The last three buses home to Corsham from Bath, are at 7:14 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. As I'm sure you can imagine, I tend not to like missing my bus at this time, because then I'm left with quite a significant wait before I can get home. Not that I'm complaining about missing the bus, of course, I'm quite content to sit and play Tetris or wander the streets at night while I wait for the next!
One day, at 7:14 p.m., I just arrived at the station to see the doors closing on my bus. I ran up to the doors and tapped on them. The driver let me in, but he said "You're lucky; I'm not supposed to let people on board after the doors are closed, don't do it again" and, of course, I won't do it again. So I sat down in my usual seat on the bus, and thought happily about how I'd soon be home and that I wouldn't be late. I had very nearly missed it. The bus started driving along and headed towards its first stop.
However, when the bus arrived at the first stop, the driver turned the engine off and did not open the door for more people to get in.
"I'm sorry," he said as he turned around to look at all of the passengers, "but we're going to have to stop here. The bus is no longer safe to drive because the speedometer is broken."
As such, we had to sit and wait for ten minutes or so, for the next bus to come along. Eventually, a, much smaller, bus arrived and everybody was moved from the main bus to the next. Ten minutes was no big delay, I'd still be happily home on time. The moving of everybody from one bus to the next, and then the letting on of people waiting at the stop, probably took around another ten minutes.
The second bus drove Corsham-wards and everything seemed to be going swimmingly. However, once we were around 3/4 of the way home, the bus stopped again. The driver then told us that the bus was close to overheating and that it would be unsafe to drive. For another ten minutes or so, we waited for the bus to cool down. We were on a country road and, with everything of the bus turned off, we were just sat in darkness as we waited for this cooling to take place. Eventually, the driver decided to try the engine again, and it seemed that it was still dangerously close to overheating. With this latest revelation, the driver decided to call the bus HQ in order to find a solution.
Luckily, First Buses had an excellent answer to this problem! The driver was told that he should just carry on driving, and so he did. For the last ten to twenty minutes or so, there was quite a strong smell of burning... And then eventually I was home, only ten minutes earlier than I would have been had I just caught the next bus.