Hull-based Yorkshire Bus and Coach Managing Director, Craig Porteous, is taking part in a cycling challenge across South Africa to raise funds for Transaid.Transaid aims to improve access to basic services for poor people in developing countriesThe challenge will take part in March 2017 and Craig will be cycling 450km.His aim is to raise £5,000 for the charity, through fundraising from the general public as well as through company sponsorship.Companies sponsoring Craig’s charity cycle will have its logo on his t-shirt throughout the challenge.Those interested in sponsorship opportunities are asked to email Craig, [email protected]
National Express West Midlands’ pilot of Voith’s DIWA.6 gearbox has been so successful that it is specifying it in all 96 double-deckers it has ordered. In the year since the trial started using two ADL Enviro200 buses fitted with the transmission, that automatically selects neutral when the vehicle is at rest, they have run 80,000 miles, cutting fuel consumption by 10%, says Colin Saward, Head of Engineering at National Express.The two ADL Enviro200 buses fitted with the transmission, that automatically selects neutral when the vehicle is at rest, have run 80,000 miles under the trial, and saved 10% in fuel
Transport for London (TfL) has placed contracts for seven routes, totalling 184 double-decker buses, to start between August and December.Of these, 117 will new new Euro 6 hybrids, the rest existing double-deckers (of which 22 are existing Euro 5 diesels).Also, 10 Euro 5 hybrids operated by London General will be upgraded to Euro 6 hybrids.The routes are 5, 6, 15, 18, 22, 98 and 115.
Clarks Vehicle Conversions has boosted efficiency and productivity thanks to TotalKare’s mobile column hydraulic lifts.It has invested in the T8DC product, which has a capacity of 7,500kg per column. Lifting vehicles provides a safer and easier option for engineers working beneath them, says TotalKare.The T8DC lifts are flexible and they have adjustable forks. That allows work to be carried out on every model of vehicle that comes into the Clarks workshop, with lifts being moved to suit vehicles, rather than the other way round.www.totalkare.co.uk
31 Mellor Orion minibuses have been delivered to Dorset County CouncilDorset County Council (DCC) has taken delivery of 31 Fiat Ducato-based Mellor Orion minibuses in just 18 months.They are configured to provide optimum functionality on DCC’s accessible transport routes and all are wheelchair accessible via both the front and rear doors. Reverse cameras are fitted to all 31 minibuses.
McGill’s Buses – Scotland’s largest, independent operator – has invested in conflict avoidance and personal safety training for its 16-revenue protection and street-based inspectors.Conflict resolution specialist trainers, SALVAS, provided the training over two days at the company’s Milliken Park Depot.Inspectors who often face stressful situations when relating to the public, were put through theoretical and practical exercises.McGill’s Training and Driver Recruitment Manager, George King says: “The training was tailored to our specific needs and delivered very professionally.“It ensures that our inspectors can relate to our passengers and the general public professionally at all times and keep both themselves and the public safe.”
Slough-based Euromar has succeeded in its fourth bid for a one-vehicle international licence after Traffic Commissioner (TC) Kevin Rooney was satisfied about the repute of sole Director Marek Orzechowski.The firm had been called to a Bristol Public Inquiry (PI) because of concerns over finance, repute and professional competence. Mr Orzechowski was the sole director of Polski Express Transport which twice in 2010 sought a five-vehicle international licence. Those applications were withdrawn by Central Licensing Unit (CLU) as the application fee failed and could not be processed. In 2014 and 2016 Euromar sought a one-vehicle international licence. Both applications were refused on financial grounds, decisions upheld by the Upper Tribunal on appeal [routeone/Court Reports/5 August 2015 and 19 April 2017].In April the TC ordered Euromar and Mr Orzechowski to pay £125 after they failed to attend a PI into its third application for a licence [routeone/Court Report/23 May].The TC held that the firm met the financial requirement after receiving an undertaking relating to finance and was satisfied that professional competence would be met after Mr Orzechowski, who acquired his CPC in Poland in 2004, undertook to attend a refresher training course.Consideration of whether Mr Orzechowski met the requirement to be of good repute was adjourned by the TC for him to take legal advice and make representations in relation to a decision by the First-tier Tribunal (Tax) on 14 August 2013.It had rejected his appeal against a decision of HMRC refusing to return a vehicle that had been seized after it was found smuggling 32,760 cigarettes into the country on which excise duty had not been paid [routeone/Court Report/5 September].The TC granted the firm’s application after being satisfied by representations made by Mr Orzechowski and a response from HMRC. The grant was subject to two undertakings; namely that Mr Orzechowski attend an established two-day TM refresher course by 30 November 2018 and that the company would provide evidence to demonstrate financial standing in April and October 2019.
