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First goes Platinum in Aberdeen p8

Altro has it covered on �looring p32



Wednesday November 20, 2013 Issue 1114 | £2.95


Balanced business p18

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Volvo plug-in delivers p4

A wise move now for Optare’s Chris? p70 18/11/2013 21:42

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THIS WEEK Coach & Bus Week, First Floor, 3 The Office Village, Cygnet Park, Forder Way, Hampton, Peterborough PE7 8GX Switchboard 01733 293240 Fax 0845 280 2927 Web Distributed by COMAG

EDITORIAL Publisher Jonathan Taylor 01733 293240 Editor Gareth Evans 01733 293243 Features Editor Andrew Izatt 01733 293482 Technical & Minibus Editor Martin Cole 01733 293245, 07597 179030 Digital Editor James Day 01733 293244 Art Director Ian Blaza Contributors Ray Wilkes, Jonathan Bray, Richard Charnley, Alan Payling

ADVERTISING, MARKETING & EVENTS Advertising & Marketing Manager Ian Gillis 01733 293484 Coach & Bus Market Advertising Manager Jade Cassidy 01733 293247 Senior Sales Executive Caroline Barnes 01733 293480 Advertising Sales Executive Brodiee Neumann 01733 293488 Advertising Production June Barnard 01473 858761

Saddled with bad headlines


he issue of cyclists and large vehicles has been �irmly in the media spotlight in the past week. It’s a highly-emotive subject – and like so much else in life today, it’s a tough one. Politics, particularly in London, also play a huge role. Reading reports across the media spectrum, I found myself wanting to praise Boris Johnson, when according to The Guardian, discussing the deaths of cyclists during an interview with LBC 97.3, the London Mayor said that while there could be ‘no question of blame or �inger-pointing,’ cyclists had a duty to obey the laws of the road and heed signals. ‘Some of the cases we’ve seen in the last few days really make your heart bleed because you can see that people have taken decisions that really did put their lives in danger,’ he reportedly said. ‘You cannot blame the victim in these circumstances. But what you can say is that when people make decisions on the road that are very risky – jumping red lights, moving across fastmoving traf�ic in a way that is completely unexpected and without looking to see what traf�ic is doing – it’s very dif�icult for the traf�ic engineers to second-guess that.’ Perhaps its human nature but I’m sure I’m not alone in becoming irritated in never apparently hearing any of the


SUBSCRIPTIONS & CIRCULATION Subscriptions & Circulation Manager Samantha Noble 01733 293480 Subscriptions Executive Lorraine Jackson 01733 293483 Annual subscription rate for 51 issues: UK £85, Europe/Eire £140, USA and RoW £295 ONLINE £44.95 ISSN: 1351-3877 © 2013 Coach and Bus Week Ltd. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or system or in any means without the written permission of the directors. This is considered a breach of copyright and action will be taken where this occurs. This magazine must not be lent, sold, hired or otherwise disposed of in a mutilated condition or in any authorised cover by way, or by trade, or annexed to any publication or advertising matter without first obtaining written permission from the directors. The opinions and views expressed by authors and contributors within Coach & Bus Week are not necessarily those of the Editor or its publisher Coach and Bus Week Ltd.



The latest from across the coach and bus industry at home & abroad


The story behind the Letchworthbased safety flooring supplier


The latest news and views about operators of smaller vehicles

Our experience of riding the UK’s newest guided busway


A night photo of a new National Express West Midlands ADL E400


A lighthearted look at the industry. Plus Office Diary column

The latest from renowned coach & bus operator Bennetts of Gloucester

DriveCam offers a combination of cameras, audio and telematics

All the latest people moves from across the industry


Luton Busway

Operator Profile


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Gareth Evans Editor

4 l 0845 8940844

vociferous ‘cycling lobby’ admitting that some people take kamikaze-like risks while in the saddle – even when repeatedly pressed by reporters. The ‘battle’ is fought as is so often the case these days, on Twitter. It’s also where the opinion-forming folks at the likes of the Telegraph, BBC, Guardian and Daily Mail seem to hang out in their droves. Perhaps we as an industry should upload clips to YouTube and highlight them on Twitter and Facebook? At the same time, we as an industry should be shouting about the positive awareness sessions arranged by TfL and First’s commendable work with a cycling group in Bath – to name but two examples. Also, when a PCV driver is cleared of any wrongdoing, rarely do the media report it, which fails to give the public an accurate picture. I have received a letter from a highly concerned coach driver, which I intend to publish in next week’ issue. Unfortunately, space precluded it this week. Some of her experiences make for truly shocking reading – such as cyclists trying to squeeze through a six-inch gap between a coach and a kerb. As always, your views are welcome.

Altro flooring Big Picture

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HASSLE-FREE DRIVERS? We keep your wheels turning while your drivers are resting T: 07950 292939 W: November 20, 2013 | COACH & BUS WEEK | 3 18/11/2013 21:44


Volvo’s plug-in hybrid beats fuel and energy expectations Test results in Gothenburg claim the vehicle saves over 80% on fuel consumption compared to a conventional diesel bus Volvo Buses’ has claimed its plug-in hybrid reduces fuel consumption by 81%, with the total energy consumption reduced by over 60% compared to a corresponding diesel Euro 5 bus, according to figures taken from field tests being conducted in Gothenburg. Johan Hellsing, Project Manager for the field test at Volvo Buses, said: “Our performance results are slightly better than we had anticipated. The plug-in hybrid consumes less than 11 litres of fuel for every 100 kilometres.” The field test in Gothenburg began in June 2013 and includes three plug-in hybrid buses, whose batteries are recharged at the terminals. This makes it possible for the buses to run on electric power for most of the route. The bus is fitted with an electric motor which is powered by a lithium battery. It also has a small diesel engine. The bus is recharged from the mains power supply via an energy storage unit mounted on the roof. It takes five or six minutes to recharge. The bus can run exclusively on electric power for approximately seven kilometres – without any noise or emissions. “Although there are many long,

Volvo claims the plug-in hybrid ran on electric power 85% of the time during testing steep gradients on the routes, the plug-in hybrid buses can run on electric power for about 85% of the time. The diesel engine only kicks in when the bus needs some extra power,” Johan Hellsing commented. “The test drivers from GS Buss really appreciate the quiet, vibration-free ride that you get with an electric powered bus.” Hanna Björk, Environmental Strategist at Västtrafik, said: “The results show that the plug-in hybrid can help us to achieve our ambitious environmental

goals, particularly concerning the reduction of emissions and noise.” The field test of the plug-in hybrid buses in Gothenburg involves 10,000 operating hours and will continue for most of next year. A demo project which will bring eight more plug-in hybrid buses into service will commence next year in Stockholm. A number of European cities are showing a keen interest in the plug-in hybrids. Hamburg and Luxembourg have already signed contracts for supplies of the buses in 2014 and 2015. Volvo

Buses is working together with the city councils, public transport authorities and providers to develop long-term sustainable solutions for public transport. Volvo Buses plans to commence commercial manufacture of plug-in hybrids towards the end of 2015. Those engaged in the plug-in hybrid project in Gothenburg are Volvo Buses, Göteborg Energi, Business Region Göteborg, Trafikkontoret and Västtrafik. The project is co-financed by Life+, the EU’s financing programme for environmental projects.

Sheffield Bus Partnership receives business award nomination The Sheffield Bus Partnership has been shortlisted for a Sheffield Business Award. The recognition underpins a year of significant success for the voluntary partnership between First South Yorkshire, Stagecoach in Sheffield, Sheffield Community Transport, Sheffield City Council and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) since it was launched in October 2012. Labelled a ‘historic’ development by previous Transport Minister Norman Baker MP, the partnership has gained recognition from Government and secured an exclusive Better Bus Area grant of £18.3m to further improve Sheffield’s bus services. The introduction of coordinated timetables between Stagecoach in Sheffield and First South Yorkshire to prevent duplication

on key routes, discounted multioperator tickets and newer, greener buses has led to an increase in bus passengers of 5.3% in the last three months and 14% more adult fare paying passengers than at the same time as last year. Dave Alexander, Regional Managing Director for First in South Yorkshire, said: “We are delighted that the Sheffield Bus Partnership has been nominated for the Environmental Award at the Sheffield Business Awards. Sheffield is leading the way across the UK by using partnership to ensure that the quality of bus services is consistently improving to benefit the customers and the local communities.” Paul Lynch, Managing Director for Stagecoach in Sheffield, said: “Sheffield Bus Partnership is committed to delivering greener,

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sustainable bus services. “Our customers and other stakeholders tell us the environment is a key issue for them, so we’re delighted that the Sheffield Bus Partnership is already delivering on improving the city’s emissions footprint and that this achievement has been recognised by the Sheffield Business Awards, the biggest awards event in the region.” David Young, SYPTE Deputy Interim Director General, said: “It has been a year of huge progress for Sheffield Bus Partnership and I am delighted that this hard work has been recognised at the Sheffield Business Awards. We took responsibility under this agreement to not only improve Sheffield’s bus offer for our customers, but to reduce the network’s environmental impact too.

“Through investment in the bus fleet and an improved network through bus priority measures and highway improvements we hope to help to improve Sheffield’s air quality and contribute to a greener, cleaner city for all.” Cllr Leigh Bramall of Sheffield City Council, said: “Sheffield is making progress towards becoming one of the greenest bus fleets in the country, which should help the city reach its goals on improving air quality. It is a great accolade to be recognized at these prestigious awards”. The Sheffield Business Awards 2013 are organised by Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and The Star. The awards, celebrating their 12th year, will be presented at a ceremony on Thursday, December 5 at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre.

18/11/2013 20:29

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Contactless payments cards growth in London In his latest Commissioner’s report, Sir Peter Hendy CBE has commented on the growing use of Contactless Payments Cards (CPC) on Transport for London’s contracted buses. More than four million bus journeys have now been paid for using a contactless debit, credit or charge card. “Usage has risen steadily, as more customers save money by paying the Oyster single fare rather than the cash fare. Nearly 180,000 trips

are now made each week using CPCs. More than 15,000 cards are used each weekday, of which about 1,000 are being used for the first time. “Customers are comfortable using this form of payment and no security concerns have been detected either by us, our contractors, or the payments industry. “A customer information campaign will continue to advise customers to keep their bank

card separate from their Oyster card when presenting it to the card reader. Just 0.03 per cent of transactions so far have required a refund to be made due to the wrong card being charged. CPC acceptance will be introduced on our rail services during 2014. “By the end of this year, a controlled pilot will take place of around 5,000 customers, staff and other interested groups to test CPCs before we make it available across these services.”

New appointments follow First restructure in South East First Bus is restructuring its South East and Midlands business into three smaller units and has announced the appointments of new Managing Director: Adrian Jones becomes MD of the Essex business, based in the Westway office in Chelmsford. Adrian joined First in 1997 and has previously been MD for First London & Berkshire and, more recently, Transition Director for Tower Transit. David Squire becomes the interim MD of the Eastern Counties business, based in the Lansdowne Road office in Norwich. David joined First with 35 years of experience in the bus industry. His previous roles include Managing Director for Network Warrington, Head of Operations in Manchester for Arriva and General Manager, Dewsbury for Arriva Yorkshire. Nigel Eggleton has been appointed MD of the Midlands and will be based in Leicester. Nigel has over 30 years’ experience of the UK Bus Industry in a variety of high profile positions and joined Transdev as Sales and Marketing Director in 2008.

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OBITUARY With the passing of Chris Taylor, the Cardiff Transport Preservation Group (CTPG) has lost one of its stalwarts. The CTPG’s Vice-Chairman passed away on Friday morning (Novemember 15) after a long illness. Paying tribute, CTPG’s Glyn Bowen said: “Although unable to attend recent events through ill health, Chris has been a keen supporter of the Group for many years and his vast knowledge as a transport historian will be greatly missed.” We at CBW send our condolences to CTPG Chairman, Mike Taylor on the loss of his father and to Chris’ wife Joanne and all the family.

City Sprinter licence revoked

The ever-friendly Adrian Jones becomes Managing Director of First Essex and will be based in the Westway office in Chelmsford Existing regional board member Steve Wickers will support Adrian and David as Commercial Director for East England, which comprises Eastern Counties and Essex. David Marshall will remain as Finance Director, supporting all three new business units. Current Regional Engineering Director Mick Branigan has been appointed as Deputy MD in The Midlands, and Karen Doores will

be Human Resources Director for UK Bus in The South. Jeroen Weimar, Chief Operating Officer, commented: “I am confident the new MD appointments will create more flexible and responsive businesses which, under new strong local leadership, will deliver even better customer service and position us for growth in these important markets.”

Glasgow-based City Sprinter has had its O-licence revoked by Deputy Traffic Commisioner Richard McFarlane after failing to demonstrate appropriate financial standing at a Public Inquiry. Should the operator prove its financial standing at a later date, it is required to continue providing evidence of financial standing on a three-monthly basis. Mr Archie Brown is now nominated as the Transport Manager on the Standard National O-licence, with no action taken against his professional competence or good repute. One City Sprinter driver was suspended from driving PCVs for five weeks due to a mobile phone offence and blocking access to the emergency exit of the vehicle he was driving. Another was warned with regard to his conduct as a PCV driver.

November 20, 2013 | COACH & BUS WEEK | 5 18/11/2013 20:29



The year Bennetts Coaches of Gloucester was founded

Stagecoach: the gloves come off over Nexus’ Quality Contracts with pull-out threat Sir Brian Souter threatens to withdraw 500 buses and four depots if controversial Quality Contract plan is implemented Protracted argument and discussion over the continued stance taken by regional transport authority Nexus to forge ahead with Quality Contract plans for services in the North East has brought things to a head. Stagecoach chairman Sir Brian Souter said he would not work for a council controlled bus network in Tyne and Wear and has threatened to withdraw 500 Stagecoach services and close local depots. Council-backed plans support Nexus in putting together Quality Contracts in which only buses with a council-contract can operate – similar to the system operated in London – where all buses are branded the same, with local authorities setting fares, time tables and routes. Nexus accuses operators of not doing enough to justify the amount of subsidy handed to them by the council. Local bus companies have consulted lawyers about fighting these plans, which Nexus said could be in place by 2015. Speaking recently at a bus conference, Sir Brian said: “They sold the bus companies to us in the first place, knowing what the system was. They took the money off us, we bought it in good faith. “We have invested in it every

Stagecoach highlighted proposals made by the North East Bus Operators’ Association and has launched a website to campaign against Quality Contracts, which can be found at Steve Hodgson year. We have, I think, had one day or two days industrial stoppage in the two decades that we have been running it. “We are dealing with a bunch of unreconstructed Stalinists who are completely driven by political dogma. “The first contract they put out on my business I’m out of Tyne and Wear completely and they can buy 500 buses and find four bus depots. And when they do that, they’ll find that what I am delivering with my 500 buses and my four bus depots, and my

fantastic workforce, is actually very good value for money. “That’s why I am so hard on the issue, because unless you’re prepared to be as robust as that, then you’ll have your business taken off you incrementally. They’ll pick the bits they want and you’ll be left with a carcass, and I’m not waiting around to watch it happen.” Wearside MP Bridget Phillip leading a campaign for better bus services, has backed the plans for introducing QCs. She said: “From the start, Stagecoach’s

Rochdale’s £11.5m bus interchange opens

Rochdale’s £11.5m transport interchange opened its doors to the public on Sunday, November 17. The new interchange provides enhanced facilities and improved safety and security for bus passengers and links directly with the new Metrolink extension, due to be completed by Spring 2014. The development replaces the town’s old bus station which was built in 1978. The new facility is Europe’s first transport interchange to have an integrated hydropower source, thanks to a hydroelectric plant part-funded by the Ticket to Kyoto carbon reduction investment project. The scheme, part-funded by the DfT, is part of the wider £250m redevelopment of Rochdale

The new development replaces the old bus station, built in 1978 town centre, which includes the construction of the new Metrolink line and a £100m new retail and leisure development. Cllr Andrew Fender, Chairman of the Transport for Greater

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Manchester (TfGM) Committee, said: “I am delighted we have completed this innovative and hugely significant project which will provide a fantastic, modern gateway for the town centre and

opposition has been characterised by scaremongering and negative tactics. Under Quality Contracts, they would be free to bid to run routes exactly as they do in London. “Mr Souter’s sole concern is to defend his inflated profit margins in the region. We need a bus system that works in the best interests of local people.” Nexus claims its proposals for QCs present an opportunity to provide better bus services while saving the taxpayer £70m over the next 10 years. a European first, thanks to its hydropower plant. “The interchange provides better links between rail and bus services as well as improved waiting areas, passenger facilities, accessibility, information, safety and security. The facility is also going to play a crucial part in making Rochdale an exciting destination for residents, shoppers and businesses alike.” Minister of State for Transport Baroness Kramer said: “I am pleased the DfT has been able to support this scheme. It will make bus travel more attractive in Rochdale, promoting growth and cutting carbon. Redevelopment of the existing bus station site is expected to bring some 1,500 new jobs into the town.”

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The amount Volvo Buses has claimed its plug-in hybrid reduces fuel consumption by

Rotherham to Shef�ield BRT service announced

About £30m is to be invested in a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service between Shef�ield and Rotherham, it has been announced. The service will include the construction of a new highway link under the M1, low-emission vehicles and new bus stops. The Department for Transport has pledged £16m to the scheme while a further £8m will come from the European Regional Development Fund. Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said the link would create 4,400 new jobs. “This £16m of investment will help unlock the next planned phases of development in the Lower Don Valley, and create up to 4,400 new jobs,” she said. A spokesperson for Shef�ield City Council said the remaining £6m comes from a number of sources. Work on the BRT is expected to begin in 2014 and be operational by September 2015. It was due to receive �inal approval on November 20.


The amount which is to be invested in a Bus Rapid Transit service between Sheffield and Rotherham

Big Bus Tours becomes single brand SHARE WATCH Big Bus Tours Ltd. has created one unifying global brand, Big Bus Tours, following the merger of The Big Bus Company and Les Cars Rouges in 2011. The new brand roll out is expected to be fully complete by the �irst quarter of 2014. Big Bus Tours becomes the single brand representing the merged operations of Les Cars Rouges, Open Top Sightseeing Tours and Big Bus Tours, creating the world’s biggest operator of high quality hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tours. The company has seen rapid growth in the last two months with new operations recently launched in Vienna and Istanbul. The new brand and livery clari�ies the ownership of the business and supports its drive for greater customer recognition and to become acknowledged as the global market leader in this sector. “Our new company branding and livery effectively communicates our new identity. We wanted to showcase our contemporary new look while retaining an element of the history and heritage sitting within the newly formed business,”

explained Gerry Price, Commercial Director, Big Bus Tours. “We were keen to create one consistent brand which can be easily recognised around the world and which re�lects where the business has grown from. We are proud to be known as one of the best ways to explore a city, whether it’s London or Las Vegas, and we are looking forward to what the next 12 months has in store.” Big Bus Tours is committed to expanding its distribution via the travel trade and has grown its global sales and marketing teams. Big Bus Tours claims to be the largest operator of hop-on hop-off sightseeing tours in the world and currently runs in 15 cities across three continents – Europe, Asia and North America. The company has a combined �leet of over 300 buses carrying in excess of four million passengers per year. Big Bus Tours’ sightseeing formula has been designed to provide a �lexible approach to city discovery and the company is proud to act as an ambassador for each of the cities it operates in.

Ipswich Buses Park and Ride goes Rainbow Ipswich Buses has taken over the Suffolk County Council contract to prove Ipswich’s Park and Ride services. Previously they had been operated by First which won the contract from Ipswich Buses in 2008. It has acquired eight former Nottingham City Transport MAN-powered Optare Versas for the work, all of which carry a new rainbow livery designed by JR Buzz. The buses have been refurbished with leather seats and have onboard next stop announcement systems as well as CCTV and free WiFi. Two new Alexander Dennis Enviro200s have also been acquired and they carry a half blue, half green livery re�lecting their availability for Park and Ride duties as well as normal service. Tenders were invited for a new contract back in July 2013, which was evaluated by Suffolk County Council on the basis of both quality and price with Ipswich Buses identi�ied by them as a clear winner with their tender which included a wide range of improvements and ideas that were both innovative and �inancially viable.

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Industry share prices at the close of the Stock Exchange on Monday, November 18. 21st Century saw the greatest proportional rise, while FirstGroup saw the greatest proportional drop. Most figures obtained from


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Ipswich’s Park and Ride livery was designed by JR Buzz. David Bell The Council also commented that Ipswich Buses demonstrated a positive contribution to improving skill levels and supporting young people and long term unemployed into employment as part of its successful bid. Malcolm Robson, Managing Director of Ipswich Buses, said: “We are delighted to be operating Park and Ride services once again and have really enjoyed working with our partners at Suffolk County Council to deliver a high quality bid with customer service and a high standard of bus service provision at it’s heart – as well as lots of

new ideas and creativity to make Ipswich Park and Ride something we can all be proud of for our town and County. We will have a dedicated manager to purely look after our customers and the park and ride team so we know that we can continuously develop and improve the service to local people and visitors to our town.” • Ipswich’s Tower Ramparts bus station has reopened after refurbishment. It closed in September as part of the town’s £21m Travel Ipswich project. The Old Cattle Market bus station reopened last month.

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November 20, 2013 | COACH & BUS WEEK | 7 18/11/2013 20:01

NEWS RO A D WATC H n A FIVE-WEEK SCHEME to resurface sections of the M20 between J11a (Channel Tunnel) and J13 (Folkestone) started on Monday (November 18). The £1.1m scheme involves overnight carriageway closures from 2000 to 0600hrs and is due to be completed on December 20. The work is being carried out in various phases and is planned, weather permitting, as follows: November 20-21 Londonbound carriageway closed between the exit and entry slip roads at J12; November 22-23 Londonbound carriageway closed between J12 and 11; November 25-28 two lanes closed London-bound between J12 and 11; November 30 to December 1 coastbound carriageway closed between J11 and 13; December 2-4 two lanes closed London-bound between J12 and 11, one lane closed on the entry slip at J11a; December 6-7 Londonbound carriageway closed between J12 and 11; December 8 London-bound carriageway closed between J13 and 12; December 13 London-bound carriageway closed between J12 and 11; and December 14-15 coastbound carriageway closed between J11 and 13. Road users are directed to follow signed diversion routes via the A20. The dates are subject to change, with the final week to be used as a contingency. n THERE ARE NEW TOLL PRICES for vehicles crossing the Severn Bridge and second Severn Crossing which will be introduced from January 1, 2014. The new price is £19.20 for coaches, an increase of 60p on the 2013 toll of £18.60. n OVERNIGHT WORK to maintain drainage on the A36 has started on an eight-mile stretch between Stapleford and Wilton Roundabout. It involves full night time closures of the A36 for three weeks from November 18, followed by five weeks of work which need temporary overnight traffic lights. While the A36 is shut, a diversion will be in place. Work will stop between December 23 and January 6. Completion is due by January 24.

