West Midlands to get biggest Boxing Day bus service outside London

first_imgShoppers, sports fans and party-goers across the West Midlands can take advantage of the biggest Boxing Day bus service outside of London this year.A total of 158 routes will be running on 26 December thanks to subsidy from Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).The region’s largest bus operator National Express West Midlands will be running a near-Sunday daytime schedule and Diamond Bus will be laying on 14 key routes.Cllr Roger Lawrence, the WMCA’s lead member for transport, says: “Before 2002 there were no Boxing Day bus services until we began subsidising them and since then passenger numbers have rocketed.“That demand means we now have a very comprehensive service so people heading to the Boxing Day sales and other attractions have a real alternative to the car.With no trains running on Boxing Day, the extensive bus and tram timetable will help shop workers get to and from work and thousands of football fans going to the West Bromwich Albion, Birmingham City and Walsall home matches.Full details at www.networkwestmidlands.com/campaigns/christmas-2017/last_img read more

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Clip on Earned Recognition is available now

first_imgClip attempts to inform operators about ER and dispel myths around itFleet management software provider r2c Online has released a video explaining Earned Recognition (ER).In the video, Philip Lapczuk, DVSA Earned Recognition Project Manager, details how the scheme works and he dispels many of the myths surrounding it. Viewers will see why they should take part, the KPIs that operators will need to achieve, and how DVSA sees the future of digital compliance.“DVSA wants to work with ER operators to address any issues, rather than take enforcement action,” says Philip.“Our expectation is that they will contact us if something is going wrong. It’s up to the operator to call us and let us know what they’ve done to rectify it.”Adds r2c Online MD Nick Walls: “Years of investment and consideration have been put into making ER a reality, and we have designed proven and robust technology to underpin operators’ transitions.“We see ER as the first big step in a major industry transition to digital compliance. Working closely with DVSA, we have created a best practice solution that makes it as simple as possible for fleet operators to gain ER status.”www.r2conline.comlast_img read more

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Quick thinking and teamwork saves life

first_imgThe benefits of technology allied to teamwork were brought into sharp relief at Frist Bristol when they were used to save a woman’s life.First’s Control Room Operator Greg Davey was called by the police to put out urgent information on a missing person who intended to take her life by jumping from the suspension bridge.The Ticketer messaging system and radio was used and within minutes driver Bill Johnstone reported that the person had just got off his bus and asked which bus would take her to the bridge.The information was passed to the police, while control room operator Ashley Robbins radioed route 8 buses to read their messages and call back immediately if the person boarded.Straightaway driver Gary Britton responding saying the person was on his bus. So as not to raise suspicion Mr Robbins radioed the bus to pull over as it might have an engineering defect, while Mr Davey got police to go to the bus. CCTV at First was able to track the bus and the police were then able to help the person.Says Mr Davey: “Had it not have been for the quick thinking and team work, the event could have had a very different outcome.”last_img read more

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Tough times for Stagecoach

first_imgStagecoach Group is facing tough times, according to its latest trading update, but remains on course to meet its goals announced in December.Revenue growth for the 40 weeks to the end of February was -0.1% in regional bus, -4.3% in London bus, -0.6% in USA/Canada, 3.2% in UK Rail and 2.8% at Virgin Rail.Trading at our UK Bus (regional operations) “continues to reflect the actions we took in early 2017 to adjust our pricing and services to respond to changes in customer demand,” says Stagecoach.Vehicle miles operated were 2.9% lower. Revenue per vehicle mile grew 2.9%, journeys per vehicle mile grew 0.2% and revenue per journey increased 2.7%. “We continue to maintain our focus on controlling costs.”The like-for-like revenue growth has been suppressed in recent weeks by the widespread snowstorms. During the most recent four-week period, like-for-like revenue declined by 2.5% from the equivalent prior year period, “illustrating the scale of the impact of these extreme weather conditions, on UK BusThe reported revenue decrease for the UK Bus (London) is in line with expectation and reflects the impact of contracts lost in the prior year.  “We remain satisfied by our performance on current year tenders for Transport for London contracts,” it adds.last_img read more

