a length behind it pulled away again from the next stop. A rather irate me was straight on the phone to First to complain.

The second bus/coach related tales are with the coaches that took us to the match itself. The first upsetting thing is that some of the people I’ve travelled with on coaches to away games for some seasons now will never travel by coach to Celtic Park ever again, because of the poor disability access provision for away supporters' coaches.

View Larger Map

I hope this map experiment works but the green flag is Celtic Park and the blue tag is where we had to alight and re-embark our coaches. As you can see it is quite a long trek along Springfield Road to get from one to the other and the guys who require the aid of sticks to walk there were exhausted on arrival, and even worse on getting back. In future they have decided to drive themselves and avail them selves of parking right next to the stadium but also thus missing out on part of the ambiance of travelling to away games.

However, that is not the end of the tail. Oh no! On our return trip homeward bound our coach while travelling along the M8/A8 having just negotiated last nights road works suddenly lost power about the Kirk of Shotts area. Our coach driver manfully lurched, urged and eased it along the hard shoulder to come off at the Shotts junction before coasting the vehicle for a 3 mile downhill stretch towards his depot at Harthill before having to give up and bring it to a stop in Eastfield in a bus stop. Similar to some of your worst flying experiences he then earned a round of applause.

All in all quite an eventful day/night on the buses. Lionel will fill you all in on Celtic Park and the game later on.

*Yes this did get an interesting mix of reactions from humour to derision from the Celtic faithful last night.


  1. I remember the last time a team that was top of the First Division went to Celtic Park in the League Cup... and got trounced 8-1.

    All I remember from that evening were the Falkirk fans singing "It's too easy" when they scored - to make it 6-1...


  2. Have to admit Malc glad I've never seen us ship that many at Celtic Park.

  3. Although the trivia question still has the answer Celtic, Elgin City and Annan Athletic.