The bus industry is to receive the lion’s share â€“ 73% â€“ of the 5m grants from the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Clean Vehicle Technology Fund (CVTF).In total, the 5m will see 1,163 vehicles from buses to taxis and fire engines receive a variety of retrofit equipment to clean up emissions, after Transport Minister Baroness Kramer announced the successful bidders for the 5m fund.This is the first time that CVTF funding has been available for a wider range of vehicles.In total 17 local authorities have been awarded grants for a wide variety of cutting-edge, pollution-reducing technologies.In addition, the DfT also announced an additional 50,000 to help local authorities monitor the results of their clean technology projects.In total 663 buses will be fitted, costing 3.6m â€“ an average of 5,497 per bus. The Greater London Authority won 500,000 to fit Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) to 400 Euro 3 buses, and one trial system to a fire engine. This is the cheapest project, averaging at 1,246 per bus.Most of the other projects cost around 15,000 per bus, with the most being 20,000 per bus in Leicester to retrofit five Euro 3 buses with SCR.The other winning local authorities with bus bids are:South Yorkshire PTE â€“ fitting 41 First South Yorkshire Euro 4 Volvo B9TL deckers with Thermal Management Technology (TMT), an exhaust gas treatmentMerseytravel â€“ 19 Arriva buses with TMT, 11 buses with SCR plus electronic fans (eFan), seven buses with SCRSouthampton â€“ nine buses with TMT, 23 Go-Ahead Bluestar Unilink single-deckers with hybrid flywheelsBradford â€“ 25 buses with SCRBristol â€“ 42 buses with TMTWest Yorkshire PTE â€“ 23 Euro 4 BMC school buses with SCRNewcastle â€“ 30 buses with KERS hybrid flywheelsDudley â€“ 10 Euro 2 and Euro 3 coaches with SCRColchester â€“ 10 buses with SCRChester â€“ six double-deckers and two single-deckers with SCR. Says Baroness Kramer: â€œThe CVTF means councils can now lead the way on introducing greener vehicles. We received imaginative applications from local authorities from across England.â€œThe funding we are providing will result in real public health benefits while supporting skilled jobs and economic growth in the environmental technologies industries.â€The 2014 CVTF builds on last year’s Clean Bus Technology Fund pilot which awarded 7.3m across 26 local authorities to fund the modification of 500 buses, using innovative and proven technologies.As part of the requirements of the CVTF, successful projects are required to monitor the effectiveness of the technologies and provide a useful learning tool to other local authorities considering green vehicle upgrades. Details Here
Operators and coach drivers are reminded by Transport for London (TfL) of their travel options on marathon day and encouraged to plan their journey in advance and find out where to expect crowds and road closures.The Capital plays host to the 2016 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 24 April.The London Marathon is one of the largest mass-participation events in the world, with this year’s expected to be the biggest on record.There will be some road closures, with central London particularly affected, as well as several changes to bus services. Many stations are expected to be busier than usual with hundreds of thousands of spectators expected to turn out to support over 35,000 people.Operators are advised to check out the dedicated TfL travel information guide at tfl.gov.uk/marathon for detailed advice. Real-time travel information will also be provided through TfL’s social media channels throughout the day at tfl.gov.uk/socialmedia.From 0700hrs, there will be a number of road closures in south east and central London, from Greenwich Park to St James’s Park. Central and City closures will include all approaches to Upper Thames Street, Tower Hill and Victoria Embankment. Rotherhithe Tunnel, Tower, Southwark and Westminster Bridges will also be closed.Drivers are advised to plan ahead and avoid driving near the affected areas, or travel at a different time if possible, and allow more time for their journey.There will be a phased reopening of the roads from around midday, with all roads expected to be fully reopened by 1900hrs.On the weekend of 23 and 24 April, another event will be taking place along the Southbank to celebrate the works of William Shakespeare.A series of 37 screens showing famous plays will show footage on a loop from 1000-2000hrs and will be located along the pedestrian walkway between Westminster and Tower Bridges. More information can be found on The Globe Website. As a result, Waterloo, London Bridge and Southwark stations will be especially busy on marathon day.Work on the East-West Cycle Superhighway along the route will be substantially complete ahead of the Marathon, with the traffic management and closures removed to facilitate the event.To allow third parties to understand the extent, scope and timing of the road closures, a data set has been created of all the road closures that will be in place for this year’s London Marathon.This has been produced using an industry data exchange standard called DATEX II. This is part of a pilot TfL is trialing of a different approach to releasing data, with the intention of helping developers make great products for drivers. Read about data usage for the Virgin Money London Marathon on the TfL Digital Blog.