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Lothian Buses confirms routes for Enviro400XLBs

first_imgEnviro400XLB-bodied B8Ls will be used on Edinburgh routes 11 and 16Lothian Buses has confirmed which routes in Edinburgh its Alexander Dennis Enviro400XLB-bodied Volvo B8L tri-axle double-deckers will be used on when they enter service next month.They will operate on service 11 between Ocean Terminal and Hyvots Bank and service 16 between Silverknowes and Collinton, which between them recorded a combined total of over 10m passenger journeys in 2018.Says MD Richard Hall: “By deploying these new vehicles to cope with customer demand patterns, we will be able to change how we deliver those services for the benefit of our customers and the areas in which we operate.”The Enviro400XLBs are a key part of Lothian’s Bus2020 environmental plan, which will see it operate only Euro 5- or Euro 6-compliance buses by the end of next year. Each tri-axle seats 100 passenger and can carry 29 standees.last_img read more

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Wrights Group: Administration as last hopes of survival flicker

first_imgAll but 50 employees made redundant as last-gasp efforts to save Wrights Group firm continueWrights Group collapsed into administration last week after months of speculation surrounding the company’s future.Around 1,200 employees were made redundant and work on part-finished buses stopped immediately. Union Unite estimates that a further 1,700 jobs in the supply chain are at risk.It is understood that buyers of completed buses on the Ballymena site and those that are part-way through construction have not been given any information about when, or if, the vehicles will be delivered. Warranty and service support work has also ceased.Vehicles for customers including First UK Bus and Go North East are present at the site awaiting shipment.Administrator Deloitte said in a statement that it did not prove possible to find a buyer willing to take the business on as a going concern. Deloitte is exploring any remaining options for the business. If a sale is not forthcoming it will be wound down.The Wright family has blamed reduced demand for buses in the UK for causing “significant loses”, which had been stood by the family for at least a year.A spokesman added that work for far eastern markets that was originally scheduled to be carried out in the group’s Malaysian factory was undertaken in Ballymena to safeguard the workforce in Northern Ireland. It has been suggested that doing so contributed to the losses.Addressing former employees outside the Wrightbus plant after administration was confirmed, founder Sir William Wright said that members of the Wright family had paid last week’s wages personally.Sir William added that the company had enough orders to survive but that “it never had a chance” thanks to a bank’s refusal of support.last_img read more

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McGill’s Buses MD criticises lack of investment

first_imgMcGill’s Buses Managing Director Ralph Roberts has criticised local and national government for “favouring the car and train” over buses. He says the bulk of infrastructure money goes to those modes despite buses delivering 74% of public transport journeys.“Buses receive peppercorn levels of infrastructure investment,” he adds. The Greenock operator carries almost 750,000 passengers per week and since 2014 it has invested around £21m in its fleet.Mr Roberts says that McGill’s is in discussions with government at both local and national levels to release more funding for buses. Local politicians see doing so as a high-risk strategy that may lead to a voter backlash.“They need to remember that bus users are also voters,” he adds.However, he accepts that it is unsurprising that Renfrewshire – where the bulk of McGill’s revenues are earned – chooses to prioritise cars. Renfrewshire has the highest car ownership in Scotland.Mr Roberts was speaking after McGill’s revealed its financial results for the year ending December 2018. On a turnover of £38m it recorded a pre-tax profit of £1.4m, an increase on 2017.However, the operator recorded a drop in passenger numbers that it believes has been driven by high street decline. Echoing Mr Roberts’ views, Director Sandy Easdale has called for more investment in waiting facilities and better management of car parking and roadworks.last_img read more

