Monday, 8 December 2014

It's a bus, not a Tardis

To anybody with a scrap of common sense, it is obvious that a bus is a finite space which is smaller on the inside than the outside.   This means there is a limit to how many people you can cram in, and that the dominant operating mode is first-come, first-served, without regard to who most needs the ride or who is doing the most important journey.

Does a wheelchair-bound oncologist trying to get to her clinic to treat her patients have a higher priority than a wheelchair user who unfortunately suffered massive head trauma and is being taken out for a day by his carer?   Should we chuck the one with the head injury off the bus if the oncologist wants to get on later, on the grounds that she is more important, and moreover, female and unaccompanied?

Clearly, we cannot stack them up on top of one another, although we could do things such as sending one of them by cab - which frankly, is much cheaper than building them each a separate bus in order to bolster the German bus-building industry. 

If you are a politician, though, particularly an MEP, the concept of finite space and money seems like a quaint notion.  They assume that just by waving a magic wand, it will make bus floors expand and there will never, ever, be competition for the precisely the same space on a bus.  In the manner of out-of-touch aristocrats, they cheerfully pluffed-up their self-righteousness and decreed that henceforth, wheelchair users and similar must be carried.

They were warned that this would inevitably mean that one day, there would be a stand-off between people using wheeled conveyances,  having a fruitless argument about who was entitled to that particular space.

That day came.  Most people seem to be misled by the irrelevancies; was there other space, is the fact that a baby cannot walk the same as a wheelchair user not being able to walk, should we take in to account the urgency of the journey, does gender matter? What about if the child is disabled and in one of those over-sized buggies?  Those things are all irrelevant. They are just fact-sensitive examples which do not change the underlying problem.

All that matters is that you cannot get two people in to the same space, which means you either stick with 'first come, first served' or you start chucking people off buses and create a Byzantine rule-base for deciding priorities.  The bus drivers would have to be uprated to constables and also have a degree in philosophy, because they are going to be spending most of their time arbitrating cases and kicking people off .  And all the buses will be late because they don't get on with the important thing: driving the bus.

You cannot get two buses in to the same space either, so somebody is going to have to make up their mind to get on the next one, or get a taxi.  Providing there is another one behind, this is is the best which can be managed under the present time-space continuum.

In a rare outbreak of common sense, the Court of Appeal has ruled that if Parliament wants to suspend the laws of physics, it must pass laws to that effect.  Good luck with that.


Anonymous said...

I would suggest that one side of a bus be designated for buggies only and the other side for wheelchairs. If there are more passengers of one kind and none of the other then, like bus lanes, that scientist remain empty IN CASE a user of that particular facility wishes to catch that particular bus. Able bodied passengers? They would have a choice of using another form of transport, sitting in an open trailer attached to tv's back, or walk. What do you mean, this is stupid? Of course it's stupid. Stupidity always wins when inconsiderate, single issue focussed, professional victims are in involved.

Anonymous said...

Damn autocorrect."that side", not "that scientist".

Woman on a Raft said...

I did wonder. "The Empty Scientist" would be a good name for a murder mystery, though.

JuliaM said...

Trouble is, in this war of competing entitlements, I can see Parliament deciding that yes, the law of physics should be ignored.

We aren't dealing with the deep end of the gene pool here.

Woman on a Raft said...

How very true. Paulley has said that he intends to take it to the Supreme Court, so this ping-pong will carry on a while yet.

The next time this subject comes round the provisional title is 'Ya canna change the laws of physics' or perhaps 'She canna take much more o'this'.

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX What about if the child is disabled and in one of those over-sized buggies? XX

What do you mean "Disabled?"

These bastards use Humvee like PRAMS (NOT Buggies, You are NOT a dumb fuck yank.... or are you?)as a fashion object; "Mines bigger than yours!"

Should ban the bloody lot. ESPECIALLY on public transport. You want to keep popping out bastards, then stop when you can not carry them any more.

ninjaguardsheep said...

My Mum used to one arm the folded buggy on board and drag me and my brother on with the other. The buses didn't have buggy bays, it went into the luggage rack and she had the whole thing down to a precise drill that could be executed, without fuss in under 30 seconds.

The modern buggy brigade need to harden the fuck up.

call me ishmael said...

I do not believe it is all that complicated. Spaces designated as Disabled for the use of should not be occupied by others, whatever their circumstances; people dis- or partly abled have difficuties a priori which generally trump parenthood, parenthood isn't a disability, just a temporary complication; the child will grow and leave, the limb will not grow back.

The matter could be readily solved by the provision of a magnetic strip disability card which opened access to the reserved bays,

This is just another manifestation of your own, immaculatey-framed Grooming Of The Nation process; this time by gobby, selfish and ill-mannered Luv'Em2Bits,Me, MyKids arsehole parents. These judges should be overturned. Fucking hanged, if I had my way, Lord Justice Slag and his paedo brethren.

Anonymous said...

thought you may like to know the television trust for the environment has ceased to exist. their website still has the other registered number though [whatever]

Woman on a Raft said...

Thank you anon.

Flaxen Saxon said...

Perhaps wheel chair users should be placed on a chain at the back of the bus. A long line of 'chairs' would be a practcal solution to the problem and provide amusement for passerbys as the bus traversed tight corners.

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