Just boarded my first ever Talkie Bus. I’d read about them, but never actually experienced them… If you fancy giving one a try, just jump on a number 89 from Lewisham to Blackheath. At every stop a voice will bark “89”, followed by the (somewhat spurious) name of the stop. I think the problem is that areas in London with tube stops are known by their station-names, because of their scarcity. But when every single bus stop is blurted out at you, most of them seem so irrelevant.
I read somewhere (if I remember, I’ll link to it) a blind person saying that they didn’t find the announcements helpful. I’d have thought that they would be, but they just seem so invasive. The other thing is the choice of voices – these are not the honeyed tones of Joanna Lumley silkily informing you that “you have email” (or should that be “sorry you’re with AOL”?). Maybe they should use the mellifluous tones of Neil Nunes (who doesn’t seem to exist at all on the internet in audio form).
But no, they have some terrible set of announcements shouting the names at you. What’s worse is that “bus stopping at next stop, please stand well clear of doors” is still going strong. Why the truncated sentence? If you’re going to insist on a recorded voice hectoring your passengers customers, you could at least speak in full sentences!
And the doors lady isn’t even the same (terrible) voice as the bus stops announcer. So there isn’t even any harmony between the two! I’m hoping they might break into an argument soon. Sometimes they talk over each other, along with the psssh psssh pink noise warning sound.