Speed record: Reading Buses

first_imgA big cheer went up when a service bus from the fleet of Reading Buses made history by becoming the fastest in the world. Gaining coverage around the globe, there was serious reason behind the attempt, explains Mel Holley.In its distinctive ‘cow’ livery, Reading Buses proved the value of ‘cow poo power’ by setting a world record for a service bus, using the banked circular track at Millbrook proving ground, Bedfordshire.The bus had no major modifications and went back in service in Reading the following morning.Running on bio-methane compressed natural gas, the Scania/ADL Enviro300 achieved a top speed of 80.73mph and an average over a full lap of 76.785mph. The attempt was called ‘BusHound’ in a nod to the UK Bloodhound team 1,000mph world speed record attempt.It was day of torrential rain, interspersed with sun. Says Reading Buses Chief Engineer John Bickerton: “The high-speed bowl is in the side of a hill, and there was headwind on the embankment section, but no tailwind in the cutting. This is why the peak was 80mph, but the lap average was lower. Without the wind, we would have achieved 80mph average.”With help from its ticket machine supplier, Ticketer, it also issued the world’s fastest bus tickets, remotely sold while the bus was in motion. Over 80 tickets were issued, and they will be sold at Reading Buses’ 14 June open day as souvenirs.The attempt was supported by project sponsors: Ticketer, Nimbus, Millbrook, Scania, ADL, Gas Bus Alliance, Brooklands Museum, TEK seating and USSC, routeone, Numbercraft, Michelin Solutions, Mix Telematics, CILT, IMechE and Best Impressions.The bus, chosen at random from the fleet, only had one major modification – the fitting of a safety cage for the driver (made in-house).The biggest risk was the tyres, running above their design speed. Michelin provided a brand new set of tyres, x-rayed at Stoke-on-Trent and fitted to spare rims. To avoid damage, they were fitted at Millbrook by ATS, just before the test, and their temperature was checked.Driven by Readings Buses’ very own ‘Stig’, the bus completed eight laps to set an initial 73mph speed. Major sponsor Scania made some minor tweaks, adding 3mph average for the final laps. The tweaks involved fitting a special ECU to ‘fool’ the engine into thinking it was getting less boost.BBC transport correspondent Paul Clifton fitted GoPro cameras to the bus to film the driver at high speed. The story was the fourth-most popular on the BBC website (with 37,000 views) and received press coverage across the world from China to Australia, Russia, USA, Ukraine and Canada.Schools now want to be involved as the project neatly dovetails with the national curriculum; a Key Stage 1 topic on novel vehicles, and Key Stage 2 topics on renewable/sustainable fuels in the context of environmental problems.Adds John Bickerton: “We are now being asked to get involved with the syllabus and inspire the next generation about science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Schools want to use our business to inspire people to go into engineering.”Says Reading Buses’ CEO Martijn Gilbert: “There’s a serious message here, of gas and bio-methane as a carbon neutral fuel. We are setting out to raise the profile of bio-methane commercial vehicles and demonstrate that this is a real, credible fuel source.“At the same time, we want to challenge old-fashioned perceptions of bus travel and promote science, technology and innovation in our industry.”last_img read more

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CTA sponsors industry-wide survey

first_imgThe CTA has agreed to underwrite the cost of an industry-wide survey of coach holidaymakers.Using the client databases of coach operators across the country, data agency SPIKE will take anonymised data from thousands of coach tour passengers, and create the largest ever coach industry survey.Broken down into easy-to-read reports, the survey will give the whole industry more detail on coach customers’ spending habits and travel trends, why they travel by coach, what they want to see in the industry going forward, and what could attract more new customers to try a holiday by coach.The CTA is now looking for partners to share the investment, including coach operators, tourist boards, hotels, tourist attractions, ticket agencies and wholesalers.To discuss sponsorship and support for the survey, contact the CTA’s CEO Chris Wales on [email protected]last_img read more

