First to close three depots

first_imgFirst has started consultation on plans to close three depots: Newcastle-under-Lyme, Hereford and Bracknell. A total of 222 jobs are ‘at risk’.It says: “In the wake of challenging local economies, reductions in external funding and insufficient passenger demand, difficult decisions had to be reached in order to sustain the long-term future of the local businesses.”Bracknell will close on 28 August. Some routes will be retained but will operate from First’s depot in Slough, including Greenline services to London and Legoland services. First has sold its Reading-Bracknell route 90 to Reading Buses.With strong competition in Bracknell, especially from Courtney Buses, First has been marginalised in the town for some time. In a statement Courtney Buses says: “We are working hard to assess resources and what we can do in response to First’s announcement that it is withdrawing from the Bracknell area.”First proposes to close Hereford and Newcastle-under-Lyme depots on 5 September. In Hereford only 3,500 passengers per day travel with First and it plans to withdraw completely from the area.In the Potteries, First will combine its Newcastle-under-Lyme and Stoke Adderley Green depots, which are in close proximity.First says it remains “committed to running a significant fleet in the Potteries in the long term and will remain a major employer.”Observers note that Potteries still has a large non-DDA-compliant single-deck fleet that needs to be replaced or withdrawn by 31 December. Vehicle reductions and cascades from Hereford (almost all DDA-compliant) mean this can now be achieved. It appears that earlier proposals for new buses have been dropped.In Bracknell and Hereford, given the volume of other bus operators in the area, First is “confident” that passengers won’t be left without a service.First Bus MD Giles Fearnley says: “In 2012 we launched our transformation plan, which has seen great success in a huge number of our local businesses. “However, despite all the hard work, we have been unable to make the progress we were seeking in Bracknell, Hereford and in some parts of the Potteries.“While these proposals are disappointing, we simply must ensure our local businesses are on a sustainable and solid footing in order that we maintain the momentum of change toward meeting our medium-term financial targets, and therefore protect jobs in the long term. Regrettably, we see no alternative but to close these depots.”last_img read more

Nat Ex takes debut production E200MMC

first_imgNational Express West Midlands has taken delivery of the first production ADL Enviro200 MMC (major model change).The new model was originally exhibited at last November’s Euro Bus Expo at the NEC, Birmingham.This is the first example to be delivered to an operator. It was displayed at the Album conference, near Chester.From the rear it has the similar ‘hips’ styling as the E400MMC, while it has been finished in NEWM’s new two-tone maroon with complementary cream lines.The bus is part of a record 34m investment by NEWM in 171 new buses this year, with on average one new bus hitting the region’s streets every day between March and August. All will be delivered by September, and are a mix of single- and double-decker.The investment means that NEWM will deliver on the Transforming Bus Travel pledge to deliver 300 new buses over a two-year period.last_img read more

