The other day yours truly was enjoying my lunch sitting on a bench in the grounds of the parish church.
Suddenly I heard someone calling out my name. ‘Mr Ivor! Mr Ivor!‘ I heard the voice calling. Turning around one of my friends was approaching quickly on foot waving their mobile telephone in the air.
‘Just look at this‘, said my friend offering me the telephone with a picture on the screen.
‘This picture was taken on a bus in Wycombe Bus Station, there’s a rubber band holding the emergency exit door shut!‘, my friend carried on.
‘By George!‘, I exclaimed upon seeing the picture. ‘Where is this bus now?‘, I enquired. ‘It’s on the way to Totteridge‘, was the reply.
Packing up my lunch both of us made our way as quickly as possible towards the bus stop in Castle Street. We arrived just in time to see ‘Benjamin’ the No. 33 bus coming from the direction of the railway station.
Holding out my hand the bus stopped and we both got on paying a fare to Frogmoor.
My good self made my way to the seat by the emergency exit and to my amazement there was a rubber band tied between the handle and the locking mechanism of the emergency door just as shown in the picture at the top of this blog.
Looking up at the top fitment where the locking rod is attached to the door there appeared to be a large amount of fluid (possibly oil) visible which could have been applied possibly to free up the mechanism, or possibly it could have been from a failed hydraulic mechanism that was meant to keep the door shut.
Correct me if I am wrong but the rubber band appeared to be fitted in such a way that it was applying a downward force on the locking rod which would help to keep the door shut – if that’s how the lock works?
Obviously if the door opened while the bus was in motion, such as if a passenger got caught in the rubber band and accidently opened the door while trying to free themselves, a passenger could potentially fall out the side of the bus and onto the road in the path of possible oncoming vehicles.
Never in all my history has yours truly ever seen anything like it. A rubber band is not a permanent engineering solution if there’s problem is it? Why on earth was it there?
Was the driver happy at taking this bus on the road, indeed even allowing passengers on board, with a rubber band on full view?
Today, while on my regular lunchtime walk around Wycombe town centre your humble servant happened to see ‘Benjamin’ on the road and the rubber band was still in place and could clearly be seen from the outside of the bus.
Therefore is it fair to assume that the bus has gone back to the depot, been checked over, been cleaned and yet nobody has removed the rubber band if it was surplus to requirements?
Maybe it’s time the powers that be carried out checks on the safety of the buses plying for business on the roads of High Wycombe?
I wonder how many more of Wycombe’s buses are seemingly held together with rubber bands?
What do you think?
Many thanks to my friend for providing the picture that accompanies this blog.
My blogs are published every Tuesday and Friday evening around 8.00pm here on the WycombeToday.com website.