Yesterday was an important day for Thomas Burns from Portsmouth. He retired after 45 years as a bus driver in the city. Here he writes about the changes he has seen over the years.
‘Over the years a lot of things have changed in Portsmouth and I think it’s more difficult to be a bus driver today than before. There are more cars, more cyclists, more traffic jams and more people in a hurry! I’ve seen a lot of changes in the town centre too. When I started you could drive along the High Street. Now you can’t. It’s for people on foot! There are lots of roads you can’t drive along.
Another change is that 40 years ago we had conductors. Conductors were people who worked on the bus too and they walked up and down the bus and sold the tickets. Today the driver has to sell tickets. Also, the conductors watched the passengers for any trouble. Today we have CCTV cameras instead! But a CCTV camera can’t tell a teenager to get off the bus!
The passengers haven’t changed a lot. I’ve met some really nice people and some very rude people too. But that’s life, isn’t it?’