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Interrogation by bus driver

(82 Posts)
OldQueen1969 Wed 22-Apr-20 15:09:27

So, as I am unable to leave the house because my Mum is in her last days, my DP is stepping up and doing any shopping or errand running, which is probably more frequent than we woulld like but the needs of a terminally ill person are varied and unpredictable - we are trying as hard as we can to minimise trips out.

After four weeks of utter inactivity, my ebay shop for my closed bricks and mortar shop has sprung into life with several sales in the last few days. So today DP took the parcels out combining with a shopping trip and discovered that our nearest post office is closed on Wednesdays. So he got on a bus to get to the next nearest, and was asked by the bus driver if he was out legitimately for shopping. DP was unimpressed, a little abrasive and was told this is a new thing recently introduced. DP decided to get a taxi.

Our town is by no means a hot spot, with a total of 90 deaths and just over a thousand cases I believe = for context the population is a little over 600,000.

So is this a good thing, a bad thing? Too little too late? I'm just a bit surprised as I had to make multiple bus trips before Mum was released to our house from hospital for safeguarding reasons sanctioned by the GP etc and I was never questioned, I have seen groups of "social outdoor drinkers" unchallenged during those weeks and police that I have passed haven't given me a second glance. And no DP doesn't look like a thug.

I'm also concerned for the bus drivers - in our locale we have some colourful and somewhat volatile vulnerable groups who can be quite aggressive when challenged......

What a world we live in now eh?

ScrumptiousBears Wed 22-Apr-20 15:15:28

Well it wasn't an essential trip was it?

PumpkinP Wed 22-Apr-20 15:15:59

I can’t see anything wrong with it?? I was told buses were only for essential journeys. In London they have stopped people getting on at the front and now you don’t have to pay to protect the drivers. I wouldn’t get a bus, I’ve been walking to the town centre which I usually get a bus to but not worth the risk for me.

PumpkinP Wed 22-Apr-20 15:16:55

doesnt sound like interrogation either? He asked a question

Theweasleytwins Wed 22-Apr-20 15:18:06

Wouldn't it be classed as a work trip which is okay of you can't from home?

OldQueen1969 Wed 22-Apr-20 15:18:18

Essential - running a business and picking up food specific to my dying mother on a limited diet. How is that not essential?

Northernsoullover Wed 22-Apr-20 15:19:26

I'd say its essential. You need income.

OldQueen1969 Wed 22-Apr-20 15:20:32

Should bus drivers be co-opted into this though? Are they expected to hold a person and call the police if the excuse isn't good enough? Or just refuse travel? Which may mean someone doesn't get to a pharmacy or a vulnerable relative? What proof might one have to carry? Should this have been put out in the local press so that people can be prepared?

TheDailyCarbuncle Wed 22-Apr-20 15:21:55

You're going to get all sorts of nonsense responses on here OP from people who think you sit indoors and starve.

I think there has been some guidance that buses are only for key workers. I also think that bus drivers are on edge due to reports of deaths in London. I don't think he should have questioned your DP but he may have thought he was right.

Just get on with what you have to do and don't bother asking about the rights and wrongs. People have lost all sense.

So sorry that your mums last few days are happening in the middle of all this shit. How are you feeling?

Elieza Wed 22-Apr-20 15:25:31

Sorry to hear about your mum.

Re bus, why did your DP not just say Yes it’s essential shopping and I’m posting these items while I’m out. And then get on the bus?
Why did he get annoyed and get a taxi instead, seems a bit OTT.

LondonJax Wed 22-Apr-20 15:25:31

Do what I do if I'm ever asked (which I was once, near the start of all of this, waiting in a queue at the post office). Just say 'yes'. And leave it at that.

SophieB100 Wed 22-Apr-20 15:25:38

It was essential because it was both for work purposes and to help a vulnerable person.
Could your DP have simply replied that he wasn't shopping but doing two of the other permitted reasons to leave home? Why did he get abrasive? I understand he might have been frustrated at being asked, but the exchange could have been sorted quite amicably.

goshdarnitjanet Wed 22-Apr-20 15:26:49

tbh I would have just said Yes I was out legitimately for shopping, bus driver isn't a mind reader so how would he know whether he was telling the truth or not?

