Month: April 2021

Chalkwell engineers show their diagnostic abilities

first_imgThree engineers at Sittingbourne-based operator Chalkwell have been awarded certificates for successfully completing a course offered by the Institute of the Motoring Industry (IMA).The three are Peter Bottle, who has more than 10 years’ experience as a light vehicle technician; Clive Dixon, an MOT tester; and Ashley Payne, a recently-qualified commercial vehicle technician.They took part in a technical training course for problem-solving strategy using diagnostic tools, which was offered with an IMA Quality Assurance Agency certification, consisting of an afternoon of diagnostic strategies and problem solving.Says Eve Payne of Chalkwell: “Understanding the basics is one of the most important tools in the technician’s toolbox during diagnostics work.”last_img

Stagecoach unveils Sprinter City 45 minibuses

first_imgNear-£3m investment will see 30 low-floor minibuses go into service in Ashford in a fortnight’s timeThe 30 Sprinter City 45s seat 17 and will increase frequencies in AshfordStagecoach South East is to launch what it describes as “an innovative and high-frequency transport solution” in Ashford on 12 February when 30 high-specification 17-seat Mercedes-Benz Sprinter City 45 minibuses enter service on a network where some frequencies will increase fourfold.The low-floor Sprinters, which are factory conversions and have been supplied by EvoBus (UK), will operate up to every five minutes from 0600-2300hrs seven days a week, and they represent an investment of almost £3m.In another significant development, contactless payment, Apple Pay and Android Pay will be accepted on board.With the network branded as Little and Often, the minibuses represent “a new approach to modern bus travel,” says Stagecoach, and it believes that frequent links to Ashford rail station will prove particularly popular with Ashford residents who work in London.“This is an exciting new travel option for customers and once again demonstrates our commitment to innovation and to trying different things to help deliver even better services for passengers,” says Stagecoach UK Bus MD Bob Montgomery.“This new turn-up-and-go product will free up more time for customers and provide them with the reassurance that there will always be another bus along in a matter of minutes.”Contactless payment acceptance on the Ashford minibuses complements Stagecoach’s existing work on this transaction method elsewhere in the country. It has already been launched in the north-east of England and Oxfordshire, and it will be available at all Stagecoach subsidiaries by 2018.Stagecoach is also committed to working with the UK’s major bus operators on a scheme that could see contactless payment introduced on every bus outside London by 2022.last_img read more

Jersey Boys tours the UK and Ireland

first_imgThe award-winning musical Jersey Boys goes on its second UK and Ireland tour from December this year, opening at the New Alexandra Theatre in BirminghamA second UK and Ireland tour of Jersey Boys will open at the New Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham on 16 December 2017.Jersey Boys tells the remarkable true story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and their rise to stardom from the wrong side of the tracks. This is the second UK and Ireland tour for Jersey BoysThey became one of the most successful bands in pop history; selling 175 million records worldwide, all before they turned 30. The show features their hits, including ‘Sherry’, ‘Walk Like A Man’, ‘December’, ‘1963 (Oh What a Night)’, ‘Bye Bye Baby’, ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’, ‘Working My Way Back to You’, and ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’.Following the stint in Birmingham, the musical will move on to Liverpool Empire, Milton Keynes Theatre, Stoke Regent, Hull New Theatre, Sunderland Empire, and Glasgow King’s Theatre, with further dates to be announced.Jersey Boys first opened in London at the Prince Edward Theatre on 18 March 2008 and moved to the Piccadilly Theatre in March 2014.The Olivier Award-winning West End production closed in March following nine years in London.The first UK and Ireland tour of Jersey Boys was a record-breaking success and ran for 18 months, from 4 September 2014 to 5 March 2016.For tour dates and to book, go to jerseyboysuktour.comlast_img read more

Gauntlet sales team boosted by new posts

first_imgAhead of what it predicts to be a period of uncertainty for the industry, Gauntlet has bolstered its coach and bus team by appointing a new Sales Director.Andy Parkin (pictured, right) has joined the insurance broker after a seven-year career at Towergate and what Gauntlet is calling a one-year ‘snap year’ – 12 months spent pursuing his hobby of photography.Andy has three decades of expertise in broking risks, earning a reputation for spotting trends early.One of his primary focuses will be on delivering customer excellence to all of Gauntlet’s touchpoints with coach and bus operators, in what he predicts to be a difficult period.Andy will be supported by a new member of the team, Andrew Scott (pictured, left), who has been Gauntlet’s Health and Safety Manager for the past few years, and who has a history in insurance stretching back decades. This team-bolstering development comes on the back of Gauntlet having already appointed former Wrightsure coach and insurance guru, Mark Monk, to head up a new southern office and handle the day-to-day insurance requirements of passenger fleet operators in the south.last_img read more

