Friday, 27 July 2012

Tfl's five-ringed circus

I stupidly decided to venture onto tfls’ website, just to see what environmental nonsense they were cawing, wholeheartedly, to the press this week.  Simply to show just how environmentally gorgeous they are.  Flapping energetic fluorescing green-striped credentials, to an ever eager lapping media flock!  Such are tfl’s efforts to appear convincingly kosher, seeds are beginning to sprout from atop their compost-able collective heads.

The following is from tfl’s website,
“Energy and climate change
Red Hybrid Bus. We are helping to deliver the Mayor's commitment to a 60 per cent reduction of CO2 emissions by 2025 (from 1990 levels) by promoting sustainable travel, running vehicles more efficiently and using greener vehicles and fuels.
We are adapting our services to the impacts of a changing climate with flood management plans, the tunnel cooling programme and changing bus specifications.”

My first thought was: no, it won’t sustainably promote anything.  As any benefit you think these wonderful aimed reductions are going to have, will be countered by the a*#@*#?! (bus drivers) who’ll not only keep their bloody engines running come: summer, autumn, winter or spring; but, who'll increasingly rev them within an inch of them exploding; as you, old london transport ignominiously re-branded to transport for london (buses division), are a **?#’** managerial shower of *****, that if you fell into a brewery wouldn’t know how to have a piss-up, let alone which part of your anatomy to start from!  The remainder of my thoughts peeled off into incoherence, as they gathered up speed and zoomed off over a helpful metaphorical edge.

With less than 24 hours to go before the five-ringed circus of mayhem - or if you’d prefer to think of it in nicer cutesier terms - there’s less than 24 hours to go before all hell breaks lose and the carefully planned sponsored games, the ancient greeks wouldn’t be proud to call theirs (all the while refusing to have coke and heart-ack fries stuffed down their maws) and the opening ceremony officially dazzles the world.  I briefly wondered how the wonderful olympic spirit and medal wishing zeal, were making people - who aren’t being forced to work for nothing - feel?  

South london press conducted a poll a couple of weeks ago.  Of the respondents 59.8% were all enthusiastic for the olympics, clapping their hands in unalloyed glee; a preference probably abetted by the weight of direct and indirect marketing, stubbornly bombarding them the moment they popped their tv-sets out of standby, switched on their radios, or every time they glance at their 2012 weedel and maddening coke pouring watch.

Although there is no actual tally of the number of people who participated in the poll, nor any checks on where they lived, nor were there any measures preventing respondents from voting more than once (suffice to say it couldn’t exactly be classified as a rigorous scientific poll) it did indicate (whatever the voting pool and intentions) that just over 40% are a bunch of ungrateful miserable no-fun tossers, who would rather gnaw their own leg off (just below the knee) than have anything whatsoever to do with it.  If it takes you longer than half a second to realise which category i fall into, then this is obviously your first pitch into this portion of tripe.  So go back to the very beginning, until you’re begging to have your eyes gouged out with a bit of candy floss and a twig.  Or failing that, begging to have your ears filled with hot dripping wax lit-end first, simply to retire your need to hear or see anything ever again.

So what does this have to do with buses? 

Well, with road closures and the a’hats following the other greedy b’tards following the lead of the brown envelope stuffers, wanting to strike for more money because it’s such a special time, there will obviously be more of the big red things running around the less expensive parts of this ‘ere gold (is saying gold still allowed) coated part of town.  With changed schedules, routes, blocked lanes - where even public transport’s not allowed - the scale of toxic pollution (albeit not as bad as beijing) will increase  by a good old fashioned notch or two.  Oh for an egg to record the levels and have it displayed for perpetuity.

This part of the capital regularly breaches eu limits with pollution levels three times higher than accepted levels.  Although the past three months precipitation (whilst attempting to sink the city and allow some architect to conjure up contemporary hills or mounds as a secondary form of data backup) managed to effectively reduce the stink and particulates over 500 bus terminations per day happily emit.  At any particular juncture, nine plus of these dratted vehicles are sitting there up to 20 minutes at a time; either with drivers keeping engines ticking over or revving them “fit to burst” as one disgruntled neighbour put it.  Pointing an increasingly shaky, pollution-aided alzheimeric hand, in the direction of the biggest polluter this particular road is unnecessarily encumbered with, pumping out their toxic swill.

Perhaps i’m been somewhat harsh on the hard working drivers, who are after all providing a public service.  They’d be providing a far better public service if they also stopped unnecessarily polluting the air, but that would be the same as asking them to stop for passengers when they’re 2 minutes over their shift at 23:30 hrs.  Some might conclude i’m being even harder on tfl.  No, sorry, not in the slightest.  Considering the organisation has been at this transport game (in one guise or another) for a good few years, with a plethora of statistics that would make a burgeoning statistician weep - if they had tear-ducts - you’d have thought they’d have garnered a few basics about peoples travel.  Take for instance the travel planner, a wonderful implementation of getting around from "a" to "b",  unfortunately if you want to go from b to a instead of pressing a button swapping the details and it automatically working for you, have to copy and paste or retype the entries and go through the rigmarole all over again.  Tfl, take a look at how google implements it, simple and basic and it doesn’t time out after 2 seconds.  Of course, if there’s an option somewhere i’ve overlooked i’ll happily eat my other uneaten shoe.

I really shouldn't look at tfl's website whilst consuming anything liquid.  One of these days I really will choke to death.  But in the spirit of fair competition, for one month we should all eat the sponsoring companies (ideally only food and drink) competitors fare, just to show them and the five-ringed circus that monopolistic behaviour isn't really sportsmanlike at all.

In the meantime, i just need to find my olympic: mug, bags of popcorn, coasters, umbrella, and comfortable space-throw, to enjoy all that hard-earned sweat!

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