Month: April 2021

  • SMMT slams ULEZ flaws

    first_imgTransport for London (TfL) is under fire for its inconsistent application of the proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which comes into effect from 7 September 2020.From this date, all diesel vehicles will need to meet Euro 6 emission standards to operate in the ULEZ, which will apply to the current Congestion Charging Zone in central London.Non-compliant coaches, buses and trucks will have to pay a daily £100 charge (or £12.50 for minibuses, vans, cars and motorcycles). However, it has now emerged that TfL has decided to exempt its own Euro 5 New Routemaster buses – claiming that they produce ‘near Euro 6 emissions’ in laboratory trials at Millbrook.However, operators of the buses have consistently observed that the real-life fuel consumption figures – and therefore emissions – fall far short of TfL’s claims.The manufacturers’ trade body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has responded to the ULEZ consultation.Says the SMMT’s Bus and Coach Section Chairman Adrian Wickens: “We have made a detailed response to TfL and our main concerns surround the inconsistencies for buses, allowing one Euro 5 model, whereas other Euro 5 hybrids will not be allowed.“We also believe that it is inconsistent to separate out Euro 4 petrol cars as being compliant, but requiring Euro 6 for diesel. There should be one standard for all.“The scale of investment by manufacturers in Euro 6 was staggering. If you want to improve air quality, then weeding out the older vehicles first has more effect.”There are around 230 Euro 5 New Routemasters in service, and although some Euro 6 versions have arrived in the capital, both Euro 5 and Euro 6 versions are currently entering service.last_img read more

  • Don’t take a short cut

    first_img‘Bridge bashing’ as it’s called these days is nothing new, notes The Whisperer who spotted this picture from 1958 in a new pictorial book Leicester Buses by David Harvey (Amberley, £15.99) charting the city’s bus history. The driver of this Leyland Titan PD2/1 was returning from a football-special duty, when he decided to take a shortcut under the 12ft 6in Lancaster Road bridge.It rather took the shine off Leicester City’s 8-4 win over Manchester City.The bus was later rebuilt with a new top deck.last_img read more

  • Stagecoach calls it a day in Norfolk and plans withdrawal

    first_imgThe future of rural bus networks has been called into question with news of the latest operator to make a large-scale withdrawal. Stagecoach plans to close its leased King’s Lynn depot, effectively cutting most of its Norfolk network, including the town’s services.It runs 50 vehicles and employs 120 staff, who have been offered posts in Cambridge and Peterborough under a 90-day consultation. The closure is expected to happen by the end of the financial year on 30 April. No routes have yet been de-registered.It follows retrenchment last year by Go-Ahead in Norfolk and Suffolk, culminating in the merger of its Konectbus and Anglian Bus businesses in an effort to stem losses.Previously, First withdrew from King’s Lynn local services, with its X1 Norwich-Peterborough service being the only survivor.It is four years since Stagecoach bought Go West Travel, trading as Norfolk Green, whose flagship service is the King’s Lynn-Cromer Coasthopper service. In April 2016 the route was relaunched with new Euro 6 buses and a revised livery.This followed the decision by Stagecoach to operate the route commercially. Previously it had been contracted during the winter, but when competitor Lynx won the winter services tender, Stagecoach decided to take on all services.Lynx, run by former Konectbus founders, already runs from King’s Lynn to Hunstanton, along with other local services and says it will examine opportunities. West Norfolk Community Transport, which runs 54 minibuses under Section 22 permits, serving villages and towns, has made a similar statement.At the other end of the network, both Go-Ahead and First have announced their intention to run services on the Fakenham-Norwich route. It is thought that Stagecoach will continue to run some routes to Wisbech and March from its Long Sutton and Ely depots.last_img read more

  • MiX Telematics to launch new RIBAS+ at EBE

    first_imgThe RIBAS+ display delivers a wide variety of driver coaching messagesMiX Telematics will launch its RIBAS+ driver coaching display at Euro Bus Expo on 30 October-1 November at the NEC Birmingham.In addition to the core RIBAS coaching elements, which alert drivers to over-revving, excessive idling, harsh braking or acceleration and over-speeding, RIBAS+ can be used to present any event available from CAN inputs to the driver via a new digital display screen.Among those incidents are lane departure or harsh cornering, along with preventative maintenance warnings for high coolant temperature or low oil.An end-of-journey safety score is also displayed.www.mixtelematics.comlast_img read more

