Clarkes invests £2.5m to be ULEZ ready in time for 2020

first_imgClarkes of London has completed its 2016 fleet renewal, with the delivery of 12 Euro 6 Irizar i6 integral coaches.This investment has been made ahead of normal fleet replacement to ensure that Clarkes can meet the Euro 6 Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) regulations significantly ahead of time.The £2.5 million investment is a repeat order for Irizar UK following the previous 12 Irizar i6 integral coaches the firm bought in 2013-14.The ULEZ – which makes Euro 6 compulsory – comes into effect from 7 September 2020.From this date, all diesel vehicles will need to meet Euro 6 to operate in the ULEZ, which will apply to the current Congestion Charging Zone in central London.Investment ready for London’s ULEZ deadline in four years’ timeNon-compliant coaches, buses and trucks will have to pay a daily £100 charge (or £12.50 for minibuses, vans, cars and motorcycles).“Our decision to replace our Euro 5 i6 fleet well ahead of its normal fleet life has not been taken lightly,” says Clarkes MD Debbie Newman.“While our hand was forced by the early implementation of ULEZ, Clarkes will always ensure that it is providing coaches which are at the forefront of technology and which maintain our reputation for being London’s premier operator.”Clarkes’ intake is six 12.9m 57-seat i6 coaches with toilet, and six 12.2m 53-seat i6 coaches with toilet. All are powered by DAF’s 11-litre MX series engines with ZF EcoLife automatic gearboxes.“The i6 integral is a coach which suits us very well, with enormous kerb appeal and the ideal seating and luggage capacity for the variety of work we have in London,” said Mrs Newman.“It’s true to say that we have always aimed high with our vehicle choices, and the fact that we have returned to Irizar UK for this latest fleet upgrade speaks volumes for the service we have received, both from the vehicle aspect as well as from the team at Irizar UK.”last_img read more

Lighting specialist’s ‘front of bus’ solution

first_imgBMAC, which has manufactured and supplied vehicle lighting and electronic control systems for over 80 years, has unveiled its new ‘front of bus pack’.It is an Opti-Lux LED headlight creating a precise beam pattern with exact cut-off and optimum road illumination. With a typical life of up to 10 years (based on eight hours’ use per day), the unit incorporates a monitor signal to the dash that meet European WVTA regulations.The unit includes daytime running light, position light and indicator functionality. It is suited to new built or retrofit applications.www.bmac.ltd.uklast_img

First Bus is CILT’s debut Platinum Corporate Member

first_imgFirst Bus has become the first passenger transport sector organisation to hold the grade of Platinum Corporate Members of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT).It will enable First Bus to engage selected staff across many regional activities of the Institute, as well as a national network of members including the Institute’s Young Professionals Forum (YPF).Membership of CILT will provide opportunities for First Bus staff to enhance their professional development, increase their networking opportunities and to pursue the universally recognised grades of membership.The concept of identifying and sharing best practices dates back to the Institute’s origins in 1919, with the latest example being the Institute’s bus and coach sector-specific benchmarking club; Busmark.Membership of CILT will provide opportunities for First Bus staff to enhance their professional development, increase their networking opportunities and to pursue the universally recognised grades of membershipThis club now embraces 50 operators running a collective fleet of 20,000 buses and coaches.With the First Bus regional operating companies imminent participation within Busmark, this is a major vote of confidence in this ever-growing benchmarking club.Giles Fearnley FCILT, Managing Director, First Bus, says: “I’m very proud of our industry leading approach to investing in our people.“Through our workplace learning centres, our apprenticeship and graduate schemes, driver training and other training opportunities, right across First Bus we’re putting in place skills and traning which are helping develop our people.“I’m delighted that we’re strengthening our skills and development agenda through our Platinum Corporate membership of the CILT.’Austin Birks FCILT, Chair, Bus & Coach Forum, CILT says: “In much the same way as First Bus rigorously pursue ever cleaner and more fuel efficient vehicles, the Institute looks forward to supporting First Bus in its continuing professional development of their staff.’Chris Ruane MILT, Business Development Officer, CILT, says: “This Platinum Corporate Membership will enable First Bus and CILT to complement each other’s respective efforts to assist First Bus staff in their pursuit of professional excellence.”The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport is the independent international professional body for individuals and companies associated with logistics and transport. It has over 33,000 members in over 31 countries worldwide.last_img read more

Trentbarton’s Red Arrow coach service is 21

first_imgTrentbarton’s luxury Red Arrow coach service between Derby and Nottingham is 21 years old.The operator celebrated the anniversary last week with decorations, birthday breakfasts and beer for passengers on board the coaches and at Derby and Nottingham Victoria bus stations.More than 1m passengers ride on Red Arrow every year, Trentbarton’s flagship route.Last year the service received a £3m boost with nine new luxury coaches, each with free 4G wi-fi and tables at every seat. They also have USB points and bike storage.last_img

