I do not know about you, my dear reader chum but I am starting to detect a subtle change in public opinion towards dare I say it, the good old British bus. Small but noticeable differences in the public mood, proactive and well informed newspaper articles have started to appear, advocating the bus as a cure to congestion, and as a solution to reducing pollutants and the ever growing public concern about deaths as a result of fossil fuel related illnesses.
Indeed when I watched Question Time recently which was filmed in Nottingham, specific reference was made to the newly introduced fleet of gas and hybrid fuel buses. I was fortunate enough recently to attend an excellent conference hosted by Nottingham City Transport, voted at the UK Bus awards as the best Bus Company in the UK, winners for the forth time. What was interesting to me was the fact that when the public on Question time raised the topic it was supportive and accepting. In truth this positivity is new and refreshing.
Interestingly besides the usual Brexit nonesense that just like the House of Commons dominates Question Time, when the chance came to discuss the recent widespread disruption that hit London, Edinburgh, and Nottingham care of Extincition Rebelleion. What was interesting was the fact that they targeted both major landmark sites like Oxford Street, and Waterloo Bridge along with key public transport locations. Protestors glueing themselves to trains, Tube trains, and even Heathrow airport, causing massive disruption to the bus, tube, and rail networks was debated by the members of the public and the panel.
Opinion was not surprisingly divided between those who said that the protestors devalued their valid cause by causing massive disruption to innocent people just trying to go about their everyday business. However, they counter claimed that it was imperative that the bigger case was justified as it attracted wide spread media attention to the looming disaster of climate change and the ticking bomb of global warming so recently promoted by Sir David Attenborough amongst others,
So, am I seeing the world through rose tinted pro bus spectacles? Or am I desperately searching for clutched straws and misinterpreting public opinion. Well, to be honest I do not think that I am, I do genuinely feel that the tide of public opinion is starting to turn for many reasons. If I being brutally honest it is not because the Bus industry has been leading the charge. Far from it I am afraid I wish it had. No, it is by default as a result of many other factors, political, economic, and health driven, but either way no complaints from me, if it gets the bus being supported and used then I will take that any day of the week. Goodness knows I have waited long enough for this day to arrive.