The M4 was closed at junction 24 eastbound yesterday, causing severe delays for everyone. Paula told me it took coaches 3 hours to get from Cardiff to the Severn Bridge via the A48 to Chepstow. I had CKU and the phone was not working, I saw the motorway signs "long delays jct 22 to 24" which later became "delays jct 22 to 24". Decided to use the A48 to junction 24 rather than potentially get stuck in a jam. Was already 20 minutes late in Chepstow but invested the time in using the A48. When I got to the Coldra it was gridlocked and the only clear way forward was via the A48 SDR. So I was 40 minutes late into Cardiff. The delays were London congestion (6 minutes at yellow box of Hammersmith) to Chepstow at 20 minutes, A48 to jct 24 at 10 minutes and another 10 minutes along the SDR. The delays were so bad eastbound that the Taliban removed the coachtracker from the network so that the public could not read just how late their coaches were. Had the longtime phone not working on CKU been active, then maybe the M4 westbound delays may have lifted and I would have been 20 earlier in Cardiff but I was better to divert to be sure and had not the Coldra been gridlocked, the 10 minutes investment would have been fair.
coming in soonRules will be changed so lorry, bus and coach drivers who drive tired will be fined for every time they've done it in the last 28 days.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) can fine drivers up to £300 if they’re caught breaking the rules. They can also be prosecuted or have their vehicle immobilised.
At the moment, DVSA can only fine drivers for:
offences committed that day
ongoing offences, like manipulating tachograph records, which record drivers’ hours
Drivers will be fined for older offences
DVSA traffic examiners will be given new powers to issue on-the-spot fines for any drivers’ hours offences committed in the last 28 days.
In a single roadside check, DVSA traffic examiners will be able to issue fines for up to 5 drivers’ hours offences. It means you could be fined up to £1,500 in a single check if you’ve consistently broken the rules.
It won’t matter if the offences took place in Great Britain or elsewhere.
The rules will also apply to drivers who don’t live in Great Britain. However, they’ll need to pay any fines immediately, before being allowed to continue their journey. DVSA will immobilise their vehicle until they pay.
When the rules will change
The exact date the rules will change be confirmed nearer the time.
The change will be well-publicised so drivers and vehicle operators are fully aware of the penalties.
If you would like to purchase a ticket from our drivers, please be aware of the following;
• Drivers can accept cash only, please ensure you have the correct change to avoid delays.
• Drivers cannot make a reservation for a connecting service - if your journey requires a change of coach you must purchase a ticket from each driver
• Drivers can only issue; single (one way), day return and open dated return tickets, please ensure you obtain a ticket from the driver which you should carry at all times.
• Drivers should be in a position to sell tickets, although if there are ticketing facilities available they may refer you to the ticket office, to purchase your ticket. It is always advisable to purchase or amend your ticket in advance of travel to avoid unnecessary delays to services.
In addition you can call the National Express Contact Centre on 08717 818181 between 8am and 10pm, 7 days a week. Calls cost 13p per minute plus your phone company's access charge.
*Tickets cannot be purchased from a driver on board a coach at Heathrow and must be purchased from the ticket desk, ticket machine or in advance of travel.
Surprise, surprise, although the speed limiters on our tri-axle 14.2 metre coaches are set to 62mph/100kph - the actual motorway speed limit for coaches longer than 12 metres is actually 60mph/96kph. The ACPO guidelines still give 10% plus 2 mph, therefore a threshold of 68mph. Here is a link to the UK speed limits for all vehicles. In built up areas, the limit is 30mph/48kph.
Phil asked me yesterday about a covert observation undertaken by the Taliban in LVCS. Seen waving forward passengers standing behind an open gate plus not wearing a tie. Told him that as the gate was open there was no need to walk forward, open gate, bellow service number and destination. He claimed the Taliban wanted consistency of service and the driver is the first impression the passengers get. I told him the driver was the third impression, the first being the screen about the gate, the second being the care bears tannoy announcement. I told him that it was too hot and sweaty to wear a tie. He seemed happy at my responses and said he would simply mark it as "having spoken to the driver". End of story but it shows how sneaky and petty they have become.
Heard a whisper yesterday from Dave C that Darren has received a complaint about me that I had muttered "fuck off" under my breath. Neither of them thought I would ever swear. I remember backing off a bay and a guy was knocking on the door but I continued on my journey. So I will claim that I do not remember muttering to myself. Just shows how malicious some people are - will be surprised it I hear anything and I did nothing wrong. The guy was late for his departure, boarding had finished, the door was closed, I was reversing, the marshall was waving me back and drivers are under pressure to achieve a prompt and on time departure. This incident happens a lot, if you were to stop then it becomes a late departure and very often the guy does not want that coach OR is holding it up for someone else.
managed to upload 15 photos to this computer without putting them into the cloud and reducing my free storage. My 16GB SD card is now showing 8.2 GB as free, so there is no need to reformat the card yet as there is plenty of space for my holidays.
Just had our Dacia Duster in for it's first MOT. Failed on the wiper blades and new pair of upgrade Flat wiper blades were fitted at our Dacia/Renault dealer for £30.59
Looking on the Halfords website and the price seems fair as the original own label wiper blades would cost £10 each - own label upgrade Flat blades cost £11 each, Bosch original £12 each and Bosch upgrade Flat blades at £18 each - so for main dealer upgrade Flat wiper blades at £30.59 seems fair to me.