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This evening, when getting onto one of your buses, the bus-driver closed the door on me, trapping my foot and knocking me over.

I was in a short queue, behind two young men, with no-one behind me. The bus was about to leave, but I saw that the busdriver had noticed me and stepped up, expecting him to open the door.

However he instead continued to close the door (his view of the door was abscured by two men he was selling tickets to, so he may not have been aware that my foot was on the bus). I moved backwards, but not fast enough, and my leg was caught in the door, knocking me backwards into the gutter, leaving my foot caught in the closed door, scattering my laptop and bags into the puddles (it had recently been raining heavily).

Fortunately, as I said, the bus driver knew I was there, so he opened the door, freeing me. He then proceeded to shout at me from the driver's booth that it was my fault. It was only when he noticed that I was still (far too stunned by what had happened to react) on the ground that he came out to help me to my feet. He explained to me that getting onto a bus when the doors are closing is dangerous, adding, "well you've found that out now".

He was anxious that I hadn't been injured, and repeatedly asked me if I was alright.

He did not, though, at any point apologise for deliberately closing his bus door on me, trapping my foot and knocking me over backwards into the gutter.

While I appreciate that sticking to schedules on rainy evenings is difficult, and one more passenger trying to get on can be annoying (although there was plenty of space on his bus) I do think that reacting in this way could potentially be very dangerous.

As it happens, all I suffered was wet and dirty clothing, some bruises and damage to my shopping, but landing heavily on the ground could easily have injured me severely. Perhaps you could please stress to the driver that closing his door on a person to try and persuade them not to get on his bus can be dangerous?

Although, to pass his words back to him, I expect he's found that out now.


( 28 worms — Feed the birds )
23rd Aug, 2004 11:23 (UTC)
I'm more anxious
that he doesn't do it to anyone else. He saw (part of) me and assumed I was a kid: agile enough to jump out of the way and ripe for some telling off.

Trouble is, snap judgements like that can be disastrous when combined with, say, driving a bus.
23rd Aug, 2004 11:34 (UTC)
Re: I'm more anxious
typical of someone who just can't be arsed to do their job sufficiently diligently any more, (if they ever did). Bus drivers in London increasingly don't even bother stopping at the bus stops if they can get away with it.
23rd Aug, 2004 11:32 (UTC)
The main thing is you're OK.

From what you describe he's probably cringing about it, whilst inisting loudly to anyone that'll listen that it really wasn't his fault. Whether he manages to learn that shutting doors on people isn't clever or justified is another matter.
23rd Aug, 2004 11:44 (UTC)
He was certainly doing that a lot at the time.

But yes, I'm OK. My jeans will live. The laptop's fine. The only casualty was a packet of pineapple, and even there the damage wasn't terminal.

Of course there's still the possibility of waking up tomorrow in agonising pain and realising that I have to call Direct Line, or whoever the current market leader in ambulance chasers is.
23rd Aug, 2004 11:59 (UTC)
Re: yeah
I think Direct Line would be only too happy to sell you some sort of anti-bus-door-accident insurance, but they're not in the business of ambulance chasing as far as I know.

Try Sue, Grabbit & Run instead - they regularly advertise in Private Eye.
23rd Aug, 2004 13:01 (UTC)
silly me
I meant claims direct ...
23rd Aug, 2004 11:53 (UTC)
Well, I'm glad you're basically OK, anyway...

Are you planning to actually send in the complaint? Seems like it might be a good idea, though hopefully the whole incident has left the bus driver with a paranoid fear of closing the doors when there might be people getting on...

23rd Aug, 2004 12:06 (UTC)
of course I sent in the complaint
I tried to phone it in -- very therapeutic, being reasonable over the phone. But it looks like the phone line is open office hours only.
23rd Aug, 2004 12:08 (UTC)
minus the bitchy rider, obviously.
23rd Aug, 2004 12:56 (UTC)
Yikes. They should really send those bus drivers to some kind of chill out professional development, like compulsory meditation classes or something.
23rd Aug, 2004 13:06 (UTC)
to be fair
half a lake had just fallen from the sky in the past half hour.

Of course, that made my tumble all the more, er, soaking ...
23rd Aug, 2004 13:01 (UTC)
oh, ow
glad you're alright!

some bus drivers are nice & considerate, others are jobsworth in a hurry. It's a lottery as to who you get.
23rd Aug, 2004 13:13 (UTC)
it's nice when
busdrivers are nice (which they often are) but I wouldn't demand it of them. God knows it's a grim enough job, sometimes.

