The reality is that if you are operating a bus service in 2018 you have  to factor in the simple fact that at peak times in most urban areas then you are going to expect delays due to congestion. To be perfectly honest as a modern day commuter I can safely say that I have grown to hate the daily commute into my office in the centre of Birmingham. I have two choices, I can either drive on the motorways and enjoy the 4 miles of queuing that is the three year upgrade of the Oldbury viaduct that restricts speed to 30 miles per hour, but often nought miles an hour during peak times.

Alternatively I can take my chances on the Hagley road, I used to go school on the Hagley Road, back in the day it meant catching two buses, one from Sutton Coldfield to the City Centre then a second bus along Broad Street and onto the Hagley road where I would get off at St Phillips Grammar School for boys. Ironic really that all these years on there I am every day driving past my long since closed down school. (I am told that these days that amongst other things it is the regional office for Alcoholics Anonymous, or as we called in the The Old Boys Club)

Still I digress, the drive each day is a lottery if the truth be told where aggressive and down right bad driving are the order of the day. Indeed an added bonus is what I call the road rage lottery. This game of pure fortune depends on how many idiots have decided to assemble on bottleneck arterial roads and then bully there way in front of you. This involves cutting up, no indication, lights flashing and on good days verbal abuse and gestures. Getting through these experiences requires a zen like state of mind where you let these bad things bounce off you. What you cannot ever do is to react and get into a situation. I got into a situation recently where for no apparent reason a builder behind me took umbridge at my clearly indicated and safe manouvere and immedietly started flashing his lights at me. I could see .that he was also utilising the medium of mime to suggest what he thought of me. Not content with that he then pulled out to the lane on my right and drew up parallel to where I was, he then wound down his window and while I stedafastedly starred ahead refusing to look at him I could feel the energy of abuse, bad language and hate like the glaze of a lighthouse it shone bright towards my person.

This went on for a few seconds and I could feel my adrenelin and blood pressure start to rise as I considered retaliation, then as if it was bestowed by the Gods of old I got my chance, as builder man had got himself into the wrong lane and was about to enter a long underpass. I had only a few seconds so i starred straight back at him ,window down and gave him both barrels of Anglo Saxon abuse accompanied by some well executed hand gestures. It would be fair to say that I packed a lot into a very short window of opportunity.

Then as if by magic it was all over he dissapeared into the underpass hopefully ears ringing with my well directed articulation of bad words and threatening cusses. It is actually quite irrational behaviour when you think about it. How can two complete strangers go from not knowing each to within fractions of seconds go to homicidal tendencies (and tragically that is exactly what happens with real lives snuffed out because of nothing really) So I for one will not be missing the daily commute i have been spoilt for too  many years of working at home. The commute there was between office, kitchen, bathroom, and that was about it. I do not recall getting any abuse from complete strangers at home ever, funnily enough.

So, there you have it my friends I lived to tell the tale although quite what long term the daily effects of the one and half hour commute has on my blood pressure I cannot say but I leave you with thought imagine having to drive day in,day out all day long in those conditions, like bus drivers have too. Makes you think of these guys with a new found respect.

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