‘A thank you to those who donated’

first_imgI would like to say thank you to all those donated to our Arthur J Gallagher Charity Cycle ride.The 13 brave cyclists at Kevin Crudge’s yardWe had 33 riders on Friday 19 May going from Gloucester to Swindon to Bristol and 13 of those, including myself, got up the next day to ride from Bristol to Exeter – roughly 175 miles! Special thanks to Kevin Crudge who opened his yard to us on Saturday afternoon, making us very welcome.We have now raised in excess of £18,000, which Gallaghers will match in memory of our colleague, Claire Jarman, who passed away earlier in the year. All of the donations will be handed to Cancer Research UK.If you would like to donate, visit https://goo.gl/gwGiO2Steve PriceBranch DirectorCommercial – South WestArthur J. Gallagherlast_img

Refurb’ bus is one of 64

first_imgA yellow, rainbow-emblazoned bus had pride of place at Wearside’s LGBT festival and march, as Go North East (GNE) showed its support for the annual event.GNE is “committed to championing diversity in the communities it serves” and has recently invested £2m in upgrading its fleet, including the Sunderland Pride bus. It is one of 64 to undergo a facelift, which includes repainting and renewing floors and seats, fitting USB sockets and accent lighting, plus adding free customer Wi-Fi and next stop audio-visual announcements.The investment has also improved mechanical systems, which will make the buses more environmentally-friendly thanks to lowered emissions and better fuel efficiency.The bus, which took part in the seventh annual march, bears the words ‘love, proud, carefree, unity and bold’ and the banner ‘Pride in transport, building communities together, celebrating diversity’.last_img read more

It’s time to ask: Are you happy?

first_imgWhen was the last time you asked your employees the simple question: “Are you happy?”Personal Group, which aims to help UK businesses improve productivity through better engagement, says it was built on one simple fact: Happy people are more productive. There’s no denying that health and wellbeing can have huge impacts on day-to-day life. Therefore, ensuring employee wellbeing and wellness plans are considered should be a high priority for any operator.So, how can a company ensure those within it are happy?Emotional wellbeingResearch released by the British Red Cross earlier this month revealed that more than half of people working in the transport and logistics sector feel always, often or sometimes lonely.Mind says that one in four adults in the UK suffer from a diagnosable mental health problem each year.Deteriorated emotional wellbeing can add just as much strain on an employee as poor physical health.Heal and Safety Executive (HSE) says: “Whether work is causing the health issue or aggravating it, employers have a legal responsibility to help their employees.“Work-related mental health issues must to be assessed to measure the levels of risk to staff. Where a risk is identified, steps must be taken to remove it or reduce it as far as reasonably practicable.”One way that this can be done is to offer staff Personal Group’s Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP). With this, it is possible to offer confidential support to staff when they need it most.Personal Group says: “Our EAP supports employees with emotional, personal, financial, legal, marital, family, tax, work and management issues.“The service is available 24/7 throughout the year by phone, email, SMS or fax, connecting your employees to senior in-house specialists to deal with all EAP needs.”It also offers a range of benefits including: Financial wellbeing, health checks and lifestyle advice.Personal Group also offers its Hapi Hub, a cloud-based management information tool. It gives you the ability to see what your employees are doing in real-time, which benefits are most engaging and which employee services are most in demand. Physical wellbeingIt’s a fact that promoting good physical health and wellbeing among employees can increase efficiency.Making investments that ensure employees are in good physical health can reduce levels of sickness, increase energy levels and boost levels of concentration.Personal Group says: “Great companies are now reviewing an ‘on-demand GP’ service.” This could help the workforce stay in good health, as the average wait to see a GP in the UK is two weeks. That could mean a member of staff being off work until they feel better, or until they have seen a doctor.Wellbeing programmes don’t need to be expensive investments that requires staff to have time away from work.Stagecoach was the first transport company to introduce nationwide staff wellness scheme. It invested in a home-based wellbeing programme, #DrivingFitnessTogether, which aims to help the operator’s staff improve their physical and emotional health through a series of videos covering physical workouts as well as other aspects of wellbeing including nutrition, hydration, stress management, goal setting, confidence and sleep management.Speaking about the initiative, Stagecoach UK Bus MD for England and Wales, Mark Threapleton, says: “The wellbeing of our staff is hugely important. We all spend a large part of our lives at work so it’s important that we support each other and look after our health.“This initiative is another example of the innovative steps we are taking around wellbeing and we hope employees will make the most of this fantastic opportunity to find out more about how to stay healthy and happy.”Staff benefitsAnother way to help provide the foundations to positive employee health and wellness is by offering financial peace of mind.The Transport Benevolent Fund (TBF) is a service that provides its members with a range of benefits when they find “things are not going so well.”TBF explains that members contribute £1 a week and then all benefits are available not only to the member, but also to their partner and any dependent children.Where staff have contributed for long enough, they gain free membership in retirement.TBF benefits include: Prescription prepayment certificates, therapies, laser eyesight correction, medical equipment, medical consultations, scans and tests and many others.There are many ways to ensure your staff are happy when they are at work. Being able to offer employee perks that enhances personal health and wellbeing is invaluable, but so is providing and open and honest working environment, encouraging people to talk, and simply asking them: “Are you ok?”www.personalgroup.comwww.tbf.org.ukWith one in six British workers affected by conditions such as anxiety, depression and stress every year, mental health awareness needs to be raised in most industries, not least the passenger transport industry.Despite these statistics, there is undoubtedly a stigma attached to the term and people tend to avoid talking about it.Since research hints that there’s a link between employees’ happiness and their productivity at work, it’s in employees’ best interests to support the wellbeing of their staff.Offering schemes such as Personal Group’s employee engagement platform or financial peace of mind with TBF are just a couple of ways to do this. It shows you are prepared to invest in your staff’s health and that you are a business willing to talk about mental health and personal wellbeing.By changing viewpoints in the workplace, people will begin to feel comfortable about being open and honest and it will eventually take the stigma out of something that affects us all – mental health.This is an issue that can only be tackled if people are willing to talk about it.Time to Talk DayWhy not take part in Time to Talk Day on 7 February? Organised by Time to Change – a movement that exists to change how people think and act about mental health problems – the day is “about bringing together the right ingredients, to have a conversation about mental health,” says the organisation.last_img read more