Asking that they don't knock me into the gutter, however, seems reasonable.

23rd Aug, 2004 18:06 (UTC)
Re: it's nice when

I'm always nice to bus drivers (having taken enough shit from the public in my various jobs), but there are exceptions.

My 'favourite' is where they pull away at speed while you're halfway up the stairs...

Glad you're not injured!
23rd Aug, 2004 13:08 (UTC)
That is ridiculous behavior for any bus driver!! It's his JOB to let you on the bus! Grrrrrrr....people are so moronically insane about choosing what they want over reality.

I hope you actually report that. I would....lol....but that's cuz I enjoy making people in a uniform that are supposed to be working for the publics good realize that other people have power too. I hate it when idiots misuse the tools that have been given to them to help, and they use it to hurt.

Hahahahaha....I can just imagine that happening to someone here...the lawsuit would be so huge it would be on the news, and busdrivers everywhere would cringe. Not that Americans are sue-happy or anything. But some people just see that as opportunity knocking. lol...(and I don't see it that way, but,.....Grrrrrr!!)

Hope you are ok...
24th Aug, 2004 02:32 (UTC)
I'm fine, thanks. Well, I have pollutants ground into one of my elbows, but I'll live ;)
23rd Aug, 2004 13:41 (UTC)
busdrivers in Bristol seem to regularly run people over and reverse over them if they are given half the chance. I was on a bus once that pinned a man between it and some railings and then drove over his foot...not trying to make light of your encounter and I hope you don't wake up tomorrow in agony but...yes, there's a lot of it about.
24th Aug, 2004 02:32 (UTC)
harsh --
Buses in Oxford are not normally so bad but there have a been a few accidents this summer. They'd probably blame the roadworks ...
23rd Aug, 2004 15:01 (UTC)
I hope you got his name and badge number so you can report him properly!! what a dolt!
24th Aug, 2004 02:30 (UTC)
They don't wear no stinking badges!
24th Aug, 2004 05:18 (UTC)
Re: badges?
24th Aug, 2004 00:56 (UTC)
Glad you managed to escape...
... without too serious consequences. I could insert a rant about privatisation of public transport here, but I get the feeling we all could. I feel slightly disappointed for this to happen in Oxford which still seems to have the best bus service in England (outside London). Dare I ask whether the bus was Stagecoach or OBC ?
24th Aug, 2004 02:25 (UTC)
Re: Glad you managed to escape...
Stagecoach. The No. 1 to Blackbird Leys, to be exact ...
24th Aug, 2004 01:51 (UTC)
A rather unpleasant experience, and potentially very dangerous, I've seen people caught in bus doors being dragged along the road. These were just ordinary folk who got jostled into getting trapped.
Some kind of written complaint is a good idea, next time it could be an old retired lady/gent getting caught, with broken bones the result.
Glad to hear you escaped with no physical injury, though being blamed by the bus driver is rather harsh to the spirit.
24th Aug, 2004 02:27 (UTC)
yes, that's what I thought
-- I mean, I'm quite good at collapsing in a boneless heap on the floor and thereby avoiding serious injury, but other people may not be. So I sent in the complaint, exactly as above, minus the italics and with enough information for them to identify the driver, so they can remind him that this is a bad idea before he ends up causing a nasty accident.
24th Aug, 2004 03:43 (UTC)
Holy Shit!
Yeah, make a stink, demand compensation, etc. Make 'em suffer a bit. You did. Glad to hear it wasn't serious, but it must have been pretty damn scary.
I feel that a lot of bus drivers work stoned these days; they increasingly do such weird, needlessly unpleasant things. Of course, I feel sorry for them 'cos it's such a horrible job, but there's no need for out and out agression against poor passengers who ain't done nuffink...
15th Sep, 2004 03:56 (UTC)
Re: Holy Shit!
Thats terrible! Terrible!! The bus drivers of oxford have such a chip on their shoulder.

I had a near death experience myself with one. I've met him many times and he always seems determined to ruin someones day. The light was red so I crossed the road but as I got near to the other side it went red. Well, not using his common sense or road judgement but just his busdriver "kill all pedestrians" brain he went straight for me. He nearly knocked me over. If I hadn't reacted quickly my foot would have been flattened.

I think its disgusting. Ooh, I'm on a roll here. We have no choice but to take buses so even if we do complain nothing is done. The bus companies continue to hire incompitent homicidal angry drivers because they know we HAVE to take the buses. Its a no win situation.

( 28 worms — Feed the birds )