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Catch the rainbow…

By on April 21, 2021

first_imgA New Routemaster has been wrapped in rainbow livery to celebrate London’s diversity.The Stagecoach-operated bus will be in service for a year and marks the 10th anniversary of Transport for London (TfL)’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender staff network group, OUTbound.The bus will take part in events throughout the year, including the Pride in London parade on 27 June.Says TfL MD Surface Transport Leon Daniels: “It is a fantastic way for us to celebrate diversity and a fantastic commitment by Stagecoach to sponsor the wrapping of this bus.”last_img read more

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Reading Buses ‘Star of the Month’ goes to driver who saved customer’s life

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first_imgTwo Reading Bus employees – Chris van Niekerk and Adam Faiers – have been named as the company’s latest ‘Stars of the Month’.Chris van Niekerk was nominated by a customer for helping a passenger who had a fit while travelling on the bus. The customer said that Chris – who has worked at Reading Buses for nearly 13 years – was “an absolute credit to the company” and went “above and beyond” to assist the customer.Chris is Star of the Month for going “above and beyond” to help customerSays Sharon Austin, Driver Performance Manager at Reading Buses: “Chris is a great asset to the company and demonstrated exactly the behaviour here that we would hope to see from our drivers.“Chris is also very active in providing feedback from around the network as well as ideas on how to make things better or easier for customers.”   Adam Faiers was nominated by a senior manager for his “consistent positive and can do attitude”. He has worked for the company for only eight months after moving from First Group following the introduction of the Lion 4 bus route at Reading.   Customers can nominate staff online, through social media or by emailing [email protected]last_img read more

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Jesse Norman confirmed as Buses Minister

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first_imgAfter a lengthy delay, Jesse Norman MP has been confirmed as the new Buses Minister (routeONE, News, 28 June).His first official engagement was to launch Catch the Bus Week, alongside Greener Journeys CEO Claire Haigh, at Arriva’s Brixton garage.As the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Roads, Local Transport and Devolution, Mr Norman is responsible for buses, cycling and walking policy, Highways England and strategic roads, light rail, local roads policy and funding, motoring agencies, road freight, road safety, transport and the environment plus transport technology (including digital).last_img read more

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Devil’s Porridge museum keeps its five stars

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first_imgThe team with their latest five-star ratingThe Devil’s Porridge Museum in south-west Scotland has achieved a five-star rating from VisitScotland for a second year.The group-friendly museum, in Eastriggs near Annan on the border, was first awarded the highest rating by VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance scheme in 2016, and is still the only five-star accredited museum in south-west Scotland.The museum portrays the lives of the 30,000 workers, mainly women, who spent three years during the First World War making munitions for the troops on the front line.‘Devil’s Porridge’ describes the volatile, highly dangerous mixture the workers “cooked up” for the munitions. The government employed architect Raymond Unwin, famous for ‘Garden City’ towns, to design housing and community facilities for all the workers, creating the townships of Eastriggs and Gretna.Paula Ward, VisitScotland’s Regional Director, says: “Congratulations to the Devil’s Porridge Museum on the retention of their Five-Star QA award.“Having businesses which place an emphasis on high quality further strengthens the tourism offering.”The museum is open every day all year round, except for three weeks at Christmas. The group rate is £4.50pp for groups of up to 20, and £4pp for larger groups. Visit devilsporridge.org.uk or call 01461 700021.last_img read more

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Tourliner P10: Neoplan’s new two-axle contender