Opening doors and windows to new challenges

first_imgThe Vapor Ricon Europe name is well-established in the accessible minibus area, but now the rebranded firm is targeting big buses with a range of doors and quick-release window glazingDoors and windows for mainstream PCV market is where FCVE is lookingThings are changing at Faiveley Vapor Ricon Europe (FVRE), and not just in terms of the Loughborough-based company’s name.Previously known as Vapor Ricon Europe, the brand revision came about via a group reorganisation following Vapor Ricon’s purchase of American rail specialist Faiveley.The Vapor Ricon name is established in the wheelchair-accessible minibus sector, but now FVRE is turning its attention to full-sized PCVs, too, and door and window systems in particular.“We’re not like the major, established players in the door market,” says Business Unit Manager Paul Hemingway.“At the moment in Europe, we are building a reputation and working with smaller companies by doing one-offs. Then, when those products work, we hope that they come back for more.”Transferring expertiseAs a group, Faiveley Vapor Ricon is already established in the door market and it works with Alexander Dennis on North American sales of the Enviro500.FVRE aspires to establish a presence in the UK with major bus builders in 2017. Standard inward-gliding doors are likely to be the first product that it offers, and they will be followed by plug types, for use at the centre of dual-doored buses.“At the moment, 90% of bus doors in the market are operated pneumatically,” says Paul. “We do those, but we also do electric examples too, and pneumatic models can be converted to electric easily in the future.”A common difficulty with an electrically-operated door is incorporating an emergency release, which is more awkward than with air-actuated models. FVRE has tackled that problem with a mechanical release.Simple thingsWhy would operators specify FVRE doors over other manufacturers? There are a number of reasons, says Paul.The company is already working with ADL on North American Enviro500s“We offer products that are reliable, have aftermarket backing and upfront engineering support. Buyers will not deal with agents; they will deal with us.“In the UK accessible sector, the established Vapor Ricon Europe brand has a reputation that is second-to-none and we intend to continue that in new markets. We are taking our engineers and training them to deal with doors.”In the case of a fault, Paul says that the company will either courier parts to the operator or send them overnight, or dispatch one of its engineers to deal with the problem.But he is confident that problems will be rare; both electric- and pneumatically-operated doors are tested to 1m cycles.A clear viewWindows are another area of the bus market where FVRE is planning to establish a presence, and its parent company has a great deal of experience in this sector in Canada and the United States.“We do bus windows in North America, but the market there is very different to that in Europe and those products are not suited for use here,” says Paul.“In the UK, we will be launching a patented quick-release window in the summer. It is a new system that has a variable width and that can be adjusted to the body thickness. It can also be retrofitted to existing buses.”The glazing can be supplied with a covering that prevents ‘scratchitti’ and it is suited to applications that are either straight-edged or curved; it will be sold directly to operators, but vehicle OEMs are the immediate priority.“At the moment the quick-release glazing can only be used in windows where the glass is flat, which limits its use as a windscreen. But it can be used where hoppers or sliders are part of the unit and also where double-glazing is used.”FVRE is targeting the whole PSV market with the new glazing, and not just buses. Paul says that when productionised, five minutes will be enough time to remove a damaged pane and replace it with a new one.That compares well with conventional bonded glazing, which can see the vehicle off the road for many hours while the adhesive cures. But the quick-release product is also bonded; the adhesive is within the frame, and it is the complete unit that is replaced.To showcase all of it products, FVRE is in the process of completing a demonstration trailer. It has examples of the quick-release glazing and both the gliding and plug doors, and will be displayed at a variety of shows and events.And another thing…Faiveley Vapor Ricon’s efforts in the bus sector are likely to deliver results in the short-term, but it is also involved in an area of the passenger-carrying market that has a longer gestation period.That product is Olli, made by Local Motors. Similar to the Navya Arma (routeone, news, 1 February), it is a fully-autonomous minibus that is built in Arizona and Berlin and Faiveley Vapor Ricon is hopeful that it will see a similar level of success as the Arma.Its involvement with Olli is indicative of where Faiveley Vapor Ricon is looking: To the future. Doors and windows form part of that, but it is also working on its wheelchair access range, which will very soon see a super lightweight lift added to complement a CNC-cut floor.“We have grown our bus business so far with niche builders, but in 2017 we are planning to establish a presence with the major manufacturers,” says Paul. “We can do volume products and we can tackle niches. It’s up to the buyer.” read more

Musical celebrating Dusty Springfield to premiere

first_imgDusty will have its world premiere at Theatre Royal Bath in June 2018, before dates at The Lyceum in Sheffield, Newcastle Theatre Royal, and The Lowry in Salford.CaptionThe new musical, based on the authorised biography of Dusty Springfield, is written by Jonathan Harvey (Beautiful Thing, Coronation Street), and will be directed by Olivier Award-winner Maria Friedman (Merrily We Roll Along, Stepping Out).It will star Katherine Kingsley (Piaf, Singin’ in the Rain), with further casting to be announced.Featuring many of Dusty Springfield’s hits, including ‘I Only Want to Be with You’, ‘Son of a Preacher Man’ and ‘You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me’, Dusty celebrates the extraordinary and vivacious singer.Dusty originates from the notes and memoirs of the late singer’s close friend and manager Vicki Wickham, as well as conversations with her lifelong personal assistant Pat Rhodes, and friend and record company executive Tris Penna.London-born Dusty Springfield’s career started in the late 1950s. She soon became known across the world for her soulful voice and iconic look with hits spanning four decades. Her 1969 masterpiece ‘Dusty In Memphis’ is considered one of the greatest albums of all time.Dates, cast and venue for Dusty are yet to be announcedlast_img read more