First Aberdeen Service 19 goes Platinum

The refurbished Wrightbus Gemini-bodied Volvo B7TLs carry distinctive branding for the Platinum service FirstGroup unveils premium service as Wrightbus Gemini fleet with £300,000 worth of refurbishment goes live First Aberdeen has launched a new £300,000 Platinum bus service. The operator has made significant improvements to the Wrightbus Gemini-bodied Volvo B7TL buses operating on service 19 - which links Tillydrone with the city centre and Culter. Since Monday, November 18, passengers travelling on the refurbished buses have benefitted from new TV screens featuring 24 hour news updates, E-leather covered seats and complementary WiFi provided by Icomera. The 08-plate buses were refurbished by Morpeth-based Thorntons. Duncan Cameron, Director and General Manager of First Aberdeen, said: “The introduction of Platinum demonstrates just how determined we are to improve bus services and attract more passengers. “We are absolutely committed to increasing passenger numbers and encouraging more people out of their cars and onto our buses. “Going forward I can assure our customers that we will continue to invest in our services and make

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First said the Aberdeen Platinum buses feature new-style interiors bus travel better. I’m confident that in the future we’ll be able to launch Platinum style services in other parts of the network.” While the vehicles were being refurbished, former Glasgow Dennis Tridents were used to cover the route. Asked about reports the Tridents were expected to head to Manchester to join the former Finglands fleet, Niall Dowds, Head of External Communications at First UK Bus, told CBW: “Aberdeen will keep 10 of the Tridents in

the short term to help support capacity. The remaining eight will leave Aberdeen, but it’s not clear at the moment where they are going.”

Passengers on the highprofile service can also take advantage of a dedicated Platinum website www., which features specific travel information, ticket information, latest news and maps. Watch a video of the launch day at

18/11/2013 20:38

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Birmingham Mobility Action Plan Birmingham City Council has presented its 20 year vision for improving transport in the city, the Birmingham Mobility Action Plan (BMAP). It will reinvent the city’s transport system, meeting current and future mobility challenges, to facilitate strong and sustainable economic growth, says the Council. Extensive use of Bus Rapid Transit is proposed. Sir Albert Bore, the Leader of Birmingham City Council, has presented a draft version of the BMAP consultation document to stakeholders. He said: “This is a transport plan, not for tomorrow but for over the next 25 years. We need an integrated transport system in Birmingham which we all need to agree on. This is why we are putting out this consultation

document. Once this plan is agreed across the businesses and residents of the city, we need to put in place funding programmes that will allow us to implement the plan over the coming years. “This is exactly what countries like France and Germany have done over the last 20 years. It’s why their transport infrastructure is so much better than ours. We need to do better in Birmingham and this plan will allow us to deliver a system comparable to other European cities.” A public consultation will follow as the council and partners seeks to agree a single vision and set of objectives with citizens and stakeholders, giving the city the best opportunity to secure investment for transport priorities.

Volvo Bus says it has increased both quality and response times for customers in the North West of England thanks to a significant investment in frontline services with bus and coach dealership Thomas Hardie Commercials. “Thomas Hardie employs three frontline technicians at present, who are busy supporting customers in the region,” said, Aftermarket Director, Jim Murray. “With the recent recruitment of a fourth technician, Sam Archer, we will further reduce response times and be able to react even quicker to customer issues.

Volvo’s Apprentice of the Year 2012, Sam Archer has five years’ experience working in the Preston depot. Sam is already well experienced in his new role having provided holiday cover for existing frontline technicians, Tom Bradley, Karl Hutchinson and Darren Bradshaw. “Sam has lots of ambition to develop as an engineer,” added Jim. “He has a real passion for buses and coaches – his father runs a local bus firm. He also has a great personality and is a great communicator, which is vital in this role. “We’re looking to bring a

Arriva The Shires has started repainting the 11 Wrightbus-bodied Volvo B7RLEs used on Luton Dunstable Busway service A. It’s a new livery reflecting the fact that the operator provides a free connecting service to Luton Airport for passengers on Green Line 757 from London, which now terminates at Luton Station Interchange. Our report on the Busway and its services appears in this issue on pages 18-24.

Volvo Bus technical support strengthened in the North West uniformed approach with our four frontline technicians, with common standards and processes. Ultimately, we believe this service is a support mechanism which customers will appreciate and want to use to ensure their vehicles achieve maximum uptime.” Volvo bus and coach operators will be able to access the frontline team quickly as the technicians all have individual email and mobile phones. This means personal relationships can be formed to further enhance the Volvo service. Frontline service vehicles are fitted out to a high standard with

German website for Stagecoach’s has launched a new German language website to make it easier for people in Europe to book its new cross-Channel services between London and Cologne. The site can also be accessed in French and Dutch. The new German website also trades in Euros. Last month, Stagecoach Group began running its low-cost coach services from the UK to Germany for the first time. Offering seats from £1 or €1, the new London to Cologne service, which also serves Ghent and Brussels in Belgium, operates twice a day in each

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One of 10 recently required left hand drive 72-seater Van Hools for the new Megabus European services. Fares start from €1 as well as £1 direction, with journey times from nine and a half hours. MD of Stagecoach’s UK Coach division, Elizabeth Esnouf said: “Our services to Cologne are

already proving popular and we’re pleased to launch this German language website. We now run a comprehensive coach network between the UK

a wide range of tools and parts to ensure the majority of faults can be rectified on the first visit. The aims of the service are to provide a right-first-time fix, speedy service and clear communications. Support is provided round the clock, with five separate workshops in the region, to further support the team. “Our long-term ambition with the frontline technicians is to expand further,” concluded Jim. “We want operators to take advantage of this fantastic service and ultimately keep their vehicles on the road for longer.”

and Europe, offering people the chance to travel extensively at very affordable prices and we look forward to attracting more and more people on to our greener, smarter coach services.” launched its European network in April 2012, offering journeys between the UK and Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Boulogne. The services have proved very popular with families, students and tourists looking to bag a bargain ticket to Europe. In October 2013, megabus. com announced that it was expanding its network further, by introducing services to Cologne as well as serving Lille, Ghent, Rotterdam and Antwerp for the first time, to provide even more choice for customers travelling around Europe.

November 20, 2013 | COACH & BUS WEEK | 9 18/11/2013 20:38


Scania invests SEK 400m in advanced climatic wind tunnel facility Scania buses, coaches and trucks can now benefit from thorough in-house development SWEDEN With the opening of its new SEK 400m climatic wind tunnel, located at the research and development centre in Södertälje, Scania can subject test vehicles to the most demanding weather conditions on home ground, thereby speeding up development and improving performance. The new facility means Scania is now less dependent on field testing and, using the wind tunnel’s controlled environment, can shorten lead time from development to product launch.  “This unique facility will help us improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions even further,” says Harald Ludanek, Executive Vice President for Research and Development. “Because we can reduce the impact of snow, rain and dirt, drivers will benefit from a better cab environment and enhanced safety.”  Arctic chill to scorching heat  In the facility, temperatures between -35 and +50 degrees Celsius can be simulated, as well as humidity of between 5 and 95%. The air channel system is equipped with a number of small snow cannons to produce various types of snow. The snow can be replaced with rain of whatever intensity desired, and even the drop size can be altered. By adding an ultraviolet (UV) visible chemical to the rainwater, and subsequently illuminating the test vehicles with UV light, it is possible to determine exactly where rainwater and dirt have stuck and how they flow off the vehicle.  The test vehicle is parked on rollers – one for each set of wheels. These allow technicians to simulate speeds of up to 100 km/h, the optimal pace for testing trucks and buses.  Among tests carried out are

Christer Remden runs the new wind tunnel and climatic control facility at the Sodertalje plant how components withstand heat and chill, how rainwater flows off vehicles, driver visibility in heavy rain and snow, windscreen icing, wind noise and how dirt adheres to cab sides, rear view mirrors and door handles. “Scania’s trucks and buses are designed to offer the best performance, regardless of climate,” says Christer Ramdén, Head of Vehicle Performance Testing. “As we enter new industrial segments and markets, with increasingly challenging climatic conditions, we need to ensure that our vehicles will perform faultlessly.”  Construction of the 25-metre tall building was started in 2011 and completed earlier this year, when extensive testing of the complex systems took place. The sheer size of the building is needed to accommodate trucks and buses

and the huge nozzle, with a surface area of 13 square metres, from which air is forced past the vehicle and then fed up to a fan on the upper level of the facility. The climatic wind tunnel offer advantages such as performing tests under near-Arctic conditions in the middle of summer and, conversely, simulating scorching heat in winter. Above all, the facility offers opportunities for reliable repetitive testing. Based on actual road segments in Europe and elsewhere – which have been carefully documented and recorded – tests in the climatic wind tunnel can be programmed to precisely simulate these segments. 

Versatile tests for better performance

In heavy rain, tests can be carried out to assess water intrusion in air intakes and its effects on wiper

functions, how the climate system performs and mist removal. In snow, tests can determine snow clogging on front lids, snow intrusion in air intakes, snow clogging of filters as well as wiper and defroster functions.  Sunshine can be generated with a radiation intensity of 400–1,100 W/m² on the front, roof and cab sides. Cloud and tunnel functions can also be simulated. Tests can thereby show how the climate system copes with heat.  By adding 0.5% fluorescent chemical to rain water, tests will show contamination of sides and door handles, windscreen and side window visibility, and how exterior driving mirrors are soiled.  Aero-acoustic tests can be carried out to measure wind noise, also with a lateral wind flow.

MAN wins biggest-ever order for city buses from Hungary GERMANY MAN has received an order for 106 Lion’s City buses from the Hungarian transport company Volánbusz Zrt. This is the biggest order for city buses ever to come from Hungry.

Volánbusz is putting the vehicles into operation in 2014. They all feature 280bhp Euro 6 engines and have been acquired to ensure efficient and environmentallyfriendly public transport in

10 | COACH & BUS WEEK | November 20, 2013 010_013_CBW1114_International News.indd 10

Budapest, as well as in the capital’s suburbs. All buses are being equipped with modern passenger information systems and air-conditioning to guarantee passenger comfort.

Volánbusz operates a fleet of around 800 vehicles. As well as buses for public transport services it also operates long-distance bus and coach routes at a national and international level.

18/11/2013 20:27

Allied Specialty Vehicles forms bus division Solaris Tramino USA (ASV) has formed a new bus division with the appointment of Kent Tyler, former President of Collins Bus Corporation, as President and CEO for the new group. “With our recent investment of seven new bus brands, ASV is now one of the largest suppliers of buses in North America. The formation of the new Bus Division will help make the transition into the ASV family as smooth as possible for not only these companies, but also their dealers and customers,” said Jim Meyer, COO of ASV. “We are thrilled about the opportunities the new Bus Division represents, and excited to have these outstanding brands under the leadership of Kent Tyler.” The new ASV Bus Division comprises strong brands including: Collins Bus Corp., Mid Bus, Corbeil, Champion Bus, Inc., General Coach

America, Inc. Goshen Coach, Inc., El Dorado National California, Inc., El Dorado National Kansas, Inc., Krystal Coach, and Federal Coach. “I’m thrilled and honored to be leading this new division within ASV. I look forward to working with all the bus companies and their respective dealer organisations and customers,” said Kent Tyler. “As one of the largest suppliers of buses in North America, it’s critical the ASV Bus Division be synonymous with providing innovative products, outstanding customer service, and the most focused and comprehensive distribution network in the industry.” Tyler succeeds Andrew Imanse, Group President of the Eldorado, Champion and Goshen Bus Companies who recently retired from Thor Industries, the former owner of the bus companies.

Imanse has been a prominent figure in the bus industry for over 20 years. Prior to his role in the bus industry, Imanse spent 20 years in the recreational vehicle industry as president of several companies. Imanse has agreed to serve as the Chairman of the Bus Division Advisory Board and continue to support the bus operations through an extended transition period. Most recently, Tyler was President and CEO of E-ONE, a leading fire apparatus manufacturer. Previously, Tyler spent 15 years with Collins Industries, the last five as President of the bus division. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University and a master’s degree from Missouri State University. Tyler will be based out of the ASV corporate offices in Orlando, Florida.

launched in Jena POLAND Solaris has completed its first international rail contract with the delivery of five Tramino lowfloor trams to Jenaer Nahverkehr. The Tramino for Jena are the first Polish trams ever to have been delivered to Germany and they will begin working in January 2014. An official presentation of the first Tramino was held in Ernst Abbe Square, where the vehicle was named “Erlangen” after Jena’s twin city. Crowds of interested residents and commuters attended the event. “The purchase of five Solaris Tramino low-floor trams is a step forward not only in terms of our fleet design but also its technical standards. It is an investment conceived to improve our citizens’ mobility and at the same time the quality of living,” said Udo Beran, Jenaer Nahverkehr CEO.

Cracked frames cause concern over US-built BYD longevity USA Cracks have been discovered in the frames of electric buses from Chinese manufacturer BYD. The company is facing questions about the reliability of electric buses for Long Beach, CA. According to a report by ‘Long Beach Business Journal,’ cracks were found in some bus frames during the testing period. It believed the culprit may be substandard welding on the ‘engineering prototype’ buses specifically being used for strength testing before being placed in service. BYD said the bus cracks were ‘common’ during that particular stage of strength testing. Additionally, BYD was fined $100,000 by the state of California for alleged violations of minimum wage laws, according to ‘The New York Times’. BYD also sold buses to the city of Los Angeles and has taken over a bus-assembly factory in nearby Lancaster, CA. The company brought in a team of employees from China to train factory workers. The company said workers who spurred the California wage fine weren’t subject to state laws because they were working in the state on temporary work visas.

A contentious view

The whole process of placing large sums of money into ‘green’ projects has been called into question with a university lecturer publishing his views on the subject in a local newspaper guest

010_013_CBW1114_International News.indd 11

BYD’s 12m e-bus column. Joe Ribakoff, a teacher of first amendment issues at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Calfornia State University, Long Beach, believed the $12m contract with BYD for 10 electric buses to be supplied to Long Beach Transit (LBT) was a disaster. He stated: ‘Eight months into the contract BYD has failed to deliver a single overpriced bus. It is mired in misconduct, bad production, technology which is not as good as advertised and inexcusable labour law violations.” He pointed out California had provided $2m in subsidies to the company to support the creation of jobs yet it had been paying $1.50 per hour – not even close to minimum wage for building $1m-plus vehicles. The first vehicle submitted for Altoona testing

had failed and a subsequent vehicle with modified imported components fared no better. Ribakoff contests BYD claims the bus can achieve 155 miles on a single charge. He said an evaluation by Hertz found it could only achieve 126 miles while run empty and with the air conditioning switched off. The company calculated with a full load of passengers and the air conditioning on it would only achieve 65 miles. According to Ribakoff, LBT is itself a problem - squandering £12m on 10 buses and running poor services which would likely see them running empty most of the time. He said: “LBT will remain a service used by those who have no choice. With £12m it could have begun to build a mass transit

as an attractive alternative to the car. Instead of charging people to ride the bus we should charge a fare to those who drive and allow bus riders to ride free. We should put enough buses on the street so someone with a choice would gladly choose mass transit. If a 10 mile commute takes 15 minutes by car it should not take 1.5 hours by bus. “Phoenix Motors make a 14 seat electric shuttle bus costing £170,000. If LBT added 52 shuttles to its fleet you wouldn’t have to wait half an hour for the next one and the 15 minute car ride could easily become a 20 minute bus ride. They would cost only $9m, leaving $3m with which it could hire 42 additional drivers and probably allow all riders on electric bus routes to ride free.”

November 20, 2013 | COACH & BUS WEEK | 11 18/11/2013 20:27


Ustra takes additional Solaris artics options with Allison hybrid transmission

Reliable operation prompts Hannover’s main operator to order more hybrid artics GERMANY üstra Hannoversche Verkehrsbetriebe AG (üstra) has taken delivery of nine additional Solaris Urbino 18-metre articulated buses equipped with the Allison H 50 EP™ hybrid system. The fleet first tested the Urbino hybrid bus in 2008 and delivery of ten hybrid buses followed in September 2011. Driven by environmental policy in the region of Hannover and Üstra, the decision was taken to continue the focus on hybrid technology and a recent tender resulted in Solaris providing nine additional articulated buses with the Allison hybrid system. Hubert Nawa, responsible for vehicle engineering and bus workshops for city buses at üstra, said: “The buses, especially the Allison H 50 EP hybrid systems, are reliable. In addition, they are fuel efficient, accelerate quickly after a stop and slow down smoothly via the hybrid unit. Of particular note is the quiet operation; we get very

positive feedback from passengers and residents.” The new three-axle, 18m articulated buses replace older vehicles. Satisfying demand as local passenger numbers increase, articulated buses are very popular in Hannover. The buses were delivered in early October, awaiting inaugural runs planned for October 27, 2013 as part of a hybrid bus festival in Hannover. The buses will primarily be used on lines 127, 125 and 123, where there are short distances between stops, low average speeds and a high concentration of passengers. During stop and go runs, the benefits of these hybrid buses – reduced fuel consumption, emissions and noise pollution as well as recovered braking energy – are most significant. The 11 existing hybrid buses have already been operating on routes with similar conditions. Since September 2011, these buses have accumulated about 1.3 million kilometres (808,000 miles) in regular service, transporting nearly 10.5 million passengers. Unique Allison hybrid technology

12 | COACH & BUS WEEK | November 20, 2013 010_013_CBW1114_International News.indd 12

The hybrid artics are identified by a green livery The Allison H 50 EP system features a unique two-mode parallel hybrid architecture which blends torque delivered by two electric 75 kW generators with torque generated by a 181 kW (246 hp) Cummins ISB6.7 250H diesel engine. The electric motors contribute substantially to bus launch, relying less on the diesel engine to produce power and torque. High-capacity batteries save the energy released during braking to reuse during accelerations, making the most

efficient use of available energy. This offers an important advantage for üstra’s fleet of buses which covered more than 12 million kilometers (7.5 million miles) in 2012. Carrying approximately 159 million passengers, üstra is one of the largest public transport companies in Germany. The fleet consists of 130 buses, 67 of these are articulated and 63 are solo buses. With 38 lines, üstra connects 677 stops over about 515 km (320 miles).

18/11/2013 20:27

Poorly planned BRT is wasted investment

Johnson Matthey opens extended European Emission Control Catalyst MACEDONIA Johnson Matthey has opened a new €60m extension to its European emission control catalyst manufacturing facility in Macedonia. The new plant provides additional capacity for catalysts to meet the increase in demand from the introduction of tighter emissions legislation coming into effect from January 2014 in the EU. The facility, which uses world class design and manufacturing equipment to produce a new generation of catalysts for light duty and heavy duty diesel applications, was opened by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski. Johnson Matthey is a prime developer and producer of emission control catalysts for both light and heavy duty applications, with a number of manufacturing facilities around

the world. It is a leading global speciality chemicals company with a diversi�ied product portfolio ranging from specialist chemicals to fabrications from precious metals. The extended facility in Macedonia will have an additional two manufacturing lines and brings the site’s total capacity to around 10 million catalysts. The site currently employs 450 people and the extension will create an additional 200 jobs. Johnson Matthey’s initial investment in the Macedonian facility has been a great success and this, together with the projected increases in catalyst demand, are the main drivers for the expansion at the Bunardzik site. The new extended plant will predominantly produce SCR

Illegal bus operation claim in Macau MACAU The Commission against Corruption has accused the Transport Bureau of operating an illegal bus system, wasting public money and acting contrary to the public interest. A report released by the commission calls for the government’s contracts with bus operators to be scrapped. It says the system was illegal from the start because the Transport Bureau chose to sign service provider contracts with the three bus operators. The law allows private companies to operate bus services only under

public service concessions. The commission says this means Transportes Urbanos de Macau SARL (Transmac), Sociedade de Transportes Colectivos de Macau SARL (TCM) and Reolian Public Transport Co Ltd, are operating illegally. It describes the Transport Bureau’s actions as arbitrary and claims they deviate from the principles and demands of public management. It also says the bus system is the most serious case of harm to the public interest and violation of the law it has encountered – and a poor use of public money.

San Francisco exercises options for 50 more New Flyer Xcelsiors

CANADA New Flyer has con�irmed San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority (“SFMTA”), has approved the purchase of an additional 50 heavy-duty 40-foot Xcelsior dieselelectric hybrid buses. SFMTA will purchase these buses under an umbrella contract with the procurement department of another US State. This umbrella contract is a ‘standing offer’ open to public transit agencies across

010_013_CBW1114_International News.indd 13

the United States, and as a result, New Flyer does not record any �irm orders or options as part of its backlog until customer speci�ic orders are received. These 50 buses will be in addition to the 62 40-foot Xcelsior diesel-electric hybrid buses awarded to New Flyer in September 2012. Production of the 50 buses has begun and all are expected to be delivered by the end of 2013.

USA A new $87m bus rapid transit system for Fort Collins, funded mostly by federal grants, will not have the intended effect on traf�ic reduction. Local reports say the city estimates the expensive new project, designed to operate on dedicated bus lanes, will only reduce traf�ic congestion by 2% by 2035. The project was awarded Federal Transit Administration grant funding totaling $69.6m. Local and regional transit groups shouldered other costs, with Fort Collins paying just $4-$5m of the total. Since funding for the project was approved in 1997, the bus service, Fort Collins MAX, was hailed as an important means of �ighting congestion on the college town’s main north-south thoroughfares. Supporters of the MAX scheme say even if the new buses do virtually nothing to ease traf�ic congestion, the bus corridor will encourage denser development around the bus stations, which will help reduce reliance on cars.