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first_imgThe Neoplan Tourliner has entered a new segment of the market with the P10: High capacity on two axles. We put one of the first UK models to the test and find it to be a versatile and attractive coachTourliner P10 comes with a 7.05m wheelbase along with 57 or 59 seatsTwo-axle coaches are seeing a renewed impetus. Several manufacturers have added products in this segment that were previously unavailable to UK buyers, and MAN is among them, with the 13.1m Neoplan Tourliner P10.The P10 joins existing right-hand drive Tourliners and capacity is what it majors on. With a centre sunken toilet and Neoplan’s standard kitchen, 57 passengers are carried; delete the toilet and that figure increases to 59.10 examples of the P10 are already in the UK as stock. Nine are at MAN’s Trafford Park base, and one is at the Pelican MAN dealership in Castleford.Operators are welcome to visit either location to view them, and the P10 will be formally launched at the UK Coach Rally in Blackpool on 28-29 April.As is usual for a coach in its sector, the P10 is designed with ease of use in mind. Standard is the ZF EcoLife gearbox, as is an excellent reverse camera and monitor set-up. The Kiel Avance 1020 seat used is comfortable and durable.All of the stock P10s are to 57-seat specification, and a number of interior colour schemes are available. When built to order, the model can include wheelchair access and PSVAR certification, ZF’s AS-Tronic gearbox, and an enhanced power rating.The P10 has a number of minor design differences to the existing 12.1m two-axle P21 in order to accommodate additional length and weight, but otherwise it fits into the Tourliner family well. routeone was able to test drive one.BuildThe P10’s additional length is within the wheelbase, which is a substantial 7.05m. As a result, it has three manual locker doors on each side between the axles; there is no powered option.On the updated Tourliner MAN has gone for a single fuel filler, at the front on the nearside. Ad-blue goes in at the rear offside, so the risk of confusion is minimised.D26 engine rated at 420bhp and ZF EcoLife gearbox are fitted as standardThe P10 has a 400-litre diesel tank, smaller than the other members of the Tourliner range.That is to reduce imposed load on the front axle, something that is partially compensated for by relocation of its batteries to below the cab; on accessible P10s, the wheelchair lift will be mounted above the steer axle.Also particular to the P10 is its tyre size. It is shod with 315 casings; the reason for that is to allow an 8,000kg tolerance at the front.GVW is 19,500kg, but with a maximum of 11,500kg on the rear axle, care will be needed with weight distribution. Unladen, the coach tips the scales at 14,188kg.Power is from the 12.4-litre D26 rated at 420bhp, coupled to an EcoLife gearbox. On coaches built to order, a 460bhp rating is also available and this too comes with either ZF transmission.Passenger accessAccess is largely the same as on other members of the Tourliner range, via four relatively narrow steps to the platform. The arrangement thence into the flat gangway is different, however. It is made up of two steps of unequal height; other Tourliners have only one.A positive is that all edges at both doors are lined in yellow, and when the centre exit is in use, the dashboard monitor defaults to the camera there. A useful aspect of the front door is that one of the two buttons within the handle opens the centre exit. That negates the need for the driver to board and then press the dash button, potentially speeding passenger ingress under some circumstances.Handrail provision is excellent, and with a vertical bar within the base of the courier seat, few passengers will find boarding or alighting difficult. When in the aisle, headroom is good and there are no further steps at the rear. Hand-holds are provided at the top corner of each seat.A benefit of the flat gangway is that access to the overhead racks is easier than on the previous generation of Tourliner, and the racks themselves are improved, with a deeper ‘lip’.Kiel Avance 1020 seats are standard fit with belts, tables and slide-apartPassenger comfortSeats come with Muirhead real leather headrest inserts and piping. Black and red is the test coach’s interior colour scheme, and besides red piping and an element of it in the fabric, curtains are red too.Three-point belts are standard and slide-apart functionality is at all aisle positions. Seats have a redesigned drop-down table with a groove to accommodate a tablet, and a USB charging point is provided for each traveller.Passenger service units are much improved on the new Tourliner, while leg room on the P10 is adequate; it is no different to what would be expected in any other high-capacity two-axle coach.Cold weather gave the heating system a