Logic’s not a new mother’s strong point, is it?

I gave birth to my daughter in March, and I’ve begrudgingly had to place her in a nursery already because I have to work.


A poll conducted by We Own It found that 44% of UK adults are in favour of public ownership of buses. Yet in 2016, the Conservative government brought in the bus services bill, which banned local councils from starting new publicly owned bus services. Meanwhile, most commuters are served by just five private bus operators. In one web survey, 19% of respondents said they had to turn down offers of employment because of poor bus services.

The demonstration in Bristol aims to show First Bus that people in the city aren’t prepared to put up with this any more. We also want to make sure bus drivers are supported at work so that they are healthy and stay in the job longer.

A nationalised bus system would offer an efficient, democratic and fair transport service, preventing situations like the one we have seen in Bristol. However, for councils to nationalise bus services there needs to be a change in the law. For that to happen, we’re going to need many more angry people to fight for it.

Currently people only have 5 choices in bus service. Thing will be better if we reduce this to one choice.


58 thoughts on “Logic’s not a new mother’s strong point, is it?”

  1. What does a democratic bus service look like? Do the passengers get to vote on the route? More likely people get to vote in favour of taxpayer subsidised bus routes.

  2. Gunker, yes it does. But as with Brexit the higher percentage of those in favour versus the lower percentage of those against must be ignored. Because reasons.

  3. Probably she has to stick the sprogs on the other side of Brizzle because of the shortage of nursery places created by insane government restrictions on the child/carer ratio.

    I do hate this sort of thing though. Essentially she is just demanding that everyone else pays for a nicer travel experience for her. How long before they demand publicly-funded Uber credits?

    Possibly she’d do better opening a nursery on her own side of town.

    And yes, bus services are usually crud, drivers rude and unreliable.

  4. 1-Single mother first off. Got a kid she can only afford by working.

    2-Childcare made vastly more expensive and scarce –thus the travel–by state meddling driving up costs and driving down availability. As with almost everything else in this sad socialistic shithole of a country.

    3- Wants US to pay her transport bill. The REAL bill not the ticket charge–which won’t be enough to provide the service she demands otherwise private companies would be running those routes.

    4- So council tax thieves stick their thieving hands ever deeper into the pockets of poor folk to provide buses to Nowhere with one or two punters on them– tops. How very nice for her. But not so nice when she starts whining about how much the Council Tax is up. To run incompetent state bungling and absolutely uneconomic “businesses”.

    5- So the call goes out from leftist stooges for the scummy central state to pay with “Government “money ie taxpayers. I bet she doesn’t pay tax–or not very much. So that will be OK with her. Meanwhile council dicks make the same expensive lash-up out of it that socialism always makes and the cost goes up yearly. And because the thieving scrotes can’t stretch finite income to infinity and don’t have any pressure to operate efficiently the buses still won’t go where every whinger wants them to go.

    Of course–since taxpayers can both vote and stop working/work less in response to increased state thieving the gub’mint money will as likely as not be borrowed. Thus causing an entire additional shitload of problems that spread out to effect nearly everything.

    But stupid, superficial socialist sanctimonious bullshit sounds good.

    Most of the “problems” that beset this nation are actually the creation of the scummy state and shithick leftists.

  5. How do transport planners deal with the issue of bus operators concentrating on (profitable) high-usage routes between major transport nodes, at the expense of interconnections between minor nodes? Let’s say that routes from major hubs A to B will naturally arise without subsidy or obligation, but connections from P or Q to A and X or Y to B don’t. Then without some form of intervention you can’t get from P or Q to X or Y, so you’re losing out on a lot of network benefits that may be a social welfare positive (eg if it could reduce car-related externalities like congestion). In the British system, what gets done to try to get the bus network working as a coherent whole?

  6. 44% of people when asked cold, in a survey, without much information beforehand, or any public debate, and with someone saying there’s no “don’t know” option plumped for yes.

    We had two bus companies in Swindon until recently. One private, one public. Fares were similar. Service similar. But the private one made a profit and the public one lost money.

  7. People don’t have a choice of five bus companies, councils do when contracting out. First Bus, Arriva, Stagecoach, Go-Ahead, and National Express (local). Most people have a choice of just one company: the one which stops at their local stop. Having the service provided by the local authority won’t change that.

  8. Currently people only have 5 choices in bus service. Thing will be better if we reduce this to one choice.

    And she also wants a big pay rise for the drivers too. Why not? She ain’t paying.