NXWM bucks the bus usage trend

first_imgNational Express West Midlands (NXWM) has seen a 12% increase in journeys by young people as a result of introducing half-price travel for under-18s and low-fare zones.The fare-busting initiatives, delivered through the West Midlands Bus Alliance, are seeing the region buck the national trend of falling passenger numbers and rising fares.Last year half-price travel was extended to all 16-18-year-olds, benefitting up to 105,000 apprentices, students, trainees and those in work.There has also been good growth in passenger numbers in Walsall and Dudley following the launch of low fare zones, in which a standard cash daysaver ticket costs £3.50 instead of £4.60.The first zone in Sandwell and Dudley brought an extra 4,000 journeys a day on NXWM buses alone.last_img

First Commercial Hydrogen bus trials completed at Brighton & Hove and Metrobus

first_imgThe Wrightbus Streetdeck FCEV has spent the week being demonstrated to key stakeholders on the Brighton and Hove and Metrobus networks The EU project is part of an effort to pool orders from 52 cities across the UK and Europe to start to drive pricing down. Much progress has been made during the last five years, where buses are now around half of the £1m originally required.On why hydrogen fuel cell electric is seen as the right choice, Head of Innovation Strategy at Brighton and Hove and Metrobus, Patrick Warner, is clear – it allows the same operating range and a similar refuelling profile as the existing diesel fleet with the benefit of zero-emission travel.Brighton and Hove Bus and Metrobus was the first UK Bus Operator to publicly set a goal to be zero-emission by 2030.Says Mr Warner: “It’s about being as clean and responsible in our communities as we can be. After articulating our vision for hydrogen, it makes conversations that also need to be had about a variety of measures that are needed to support buses much easier, and gets people on board.“This is not just about our own environmental performance either. We believe that our buses can act as a powerful enabling force to help other regional partners with smaller fleets switch to hydrogen at a more affordable price. Furthermore, as buses are currently only responsible for around 4% of UK roadside emissions, if we can introduce equally as ambitious priority measures that speed these super clean bus journeys up, we can create an attractive alternative to the private motor car, boost active travel take up and help improve the nation’s health and fitness.” As part of what is hoped to become the first commercial application of hydrogen fuel cell technology for buses, trials took place of a Wrightbus Streetdeck FCEV this week with Brighton and Hove and Metrobus from its Newhaven and Crawley depots.The hydrogen fuel cell-electric Streetdeck has been demonstrated to a variety of regional stakeholders on key challenging services in the Brighton and Hove and Metrobus networks in the South of England. The trials hint at how the company believes it can deliver on an ambition to operate a zero-emission fleet of nearly 500 buses across the region by 2030.The business case for the first 20 buses, which is currently part of a procurement process, includes support of £2.9m from the European Union’s FCH JU Jive Project, £4.3m from the UK Government’s Ultra Low Emission Bus Scheme and a contribution from Gatwick Airport toward the refuelling infrastructure which will enable the airport to drive down emissions across fleets operated on campus in future years.last_img read more

Scottish LEZs coming by May 2022, leadership group says

first_imgLow Emission Zones (LEZs) will be introduced in the four Scottish cities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow between February 2022 and May 2022, the country’s LEZ Leadership Group has decided.That represents “an indicative timeframe” and not a finalised schedule, the Group says. The legislative and regulatory steps that need to be taken by the Scottish Government and relevant local authorities (LAs) will be considered before the Zones are introduced.Plans to implement the LEZs were temporarily paused in May because of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. The LEZ Leadership Group says that while no specific introduction dates have yet been set, it will “work as quickly as [it] can to introduce LEZs at the earliest juncture.”The LEZs were originally due for introduction this year. In November 2019, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson – who sits on the LEZ Leadership group – described achieving that as “critical.”On the announcement that the LEZs will debut in 2022, Mr Matheson says: “With the indicative timeline now established, planning continues at an LA level. The Scottish Government will continue to develop the required regulations, as well as providing funding to help people and businesses prepare.”LAs will “explore grace periods following introduction and will balance the needs of businesses and residents with the urgent requirement to tackle pockets of poor air quality,” the LEZ Leadership Group adds. Those grace periods may be between one year and four years in duration.Scottish LEZs will require Euro VI compliance of coaches and buses if penalty charges are to be avoided. Money has already been awarded to operators to upgrade vehicles to meet Euro VI standards, including £9.8m through a third phase of the Bus Emission Abatement Retrofit scheme in September.Glasgow has already begun a phased introduction of its LEZ. Thus far it applies only to buses.last_img read more

Police looking at Boone County suspect for potential Delphi murder lead

first_img WhatsApp By 95.3 MNC – July 23, 2019 0 489 Twitter Facebook Twitter Google+ Police looking at Boone County suspect for potential Delphi murder lead (Photo Supplied/Tippecanoe County Sheriff) There could be a new suspect coming in the Delphi double murder case.Investigators are requesting DNA samples from a man that killed himself during a standoff with Boone County law enforcement last month.Paul Etter, 55, was identified via a tip as a possible suspect, and with him now deceased, police would like to use his DNA to either connect him to the crime or eliminate him as a suspect.Leading up to the standoff he had been charged with kidnapping and raping a woman while she was changing a tire on the side of the road.The bodies of teen girls Abigail Williams and Liberty German were found on Valentine’s Day 2017 near a hiking trail in Delphi.Their deaths made headlines nationwide. IndianaNews Pinterest Facebook Previous articleMilford men arrested during drug bustNext articleKosciusko County animal control officer suspended after animal shooting 95.3 MNCNews/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel is your breaking news and weather station for northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan. WhatsApp Google+ Pinterestlast_img read more