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Guidance issued for community transport during virus pandemic

first_imgCTA issues document for members while the Senior Traffic Commissioner also chimes inThe Community Transport Association (CTA) has issued guidance to its members relating to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. All the material is available on CTA’s website. It says that while the latest government guidance is that only essential public transport trips should be undertaken, community transport organisations (CTOs) are advised to “use their judgment to decide whether services go ahead in light of this.” Simple stepsFor those CTOs that are changing their focus to providing support to self-isolating passengers, for example by the provision of shopping deliveries, CTA will shortly release guidance on those activities. CTA acknowledges that the government’s edict to work at home where possible will be difficult for many CTOs. To that end, it recommends that clear information and handwashing facilities are provided, along with a frequent cleaning regime. For vehicle cleaning, CTA recommends that CTOs consider whether they should increase the frequency or upgrade their existing provision. It notes that the use of too much water could lead to damp fabrics acting as a collection point for germs. The guidance for CTA members will be updated on a regular basis. Additionally, CTA wants to hear from any of its members if they see absences of staff or volunteers start to affect service provision, or if the closure of any traffic generators affect their ability to deliver on contractual obligations that may affect funding. Senior TC’s wordsSeparately, an emergency statutory document has been issued by Senior Traffic Commissioner (STC) Richard Turfitt. It outlines how TCs will respond if there is exceptional demand to provide services through community transport arrangements, such as the transfer of patients. Mr Turfitt says that TCs may issue Section 19 or Section 22 permits for a period designed to cover the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak only based on a declaration from a person or officer of the corporate body to the effect that it satisfies those criteria for the grant of a permit or permits.last_img read more

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180 further ADL Enviro400ER ordered by Ireland’s NTA

first_imgIreland’s National Transport Authority has ordered a further 180 zero-emission capable Alexander Dennis Enviro400ER double-deckers. The announcement was made when it unveiled the first of an initial batch of 100 of the type.Both orders for part of a five-year framework agreement that will see up to 600 of the ‘extended range’ model delivered. The Enviro400ER has BAE Systems’ Series-ER diesel-electric hybrid system. It comes with a 32kW/h lithium-ion battery that can be charged externally using a plug-in connectionThat gives an engine-off range of “at least 2.5km” says ADL, permitting emission-free operation in geofenced areas. The Enviro400ER can also run in the same mode when approaching and departing from stops, and when stationary.Of the initial 100 Enviro400ER double-deckers for the National Transport Authority, 74 will be operated by Dublin Bus. The remainder will be part of the Bus Éireann fleet in Galway. The first vehicles are expected to enter service in early 2021.BAE Systems Director of Business Development for Power and Propulsion Ian Wilson says the Series-ER diesel-electric hybrid system will “help Ireland to take the next step towards full electrification.”Adds ADL President and Managing Director Paul Davies: “The Enviro400ER is ideally suited to flexible operating needs, including zero-emission running at air pollution hotspots.“With the ability to externally charge the batteries, the use of on-board power generation can be further reduced. This new generation of double-deck buses for Ireland once again demonstrates that with ADL’s focus on innovation, we are building the buses that our cities need to solve their transport challenges.”last_img read more

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Man found dead Sunday morning in South Bend was the victim of a homicide

first_img Twitter Pinterest By Tommie Lee – October 1, 2019 1 331 Man found dead Sunday morning in South Bend was the victim of a homicide Facebook Google+ Twitter WhatsApp Facebook IndianaLocalNewsSouth Bend Market (Jon ZImney/95.3 MNC) The man who was found dead in South Bend Sunday morning was the victim of a homicide, according to the coroner’s office.Autopsy results showed that 27 year-old Trey Martinez was stabbed in the neck.He was found in the road near Marine Street and Indiana Avenue, and no suspects have been identified yet. Previous articleElkhart building demolition will affect trafficNext articleMichigan begins expanded roadside oral drug testing program Tommie Lee WhatsApp Pinterest Google+last_img read more

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