  9. Bloke in North Dorset


    They have a universal service obligations (or at least did when I last looked in to it) along the lines of you want that profitable route, well her’s one you’ve also got to provide. There’s also obligations on minimum levels of service eg having to run early morning and late at night.

    Of course this all boils down to local government employees being able to write contracts that can be used to enforce these levels of service.

    There is another issue here, our housing market is so screwed that she hasn’t got the other option of moving closer to her job, partly driven by central planners who insist on separating industrial, retail, commercial and housing development so that transport is needed to shuttle between them all..

  10. She doesn’t quite explain how nationalisation will make up the shortfall of bus drivers. That does seem to be the real problem here, other than her lifestyle choices. Or is conscription the next step?

  11. Comments in the Grauniad – seemingly informed and uncontested – indicate she is actually a Socialist Party activist and her protest is mainly her established political network.

    I don’t mind her expressing these views, but I do hate it when media lies about who the people expressing them actually are.

  12. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    Do the passengers get to vote on the route?

    I think Eric Sykes and Hattie Jacques tried that one in the70s

  13. Why don’t all these people who aren’t on the main bus routes create themselves jobs by setting up their own bus company to serve these routes, for which they are ideally located?

    Why not invent the “nursery bus” that transports the childcarers and nursery around the city to pick up and drop off their charges?

    Any time lots and lots of people have a problem they want solving, that’s a business opportunity for anyone who can solve it. And if there are rules that stop you doing so, then direct your campaign at getting rid of those rules.

  14. I don’t mind her expressing these views, but I do hate it when media lies about who the people expressing them actually are.

    These days when you see “an ordinary member of the public” on the BBC or similar advocating something like this you can almost guarantee them being a Corbynist activist pretending to be normal, sometimes with and sometimes without the assistance of the media.

  15. Frankie Langeland – Experimental Psychology at Bristol University

    “For a project at uni, My boyfriend agreed to try and memorise an entire pack of cards after one look”

    And on current problems, The local newspaper comments;

    “The problems affecting the buses are a combination of issues – most of which aren’t actually in First’s control.
    The problems began as a seasonal shift – that happens every year when the schools go back in September and then tens of thousands of students arrive a couple of weeks later.

    That means extra traffic on the roads as parents drive their children to school, and extra passengers on the buses as children and students travel once again during the peak rush hour period in the morning.

    The city is also being affected by a number of different major roadwork schemes, particularly near Temple Meads station, which is affecting buses into south Bristol.

    And First also acknowledged it was experiencing a shortage of bus drivers and had begun a recruitment process.”

  16. Say stagecoach passed the bus services to the council. Both would have management structure, internal costs etc. So a £3.85 bus ticket becomes £3.70. Wow.
    To be honest I wouldn’t notice the change in price very much, I would notice the same drivers with the same attitude and the same problems. I go flying down the bus and hit someone.

  17. What we need is an experiment with mobile phones.

    England Telefones takes over all the networks and supplies all the phones.

    Your phone doesn’t work when you are issued it free. Repairs take 3 months. The network only works 50% of the time.

    Upgrades? No. Why does anyone need an upgrade?

    Interest on the 50 billion borrowed to fund the network means the education, edukashun, edshn budget is slashed.


  18. I have a neighbour who complained that the buses (she has a bus pass) are not frequent enough. In years gone by, she and her husband had cars. The husband died, and she is now old and has given up her car recently. It was perhaps cruel to suggest that her past preferences had led to the present situation.

    To add to Grist’s scenario, you will be on a waiting list for 6 months to get one in the first place, and even when you do, it is quite likely that you will have to share it with someone you don’t know, who (a) listens to your calls, and (b) is on the phone when you want to use it. Moreover, if you want to use it outside your own home, you will pay extra, and it will only work in cubicles that (1) smell of cigarette ash and piss, with vomit and farts if you are particularly unlucky (2) are full of prostitutes’ business cards, (3) have wet floors (probably the piss) and probably don’t work because they have been vandalised.

  19. ‘In one web survey, 19% of respondents said they had to turn down offers of employment because of poor bus services.’

    Web survey? Rilly?

    As an American, I don’t understand why people think someone else should provide their transportation – “public transportation.” Everyone I know has cars.

    Then there is the add-on that government should provide their transportation. Next, they will demand government provide their bread.

