|An alternative view of the Stagecoach 10|
|An unexpected passenger|
The accident took an hour to clear in the end… but we didn’t mind. We retook our seats and were off towards Elgin again… albeit an hour behind.
We realised, in discussion with the driver, that there could be a problem ahead. This may get a bit complicated but I will try to explain. The bus we were on was the 1300 from Aberdeen to Inverness. The driver of this bus changed in Elgin at 1524 with a new driver taking over to drive to Inverness. When we got caught our driver contacted the supervisor in Elgin - so he was aware of the problem and try to minimise the disruption to passengers.
At this time of day the 10 runs an hourly service, so if any bus was missing it could be a 2 hour gap, which would not be good for those waiting. The supervisor therefore had to decide what to do.
The first action was to find a spare bus and to give that to the driver who was supposed to take over at 1524 and to get him to start from Elgin on time. That way any passengers on the way to Inverness would not realise there was a problem.
The driver of our bus from Aberdeen and with whom we were stuck waiting was due to come off the bus at 1524, have an hours break and then take over the bus behind at 1624 and take that to Inverness. There are rules that dictate how long bus drivers can drive and also when they should have breaks. Once we got moving it was obvious we were going to be almost an hour late arriving just before 1624… the time our driver should be coming back from his break not starting (and he needed a minimum of 45 minutes). What we realised is we could arrive into Elgin and there would be no one to take over our bus or the 1624 departure!
|Replacement Stagecoach 10 to Inverness|
What was so impressive from a fly on the wall perspective was how well it was handled. Given the late running caused by the accident the actions taken minimised the disruption for every passenger on both journeys. Full credit to the Stagecoach Supervisor at Elgin – First Class job!
We arrived on the outskirts of Inverness a fair amount later than planned, although it was meant to be an early finish for the day in readiness for the final push to John O’Groats. We settled our stuff in the hotel and caught yet another bus into Inverness for the evening… they have a Wetherspoons you know.
|Stagecoach 5 to Inverness|
So our early evening turned a little larger and we eventually got to our rooms at about 23:30. What a nice surprise and what a good day tomorrow is going to be.
Final leg of the journey tomorrow. Not that many people will want to get up here to join us for the last bit, but here is the plan anyway:
08:55 – Depart Inverness on Stagecoach (5A)
09:07 – Arrive at the centre of Inverness
09:40 – Depart Inverness on Stagecoach (X99)
13:02 – Arrive at John O’Groats