(selective catalyst reduction) catalysts used to reduce emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) from diesel engines. John Walker, Executive Director of Emission Control Technologies Division said: “I would like to thank the Prime Minister and his government institutions for their support over the last �ive years. Our facility in Macedonia is seen as a benchmark of manufacturing excellence within Johnson Matthey and is recognised by our customers for its world class manufacturing design, technology and employees.”



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NEWS › REGIONAL MIDLANDS TO SHOW SUPPORT for the Royal British Legion this year, Redditchbased Diamond Bus is offering full-time members of the Armed Forces free travel from now up until the end of this year. All Diamond Buses will also show a Red Poppy in support of the charity. From now, full-time Armed Forces members who show their official forces ID card can travel a single journey free of charge on any Diamond Bus service. Redditch MP Karen Lumley said: “I welcome the news that all full time members of the Armed Forces will be given free travel on Diamond Buses. “Our Armed Forces are the bravest of the brave and I welcome any initiative which shows the utmost appreciation for the selfless work our troops do, risking it all for our country.” A Diamond spokesman said: “All of us at Diamond hope that this will go some way to showing our gratitude for the hard work our exceptional Armed Forces do.” A WOMAN who made a hoax claim there was a bomb in Walsall town centre bus station has been handed a jail term. Marie Booth was drunk at the time she made the false claim after pressing an emergency button at Walsall bus station. Transport bosses who were monitoring CCTV avoided a mass evacuation of the station as they could see on the pictures Booth was clearly intoxicated. The 38 year old, who is currently serving a three month prison sentence for an unrelated offence, was given a further eight weeks imprisonment by magistrates.


AN EMERGENCY interim bus service between Owslebury and Winchester is to become permanent. Xelabus surrendered their contract after a proposed retiming of the buses was rejected by Hampshire County Council. The service was quickly put out to tender and Stagecoach won the new contract on the basis of a three-day-a-week service, which civic chiefs now say will remain. A five-day-per week schools service will be provided during term time. Cllr Seán Woodward said: “In considering the longer term



replacement contract I have taken into account the usage and limited funds available. “Passenger numbers were low with an average of 10 passengers per trip and surveys showed the majority of journeys were for shopping. To return to a five days a week service would result in the contract price increasing by 53%. “I am therefore content that the current school service and three day a week shopper service offers a regular and reliable bus service which meets current demand and should be maintained.”


THE BUFFY ‘PLAYBUS’, a converted low-floor double-decker is to benefit from a grant of £164,744 to expand the service it provides. Uttlesford Buffy Bus Association (UBBA) in Saffron Walden, which was struggling on limited funds, was given the funding through the Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities programme. The service provides activities for pre-school children and their carers in rural and isolated communities. The funding hopes to enable the service to expand to meet demand, to engage more with disabled children through the provision of sensory toys, to develop communications skills and to increase cooking sessions. The project is expected to work with around 300 rurally isolated parents, carers and children, including those with physical and sensory needs.

14 | COACH & BUS WEEK | November 20, 2013

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Rosie Juhl, organiser of Buffy Bus, told the Cambridge Weekly News that the group were down to their last bit of funding before the grant came through and were planning to reduce their services. She said: “This has given the charity a lifeline, but it has also given all the families we help in Uttlesford a lifeline. “Often the Buffy Bus is a lifeline to the people that we go out to in communities where the parents don’t drive, are socially isolated, or cannot afford to spend money on activities away from their homes. “This is a fantastic boost for our organisation to get part-funding for five years. We are overjoyed with the news.” The charity hopes that receiving such a fund from the Big Lottery will help them to be seen as a more credible organisation to potential future funders. Jan Menell, Uttlesford Buffy Bus Association Chairman, said: “Buffy has served the community of Uttlesford for 19 years and this grant will enable us to refurbish a rather jaded looking Buffy Playbus and give us much needed financial security to continue with our work.”


ROTHERHAM residents have been invited to comment on proposals for changes to a number of the town’s bus services in a public consultation, which runs until Monday, December 2. The proposals include better coordinated timetables across

Rotherham’s bus services and more services to some areas, with the intention of improving punctuality and building a bus network for Rotherham which best meets customer needs. People can give their views online at or by filling in a questionnaire, available on most buses or from Travel South Yorkshire Information Centres in Rotherham, Dinnington and Meadowhall. A drop in sessions for people to give feedback was held in Dinnington on Thursday, November 14 and at the Kiveton Park and Wales Village Hall on Tuesday November 19. The changes are being proposed by Rotherham Bus Partnership, which brings together Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and local operators First South Yorkshire, Stagecoach, Powells and TM Travel.

THE INDUSTRIAL ACTION at independent bus company Network Warrington has been cancelled. Cllr Terry O’Neill commented: “We’re really pleased that the threatened strikes at Network Warrington have been averted. “Acas, the independent board of Network Warrington and the unions worked hard to present fair proposals to the workforce in the context of the company’s difficult financial situation, and it’s good that an agreement has been reached. “Obviously it’s great news for Warrington that the town won’t now experience the disruption that would have resulted.” There had been a succession of one-day strikes at Network Warrington, on Sunday, September 29, Monday, October 7 and Tuesday, October 15. Additional one-day strikes scheduled for the October 23 and 31 were suspended pending negotiations, and further strike action was planned for November 13-15.


BRISTOL COUNCIL LEADERS have promised to clamp down on bad parking in one of Bristol’s most exclusive neighbourhoods as part of a deal to bring buses back into the area. First changed services 40 and 40A in September to avoid Julian Road in Sneyd Park because of poor parking. Following discussions with a residents’

18/11/2013 15:44

Join the discussion on Twitter by following us at @cbwtweets and find us on Facebook at group, Mayor George Ferguson, Bristol North West MP Charlotte Leslie and cabinet councillor for transport Mark Bradshaw persuaded First to change the Cribbs Causeway to Avonmouth and Broadmead service. First said long-standing punctuality issues due to poorly parked cars should be ironed out following council commitments. It offered an early reintroduction as a gesture of goodwill before the highways issues are resolved in February. Paul Matthews, First West of England MD, said: “Local residents clearly felt very strongly that buses should serve Julian Road rather than Stoke Hill and it is in our interests to go where our customers want to go. However we have to marry that with the ability to run punctual and reliable services for the benefit of all passengers on the route. “We have experienced significant and long standing issues with buses being delayed by poorly

parked cars in and around Sneyd Park in the past, but following commitments from the city council we are confident that they can be resolved in the coming months. “We would have preferred to await implementation of the parking and highway issues before restoring the service, but we offered an earlier introduction as a gesture of goodwill.” Bill Redmond, Sneyd Park Residents Chairman, said: “This is really welcome news for the many hundreds of people who have sought restoration of the route – we have large numbers of both young and elderly people here who need public transport. This change, coupled with recent fare reductions, is a major boost. “The Residents’ Association look forward to working with First Bus and the city to make this work well.” The road measures are expected to be made in early February 2014, following registration and approval by the Traffic Commissioner.


Next year’s Commercial Vehicle Show takes place at the National Exhibition Centre near Birmingham from April 29-May 1

2013 n November 27 ATCO Winter Conference & AGM. Local Government House, Smith Square, London. n December 7 Ensignbus Christmas Vintage Bus Running Day on routes X55 and X81. Call 01708 86 56 56. Visit www.

2014 n January 1 Friends of King Alfred Bus Running Day. Winchester. Free bus rides & transport enthusiasts bazaar. n January 1 Oxford Bus Museum New Years Day & free vintage bus rides. 01993 861 617. www.

n January 23 CPT Annual Dinner. The Grange Tower Bridge Hotel, London. 020 7240 3131. n January 25 Excursions 2014 Alexandra Palace, London

BUS PASSENGER Alan Crowe can now travel as much as he likes in and around Bournemouth for nothing – after winning a Yellow Buses Glo Card valid for a year. He bought a raffle ticket as part of the company’s annual Pink Day, which raises money for Breast Cancer Care. This year Yellow Buses raised £2,357 for the charity and the free travel pass was the top prize on offer. Alan, from Kinson, is a regular bus user and said the Glo Card would be extremely helpful. He said: “I use Yellow Buses all the time and bought the ticket because it was for a good cause, but I never expected to win. “This will save me a lot of money over the year and I’m absolutely delighted with it.” Gareth Edwards, Yellow Buses’ Customer Services Manager, said: “We made a record amount on our Pink Day thanks to staff and all our passengers. The raffle was very popular and I’m pleased that one of our regular customers won the top prize.” The Pink Day has been held by the Bournemouth-based company for 11 years and thousands of pounds have been raised. Pictured here are Gareth Edwards (left) as he presents Alan with his prize.

014_015_CBW1114_Regional News.indd 15

n February 1, 2014 LTCOA Dinner Dance The Royal Garden Hotel, Knightsbridge. Call Sue Reynolds on 07932 158999 or email n March 4–7 QV Associates’ course Introduction to Bus & Crew Scheduling. Birmingham. 01905 613527.


n March 18-19 Young Bus Managers Network Conference. Reading. www.youngbusmanagers.

n March 25–28 QV Associates’ course Route & Timetable Planning Birmingham. 01905 613527. www.qv-

n April 5 South East Bus Festival. Kent Showground, Maidstone. www. n April 10 UK Coach Awards. Mercure Piccadilly Hotel, Manchester. n April 29-May 1 The Commercial Vehicle Show NEC, Birmingham. 01634 261262 n May 10-11 UK Coach Rally. Alton Towers. 01753 631170. n May 12-14 ALBUM Conference. Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh. n July 6-7 North Norfolk Railway Bus Rally. Heritage bus service both days, transport Festival on Sunday. Email bus@johnrstewart. for an entry form. n July 12–13 Routemaster 60. Finsbury Park, London. Organised by the Routemaster Association, the event will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the unveiling of RM1. n July 20 Alton Bus Rally. Anstey Park, Alton, Hants. www. n September 10-11 Low Carbon Vehicle Event, Millbrook, Bedfordshire. 01509 635 750. www. n September 21 Showbus 2014. Imperial War Museum, Duxford. n September 21 Imperial War Museum, Duxford. n September 25 - October 2 IAA Commercial Vehicle Show. Hannover, Germany.

Send your event details to gareth.evans@

November 20, 2013 | COACH & BUS WEEK | 15 18/11/2013 15:44


Cardiff collection boosted with Dart & a tow truck A 1995 Alexander Dash-bodied Dennis Dart & an ERF tow truck have been preserved at the Cardiff Transport Preservation Group’s Barry Bus Depot A traditional livery with a twist adorns one of the latest additions to The Bus Depot, Barry heritage bus collection. Late in September the Cardiff Transport Preservation Group (CTPG) did a deal acquiring two additional vehicles to its expanding collection of classic and historic buses. The preservationists based at a 1930’s former Western Welsh bus garage in Barry saw the arrival of a 32 year old tow truck, a big ERF machine suitable for towing buses, and an 18 year old former service bus, both from Cardiff Bus. CTPG Chairman Mike Taylor said:“Cardiff Bus had no further use of their tow truck as the operator subcontracts tow work. It had been kept as a stand by for three years and we did a deal to buy it and a former service bus. The tow truck represents part of an ancillary fleet which any large bus company used to have. New in 1981, it was purchased by Cardiff Bus in 1983. It was originally painted in the Orange livery with a white band to match the bus fleet of the time. Of late Cardiff Bus repainted it into their turquoisegreen, cream and orange pencil line livery adopted for buses in the 1990s. Now this livery on the bus fleet has been superseded by the current Ray Stenning-devised bright regency green and orange front livery so we have decided to keep the 1990s livery on our tow truck. It will also be a long time

Cardiff Bus T023 (N23OBO), an Alexander Dash-bodied Dennis Dart is seen when relatively new at the June 1997 Barry Rally. CTPG collection

The 1981-built ERF ex Cardiff Bus 073 NUT344W inside the The Bus Depot, Barry on November 2 sporting an adapted livery. Tudor Thomas before we preserve a bus in that livery as it’s almost ‘too modern’ but for younger enthusiasts it has its rightful place. Following a group discussion between Mike Taylor and Bob Sparks, a CTPG member who used

to drive and work the tow truck during his former days working for Cardiff Bus, it has been decided to put the CTPG name on truck – promoting the heritage vehicle group in a style not too dissimilar to how it used to look when

working for the bus company. The ERF tow truck is added to the collection of preserved vehicles and will not be used for reward or as a general towing vehicle. The preservation group said it still intends to use commercial contractors for heritage bus movements on the road. Mike continued: “The bus is a Dennis Dart single deck Cardiff Bus with 41-seat Alexander Dash body. This 1995-registered bus compliments our collection as an example of one of the more recent step-entrance type vehicles, now soon to be phased-out of public service. It currently wears a Ray Stenning-designed training bus livery, so we think that must be a first of his in preservation. We intend in a few years’ time to restore it to an ‘as delivered’ condition, in orange white and brown”. The preservation group told CBW it thinks it is important to have a few of the 1990s vehicles to allow all generations of the public to realise and appreciate how bus travel changes, as vehicles like this will soon not be in public service and the heritage movement is about preserving pieces of local transport history.

The Cardiff Transport Preservation Group was founded in 1992 by a small group of bus enthusiasts. Today it can claim a membership of over 120. Vehicle restoration occurs at the Bus Depot in Broad Street, Barry. (Registered Charity No. 1063157). For more information visit the group’s website at:

Central Buses’ RML2411 in service Central Buses will be turning back the years and operating a special vintage bus service on its route 92 between Lichfield and Sutton Coldfield on Saturday, November 30. The bus is a 1966-built London Routemaster RML2411 which has been fully restored to its former glory. The bus will be operating on all journeys with the exception of the 1410 journey from Sutton and 1440 from Lichfield. Normal fares apply and concessionary passes will be valid as usual. Geoff Cross, Managing Director of Central Buses told CBW: “’The

Routemaster catches people’s attention wherever it goes – we have had a phenomenal amount of interest from enthusiasts and the general public ever since we acquired the vehicle. While it earns its corn on wedding and private hire work, we occasionally enjoy being able to roll back the years and give the general public in the West Midlands the opportunity to ride a national classic.’’

For more details, visit or call Central Buses on 0121 356 3487.

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The Routemaster will certainly turns heads on route 92

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Guideway, the right way The Luton Dunstable Busway has been open for nearly two months. Andy Izatt takes a closer look at the project and tries out what’s on offer for himself


he Luton Dunstable kerb-guided busway, the UK’s latest high pro�ile Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) scheme, became operational on September 25 after an of�icial launch by then Parliamentary Under Secretary for Transport, Norman Baker the previous day. The busway has 6.1 miles of segregated bus-only road including 4.8 miles of concrete guided track and buses �itted with guide wheels are able to travel on it at speeds up to 50mph, halving journey times between the two towns. Around 43,000 vehicles use the A505 road and other routes between Houghton Regis, Dunstable and Luton each day. Buses covering the six miles from Dunstable town centre to Luton railway station were travelling at an average speed of less than 13mph. The journey could take more than an hour. By contrast, Busway trips between the two points can take as little as 11 minutes. Well over a quarter of a million people live in the Luton, Dunstable, Houghton Regis conurbation. Colin Chick, Corporate Director for Environment and Regeneration at Luton Borough Council said: “We have delivered the second longest busway in the world and the longest in an urban environment, serving more than 125,000 people living within walking distance of a bus stop, and we are looking forward hugely to the bene�its this will bring for passengers.” 18 | COACH & BUS WEEK | November 20, 2013

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Cost effective Transit

Kerb-guided busways represent relatively affordable BRT compared to tram or light rail. Whole life costs are low, the technology is simple, and the solution reliable and �lexible, enhancing the perception of public transport. While the kerb-guided ‘O-Bahns’ operating in Adelaide, Australia and Essen, Germany have been internationally recognised, the UK has also been a pioneer with eight systems of its own starting with the short lived Tracline 65 in Birmingham as long ago as 1984. Ipswich has a very short 200m section of guideway and Edinburgh Fastlink has been replaced by the still to be opened tram line, but there are signi�icant ‘tracks’ operating in Leeds, Bradford, Crawley and Cambridgeshire – the longest in the world – as well as between Luton and Dunstable. Central Bedfordshire Council signed a partnership agreement with Luton Borough Council before securing 90% Government funding for the project in 2009. The £91m cost of the busway and a £24m Luton town centre transport scheme are being part funded by the Department for Transport to the tune of £80.3m and £15.8m respectively. The town centre transport scheme sees the building of an inner ring road from the junction at Hucklesby Way and Old Bedford Road through to Crawley Green Road with completion expected in May 2014.

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Centrebus is operating East Lancs and Wrightbus-bodied Scanias

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Arriva Shires & Essex has made the greatest vehicle investment, buying 11 Wrightbus-bodied Volvo B7RLEs last year that initially operated on route 38 More than 4,500 six-metre concrete beams weighing 4.8 tonnes each were laid to create the busway track, seven new bridges were built and another three were refurbished or reconstructed. A cycleway footpath was also created along the route, that west of the M1 motorway also providing emergency access to the guideway. Barriers prevent unwanted motor vehicle access and there are ‘traps’ on the guideway itself. Stylish bus stop shelters are well lit and have ‘platforms’ to facilitate level boarding.

Paving like that used at pedestrian crossings marks the edge of the guidway for the visually impaired. There is also CCTV coverage. All busway stops have GPS-backed realtime passenger information, either three-line LCD displays on shelters or pole mounted, and there have been additional installations at around 150 other stops in the area. The Councils participate in a sub-regional consortium, the service being provided on their behalf by Vix. The real-time system is ‘REACT 3-enabled

Luton Dunstable Busway: A brief history The road to building the Luton Dunstable Busway has been a long one. Options studied more than two decades ago included reopening the Luton Dunstable railway line, which had ceased carrying passenger trains in 1963 and had closed to freight traffic in the late 1980s, in different configurations as passenger carrying rail or as light rapid transit. A public consultation about those options including a busway was first carried out in the mid-1990s. Another focussing more on the busway took place in 2000. A pre-order consultation started in 2002 and following the submission of a revised business case to the Department for Transport, was given ‘Programme Entry’ status the following year.

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A Public Inquiry opened in February 2005 followed by another during May 2006. A financial review of the busway scheme by Grant Thornton and Jacobs, presented to Luton Borough Council’s Scrutiny Committee in April 2007 concluded that the project could be delivered within budget. The design and build contract was awarded to contractor BAM Nuttall on May 10, 2010. Central Bedfordshire Council and Luton Borough Council have worked with the Wildlife Trust and local groups to create a biodiversity action plan as the disused railway corridor was a County Wildlife Site. Ecological surveys have been completed and designated sites are to be managed for 60 years through an agreement between the parties.

so visually impaired customers can be alerted when they’re near a stop and have the information read to them. REACT 3 key fobs are available from both Councils. Information columns at busway stops can display weather and community information as well as advertising. Permanent maps show the locality. There are 13 stands at a newlybuilt Luton Station Interchange replacing what was a rather poky undercover bus station in the town centre.

Business case

In presenting its Major Scheme Business Case for Full Approval in December 2009, Luton Borough Council explained: “The LutonDunstable-Houghton Regis conurbation experiences transport problems as a result of road traffic congestion. The development of approximately 43,000 new homes and 35,000 new jobs in Luton and South Bedfordshire is planned between 2001 and 2031 as part of the growth of the Milton Keynes/South Midlands sub-region, one of four growth areas identified in the Government’s Sustainable Communities Plan. Demand for travel is increasing and coupled with recent and planned development activity is, and will be expected to continue, putting more strain on existing transport networks. “Congestion also has a severe impact on the reliability and journey times for bus services in the peak periods, particularly on the approaches to and from Luton and Dunstable town centres, and the heavily trafficked A505 between Luton

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Luton Dunstable Busway: Service network

Grant Palmer has bought three Scania OmniCitys. Two previously operated on the Crawley busway

Inside one of Grant Palmer’s Scania OmniCity buses. This is one of two that are dual-door configuration and Dunstable and East Luton corridors, where the volume of general traffic can prove a considerable hindrance. Bus priority measures have been implemented wherever practicable, though the opportunities for further implementation of measures are limited by the demands on the existing highway network and the lack of attractive alternatives for car users in the event of road space re-allocation. “The Busway scheme will bring back into public transport use the Luton-Dunstable railway line. Buses will join and leave the busway at selected points, enabling them to serve significant parts of the Luton-DunstableHoughton Regis conurbation. In making use of the disused railway alignment, the busway

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avoids parts of the congested road network and provides improved bus journey times and greater reliability. “The area has been identified by the Government as a Priority Area for Economic Regeneration and transport improvements are fundamental to the regeneration of the area. Congestion also has an adverse impact on local businesses, and it is considered to be a deterrent to new employment-generating investment. The Busway route passes close to a number of sites proposed for re-development. It will have an important role to play in supporting inward investment to re-develop these areas and provide a sustainable means of transport for those people without access to a car.”

