Farcical scenes today on Uxbridge Road at lunchtime. The 207 I was on came to a stop as normal just before the KFC on the corner of Uxbridge Road and Boscombe Road. On march no fewer than five ticket inspectors with those little gadgets that measure Oyster cards but that they hold and point at you like pistols.
Cue also a scuffle outside the bus as one man, presumably without a ticket, tries to get away and is promptly physically restrained by two police officers who start shouting at him and force him into the driveway of someone's house to be searched!
We then wait, and wait, and wait. One of the bus inspectors is talking to the bus driver and clearly in no rush at all. People start to get off the bus only to be pushed back by those part time PCSOs they have now to make up the numbers. A female PCSO demands that another woman, who protests that she has to get to work and tries to catch the bus behind us, get immediately back on to the bus with the words "you cant leave the bus".
This prompts a mini verbal riot in which several irate, and now late thanks to TfL, passengers point out that unless the woman is under suspicion or is under caution the PCSO has no right to stop her getting off the bus. The PCSO duly realises she has overstepped the mark and actually steps off the bus herself. The rest of the bus, me included duly get off and get on other buses instead.
Is this really a good use of police and TfL resources? It wasn't a good use of my time. But then they couldnt care less about that - could they.