Judging by the half hour I spent hanging around the bus stops by the Pond first thing this morning, the first London-wide bus strike for decades has been well supported by the drivers. I spotted just two in the space of about an hour. The aim of the stoppage, called by Unite, is to bring about a single, pay deal for drivers employed by all the different bus companies that operate routes in the capital.
This would give bus drivers the same collective bargaining heft as their counterparts on the Underground and better enable the lower paid drivers to be brought up to the same level as the better paid. I think London's bus drivers deserve better pay across the board and the lowest paid, who can receive as little a £17,000 a year, deserve a lot more.
If it achieves little else, the strike will bring home to people how heavily London depends on its bus service - it carries many more people every day than the Tube. But the absence of so many buses from the streets also showed how the service might be improved.
The most noticeable thing was how quiet Lower Clapton Road was compared with normal days. Our buses, it must be said, are very loud. And later in the day data began to emerge showing how, especially in central London, the air was a great deal cleaner. The multitude of buses that serves the Pond neighbourhood is, of course, a blessing. But wouldn't it be nice if they were cleaner and quieter?