  20. ‘I gave birth to my daughter in March, and I’ve begrudgingly had to place her in a nursery already because I have to work.’

    Already? After SEVEN MONTHS ?!?!

  21. “just”? “JUST”??????

    I am served by ONE, count them ONE bus service, in a town of 15,000 people. When I lived in a city I was served by TWO bus services.

  22. The 19% comes from this –


    It’s 19% of bus users have rejected a job in the past two years. The methodology is somewhat iffy.

    “We own it”, the people who supplied the 44% number is a left wing agit prop group. Can’t actually find the source of 44%. There is a Yougov poll that shows a 50% in favour of public ownership of buses:


  23. NiV +1

    But you answered it youtself with your final sentence.

    The direction is towards turning this country / wolrd into an ever more regulated shit hole, not less of one.

    And if one has to campaign first to change the tide against all of the useless restriction and pointless regulation, then one can’t in the meantime solve / deal with the existing problem straight off.

    Ie, ignoring whether she has a valid point or not, she personally needs that nursery bus now / this year, not in five or however many years time (assuming she and her co-entrepreneurs got lucky in their campaign).

  24. @Excavator Man
    “I have a neighbour who complained that the buses (she has a bus pass) are not frequent enough. In years gone by, she and her husband had cars. The husband died, and she is now old and has given up her car recently. It was perhaps cruel to suggest that her past preferences had led to the present situation.”
    Good point

  25. I remember when few people had cars and we all relied on the bus. Buses were crap. If you went to the cinema in town you had to leave before the end of the film. That’s why we all got cars. You can’t turn it round and blame the car for bad buses.

  26. @Rhoda

    Spot on

    I can never remember halcyon days when bus services were cheap and plentiful

    In my youth they were cold, smelly, often overcrowded and didn’t go where I wanted to go and cost a fortune

    Now I don’t use them they seem to be shiny, smart and underused (except for campus busses) and still don’t go where I want to go, and they still cost a fortune

    My son’s only bus option to college involves a 30 minute walk and £5.40 return to go less than 3 miles

    We drive him

  27. The Guardian comments pages are awash with people who know how businesses ought to be run.

    But I bet not one of the fuckers actually runs a business.

  28. Kid is 7 months old ffs. Ive a 9 month old and no way is that old enough to be dumped at nursery.

    Leftists and parenting. Fucking hell.

  29. @ starfish
    Couldn’t he walk it in less than the time for the walk-bus-walk option?
    In my even-more-distant youth ICI had a “Works Bus” provided by the local municipal transport which was crowded largely because it was reliable and *did* go where the workers wanted it to go. It was cheap because ICI had negotiated terms with the municipal bus company that left the latter with an acceptable profit and it only ran when it was needed.
    Now buses are shiny and smart because the private companies are liable if anything goes wrong anf they are expensive for fare-pasying passengers because subsidies have been cut and that pushed up fares and that pushed more people into using cars and that reduced usage and that pushed up fares. I occasionally have to travel by bus and a good proportion of those times everyone on the bus has a free travel pass.

  30. Private buses are shit. Nationalised buses are shit.

    It’s almost like buses are shit?

    Jeepneys in the Philippines seem to work. Probably would be illegal in UK though.

  31. Evidently even Manchester United can’t get their bus full of millionaires to arrive on time. Maybe not everything is about money?

  32. Just remembered, ~15 years ago, I took a public bus from the Bishop Museum in Honolulu to my Waikiki hotel.

    I was stunned to see there were SEVEN DIFFERENT POSTED RATES. Being a fine, middle-aged white man (who was paying for all this shi+ anyway), I was required to pay the highest rate.

    I remember gazing around at the different people on the bus, and thinking, “Losers.” They, and the Father’s of Honolulu, are perfectly happy with inequality. I was directly treated differently because of my race and my age.

  33. @Paul, October 24, 2018 at 9:04 am

    Shortage of bus drivers? Maybe due to train/tube “drivers” being paid three times more for doing a three times less arduous job.

  34. Yes. Perhaps check with London commuters about what it feels like to be permanently fucked over by tube drivers – who have all the skills of yesterday’s lift operators – abusing their monopoly position to enrich themselves at the expense of the workers. And we can replicate this exploitative situation with the buses you say?

  35. Bloke in Costa Rica

    The bus stops literally outside my office, as in the stop is next to the main gate. It costs 50p and stops outside the supermarket where I shop on the way home. Yet I still take an Uber more often than not.

