An essential part of the country’s infrastructure or a huge lump of metal in your way? The future of moving large numbers of people safely and efficiently or a relic from the past only for poor people without their own wheels?
What’s the story for Britain’s buses?
About Your Scribe…..
Phil Tonks became fascinated about buses from the ripe old age of 4. His Mother used to play a game of “guess the colour of the approaching bus” – this was the early to mid 70s when the cream & blue of West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive was replacing the poppy red of Midland Red.
He soon realised that he enjoyed the bus trip on shopping jaunts more than the trudging around the shops themselves (some things have never changed) but worried that he was the only kid in the World to have an affection for buses. Until his Mum, on a longer-distance trip to Wolverhampton, bought him a copy of Buses magazine! Other people liked them too!
Following many years working initially as a hospital porter, then Team Leader in the NHS, he made the move from volunteer with Bus Users UK to full-time Officer, then to official watchdog Passenger Focus. Now working “on the front line” driving railcars on the shortest branch line in Great Britain, he maintains his interest in all things public transport. The only time he has driven a bus was when National Express West Midlands let him loose on their training centre – no cones were squashed on this momentous occasion.
Phil also has an interest in politics and current affairs. As a founding Director of Community Radio Station 102.5 The Bridge, he has presented discussion programmes on politics with MPs and Councillors.
He likes nothing better than an evening with real ale, scratchings and good company, and a ride on the Severn Valley Railway to view the steam locomotives he loves, but knows practically nothing about!
He also writes for Coach & Bus Week Magazine (when Editor Gareth is feeling brave…)
You can follow Phil on Twitter (@philtonks2) or become a Facebook friend (facebook.com/philtonks). The blog also has instant nuggets of bus observations and contemplations on Twitter (@OnThisBusBlog) and it’s own Instagram page (OnThisBusBlog).