Southern Vectis and Bluestar General Manager Matt Kitchin is to leave the south coast and take up the role of Operations Manager at Stagecoach Manchester.Matt joined the Hampshire and Isle of Wight-based firms – both part of Go South Coast – in November 2012 and is highly regarded among local businesses, local authorities and passengers alike.Matt moves to Stagecoach after four years with Go South CoastSays Southern Vectis and Bluestar Managing Director Andrew Wickham: “We’d like to congratulate Matt on his promotion to Operations Director with Stagecoach Manchester – the operator’s largest UK bus subsidiary outside of London.“Matt has worked hard to build an excellent reputation, both for himself and for the operators he has managed, while here with us on the south coast. It is testament to this – and the excellent development and support he received from his colleagues here – that he has secured this new position.“He will have the opportunity to direct operations at one of the UK’s largest and most demanding bus companies. I feel sure he will make a success of it and be well received by those using services in that region.”Matt will leave the position in October. The process of appointing a replacement has already begun.Says Matt: “It has been a privilege and a pleasure to lead two very highly regarded bus companies through some challenging times over the past few years.“I am particularly proud of our partnership working with local stakeholders to retain, and in some cases expand our networks, in the face of cutbacks.“I leave behind two fantastic teams who I have no doubt will continue the good work long after I have left.”
West Sussex dealership and operator to split in September, but business as usual before and after, says MDSteve Swain will run the Chartwell sales business after the businesses splitCopthorne, West Sussex-based Southdown PSV has announced that its dealership and operating arms will be split from 1 September.As part of the change, the bus sales undertaking will trade as Chartwell Bus and Coach Sales. It will be headed by current Southdown PSV Managing Director Steve Swain, who will resign from his existing position from the date of the change to focus on Chartwell.Mr Swain says that while the contact number will remain the same, he will no longer be involved with the operating arm – which will continue to be known as Southdown PSV – as he shifts all of his attention back to sales.“The driving force behind this change is that while I have always handled sales for Southdown PSV, I want to take a back seat to other parts of the business. As MD it is not easy to do that, hence my decision to resign and concentrate on Chartwell.“My industry background is in sales, and this change will allow me to continue doing what I love, which is buying and selling buses and coaches.“Southdown PSV has grown continually since we established it in 2002 and now has 60 staff. Peter Larking, who was also a founding Director of the business, and Operations Director Gary Wood will remain with Southdown, while Operations Manager Steve Wallis will step up to become Managing Director.”Mr Swain stresses that it remains business as usual for operators who currently work with Southdown PSV in its dealership capacity, both before and after the transition to Chartwell.“We have some very loyal customers, and I will continue to deal with them on the same basis as before. Stock vehicles will remain at the Copthorne premises and I will be delighted to meet customers there to view them.”
Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire has joined forces with Egremont Primary School to transform an old bus into a library space.The pupils now have an innovative library space to enjoyThe bus-library is stationed in the school playground and will be used by all year groups at the school.The bus’s design was created by three children at the school, whose individual pictures were combined to make up the bus’s vibrant exterior.The bus-library was painted by Billy Chapman, based at Stagecoach’s Gillmoss depot.He says: “This was a bit of a departure from the usual day job for me, but it was definitely a lot of fun.“The children’s creativity shines through and it’s great that they have put their stamp on the bus.“The school held a design competition for the new bus-library, but there was so much enthusiasm from the children that we ended up picking three designs instead of one.”Tony Cockcroft, Engineering Director at Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire, adds: “We’re thrilled to have delivered this learning environment for the children at Egremont Primary School.“We’re so pleased to be able to give something back to our local community on the Wirral.”
Norwich presents the UK’s first ‘Tunnel of Light’ as part of its Christmas celebrations this year.How the Tunnel of Light will lookThe Tunnel of Light opens on 17 November with the city’s Christmas light switch-on. It’s an immersive 45-metre-long display of 50,000 LEDs, with sequenced lights reflecting the colours and patterns of the Northern Lights.Three Christmas-themed commissioned films will also be broadcast nightly between 1700-2100hrs, projected onto City Hall and Norwich Castle. Christmas markets and traditional entertainment, including an ice rink, will also be available.Visit www.visitnorwich.co.uk
Bus drivers that always go that extra mile are set to be recognised as Arriva is launching a quest to find the nation’s favourite driver of the year.As part of its annual Made A Difference awards, each local Arriva bus company is appealing for customers to nominate their Arriva Bus Champion.It is looking to its passengers to shine a light on these hard-working men and women who have really demonstrated some outstanding customer care.Nominations are open until 31 January and the four top-scoring drivers in each region will go head to head in an online vote to find a regional champion to go forward to the national finals.The 2017 national champion will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony on 20 April.Says Arriva CEO Kevin O’Connor: “Each year we’re humbled by the amazing stories we hear from our customers about so many of our bus drivers who have surprised and delighted passengers, day in, day out, on our local bus services.“And it’s wonderful to be able to recognise and celebrate staff members who have shone in what they do.”The quest to find Arriva’s top driver is part of the annual Made A Difference Awards, in which staff across all the functions involved in getting bus services on the road have the chance to be recognised by their colleagues for their sterling efforts and dedication.Being nominated and chosen entirely by bus passengers, the driver award compliments the unsung heroes of the customer facing Arriva team.