Eberspächer Climate Control Systems to support zero emission vehicles

first_imgEberspächer UK Ltd, have been working closely with coach and bus OEM’s and vehicle conversion specialists to create engineered, often fully bespoke systems across all vehicle requirements.  Eberspächer heating, air-conditioning and climate control systems can be configured independently, or integrated to work alongside a vehicle’s existing heating and air-conditioning unit. It has systems that reflect the growing demand for zero emission, all-electric vehicles, such as Mellor’s Orion E 16-seat minibus.In keeping with its regenerative breaking and driver economy and environmental benefits, Mellor insisted upon fitting an Eberspächer bespoke PTC high voltage electrically powered heater, with water pump and control system. From the easy installation and immediacy of hot air or dual-air provided from a diesel-fuelled Eberspächer Airtronic heater, to the ability to ‘pre heat’ an engine and de-humidify interior windows with its diesel fuelled Hydronic water heater range.Large coach and bus passenger spaces nearly always have Eberspächer’s internally mounted Heating, Ventilating & Air-Conditioning (HVAC) evaporator systems installed which are designed to operate all day and all year round.For more information visit: www.eberspacher.comlast_img read more

NCT Awards crowns Driver of the Year

first_imgNottingham City Transport held its annual Excellence Awards on 9 January.At the awards, Gary Parr was named their Driver of the Year.Six drivers – Mick Rose, Terry Spencer, Richard Mroz, Pete Martin, David Duncan and Reiss Cowan-Jenkins – were winners of the Customer Commendations Awards; Daniel Spray was named winner of the Rising Star Award; Neal Cousins won the Unsung Hero Award; Engineer of the Year was won by Ben Tierney; two groups of colleagues were crowned with the Charity Champion Award; and Nottingham City Transport’s Travel Centre won Team of the Year.last_img read more

Sim’s Travel adds a third Irizar integral

first_imgSim’s Travel, based in Holmrook, Cumbria, has purchased a DAF-powered i6S integral.It has been supplied by Irizar UK (01909 500514) as part of a move towards overall Euro VI compliance.The i6S is Sim’s third Irizar integral in three years. Director Andrew Sim says the powertrain is a major reason for its continuing business. Sim’s Travel has opted for ZF’s Traxon automated manual gearbox.“We took our first modern DAF-powered coach in 2007, and we have a very good relationship with local dealer Solway DAF. It undertakes our service work and inspections.”The latest coach is a 12.9m model with 53 i6 Plus seats and a centre toilet. Aircraft-style overhead luggage lockers are fitted along with USB charging points and a drinks machine.last_img read more

London LEZ grace period for approved retrofit bookings

first_imgVehicles that have a confirmed booking with a Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS)-approved retrofit solution to allow them to comply with London’s Low Emission Zone (LEZ) will receive a three-month grace period.That will allow them to be driven in the LEZ without attracting a charge for non-compliance. The three-month period begins from the date that Transport for London (TfL) receives notification from the retrofit equipment manufacturer and the vehicle record is updated.Vehicle checker will show compliance during LEZ grace periodDuring the grace period TfL’s vehicle checker tool will show the vehicle as compliant. It could take up to seven days after the booking is confirmed for a record to be updated. If it is still not the case by when that time has elapsed, operators are advised to check with the retrofit equipment manufacturer that the booking has been correctly forwarded to TfL.Until the vehicle checker show that the vehicle concerned is compliant, any LEZ daily charges accrued must be paid.The grace period ends either after three months or when TfL is notified by CVRAS that the vehicle has been treated and complied with LEZ standards, whichever is sooner. It runs until 28 February 2022.LEZ standards tighten to Euro VI from 1 MarchLEZ standards for coaches, buses and minibuses with a GVW of over 5,000kg will be tightened to Euro VI from 1 March.As of that date, Euro IV and Euro V examples will be charged £100 per day to enter the LEZ. Those that do not satisfy Euro IV will be charged £300 per day. No additional charge will be necessary to enter the Ultra Low Emission Zone.A report to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan in June 2018 shows that the Confederation of Passenger Transport, the London Tourist Coach Operators Association (now the UK Coach Operators Association) and RHA were among bodies to have called for a grace period where retrofit equipment had been ordered but could not be installed in time for tightened regulations. Their concerns were based around the availability of such solutions.last_img read more