  36. “I gave birth to my daughter in March, and I’ve begrudgingly had to place her in a nursery already because I have to work.”

    Its been 6 months already dear. If you seriously didn’t want to have to work after the birth of your child then maybe you should have been doing some financial planning before you set out to have one.

  37. “The nursery is on the other side of Bristol to where I live.”

    Bristol’s like *seven* miles across dear. And that’s from suburb to suburb. The city itself is less than three miles across. Get a cheap car – or a three-wheeled bike.

    Or, you know, find a caretaker closer.

    Question: Is there something that makes car ownership ridiculously expensive in the UK in general? I understand that inside London it can be crazy expensive but outside major urban areas?

  38. @Pcar that’s probably the cause of the driver shortage, yes. I still can’t see how her solution resolves that issue. I’m sure she’ll be the last to complain when her nationalised bus drivers unionise and then strike everytime their incompetence is question.

  39. Also she travels *to* the Nursery in the Rush Hour instead of travelling *from* the Nursery to work in the Rush Hour.
    If Bristol is only 7 miles across why does it take a bus 45 minutes? When I was twice her age I could run 7 miles in under 45 minutes and buses are supposed to be daster than a middle-aged jogger.
    Grauniad and real life – never the twain shall meet!

  40. starfish,

    “Now I don’t use them they seem to be shiny, smart and underused (except for campus busses) and still don’t go where I want to go, and they still cost a fortune

    My son’s only bus option to college involves a 30 minute walk and £5.40 return to go less than 3 miles”

    This is about your route, then. I live on a main road into town and it’s £1.50 for 2 miles to town. The 07:10 is around 3/4 full.

    Buses are really good, IMO. £6.50 to go 30 miles to Oxford by bus. That’s cheaper than driving, cheaper than train. It’s slightly slower than the train, but not by much. And they’re ahead of the trains with innovation. Apple pay, e-tickets. The railways still don’t have all that. I still have to queue up and get a piece of paper to travel.

    And a lot of why buses are so good is they’re private competing with rail. They can’t compete on speed, so they compete on price. The rail workers are sitting on their fat overpaid arses because they have a monopoly on a fast service and can fuck you over. Driver didn’t get to work on time? Buffet closed because someone forgot to load up? RMT strike? What you going to do about it? Where else are you going to go?

    I give em business where it’s reasonably sensible just because I’d rather give money to the free market than a bunch of lazy socialists.

  41. @BonM4

    yes it is about routes

    We are 20 minutes walk from the main arterial route between Camborne Redruth and Truro. The College is on that route. There is a bus every 10-15 minutes. During the day the busses are pretty full. But why does it cost £5.40 return?

  42. @john 77

    When I used to live in Bristol most of the main bus routes went into and out of central Bristol
    There were relatively few that took you from one side to the other unless you sat on some vast circular route around the suburbs

    That may have changed, but it was usually quicker by bus to go into the centre, change and come out again (two tickets though!)

  43. @ starfish
    Thanks – that makes sense.
    So Ms Langeland is taking twice as long to get from A to B because she doesn’t feel able to change buses?

    Possibly the reason why it costs £5.40 return is because the bus company can still get enough passengers at that price for buses to be fairly full and this route is subsidising empty buses in other bits of its franchise area.

  44. starfish,

    The common thing is ticket zones. There’s often a town and rural zone. You pay one fare for town, one for rural. If you’re just on the rural zone, you can get a high fare.

    Kernow Unlimited ticket – £90 a month to go anywhere. £45 if he’s under 18.

  45. @BonM4
    You may be right about zones, we may just be unfortunate and be on a border
    I’m sure there’s some cross subsidy

    £15 a week to attend college is a lot though. He’s autistic so he needs to be got there by a bus or someone. Needless to say as a taxpayer I get no help

  46. @ Starfish
    Clearly high-functioning as he is going to college, but he should be on PIP (the replacement for DLA) which is *supposed to* compensate for the extra costs of being disabled or of being Autistic compared to being neurotypical such as needing a taxi or a bus to get to college.

  47. @wat dabney, October 24, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    Missing the point. Prospective bus driver looks at salary and says “no way am I doing that: traffic jams, road rage, dealing with passengers etc when lazy cnut train drivers earn three times more, I’d rather flip burgers”

  48. @Agammamon, October 24, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    “car ownership ridiculously expensive in the UK” – tax, more tax then more tax, fines, punitive parking costs….

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