Back in the day, Dick Dastardly and his trusted sidekick Muttley illuminated Saturday mornings with their antics taking part in Wacky Races.

The hapless pair tried to cheat to win the road race, which to be fair never actually seemed to finish, before coming a cropper at the hands of another competitor.

Such was the success of the cartoon, the pair got a spin-off show called Catch the Pigeon which involved trying to catch a mail delivering bird – again with no success.

Now it appears that bus firm First Bus has taken a leaf out of Dick Dastardly’s exploits by launching a public information video called How to Catch a Bus on YouTube.

First Bus launched the campaign after a survey revealed that one in five Aberdonians avoid travelling on the bus due to a lack of confidence.

So to encourage potential passengers, First Bus has released three adverts with clear information and demonstrations on how to use the bus.

Alan Simpson: Mr Wong and his priceless patronising advice about daffodils

To help the Granite City’s army of amaxaphobics overcome their fears, the firm has provided handy tips in videos called: How To Catch a Bus! How To Get Off A Bus! And How To Pay Like A Pro in Aberdeen!.

I’m not sure these is actually such a thing as a professional bus payer but the sentiment is there.

The videos conjure up images of Penelope Pitstop thundering down Union Street at the wheel of a number 13 bus to Scatterburn being pursued by Dastardly and Mutley with big nets desperately trying, and failing, to catch the bus.

That would certainly be a video worth watching, but may alarm shoppers going about their daily business.

According to First Bus’s research, around 22% of women and 17% of men reported having low confidence using buses.

Only 31% reported being frequent bus users, while 41% stated they “virtually never” use the bus in Aberdeen.

It was carried out by the polling company YouGov and around 22% of those surveyed felt they would benefit from a basic guide on how to travel by bus.

Duncan Cameron, managing director of First Bus Scotland, said: “We’re keen to ensure that everyone has the confidence to jump on board and use it as their first choice of transport.

“We understand that if you’ve not used a bus in years you might feel a little apprehensive to start”.

While the survey was carried out in Aberdeen, similar results would no doubt be found in Scotland’s other major cities too.

But while getting more people onto ‘green’ buses is a vital part of the country’s move towards becoming Net Zero, providing enough buses for folk who aren’t scared of them is already a problem.   

Experts recently warned that hundreds of bus routes currently face the axe and fares are set to be hiked as a Scottish Government fund worth an estimated £35 million a year is halted at the end of this month.

The end of the Covid recovery backing means that a support budget for bus services has been cut by 37.1% from £99.4m to £62.5m.

But there are concerns that the end of the Network Support Grant coupled with soaring inflationary pressures including the rising cost of fuel, energy and wage costs will see many more cut

The number of public service buses in Scotland has already slumped by nearly 25% from 4800 ten years ago to 3,700 last year.

Bus operators have also seen an increase in anti-social behaviour since a flagship scheme allowing young Scots to travel for free was launched.

Alan Simpson: Putin excuses over A9 upgrade is betrayal of pledge to Highlanders

There is growing concern among councillors that the scheme could also be behind a rise in youth crime and disorder in towns, city centres and shopping precincts. 

It is believed that youth disorder in the shopping centre is particularly evident on Fridays afternoons, when some schools have finished early.

It follows claims made in August last year by a leading Glasgow community campaigner that the bus pass scheme was behind a rise in youth disorder in certain areas of Glasgow city centre. 

The Young Persons’ (under-22) Free Bus Travel Scheme began on January 31, 2022, giving all those aged five to 21 years old free bus travel.

Since then, almost 45 million free bus journeys have been made by under-22s. It is unclear how many of them needed a video to help them get on and off but once word gets out, millions more youngsters could soon be making the move.

I suspect even more would if Dick Dastardly was driving and Penelope Pitstop was collecting the tickets, while a pigeon flapped about on the top deck.