Indiana DOR offers tips for 2020 tax season

first_img WhatsApp Pinterest By Brooklyne Beatty – January 28, 2020 0 295 Pinterest Twitter Indiana DOR offers tips for 2020 tax season Facebook Previous articleShepherd Files AppealNext articleSouth Bend school bus route changes are being delayed Brooklyne Beatty (“Personal Income Taxes Ver3” by Chris Potter, CC BY 2.0) It’s tax season, and the Indiana Department of Revenue is already busy processing returns.The DOR has provided the following tax tips to keep in mind to ensure your filing goes smoothly:Use the correct forms. Incorrect or outdated forms submitted may cause delays or be sent back.Always file state taxes, even if you are under the threshold or don’t expect a refund.Don’t file your taxes until you have all your income statements and appropriate documentation.File your taxes electronically, if possible, as this process is faster and more accurate.Check to ensure your return is complete and correct. Write clearly and use blue or black ink.If you claimed certain deductions or credits be sure to include all required and supporting documentation.Make and save copies of all relevant paperwork submitted, in case you need to reference them later.Be sure to send state returns to DOR. Federal returns go to the IRS.Don’t duplicate your filing. Filing more than once causes further delay in the refund process.If you receive any correspondence from DOR, please respond accordingly and quickly.Do NOT staple checks or returns.Make sure all state returns are sent to the correct P.O. Box. Mail is processed by P.O. Box from April – June with top priority being individual tax returns.When sending a check, write the liability number or tax period on the check. If it is a personal check being submitted for a business liability, write the business name on the check.Be sure to attach all W-2’s and 1099s to your return.Be sure to sign the return.For questions, contact the DOR Customer Service line at (317) 232-2240.center_img WhatsApp Google+ Google+ TAGS20/20Department of RevenueDORfilingIndianataxtax seasontips Twitter IndianaLocalNews Facebooklast_img read more

Honouring the victims of a year ago

first_imgBut yesterday’s memorials across the continent honouring the 3,025 victims of the terrorist atrocities of a year ago were a reminder that the ties that bind run deep.In villages, towns and cities across the member states and accession countries, young and old alike paid silent tribute to those who died. We will remember them. We will especially remember the courage of the police officers and firefighters who died trying to save others. If the Bush administration is not willing to listen to the concerns of its allies on this question, any subsequent military operation risks losing legitimacy.It also increasingly leaves itself open to claims by those who say that after failing to capture Osama bin Laden, America simply wants an easy scapegoat to avenge the terrible events of 11 September.Failure to seek a united front will undermine the campaign against terrorism. And that would be no way to remember the 3,025 innocent people who died a year ago. This argument is given particular resonance by the experience of the 20th Century when Adolf Hitler and Emperor Hirohito made fools of the appeasers on both sides of the Atlantic.However, the views expressed yesterday by America’s ambassador to NATO, Nicholas Burns, are likely to strike more of a chord with the majority of European citizens.He acknowledged that despite America’s awesome power, “we cannot go it alone in the world. America needs our friends… neither isolationism nor unilateralism can ever be America’s course”.Mr Rumsfeld would probably sniff that Burns has spent too much time in the company of Europeans.Nevertheless, there are signs that President Bush is listening to the voices of the doves as well as the hawks.He is absolutely right not to accept the flagrant flouting of UN Security Council resolutions by Saddam Hussein. However, he would be wise to seek one final resolution demanding that the regime cooperates with weapons inspectors. That resolution should have a firm deadline attached. center_img But what matters is how we remember them.For the campaign against terrorism to succeed, we must preserve unity to protect the values the terrorists seek to destroy.We must, in the words of Lord Robertson, secretary general of NATO, be prepared for a “long haul”.And that means achieving a multilateral response to the threat posed by outlaw states like Iraq.Donald Rumsfeld, the US Secretary of State for Defense, makes a compelling case opposite for why the US is ready to use all the military means at its disposal without, if it comes to it, the support of America’s natural allies.“Sometimes the consequences of not acting can be more terrible than choosing to act, even if the act is war,” he writes. Tony Blair made the same point at the Trades Union Congress in Blackpool this week. last_img read more