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Free coach driver CPCs

first_imgTransport for London (TfL) has awarded AA DriveTech a contract to deliver Driver CPC courses, specifically for coach operators who drive in London. The courses are funded by TfL.Each course will consists of two half-day modules, taking place on the same day. The morning session will covers general coach driving, and the afternoon is specific to driving in London.Topics to be covered include:Introduction to the skills required to be a good coach driverCommunication skills and the passengerThe coach and its place in transport solutions for the capitalRoute planning and the urban environmentLondon driving and interaction[find out more]Contact AA DriveTech on 01256 495749 or email [email protected]last_img read more

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Peter Wright’s vocational driving entitlement suspended indefinitely

first_imgMr Wright is to appeal the TC’s decision, which was made after he drove without Driver CPCPeter Wright’s vocational PSV driving licence was suspended indefinitely by Traffic Commissioner (TC) Kevin Rooney until such time as he has acquired a Driver CPC. It followed Mr Wright being twice checked by DVSA while driving a vehicle for Rojay Services, trading as Wigan Coachways.In doing so, the TC said that he did not consider Mr Wright’s argument that the Recital to the European Directive exempted drivers who had Category D1 licences prior to the date laid down for obtaining a CPC from having to hold one had any merit at all. Such an exemption was not in the list of exemptions in the Directive itself. Article 4 exempted drivers who had held such licences from the initial qualification requirement but not from having to undertake periodic training.He had no issues with Mr Wright with his conduct as a driver. He had given him a driving test before allowing him to drive. He had not employed Mr Wright as a ‘cause celeb’Though revoking Rojay’s eight-vehicle national licence on financial grounds, the company of Cricket, Wigan having ceased to trade last August, the TC took no action against the repute of Managing Director and Transport Manager Roger Jarvis because of its otherwise good compliance history.Traffic Examiner Aidan McCabe said that when interviewed Mr Wright explained his position in some detail, referring to the case of another driver Craig Watts, who was challenging the requirement for him to have a Driver CPC.Mr Wright said that when his company, Bradley Fold Travel, had its O-Licence revoked there were outstanding bookings and Mr Jarvis took them over. When he lost his own vehicles Mr Jarvis suggested that he drive for him. When asked why he did not have a CPC, he produced a number of documents to Mr Jarvis which he believed showed that he did not require one. After Mr Jarvis had said that in October he had written surrendering the company’s licence and returned the licence discs, the TC said that followed a proposal to revoke. In response Mr Jarvis wrote a letter, which included a statement saying the TC would be joined in defamation proceedings. Asked why, Mr Jarvis said he did not wish to comment. He had written the letter after discussions with a number of people. Asked if they included Mr Wright, Mr Jarvis said he did not want to say who.Mr Jarvis said that he had read the documentation given him by Mr Wright. He thought that if he had been a large operator he would not have risked his O-Licence but he felt that someone “should stick his head above the parapet and take on DVSA over their interpretation of the law”. He had no issues with Mr Wright or his conduct as a driver. He had given him a driving test before allowing him to drive. He had not employed Mr Wright as a ‘cause celeb’.Mr Wright is to appeal the TC’s decision.last_img read more

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Prime Minister visits ADL to celebrate Mexico double-deck bus deal

first_imgThe Prime Minister Theresa May visited Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) today (23 August) to announce export finance support for British businesses and to celebrate a major order, which sees ADL deliver 90 low- emission double-deck buses to Mexico City.This contract is supported by the Department for International Trade, whose UK Export Finance agency made a £44m finance deal available to ADL as part of a wider £1.7bn programme of support for UK companies in international markets.Colin Robertson, ADL Chief Executive, welcomed the announcement: “We are privileged to have the Prime Minister here to announce Government support for exporting businesses like ADL. Our ability to offer finance from UK Export Finance in Mexican Pesos was a significant benefit to our buyer, helping us win this major contract.”The order from Metrobús, announced in October 2015, has been ADL’s biggest single deal from a single customer in a brand new market.Colin Robertson said: “Any contract of this size is important for us to win. It allows us to continue to invest in people, processes and products which will help us secure the jobs of our 2,100 team members in the UK and many more in the supply chain, as well as to continue to develop our international customer base.”last_img read more

