Tuesday, 5 July 2011

The Wheels on the Bus ........

We went on a coach trip yesterday to Llandudno. The weather was fantastic. The coach was a little bit late in arriving but we followed the queue boarding and sat down three seats from the front on the offside. I sat next to the window and the passing traffic. Hubs sat on the inside seat.

We were heading up the A494 through Denbigh along the by-pass. The coach seemed to lose speed a little and I gave a sharp intake of breath. We were veering dangerously close towards a lorry along side the window where I was sitting. It seemed like little more than a coat of paint between us! Yikes! Hubs nudged my elbow and motioned towards the driver's mirror. We could see in the mirror, the driver's eyelids starting to droop and he seemed to be constantly leaning forward and then jolting back. The low babble of conversation of the other passengers droned on totally unaware. From time to time he was running his hand across his forehead to the back of his head and yawning every few minutes. By this time we were batting along about 50 mph. Anybody who drives anything, will easily recognise the signs.

We came to a sharpish bend and the coach started to shudder and jerk. The lady in the seat behind us mimicked it and laughed loudly. Hubs whispered to me, "I think the track rod end might have gone." Now my O/H worked on the mechanics of coaches and the like, for quite a few years in his younger days and knows a lot about them. He explained that the track rod end is a piece of equipment at the end of the steering track. When it goes wrong it causes the vehicle to shudder and veer. The vibration can very easily cause the steel around it to disintegrate. We got to our destination, thankfully. In these austere times, I wonder how many more of these companies are cutting back and taking risks. It doesn't bear thinking about! We were the lucky ones but what about the people who would be going out in the bus after us?


  1. Good Lord...I hope that driver had a nap before he got behind the wheel again. Did you go and sit with him and talk to him to keep him awake?

  2. No - it's against company policy to distract the driver (even if he is nodding off) - health & safety and all that :(

  3. Oh my, what a ride you had. To think they might be cutting back on safety issues in these times is frightening. I will be getting on a plane this summer to go to California and I am nervous about it, especially with all this news about the air traffic controllers falling asleep on the job.

    Glad you got to your destination safe and sound.

  4. How did you get back?..... Not in the same coach I hope!

    I like Llandudno. I remember raking some type of shellfish out of the sand there, and cooking them in a tin bucket.

  5. I've been thinking about a little fishing trip off the Great Orme but had forgotten about it until reading this Molly, so thanks. Looks very inviting.

    I won't be taking the coach though. Ever seen the end of 'The Italian Job'?

  6. Sounds like a scary journey. Lovely views when you got there though.

  7. A bit of a 'never again moment' but the rest of the day was really good! Cro - we did come back on the same coach but at least the driver wasn't yawning any more which was one bonus!
    Chris - not only have I seen, 'The Italian Job' - I almost experienced it as well!! (only joking!) The Great Orme is lovely though. Quite a lot of fishermen were fishing off the pier - I never noticed any of them catch anything. I would imagine a deep sea fishing trip would be fantastic though! We went on a boat trip around the Orme. Would have loved to have gone out for a longer trip around the bay if they'd had one going!

  8. Nice post and photos, too.


  9. OH Molly, what a frightening trip, I don't think I would've been able to sit still and keep quiet............

    Glad the driver was more alert on the return trip.

    You're right it doesn't bear thinking about companies cutting back on costs oneway or another.....

    Claire :}

  10. It is the right place to ride in the cycle.. look so cute to sea .....Wheels Florida