Arriva Shires & Essex, Leicester-based Centrebus and Grant Palmer of Flitwick have all signed a quality partnership agreement with Central Bedfordshire Council and Luton Borough Council to operate services on the Luton Dunstable Busway. Arriva and Centrebus had signed a Development Agreement in 2009, which helped pave the way to busway construction contracts being entered into. Local independent Grant Palmer expressed an interest last year. Journey time trials to allow timetables to be drawn up took place this summer once the infrastructure was largely complete. A requirement of the construction contract was that double-deck and articulated buses could be operated as well as singledeckers. Arriva’s service ‘A’ links Parkside and Houghton Regis with Luton Airport via Dunstable and Luton. Centrebus service ‘B’ runs between Downside estate and Dunstable and Luton while Grant Palmer’s ‘C’ connects Beecroft estate and Dunstable with Luton. Centrebus also operates half hourly ‘E’ between Luton and Toddington Green via Houghton Regis, but not Dunstable. There is no service ‘D’. Services A and B run seven days a week, routes C and E Monday to Saturday. First buses start from 0530hrs although most departures are between 0600hrs and 2345hrs. At peak times combined headway on the busway is seven minutes. Each operator charges the same on its busway services as it does for equivalent journeys on other routes. As well as single and day return tickets, a range of day and weekly fares are available. For example, Arriva’s weekly ticket is £14 while a Day Saver is priced at £4.00. Centrebus and Grant Palmer both charge £3.50 for a day ticket. A weekly ticket is £12.00 and there is inter availability between the two operators. Arriva and Centrebus tickets are available online. Arriva also has its mobile phone m-tickets and joined forces with Central Bedfordshire Council to launch an Employers Travel Club that offers 10% discounts on monthly and annual season tickets. Centrebus also has a travel club. Central Bedfordshire has opened a ‘Travel Choices Hub’ information centre in Ashton Square, Dunstable while Arriva has had a travel centre in Central Square, Luton since last month. Other operator’s timetables are available from there. A multi-operator day and weekly HipHop ticket, accepted on all Arriva and Centrebus services across Luton, Dunstable and Houghton Regis, is also valid on Grant Palmer’s busway service C. It costs £4.60 a day or £18.50 weekly.

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Luton Dunstable Busway:

A passenger’s experience My first journey was on Arriva service A from Houghton Regis Morrisons store towards Luton. There was a healthy load of passengers onboard


t was time to try the Luton Dunstable Busway for myself. My �irst journey was on Arriva service A from Houghton Regis Morrisons store towards Luton. The bus, a 41-seat Wrightbus-bodied Volvo B7RLE, was one of 11 new in September 2012 and initially used on route 38 (Dunstable Houghton Regis-Luton), but bought speci�ically for use on the busway once it opened. It arrived at 1029hrs. Presumably this was the 1024hrs timetabled departure on what at that time of day was a 15-minute frequency. The service was scheduled to start at Parkside Dog & Duck eight minutes earlier and already had a healthy load onboard – 23 passengers with another �ive joining with me. Six were children including a toddler in a pushchair – it was half term holiday. A courteous driver sold me a £4.60 HipHop multi-operator ticket, a customer-friendly Luton Dunstable Busway option of which irritatingly there is no equivalent on the Cambridgeshire Busway. That is unless you invest in a County Council Busway smartcard. Arriva’s route A runs to Luton Airport. The operator’s Green Line 757 from London, evicted from the airport earlier this year in favour of a new National Express service, now connects with the A at Luton Station Interchange where through passengers transfer. Route A buses are receiving a dedicated livery re�lecting this, but most currently remain in Arriva aquamarine. However, they have extensive luggage racking behind the driver’s cab and there were several bags in place on my journey. The bus onboard real-time next stop display also showed the date and time. There was roof cove panel promotional material, but I couldn’t see anything �lagging up the free WiFi which is available on these buses. While the saloon ambiance was pleasant, the �loor coud have been cleaner. 22 | COACH & BUS WEEK | November 20, 2013

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From Houghton Road, our bus turned left on to Townsend Farm Road and then right on to Blackburn Road. It’s an industrial estate, but quickly opens out with Dog Kennel Down on the left as the �irst section of initially unguided busway starts. There was no one at the Portland Ride stop and we were held for about 10 seconds by traf�ic lights at the junction with College Drive, Dunstable where we turned right past Central Bedfordshire College. Eight passengers left at the stop on Court Drive outside ASDA. It was 1034hrs. Our driver started to pull away, but patiently waited for a pedestrian crossing the road in front of him. Bus lane priority is in place along Court Drive, Vernon Place and Queensway round Dunstable

By this point our speed of progress could be measured against traffic on adjacent Hatters Way

town centre, welcome given the number of cars. Passengers leaving at the High Street North stop included the mother with the toddler in a pushchair. Another carrying her child also left us having folded up her pushchair and placed it on the racking. By 1040hrs we were at the Winston Churchill stop on Church Street (A505 towards Luton) where around 13 passengers boarded showing passes or paying cash fares. Timetabled departure was 1034hrs. We were away six minutes late. Traf�ic in the centre of Dunstable had been heavy, but bus lane priority continued to provide an advantage and remained in place until our bus rejoined the busway at Station Road at 1044hrs. There was still a good load of 27 onboard.

Once on the guideway our driver was cautious when reconnecting with the ‘track’ at breaks, pedestrian crossings and notably vehicle access points at Skimpot Road and Chaul End Lane, but his approach contributed to what was a smooth ride. There was one passenger off and another on at Stanton Road, the nearest stop for Luton & Dunstable Hospital some 700m away, at 1047hrs. A minute later we were crossing the M1 motorway and were soon passing the Luton Borough Council depot. At Clifton Road, the stop for Luton Town Football Club’s ground another passenger left at 1051hrs. By this point our speed of progress could be measured against traf�ic on the adjacent Hatters Way (A505 road) as we approached central Luton, but we had to negotiate traf�ic lights at New Bedford Road and then Guildford Street before accessing Luton Station Interchange. After our unimpeded journey the hold up seemed interminable, especially with the interchange in sight, but was probably not more than a minute. We were outside the station at 1053hrs, seven minutes behind schedule. There is a timetabled stopover at the interchange of between three and �ive minutes with good reason. While three passengers left the bus including myself, there were around 20 waiting to board for the eight-minute journey to the airport using a bus only link to Kimpton Road and then ordinary roads. Most of those waiting had probably arrived on a Green Line 757 and had luggage to load. A stop for Luton Airport Parkway on this �inal section of route A is shown on the busway map, but one apparently used on Airport Way, isn’t.

Centrebus & Grant Palmer

My next journey was on Centrebus service B from the Clifton Road stop towards Dunstable. When GPS-backed real-time displays work they’re a real asset – my

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Access to the cycleway and footpath is restricted

Busway bus stops have platforms for level boarding and are long enough to accomodate artics

bus, timetabled for 1215hrs on what is a half hourly service was expected four minutes late. When just a departure time is shown on the display it’s always a worry as it means the expected bus isn’t registering on the GPS. It simply disappears off the display at the appointed time regardless of whether it has arrived or not – disconcerting for waiting passengers. A curious feature of the displays was that Arriva departures were indicated as being wheelchair accessible, not that of other operators even though their vehicles are just as compliant. Clifton Road, typical of guideway stops, afforded a pleasant waiting environment although it was a sunny autumnal day. Shelter

free WiFi was available. The onboard next stop display showed just next stop information. Our driver was more assured at busway guideway ‘docking’ and maintained a good turn of speed. Cyclists and pedestrians using the path adjacent to the busway were more evident on this journey. At 1222hrs we were at the Stanton Road stop where one passenger departed. There was no reason to stop at the White Lion Retail Park stop and we turned off the busway onto College Drive Dunstable at 1225hrs depositing six passengers outside ASDA a minute later. Three joined us. We were held up by the traffic lights on to Dunstable High Street having to wait two phases before getting through. I left at the High Street North stop at 1232hrs.

Drivers will only leave their cars at home if public transport can deliver a demonstrable advantage. Luton and Dunstable are not unique in having a disused railway line that might be utilised

design is very stylish, but I’m not sure just how much protection would actually be afforded during inclement weather. There were ‘paper’ timetable displays for Arriva and Centrebus, but not Grant Palmer. An information column with a map of the locality showing up and coming departures in addition to the shelter-attached three-line LCD display. I boarded a 34-seat East Lancs Esteembodied Scania N94UB, one of six mostly East Lancs-bodied Scania N230UB/N94UBs (there’s one Wright Scania L94UB) that Centrebus has reallocated from Leicester. All have been re-registered with K-YCL plates. The driver examined my ticket carefully, as he should, and waited for me to sit down before moving away from the stop. There were around 16 passengers onboard including four children, one in a pushchair. The saloon interior was tidy with bright moquette and signage indicated

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The Central Bedfordshire Council bus stop flag in High Street North had a Busway flash. However, of the 13 routes indicated on the flag, none were busway services – not so helpful perhaps. The shelter displayed a Grant Palmer timetable. Grant Palmer route C takes a loop from Dunstable around Beecroft before returning to Luton. The bus I joined at 12.45hrs on its return journey was a 37-seat two-doored Scania OmniCity, 11 minutes behind schedule on what is a half hourly service. It was one of two buses bought for the Luton Dunstable Busway that had originally operated for Metrobus on the Crawley Fastway Busway. A third is a former Warwickshire County Connect vehicle and all now have consecutive and appropriate BU5WAY registration plates. This was probably the cleanest bus I travelled on and the deep red moquette seats looked

fresh and made for an inviting interior. The onboard next stop display also gave the time and date. The welcome from the driver was friendly too, confirming that I wanted to go to Luton, but there were only five passengers onboard including myself. There were no takers at the usually busy Winston Churchill stop as we left Dunstable. By 1248hrs we were back on the guideway. Our driver was the most assured of those experienced when it came to re-docking at track breaks and made quick work of the journey. A young man left us at Stanton Road and by 1251hrs we were again crossing the M1 motorway. We passed the Luton Borough Council depot two minutes later and were back at Luton Station Interchange at 1255hrs, only a minute down.

Compelling case

For me, the case for the Luton Dunstable Busway was made before I even got on a busway service. A broken down articulated lorry had part closed Junction 11 of the M1 motorway and the A505 Dunstable Road had been shut eastbound from the junction with Poynters and Skimpot Roads. An already overstretched local road network couldn’t cope and westerly traffic on the A505 was virtually at a standstill. Being in a car that morning was not a pleasant experience. It was evident that those traveling on the busway journeys I sampled were people who would more than likely be using buses anyway so perhaps there is still a long way to go in winning hearts and minds. But, change is possible. Well used car parks along the Cambridgeshire Busway are proof of that. Drivers will only leave their cars at home if public transport can deliver a demonstrable advantage. Our tightly built-up town centres that predate motor transport often afford little opportunity for bus priority measures, but Luton and Dunstable aren’t unique in having a disused railway line that might be utilised. Is it time to make a policy of developing similar opportunities elsewhere – even if it’s a freight line that sees only very occassional use? n

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November 20, 2013 | COACH & BUS WEEK | 25


Gloucester’s Gold Standard Operator Gareth Evans visits Bennetts of Gloucester, a renowned familyrun �irm which has been crowned National Express Operator of the Year for two consecutive years, 2011 and 2012

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last visited Bennetts Coaches in my first year of working full-time on CBW – in August 2007. Back then, the firm along with a host of other operators had to swallow the bitter pill of the great floods. I penned an article entitled ‘Forgotten flood victims’ – for that is what they were. Put simply, people weren’t catching buses as the shops were shut and vital incoming coaching work was cancelled. However, what I did find was a smart, professional operator – with a warm welcome to boot. Since then, I’ve watched with interest how the firm has developed. Bennetts is one of a small number of independent operators which have benefitted from the addition of National Express (NX) coach work. The systems and resources required have acted as something of a springboard for those concerned, enabling them to drive their business forward with enhanced workshop facilities and hours of operation.


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MD Peter Bennett hit the nail on the head when he observed: “Things have definitely changed here in the last three to four years. NX has changed us for the better. “This company was started by my dad but he died young. I’m now 62 and I’m personally trying to cut back. “I’m happy with the team here – my son Gavin manages the workshop and Melissa oversees the back office systems, such as HR, health & safety etc. She’s been here 18 months or so and previously worked in the NHS. Gavin has been here for 12 years. He’s grown up with the business – as you do in a family-run firm. Peter is rightly proud of Gavin. “He’s been kart racing since the age of eight – he’s now 34. We race super karts at venues such as Silverstone and Le Mans. He’s been European Champion three times. “As a result of that, we started building sport motorhomes. We’ve been at it for the last two and a half years. It’s a slight diversification for us and is based on the same site. It trades as GP Motorhomes, which doesn’t stand for grand prix but Gavin and Peter. “We’ve raced as far away as Dubai and the USA. We’ve also driven to the Czech Republic. That’s my hobby too – along with playing golf. If you have a game of golf, you can switch off for four to five hours. “18 months ago I did a half world cruise. I was away from the business for six weeks. The exercise of ‘can they manage without me’ was successfully tested. “While I don’t wake up of a morning and dread coming into work, I’ve gradually wound down my day-to-day duties. I still do the scheduling but our Operations Manager Chris Lucassi and Gavin understand it all. It’s putting drivers with the right customers. There’s room for all types of personalities. I regard that as one of my skills – matching personalities with customers. “I have an engineering background. Dad had his first heart attack when I was 21– he died four years later. I’ve been responsible here for 40 years – but the same philosophy remains. Do a good job every time and run on time. “For too many coach operators, their competitors are yard sticks. The key is knowing

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OPERATOR PROFILE › BENNETTS OF GLOUCESTER your costs. Do we want to reduce costs? Not really – we’re never going to slash our maintenance spend – but it’s vital to ensure customers pick up the bill. “In a similar vein, we don’t do many stag and hen do jobs. If a driver is out until 0300hrs, you’ve lost him or her for both the morning and the following day, so customers have to pay for two day’s work.” Chris observed: “People often ask why we’re expensive. I tell them they should ask why others are so cheap.” On that note, it is worth remembering that Chris started as a driver at Stagecoach Cheltenham & Gloucester in 2000. “I was there for two years. The NX service was the 412 but it was won by First Coaches of Bristol upon re-tender. Within six months I was working out of Bristol as Operations Manager. First lost it upon re-tender to Bennetts. Prior to coaching, I worked in customer services, so I’m used to working with the public.” Peter continued: “I’m no bus fanatic – it’s my livelihood. Frankly the only thing I’m interested in is ensuring a reasonable pro�it margin is maintained. I can’t remember the last time I drove a bus – I’ve only done four or �ive private hires in my life. I used to drive the occasional school run when dad was alive. “I can’t say the recession has really impacted on us – school traf�ic has only dipped slightly. Whether I’ve been lucky in business I don’t know – perhaps dad is looking over me.” Peter said it’s important to adapt your business with changing times. “In preFraser Eagle days, we used to do lots of rail replacement. Then the rates plummeted. They more than halved – so we moved away from that work. If you want the job done decently and properly, come and talk to us. “Coach brokers are a nightmare. They always want to make more than you as an operator and they all seem to have ‘nice’ websites. They can also leave customers disappointed.” However, Peter admitted: “I’ve never been

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Five coaches work on National Express work with each one doing two departures per day good at marketing – customers tend to approach us. That’s what happened with NX. NX are very good payers. I commend them for always being on time. “NX work has given us con�idence to invest in our workshops, which were extended and modernised at the end of 2011. The garage now has �ive bays, two of which have pits. “Our yard is full – we physically can’t operate any more out of here. A saving grace is that two of our NX coaches are always out in service at any one time. “It can get hectic here when the P&R buses need fuelling and cleaning at the end of the day and we have a coach on a tight turnaround, at the same time as drivers want to go home. That said, it’s all about team spirit. We all muck in to get the job done. “We have a good team of staff here, some of whom have been with us for many years. They have helped secure our reputation across Gloucestershire.”

The National Express revolution

Bennetts currently operates all National Express diagrams running in and out of Gloucester. “The initial quotation was for Hereford and Gloucester – in short, the old First journeys,” explained Peter. “In the end, NX awarded the Hereford runs to Yeomans and we did the Gloucesters. Although we had four Volvos, one spare was costed we actually acquired two spares. These are NXspec Caetano Levante-bodied Mercedes-Benz OC500s. True to form, we wanted to deliver for our customers. NX agreed to them. They’re our own coaches – we also use them on private hire, which they’re ideal for as they’re �itted with PLS wheelchair lifts.” Peter continued: “The contract was awarded for seven years but we’ve leased the Volvos for three and a half years. I didn’t want to take the �inancial risk with speci�ic speci�ication vehicles

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“We pay our staff well and keep our vehicles clean. High standards are vital” – Peter Bennett as the depreciation was an unknown quantity. It’s the only time we’ve leased vehicles but it’s de�initely been the right thing to do. We’re going to replace them next April with four new Volvos. Initially we were operating the airport runs and Stagecoach ran the journeys to Victoria Coach Station. “We won National Express Operator of the Year for two years running. We’re now up to 10 departures a day from Gloucester per day. As an interim, one Mercedes Caetano has been permanently allocated to NX work but a new Volvo is due to arrive imminently. That will be on a four-year lease, so the expiry will be in line with the end of the contract.” Five coaches work on NX duties – each one does two departures per day. The �irst one leaves the depot at 0130hrs and the last one leaves at 1915 and returns at 0330hrs. Re�lecting on the NX work, Peter commented: “We’ve coped well. Chris came here over from First. He came highly-recommended.” Chris said: “I ensured there was a smooth transition between First and Bennetts in November 2010. Initially I was solely NX but my role changed as the business evolved. I still oversee NX but the day-to-day is managed by our two Driver Training Of�icers (DTO).” Peter added: “There’s no way we could have started on day one on NX without Chris and the DTOs. It also helps with continuity.” At Bennetts, a spare driver is available 24/7 to cover NX duties. “I don’t feel you can run it any other way,” remarked Peter. “It’s always best to have contingency plans in place. Yes, it’s easy to say a driver always turns up but there is bound to be one day when s/he doesn’t. We’ve got 17 drivers and two DTOs who can cover driving on NX. “Yes we could save money. It would be only too easy to call NX and say we’ve had a failure but I wouldn’t dream of doing that to any of our customers. In fact, almost everyone here has got a PCV.” The late spare driver books on at 1400hrs,

ensuring there is cover until the morning. “I’ve put these resources in place to help ensure we run a compliant operation. We’ve never cancelled a job for a customer,” stressed Peter.

Business mix

Bennetts continues to operate the Park and Ride services in Gloucester and Cheltenham. Indeed, Peter said this element forms an important part of the business. While Bennetts no longer operates any tendered school contracts, it does run its own network of home to school services. Peter took up the story: “Most, if not all school runs have been developed by us – they’re commercial and not tendered. We sink or swim, depending on the parents buying passes. Yes it’s hectic in August but it soon settles down. We’re also in control of our own destiny.” Turning to private hire, Peter said: “We’re still doing lots of private hire too, which is going particularly well. Indeed, there’s no shortage of it – to the point we’ve got to seriously consider hiring two extra drivers. “While Beavis and Davis closed their doors earlier this year, I’m not consciously aware of other operators buying additional vehicles to cover the void – and the same goes for us. We’ve been hovering at 30/31 vehicles for some time. “The launch of BUSK’s Simply Safe scheme has helped too. It’s certainly focussed the minds of some schools around here. The concern I have is that if it becomes too widespread, it will render the scheme pointless. It’s therefore vital that it remains a quality standard.” While Roeville’s computerised booking system is used, the �irm doesn’t currently run its own trips and tours – it works with Group Travel Organisers (GTOs) instead. However, Peter observed: “We can’t rule it out in future. I think the market for private hire from social groups will decline. Younger people don’t socialise in the same way as their forefathers. Works sports clubs and social

Bennetts has its own ERF recovery vehicle adding another dimension to the business

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A brief history Bennetts was founded in 1962 when Arthur Ernest Bennett was made redundant from the Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Works where he was a coach builder. He got a job at Presteel, Swindon as a car builder, along with some of his colleagues who were made redundant. After buying an 11-seater minibus, he began transporting them to work with them contributing towards the cost. Arthur soon started evening and weekend work taking skittles teams and a local dance band to their venues, with his daughter Pauline keeping the books. Arthur took a PSV driving test through Cathedral Coaches. He was then able to drive a 53-seater coach. He left Presteel and started working from his home, hiring out minibuses both with a driver and for self-drive. In 1966 Bennetts Coaches bought its first second-hand full-size coach – a 41-seater Bedford Harrington and the firm moved to a building at the rear of the ambulance station on Eastern Avenue, Gloucester. The half-acre site was rented from Gloucestershire County Council and a garage and office were erected. While there, a tender was won for five school contracts. This led to the need for additional land to be rented in Fairford in 1971, while also maintaining the Eastern Avenue site. Arthur’s eldest son, Roy, moved to Fairford to become manager and mechanic. He employed six drivers for the contracts. Due to difficulty in recruiting local drivers and the soaring cost of fuels, the Council opted to run its own school buses. After five years, Arthur decided to base all coaches in Gloucester. A year later, in 1977, Arthur died. The firm was divided between his wife Dora and three children Roy, Peter, and Pauline, meaning there were now four partners in the business. In the same year, their first new coach was purchased, a Duple-bodied Ford R1114. In 1979, a limited company was founded – P & R Bennett (Coaches) Ltd . From 1978 an orange band was added to the blue and grey livery. The side panels of all the fleet also included a winged horse motif. The design was adopted by Arthur, who during WW2 had served in the Airborne Division, whose badge was mounted on a flying horse. The Pegasus, shown riderless, is used to this day on the logo. When Glevum Coaches decided to sell up in 1978, Bennetts bought six contracts and two coaches. Contracts were also acquired from Edwards Coaches in 1980 when that firm ceased trading. In the same year, a bid was made for a 1.1-acre site, still on Eastern Avenue. The firm moved into its new site in May 1981. In 2003 Roy retired but remains a shareholder. In February 2007 Pauline also retired. Peter continues to head up the business as MD, with the support of Operations Manager Chris Lucassi. To ensure the family links are maintained, Peter’s son Gavin, currently works as Workshop Manager and Melissa Lovell, Pauline’s daughter, oversees administration.

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OPERATOR PROFILE › BENNETTS OF GLOUCESTER groups have declined too – employers no longer subsidise them in the way they once did. “I feel GTOs will diminish. You get people who are in their early 60s who enjoy going on coach holidays but they don’t get involved with the WI and Derby & Joan or similar clubs. “We may run our own tours if we identify sufficient demand. That said, I feel school private hire will continue to prosper.”

The secret to success?

