A coach hire company has picked up an award for its work with apprentices.Lucketts Travel Group, based in Fareham, was recognised by City College Southampton for its commitment to training apprentices in its engineering department, ensuring vital skills are not lost to the region and the automotive industry.Workshop Controller Darren Fuller picked up the Employer Recognition Award for his work with the college to ensure the apprentices had the right training and support to complete the courses.He says: “It was a lovely ceremony for all the apprentices and a great way for them to see their hard work recognised. I was very pleased Lucketts could be part of it, and came away with a trophy and certificate for the work we’ve done.”The company is looking to recruit more apprentices next spring ahead of a new training placement starting in the summer.Mark Jordan, Group Engineering Director, says: “Apprentices grow up and learn their trade at the same time, which means they can see more of what goes on. We tend to start them at 16. They’re fantastic – willing to learn, capable – they’re brilliant.”
Arriva driver Colin Adcock has won a local award for outstanding customer service on an open-top tour bus service.Colin, who is based at Arriva’s Gillingham depot, drives on Medway Council’s ‘Explore Medway’ bus, which links tourist attractions in Rochester, Chatham and Gillingham.Normally found driving Arriva’s Sapphire service between Gillingham and Maidstone, Colin drives on the open-top tour bus during the summer, throughout the school holidays and on private tours for groups.Colin is also now the regular driver of the weekend ‘Dickens Country Experience’ tour on a gold Arriva single-decker provided by Medway Council. The route takes passengers on a historic tour around Rochester, with costumed actors providing entertainment and re-enacting scenes from Dickens’ most popular novels.Arriva Marketing Manager Richard Lewis says “We are very proud of Colin’s achievement in receiving his award and he is always a good ambassador for our company.“The open-top tour of Medway has been very popular over the past three seasons and a lot of that success is down to his friendly attitude towards his customers.”
Bus Services Bill misses a valuable opportunity and is thus ‘an irrelevance’, says senior NatEx manThe Bus Services Bill represents a missed opportunity to tackle congestion – a problem which is the industry’s biggest single headache, says a senior manager.Martin Hancock, who is National Express Development Director and also National Express Coventry Interim MD, used a panel discussion at the Intermodal conference in Nottingham on Monday (20 June) to decry the Bill, and focused on congestion and its effects on the bus industry.‘Congestion is impacting service quality and Bill does nothing about it’“The Bus Services Bill is not the biggest problem currently faced by the industry. It is congestion, which is killing us, and there is nothing in the Bill to help tackle it,” says Mr Hancock in an echo of comments made by First Midlands MD Nigel Eggleton.“Additionally, nothing is happening regarding the allocation of road space to buses. We are seeing service quality go down while costs go up. That’s a missed opportunity in the Bill, but we will make it work regardless.”Mr Hancock also warns that, unless congestion is tackled and service quality is restored, other technologies such as Uber will eat “massively” into the bus market.He adds that an ongoing ‘generational change’, where young people often no longer aspire to car ownership, presents an opportunity to the industry, but that it must continue to get its environmental message across.Mr Hancock’s criticism of the Bill is echoed by Gary Nolan, Stagecoach Regional Director North. Like Mr Hancock and Nottingham City Transport MD Mark Fowles, he favours the partnership approach.“Why do we need to move the deckchairs as much as we are to accomplish what we all want?” says Mr Nolan. “Why can we not sit around the table and deliver it together? What is in the Bill for the customer?”Mr Fowles explains that partnership between the City Council and operators has worked “exceedingly well” in Nottingham, and he points out that high-quality services in the city have driven one of the highest bus passenger usage rates in the UK.Even then, adds Mr Fowles, local authorities do not always allocate adequate and appropriate space to buses, creating a feeling among the motoring lobby that there are too many services. “There are not too many buses; they are concentrated in too few places.”
Almost exactly four years after its high-profile launch of Megabus Gold, Stagecoach has announced that the genuinely groundbreaking service is to cease on 21 May.The lower deck seats 17, converting into 10 berths, and the upper deck 38, converting into 32 berthsIn a statement it says: “While our sleepercoach services have proved popular with a loyal core base of customers, unfortunately the overall level of demand has been below the level required for us to be able to continue the routes.“Despite our efforts, it has not been possible to develop a sustainable customer base to ensure the longer term financial viability of the services.“The long-distance travel market is extremely competitive, and we have faced strong competition from low-cost airlines, rail services and the private car benefitting from low fuel prices.”The pilot service, using converted Volvo B10M artic-coaches, started in 2011 under the Megabus brand. The arrival of 10 new Van Hool TDX29 14.7m tri-axles in April 2013 – each costing £500,000 – was followed by three more as the routes expanded.Three sleepercoach coach routes from London to Glasgow-Aviemore-Inverness; Edinburgh-Ferrytoll-Dunfermline-Falkirk and Cumbernauld-Perth-Dundee-Aberdeen run each way overnight. During the day the coaches are used on luxury Megabus Gold routes in Scotland.At the launch, the project was said to be the realisation of a 30-year ambition for then CEO Brian SouterThe lower deck seats 17, converting into 10 berths, and the upper deck 38, converting into 32 berths.At the launch, Stagecoach said the break-even point was 40 berths.Now, 10 of the vehicles are used on Megabus Gold, based at Cumbernauld, the other three are driver trainers at Rugby, Cwmbran and Cumbernauld. Stagecoach says it is “looking at options regarding the vehicles.”At the launch, the project was said to be the realisation of a 30-year ambition for then CEO Brian Souter, and had to overcome many technical hurdles. Average yields were expected to be £40; four years on, prices have changed little – single tickets can easily be had for £29.
