Tourer joins Cardiff-based Roy’s Travel’s fleet

first_imgRoy’s Travels has received a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Tourer minicoachCardiff-based minicoach operator Roy’s Travels has added a new 16-seat Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 514CDi Tourer, supplied by local dealership Euro Commercials.It joins two other Sprinters in the fleet and it will be looked after at Euro Commercials’ Cardiff branch under a ServiceCare plan, which consolidates maintenance costs into a fixed and economical monthly payment.Euro Commercials’ 24-hour workshop is staffed by highly-trained technicians, and like all new Mercedes-Benz Vans, the Sprinter is backed by a three-year unlimited mileage warranty. It also comes with MobiloVan cover, which includes free 24-hour roadside assistance.Competitive funding support from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services help to seal the deal and the new minicoach will be used on a variety of work, says Proprietor Roy Mardon.“Sprinters have proved themselves to be superbly reliable, which is vital in this business. I can’t have a vehicle breaking down when it’s taking a party of holidaymakers to an airport, for example.”The minicoach is working alongside a 516CDi Tourer that was supplied under the Mercedes-Benz Approved Used banner. Less than a year old at the time, it had previously been utilised as a demonstrator. Completing the Roy’s line-up is a Sprinter converted by EVM.last_img read more

NCT completes world’s largest bio-gas decker fleet

first_imgThe world’s largest fleet of bio-gas double-decks is now fully operational, after Nottingham City Transport’s (NCT) 53rd bus entered service this week, completing a £16.8m investment in the ADL-bodied Scanias.A £4.4m grant from the government’s OLEV scheme, alongside £12.4m from NCT has seen fuelling facilities installed at NCT’s main Parliament Street Bus Garage and the buses enter service on seven routes (6, 10, 24, 25, 36, 44, 45).Plans are for further gas ‘deckers deck buses to be ordered (subject to funding) alongside a £3m grant from the Clean Vehicle Technology Fund to convert 185 diesel buses to Euro 6.Frank McGhee, ADL Regional Sales Manager; Mark Fowles NCT Managing Director, Gary Mason, NCT Engineering Director and Mark Oliver, Scania UK Bus and Coach Fleet Sales General ManagerAs a result, NCT is on track to reduce emissions by 90% by 2020, and comply with the city’s forthcoming Clean Air Zone.Bio-gas is produced naturally through anaerobic digestion, using food waste, farm waste and sewage. The methane emitted from the digestion process is captured, treated and turned into fuel.With all 53 Bio-Gas double deck buses from this initial order now in use, over 3,500 tonnes less CO2, 35 tonnes less NOX and 0.75 tonne less particulate matter will be emitted each and every year from the NCT fleet, delivering significant improvements to air quality in Nottingham.Mark Fowles, NCT Managing Director commented, “Our Bio-Gas double deck buses are the greenest buses on the road, with significantly lower emissions throughout the entire ‘well to wheel’ process of fuel generation, transportation and use. With Nottingham City Transport now operating 53 of these super environmentally friendly buses, we’re delivering cleaner air for Nottingham with the largest fleet of Bio-Gas double deck buses in the world.”Mark Oliver, Scania UK Bus & Coach Fleet Sales General Manager said, “With emissions of carbon dioxide reduced by up to 84 per cent, the introduction of this gas-powered double-deck bus fleet – the world’s largest fleet of its type – represents an important milestone for Nottingham City Transport and Scania as together we look to drive the shift towards a more sustainable transport future.  We are delighted to be involved in this important environmental programme, and are sure many other public transport operators around the country will now look to follow Nottingham’s lead.”Frank McGhee, ADL Regional Sales Manager, commented: “Bio-Gas is a key technology in our low emission bus portfolio, particularly suited to the conversion of large fleets of high capacity vehicles in demanding operations. We’re delighted to support NCT’s investment in greener transport, and to help improve passengers’ journeys with our state of the art buses.”As well as being the greenest buses on the road, customers travelling on the new Bio-Gas buses enjoy a smoother, quieter ride in comfy high specification seats and are able to keep their devices fully charged with USB charging points on board and free 4G Wi-Fi.last_img read more