solid workout, and it did not disappoint. Perimeter radiators are fitted combined with an Eberspächer pre-heater, and the saloon warmed to a comfortable 23oc with no obvious cold or warm spots.Twin fixed monitors are coupled to a Bosch entertainment system that includes a DVD player, and external media can be connected to it via a dash USB socket.Also in the dash is a deep fridge, while the trademark kitchen comes with a 40-cup water boiler and various other equipment, making it highly versatile. The toilet is respectably sized. Neoplan has packaged it carefully, and it does not intrude unduly into the underfloor luggage area.Visibility from the coach is good with the exception of to the side from the front row. There, the cosmetic external ‘flash’ compromises the view, although that is partially made up for by the full-height windscreen. Passengers in the front row will also welcome a total lack of wind noise from the door, although that from the gullwing mirror arms is audible.Driver comfortThe cab is logically laid out, with a high-specification seat and a steering wheel that adjusts well for reach and rake. Buttons are of the rocker type and the wheel-mounted controls are large. Thanks to the dash’s wrap-round layout the former are all easily accessible, as is the tachograph, which is now a Stoneridge unit as standard.Cab is logically laid out, and it comes with a very comfortable driver’s seatGear selection is via a rotary switch by the driver’s left knee and the handbrake is low down on the right. Cab storage is good, and the driver also has two USB sockets and a 12v outlet.Visibility to the front is excellent, and the mirrors – particularly the wide-angle panes – give a superb view of the lower front of the coach.However, the B-pillar is set forward, and so for drivers who sit further back, checking over the shoulder is not easy.The cab’s climate control is separate from the saloon’s, and it consists of three dials that are simple in operation.What will also be appreciated is the touch-screen control unit. Besides acting as a monitor for CCTV and the reversing camera, it comes with a very clear navigation function.A one-piece windscreen blind is fitted, along with a powered and heated signalling window; beneath it are demister vents. The windscreen is also heated.Performance420bhp driving through a torque converter gearbox would suggest brisk performance. That is indeed the case. In a two-axle coach there is no obvious reason to upgrade to 460bhp, but a P10 with such a rating would no doubt be even more sprightly.The EcoLife gearbox harnesses the power well. It up-shifts quickly, taking advantage of the fact that the 2,100Nm peak torque comes in from 930rpm. At 62mph in top gear the engine is turning at 1,350rpm, and at 50mph around 1,050rpm; fuel consumption on a largely motorway-bound test route was a credible 11.9mpg.The EcoLife has an in-built retarder. It is activated by two methods; one is via the initial brake pedal travel, while depressing the right-hand stalk causes it to engage in a progressively stronger manner. Immediate full retardation is gained by pressing a button on the end of the stalk.Tourliner P10 is a strong contender in the two-axle, high capacity marketOne of the Tourliner’s strengths is how it deals with side winds. They are often felt when crossing Thelwall Viaduct, but the P10 stuck to the road well there.It did the same immediately before, when the slip road from the M62 to the M6 was taken at the limited speed; no ill effect came with doing so.The P10 has the same steering geometry as other Tourliners. Coupled with a long wheelbase, that makes turning sharply more of a challenge, and care is required when approaching tricky situations.VerdictThe P10 is a useful addition to the existing Tourliner range, and it opens up a further market sector to the Neoplan.Passenger acceptance will be good, and there is no impression of seats being packed in to achieve a high capacity. The travelling environment is further boosted by very low noise levels, a smooth ride and generally good views.Drivers will also like the P10. The cab is well-appointed and the coach’s road manners are impeccable. It handles very well and power is abundant, although to rein in those who may use it to the full, MAN provides a year’s free telematics monitoring that can be extended at a charge.Stock availability of the P10 promises to be consistent, and built-to-order coaches come with a lead time of around four months. With the EcoLife gearbox, the Tourliner P10 is a ‘point and shoot’ vehicle. It can fulfil high-volume requirements when needed, but it is also well suited to tours and private hires where outright capacity is not the prime concern.It is efficient, well thought out and well put together, and it will be little surprise if the market dictates that MAN orders another stock batch soon.last_img read more

