Friday, July 06, 2007


This turned up in my weekly bus service registration amendment report, which I get a copy of as part of the day job. The report is a summary of the service alterations as reported to the Traffic Commissioner, which anyone running a bus service has to submit by law, it’s pretty much the only form of regulation that now exists for bus services, over and above the laws and regulations that specify your bus must be roadworthy, not dangerous in any way and, by 2112, fully accessible. There was a few this week, but this one caught my eye.

Start Date - 03/09/2007
# - S6
Operator - Notts & Derby
Services - Kings Newton - Sinfin Asda shoppers' bus
Details - cancelled
Comments - Commercial decision.

For those of you with too much of a life to be bothered to interpret this, basically it means-

Starting on the 3rd of September, the Notts and Derby bus company has decided to stop running a service specifically designed to get shoppers to the ASDA in Sinfin (a satellite community of Derby) for ‘commercial reasons’.

Now, commercial reasons means it wasn’t making any money. Generally, this is because not enough people are using it. In the week that the Archbishop of York stumbled round Hull comparing the flood damage to the havoc wreaked by Katrina on Louisiana, a bus designed to get people to a supermarket is cancelled due to under use. Crassness of the comments of the Archbish comparing flooding in Hull to the depopulation of the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans by death or evacuation, etc. asside, this says something to me.

Now, I’m pretty sure that the Sinfin ASDA is still doing very well. I bet the car park is full. Unlike the bus. Bottom line is, even when the folks down the road are getting flooded out, and even the Daily Star is talking about how this fucked up weather is probably due to climate change, we still can’t change our habits enough to even get on a bus to go the fucking Wal-Mart, let alone think about going to Sound Bites, the excellent ethical grocers in the middle of Derby, or starting to, perish the thought, maybe use less stuff.

The only thing that has come close to getting a load of my mates to even consider quitting smoking is the thought of being exiled to the pavement out side the pub, and having been to Dublin last weekend (and, no, I didn’t fucking fly) this won’t stop them either is the Irish experience is anything to go by. And they all know smoking is almost certainly going to kill them. But you can always quit tomorrow. It’s always a day away…

But it isn’t. It’s now. If not yesterday. If all we can manage is changing light bulbs, and leaving our stereos on standby turning power into heat that came partially from wind energy instead of nukes, then we’re stuffed. I know I’m starting to sound like a stuck record, but so is the world outside my window. I can’t see anything changing except the Met Offices record books. Oh, and the loss of a bus service, and the appointment of new ministers who support airport expansion. The price of convenience is extinction.

But, don’t worry, you won’t need to catch a bus or anything, extinction does home delivery.