Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Buses and trains.

I recently had cause to think and write about trains, it's not as geeky as it sounds.... And I'm not a closet train spotter..... Honest!!

And it got me to thinking about public transport in general. And how much of a pain it can be.

A train journey can be a stressful experience at the best of times for most. Overcrowding, delays, cancelations and last minute platform changes can make the most patient of people lose their rag! Throw into the mix a duel sensory loss such as deaf/blindness and suddenly it’s an absolute minefield!

Announcements over the tannoys can be difficult or impossible to hear, especially when train announcers seemingly specialise in white noise and mumbling!

It can be disconcerting when everyone on the platform suddenly runs, jogs, hops, skips, barges and elbow their way to another platform as if they have received a telepathic message that you have somehow missed out on. The boards show no changes, your train shows no signs of appearing, you know the train you're waiting for is the last one of the night OR the one just before the massive crush of rush hour..... So you make the decision to find someone who might be able to help you!

You stride down the platform looking frantically left and right looking for the man or woman in a blue coat with yellow trim, and they're nowhere to be seen! You reach the barrier and there's no bugger there either! So you end up hanging around, either totally on your tod, or with thousands of people pushing pass you to get to where they want to be. It's stressful..... Sometimes it makes you panic a bit cos you feel like you have no control what so ever. Eventually you find someone and ask what has happened to your train,

‘There was an announcement’ you are told brusquely,

‘Yeah, I didn’t hear it though because –‘ you start, but before you have a chance to finish you're told

‘You should have listened to the announcement, you’ll have to go back to the main station to see when the next train is.’

You try again to explain you didn’t hear the announcement, and that going back to the main station could be very difficult, as you are also blind.... Deaf/blind in fact..... But you're just met with a blank gormless face and a shrug of the shoulders.

Buses are just as bad. You get on, pay your fare, settle down with a book only for the bus to stop two stops later and about 15 stops before yours, with the whole bus filing off!

When you ask what's going on, more often than not you're told the next one will be along in a bit..... And of course you can't get on that one cos everyone bundles in front of you, shoves you out of the way and when you FINALLY get to the door it shuts because not a single other person could possibly squeeze on!

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