13 May 2009

Rising Bollards

No significant anniversaries today so I'll just live up to the title of this blog.

One of the drawbacks of travelling by bus is that you end up waiting . . . and waiting . . . for buses to arrive. Therefore you need patience - and the curiosity to look around you to pass the time. Now this is fine for someone like me because I'm a card-carrying people watcher and you do, indeed, see all sorts.

Today, for example . . . in Cambridge we have a number of sets of "rising bollards" to stop joe public driving to places that the council don't want them to go. Only buses & taxis (and bikes, of course) have carte-blanche to pass through these bollards and hours of entertainment can be found if you just watch people ignoring the signs and driving up to them, wondering why they can't get through. They almost will the bollards down.

This doesn't happen and woe betide anyone who tries to tail-gate a bus or taxi and try to get through in their wake . . . it only ends in tears. And oil all over the road. And sometimes a car levitating on top of the bollard.

However, today was excellent. The long distance coaches also have to get through these bollards to get to and from the bus station and I watched as a Liverpool-bound National Express coach came along. It stopped about ten yards short and the "spare" driver, a man of considerable girth, got out. He then started to throw his arms around with gay abandon.

Closer inspection (squinting) showed that he had a transponder in his hand, with which he was trying to catch the attention of the magic eye which lowers the bollards. After a few seconds - success, and the coach was able to continue through to stop about thirty yards further on, the bus stop where I was waiting.

Then came the spare driver, who could see that I was grinning at the spectacle. He was also laughing (fortunately, eh) and called to me, in a broad scouse (liverpudlian) accent "there's a fat guy in here (pointing to himself) who really isn't built for jogging!"

Much amusement!

More soon.

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