It's mayhem on London buses

Grace Boateng  

At the risk of sounding like a relative of cantankerous character Victor Meldrew, from the BBC sitcom One Foot in the Grave, I cannot believe some of the bad manners I encounter on bus journeys around the British capital city.

Through no fault of my own I have to use public transport. Ok, I admit I failed my driving test 18 years ago, but that's another issue.

I often wonder if people have lost the art of good manners. Being polite, considerate and courteous costs nothing and may make the journey slightly less traumatic. When I board a bus and touch in my Oyster card it is a natural reflex for me to say,  "Thank you" to the bus driver. I've seen numerous people look stony faced and not utter a word.   Also some people seem to forget that three simple words,  "excuse me please" will usually ensure that other passengers will move out of the way if you need to get past them. I play a little game with people who don't say this by pretending that I can't see that they want to get past me until I hear those magic words.

I do like music but I don't appreciate being forced to listen to the music of others because they are listening headphone free. My most recent encounter was to witness a guy walking with his ipod attached to an ipod dock!

Also why does it seem that many young people want to be singers or rappers and feel that the bus is the best place to inflict us with their talent?   It is highly unlikely that any A & R music executives are travelling on the bus waiting to sign the next big act so please save your talents for the Z-factor.

Sometimes I like to just zone out and watch the world pass by but this peace is easily shattered by the sound of a very loud mobile phone conversation that isn't that interesting.   Leaving litter on the bus is another act of bad manners. Would these people do this at home?  — the answer is probably yes.

Unless you have broken your foot or leg there is no reason for your feet to be on the seat.   The streets of London are not the most sterile of environments so there is no telling what germs are clinging to soles of peoples shoes. I'm sure that Aggie from How clean is your House Tv programme would have a field day with her swabs.

So if you use the bus or other forms of public transport and are guilty of any of the above please remember your manners. Perhaps I should start looking for a driving instructor.