New name takes top honour at UK Coach Rally

first_imgThe industry put on another good show over the weekend of 6-7 April when the 65th UK Coach Rally was held in Blackpool. Some old names triumphed; so did some newcomers to the annual event, tooThe 52 entries into last weekend’s 65th UK Coach Rally in Blackpool were rewarded with fine weather as the cream of the industry was once again recognised on the Fylde coast.But it wasn’t only the weather that delivered. The industry did too. Some fine-looking coaches were treated to manic cleaning, polishing and tyre-blacking before both Saturday’s road run and driving heats and Sunday’s judging session.Among them were many 19-plates, some of which had only been delivered last week. They included a Volvo 9900 for DJ Thomas Coaches, Irizar integrals for Blakes Coaches, Heathside Travel and Prospect Coaches, two VDL Futura FHD2s and several others.This year, North Western Traffic Commissioner Simon Evans made his Rally debut. He took part as a judge before presenting the silverware during the Sunday afternoon.Top of the treeIn the headline category, Go G VIP took home the big trophy at the first time of asking. Its superb Van Hool TDX21 Altano interdecker with just 42 seats was recognised as Coach of the Year, triumphing in a very tough field.That wasn’t all for the Manchester operator. Its Altano also claimed silverware for Top Executive Coach, the John Fielder Memorial Trophy for top coach from a small fleet, the Van Hool Trophy and the Peter Rogers Trophy for top CPT member.Coach Driver of the Year 2019 is Russell Cooper of Killamarsh-based Coopers Tours. Repeating his victory of 2017, Russell took the award while piloting a recently-delivered Volvo B8R with Plaxton Panther bodywork.Award-winning metalworkCoopers’ Panther also won recognition as Top Touring/Express Luxury Coach, and it claimed both the Plaxton Trophy and the London Tourist Coach Operators Association (LTCOA) Martin Cornell Trophy for highest-placed LTCOA member.Russell Cooper of Coopers Tours named Coach Driver of the Year 2019Top Coach from Scotland was awarded to Lothian Motorcoaches for its brand-new Panther-bodied Volvo B11R. Top Coach from Wales went to Williams Coaches of Brecon. Its Mercedes-Benz Tourismo M/2 won many favourable comments and it thus also came away with the Mercedes-Benz Trophy.Reptons Coaches took home the award for top coach aged five year or over with its striking Van Hool T916 Astron dating from 2008. Reptons’ Astron also claimed the Fred Bibby Trophy for best-loved coach.Hotly-contested was the Rita Dalzell Trophy for top coach aged 25 years or older. No fewer than three Volvo B58s with Plaxton Supreme IV bodywork were present, along with a Seddon Pennine VII with a Supreme III body and a Mercedes-Benz O303.Although all five are fine examples of coaches of their period, Sharpes of Nottingham came out on top with its B58, which dates from 1981. Comprehensively restored, the coach seats 45 with tables and it even comes with a full set of teacups branded with an authentic Plaxton logo.Inglebys Luxury Coaches triumphed in the Top Mini/Midi class for its new Plaxton Cheetah XL-bodied Mercedes-Benz Atego, while Rally newcomer Manchester Bee’s Neoplan Tourliner P22 won recognition as Top Standard Coach. It also took home the Neoplan Trophy.Other winners of vehicle trophies were Blakes Coaches, Brethertons Gold Line Tours, Coachpoint, Haines Minicoaches, Marshalls of Sutton-on-Trent, Redline Travel and Yorkshire Rose Holidays.The Gwyn Williams Trophy went to Gibbons Coach Holidays for its Mercedes-Benz Tourismo and Glen Valley Tours’ Van Hool T9 Acron of 2011 was recognised as Coach of the Year as voted by attending drivers.Other categoriesHoward Snaith Coaches once again received the Alan Goodwin Trophy for highest-placed coach operator in all classes, and newcomer Coachpoint was recognised as Top Team of the