  • Stagecoach Yorkshire invest £2.1m in 14 new ADL buses

    first_imgA fleet of 14 Euro VI Alexander Dennis Enviro 200 MMC buses have arrived in Sheffield as part of a £2.1m investment by Stagecoach.The new Euro VI vehicles run on the Stagecoach 25 route between Woodhouse, Sheffield city centre, Woodseats and Bradway.The buses have audio visual next stop announcements, free wifi, USB charging points and comfortable high back seats.Matt Davies, Managing Director, Stagecoach Yorkshire, says: “We’re really proud to introduce these fantastic new vehicles on to our popular 25 route, connecting Woodhouse and Bradway with Sheffield city centre.“These buses will help in achieving Clean Air Strategy objectives working in partnership with Sheffield City Council, as part of Buses for Sheffield.”last_img read more

  • Eminox to retrofit 204 existing First buses in Scotland to Euro VI

    first_img204 mid-life vehicles operated by First Bus subsidiaries in Scotland are in the process of receiving retrofit emissions control equipment from Eminox to allow them to achieve Euro VI standards.The upgrades are being carried out ahead of the full introduction of Low Emission Zones (LEZs) in Scotland. LEZs will come to Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh, and the existing LEZ in Glasgow – which currently applies only to buses and is being introduced in a staged manner – will be enhanced.The retrofit programme with Eminox will capture Alexander Dennis Enviro300, Volvo B9TL and Wrightbus StreetLite buses. Over 50 installations have already been completed by the supplier.The work is being partially funded through Transport Scotland’s Bus Emission Abatement Retrofit (BEAR) programme. Over £9.75m is being awarded in 2020/21 to coach and bus operators in Scotland to retrofit 594 vehicles to Euro VI standards.Eminox has worked with First Bus for over 20 years to implement emissions reduction programmes. Eminox says its systems are a cost-effective means of achieving Euro VI compliance. They are available with telematics capability to provide real-time emissions reduction data and maintenance information.First Glasgow Engineering Director Gary West says that retrofit of existing buses to achieve Euro VI standards allows First Bus to preserve its investment in existing vehicles. “Thanks to the BEAR programme and Eminox’s technology we have been able to reduce emissions and efficiently manage the upgrade programme across our fleet.”Adds Eminox UK Sales Manager James Thorpe: “With the forthcoming expansion of LEZs in Scotland, bus operators need to look at how they can achieve compliance. The combination of the BEAR programme’s funding and Eminox’s Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme-approved technology is providing a practical and cost-effective solution to their needs.”last_img read more

  • Shots fired by officer during wild chase on toll road in Porter County

    first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Shots fired by officer during wild chase on toll road in Porter County Pinterest (Jon Zimney/95.3 MNC) The Indiana State Police is investigating an officer-involved shooting that took place near the 28 mile marker on the Indiana Toll Road.It was around 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Sep. 4, the Valparaiso Police Department received a call of three male suspects that were allegedly attempting to break into cars.A few minutes after that, a Valparaiso Police Officer saw a vehicle that matched the description that had been given travelling on Calumet Avenue in Valparaiso. The officer tried to make a traffic stop and the vehicle fled northbound on Calumet Avenue and then northbound on SR 49.The vehicle entered the toll road at the Valparaiso Exit and continued to flee westbound, eventually crashing. After the collision, the three males fled on foot into a wooded area near CR 200 West.Two suspects were found in the wooded area north of the toll road and taken into custody. The third suspect got back onto the toll road and was seen running westbound by a toll road maintenance worker that was directing traffic from the original crash.The maintenance worker was outside of his truck setting up traffic cones when he saw the suspect try to get into an occupied vehicle that was stopped in traffic. The suspect then tried to get into the driver’s seat of the unoccupied maintenance vehicle when the maintenance worker grabbed the suspect by the shirt and told him he couldn’t take the truck.The suspect then put the maintenance truck into reverse and quickly backed up crashing into a semi.  As the suspect backed up, he drove towards the maintenance worker and officers that were closing in on foot. At this time shots were fired by a Porter County Sheriff’s Deputy and two Indiana State Troopers. The suspect put the truck into drive and fled a short distance westbound before crashing into another semi.The suspect then got out of the maintenance vehicle, jumped into the median, and fled on foot onto CR 200 West, below the toll road, where he was taken into custody.The suspect was taken to Northlake Methodist Hospital where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.All three suspects are currently in police custody. WhatsApp WhatsApp Pinterest Facebook Twitter Google+ IndianaLocalNews By Jon Zimney – September 5, 2019 0 321 Previous articleSouth Bend firefighter sentenced after pleading guilty to OWINext articleMichiana Woman Among 34 Killed in California Boat Fire Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney.last_img read more

