Our new bus station is now officially open! It opened this Sunday 11th May. Those horrible temporary stands that we all shivered beneath this winter have now been demolished as well and everything’s back to normal……….or is it? You must be all dying to know whether or not we long suffering passengers were all invited to a slap up party with wine, buffet, and showered with gifts to thank us all for enduring the worst winter for 15 years in those measly open temporary shelters? Did the Metro management come and shake our hands whilst presenting our oldest and frailest residents with diplomas for surviving it all without dying of Hyperthermia? And more importantly, were we all thanked for surviving eight whole months of that ‘trumped up, bullying, full of himself’ idiot that they put in charge of ‘helping passengers during the changes’’ but who did nothing of the sort, instead just spending the entire time bellowing at anyone who dared to run across the road at the wrong place when their bus was in and ready to set off without them? Was any public acknowledgement made to any of us about how patient and tolerant we had all been during the upheaval? Well? Read on dear readers, read on!
K and I didn’t even bother to attend the ‘official opening’ so disgusted and annoyed are we at the entire monstrosity that has emerged as our lovely little towns new Bus station. Children are now asking their mothers if they can go for a ride on it. yes I did say ON IT. Travel through our town via the dual carriageway and you could be forgiven for thinking you were passing Blackpool pleasure beach. But all this would be forgiven if the end result had the passengers welfare and well being at its heart.
For example, does it contain in its capacious spacial interior any toilets in case a passenger needs to urgently relieve themselves as they wait patiently for their bus? Answer in one word, NO. We are obviously not deemed worthy of such consideration of our personal needs. There are two ‘mysterious’ rooms at the far end, but what they are for we can only hazard a guess. Probably as a recovery room for passengers awaiting the ambulance as they faint from heat exhaustion. (for full explanation of this remark, read on) There will also have to be a resident nurse installed in there in a few weeks time for the same reason. But the biggest gripe for the poor long suffering bus users of this little town is this, that the whole building, huge and long as it is provides just fifteen seats in total. Yes folks, you read that correctly, 15 seats in the whole bus station! In the top half we have a total of nine, three alongside three separate stands, and in the lower half, the poor passengers waiting at the two remaining stands have been provided with just a total of six.
Now I know that probably the average height of residents in this small town might be said to be slightly smaller than the rest of the country’s average height, but honestly! I don’t know how many millions this Bus Station has cost in total, but 15 seats! Told you the planner had it in for someone who lives here in our town didn’t I? So now we are all stood moaning and complaining about the lack of provided seats and all that wasted space. (well that is if someone has beaten you to the three seats available at your particular stand, and already if you happen to be lucky enough to bag a seat, you are on the receiving end of some rather nasty looks) I’m surprised that fights haven’t already broken out amongst the older generation!
On enquiring of the resident ‘know it all supervisors’ as to why we have only been provided with the barest minimum of seating, we are told that they couldn’t afford to put anymore in! ( Yes dear readers, HE is still here unfortunately, pacing up and down taking great delight in not only bossing us passengers about, but now also directing the bus drivers as to which new stand they should pull in at, and he has been joined by another one who seems to speak an entirely different language to the rest of us as you can’t tell a word he says, so looks like we are lumbered with HIM permanently)
Luckily so far the younger Bus station users seem to have taken to parking their backsides along the ample window ledges (which luckily are just wide enough for a small backside to park on, but would obviously be no good to us older travellers with much ampler proportions!) However, whether or not they will be quite happy to continue this mode of seating all through the summer when the windowsills will no doubt reach temperatures in excess of 150% Fahrenheit is entirely a different matter, and I can visualise some very nasty hospital trips with burnt posteriors taking place shortly. (The Bus station resident nurse to be will be kept busy no doubt, good job the ambulance station isn’t far away as well!)
I am just waiting for the towns resident skateboarders to move in, I expect them anytime now, as the result of the ‘can’t afford more than 15 seats’ policy has now left the bus station with huge empty areas just right for some serious skateboarding. They will probably whizz up and down trying to make the automatic doors at each end open and shut as they whizz past. And mentioning the windows as I did in the previous paragraph, remember in my post about how we had endured this last freezing winter stood in those open stands? Sheltering behind one another? Well guess what? This summer, which now that we have our new fully enclosed super duper big dipper Bus station, will no doubt turn out to be the hottest on record ensuring that we will all end up fainting with heat exhaustion! The ambulance service might as well be provided with a bay of their own in anticipation of the towns bus passengers suffering heat stoke. Why? Because the entire Bus station is entirely all glass from nearly the floor to the very top. Already it feels like you are stood in a greenhouse and temperatures so far have not really been all that high! As soon as the sun puts in an appearance the internal temperature soars.
What have we poor residents of this small town done wrong to Metro that we deserve to be plunged from one extreme of temperature to the other? Why haven’t we been provided with ample seating? We do have an elderly population here, we aren’t all school age, teen age or middle age? Is someone trying to completely empty this town of bus users? If so they are definitely going the right way about it! So now after surviving the winter, we have to survive the hot house that the Bus station will become this summer.
Hmm. That gives me an idea! We could grow tomatoes in tubs in the spaces afforded by the ‘let the so and so’s stand ’ policy! We could turn it into a thriving town business! There’s certainly room for a couple of stalls in there! And as the children are all wanting rides on the Bus station roof now, we can charge for that as well!
Its nickname by all the local residents? The Big Dipper, and I don’t think you’ll be at all surprised. Will we all survive this summer by using it is my main concern.
TG P.S As an Addendum to this post it cost £2.38 million pounds!