The Lytx team revealed the benefits of its DriveCam video telematics programme, including improving driver safety, increasing fleet uptime, and lowering operating costs.Through a combination of video with predictive analytics, real-time driver feedback and coaching, the programme allows operators to identify and correct driving behaviours that could lead to a collision.Staff were also able to provide real-life cases on how investing in the programme has had a positive impact on a number of UK coach and bus operators.
Omni-Tech Electronics provides parts to the UK coach and bus marketOmni-Tech Electronics has been supplying components to the coach and bus industry for over a decade. It recently issued version 1.18 of its catalogue, which runs to 60 pages and mirrors the products offered on its website.The company manufactures, remanufactures, repairs and stocks all manner of electronic components, among which are dashboard equipment, gear selectors, speedometers and gauges, destination boards, and heating and air-conditioning controllers, and exchange parts are available.All of its products are, says Omni-Tech, competitively priced, and they give a significant saving over buying from the OEM.The most popular items are held in stock at its Sheffield facility and it despatches throughout the UK. Next-day delivery is standard, but an express service is available for vehicle off road situations.All repaired, refurbished and new parts are supplied to current ISO standards and come with a guarantee.The catalogue covers most product areas, but customers are advised that the Omni-Tech website is constantly updated with new lines. It is also able to source products for older and heritage vehicles, allowing them to be kept on the road safely and reliably.www.buselectronics.co.uk
ProVision users will receive email alerts if camera hardware is damagedProVision, creator of CameraMatics, has unveiled an addition to the platform: An email status alert that flags any disruptions or malfunctions in a vehicle’s camera hardware.Cameras can be damaged or knocked off-position by flying debris or suffer other damage, or hard discs may be removed and then not refitted.The proactive email alerts system send out a nightly email if a fault is found by a software audit of every ProVision-enabled vehicle in every fleet. ProVision already offers a hardware status window in its web platform and app.www.provisioncameramatics.com
London tour operator undergoes ‘complete restructure’ with new premises and vehiclesLondon-based Premium Coaches continues to expand with 15 new coaches arriving for the 2019 season and new additional premises.The VDLs will be joined by 10 Mercedes-Benz Tourismos in AprilThe operator will take delivery of five new VDL coaches from Moseley in Pontefract this month, made up of three 61-seater Futura FHD2s, one 80-seater double-decker and one 94-seater double-decker.In April they will be joined by 10 new Mercedes-Benz Tourismos during April, bringing the fleet to over 50 vehicles.Neil Wootton, Group CEO, says: “The company has been undergoing a complete restructure over the past 18 months with several parts of the business changing.“Firstly, we have a new management team with Richard Robbins, formerly of Clarkes Coaches, now heading up the team as Director of Transport. He has brought with him several other managers and administration staff to complement the already strong existing team we had in place. Collectively we have adjusted some of our working methods and are even more focused on bringing a high-quality service to an ever changing and demanding industry.”The firm has also extended its lease and space at its Old Kent Road depot and has taken out further leases in the south east and a new yard in West London in order to cater for a broader mix of work.Adds Mr Wootton: “We are also in the process of acquiring a freehold that we can invest in and turn into a high-class maintenance facility. As such we are actively recruiting for high quality drivers, managers and experienced mechanics to join our expanding team.”
A batch of high-specification Enviro400s have been delivered to Stagecoach South. They were supplied by Alexander Dennis (01909 551166).The buses have a dual purpose. On weekdays they will be used between the University of Chichester’s two campuses. At the weekend they will be put to work on the Coastliner 700 service that runs from Bognor Regis to Portsmouth.Delivery of the Stagecoach South Enviro400s marks a continuation of a successful partnership between the operator and the university. They have audio-visual announcements and the manufacturer’s SmartSeat.Says Stagecoach South MD Edward Hodgson: “We see this as a positive step forwards and a significant contribution to improving air quality – reducing our environmental impact and hopefully encouraging more customers to switch to bus.”
Pinterest Twitter By Associated Press – July 9, 2019 1 342 Pinterest WhatsApp WhatsApp Facebook Facebook Google+ Indiana State Police to help with probe of officer-involved shooting IndianaLocalNews Google+ (Photo supplied/ABC 57) SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The special prosecutor investigating a South Bend police officer’s fatal shooting of a car break-in suspect says he won’t be rushed and the probe will take “as long as it takes.”A St. Joseph County judge named Ripley County Prosecutor Richard Hertel last week to oversee the investigation into South Bend Sgt. Ryan O’Neill’s June 16 shooting of Eric Logan.Hertel said Tuesday that Indiana State Police investigators are assisting him and that he wants his probe to be “expeditious” but “complete.” He says it will last “as long as it takes.”Hertel says that once his investigation is complete, his three options are to present his findings to a judge, convene a grand jury or file criminal charges. Twitter Previous articleWhitmer travels to Benton Harbor to resume talks on schoolsNext articleGirl, 11, recovering after being struck by vehicle on Lincoln Way West in South Bend Associated PressNews from the Associated Press and its network of reporters and publications.