US denies privacy law bullying

first_imgRather, he argued, law enforcement agencies must have access to data – such as billing information or traffic data – that US firms routinely keep longer than their EU counterparts because they are not under the same legal obligation to destroy it.“In the US we do not have a regime of data protection similar to that in Europe that requires the routine destruction of data by ISPs {internet service providers],” said Sussman, who was in Brussels for a conference on computer software piracy.“As Europeans debate privacy, needs of the market, network security and public safety – as they each relate to information technologies – we hope that balance and moderation will prevail.”But he said MEPs and privacy campaigners could be disappointed if they try to push through tough data privacy requirements in the directive, which also covers issues such as the right to send email sales pitches to would-be clients.“Extreme positions on one issue, such as mandatory data destruction, can create equally strong reactions from individual governments and their law enforcement agencies and legislatures.”He said proof of the US’ moderate position on the issue came last October when Congress did not call for data retention when it pushed through the tough-worded Patriot Act. “It had no requirement for data retention and there was never a proposal in it for that,” said Sussman.Members of the Parliament’s committee on citizens’ freedoms and rights last week voted in favour of strict privacy for email users in a debate on the EU’s draft data law.They balked at the prospect of governments forcing ISPs and telecom firms to automatically retain data beyond the period needed for billing purposes, saying any measures taken by governments must be in line with rulings by the European Court of Human Rights. MEPs and EU member states are working towards a deal on a new directive aimed at setting the ground rules for data privacy in all electronic communications – including email and mobile phones.President George W. Bush said the EU should make sure law enforcement agencies have access to client data post-11 September, in a letter to Commission President Romano Prodi and Belgian premier Guy Verhofstadt.But US Department of Justice counsel Michael Sussman told European Voice this does not mean Europe should adopt overly onerous rules that violate its citizens’ privacy.last_img read more

Germany seeks support for dioxin action plan

first_imgOne idea that Aigner is floating is to put requirements on companies that produce oils and fatty acids to obtain authorisation before they can do business, so that they have to prove their technical competence. Another idea is to introduce an EU-wide list of substances that can be used in making animal feed. Germany and Austria already have such lists in place, and Aigner would like this approach extended across Europe. Safety breach The dioxin crisis is far from over. On Saturday (15 January), German authorities ordered the closure of several hundred farms that had been re-opened, after a feed manufacturer confessed that it had not provided a full list of farms that might have received contaminated feed – a lapse described by John Dalli, the European commissioner for health and consumer policy, as “a very serious infringement of EU food-safety provisions”. Around 900 farms remain closed, compared to 4,700 in the early days of the crisis. Some of Aigner’s ideas already have the support of the Commission. Dalli told MEPs on Monday (17 January) that he was looking at the possibility of new rules to ensure that fats and oils used for food and feed were produced in separate facilities from those used for industry. The contamination began when dioxin-laden fats intended for the paper industry were added to animal feed. Ilse Aigner, Germany’s agriculture minister, will call on her EU counterparts to back tougher controls on the animal-feed industry, in the wake of the dioxins scare that saw contaminated eggs and meat from Germany going to six neighbouring countries. At an emergency meeting on Tuesday (18 January), Aigner and Germany’s 16 regional agriculture ministers agreed a 14-point plan aimed at preventing a repeat of the food scare, including tougher penalties for putting contaminated food on the market, more inspections and a Germany-wide system of early warning about possible dioxin contamination. Aigner, who has faced calls from her domestic opposition to resign, also signalled that she wanted changes in European Union rules, which she will outline on Monday (24 January) at an EU meeting of agriculture ministers in Brussels. The Commission has also announced that it is sending a team of veterinary specialists from the EU’s Food and Veterinary Office to Germany next week to investigate the situation. MEPs are keeping up the pressure on the Commission and Germany to tighten food-safety rules. George Lyon, a British Liberal MEP, called on EU and German authorities to conduct a full investigation “to establish what went wrong and why tough European rules, introduced in the wake of BSE [mad cow disease], did not prevent another food scare”. Contaminated meat and eggs from Germany have been picked up in the Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands, Poland and the UK. Breeding hens were exported to Denmark. Ministers are not expected to agree conclusions on Monday, but an official from one of the countries that had received contaminated German products said “we will support anything that will enhance and enlarge food safety”. ? The dioxins topic was a late addition to the agenda of the council of agriculture ministers. At the one-day meeting, ministers will have a further debate about reforming the Common Agricultural Policy, this time focused on aligning the farm support policy with environmental goals, such as soil and water protection.last_img read more