Year.Among five classic coaches was this Plaxton-bodied Seddon Pennine VIIRunner-up to Coach Driver of the Year was Darryn Hughes of Classic Coaches Co Down, and the Directors Challenge was won by Martijn Gilbert of East Yorkshire Coaches.Midi Driver of the Year was awarded to Adam Mills of Yorkshire Rose Holidays, while the Peter Bostock Trophy for highest-placed driver in the Saturday tests went to Kevin Walker of Inglebys Luxury Coaches.Karl Brazier of Jay and Kay tours was adjudged to be the smartest uniformed driver or courier, while last but not least, Geoffrey Cochrane of stalwart participant Kenzies Coaches received the Maurice Wrightson Memorial Shield as oldest employed participant in the Rally.Strong tradingTrade exhibitors at this year’s Rally reported strong interest, with several coaches making their Blackpool debuts.Among them were Yutong’s GT12, with one of a number of those now in the country on Pelican Bus and Coach’s stand. Volvo, meanwhile, showed an MCV-bodied B11R for Golden Tours alongside its 9900 demonstrator.Plaxton exhibited ed both the Leopard Interurban and the 13.2m Elite on Volvo B8R chassis for the first time, and MAN showed a TGE converted by Minibus Options. Other suppliers backing the Rally were Arriva Bus and Coach, BASE Coach Sales, EvoBus (UK) and Irizar UK.The date for next year’s Rally is awaited. For 2019, operators journeyed from as far away as Peterhead, Tiverton and Northern Ireland, indicating that interest in the event remains as strong as ever. routeone congratulates this year’s winners.2019’s Rally winnersCoach of the Year Go G VIP, Van Hool TDX21 AltanoCoach Driver of the Year Russell Cooper, Coopers ToursMidi Driver of the Year Adam Mills, Yorkshire Rose HolidaysHighest placed operator in all classes Howard Snaith CoachesTop Team of the Year CoachpointCoach Driver of the Year runner-up Darryn Hughes, Classic Coaches Co DownHighest placed driver in Saturday tests Kevin Walker, Inglebys Luxury CoachesDirectors Challenge Trophy Martijn Gilbert, East Yorkshire CoachesTop Mini/Midi Inglebys Luxury Coaches, Mercedes-Benz Atego Plaxton Cheetah XLTop Standard Coach Manchester Bee, Neoplan Tourliner P22Top Touring/Express Luxury Coach Coopers Tours, Volvo B8R Plaxton PantherTop Executive Coach Go G VIP, Van Hool TDX21 AltanoTop Coach aged five years or older Reptons Coaches, Van Hool T916 AstronTop Coach aged 25 years or older Sharpes of Nottingham, Volvo B58 Plaxton Supreme IVTop Coach from a small fleet Go G VIP, Van Hool TDX21 AltanoTop Neoplan Manchester Bee, Neoplan Tourliner P22Top Jonckheere Redline Travel, Volvo B11R Jonckheere JHV2Top Setra Coachpoint, Setra S250Top Plaxton Coopers Tours, Volvo B8R Plaxton PantherTop Beulas supplied by Moseley Blakes Coaches, MAN RR4 Beulas MythosTop Mercedes-Benz Williams Coaches, Mercedes-Benz Tourismo M/2Top Van Hool Go G VIP, Van Hool TDX21 AltanoTop VDL supplied by Moseley Marshalls of Sutton-on-Trent, VDL Futura FHD2-106Top Bova supplied by Moseley Marshalls of Sutton-on-Trent, VDL Futura FHD2-106Top Coach supplied by Volvo Brethertons Gold Line Tours, Volvo 9700Best Irizar integral Blakes Coaches, irizar i6S integralTop Sitcar supplied by Moseley Haines Minicoaches, Iveco Daily Sitcar VoyagerTop Yutong supplied by Pelican Yorkshire Rose Holidays, Yutong TC9Top CPT member Go G VIP, Van Hool TDX21 AltanoTop Coach from Scotland Lothian Motorcoaches, Volvo B11R Plaxton PantherTop Coach from Wales Williams Coaches, Mercedes-Benz Tourismo M/2Best-loved coach Reptons Coaches, Van Hool T916 AstronHighest-placed LTCOA member Coopers ToursGwyn Williams Trophy Gibbons Coach HolidaysOldest employed participant Geoffrey Cochrane, Kenzies CoachesCoach of the Year voted by drivers Glen Valley Tours, Van Hool T915 AcronBest co-ordinated decor Marshalls of Sutton-on-Trent, VDL Futura FHD2-106Smartest uniformed driver or courier Karl Brazier, Jay and Kay Tourslast_img read more