“A local enthusiast comes here and tells us he’s often asked by others how Bennetts do it. The answer is there is no secret formula,” remarked Peter. “We only employ two part-time drivers – the remainder, 60, are full-time. We don’t cut corners. We pay our staff well and keep our vehicles clean. High standards are vital. I don’t know how some operators can do such a bad job of it. We try to answer the phone promptly and turn quotes around as quickly as we can.” As is well-known, people play a vital role in our industry, something Peter readily acknowledged: “If you can identify some good in a driver, you can try to address any issues, such as appearance. Drivers are at the forefront of our public image – we are lucky in that we employ a great team.” Chris said a key factor with the private hire coaching side is that each driver is allocated their own vehicle, which means they take pride in it. Peter agreed: “It’s their living space. There’s always a pecking order. Customer feedback and retirement is how they move up – they all get opportunities to impress. The policy can mean a coach is parked up for two days but if we’re busy, a coach goes out regardless. I’ve always said we can never buy 15 new vehicles at the same time. If we did that, they would all get old at the same time.” Peter is happy with the fact Traffilog trackers are fitted to all the firm’s vehicles: “Trackers enable us to give reassurance to customers – NX insist on it. Using the system has also helped to get the message to drivers for them to drive more consistently.” Chris said the performance of individual drivers is monitored. “Problems can be nipped in the bud. It’s also a valuable tool in helping to resolve customer complaints,” he explained. “All complimentary letters and emails are posted on a board for the drivers to see – I think it helps to motivate our staff.” However, both Chris and Peter were keen not to forget the contribution of the cleaners. “We’ve got two great cleaners. They don’t baulk at anything. They’re an easily overlooked but essential part of the team,” said Peter. Chris agreed: “If an NX coach is running late, the cleaners will stay behind to clean it and anyone else in the depot will help too.”


The fleet is dominated by Mercedes-Benz products. Five executive-specification 49-seater Tourismos form the frontline private hire coach fleet, aided by a ‘standard’ 53-seater Tourismo, a solitary 32-seater Tourino, and three Touros, two of which are 53 and one 49-seater. There is also a pair of Caetan-bodied Mercedes-Benz OC500s in the fleet, which are 30 | COACH & BUS WEEK | November 20, 2013

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“I’ve put the resources in place to help ensure we run a compliant operation,” said Peter

Older vehicles include Alexander-bodied Volvo Olympians and DAF Van Hools equipped with wheelchair lifts. The plain whitecoloured coaches make up the ‘spare’ vehicles for the NX work, although they are owned by Bennetts and used on private hire. The four National Express-specification Volvo Levantes are leased. Not to be forgotten is a trio of trusty 53-seater DAF Van Hools. The bus fleet comprises eight 42-seater Mercedes-Benz Citaros and four Volvo Olympians, three of which are ex Lothian Buses. This year has seen a significant £1.75m investment in the fleet, with eight new vehicles comprising five NX Volvos and three Tourismos. At the time of going to press, not all had been delivered. While a 13-plate and one 63-plate Tourismo is in service, another Euro 5 63-plate Tourismo is due soon. “Euro 5 has influenced our investment this year,” explained Peter. “We can see how Euro 6 performs but it doesn’t alter the fact we have invested in new vehicles for the fleet this year. “I tend not to over specify vehicles, but I am happy to accommodate the needs of customers.

The latest example is the new coach for Gloucester RFC. The Tourismo is an excellent all-round vehicle – and the Mercedes-Benz badge carries prestige with customers. The fleet is maintained by four dedicated mechanics working on site to ensure the vehicles are safe and ready to go out on the road each day.” Looking to the future, Peter said: “I’m unsure where we’re going with double-deckers. I’m not saying they’re good or bad – they’re just not top of my pride list. Also, I’m not sure whether 70-seater single-deckers are necessarily the way to go either. The question I ask myself is if we send one of those to London, are the customers going to use us again?” Peter concluded: “That said, we’ve got to keep our options open. Our double-deckers do specific school runs – they never go out on private hire. We always keep them firmly on home turf. I’ve never been tempted to fit them with seatbelts. We’re certainly not geared up for 15-metre vehicles – the current yard would exclude it.” n

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A longstanding British manufacturer supplying the bus and coach industry with safety �looring is Altro. Andy Izatt �inds out more about what the company has to offer

ltro, the UK-based Service Excellence Manager Terry AT A G L A N C E manufacturer Oakley told CBW. “Our people play Supplier: Altro of wall and �loor a key part in that. Customers love Location: Letchworth coverings, has a their enthusiasm, the culture of Contact: 01462 480480 long history which the company. It’s what makes us goes back more than nine unique.” decades to 1919. It’s based at Terry explained that listening to Letchworth Garden City in Hertfordshire and is customers and acting on their suggestions has owned by the Kahn family. CEO Richard Kahn is become a carefully monitored and structured the third generation to run the business. process. Altro’s ‘Voice of the Customer’ Employing more than 600 people globally, Altro programme has been in place since 2008 and has subsidiaries in the USA, Canada, Germany, has proved an essential part of the business. Spain, Denmark, Sweden and Australia. As well as �looring for transit, Altro produces Distributors sell its products in more than 50 �looring, walling, doors and ceiling products countries. for use in a wide range of construction markets Altro can be credited with inventing safety including healthcare, education, retail and �looring, introducing it commercially in 1954. industrial. Customers from all business areas Whilst sales to the bus, coach and rail sector are invited to visit Altro’s Letchworth HQ, take came a little after that, the manufacturer is long- part in conferences and events or complete established in this sector. The ‘transit’ speci�ic feedback forms. The in-depth information Trans�lor range was �irst introduced 10 years provided through this programme helps to ago with options now including Altro Trans�lor inform everything from product development Chroma Windmill, Altro Trans�lor Chroma, Altro to customer service and technical support. Trans�lor Suprema II, Altro Trans�lor Meta, “In the past we were internally focussed on Altro Trans�lor Wood Safety and Altro Trans�lor product launches,” said Terry. “Now it’s all Wood Smooth. about customer contact.” Terry is tasked with Although the UK bus �looring market sees hosting those customer visits and collating UK manufacturers facing strong competition feedback. “People are not used to being asked from overseas, Altro’s UK Transit Key Account their opinion,” he said. “Whatever they say I feed Manager, Paul Leigh is determined to grow in. I want to identify trends, the more detail the market share. He has considerable production better – we learn about all the positive things experience and knows his market. we do for our customers, but also hear the things that may prevent us from obtaining work. Learning from unhappy customers can help Customer focus show where we can improve what we do.” “One of the aspects that differentiates us from CEO Richard Kahn helps host most visits competitors is the customer experience,” 32 | COACH & BUS WEEK | November 20, 2013

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Paul Leigh with Altro PR and Advertising Specialist Danielle Ashton and Terry is tasked with keeping him up to date with the latest �indings. “It’s top down support for the business,” said Terry. “I always have Richard Kahn’s full support. We have a better relationship with customers and the programme is delivering results.” The programme has helped Altro deliver real and meaningful changes. Altro has found that sometimes small changes can make all the difference – such as adding additional deliveries to help distributors boost sales, or changing carrier company if the service wasn’t completely up to scratch. Feedback from the programme has also helped shape product development and team structure, helping to ensure knowledge is shared in the most effective way and that customers receive the best service. Perhaps unsurprisingly, customer loyalty is high across all sectors as people respond well to having their views listened to.

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Production usually takes around 45 minutes from start to winding onto 40 square metre rolls Scrim, a fibre glass woven material used as a core, receives layers of PVC paste

Altro Transflor Chroma safety flooring is widely used in buses

The Altro name has been long established over nine decades and is well know industry-wide

Product development

Since inventing safety flooring more than 60 years ago, the company has continued to innovate, being repeatedly at the forefront of product development. Recent developments in flooring for construction sectors include Altro Aquarius – the first combined shoe and barefoot safety flooring for use in both wet and dry conditions, and Altro Xpresslay, what Altro describes as being “the world’s first adhesivefree, truly sustainable safety floor.” Available in 42 colours, Altro Xpresslay contains recycled material, is 100% recyclable post-installation, can be lifted and reused after initial installation, and is installed using a tape system instead of adhesive – it was used to great effect last year at the London 2012 Olympics. The transit side of Altro’s business benefits from the company’s significant investment in R&D as expertise is applied to products

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in this sector too. Tighter regulations have raised compliance standards and as vehicle manufacturers pursue weight saving, so construction techniques have been revised to incorporate greater flexing in body structure – reasons why Altro decided to introduce a dedicated transit range with products that have additional tensile strength and elongation. They’re identified by a TF reference number. All three main UK builders, Alexander Dennis, Optare and Wrightbus have approved Altro products.

Secrets in the mix

Manufacturing Technician, Steve Gibson outlined the production process. Scrim, a fibre glass woven material used as a core, receives layers of PVC paste made with liquid and powder polymers blended with plasticisers and stabilisers with aggregates including aluminium and glass used depending on what product is being made. The resulting ‘sandwich’ type structure is baked. Safety flooring is usually 2.2mm thick, an industry standard, though Altro makes a range of thicker products for when even greater durability is required. Different techniques are used to create texture while pigments drawn from a mix of 10 base colours creates as near as possible the desired colour. Transit customers

Safety flooring is usually 2.2mm thick, an industry standard

usually have particular requirements and their needs are met by using a spectrometer and Minolta standard matching system. While polyurethane powder has been used as a top coat to repel dirt in the past, resin has increasingly substituted in recent years. Altro has developed what it calls its Altro Easyclean Maxis PUR technology, which it says “demonstrates industry-leading ease of cleaning, excellent resistance to staining and chemicals, long-term dirt pick-up performance and colour retention.” “Altro Easyclean Maxis PUR not only makes the flooring easy to clean and maintain, it affords colour retention for life,” says the company. “An impervious membrane will protect a vehicle’s subfloor from the ingress of water, by coving and hot welding sheets. Products retain their slip resistance for life owing to the incorporation of slip resistant minerals throughout the entire thickness from surface to base.” Product warranty is usually at least seven years, but can be much longer thanks to technical advances in coat curing and binding.

Large scale operation

Altro manufactures safety flooring on site at its Letchworth HQ, working 24 hours a day, five days a week producing flooring for construction and transit sectors. Maintaining consistency throughout the production process is essential. Viscosity, temperature and density are checked every 20 minutes. Waste materials produced on line are recycled. Altro installed what it says is the world’s

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Vital skills for success

Courses on Network and Timetable Planning Bus and Crew Scheduling

QV Associates 34 | COACH & BUS WEEK | November 20, 2013

2 Bath Road Worcester WR5 3EJ Phone 01905-613527 Fax: 01905-767509 email


Available in 18 colours, Altro Transfor Chroma is a vinyl flooring with dirt-hiding characteristics

been done before. It looks superb.” Altro Suprema II was also used in The Green Bus Company Alexander-bodied Dennis Trident refurbished for display at Euro Bus Expo last year. Coordinated by Rowan Telmac, several industry suppliers contributed to the project, which was designed to highlight all their services and products. Rowan Telmac Refurbishment Manager, Geoff Goddard said: “I worked closely with Altro and The Green Bus Company design team and two colours from the flooring range were selected – ‘grape’, which is black with white flecks and ‘melon’ which is a pale green with green and white flecks. “Altro then sent their own expert fitter to lay the flooring. There were some really nice touches. We completed the overall refurbishment in four-and-a-half weeks and the bus caused a real stir at Euro Bus Expo because it was bright, colourful and the flooring was a hit, too. It was a superb challenge and a very positive result.” Altro Transflor Chroma has been fitted to 31 new Enviro200s operated by Abellio in London as well as 26 Volvo and 19 Alexander Dennis

Materials are stored in silos with a combined 230-tonne capacity

Altro Transflor Chroma is manufactured in 1.8mm, 2.2mm and 2.7mm thicknesses first safety flooring recycling system which has allowed the company to operate a zero PVC waste to landfill policy since 2007. The system offers a closed loop recycling process and is capable of recycling more than 500 tonnes of factory waste PVC every year. This means all Altro safety flooring contains up to 20% recycled content. Unable to expand horizontally because of constraints on the factory site, expansion was achieved vertically by raising the roof of the factory a year and a half ago. Materials are stored in massive silos with a combined 230-tonne capacity and pumped onto the production line as required. Manual handling is kept to a minimum. A lot depends on the product and what aggregates are being added, but production usually takes around 45 minutes from start to winding onto 40 square metre rolls. Customer specifications vary. Alexander Dennis, for example, uses 46 square metre rolls for its Plaxton coaches. Pre-cut kits for buses can be prepared by hand prior to dispatch by four cutters in an adjacent building. These kits can help save time at installation stage.

Supply chain sustainability

As one of two founder members of Recofloor, the flooring industry’s vinyl take-back scheme, Altro has done much to help those along the supply chain improve their environmental credentials.

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Recofloor collects safety and smooth vinyl off cuts and uplifted smooth vinyl, diverting them from landfill. As the first manufacturer with the capability of recycling safety flooring in-house, Altro collects all the safety flooring on behalf of the scheme, irrespective of manufacturer. Waste vinyl flooring is collected from flooring contractors, distributors and large construction sites using reverse logistics. Recofloor has collected and recycled over 1,500 tonnes of waste vinyl flooring.

Proven in service

Installation guidance and handy hints videos are available on the Altro website and on YouTube. There are also 133 case studies on the website including several focussing on transit customers. Blackburn-based refurbisher, Bus and Coach World (B&CW) used Altro Transflor Suprema II flooring in an East Lancs-bodied DAF DB250 demonstrator which was exhibited at this year’s ALBUM conference near Grantham. B&CW Managing Director, Robert Hilton said: “We wanted to use something completely different. Altro’s designers recommended we use their new Altro Transflor Suprema II safety flooring because it has a wide range of colours, it’s very low maintenance and has a long life. “We were very creative in the patterns and designs we used in installing the flooring, mixing the colours and inlaying a diamond pattern in a way which I don’t think has ever

double-deckers that are being refurbished by Truck Align and Alexander Dennis respectively. Abellio’s Fleet Engineer, Richard Gilmore said: “I have worked with Altro before and always been very impressed with the quality, performance and ease of maintenance. When it came to selecting safety flooring for this new and refurbished fleet, we had no hesitation in specifying Altro. The new buses are now in service. The flooring looks very smart indeed and is performing well. It’s also easy to clean and maintain, which is major factor, especially with the extremely hard and wet winters we’ve been having in recent years. Altro flooring cleans up like new and can withstand dirt and water over many years. “The safety aspect is also a vital factor, and we have total confidence that passengers have the best flooring underfoot, even in the harshest conditions. Going forward, we will ensure that all our new buses are fitted with Altro flooring.” Paul concluded: “We want people to understand what our product does. Yellowbus (Bournemouth) and Anglian Bus use us. The 100 Enviro400s that First ordered for the Olympics had our flooring. So did the 198 Solo kits Optare supplied to South Africa. We do all Optare’s stock vehicles. “We supply refurbishers like Hants & Dorset Trim, Lawton Services, Thornton’s and ADL at Harlow as well as Bus & Coach World and Rowan Telmac, but we’re also happy to sell direct to small operators looking to tidy up a vehicle. Herberts Travel (of Bedford) is refurbishing 12 vehicles with our flooring. We’re here for the long term and have excellent back up and service.” n

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National Express West Midlands (NXWM) has recently taken delivery of 26 new ADL Enviro 400s – one of which is fleet number 4922, registered ‘BK63YWH’ and allocated to Perry Barr Garage. Interestingly, the bus carries the operator’s much improved new style of route branding, which is the work of renowned bus marketing specialist Adam Rideout, who joined the firm from Stagecoach Midlands. The branding is for the Sutton Lines group of services, which link Sutton Coldfield with Birmingham. The vehicle is about to work a route 907 journey to Sutton, via Perry Barr and New Oscott. The scene was caught on camera by NXWM employee Tony Hunter, showing the bus awaiting departure from Moor Street Queensway, Birmingham city centre on November 7.

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DriveCam has seen the most use in the coach and bus industry

Driving risk away T here are many telematics systems on the market which can be used to improve driver behaviour, by monitoring braking, steering, overrevving and so on. Similarly, there are plenty of choices of CCTV to provide visuals on what is going on onboard. Lytx (pronounced ‘Litix’), the San Diego-based company behind DriveCam, argues that CCTV, crash recorders and blackbox telematics are all technologies which do not provide adequate driver risk management alone. It instead provides a hybrid of this technology – a forward facing camera, inward facing camera, audio and predictive analytics technology, to give a complete, unbiased picture of risky driver behaviour, which can then be analysed and used to coach drivers or resolve disputes where necessary. I spoke to Paul Jones, Vice President & General Manager of European Operations, who has worked with the company for eight years. He was brought in when the company was transitioning from a hardware supplier to the service provider it is today. He explained his role at the company has predominantly involved passenger transport companies, working closely with �irms in North America like First Transit, Greyhound and MV Transportation. He has also been involved with a number of municipalities in the states, including those based in San Francisco in California, Austin in Texas and Washington DC.

A new name

When DriveCam started up, the concept of an onboard camera was relatively new. Since the company has changed to be more service

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James Day speaks to Paul Jones, Lytx’s Vice President & General Manager of European Operations about DriveCam, an effective driver safety management service which combines forward and driver focused cameras with audio and predictive analytics technology. focused, the company decided that while DriveCam was still appropriate for the product, it didn’t adequately show that there was more to offer than this. The company has therefore changed its name in recent weeks to Lytx. “What we’re doing is using predictive analytics and analysing patterns of behaviour,” Paul said. “The camera is the device that collects data, but the real thing we do is the analytics. We’re different because we’re providing more than just a camera system.” DriveCam endures as the name of Lytx’s �lagship product and service, which is now known as ‘DriveCam powered by Lytx.’

The DriveCam

The DriveCam is a dual-lens event recorder, which uses exception-based technology. This means it is recording all the time, but it only saves data in 12 second clips when risky driving manoeuvres, such as harsh breaking or sharp steering, or an impact triggers an accelerometer inside. “It uses sophisticated, industrial grade technology,” Paul explained. “The data

received from each vehicle is different, so it’s like they have their own unique �ingerprint. Using these ‘�ingerprints’ makes the technology really good at predicting when a vehicle is being driven poorly. “It’s engineered to go into all commercial vehicles on the road – anything you can imagine, and we’ve had customers who have used the same camera in their vehicles for six or seven years. It’s very high quality equipment.” DriveCam has been working with UK clients for around seven years, including some work with FirstGroup. “As business was moving along and the economy took a dip in 2008, we tried to align resources where the business was,” Paul explained. “I moved over here at the start of the year and we now have six staff working in our London of�ice, along with support

“What we’re doing is giving predictive analytics – Paul Jones

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team of about 20 around the country. “There’s quite a bit of demand for DriveCam in the UK. Operators are generally experienced with some form of telematics and most have been exposed to CCTV or some form of vehicle tracking. What we’re finding is that there’s an enormous interest in how to prevent accidents, meaning the concept of an exception based behaviour programme is of significant interest.”

Foundations in passenger transport

While DriveCam has been adopted and used across a variety of transport industries, being attractive to any organisation which has vehicles on the road all the time, it has seen most use in the coach and bus industry. “Looking at our heritage, it’s easy to point to coaches and buses,” Paul said. “The return on investment for this industry is huge. When you’re carrying passengers, its not just the vehicles involved in the accident you need to be concerned about – the exposure and liability goes up exponentially.” DriveCam attended Coach & Bus Live 2013, where the company gave a detailed presentation on its product in the ‘Master Class Theatre’, which it sponsored itself. “The show was extremely positive for us,” Paul stated. “Our booth was almost overrun at times. “There were people who may have heard of us before the show, but weren’t sure exactly what we offered. What really captured their imagination was using the camera to manage risk. “There are incidents which may be brought up by other forms of telematics where the driver may not remember exactly what happened. Showing the driver the footage is much more powerful. “People liked how the camera is constantly recording, but they don’t have reams of CCTV tapes to look through to find what they’re looking for. We do all that for them and offer another level of analytics.”

From suspicion to approval

Clearly, drivers are likely to be uncomfortable about a camera trained on them while they are driving, making them sceptical about the system initially. However, Paul claimed that once it is explained that the cameras can often help to exonerate them when they are blameless and are only recording when a specific event happens, they have been overwhelmingly positive about it. “The safest drivers love DriveCam as it reinforces that they are doing a good job,” Paul explained. “The system allows managers to be objective when sitting down with drivers. It’s not a case of ‘the manager is picking on me’, it’s just showing them what actually happened.” The system allows for the implementation of positive recognition programmes. League tables can be set up which consider risk instead of just considering how many times a driver has used excessive braking and such with no context. “This reinforces good driving behaviour and helps other drivers become safer,” Paul added. When it comes to going through video recordings with the drivers, Paul suggested the best way to speak to employees about performance feedback is to let them look themselves, identify issue and give guidance based on what they see. This gives drivers the opportunity to return to the road and make adjustments to their driving themselves.

Persistent results

Given the fact DriveCam is used by such a wide range of companies and industries, Paul said the results it gets cover a wide spectrum. Generally speaking, operators have seen anything from a 40-80% reduction in collisions and fuel saving of 4-12%. Statistics also showed an immediate and long term reduction in the frequency of risky events.

DriveCam DC3P Specifications General  emory available for event and data storage: M Up to 4 GB (more than 250 events) lH  orizontal field of view: 130° (internal) / 80° (external) lD  iagonal field of view: 152° (internal) / 99° (external) lA  ccelerometers: 3 axis (forward, lateral, vertical) l Manual video trigger l Industrial-grade parts l Limited warranty: 2 years lS  tandard input voltage: 12V or 24V (9V min. to 30V max.) lD  imensions (excludes mounting bracket): 4.5 x 4.3 x 2.1 in. W/H/D (11.4 x 10.9 x 5.3cm) l Weight: 8.3 oz. (235 g) l

Connectivity lW  ireless

(two models): Mobile: CDMA/Wi-Fi, GSM/Wi-Fi (international only) WiFi (802.11 b/g) lU  SB (both models): USB 2.0 (USB Mini A or Mini B plug) Advanced Functionality lS  peed,

heading and location through GPS illumination for low light conditions l Remote triggering (requires standard hub) l Safety Enhancement Mode (SEM) support l Input/output connectors for additional functionality (requires standard hub) l Infrared

Event Characteristics lA  verage 12 second event file size: 750K – 1.3 MB l Standard

resolution: 640 x 360 (230,400 pixels)

Physical Security lS  ecurity

screws used to seal unit: Full coverage l Block to prevent power disconnection l Power disconnect reporting l Memory format: NAND l Mounting bracket: Fixed

On the fence?