Falcon Coaches has saved time and admin effort by signing up to TruTrac software, through the CPT Tacho Analysis scheme.Falcon Coaches saves time, and has gone paperless with walk-round checksThe Middlesex-based firm came across the tachograph analysis software at Coach & Bus Live 2015 and moved from its existing provider, which was “incredibly labour-intensive,” says Managing Director Richard Telling.He now says that the firm has saved two days’ work for one person by using CPT Tacho Analysis.“No-one else was offering a system where our drivers could simply scan their charts in any order and the software provider would then enter the centrefield information,” he says. “Our previous system was incredibly labour intensive because someone had to sit in front of the computer and enter the data manually.”The firm has also saved on paper, partly by transferring to TruChecks, TruTrac’s daily walk-round checking system. The smartphone-based defect reporting app was trialled by selected drivers around two months ago and is now being expanded across the whole workforce.
With registration now open, Coach & Bus UK – the essential domestic showcase for the UK’s coach, bus, mini/midi vehicles and passenger transport technology sectors, returns to the NEC Birmingham, on 4-5 October, with a new name and branding for 2017.To more accurately represent the sector it serves, the biennial show has been renamed Coach & Bus UK. This subtle yet significant change (from Coach & Bus Live) ensures the event continues to grow in importance as the leading domestic showcase for the coach, bus and mini-vehicle sectors.The free-to-attend trade event, supported by its show partner Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), will connect over 6,000 key industry buyers and decision makers with around 200 sector leading exhibitors. They’ll be offering everything from the latest vehicles, accessories and workshop equipment, to IT solutions, legislation updates, and essential business services for the UK market.Confirmed vehicle manufacturers and dealers to date include: Arriva, AYATS, BASE, EVM, Dawson Rentals, EvoBus (UK), Irizar, Minis to Midis, Mistral, Moseley (PCV), Salvador Caetano, Swansea Coachworks (SA), Volvo and Yutong.“Coach and Bus UK is already by far one of the most important and effective business events for the sector, and now the new name more accurately reflects the industry and strength of our visitor profile,” says event director, Helen Conway. “Once again, the support from our partners this year has been phenomenal. We have lots of new ideas, which we are working on, to ensure we create an amazing, totally unmissable two days for this thriving sector,” she says.The exhibitor list is available to view at www.coachandbusuk.com/visiting/exhibitor-list/. A fully searchable exhibitor list will be available in the summer.Specialist show featuresFor 2017, the leading trade magazine for the minicoach and minibus sector, miniplus will host an area dedicated to small and medium PCVs. They’ll be unveiling the latest developments in the mini, midi and accessible vehicle sector – from bespoke luxury builds and community transport vehicles, to safety and access equipment. It’s set to be the first port of call for local authority planners, operators, stakeholders, and community transport providers looking to refresh their offering and provide improved passenger facilities. Thanks to a new miniplus lounge area, they’ll be able to network and discuss business away from the bustling show floor.The Theatre, sponsored by SmartDrive SystemsWhilst new vehicles and technologies remains a practical draw for many visitors to the show, The Theatre, sponsored by SmartDrive Systems, will once again provide a broad spectrum of perspectives on the key issues and challenges affecting today’s public transport community from a range of leading industry figures.Previous topics have included: legislation, the Buses Bill, customer experience, partnerships with local authorities, campaign marketing, world class standards, and the bus and coach workforce.The full 2017 line-up is due to be unveiled in the coming months. Free trade registrationCoach & Bus UK – the major domestic showcase for the bus, coach and passenger transport technology sector, returns to the NEC Birmingham on 4-5 October. The prestigious routeone Awards take place on the first night of the show (Wednesday 4 October) in the Monarch Suite at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel. “Coach & Bus [UK] is the best event in the industry,” says Peter Robinson, operations manager at Stagecoach UK Bus.“The event showcases new and exciting technologies, and is the perfect environment in which to compare and contrast products and services. Don’t miss it!” says Mark Drury, managing director of Passenger Plus.“The show for every coach and bus professional,” says Alan Whittington, senior partner, Professional Transport Services.For more information and to register, please visit www.coachandbusuk.com
Agilis CrossClimate: Versatile tyre for small PCVs that is 3PMSF compliantMichelin has extended its CrossClimate tyre range into the mini and midicoach market.The new Agilis CrossClimate is a summer tyre with full winter capability, giving safety in all weathers, high mileage capability, robustness, damage resistance and long-lasting performance.It is also 3PMSF certified and suitable for use on mud and grass, says Michelin.The tyre’s all-year mobility has been achieved by a rugged tread pattern, manufactured with innovative new rubber compounds to promote flexibility in cold temperatures, and sidewall and shoulder protection.www.michelin.com