Wednesday, 20 January 2010

A little more tweaking...

A much and well deserved day off from guiding 18 tons of fully laden bus around on south London's streets, today.

I celebrated this by sleeping late.

Or at least, I tried to.

Despite being on the TPS (Telephone Preference Service) and SCG (Silent Call Guard) listings so as to stop marketing calls on the phone, some dimwit with a withheld number phoned me three bloody times in the space of ten minutes at nine am. Amused I was most definitely not.

So, awake, with bog all to do except relax, I decided to make sure that new visitors to the Blant know I'm a bus driver, by adding a simulation of what my Drivers Badge might look like, if they were still issued by the Traffic Commissioners. 'N' was of course (for those in the know), the London number prefix. In case you're as asleep as I was at nine am, it's up on the right of the masthead, at the top of the page!

You can decode where a driver (or a conductor, for that matter) first started work before 1981 when the badges stopped being issued, by looking at the prefix letters. here's the listing:

AA - Northern Traffic area (offices in Newcastle)
BB - Yorkshire Traffic Area (offices in Leeds)
CC - North Western Traffic Area (offices in Manchester)
DD - Midland Traffic Area (offices in Birmingham)
EE - East Midland Traffic Area (offices in Nottingham)
FF - Eastern Traffic Area (offices in Cambridge)
GG - Welsh Traffic Area (offices in Cardiff)
HH - Western Traffic Area (offices in Bristol)
KK - South Eastern Traffic Area (offices in Eastbourne)
LL - Scottish Traffic Area (sub offices in Aberdeen)
MM - Scottish Traffic Area (offices in Edinburgh)
N - Metropolitan Traffic Area (offices in London with the Public Carriage Office)

Why did the badges stop being issued? Simple. The authority to licence bus and coach drivers was passed from the Traffic Commissioners to the Driver Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA). It was pretty much a money-saving exercise, and designed to ensure that the newly agencyfied DVLC (or "Driver Vehicle Licencing Centre", which it was called BM, or Before Maggie, had a ready flow of, well, readies.)

Anyhow... The rest of the number, if you know me *very well*, can be used to narrow down who I actually am... there is a certain satisfaction to being able to post relatively anonymously, after all!

I should point out that my actual badge does not bear these numbers or letters, as it was issued by the Company, not the DVLA

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