A question of ‘dead mileage’
17 September, 2020
‘Technically the road can only be used by buses under direction from the appropriate authorities’
• WHERE does Christopher Mason think that buses park when not required for service?, (What’s the destination?, September 10).
The “Boris buses” that he is most probably referring to are more than likely required for operation on the 168 bus route which is operated from Cricklewood Garage. Therefore they have to get from there to South End Green to start their journey.
Any bus that has to travel to or from its home garage to work the required route has to go on approved roads, which in most cases are existing bus routes.
East Heath Road is not an approved road or a bus route, although some drivers have been seen using it in the past. Technically the road can only be used by buses under direction from the appropriate authorities.
Operating companies like to keep what is termed “dead mileage” (that is, no paying passengers carried) to a minimum and the easiest way between Cricklewood Garage and South End Green is via Golders Green and Hampstead following, in part, the 268 bus route.
They could go via Swiss Cottage but this involves increased dead mileage and less actual working time and possibly an extra two or three buses to operate the route.
I am a retired bus conductor and driver and was for some time, as a union branch committee member, responsible for checking before operation any new schedules and duty times to ensure that they fell within the agreed practices of the time.
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