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Obituary – Ken Goodson, formerly of Treka Bus

first_imgKen Goodson, formerly of Treka BusKen Goodson, formerly Sales Director of Brighouse-based minibus bodybuilder and converter Treka Bus, passed away peacefully at the age of 75 on Monday 4 September after a short illness.Often regarded as ‘Mr Treka’, Mr Goodson was known by many for his work in the accessible minibus industry, firstly at Wadham Stringer and then Bedwas Bodyworks, followed by UV Modular and finally Treka Bus.During his career, Mr Goodson worked closely with a wide range of Treka customers, including Dawsonrentals, London Hire, many local authorities, community transport organisations and charities, garnering great respect from all that those met him.“Ken played a significant role in raising the standards of wheelchair accessible vehicles in the UK through his years of diligent work, the results of which are still evident today,” says Treka Bus MD Mark Clissett. Mr Goodson is survived by his wife Annie.last_img read more

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See Planet Earth live at Royal Albert Hall

first_imgOne-off show will bring Planet Earth II to life. PHOTO: Paul Sanders/Royal Albert HallLandmark TV series Planet Earth II will be celebrated in May at the Royal Albert Hall, with a special Live in Concert performance.Breathtaking, specially-selected footage from the BAFTA- and Emmy-winning BBC series, shown in high-definition on the big screen, will be accompanied by its glorious Hans Zimmer score played live on stage.The audience will see acrobatic primates in Madagascar, hunting lions in the remote sandy deserts of Namibia, a family of penguins in stormy arctic seas, and a baby iguana trying to escape the clutches of deadly racer snakes.The one-off show will be presented by the TV series’ Executive Producer Mike Gunton.Lucy Noble, Artistic Director at the Royal Albert Hall, says: “We’re delighted to present the UK premiere of Planet Earth II Live in Concert, a stunning televisual achievement given the treatment it truly deserves.”The show takes place on Sunday 13 May 2018 from 1800hrs. Visit royalalberthall.comlast_img read more

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Hytera’s mobile radio range has become larger

first_imgDigital radio range from Hytera is cost-effective and suitable for transportHytera has launched two new DMR mobile radios aimed primarily at users looking for a versatile commercial device.The MD615 and MD625 are simple to use and they provide what Hytera describes as “the perfect first step” for those migrating from analogue to digital.They are DMR Tier II radios suitable for use in transport applications, delivering excellent audio quality thanks to the latest digital technology.They support both analogue and digital modes, enabling mixed fleets to make a smooth transition between the two.www.hytera.co.uklast_img read more

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Mellor: The day of the small bus is finally here

