Friday, 24 February 2012


The internet is a strange and wonderful place indeed. Whilst searching for inspiration, I came across a short video made last November about a phenomenon I was completely unaware of. This isn't particularly surprising I suppose because not living in London, I've never had cause to frequent the N 29 night bus service from Trafalgar Square to Enfield.

Like many bus routes in the Capital, until Mayor Boris Johnson banished them completely from last year, the route had been served by the unloved 'bendy bus'. Well it's not strictly true to say that everyone disliked them. It's become fairly well known that with rear entry doors, this type of bus was ideal for fare-dodging on an industrial scale. What I didn't know was their widespread use by the homeless during the night. According to one driver on this particularly popular route out to the leafy northern suburbs, he'd had up to 70 homeless and ticket-less nocturnal travellers on one trip. 

What an incredible indictment of present-day society when instead of providing proper facilities, we gently bounce the homeless around on a massively-subsidised bus ride through the capital from midnight to 5am. Literally flotsam, they look a sorry picture trying to catnap along the way. I wonder where they go now, as double-deckers serve the night routes and drivers cannot easily turn a blind eye anymore. 

The video can be viewed here.        

1 comment:

  1. Hurrah(and one of those crass MoJ performance awards)for the bus drivers. They've probably done more for the homeless in one shift than Louise Casey did in all her time coining it as Homelessness Czar.