PumpkinP Wed 22-Apr-20 15:28:48

Well I read that buses were only for people that are working (I know that isn’t true but I read it online) so I asked on my local fb page and was told I should absolutely only be getting them if it’s essential. He could have just answered the question. Why be difficult, ok maybe it’s not the drivers place to ask but why make it bigger than it needed to be. “Yes it is” would have done.

OldQueen1969 Wed 22-Apr-20 15:29:23

Thanks @TheDailyCarbuncle for a balanced reply and for your kind words x

It is unrelentingly crap watching my mother fade away while fighting every step of the way. The commode arrived today to her chagrin, but it is preferable to struggling the 12 feet into the ensuite.....which was becoming dangerous even with my support..... DP reports back on the world when he has been out and the suspicion and hostility factor freaks him out......

I'm doing okayish and the DNurses are awesome and doing everything they can to help. Macmillan not so hands on, but I understand they are under pressure.

I don't think it will be long now - she's phasing in and out, legs leaking like taps, recently a bit of hallucination..... I appreciate how lucky i am to have her safe with us and feel for those who can't. It is what it is.

Madein1995 Wed 22-Apr-20 15:31:36

Very rude. A) its easy to lie. B) the driver has no authority unless the police so i think is quite rude if they insist an answer. Who are they to ask. C) can quite easily get violent. D) one persons essentisl isnt another.

If I was your Dh I'd have said yes and carried on. The world is going mad

OldQueen1969 Wed 22-Apr-20 15:32:30

I think it took DP by surprise and he was already frustrated at even having to get a bus because of the post office being closed. Yes he could have just said yes it is essential, but locally we have had no indication that buses are restricted for the public at all. It just seems so difficult to do anything these days is all, even when trying to follow the rules......

I'm just sad is all, about everything.

Mustbethewine Wed 22-Apr-20 15:33:10

I think your DP's response and reaction is a little OTT tbh, he was hardly interrogated. He could have just said yes this is essential journey which I believe it was considering you require an income to survive.

TheDailyCarbuncle Wed 22-Apr-20 15:34:49

That seems very stressful and tiring but it sounds like you're coping really well and that you're doing a great job for your mum. I hope it goes as well as it can and that you have enough support to get you through. You have enough to be worrying about without lockdown nonsense distracting you too.

Take care of yourself - you must be exhausted.

OldQueen1969 Wed 22-Apr-20 15:35:04


Yes, my thoughts too. Not just about the inconvenience DP felt, more about the wider implications as I said above.

OldQueen1969 Wed 22-Apr-20 15:37:02

@TheDailyCarbuncle Thank you flowers - yes, well supported thank heavens - I am very grateful x

LemonadeAndDaisyChains Wed 22-Apr-20 15:38:50

Why did he get annoyed and get a taxi instead, seems a bit OTT

This, why get snappy and strop off to a taxi instead of just saying he was posting parcels for work purposes as your usual post office is closed?

Topseyt Wed 22-Apr-20 15:42:27

Aww, I am sorry to hear about your Mum. Watching her must be so difficult, for both you and your DP. I guess he was stressed too, as he is supporting you both.

Easy to say, but I think he should have just said yes, essential business travel, and collecting essential food for a vulnerable person. Chalk it up to experience, and have that response in his back pocket for future reference.

Is it now perhaps the policy of the bus company that the drivers must ask this question when taking on passengers?

WhyCantIThinkOfAGoodOne Wed 22-Apr-20 15:44:29

It sounds like a massive over reaction. Surely he could just say yes, it was an essential shopping trip then got on the bus.

FFSFFSFFS Wed 22-Apr-20 15:44:59

I agree that it is inappropriate and unfair to put that kind of pressure on a bus driver

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