Attitudes of drivers often crop up in a negative light these days, whether it be through hand gestures or abusive comments, right through to involvement with police or expulsion from bus stations. I particularly noticed this hostile change in attitude while spotting 'up north' , in particular in Newcastle Under Lyme in which myself and a friend were indeed confronted by bus station staff who demanded that we left the site and didn't continue to photograph their buses. I most certainly wasn't going to fight my corner, being in such a tentative position, many miles from home, but it was very frustrating, and does indeed put quite a downer on the whole day after you are treated as such. After sending an e-mail to the local First subsidiary, they did give a very helpful and genuine response to my concerns, and did show a real interest in trying to rectify the situation, both through addressing it with the depot manager, and also promising to include more of an emphasis within their customer care programme which was really positive; great to see a company really trying to make a difference for us.
It did also make me appreciate how good the driver attitudes generally are in the South West; really we enjoy quite a safe haven in terms of attitudes both from companies and drivers. This was indeed reflected within Plymouth and the photo I have posted above, while I undertook my first 'proper' spotting session since some point in April, now that exams are starting to wind down, with my final one taking place tomorrow. I received quite a few waves and smiles while photographing the local scene yesterday, which although simple, really does make a difference to the whole feel you get when undertaking the hobby. A simple wave can bring a smile to your own face, showing that they do have a good attitude, and are accepting of the hobby, rather than a dry or indeed hostile view undertaken in some areas, another notable location being Halifax, despite as previously mentioned in another blog, the truly exceptional service offered by bus station staff.
Indeed another example of where staff really can make a difference to your day came within Bristol SU 270 KTA's 50th Anniversary Tour, and hence I direct you toward the narrative of David Sheppard within his latest post on www.270kta.blogspot.com