The Big Red Bus

Series 1, Episode 1
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Passengers are as likely to say “please” and “thank you” on this route as they are to look where they’re going as they cross the road in front of her 15-tonne bus. It’s fair to say this is not a good start to her day.

As the temperature rises on Terry’s bus things are more relaxed a few streets away at the training school she herself trained at three years ago. It’s the first day in the classroom for a batch of new wannabe bus drivers. Single mum, Mya is among the dewy-eyed newbies and she’s hoping the regular income and stability of bus-driving will change her life for the better. She wants to move her and her little daughter away from their South London council estate. But before she goes near a learner bus she’s got to study in the classroom for a week and pass a theory exam.

And Terry’s driving seat is getting pretty hot today. The latest Londoner impatient to alight between stops is angrily challenging Terry before grabbing at the emergency rear doors. As they spring open Terry lets off steam. Loudly! She hates it when passengers disrespect her and worst of all put her other passengers at risk.

This is another average day for one of London’s 22,000 drivers. Just as well the watchful eyes of Centrecomm - London’s trusty transport guardians - are looking out for them all day every day. Chuck Halen is at the helm of the Centrecomm operation and there’s little he and his team haven’t seen on their Big Brother-style cameras. These cameras can pick up everything from the faces of passengers at a bus stop to the inside of a bus as it’s being graffitied and pee’d in.