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Linking buses and Oxon attractions

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first_imgThe Oxford Bus Company is to launch a joined-up tourism pass for visitors to the city.The operator has partnered with Experience Oxfordshire, Blenheim Palace and several other attractions in the county to provide ‘The Oxford Pass’.The pass will link bus travel and attractions to an easy-to-use, value-for-money package for visitors.last_img

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Environmental zones in Euro cities identified

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first_imgThe Green-Zones portal has identified Europe’s environmental hotspots in which infringements are most severely punished.The UK is ranked in the middle. At the top is Denmark. It requires Euro 4 standards to enter several cities, or a fine to the equivalent of over £1,200 may be levied.Green-Zones provides information about permanent and weather-dependent environmental zones in Europe through its portal. It also has a free app, allowing operators to obtain reliable real-time information about restrictions. Necessary badges and registrations are also available.Find out more on the Green-Zones website.last_img read more

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Loan of O-Licence disc sees delayed revocation

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first_imgThe loan of a disc between two brothers had led to the revocation of the 10-vehicle national O-Licence held by Rotherham-based Aijaz Ahmed, trading as Advanced Travel, and the two-vehicle restricted licence held by Imtayaz Malik.Traffic Commissioner (TC) Tim Blackmore said the loan of an O-Licence disc was extremely serious to use another operator’s disc, and fundamentally dishonest. It struck at the whole O-Licensing system.He disqualified Mr Ahmed from acting as a Transport Manager until he passed a fresh CPC exam.However, in delaying the revocation of Mr Ahmed’s licence until 15 February 2020, the TC said that he may be prepared to consider an application for a fresh licence for no more than 15 vehicles, supported by a satisfactory independent audit of Mr Ahmed’s systems and the continued assistance of a transport consultant, as Mr Ahmed’s son had only just gained his CPC.The TC said that on 20 March a vehicle stopped in a school bus check in the livery of Advanced Travel, driven by one of Mr Ahmed’s drivers, was displaying one of Mr Malik’s discs.It was extremely serious to use another operator’s disc and fundamentally dishonest. Mr Ahmed had said that he had gifted the vehicle to his brother. There was no evidence to support that. He had applied for the increase in licence authorisation immediately after the 20 March incident. The use of the disc had been reckless, and Mr Ahmed had gained a clear commercial advantage.Mr Ahmed agreed that he couldn’t prove that the vehicle was transferred to his brother, who had moved abroad a couple of years ago. He said he assumed that his brother put it on his licence. He accepted that the vehicle had not received a first use inspection.The TC said that Mr Ahmed had said that he had been short of vehicles and had asked his brother whether he could borrow one. Yet when interviewed by a Traffic Examiner, Mr Ahmed had said that he was short of discs.In reply to the TC, Mr Ahmed said that he had spare vehicles he could have used that day. He had 18 in his possession. He subcontracted work to three other operators, who used their vehicles and staff.Mr Ahmed had honestly believed that he had not been doing anything wrong. He had since realised that it had been inappropriate and that it should not have happened.The TC said that over the last couple of years there had been a 50% prohibition rate. That compared to the national average of 17%. Many of the recent prohibitions had been for driver reportable defects. Inspection sheets also showed driver reportable defects.Out of 10 driver defect report books he had looked at, eight had no defects recorded. However, the TC noted that there had not been a prohibition for a year.last_img read more

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Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness: New law on tyres