Stagecoach has launched an innovative fitness and wellbeing programme for its employees.The programmewas devised specifically for Stagecoach employees by wellness coach Ellie Hopley (pictured left) and is supported by TV presenter Ferne McCann (right)The home-based #DrivingFitnessTogether plan aims to help the Stagecoach staff improve physical and emotional health through a series of videos covering workouts as well as other aspects of wellbeing including nutrition, hydration, stress management, goal setting, confidence and sleep management.The programme – launched during Stagecoach’s Wellbeing & Safety Week – was devised specifically for Stagecoach employees by wellness coach Ellie Hopley and is supported by TV presenter Ferne McCann. It is thought that Stagecoach has become the first transport company in the country to deliver a nationwide staff wellness initiative.
It is also likely to suggest that advances amongst the Union’s poorer countries in terms of increased Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and better infrastructure have been counterbalanced by continued lack of success in the fight against unemployment.What this will mean for future regional funding still remains unclear.Officials hope to present a first draft of the report by the end of this month to the ‘Cohesion’ Commissioners: Monika Wulf-Mathies, Franz Fischler, Pádraig Flynn, Erkki Liikanen and Anita Gradin.They will decide to what extent the report should launch an active debate on the merits of different cohesion policies, and recommend specific courses of future action. They will not, however, attemptto set financial targets for the new millennium at this stage.A final draft of the report should be ready for presentation to the full Commission by the end of October, for eventual action by regional policy ministers in March 1997.Under current arrangements, three ingredients make up the Union’s cohesion policy. The draft report, which is keenly awaited as a first signpost to the future direction of EU regional policy, will analyse the results of efforts to reduce inequality since 1990 and suggest how best to proceed beyond 1999, when the current arrangements for the Structural and Cohesion Funds expire.Work on the report is still at an early stage, but initial drafts do not paint an encouraging picture for the Union’s regions. Whilst at a national level countries have made considerable progress in narrowing the gap between the EU’s richest and poorest member states, regional disparities within individual countries have actually grown.And while the report will praise progress in the Iberian peninsula and Ireland, it will express concern over developments in Greece and the Mezzogiorno region of Italy. But perhaps the biggest debate will be over whether the funds should continue to benefit large swathes of the Union (currently more than 50%), or should concentrate on a smaller number of poorer regions (about 30%).This issue is especially important in the run-up to EU enlargement, amid mounting concern over the potential cost of admitting the countries of Central and Eastern Europe into the Union.Regional Commissioner Monika Wulf-Mathies recently enticed member states with the ‘Holy Grail’: a regional strategy for Central and Eastern Europe without increased member state contributions. But exactly how that will be achieved remains unclear.The Irish presidency expects to organise a meeting in mid-November to hold a first discussion of the report.Until the final draft is released, however, DGXVI, the Directorate-General for regional policy is declining to make any comment on its contents. The Structural and Cohesion Funds are the most high-profile element. Structural Funds are governed by six objectives, and aim to help regions with low GDP, high unemployment, industrial and agricultural decline, or low population density.The Cohesion Fund focuses more specifically on the Union’s poorest countries – Spain, Greece, Portugal and Ireland – with under 90% of the EU’s average GDP.But while spending on regional and social policies between 1994 and 1999 will reach almost 150 billion ecu, a third of the EU’s total budget, officials stress that other measures are equally important.These include applying regional considerations to other Commission policies (such as competition) and high-level coordination of macroeconomic policy.The Cohesion Report will judge the success of all these elements by examining macroeconomic convergence, employment statistics, infrastructure, human resource development and productivity.It could then determine whether the present objective-led approach is an effective way of organising funding.
Sure enough, waiting on the runway at Nantes was a plane. But – oeups! – the bird in question was a mere 15-seater. Van Orden, Deva and others managed to get on board, leaving the other half of the party stranded in Nantes.Some time later, Air France diverted the remaining not-so-merry-band (some via Toulouse and some via Bordeaux) before finally delivering them to Strasbourg at 11pm – 12 hours and no less than three flights since their jaunt began.President Cox, meanwhile, had mysteriously managed to land at Strasbourg several hours in advance of his grumbling colleagues.Sources told EN that ‘Pat’s People’ got onto the British Foreign Office which, it transpired, had a nine-seater plane waiting at Biggin Hill military airport to ferry two Strasbourg-bound government representatives. Cox duly managed to cadge a lift.Despite his own late arrival, at least British Tory Heaton-Harris wasn’t too jealous ofCox’s preferential treatment: “Oh well,” he said, “that’s just the luck of the Irish…” Cox, Christopher Beazley, Geoffrey Van Orden, Nirj Deva, Chris Heaton-Harris, Elspeth Attwooll and Claude Moraes, among others, were booked on an Air France flight from London Gatwick airport to the French town.Well, that was the plan…but the flight was cancelled at short notice.The French operator, which has recently upped its prices as carrier between the two venues, eventually flew the 30-strong group to Nantes, promising seats on an ongoing flight from there to Strasbourg.