My long term readers (if I ever had any and if they are still reading that is) will by now be quite familiar with my moans about our new bus station. considering we all endured one of the coldest winters stood shivering under those temporary open shelters while it was being built only serves to accentuate how and why most of us in our small town who are unfortunate enough to have to use the bus station tend to view it as a costly mistake and are ready to criticize any part of it.
I had to go down to town today to pick up my prescription tablets and do some shopping which then meant I ended up inside it. Having just missed my bus (Wow! That makes a change!) I then spent the first ten minutes or so traversing the entire length of the bus station as I fluctuated between deciding to catch the next bus heading in the general direction of home, which would necessitate a walk with my heavy shopping bag through our estate, or alternatively waiting 25 minutes for our bus which goes around our estate and would therefore require just a short walk from the bus stop to our flat.
Whilst trying to make up my mind, I went to sit down at the other end of the station to our usual stand and noticed that we now have some clue as to what the square ‘boxlike’ area in this half of the bus station is finally going to be. A shop. Yes folks, despite the fact that just across from the bus station, not 30 metres or so away is a street full of them, we are getting a shop inside the bus station. Not the much needed toilets for weary passengers to relieve themselves as they patiently wait for their bus to arrive, not some more seats to park their weary posteriors on as they wait, oh no! A shop.
We have no public toilets in our small town. In fact, I would warn anyone visiting to go before they arrive if at all possible or run the risk of having to make a dash to one of our supermarkets which unfortunately are both sited at opposite ends of town and are the only shops that contain public toilets. Of course there are also the public houses which could be used in a dire emergency I suppose, but apart from that, then all visitors run the risk of having embarrassing accidents if taken short. You have been warned. This is especially important if arriving by bus.
As I sat there pondering what to do, I noticed some another new additions since I was last in the bus station. On the floor directly outside each bus stands sliding doors there are now huge yellow signs stating the following ‘Priority Waiting Area’ and below this wording two icons, one of a stick person sat on a circle, obviously depicting a wheelchair user, and the other a huge black eye with a stick through it and some lines in the corner.
This sign is placed directly in front of each door and next to the four seats that we all fight each other to sit on. Are the powers that be insinuating now that we residents of this town would ignore any wheelchair user waiting for a bus and barge onto it in front of them or all stand on that exact spot and not move off it for any reason? And what’s the stick through the eye all about? I’m presuming it means that blind people have priority to stand on that spot but hang on a minute! If they are blind how on earth will they see the sign and therefore know to stand there?
Honestly! What sort of people do they think we all are? Do they think that we are so heartless that we would all barge onto the bus before someone who was in a wheelchair or blind? Besides, as most of us are having to plonk our backsides on the windowsills whilst waiting for our buses to arrive anyway, so we’re nowhere near the doors!