Six Issues With Bristol Bus Journeys



Getting a bus isn’t always the preferred mode of transport for some. Like many others who stress around buses, Molly heavily relies on them to get me from A to B. It’s a shame there’s a diversion sending them to C.

For people who aren’t in walking distance of their destination, catching a bus seems like the easy option. Especially in Bristol where it’s the primary source of public transport.

In my experience, catching the bus isn’t always as easy as it seems. So many things annoy me about each journey. It’s quite stressful and makes me anxious about the possibility of having a rubbish commute.

If only we used the Oyster Card

One of the main stresses is price. Which is only going up and up and up. This is compared to London where the Oyster Card is an effective and quick tool for dealing with public transport, Bristol still has the long winded pay-on-the-spot method, which adds time to every ride. If only we used the Oyster Card, maybe we would be able to get home that little bit quicker by swiping a prepaid card instead of waiting for five minutes at every single bus stop on your route home because everyone has to wade through their hundreds of pennies before boarding or the driver spends half a day analysing every single bus ticket/£20 note to check it’s validity.

Overall, I feel catching a bus in Bristol adds more stress than necessary.

Here is why I get stressed when catching a bus:

1. When you check the bus times online to find they don’t match the electronic screen or the timetable in black on white actually on the bus stop.


 I really don’t know when the bus is going to arrive so I leave ten minutes earlier than I would normally just to hope I can make my destination on time but always end up chasing the bus in panic.

2. When you don’t have the right amount of change.


That evil glance from the bus driver followed by the fear of rejection of not being able to ride the bus when you hand over a fresh £20 note isn’t the most welcoming feeling. To solve this, I go the extra mile and spend my £20 on a Freddo just so I have change for the bus.

Mmmmm, Freddo, my guilty secret.

3. When people tactically sit so you can’t sit next to them.

Source: tumblr

I feel like I’m being rude if I ask someone to move their bag so I can sit down. But why? Why should I feel like a bag has more right than me? I know that some people don’t like sitting next to anyone but it’s hard to manage that on a bus.  Also, if you can see someone struggling, please offer them your seat as there’s nothing more guilty than watching someone struggle to stand.

4. When you have to stand up near the front of the bus like you’re at a concert because people don’t move down the aisle.

Source: tumblr

At busy times, people don’t move down the bus or fill up the few empty seats at the back. This causes a bottleneck, people. This means being squashed like sardines – not the most fun thing when you’re trying to get home. especially after a long, stressful day.

If people could move down the bus, we wouldn’t feel like we have to crowd surf our way out the bus.

5. When you feel guilty about people not being allowed on a busy bus to also get home from a long day of work/college/whatever because they are a few stops down the line.


I feel guilty zooming past a busy stop because the bus you are on is nearly at bursting point. I should be grateful that I’m that bit closer to your destination. I feel bad for everyone who cannot get on the bus but I also don’t like when someone starts shouting and causing fights on the bus because they can’t get on – I just want to go home and relax like they do but causing an argument makes it longer for everyone and makes people feel awkward.

6. When people standing in the aisle of a bus have huge back packs that keeps hitting you in the face. 


It’s really irritating.

So, that is a list of the little issues I face on every bus journey. I could go on for days and days and days but I want to hear your moans.

Do you feel the same about bus journeys? Do you have any other frequent experiences that aren’t on the list? Let me know @rifemag

Support more young people to have their voices heard

Rife is Watershed‘s online magazine created for young people, by young people.

We offer paid internships and publish work by young writers, photographers, illustrators, and filmmakers from all sorts of backgrounds, helping them get into creative careers. Rife has reached over 8,000 young people through our workshops, over 220 young people have made stuff for Rife on topics ranging from mental health to identity to baked beans, and last year, over 200,000 people visited our website.

In these complex and uncertain times hearing from and supporting young people who are advocating for social change and contributing fresh perspectives has never been so important. 

Through supporting Rife you can ensure that this important work continues and that more young people have their voices heard.