Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Editor's Letter: Transporting the love - remembering our public transport workers

 

Yesterday I had the privilege of visiting the Transport for London nerve centre in south London. It was exciting enough for me, an editor on a fact-finding mission, but imagine being a transport or computer geek.

Earnest, focused staff with more computer terminals on their desks than a City trader, sit facing a wall of digital screens to rival a Bond villain’s lair. In one place you can see most of the capital’s major arteries, and then go hyper-local as little red blobs nudge around a digitised A to Z of its veins. These are not Monopoly icons, but every one of London’s red buses. Most major cities contain a secret room like this – one where you have to go through a security pod to gain access.

We gazed at the empty desks and blank screens where the London 2012 staff had been, and soon the Thatcher funeral and London Marathon teams will sit. We listened to operators trying to redirect bus drivers around traffic incidents. And, we heard tales of deaths under Tube trains and violent assaults on staff.

What awesome responsibilities some people carry every day at work. Imagine the stress of sitting in any traffic control centre – air traffic being the worst. Never mind the conflicting interests of pedestrian, driver and cyclist, add in the complexities of police, business and politicians’ needs.

I thought of Angela, my tiny battleship of a cousin who, aged 50-ish, took the onerous course and became a bus driver. What tales she has: yes, of scary abuse, but also of small, daily kindnesses that many perform un-noticed.

So, as you travel to work or the shops tomorrow, be nice to your driver or ticket office worker. Be kind to the guy who is trying to sort out your replacement bus service even. Based on the complexity of what I saw yesterday it’s extraordinary that any of us gets anywhere on time; it is a miracle of logistics and dedicated  hard work that most of us do.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss