Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Biking Bishop and bendy buses

An early start this morning to be down at church to open up for Steve and Mike Haskins, the glaziers, who'd come over from KIngswood Bristol, to re-instate the sacristy window removed for repair and renovation before Christmas. It meant I had a great opportunity to photograph them at work. The results are here

At a few days notice the venue and timing of our Deanery Clergy meeting was changed to make possible a meeting with our new Assistant Bishop, David Willbourne. I had to arrange someone to cover my midday Eucharist, in order to attend the one celebrated by the Bishop for clergy, at St Luke's in Canton. Fortunately, Canon Holcombe from the Cathedral was able to take my place, so I was able to be there on time.

At the Eucharist was was impressed with our new assistant Bishop's way with words, his thoughtful turning of well worn phrases. He's a Yorkshireman and brings some original freshness to us as part of his engagement with his new ministry. If he can get us all thinking and shed new light on our contemporary malaise, the welcome he gets will be far more than courtesy demands. I was delighted to learn that he's a committed habitual cyclist, already discovering that he can commute by bike to the Llandaff office as quick if not quicker by bike than by car.

Getting to St Luke's meant catching a number 17 bendy bus plying the route out to Ely, the third day in a row for me to use this service. One thing struck me on the outward journey. The bus was about half full, but seemed more crowded as there were three people with wheeled trolleys doubling up as a zimmer frame; three mums with push-chairs; another two with wheeled travel cases; all crammed into the first section of the bus designed with wheeled passengers in mind. This made it hard for passengers without whelled appendages to get on and pass up the bus.

Rather than go to the back of the bus to get off, those in the front part of the bus walked forward, using the same exit as passengers getting on. Are the numbers using wheeled appendages rising, or peaking at a certain time of day? Or is there simply not enough space to accommodate this change, even though the bendy bus is designed to take wheelchair passengers. I must find out if anyone's doing homework on this. One factor in keeping buses running to time has to be time spent getting passengers on and off. If there's congestion in the buses as well as on the road, that's not going to help much.

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