Asked what he would say to those sceptical about the benefits of driver safety management, Paul said: “I would say give yourself an opportunity to learn what these systems can do for you. “As an operator, your financial performance will improve. As a driver, you’re getting information which could help you in the classic ‘his word against yours’ situation and the opportunity to improve your driving, be safer and make sure you get home to your family at the end of the day. “We’re a company with a long and deep track record, with real lineage in the coach and bus market. While it can be very difficult to get precise analytics or manage driver behaviour using CCTV or telematics, we’re not doing any guessing.”


Visit or call 0208 834 1062

038_039_CBW1114_DrivCam.indd 39

November 20, 2013 | COACH & BUS WEEK | 39 18/11/2013 21:35




Page 1

EVM Sprinter Avantgarde 19 + Driver

EVM Sprinter Avantgarde 16 + Driver

MINIBUS The essential read for Minibus Operators

November 2013

Learning from past lessons


lsewhere in this issue you will see a detailed and harrowing account of the tragic motorway accident, 20 years ago, where a number of children were killed. A minibus was being driven on its return journey by a teacher, who had completed a day’s work before taking the party to an evening event. During the return leg it is presumed the teacher fell asleep at wheel and the minibus smashed into the back of a motorway maintenance vehicle which was stationary on the hard shoulder. The incident suddenly focused attention on some key safety issues – such as an end to any sideways bench seating as it was impossible to fit them with effective seat belts. It strengthened calls for proper, certified seat installation and use of fire proofed materials for interior trim and upholstery and highlighted the need to call working hours into question. By and large, the mechanical issues were quickly addressed. Minimum M2 seat installation is now a prerequisite, three point lap and diagonal seat belts are almost always specified and sideways seating is generally restricted to service buses. Any tightening of hours laws, as well intentioned as it may have been, falls short of the mark because it only applies to professional

041_045_CBW1114_MINIBUS.indd 41

drivers. More recently there have been some licence restrictions affecting who can drive minibuses, depending on their weight and the number of seats, but it still allows someone like a teacher to work all day, drive a considerable distance on an excursion and return home afterwards. We know some people can cope with this better than others, but we all know the effect of monotonous motorways and how they can numb the mind. Yet designing blanket legislation to cover the hours issue for non-professionals would be almost impossible. While modern technology can assist by providing lane guidance systems or devices to monitor a drivers actions and detect drowsiness, they are expensive options. School minibuses – or those used by clubs and groups – are generally acquired against very tight budgets and unlikely to have them on board. Turning all group transport over to professional operators is an ideal – but probably a step too far. The industry has moved on considerably in 20 years. We should be proud of the achievement but it is tragic children had to die to bring change about. Martin Cole MINIBUS Editor

November 20, 2013 | COACH & BUS WEEK MINIBUS | 41 18/11/2013 21:05


Plaxton Cheetahs added to The Kings Ferry fleet

Weekday contract means the new Cheetahs are available at weekends for private hires

The Kings Ferry, based in Gillingham, has added two new Plaxton Cheetahs to its fleet. The Mercedes-Benz-based vehicles are intended for a university contract between the Medway towns and Canterbury during the week and will be available for small group private hire over the weekend. This versatility was important for Operations Director Ian Fraser, ‘The vehicles are the exact fit for the contract specification, are operating well so far and we have had fantastic customer feedback.’ The new Plaxton Cheetahs feature 29 Relax Tourismo reclining seats with three point seat belts together with a matching courier seat. The seats are trimmed in blue patterned moquette,

complimenting the blue interior soft trim and curtains. Entertainment is provided by a dash mounted radio/CD/PA system and passenger comfort is enhanced by full climate control based on a roof mounted Thermo-King unit. The high levels of safety and security standard on the Cheetah are further enhanced with the specification of a full CCTV system and Alcolock, an interlock system preventing the vehicle being started until the driver provides an alcohol free breath specimen. The Plaxton Cheetah body is mounted on a Mercedes-Benz Vario 0.816D 8.5m chassis featuring the 156bhp OM904LA SCR Euro5 engine and automatic transmission. Externally, the Cheetahs carry The Kings Ferry’s distinctive green and yellow livery with bold company branding and red relief.

A minibus serving schoolchildren, commuters, hospital patients and older people in rural Mole Valley is to be introduced thanks to a £305,147 grant. The East Surrey Rural Transport Partnership (ESRTP) could be running the Mole Valley Buses 4U Village Link service from the end of March after it convinced the Big Lottery Fund of the need within the district’s rural communities. Its grant from the Reaching Communities programme will pay for the new 16-seat, wheelchair-accessible bus and its operations which could last from 6.30am to the late evening on weekdays and into weekends to transport people to National Trust sites. The bid for funding was based on research on current transport needs around Dorking, a delighted ESRTP chief executive Marcus Dodé

said: “We’ve tried before to get lottery funding and it’s very difficult to get hold of, and this is a whopper. It will make a real difference to a number of different age ranges in rural communities.” Exact routes are to be decided in consultation with the communities, but the plan is for the bus’s day to start with giving lifts to commuters to Dorking station. There could be two runs to make trains between 7am and 8am. Then children would be taken to school. Those who benefit could be pupils at North Downs Primary which has three sites in the east of the district. Mr Dodé said: “It would be mums and dads who live under three miles away but drive their kids to school. We’d be trying to replace cars.” Commuters and children would then be taken

University contract spurs the acquisition of two 29-seat Plaxton Cheetahs

Mole minibus money from Big Lottery

42 | COACH & BUS WEEK MINIBUS | November 20, 2013 041_045_CBW1114_MINIBUS.indd 42

Phone ‘n’Ride offers free late service up to Christmas

The council-run Phone ‘n’ Ride bus service in North East Lincolnshire is being extended over the festive period to cater for Christmas shoppers. It provides transport for those who don’t live close to a regular bus route and will operate free of charge between 1900 and 2100hrs on Thursday evenings to coincide with late-night shopping in Grimsby town centre. The offer comes after the announcement bus passengers will enjoy free travel on Stagecoach services within the borough, between 1600pm and 2045hrs from November 21 to December 19. Both schemes are being funded by the council’s £6 million Green Transport project, which will see the transformation of Grimsby town centre. The Riverhead and Station Approach areas are being comprehensively revamped, while the existing bus station is to be removed to create space for a potential expansion of Freshney Place shopping centre. New stops will be installed on the roads around the Riverhead and a new indoor waiting area with cafe and real-time travel information will be constructed. The closure of the bus station has been postponed until the new year to minimise disruption over the Christmas period.

Scottish government delivers one-off support package for minibuses

A £1m fund designed to assist community minibus and local transport operators to buy new vehicles, expand services or replace older models, has been announced by Transport Minister Keith Brown. Described as a one-off lump sum, Keith Brown revealed the news ahead of a speech at the Community Transport Association conference in Edinburgh. He said: “I recognise that help is needed in the short term and this will provide much-needed financial assistance to operators who, as part of the Third Sector, run vital services for remote communities and vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. It will also help mitigate the impact of welfare reform. “This is a one-off fund for now, but I expect it to provide valuable insights into the sector’s needs which we can use to develop future support as finances permit. The Scottish Government is committed to making sure communities across Scotland receive the services and support they need and this announcement reaffirms that commitment.” The fund will be jointly administered by the Community Transport Association (CTA) and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

18/11/2013 21:05




Page 1


Nissan in battle readiness for London cab market


ondon’s traditional Black Cab market has come under severe pressure in the last few years because the bulk of its fleet have been inefficient and highly polluting. Troubles also beset the manufacturers and when Mercedes-Benz came up with compliant taxi-version of its Vito passenger shuttle it looked like the writing was on the wall for Black Cabs. The surge of interest in a new alternative cab also caught Nissan’s fancy and it broached an early beginning to enter the market too with its NV200. Whereas the Vito incorporated a costly steering rear axle to assist it in achieving the required turning circle of 25ft (7.6m), Nissan sought to comply by substantially increasing the lock on the front steering. Nissan has spent the last 12 months in the intensive development of the NV200 London Taxi. At the same time, Nissan’s design centre in Paddington has been applying the finishing touches to an iconic new exterior for the cab, penned especially for the Capital. Nissan has now begun Londonspecific real-world testing of the new NV200 Taxi, with the aim of making it the most reliable, economical and user-friendly Hackney Carriage the Capital has ever seen. Now in its final specification, the NV200 London Taxi enters the last phase of its testing process – hitting the streets of the city where it will spend its working life. Nissan claims its NV200 compact van, in the taxi version, has been designed from the inside out for the well-being of passengers, drivers and even other road-users. It complies with all Transport for London (TfL) regulations with a 25ft (7.6m) turning circle and will be more environmentally-friendly than current ‘black cab’ models thanks to its Nissan-sourced

1.6-litre petrol engine. Sliding doors give easy, safe access to the five-passenger rear interior, while other highlights include a glass roof (so that those onboard can enjoy the view of the city), rear air-conditioning and even plug-in ports for charging smartphones. The Glyn Hopkin dealer group has been selected to sell, service and maintain the NV200 London Taxi. “Glyn Hopkin has a long relationship with Nissan, providing expert customer service to new and used buyers,” explained Nissan GB Managing Director Jim Wright. “With a new dedicated facility to be opened next year; it’s ideally placed to apply its experience to serving taxi drivers.” Nissan will reveal the final look of the new NV200 London Taxi at an event before the end of the year. Designed to be instantly recognisable as a London taxi, it gets a bespoke ‘face’ with distinctive and modern lighting, plus a new grille and bumper treatment over the regular NV200. The exterior certainly isn’t the only part to have had the bespoke treatment, though; everything has been taken into consideration to ensure it can meet the demands of life as a London taxi. Sales will begin in the second half of 2014 to allow time for thorough testing and evaluation. An all-electric version is under development which will further reduce emissions of the London taxi fleet. Based on the average mpg returned by traditional TX4 models (35.3mpg) The NV200 would save its operator £15,000 per year in fuel bills alone. The NV200 London Taxi joins a global Nissan vision for the taxi industry. Taxi versions of the NV200 have already been unveiled in Tokyo, Barcelona and New York, with the stateside version being launched as the New York City ‘Taxi of tomorrow’ last month.

44 | COACH & BUS WEEK MINIBUS | November 20, 2013 041_045_CBW1114_MINIBUS.indd 44

18/11/2013 21:05

041_045_CBW1114_MINIBUS.indd 45

November 20, 2013 | COACH & BUS WEEK MINIBUS | 45 18/11/2013 21:05


Now is the time…


round midnight on Monday November 18, 1993, 12 school children lost their lives on the M40 when the minibus they were travelling in crashed into the back of a motorway maintenance vehicle on the hard shoulder. The teacher driving the bus was also killed. The nation was shocked. How could this have happened and what could be done to ensure it never happened again? However, in 20 years teachers and other volunteers still drive school-owned minibuses without ever having to sit a minibus driving test. They can do this because the school or organisation will operate buses with up to 16 passenger seats using a Permit 19 licence often issued by a local authority and not the DVLA. These drivers, however well intentioned they are, will not be required to have a medical to ensure they are fit to drive. Commercial bus drivers do. Buses operated by schools are not subject to the same safety checks as a commercial company. Every 4-6 weeks the regulations demand that transport companies safety check their fleet. This is to keep you and me safe. This two-tier system means children are put at risk on a daily basis either by their school, by a local authority or a child organisation such as The Scouts. No regulating body monitors any of these Permit 19 minibus operations once 46 | COACH & BUS WEEK | November 20, 2013

046_047_CBW1114_Busk.indd 46

Launching its latest campaign, Pat Harris, a Director at BUSK says it is now time to level the playing field for safety’s sake between the different regimes for commercial operators and not-for-profit organisations. they are up and running and that is no longer acceptable. Parents who lost their children in the M40 crash are now working alongside BUSK in a joint campaign. The campaign will be called ‘Now is the time…’ and will call for measures to ensure voluntary-operated buses are regulated properly and for drivers to be licensed by the DVLA with a requirement to be medically fit with follow up medical checks every five years and eye tests every two years. Around 140,000 buses are driven in the UK on a voluntary basis, some transporting the most vulnerable sectors to include children with special needs, wheelchair users and young people. The UK refused more than 20 years ago to become regulated when at that time all other EU member states agreed it was necessary on grounds of passenger safety. The UK government could have prevented the M40 crash by ending this two-tier system if it has signed the agreement but instead it failed to put children’s safety first. Its continued failure to

protect passengers is a disgrace and is no longer acceptable. Now is the time to act. Seeking a Judicial Review in this matter has not been ruled out.

Families break their silence

Supported by the other bereaved families, Fitzgeralds have bravely put the following statement together: We would have hoped that following the crash which killed Claire, 11 of her friends and their teacher – a crash which had such devastating consequences for so many families and friends, that great strides to protect today’s young people when they travel on minibuses operated by their school would have come about as a matter of course. On the 20th anniversary of the death of our children, we simply ask, what lessons have been learned from the 20 years we have had without our children? Not nearly enough. Certainly, nothing is in place to prevent such a crash from happening again.

18/11/2013 20:37

Now is the time to act. Seeking a Judicial review has not been ruled out – Pat Harris One major concern is that schools, charities and children’s organisations use volunteer drivers to carry large numbers of children in buses with up to 16 passenger seats without any checks by an official registering and/or testing organisation. Something called ‘Permit 19’ enables this. Safeguards for passenger safety are often sadly lacking. Ad hoc knowledge and personal conscience of the driver is of massive concern. It’s a very big responsibility they carry and they are often not driving professionals. For too long, we have stood back quietly, hoping that whilst we continue to grieve, decision makers will do the right thing. Twenty years is long enough to give those decision makers time to get it right. Questions, and lots of them need to be brought into the public arena. Parents of today deserve to know the truth… just who is driving their child and under what regime they are being driven? Parents need to clearly understand the twotier system of minibus operation that puts their children at risk. Is it is only luck that a repeat of the M40 crash has not happened yet? We think so. Are we led by grief and perhaps not able to think clearly? No, not at all. We are very clear about what needs to be done. First of all, what do parents need to be aware of? They need to understand why we are speaking out – why we are so concerned so we have listed just some of those concerns… Commercial companies are licenced to operate minibuses – a school using a Permit 19 is not. Commercially-operated minibuses are subject to safety checks every four to eight weeks – a school operating under a Permit 19 is not required to have these checks. A commercial company would be committing an offence if its minibus pulled a trailer because it would be blocking the rear emergency doors, deemed in law as an unacceptable safety breach – a school using a Permit 19 can pull a trailer and block the emergency doors, seriously hampering emergency evacuation. A commercial company must employ a Transport Manager and employs PCV drivers who also are legally obligated to have undertaken Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) training to ensure they drive to the highest safety standards – a school using Permit 19 can ‘get away with’ using a volunteer driver, such as a teacher.

A commercial company will be required to have a vehicle defect reporting system and drivers are required in law to carry out a walk around check of the minibus before it is taken out onto the public highway – a school using Permit 19 has none of these requirements. PCV drivers are legally required to undergo regular health checks to ensure they are still fit to drive, but there is no such requirement for volunteer drivers. There are restrictions on the number of hours a PCV driver can work but there are no restrictions for volunteer drivers. Therefore, why is it that children are not respected enough to be provided with the same safeguards which are given to the wider travelling public on a commercial passenger transport vehicle? Parents UK-wide need to hear and absorb the truth. It is not just schools which transport children in this way. Many local authorities use charities and volunteers to drive children to and from school each day. Some are the most vulnerable children who have special needs or are required to travel in their wheelchairs are amongst them. Local authorities use volunteers because it is cheaper, and not because it is safer. This means Permit 19

There are restrictions on the number of hours a PCV driver can work but there are no restrictions for voluntary drivers holders, are not regulated by the Traffic Commissioner, a requirement a commercial operator would be subject to as a means to monitor its safety and legal compliance. Around 140,000 buses are operated across the UK using Permit 19. This is a national disgrace. Do parents know? No. How would they unless it had been brought to their attention. How is it, that after 20 years a school or local authority can still use drivers to transport children who are not required to be trained to the same high standard as a PCV

Contemporary Quotes: These are news quotes from that time

“ “

A second minibus carrying another group of pupils from Hagley High School who had also attended the London concert passed the crash scene and made it home safely to Worcestershire. Its driver, teacher Bernard Tedd, later told how he had a “feeling of dread” that the crashed vehicle on the hard shoulder was the other minibus, but had decided to continue driving. A Warwickshire Fire Brigade public relations officer said Tedd had “saved those children from witnessing the worst accident any of us has ever seen.

” ”

First on the scene was Patrick Molloy, a motorist from Liverpool. He said he tried to get someone out of the passenger seat but the door was jammed, so he ran to open the rear doors. “I realised there were loads of people all on top of each other,’ he said. ‘I jumped into the van and started pulling them out. Everyone was unconscious. While I was doing this, another man started helping me and we noticed that there were flames spreading. Within seconds they were getting bigger. ‘We managed to get about seven people out but this other man said ‘Get out, the van is going to blow’. The tyres were exploding and the petrol tank was fizzling. There was thick black smoke everywhere. We did the best we could.”

046_047_CBW1114_Busk.indd 47

Tragic deaths The children who died in this crash were: Charlotte Bligh, 13 Ruth Clark, 12 Fiona Cook, 12 Claire Fitzgerald, 13 Louise Gunn, 12 James Hickman, 12 Adele Howell, 12 Anna Mansell, 13 Nicola Misiolek, 12 Richard Pagett, 12 Charlene O’Dowd, 12 (died later in Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham) Katie Murray, 12 (died the following day in South Warwickshire Hospital) Holly Caldwell and Bethan O’Doherty survived. The teacher was called Eleanor Fry. She had worked all day and then drove and supervised pupils all evening before the return journey from London to Hagley School. She fell asleep and crashed the bus into a motorway maintenance vehicle on the hard shoulder of the M40. driver or meet the European DCPC standards designed to improve passenger safety? Every school and every local authority has a legal duty of care for children for whom they make transport arrangements. On what basis are they making these arrangements – how are they fulfilling their legal duty of care for pupils? Every parent has a right to be satisfied with the answers to these questions we raise. While we understand from BUSK and others that some schools and/or other ‘noncommercial’ Permit 19 holders do operate safely, usually because the school concerned employs a Transport Manager who knows what s/he is doing, we are also aware that a great many do not have the same apparent regard for safety over cost or the basic safety knowledge to undertake that role. Today, we painfully relive that night in 1993 as we do every year. It is one of the saddest times for us. However, in particular we have been saddened in the extreme, by the failure to learn those lessons that blatantly have not been learned. Most of all though, we are angry that this could so easily happen again because there is no desire to put child safety first, over and above budget. Surely as a lasting memorial to Claire and her friends, those wonderful, talented children whose lives were ended much too early because they were failed by the system, now is the time to show them and their families the respect they deserve but have not yet been afforded. Now is the time. Visit BUSK’s website at www.busk-uk. com. Call 01633 274 944 or email The opinions and views expressed by authors and contributors within CBW are not necessarily those of the Editor or its publisher Coach & Bus Week Limited.

November 20, 2013 | COACH & BUS WEEK | 47 18/11/2013 20:37

Have you taken delivery of a new vehicle and want to tell the world about it? Email all the details and pictures to



Three Neoplan tri-axle Tourliners have gone into service with Heathrow-based coach hire and executive travel operator, Symphony Coaches. The ‘P20’ chassis specification includes a 13.2m wheelbase, 53 seats plus full executive trim and equipment. The latest additions are in service with several bluechip customers, and, notably,

with the Force India Formula One motor-racing team. One of the vehicles was acquired using funding through MAN Financial Services. “We were looking a for a luxury tourer which would fit our ‘high executive’ brand,” said Director, Allen Jey. “After scouring the market, the Tourliner stood out as the most striking vehicle for our customers. It also provides

the best all-round package for the business – a fouryear bumper-to-bumper warranty being an extremely attractive proposition.” Symphony will rely on the services of local MAN and Neoplan bus and coach dealer, Cordwallis Heathrow, Jey added: “Although early days, the team at Cordwallis have given us great peaceof-mind – they’ve done a

great job so far and, along with the MAN funding, have been very supportive of our young business. “Initial feedback from clients has been exceptional too, with glowing reports on styling and comfort. The Tourliners have received particular praise for offering a smooth and quiet on-board experience. We are very happy with the the reaction.”

better,” said Ian. Malcolm, a driver with many years experience, says it’s the best coach he’s ever driven and it has been very

well received by passengers. Grand Luxe seats have been specified. As well as touring for customers like Shearings and Glenton, the TX16 is regularly used to carry sports teams from local universities and colleges such as Durham, Northumbria and Gateshead. Ian commended the build quality. “It’s the little, subtle things that make the difference,” he observed, highlighting features like the bank of switches by the entrance door that allow the driver to operate the lockers without having to return to the driver seat. The courier


Stanley Travel is delighted with its MAN-powered Van Hool TX16 Alicron integral, which was exhibited by supplying dealer Moseley (PCV) at Coach & Bus Live last month. Stanley Travel director Ian Scott told CBW that Moseley (PCV) Sales Director Tim Fairless, pictured (right) with proud driver Malcolm West, was a Stanley lad who he had known from school. “We’re over the moon with the coach,” said Ian, pointing out that it’s returning an

average 13.1mpg. An added advantage is there is no requirement for AdBlue. “It’s only done around 6,000kms so it’s only going to get

48 | COACH & BUS WEEK | November 20, 2013 048_CBW1114_Deliveries.indd 48



SHDC P2 -Tri-axle, 13.2m ENGINE: 480 BHP 353kw

@1900Nm EGR 12-speed ZF AS-Tronic Kiel 53/55 advance reclining seats - iPod / Sat.Nav. SUPPLIED BY: MAN Truck & Bus 0161 848 8331

seat is comfortable and there is a foldout table and LED light which help facilitate map reading. Stanley Travel operates 34 vehicles. It recently took over the Durham County Council contract for the ‘Cathedral Bus’ using electric Solos. FACT FILE



(PCV) 01977 609000 www.