first_imgSmall buses have gained traction recently, and there may well still a lot more to come. Mellor Managing Director John Randerson gives his thoughts on where he believes the sector is going to in the futureMellor believes that demand for small buses is going to continue to growThere was a time when a small bus would have seldom been considered a viable option for operators providing services in towns and cities. Their use was channelled through local authorities, rural routes and the welfare sector.In recent years, that has changed significantly. With the drive to make bus services pay, as well as providing low emissions to improve air quality, the small bus is increasingly becoming a vehicle of choice with operators and it is set to come to the forefront again over the next few years.Back to the futureIn the mid-1980s, following deregulation, small buses were very much part of the UK scene. Indeed, they were carving a strong niche as a smaller, more cost-effective solution for operators as part of their portfolio.That was mainly for use on rural and smaller urban routes that, while vital, had seen a steep decline in patronage, which has continued to the present day.It was during the 1990s, with the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), which quite rightly set out to improve accessibility and provision for all, that major changes were brought about.At the time, vehicle design and specification were unable to respond quickly enough to meet the new requirements, and the small bus quickly disappeared from regular use. Operators found themselves having to deploy standard-size buses on such routes. Over the years since, they have become increasingly expensive and unsustainable to run. That in turn led to many such routes being discontinued, cutting off a vital lifeline for many in these more remote rural areas.Technology is kingRecent technological advances from innovative manufacturers like Mellor have created a significant change in the small bus sector. We are now witnessing a resurgence in the market, with new models and ranges offering low or zero emissions and low running costs.Passengers expect the same comfort in small buses as in large onesAt the same time, they include the same features and benefits as their larger cousins that are expected by today’s bus traveller, be they rural or urban.Legislation inevitable drives the development of new technologies. In the case of DDA, vehicles such as Mellor’s Orion and Tucana models were conceived and launched in the 2000s.Those ranges have gone on to evolve to meet the needs of today’s operator and they are now manufactured and supplied in large numbers.That is notably the case for the Tucana II, 90 of which are currently being delivered to Transport for London (TfL) for its dial-a-ride services.The Tucana IIs are seen as an important part of TfL’s efforts to clean up the capital’s toxic air, and the vehicle meets the tough new Ultra Low Emission Zone standards, which are applicable from 9 April.They will go a long way to helping older and vulnerable Londoners to get from A to B, while protecting the health of future generations. That is a clear demonstration of the contribution that can be made by small buses in a modern, metropolitan environment.Clean and greenNew technologies that provide cleaner diesel and electric drivelines have been harnessed by lightweight and innovative body designs. That has helped to deliver small buses that are robust and have significantly lower capital costs, coupled with a reduced cost of ownership. That is key in ensuring the needs of operators and passengers have been met, and that vital services that were in danger of being lost continue to be provided.Innovation and expertise are also key to the delivery of the next generation of small buses. With the right collaboration and technical initiatives, what may have been considered impossible just a few years ago can now become a reality.Mellor is currently supplying 90 Tucana IIs minis to Transport for LondonFor example, having a capacity of 27 or 30 passengers on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis would have been impossible not long ago.But now, with the arrival of the Mellor Strata Plus and Strata Ultra, that has been achieved through a skilled engineering team leveraging their technical know-how and experience in the small bus sector.More on the agendaAs well as halving fuel consumption and significantly reducing emissions, smaller buses inevitably have a positive impact on congestion in towns and cities.This way of working is likely to set the standard for small bus development for the next few years. New initiatives and technologies are going to dictate the agenda for some time to come.Future legislation will undoubtedly continue to drive the need for improvements in design, while innovation and technical expertise will also be key to continuous vehicle improvement. Mellor will always strive towards making bus operation much more affordable, helping to protect a vital part of our transport infrastructure.www.mellor-coachcraft.co.uklast_img read more

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Authorities investigating drowning of 3-year-old in Steuben County

first_imgIndianaLocalNews Google+ Twitter Twitter Authorities investigating drowning of 3-year-old in Steuben County Google+ Pinterest WhatsApp WhatsApp Facebook Facebook (Photo Supplied / Indiana DNR Law Enforcement District 2) The Indiana State Police and Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating a drowning in Steuben County, which claimed the life of a three-year-old boy.Preliminary investigation indicates State Police and Steuben County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a report of a child found in the water at Lake Arrowhead around 2:30 p.m. on Monday, June 3.The child was unresponsive when emergency personal arrived on scene, and immediate life-saving measures were attempted until medical personnel arrived.The child was pronounced dead by the Steuben County Coroner. Previous articleBabysitter facing charges in Kosciusko County toddler’s death pleads not guiltyNext articleOne dead, one injured in Kosciusko County crash 95.3 MNCNews/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel is your breaking news and weather station for northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan. Pinterest By 95.3 MNC – June 4, 2019 0 267 last_img read more

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