  • Work begins on NW Indiana war memorial delayed by recession

    first_img WhatsApp Pinterest By Associated Press – January 20, 2020 0 232 Twitter WhatsApp Twitter Google+ IndianaNews Facebook Facebook Google+ Work begins on NW Indiana war memorial delayed by recession Pinterest World War II enthusiasts and members of the US Army 4th Infantry Division march toward Utah Beach near Saint-Marie-du-Mont, Normandy, France, Tuesday, June 4, 2019. France is preparing to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion which took place on June 6, 1944. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh) Site work is underway in northwestern Indiana for a war memorial that was delayed for years by the Great Recession after the 2008 financial crisis.Crews began clearing trees Wednesday in Crown Point for the memorial, which will feature three separate monuments: one for World War I veterans, another for World War II veterans and one for victims of the Holocaust.The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports that a walkway between the two war memorials will be lined with plaques describing key events between those two conflicts.Planners hope to have the memorial finished by 2021, and no later than 2022. Previous articleQuiet weather pattern returning to Michiana this weekNext articleIndiana lawmaker seeking end of state’s US Senate primaries Associated PressNews from the Associated Press and its network of reporters and publications.last_img read more

  • DIFFERENT VOICES

    first_img“Even allowing for the special nature of the British sense of humour, I do not think it is fair play to deal with the concept of Europe and with a European partner in this way.”German CDU General Secretary Peter Hintze criticising the UK Conservative Party for an election campaign poster portraying opposition Labour Party leader Tony Blair as a ventriloquist’s dummy sitting on German Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s knee.“Europe is unity and in unity there is strength.”French President Jacques Chirac speaking as he announced that the country would go to the polls nearly a year ahead of schedule, saying France needed a “new élan” which could only come with the expressed support ofthe people.“Currency union is not some numbers lottery, but rather a conscious political decision.”Regional Affairs Commissioner Monika Wulf-Mathies criticising her country’s government for its tough stand on meeting the entry goals for EMU and stressing that ‘3.0%’ was not written in the Maastricht Treaty. “Even in international affairs, there is a place for jealousy.”Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s press secretary Sergei Yastrzhembsky claiming that the United States was just envious when it reacted coolly to agreements over NATO expansion reached by the leaders of Germany and Russia.“However unnecessary the fear, there is no doubt that there is still a real gulf between the two types of member state.”Social Affairs Commissioner Pádraig Flynn acknowledging the fears of larger EU member states that the smaller ones would ‘gang up’ to exploit majority voting, but insisting that those fears were unfounded.last_img read more

  • Commission set to vet high air fares

    first_imgScandinavia has been identified by Competition Commissioner Karel van Miert as a particular black spot for high fares, with few companies emerging to challenge the dominance of Scandinavian Airline System (SAS). The institution decided last autumn to delay taking action for a few more months to ensure that its officials had a complete picture of the scale of normal fares across the EU and in all the market segments, from economy to business class, before launching a crack-down.Although particular fares might seem steep at first sight, they may in some cases be explained by high local costs. “We want to have a systematic view across the Community,” said a Commission source.Acute airline sensitivity about any accusation that they are overcharging passengers is behind the institution’s cautious approach to the whole issue. The Commission has the power to challenge overpriced air fares on its own initiative or wait for a complaint to spark an investigation, but officials working for Transport Commissioner Neil Kinnock want to be sure that they have a watertight case before targeting particular carriers.They are moving into relatively uncharted waters, as there have been few prosecutions of airlines to date either for overcharging for tickets or undercharging in an attempt to drive rival airlines off lucrative routes.Air carriers angrily deny that prices are too high for tickets on some European routes and snubbed the Commission when it began work on the new fare-vetting system.Many airline analysts are expecting an imminent downturn in the aviation market, with a flight away from expensive business travel to cheaper fares. This could encourage airlines to try to boost profits by increasing prices on routes where passengers have few options to choose an alternative carrier.Although the EU’s liberalised airline market has been fully in place since April 1997, hopes of increased competition on existing routes and of new low-cost carriers coming on to the market to challenge incumbents have not been realised in some member states.In the UK, and to a lesser extent the Netherlands, a number of low-cost rivals have emerged to take on the industry giants. But they have been notably absent in France and Germany. Lufthansa looked into the possibility of launching a cut-price airline, but eventually abandoned the idea.last_img read more