Burns planned for 1,100 acres of Indiana Dunes National Park

first_img Pinterest WhatsApp Pinterest IndianaLocalNewsSouth Bend Market Burns planned for 1,100 acres of Indiana Dunes National Park Facebook WhatsApp Google+ By Associated Press – October 21, 2019 0 298 Facebook Twitter PORTER, Ind. (AP) — More than 1,000 acres of the Indiana Dunes National Park will soon be going up in flames during prescribed burns at Indiana’s only national park .The National Park Service says nine prescribed fires planned this fall are expected to torch about 1,100 acres (445 hectares) of the 15,000-acre (6,070-hectare) park.The agency says the controlled fires promote the park’s unique ecosystems that include prairies, marshes and dune-lined beaches by boosting native plants and reducing fire risks.Each burn will only occur if weather conditions are deemed ideal at the park, which hugs Lake Michigan’s southern shoreline about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Chicago.Porter County residents can sign up with the “Alert Porter County” system to receive a text message, email or voice message alerting them before each burn. Twitter Google+ Previous articleWhitmer requests flags at half-staff for former Gov. MillikenNext article4 women testify on Indiana attorney general groping claims Associated PressNews from the Associated Press and its network of reporters and publications.last_img read more

Appeal set on challenge to Indiana religious objections law

first_img By Associated Press – January 2, 2020 0 263 Twitter Appeal set on challenge to Indiana religious objections law Facebook WhatsApp Google+ Google+ Pinterest WhatsApp Pinterest (“Saturday Sunset” by Greg Weber, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic) (AP/Indianapolis) – Conservative religious groups are planning to appeal an Indiana judge’s ruling that canceled a trial challenging limits on the state’s religious objections law that were signed by then-Gov. Mike Pence.An attorney for the groups filed the notice Dec. 20 but hasn’t yet submitted any arguments regarding the appeal.That action comes after a November ruling by a Hamilton County judge that the groups failed to prove they had faced any harm.The groups argue that their constitutional rights were violated by changes made to the 2015 law after a national uproar over whether it could be used to discriminate against gays and lesbians. Facebook Twitter Previous articleTwo people shot in area of Michigan, Donald Streets in South BendNext articleReport: U.S. support for death penalty wanes to historic low Associated PressNews from the Associated Press and its network of reporters and publications. IndianaNewslast_img read more

Baby strollers recalled for fall hazard

first_img Twitter Pinterest (Photo Supplied/CPSC) A nationwide recall has been issued for a specific type of baby stroller.The Consumer Product Safety Commission says four models of Baby Trend Tango Mini Strollers are being recalled, each with its own model number and sold in multiple colors, because both of the stroller’s hinge joints can release and collapse, posing a fall hazard to children riding inside it.The strollers were sold both on Amazon.com and at Target, in October and November, for between $100 and $120. So far no injuries have been reported.Find a link to the full recall details here. Google+ Facebook Baby strollers recalled for fall hazard Google+ Twitter TAGSamazonbaby strollersBaby Trend Tango Mini StrollersConsumer Product Safety Commissionrecalltarget center_img WhatsApp Previous articleMost to least educated states study ranks Indiana lowNext articleCoroner looking into deaths in South Bend Darrin Wright WhatsApp By Darrin Wright – January 20, 2020 0 404 Pinterest IndianaLocalMichiganSouth Bend Market Facebooklast_img read more