Stagecoach receives support from communities in South Wales

first_imgStagecoach in South Wales has shared kind messages and appreciation it has received from communities across South Wales.It includes signs giving thanks to key workers from two young girls whose uncle works as a bus driver in Stagecoach Aberdare depot. The girls showed their signs as he drove past on his shift.One four-year-old has been making hand sanitiser at home and handing it to drivers as he catches the bus.A pair of young boys dressed up as their fathers – who work as bus drivers for Stagecoach in South Wales – for National Superhero Day.All the children were spent special ‘goody bags’ by Stagecoach for their support in lifting staff spirits.Meanwhile, pictures of buses and rainbows have flooded Stagecoach’s depots. Messages from key workers have been shared on the Stagecoach Wales Twitter profile, including from staff at hospitals and care homes. Cakes have been sent to depots as a thank you for keeping services running.The pictures and messages are now displayed on the staff intranet and in the depots as well as across Twitter, which continues to help raise spirits during the ongoing public health emergency.Managing Director for Stagecoach in South Wales Nigel Winter says: “We are extremely grateful for all the supportive messages we have received from the public during the pandemic.“The kind gestures reinforce how important we are to the local communities and how buses continue to play a vital role in the country’s long-term recovery.”last_img read more

Simon Wright OBE to help drive Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro

first_imgCivil engineer Simon Wright OBE has been appointed to support the development of the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro (CAM).He will work part-time on a consultancy basis and join the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority in providing strategic input into the development of a ‘one CAM’ strategy, integrating the programme’s component projects into one scheme.Simon brings experience as Programme Director for Crossrail between 2014-2018 and as Director of Infrastructure and Utilities at the Olympic Delivery Authority for six years, leading into the 2012 London Olympic Games. He was Network Rail Project Development Director between 2013-2014, responsible for the £3bn redevelopment of Euston Railway Station.On his appointment, Simon says: “This is a highly innovative, bespoke transport concept for the region and there are few other systems in the world quite like it. But the method of delivery, through a special purpose vehicle (SPV), is very familiar and my job will be to challenge how the CAM develops in a positive way.“That means asking the right, and sometimes difficult, questions to ensure that the assumptions that the scheme are based on are always sound and that the innovative thinking required also leads to cost effective and efficient delivery of a reliable system.“I have been very impressed by the ambition for the CAM to spearhead a new wave of economic growth and innovation in the region and I’m excited to get started.”last_img read more

Elkhart man seeks a new murder trial

first_imgIndianaLocalNewsSouth Bend Market (Source: License: An Elkhart man is trying to get a new trial after he was convicted of murder.WSBT reports 44 year-old Andy Royer is presenting evidence to a Kosciusko Superior County Court judge, saying it entitles him to a new trial.This is his fifth attempt to overturn his conviction. Royer received a 55-year sentence for the 2002 murder of Helen Sailor, but claims he was coerced into a false confession by the Elkhart Police. By Tommie Lee – October 23, 2019 0 325 Facebook WhatsApp Google+ Previous articleFormer catcher David Ross hired as manager of Chicago CubsNext articleNew food service begins at South Bend schools Tommie Lee Twitter Elkhart man seeks a new murder trial Pinterest Twitter Google+ Pinterest WhatsApp Facebooklast_img read more

Ministers to cut funds for satellite navigation project

first_imgBut finance ministers plan to grant only 100 million euro, or about 3% of the public funds requested, insisting that no more can be released until the Commission provides more information about its plan. They will give the institution until December 2000 to supply details of the additional funding needed and exactly what technical specifications the programme would entail.“A number of member states are not yet willing to hand over the money for a formal project,” said an EU diplomat “We need to clarify the technical, organisational and financial aspects further before we make any real decisions on whether to fund it.”Currently, the American and Russian military own and control the only satellites which transmit signals for navigation, although they do offer a second, less reliable set of signals for civilian users such as commercial airlines.Kinnock has repeatedly argued in favour of an independent European-based system to both avoid dependence on the US and Russia, and to ensure European firms get a slice of what is expected to become a 50-billion-euro-a-year global market over the next few years.“If you do not have a role in the satellite signal and in the technology, then you are going to be left behind in trying to compete in this market,” said one Commission official.Germany, which has made the programme a key priority of its presidency, is confident that transport ministers will sign up to a general statement of support for the initiative at their meeting next Thursday (17 June). “We want to give the Commission the security to go ahead with this,” said one official. They will insist on holding back the rest of the money until the Commission produces a detailed blueprint fleshing out its plans.Acting Transport Commissioner Neil Kinnock has repeatedly sought the member states’ support for his proposal to deploy European satellites in space to help aeroplanes, trucks and ships pinpoint exactly where they are. The Galileo project aims to boost safety and fuel efficiency by helping transport operators to select the fastest routes.Kinnock has called for 2.2-2.9 billion euro from the public and private sectors for the first phase of the project from 2000-2008, and has suggested that about h1 billion of this would come from private companies.last_img read more

Modem transmission

first_imgFormer adviser to Romano Prodi set to enter the Parliament.François Bayrou, leader of the Mouvement démocrate (which was formerly the UDF and which is part of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats), has announced his party’s list of candidates for the June elections. One name that stands out is Sylvie Goulard, president of the French European Movement and a former adviser to Romano Prodi. She has been selected to top the ‘Modem’ list for West France. Corinne Lepage, who was environment minister in the government of Alain Juppé, is top of the list for North-West France. Modem currently has 11 MEPs, but is tipped to do better than in 2004. Current MEPs standing again include delegation head Marielle de Sarnez, Anne Laperrouze, Nathalie Griesbeck and Bernard Lehideux.last_img