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first_imgFamiliar to operators, transport managers and mechanics alike, DVSA’s Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness is stated as guidance rather than a legal requirement but is expected to form the backbone of any proper maintenance regime.Croner-i here looks at the latest update to the guide, highlighting the significant changes on tyre management.The guide’s importanceOperators are expected to be familiar with the most recent version of the guide at all times. Traffic Commissioners contribute to it, endorse it and refer to it frequently at Public Inquiries, while DVSA vehicle examiners often point to it during maintenance assessments.The guide’s primary purpose, however, is to offer guidance to operators on the steps they should take to make sure their vehicles are safe.The major change: Tyre managementWith effect from 1 February, subject to one exemption relating to non-commercial vehicles aged 40 years and over, it will no longer be lawful to use tyres over the age of 10 years on the front steered axles of coaches, buses of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), or on any single wheel fitted to a minibus (i.e. a passenger carrying vehicle with 9-16 passenger seats).It will also be a requirement for the age of a tyre — specifically, by reference to the manufacturer’s date code — to be clearly legible on all tyres fitted to coaches, buses, minibuses, HGVs and trailers with a maximum authorised mass of over 3.5 tonnes.Where a tyre is found by a DVSA enforcement officer to be illegally fitted, then an S-marked immediate prohibition notice will be issued, no matter what actual condition the tyre is in. Tyres which do not legibly display the manufacturer’s date stamp fitted where the 10-year maximum age applies will be considered automatic annual test failure items and will attract a delayed prohibition at an enforcement check.The amendments to Section 5.2 of the guide directly reflect these changes in the law and include guidance on the steps operators and maintenance contractors should now be carrying out, including ensuring that the legibility of date codes should form part of standard tyre checks undertaken at safety inspections. It is also advised that the presence of tyres over 10 years old where they cannot lawfully be used should be reported as defects (both at safety inspections and — although this is not specified in the guide — one must also assume by drivers carrying out walk-round checks).It is also suggested that when a tyre reaches nine years of age this should be reported as an advisory item.Finally, operators are advised that where tyres older than 10 years are legally used (i.e. on rear or non-steering front axles), they must be very carefully monitored and subject to specific risk assessment.In the end what is most important as an overarching principle is that tyre condition is properly managed.What do you need to do?First and foremost, read the guide. Even where a new version is relatively unchanged compared to its predecessor, there will always be a rationale for the decision to publish a new version, so take notice and, even if the changes are minor, a new publication should serve as a timely reminder to refresh your understanding of the guide’s content and check whether everything you are doing follows the guidance.Regarding specific advice arising from the revisions to the guide, you should:review your existing tyre management systems and update them as necessarycheck the ages of the tyres on all vehicles — and replace any which are now illegalensure that all tyres display a legible manufacturer’s date code, replace any which do not and ensure that drivers are trained to check for legible date codes as part of a walk-round checkensure that maintenance staff and contractors are trained on the new requirements, in particular identifying tyre age-related problems as defects at regular safety inspections and advising when tyres are approaching 10 years oldalways ensure that tyre condition is properly assessed and monitored — (no matter what age the tyre is).In-depth guidance on vehicle maintenance and fleet management is available as part of a subscription to Transport-inform, available at a discount to routeone members.last_img read more

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Indiana’s 1st District Congressman won’t seek another term

By on April 20, 2021

first_img WhatsApp Google+ By Tommie Lee – November 6, 2019 0 378 Pinterest For my entire career I have worked to build support for our domestic steel industry and organized labor, secure investments in transformational projects and improve our quality of place to benefit the only place I have ever called home. 2/2 https://t.co/kYOx4Elrib— Rep. Pete Visclosky (@RepVisclosky) November 6, 2019Had he been reelected, Visclosky would have only needed to serve one day in office to pass former Senator Dick Lugar as the longest-serving member of the U.S. House or Senate in Indiana’s history. Facebook Congressional Steel Caucus Vice Chair Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind. listens on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 26, 2015, during a hearing of the caucus to discuss the state of the U.S. steel industry. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Indiana’s longest-serving congressman has decided not to seek another term in office.Representative Pete Visclosky has served the 1st District in the U.S. House since 1985.The Gary Democrat, long considered a champion for steel workers, made the announcement Wednesday on the 35th anniversary of his first Congressional election victory. He talked about the district’s successes during his time in The House, as well as the challenges still facing his constituents. Facebook Twitter WhatsApp Pinterest Google+ On November 6th, 35 years ago today, I was elected to serve as Indiana’s First District U.S. Representative. Today, I announce that I will not seek re-election in 2020. 1/2— Rep. Pete Visclosky (@RepVisclosky) November 6, 2019 Twitter Previous articleMishawaka Man Creates Fake Bank Accounts; Steals Neighbors CreditNext articleIndiana drug take back nets more than 16,000 lbs. Tommie Lee IndianaLocalNationalNewsSouth Bend Market Indiana’s 1st District Congressman won’t seek another termlast_img read more

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