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It's been a journey, concludes blogging bus driver

IT PICKED up hundreds of thousands of loyal passengers, spawned a bestselling book and was even turned into a BBC comedy show.

But now Bloodbus, the lurid blog written by an anonymous Glasgow driver, has been driven off the road for good.

The maverick driver has abandoned the whistleblowing website in a bid to keep his job –

"The Driver" claims he was on the brink of being unmasked.

He insisted the blog, which attracted more than 75,000 hits a month, was an honest attempt to expose the routinely violent conditions he and his colleagues were exposed to.

But transport giant First, which employs the writer, were less than amused and insisted that he routinely overdramatised and misrepresented the realities of life on the buses in Scotland's biggest city.

Visitors to the site are greeted with the message: "The Bloodbus blog has finished. Thanks to everyone who visited the site, bought the book, posted comments and listened in to the radio show. But, the time has come to make my exit. See ya!"

The irreverent driver felt the site had become a victim of its own popularity.

He said: "Put yourself in my position. You run a website that could get you fired. You've told various people that you run this website and, despite swearing them to secrecy, they still go out and tell people.

"The number of people who know about you is growing out of control every day."

The former blogger rubbished claims he was closing the site down in frustration after being unable to milk it further as a cash cow: "It's the lack of cash that's making me want to disappear. I need my job."

When in May the BBC made a radio programme of the blog, the driver claims his employers intensified the hunt for the mole in their midst.

He said: "Their response was to haul in drivers and ask them, in no uncertain terms, whether they were responsible. If they ever do find out you can bet I'll be hauled off my bus.

"But I don't have any regrets about telling the truth about how things really are. I had people who fell down drunk and were smoking dope and being abusive."

The website featured a diary of profane, explicit, violent and vomit-splattered accounts about unruly passengers. It also displayed in-bus CCTV footage of passengers fighting and collapsing unconscious on to the floor, as well as graphic and unflattering caricatures of unsavoury characters who boarded the Driver's bus.

One entry told of an intoxicated young woman pulling down her tracksuit bottoms to urinate, while another had a heroin addict injecting a syringe into her eyeball.

Passengers were categorised as "drunkies", "junkies", "neds" and "muppets", pensioners were referred to as "bladder happy stinkers" and shellsuited youths as "urban cavemen".

The introduction to the site stated: "Unable to keep it to myself any longer, this blog is a chronicle of my experiences driving a bus through the murder capital of Europe. Mind how you go."

Some colleagues are dismayed at the end of the blog. One wrote in an online message: "Farewell Driver. Many of us have shared in your wide range of emotions, laughing, crying and at times being downright angry about the actions of passengers and management. The passing of the site will be lamented, but it will surely go down in folklore as a Glasgow institution."

BBC Scotland made a comedy drama of Bloodbus with the voices of Still Game actor Gavin Mitchell and Jordan Young, of hit stage play Black Watch.

The busman adapted his online writings for the radio, but turned down an invitation to take up a cameo role for fear that First executives would hear it, recognise his voice and launch disciplinary action.

A spokesman for First said: "Whilst Bloodbus was undoubtedly a blog with entertainment value for readers we feel that the portrayal of bus travel in the blog did create a false impression of the overall journey experience for our passengers."

Last month Detective Constable Richard Horton, whose anonymous blog Night Jack - An English Detective criticised government ministers and superiors, was disciplined by his force after being outed.

 
 
 

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