Justice and its overstated costs

first_imgThe EU’s declaration reiterating its support for the court after it issued the warrant was a welcome first step, but much more will be necessary to ensure some measure of justice for Darfur’s victims. In particular, the EU must be ready, as it has promised, to impose targeted punitive measures against those Sudanese officials responsible for a failure to co-operate with the ICC. It needs also to firmly reject any attempt to use the UN Security Council to suspend the prosecution of Bashir. And it needs to lean heavily on Sudan’s allies, such as China, to convince them to use their leverage in Khartoum to make clear that Bashir’s retaliations against civilians and humanitarian groups maintaining a lifeline to millions of people in Darfur are unacceptable. Dire warnings – unproven by experienceThe EU has recently demonstrated that by standing firm it can play a critical role in promoting justice for atrocities that seem destined to go unpunished. As a result of the EU’s insistence that Serbia fully co-operate with the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, one of the most elusive war-crimes suspects in recent history was arrested when, after 13 years, Serbian authorities surrendered the notorious Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić. Karadžić is now facing atrocity charges for his role in the massacre of thousands after the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995 and in numerous other crimes, including the shelling of Sarajevo. Standing firm on the principle of full co-operation with the tribunal conveyed to Serbia and to the broader international community that justice is not negotiable.Some are now arguing that justice for Darfuris should wait and that peace should come first. This argument is a familiar one. When the arrest warrant for Charles Taylor, then the Liberian president, was unsealed as he arrived for peace talks in Ghana, diplomats were outraged and certain it would scuttle the talks. Yugoslavia’s prosecutor heard similar protests after she sought an arrest warrant for the Serbian leader Slobodan Milošević in the midst of his negotiations with NATO to end the conflict in Kosovo. Similarly, the indictment of Karadžić in 1995 was met with concerns about how that would impact prospects for ending the conflict in Bosnia.Yet, in each situation, the nay-sayers were proven wrong and the predicted dire consequences did not occur. The marginalisation of Taylor actually helped facilitate negotiations to end the civil war by making it clear he would not stay on as president. Anticipated retaliatory violence in response to news of the warrant never materialised. Ten days after Milošević was indicted, the terms of a peace agreement were agreed upon and the conflict in Kosovo ended. Karadžić’s indictment resulted in his exclusion from peace talks at Dayton, which made it possible for Bosnia’s president to reach an agreement with Milošević, who at the time (only months after the massacres at Srebrenica) was a much more palatable counterpart with whom to negotiate. While each situation is different and it is impossible to predict the future, experience demonstrates that allowing the ICC to proceed independently may have unanticipated positive consequences, by marginalising bad actors. Given what we know now, the EU should reiterate its unfailing commitment to justice and the ICC and demonstrate that a leadership position is no longer a free pass for committing serious crimes.Sara Darehshori and Elizabeth Evenson are counsel in the international justice programme of Human Rights Watch. The arrest warrant for President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan is an important test of the European Union’s long-standing commitment to justice and the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague. It is a commitment that it extended to Sudan last June when it said it would consider imposing sanctions if Sudan did not stop flouting its obligations to arrest the first two suspects charged by the ICC in the Darfur situation: Ali Kosheib, a leader of the Janjaweed militia, and Ahmed Haroun, currently Sudan’s minister for humanitarian affairs. No one should be surprised that the court has now found reasonable grounds to believe that al-Bashir, the commander-in-chief of the Sudanese Armed Forces, is responsible for atrocities in Darfur. But justice will struggle to prevail in the face of the hostile reaction to the warrant from China, Russia and many Arab and African leaders, whose stated concerns over the non-existent “peace process” masks a solidarity with the oppressors rather than their victims. If justice is to be done, the EU must take a vigorous stand.last_img read more

Bland and simple

first_imgA tasty treat from GM farmers.‘Taste without prejudice’ was the tag-line on an invitation from the Farmers Biotech Network to a “food-tasting event” of genetically modified (GM) produce on Monday (28 June). But almost as if the farmers wanted to make a point about Europe’s stalemate on approving GM crops, the menu featured only one GM dish – a traditional Italian polenta, made with GM maize grown in the Spanish region of Lerida. Maize is the only genetically modified crop grown for consumption in the EU (mostly in Spain). A small group of MEPs, EU officials and other hangers-on dutifully tucked into the steaming plates of polenta and sausage, even though outside it was 27C.Was this really the way to win people over to GM food? After all, GM polenta is just as dull as non-GM polenta. As the blurb from the Farmers Network admitted, this is an “essentially bland and simple food”. But sometimes you have to put your principles where your mouth is.last_img read more