As Tracy suggested in her comment to yesterday's post, public transport plays an important role in British tradition. Unfortunately we're not talking about what passes today for transport, but what they had in those ever-elusive "good old days", and we're going back before my time, since all my life I've found public transport to be a total nightmare.
Not being an anorak, I can't really do the subject justice, but I'll have a go at talking about a very special type of British Bus. The Routemaster:
You will recognise this from a picture in yesterday's post, if you weren't too busy staring at the eye-candy.
This particular model of double decker was built in the 50s and 60s for London Transport. Buses in London were (are?) red, hence the colour, and their popularity makes them the archetypal London Bus, even though there have been plenty of others over the years.
When I was a student in South Manchester in the late 80s, the Didsbury - Town Centre route used Routemasters for some reason. They were still painted London Transport red, and they were the best.
The reason is that they had a conductor. The driver sat in his cabin completely shut off from the passengers, and a conductor took the fares. This meant that the bus only had to stop long enough for people to hop on and off. There was no waiting around for people to find the exact change. It made them safer at night, too.
They were nice and warm in the winter - their heaters were a lot more effective than in modern buses, for some reason. They were too warm in the summer, though...
Nowadays buses look more like this one, which is in Stagecoach colours. Stagecoach is the Microsoft of the bus world:
I'm sure these buses are much safer, wheelchair friendly, etc, but sometimes progress seems to have no soul.
I'll leave you with the following. Contrary to the commentary this kind of event isn't very common, and people amazingly are rarely hurt. We'll prove this when Tracy comes for her tour by putting her in the front seat at the top.