18/11/2013 14:42


x4 coaches Riddler’s sellsretires p8 as Proprietor



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over prestigiousdral Stanley Travel takes to Durham Cathe electric bus route p6

Up to 4 5X1 PRINT VEHICLE SALES ADVERTISEMENTS per week in Coach&BusWeek magazine

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Sir Brian invest for the future 1_Cover.indd




Deadline for vehicle and classified advertisements in the magazine is 1200hrs Monday. 28/10/2013


Contact your friendly coachandbusmarket Manager Jade Cassidy via phone, email or fax Tel: 01733 293247 f: 0845 280 2927 e: 049_CBW1114_CBM Cover.indd 49

18/11/2013 21:46




Page 50

Volvo B10M

2003 Neoplan Starliner

ZF auto, 84 seater, MOT August 2014.

37 leather seats around tables, Sky TV/DVD entertainment system, 7 screens, toilet, kitchen, sockets throughout, manual 4 over 4. £39,995 + VAT


£4,500 + VAT

Telephone: 01487 843333


2003 Optare Solo

Mercedes engine, one owner, good condition and tyres, low mileage 392,955, 29 seated 20 standing, full diptact space for one wheelchair, tested June 2014, taxed end of October 2013. £17,500 o.n.o.

1 ) 0 5 0 4  " / %  ' 6  $ 0 0 6 3  " 4  4 5 " / % " 3 %  0 /  "  7 & ) * $ &  ' 0 3  4 " &  " % 7 & 3 5 * 4 & .& / 5 4

BD23 5BS – 01756 753123

Volvo B10M

88 seats, MOT March 2014, good condition.

£4,995 + VAT

Telephone: 01487 843333

1998 Mercedes Benz 814 Alexander

Automatic, 27 seats, 3 point belts, power door, perfect for school/private hire, good offers considered.

£8,995 + VAT Call Karl at Whitegate Travel Tel: 01606 786833 Mobile: 07841 110426

Steve 0161 775 0800/07445 266345

2006 MAN 14.220 SLF MCV Evolution 11.2m

Mercedes Vario 814 Beaver

40 seats + 21 standees, DDA compliant, Hanover LED. Direct off lease from a major operator. £32,500 + VAT Southdown PSV 01342 711840 email:

Two +. 29 coach seats, 3 point belts. Side loading wheel chair lift. 2005/55 reg. Manual gearbox. DDA Accessibility certificate. COIF. Racks, Boot. Best of both coach. Taxed + new MOT. 1 former keeper. May part ex. Call Tim. View Devon.

Mercedes Vario 814

2007 Optare Solo 7.1 SE



Automatic. 2005/05. 33 seat coach, 3 point belts. Racks, boot, tacho, COIF, long MOT & tax. Very nice tidy coach, one previous owner, drives well, ready to work. May part exchange. 10 minutes Exeter airport. Call Tim.

01404 47502 or 07790 966667

23 seater + 10 standing, MOT June 2014, full service history from new, Hanover front digital destination board, CCTV – Activ 4 camera system, Mercedes engine, 263,000 miles, can respray in new owners colours. £39,500 o.n.o. + VAT

01404 47502 or 07790 966667

Ring Graham Croombs 0118 973 3486

2000 Volvo B10M Plaxton Panther

2001 Volvo B10M Berkhof Axial

49 seats, PA system, DVD player, climate control, toilet, continental door, water boiler, p/plate, not subject to LEZ, recent re-trim. £24,000 + VAT

50 reclining seats, TV/DVD, PA, fridge, hot drinks servery, air con, Webasto, alloy wheels. Last coach remaining. £23,750 + VAT

Steve 0161 775 0800/07445 266345

Snowcoach Holidays 01727 866177 / 07831 612125

Telephone Jade Cassidy on 01733 293247 or email 50 | COACH & BUS WEEK | November 20, 2013




Page 51


1997 Dennis Javelin UVG S320

2011 Vauxhall Vivaro 12 seat minibus

53 seat coach with crew seat, manual gearbox, fully belted, MOT August 14. £8,750 + VAT

Full COIF with 8 months PSV/MOT, taxed until December, digital tachograph, 6 speed gearbox, 3 rear seats can be removed (ensuring space for luggage),1 owner vehicle.

Chalkwell Coach Hire 01795 423982

AFJ Travel – 07947 152763


2009 (09) Iveco Daily

Cummins 420, AStronic gearbox 2004: 3 x 53 seats £40,000 plus VAT

Volvo B12B Plaxton Paragon Easyshift gearbox, LEZ compliant 2006: 2 x 53 seats £79,000 plus VAT All are well maintained, low mileage examples (approximately 62,000km per annum) with reclining seats, 3 point seat belts and air conditioning. Owned by us from new and used on our own holiday programme. All over cream. Price includes new MoT. Sorry no part exchange facilities!

To view contact Tom Smith, Operations Manager, on 08451 305777

2004 Iveco Beulas

Auto, 49 seat executive coach, WC, DVD, A/C, drinks boiler, fridge, etc, in exceptional condition for age, MOT July 2014.

£39,000 ono + VAT - Possible P/X

Tel 01249 742000/07717 768315

2003 Setra 315 GTHD

2005 Optare Solo M950 SLF 9.5m

33 seats + 17 standees, Mercedes engine, Hanover LED. £32,000 + VAT – CHOICE OF 3 Southdown PSV 01342 711840 email:

1994 Volvo B9M Berkof Excellence

375,604 miles, PSV 25/4/13, taxed 31/3/13, full service history.


Contact William on 07733 914050

2001 MAN Neoplan

£13,250 + VAT o.n.o.

16 passenger seats with 3 point seat belts, front entrance with lowered entry step, extra large boot, panoramic windows, parcel racks with reading lights and blown air, interior lighting with dim facility, CD sound system, tested to June 2014.

£21,995 + VAT Call Karl at Whitegate Travel Tel: 01606 786833 Mobile: 07841 110426

2002 Bova Futura • Air con • Toilet • DVD • Monitor x 2 • Eminox euro 4 • 49 seats • Green cloth • Long MOT

£53,500 + VAT ono

Good solid engine and gearbox, tidy bodywork, MOT till April 2014, 37 recliners, loads of legroom and a rear toilet.

12 months MOT & tax, full tank of fuel, one owner driver for the last 5 years, 49 seater, toilet, aircon, drivers bunk, alloy wheels, just refurbished, 2 new 22in Samsung LED monitors, black-out windows, TV tuner, DVD system all fitted 8 months ago, good mpg, 3 new air bags, new belts, hoses and interior LED lights just fitted, 600,000km, based in Glasgow.

Paul Watson Travel

£14,000 Milligans Coach Travel 01290 550365

£25,000 + VAT

£50,000 + VAT

Contact Gary – 07930 377051

L.J. Edwards – 07974 369570

1999 Mercedes 412D

2009 (59) Iveco Daily

Luxury VW Crafter

2007 Scania K340/ Caetano Levante

16 removable seats, or 6 wheelchairs, 5 speed manual, external wheelchair lift, tachograph fitted, very clean condition, MOT June 14. £3,495 + VAT

16 passenger seats with 3 point belts, front entrance with lowered entry step, extra large boot, panoramic windows, parcel racks with reading lights and blown air, interior lighting with dim facility, CD sound system, tested until 30 September 2014.

2007, 16 seats, A/C, DVD, microphone, 135,000 miles, 7 months MOT, excellent condition.

Chalkwell Coach Hire 01795 423982

£21,995 + VAT Call Karl at Whitegate Travel Tel: 01606 786833 Mobile: 07841 110426

Slick Rides – 07823 770978

49 seat with retractable belts, low mileage, seat back tables, footrests, centre toilet, power door, air con, webasto, cool box and boiler 2 x monitors and DVD, radio cassette, LEZ exhaust, great drive.


Choice of 2, 49 leather reclining seats, ZF automatic gearbox and retarder, Hanover front, side and rear destinations, WC, air conditioning, PLS magic lift, low mileage, recently refurbished and can be used on National Express network until June 2016.

£80,000 + VAT each

yourbus – 01773 714013

Telephone Jade Cassidy on 01733 293247 or email

November 20, 2013 | COACH & BUS WEEK | 51




Page 52

1998 Volvo B10M Caetano Enigma

49 seats with retractable belts, monitor, DVD, radio, cassette, taxed and tested, has air-con but needs re-gas + belts, needs t.l.c. but good motor.

£15,500 + VAT ono

Paul Watson Travel

1996 Volvo Olympian

2009 Setra 416GTHD

2011 Irizar PB

June 2009, 49 seats, toilet/servery, 2 DVD screens, Euro 5.

December 2011, 59 seats, toilet/servery, 3 DVD screens, Euro 5.

Converted to an open top bus, Cummins engine, Voith automac gearbox, 78 seats, MOT Jan 2014. POA

Warrington Borough Transport 01925 634296

2003 Volvo Jonckheere B12M Mistral 50

53 passenger seats, 12 months MOT, 527,071kms, interior & exterior in excellent condition, vigorously maintained (records available).

£39,950 + VAT ono Star Coaches Limited Martin 07831 265804 Adam 0121 350 5555

2005 Neoplan Skyliners

13.8m, MAN engines, 89 seats, toilet, air-con. POA

EnsignBus 01708 865656

You’re in control.



Buzzlines Travel - 01303 261870

Buzzlines Travel - 01303 261870

2003 Alexander Dennis Enviro 300 SLF 12m

2010 Volvo B7R

44 seats + 27 standees, DDA compliant, 12 months MOT. £27,500 + VAT Southdown PSV 01342 711840 email:

ZF automatic, Euro 5, Plaxton Profile body, air-con, 53 seats, very low mileage, new MOT.


EnsignBus 01708 865656

2008 Optare Solos

1998 Volvo B10M Berkhof Axial 50

Merc Euro 4 engines, Mobitech LED’s, one M880 28 seats and one M950 31 seats.

49 seats, WC, aircon, six speed ZF manual gearbox, first reg 14/04/98, MOT 07/03/14, only one previous owner

Take the photos, write the ad and change it later if you want to, all from your online dashboard. Selling a vehicle is simple on . . .



EnsignBus 01708 865656

New Horizon Travel: 01206 255255

Telephone Jade Cassidy on 01733 293247 or email 52 | COACH & BUS WEEK | November 20, 2013




2001 Salvador Caetano

Page 53

1999 Dennis Dart SLF

1999 Mercedes Benz 814 Plaxton

2005 Setra 315GTHD



70 seats + driver and crew with 3 point belts, 3+2 config, auto, air-con, good runner, inspection welcome, ready for work. £40,000 + VAT

COID and MOT until May 2014, painted blue and white with blue seats which were retrimmed approx 2 years ago, a reliable and well maintained vehicle, choice of two sister vehicles available.

£5,000 + VAT o.n.o

Steve 0161 775 0800/07445 266345

Country Bus Devon Tel 01626 833664/07872 839530

Mercedes 814D Euro Coach

2004 Mercedes Benz Optare Solera

PSV 12/5/13, taxed 30/4/13, full service history.

39 reclining seats, air conditioning, owned from new, MOT until September 2014.



Contact William on 07733 914050

Lakeside Coaches - 01691 622761

27 coach seats with 3 point belts, perfect for school bus and private hire, MOT till April 2014, manual with power door and private plate.

Clarkes of London Call Andy Nixon – 020 8768 9612

2003 Neoplan Starliner

2008 MAN Auto Ayats

38 leather seats around tables, Sky TV/DVD entertainment system, 7 screens, toilet, kitchen, sockets throughout, automatic. £39,995 + VAT

51 seat full executive, owned from new, choice of 2, real head turner, used on tour programme, low mileage @ 240,000kms, a lot of coach for the money, looks great and great value at just...

Steve 0161 775 0800/07445 266345

Tel: Adrian on 07717 768315

• Automatic • Air con • Toilet • Monitor x 2 • Non LEZ • Long MOT

£30,000 + VAT

1 ) 0 5 0 4  " / %  ' 6  $ 0 0 6 3  " 4  4 5 " / % " 3 %  0 /  "  7 & ) * $ &  ' 0 3  4 " &  " % 7 & 3 5 * 4 & .& / 5 4

L.J. Edwards – 07974 369570

2007 Scania Irizar Century

2005 (55) MAN 14.220 MCV Evolution

Opticruise, 49 seater executive, MOT and tax October 2013, LEZ.

40 seat SLF service bus, newly repanelled and repainted, 12 months MOT to October 2013, Hannover LED destination, excellent condition, drives superb.


Williams Coaches 01874 622223

£25,950 + VAT ovno

Llew Jones – 07795 347476 or


£8,995 + VAT Call Karl at Whitegate Travel Tel: 01606 786833 Mobile: 07841 110426

2003 Mercedes Citaros

2002 Iveco Beulas Stergo

49 seat exec, toilet, boiler, cooler, DVD, 2 x monitors, Mercedes engine, A/S Tronic gearbox, intarder, air conditioning, Webasto, alloy wheels, owned & maintained by us from new, repaint by arrangement. Choice of 2.

38 + 34 standees, LEZ complaint, full DDA, dual door, Hanover LEDs, CCTV, in good condition, very low mileage (240,000 – 260,000 km), 1 year’s MOT. Choice of 6 (5 x 53 plate and 1 x 03 plate). £40,000 each + VAT

£82,500+VAT - P/X considered

2003 Bova Futura • Air con • Toilet • DVD • Monitor x 2 • Full exec spec • Eminox euro 4 • 49 seats • Green cloth • Manual • Long MOT

£55,000 + VAT

yourbus – 01773 714013

L.J. Edwards – 07974 369570

1997 Volvo Olympian open top bus

1995 Scania K113 VanHool Alizee

Alexander Dennis body, P reg, 75 seats, fitted with a PA system, new MOT on purchase. Only 2 remaining.

Bath Bus Company 01225 330444

Converted this year to 70 seater using Cogent seats with 3 point belts, tea machine, TV/DVD.

£27,500 Milligans Coach Travel 01290 550365

Telephone Jade Cassidy on 01733 293247 or email

November 20, 2013 | COACH & BUS WEEK | 53




Page 54

2 x 2003 SETRA 315 GT-HD

2008 Mercedes Sitcar Marlin 1022

1998 (R) Plaxton Premier

2009 Enviro 200

LEZ compliant, 49 seaters with toilet, fridge, drinks, air-con, DVD, all usual extras, good clean condition, long MoTs, taxed. £48,000 + VAT each ONO

33 seats + guide + driver with 3 point belts, finished in moquette, double glazing, A/C, radio/CD/PA, full draw curtains, aisle carpet, fridge, saloon heater, 4.5m2 luggage storage. POA

46 seats with rear toilet & servery, wheelchair lift, most seats on quick releases, takes upto approx. 10-12 fixed chairs, drives really well, tested to Jan. £12,000

Cummins engine, Allison gearbox, 8.8m, 29 seats, Hanover LED’s.

EVM Direct – 0845 5205160

Lewis Travel – 020 8858 0031

EnsignBus 01708 865656

1999 Mercedes Optare Solo M850

1992 Leyland Lynx

2006 Transit Tourneo

Tel : 07771 561 060

More pics :

Scania Omnicity TFL DD

Ex-rental, Euro 4, 22 seats lower, 41 upper deck, 1 x wheelchair, 25 standees, Voith auto, air-con, wheelchair ramp, DDA compliant, Mobitech destination, CCTV, single door option, repaint option, MOT 2013, choice of 9.

26 + standees, automatic box, DDA compliant with Mobitec display, 8 camera CCTV system and Traffilog tracking and diagnostics fitted. MOT to March 2014.



Santander Used Assets 07753 712444

Bakers Dolphin 01934 422400 or 07788 101631


Cummins L10 engine, ZF gearbox. Sold for spares – 2 available. Offers invited for engine & gearbox or bus

07802 235778 / 0151 547 2713

2002 Volvo B12M Plaxton Paragon

2001 Mercedes Benz Soroco

1 ) 0 5 0 4  " / %  ' 6  $ 0 0 6 3  " 4  4 5 " / % " 3 %  0 /  "  7 & ) * $ &  ' 0 3  4 " &  " % 7 & 3 5 * 4 & .& / 5 4

12.2 long, wheelchair accessible, ZF auto, 53 seats + loo, side lift, retrimmed 2012, good condition. £35,000

Glen Valley Tours – 01668 281578

Lewis Travel – 020 8858 0031

1992 Leyland Lynx

2006 Transit Tourneo

2008 MAN 14:240 MCV Evolution

9 seater, air con, alloy wheels, electric windows/mirrors, radio/CD, FSH, 74,000 miles, immaculate, choice of 2, viewing in London.

43 seats + 22 standees, auto box, 3 point belts, DDA compliant with Mobitec display, 8 camera CCTV system,Traffilog tracking & diagnostics, well maintained with long MOT, 4 available.

£7,250 + VAT – PX considered


Crystals Coaches Ltd 020 8960 8800/07971 000111

Bakers Dolphin 01934 422400 or 07788 101631

Offers invited for engine & gearbox or bus

07802 235778 / 0151 547 2713

9 seater, SWB, low roof, air con, alloy wheels, electric windows, mirrors, radio/CD, FSH, 74,000 miles, MOT May, immaculate. Choice of 2, viewing in London.

£7,250 + VAT – PX considered

Crystals Coaches Ltd 020 8960 8800/07971 000111

Now in stock and available for a fast delivery

16 seats with belts, curtains, luggage racks, analogue tacho, radio and large boot – nice condition, MOT August 2014. £6,500 + VAT

Cummins L10 engine, ZF gearbox. Sold for spares – 2 available.


16 full size coach seats with three point belts, rear double and single on quick release, skirt kit and front bumper modification, luggage racks with integrated blown air and reading lights, curtains, roof hatch/sunroof, digital tachograph, COIF, wheeltrims and driver’s lockers. £28,995

UK Minicoaches – 01902 631507

2003 (03) Mercedes 814 Plaxton Cheetah

Automatic, 25 reclining seats, LEZ box, table, air conditioning, good condition. £25,000 + VAT

Lewis Travel – 020 8858 0031

Telephone Jade Cassidy on 01733 293247 or email 54 | COACH & BUS WEEK | November 20, 2013




Page 55

2006/7 Scania K340 Caetano Levante

49 seats, rear floor mounted WC, automatic gearbox, air conditioning, DDA compliant

To arrange a viewing call 07760 771285

November 20, 2013 | COACH & BUS WEEK | 55

681335-1114-Ensign:Layout 1



Page 1


Cummins ISC Euro 5 engine, 12m, DDA, 44 seats, Hanover LED’s.



Cummins/Voith, LEZ compliant for 2012 with traps to Euro 4, CCTV, Alexander ALX400 bodies, DDA compliant or upseated to 80 seats.

1999/2000/2001 V/Y REG DENNIS TRIDENTS

13.8m, MAN engines, 89 seats, toilet, air-con.

DDA, Cummins / Allison, Alexander ALX200 bodies, 8.8m, 27 seats.



2000/2001 X/Y REG VOLVO B7TL’S

Cummins / Voith, Alexander ALX 400 lowheight body, 84 seats, LEZ compliant.


80 seats, Voith gearboxes, Euro 2 engines with traps, or full Euro 3 with traps, Plaxton President bodies, can be DDA with 78 seats.

SWB, CCTV, particulate traps so LEZ compliant, Plaxton President bodies, dual door 62 seats or single door 71 seats.


Merc Euro 4 engines, Mobitech LED’s, one M880 28 seats and one M950 31 seats.


2000 VOLVO B7TL’s

ZF gearboxes, single door, 82 seats fully seated or 80 seats as DDA compliant, supplied with new MOT and COIF, new batch just arriving.


Volvo Euro 5 engine, 12m, DDA, 45 seats, Hanover LED’s.


Juliette Close, Purfleet Industrial Telephone 01708 865656 Fax: 01708 8 Visit our website for current s

681335-1114-Ensign:Layout 1



Page 2



Tacho’s, 72 seaters, choice of 2.


ZF automatic, Euro 5, Plaxton Profile body, air-con, 53 seats, very low mileage, new MOT.


Volvo Euro 2 engine, ZF gearbox, East Lancs body, 84 seats, no side facing.


2 door, Euro 3, ZF automatic, 37 seats, 12m, DDA.

Caetano Levante bodies, DDA compliant with lifts, 49 seats, toilet, air-con, recent re-trims, LEZ compliant.

2006 VOLVO B12B’S

12m, Euro 3, DDA, 42 seats.

Volvo Euro 5 engine, Optare Esteem body, 12m long, 43 seats, Hanover LED’s, low mileage.

51 and 02 plate, Cummins Euro 3 ISC engines, LEZ, Plaxton President bodies, can be DDA, single door and 78 seats, or dual door 67 seats.

Manual gearbox, Van Hool body, 53 seats.

Cummins engine, Allison gearbox, 8.8m, 29 seats, Hanover LED’s.

Euro 4 Volvo engine, Wrights Eclipse Gemini body, 68 seats or 74 converted to single door.




2009 ENVIRO 200

Euro 4 Cummins engines, 8.5m long, 28 seats, DDA, £24,000.


1997 DAF SB3000



Volvo Euro 2 engines, ZF gearboxes, East Lancs bodies, 72 seats.

- BRITAIN’S BIGGEST BUS DEALERS Park, Purfleet, Essex, RM15 4YF 8 864340 e-mail: t stock at




Page 1

FROM £9,950



VOLVO OLYMPIAN ALEXANDER 1996 P REG 74 seats with belts + 12 standing test expired hence £5,450

MERDECEDS 413CDI SPRINTER 2007 REG Uvg treka body, 16 seats or upto 6 wheelchairs, low miles and PSV tested £21,950


MERCEDES 413 D SPRINTER 2004 REG Extra long body with 16 seats and huge full height boot, COIF and long MOT £13,950.00





Page 1




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d a ds


e ep o e 0

3 8 5959





EASTWOODS COMMERCIAL MOTORS LTD 229-241 Tyburn Road, Birmingham, West Midlands B24 8NB • Telephone: 0121 328 5959 • Fax: 0121 327 3800


49 seats plus courier, Volvo B10M engine, manual gearbox, red moquette with matching curtains, reversing camera, sunken toilet, stainless wheel disks, air conditioning, aircraft lockers, MOT tested, excellent condition throughout, must be seen.


Plaxton Paragon – £28,750 + VAT

698359-1109-Eastwoods Page 1

02 Setra – £40,000 o.n.o. for quick sale

Model S-315 GT HD, 6 cylinder MAN engine, manual 6 speed gearbox, 49 seater, continental door, full air conditioning, many extras, full year MOT, part exchange considered.



g a



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3 8 5959





EASTWOODS COMMERCIAL MOTORS LTD 229-241 Tyburn Road, Birmingham, West Midlands B24 8NB • Telephone: 0121 328 5959 • Fax: 0121 327 3800


Page 2 12:34 14/10/13 698359-1109-Eastwoods




Page 62

62 | COACH & BUS WEEK | November 20, 2013




Page 63


2011 ‘61’ Iveco 45C15 16 Seat Minicoach

• Large Boot • Colour Coded Bumper And Skirts • 16 Passenger Seats • Luggage Racks With Blown Air • Euroliner Wheeltrims £25,995 + V.A.T.

2009 ‘09’ Mercedes 311 16 Seat Minicoach • New Conversion • Digital Tachograph • Side Skirts + Bumper Kit • Luggage Racks with blown air • Fully Soft Trimmed £23,995 + V.A.T.

2008 ‘08’ Mercedes 515 16 Seat Minicoach • Large Boot • Roof Air-Conditioning • Reclining Seating • Double Glazing • Side Skirt Kit £22,995 + V.A.T.

All Commercial Trading Ltd T/A UK Minicoaches OPENING HOURS MONDAY TO FRIDAY 9.00 AM TILL 5.00 PM

November 20, 2013 | COACH & BUS WEEK | 63

p00_CBW_1090 1000 Vehicles DPS



Page 1

P    W    F   S         W F I J D M F T G P S  T B M F  P O M J O F


p00_CBW_1090 1000 Vehicles DPS



Page 2

5 ) &  ." 3 , & 5  ' 0 3  7 & ) * $ & 4  1 3 0 % 6 $ 5 4  " / %  4 & 3 7 * $ & 4






Page 66


If you would like further information please call 01543 897505 or visit

Vehicle Inspection & Maintenance Compliance Services


• Audio / PA systems • Video-on-demand systems • Monitor & DVD systems • Hands-free mobile phone kits • Reversing cameras and sensors • Multi or single language systems • CCTV • Alarms, tracking and cruise control • SkyTV systems • GPS commentary systems UK and Ireland Distributor Tel: 0044 (0)1274 688990 Unit 4, Lister Street, Dudley Hill, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD4 9PQ



• Bus Workshops • Secure Storage

• Supplied any width, any length • Building to BS5590 • Doors high enough for Double Deckers

• Finance available

Phone for further information



5 I F  NB S L F U  G P S  7 F I J D M F T  1 S P E V D U T  B O E  4 F S W J D F T CHECKPOINTS





Contact Malcolm Harrison Auctions

CRAIG TILSLEY Suppliers of Reconditioned Tel: 01782 791524 or 01782 791527 Fax: 01782 791316



Moorfields Industrial Estate, Cotes Heath, Stoke-on-Trent ST21 6QY 66 | COACH & BUS WEEK | November 20, 2013



£750 99 HXY AXZ 17 FRZ 70 JXI 52 KNZ 25 PEZ 65 RHZ 77 SBZ 37 WXI 62

£350 ACZ 686 CEZ 565 JHZ 939 MCZ 232 SBZ 343 UIB 185 VIW 282 WJI 454 XIB 636

£99 CRZ 7273 EXZ 4343 FRZ 5550 GRZ 2555 GRZ 2556 HIG 8788 JFZ 3440 KIG 6556 LIG 9121

Buy with confidence – CNDA Member We buy for cash, also Part Exchange

£99 LIG 9122 LIG 9123 RHZ 5655 SNZ 5223 SNZ 5224 SUI 8185 TJZ 9339 UUI 2886 UUI 2887

£99 ERZ 8737 FXZ 2168 FXZ 2169 GRZ 4755 GRZ 4756 JFZ 3934 LIG 7715 LIG 7716 NFZ 9485

£99 OFZ 4142 RHZ 5653 RHZ 5654 SNZ 7175 TNZ 2267 TNZ 2268 UUI 4344 VJZ 1815 VJZ 1816

Tel: 028 6638 7124 • Millwo od, L isbellaw, Co. Fermanagh, N. Ireland B T94 5HQ




Page 67




Specialists in trimming buses, double deckers, single deckers One backrest one cushion


For quote telephone: Dave Percival – 07970 412878




NATIONAL TRANSPORT MANAGER with 16 years’ experience looking for a part time role. Ideal for start-up companies. Based in London. Please contact Ciro Vidali for more details. Telephone: 07823 770978 Email:

Passenger and Commercial Vehicles Recovery Dismantlers Parts Sales OUR SERVICES: •



• • • • • • • •




Engine/gearbox rebuilds

Engine spares


Buying & selling vehicles

Reconditioned gearboxes

• •

Fault finding

Reconditioned engines

Windows Seats

Export to foreign markets Repairs

Finance repossession and storage

CALL: 01226 727 769 Bus sales: Geoff Ripley, Boulder Lane (off Shaw Lane), Carlton, Barnsley S71 3HJ

Mob: 07912 103 497 or 07711 750 434 Fax: 01226 727 607 Email:


Trevor Wigley & Son Bus Ltd



Call 01226 723147 Night Service 01226 716479 Fax 01226 700199 Email

November 20, 2013 | COACH & BUS WEEK | 67

Seen something funny? Send it to or write to: Last Stop, Coach & Bus Week, 3 The Office Village, Cygnet Park, Forder Way, Hampton, Peterborough PE7 8GX


TWEETS We take a look at your twitter comments on the latest industry news

Monday The familiar hectic press day.

Big Picture feedback issue 1113

Tuesday Focus my attention on writing up my Bennetts of Gloucester ‘Operator Profile’ feature. I manage to block out all distractions – in an open plan office, earphones act as a virtual ‘do not disturb’ sign and listening to music helps keep me upbeat and focussed. I complete the first draft, which comes to over 3,000 words.

Pulhams Coaches @PulhamsCoaches Thanks to @CBWtweets & David Bell for a great centre page spread! #RedIsTheColour Prentice Coaches @prenticecoaches cracking photo of an impressive looking machine. Pulhams Coaches @PulhamsCoaches They’re great. 100 coach seats plus a/c perfect for local school p/hire Mangan Tours @ManganTours Great photo, wow, 100 seats, that’s brilliant. Like how you used you livery on it. robert williams @baabaarob4 Twice in 12 months #popular well done Poppies feature issue 1113 NEWS FOCUS › POPPY APPEAL


free transport Poppyscotland by providing Prentice was proud to help Sunday both and Remembrance sadly of 5th Regiment Royal Artillery and Armistice Day as a mark he was heroes. died in an explosion while respect for Britain’s war district road on on foot patrol in the Sangin Drivers who were on the 2009. 10 and Monday of Helmand Province in July November Sunday, to able “We feel honoured to be to stop their buses important 11 were asked safe show our support for this nearest request stop – or the at for the appeal,” said NCT’s Marketing parking area – at 1100hrs Manager, Anthony Carver-Smith. on tribute. silent operation are “Hopefully, by being in Some of the drivers who Poppy wore their routes around the city, our veterans themselves and raising the Bus will play a big part in medals. As in previous years, awareness of the Royal British vehicles in the Yellow Buses’ 150 to gives it Legion and all the help fleet have been be displaying and Finance our servicemen and women poppies. Andrew Smith, based their families.” Director of Bournemouthproud to As well as having collection Yellow Buses, said: “We are NCT annual buckets in the Travel Centre, show our support for these local has also been supporting acts of remembrance in recognition cashthe organisers by offering its of those who have made donations country.” counting facilities for the ultimate sacrifice for their city. the collected throughout Andrew was joined by exPoppy Janet Baker, the local County paratrooper Kevin Conroy, expressed and Appeal Co-ordinator, Standard Bearer of the Winton Legion, her thanks to NCT: “The Poppy Moordown Royal British message Conroy our bring us help Bus will with ex-paratrooper Kevin at the company’s Bournemouth and Andrew Smith (Yellow Buses) ceremony home to thousands of people headquarters for a short free of evening of November 8, I’m sure will impact on donations Scania marking this year’s appeal. cashOne of Southern Vectis’s grateful charge by the bus operator. enormously. Offering their buses, Kevin said: “We are very be a huge OmniCity double-decker also will been Meanwhile Bluestar buses, facilities have counting to Yellow Buses who quicker fleet number1104 (‘HW08AOT’) for many which can be seen throughout help, making it much easier, the supporting us in this way final been liveried to support been wearing has have appeal’s the bank to Southampton, safer and on the years.” to show NCT poppy appeal fundraising large poppies on their front total. We’d really like to thank Also on the South Coast of appeal. of Wight. The livery is made ” Isle poppy the support. for parent generous support such Coast, for a photo England, Go South to of the poppy design with in Andrew Wickham, Managing NCT also offered free travel company to Bluestar based Southern of 81 year old David Mosling, Vectis, Director for Bluestar and all service personnel in uniform – (now Southampton and Southern to who served in the RAFC has made Vectis said: “We are proud for Remembrance Day Weekend as based on the Isle of Wight Legion 11. the Royal Corps of Transport) year’s support the Royal British between November 9 and is now a donation of £500 to this they an ambulance driver and appeal. and highlight the commitment RATP-owned Yellow Buses & Royal British Legion poppy on Vice-Chairman of the Newport poppy appeal each year. the to show observed a two-minute silence Legion. Carisbrooke Royal British Many of our buses have poppies bus to The specially-branded poppy on them and we are delighted the was made available to provide donate £500 in support of transport for veterans attending Armed Forces and their this year’s Festival of Remembrance families.” on the at Southampton Guildhall

Prentice Coaches @prenticecoaches Nice piece in the @CBWtweets poppy article about us helping poppyscotland with the poppy day launch recently R6FfhMFqGG the Royal “We are proud to support the British Legion and highlight the appeal” commitment they show to




November 13, 2013 | COACH

& BUS WEEK | 21

11/11/2013 16:18

Got the keys? This ‘house bus’ in North America apparently carried solar panels on its roof in addition to a secure front door James found this image on Reddit, a well-known website which calls itself the ‘Front Page of the Internet.’ Broken into an unending number of ‘subreddits,’ communities ranging in size from hundreds of thousands to less than 10, this particular image appeared on the frontpages of r/mildlyinteresting and r/ bitchimabus, the rather silly name derived from an old internet meme. The picture, reportedly taken in South California, shows a house bus – an old school bus which has been converted with the addition of a wooden Yale door which you might see at the front of a house. It also seems to have done away with nearside windows close to the door and has blacked-out the glazing in the door with the help of a white blind. A comment from a user named

‘unusualmusician,’ read: “I have a bus conversion myself, and just do not understand why the heck people do things like this to make an even larger blind spot on the door side. I drove tour coaches in remote areas of Alaska, Yukon, and Northwest Territories for years, adding up over two million miles before becoming an EMT, so I am very comfortable diving any bus, but would not want to drive one that has had this done to it! “On my conversion, I put a piano hinge ahead of the door (towards the front of the bus), then welded a plate connecting the two panels together, with a locking handle. This allows me the air tight and secure entrance like this bus has, but still gives me visibility. I also left 10ft of windows on either side of the front to give both a nice bright living room, and again, lots of peripheral vision for safety.”

Wednesday For once I make the photo selection after I’ve written the first draft. I often find photos help to jog my memory. Email the article to Bennetts for fact checking. In the evening, drive up to my parents ‘back home’ in the Welsh borderland. Thursday Accompanied by dad, who’s on rest day, drive up to Llandudno to visit Alpine Travel. We encounter sleet as we head over the Berwyn pass. Call in at Betws y Coed for a comfort stop. I photograph two autumnal ‘Big Pictures’ for future issues – a Johnsons of Henley-in-Arden Scania Irizar PB and an Arriva Mini Pointer Dart. The driver of the former is most friendly when I chat with him. However, when I snap the Arriva Dart, a member of the public remarks: “Why are photographing that? It’s only a bus.” Decide there is not enough time to explain about CBW, so slip into one of my alter egos momentarily with a response which leaves him gobsmaked. All good fun. As always, Chris Owens at Alpine is most friendly and I’m confident I’ve got some interesting copy. Also enjoy a warm welcome from Richard and the team at Rhyl garage, where we’re shown the impressive new depot. With dad as my navigator, drive back via the scenic Vale of Clwyd, away from the peaktime madness of the A55 & A483. Friday Spend the day writing from the comfort of my parents’ study. Mum kindly keeps my coffee mug topped up – thanks love.

68 | COACH & BUS WEEK | November 20, 2013 068_CBW1114_Last Stop.indd 68

18/11/2013 20:06



BRISTOL PCV OPERATIONS/BUSINESS MANAGER Dealing with day to day operations with emphasis on sales. We are a family-owned, long established, large and expanding taxi and coach company operating around Bristol. We have 96 licences doing schools, private hire and touring both in the UK and abroad. It will be your responsibility to increase sales on both private hire and touring nationally and internationally. • Extensive experience of coach operators and a PCV licence absolutely essential. We offer: • Salary in excess of £31,000 • Private health • Mercedes E Class • Assistance with relocation if applicable. Please forward CV to Keith Sanzo at (Tel: 07970 096262 or 07970 458877)

HASSLE FREE DRIVERS? Hire coach drivers when you need them. No holiday, no absence, no NI – pay only for the hours you need them for. We keep your wheels turning while your drivers are resting.

Call Del Haggerty Just Coach Drivers Ltd 07950 292939

069_071_CBW1113_Peopl_Recruitment.indd 69



Many thanks for assisting with the vacancy that we placed in Coach and Bus Week. We had a very good response to our advertisement for a Fleet Engineer and we have now employed a prime candidate into the position who is very qualified and fits the business model.

Mark Bowden, Director– Galleon Travel


GET YOUR VAC ANCY SEEN BY QUALIT Y CAN Full Colour as standard vacancies posted to nDetails of all vacancies posted to our Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin pages n


Contact Ian Gillis – Tel: 01733 293484 Email:

we require a

Commercial & Operations Manager

Book one week, get a second week

HALF PRICE and a third week


Do you aspire to make a difference? We need a leader who can continue with the development and growth of the changing face of Damory buses. 3URIHVVLRQDOO\DQGZLWKFRQÀGHQFH\RX will deliver Damory into the commercial market whilst continuing the excellent partnership with the local authority. Damory is a varied and interesting EXVLQHVVZLWKVLJQLÀFDQWRSSRUWXQLW\ to expand and develop the portfolio of services throughout Dorset. The right person will need a blend of both commercial and operational attributes alongside people skills to take this exciting challenge forwards. An attractive salary and relocation package is on offer. Please apply with a CV and covering letter explaining why you would be able to make a difference, by post to Diana Wilks, Human Resources Manager Go South Coast Towngate House 2-8 Parkstone Road Poole BH15 2PR or email your application to by Friday 6 December 2013

November 20, 2013 | COACH & BUS WEEK | 69 18/11/2013 21:07

RECRUITMENT & PEOPLE DEADLINES Booking: Monday 5.00pm Full artwork: Monday 5.00pm CONTACT Ian Gillis T: 01733 293484 E:

Chris Wise joins Esteban Esteban and Isringhausen have announced the appointment of Chris Wise as UK Sales and Commercial Director with effect from January 2014. Chris Wise moves to his new position at Esteban from his current role as Commercial Director for Optare. He entered the bus industry almost 40 years ago joining the Charles H Roe bus bodybuilding business in Leeds, which was then part of Leyland Bus. When Optare was formed in 1985, he was one of the first two employees of the new company. Commenting on the new appointment, Esteban Managing Director Julian Grzesiczek said: “As a highly regarded, experienced and committed professional, Chris will play a pivotal role in joining the Board of Directors to help develop the future of our sustainable growth plan.” Chris Wise said: “I’ve had a long and very enjoyable career in the bus building industry during which

Chris Wise was one of Optare’s first two employees back in 1985 I have made many contacts and friends. The move to Esteban is a logical step in my career as it continues my involvement with the bus and coach industry within a company that is acknowledged for the advanced design and high quality of the seating it produces. “As I look forward to taking on the new challenges of this role I also wish my colleagues at Optare well as that company continues its progress as a leading UK innovator in the development of bus design and technology.”

Compliance Engineer

First appoints Creative Director for East of England

First Eastern Counties and First Essex, have appointed Chelsea de Silva as Creative Director. Chelsea, who is based at the company’s headquarters in Lansdowne Road Norwich, has been PR and Marketing Manager in the company for the last four years. Talking about her appointment Chelsea said: “This is an exciting time for the Eastern Counties and Essex businesses and I’m delighted to have the opportunity of driving forward the better journeys for life message for our customers.

Chelsea de Silvia

“As Creative Director, my priority is to encourage more people to use our buses. The hard work will continue as we make our services more appealing for customers and increase passenger numbers. I am looking forward to working with new MDs David Squire and Adrian Jones and their teams in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex to ensure our services are as attractive to our passengers as possible.” Chelsea brings an excellent track record and a passion for delivering outstanding customer service and creative marketing.” Chelsea was previously Regional PR and Marketing Manager for First Bus in the South East and Midlands, where she oversaw Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. She joined FirstGroup in 2009 to support the Eastern Counties bus business and has been leading the PR and Marketing team across both Eastern Counties and Essex since 2010.

Competitive salary + company vehicle + benefits Immediate Start (Full & Part Time)

Lloyd Morgan Group are the one of the country’s leading PCV/ HGV compliance monitoring and training companies, which is enforced by our Corporate partnership to the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT).

We are looking for a highly motivated specialist to join our expanding team of compliance engineers, who is willing to travel and spend some nights away from home. The Role. You will be home based, working throughout the UK, with the opportunity to travel further afield into Europe, USA and the UAE. Although the appointments are pre-planned the role is predominantly self managing your time and meeting deadlines.

You will be a motivated engineer with an eye for detail, have excellent written and verbal communication skills and have a thorough knowledge of not only vehicle inspection but also engineering maintenance systems and best practice. You will ideally will have auditing knowledge and an auditing qualification. You will be computer literate, have a working knowledge of Word, Outlook, emails and Excel and be a forward thinker.

You must hold relevant PCV/HGV qualifications for engineering, a current UK driving licence and have attention to detail.

If you feel you have the necessary skills, acumen and qualification to meet this exciting challenge please email your CV through to

70 | COACH & BUS WEEK | November 20, 2013 069_071_CBW1113_Peopl_Recruitment.indd 70

Heavy Vehicle Technician - Nightshi� Would you like to join our highly experienced team of engineers, based at our excellent workshop in Lower Sydenham, South East London? Requirements for the successful candidate will be: • Fully skilled HGV/PCV Technician • Experience of all types of repairs to commercial vehicles • Background in Mercedes/Setra/Scania coaches preferred but not essenƒal • HGV/PCV licence essenƒal • Conscienƒous and reliable, able to work on own iniƒaƒve We offer: • • • •

Compeƒƒve salary Excellent working faciliƒes, friendly team, modern vehicles Group Personal Pension Scheme Paid holiday

We may have on-site accommodaƒon available for those applicants who live at distance or may need to relocate. For more informaƒon or for an applicaƒon form please call 0208 768 9637 and ask for Steve Holden. Alternaƒvely please complete an applicaƒon form online at our website

18/11/2013 21:07

In association with

Bannockburn goes the extra mile Staff at First Scotland East’s Bannockburn depot have received high praise from one of its disabled passengers. Wheelchair user Gill Bedwell from Whins of Milton in Stirling relies solely on public transport and mainly First Scotland East’s services to get out and about. Working in partnership First’s Operations Managers, drivers and stance Inspectors ensure Gill can access buses and get to where she needs to go. They even laid on an extra bus when she was feeling unwell so as she could get home. Gill received some good news recently when after a two-year wait, the charity ‘Canine Partners’ provided her with Holly, a twoyear old Black Labrador/Golden Retriever Cross. Holly has been trained to help Gill do everyday tasks such as opening and shutting doors, picking up dropped items and getting the phone and bringing it to her when it rings. As part of Holly’s training, Gill took her to Bannockburn depot. The purpose was to familiarise Holly with the look, smell and feel of a bus, before Gill and Holly ventured onto one of First’s services for the first time together. Gill said: “I cannot speak highly enough of the dedication, kindness and customer focus displayed by the entire team at Bannockburn depot. Nothing seems too much trouble and they consistently go that extra mile to help me out. That’s why I’ve nominated the entire team for one of First’s internal Superstar awards.” Talking about her relationship with Holly, Gill added: “Having a ‘canine partner’ makes my life so much easier. Holly helps me with everyday tasks, such as emptying

069_071_CBW1113_Peopl_Recruitment.indd 71

Obituary –

John Broadhurst LBPT

Holly the dog with Jason and Gill the washing machine, getting dressed and is trained to activate my alarm in an emergency. Her companionship has also given me peace of mind and the extra confidence and independence to get out and about more often. “That’s why we visited Bannockburn depot. It’s the third time been there. On previous occasions the team helped me get familiar with travelling on the bus with my wheelchair. Holly had no problems on the bus and we’ve already made our first bus journeys together. “I’ve always been very active and I’m determined not to let my condition affect my ability to enjoy life to the full. I’m incredibly grateful to all the staff at Bannockburn for their support, understanding and goodwill.” Jason Hackett, Operations Manager at Bannockburn depot said: “Gill is one of our regular passengers and we’ve developed a great relationship over the years. We try to make bus travel a little easier for her. I’m pleased she’s nominated our depot for a Superstar award. We’ve got a great team here who work really hard to provide good services for all our customers.”

The London Bus Preservation Trust has recently lost one of its loyal volunteers, with the passing of John Broadhurst after a lengthy illness. Paying tribute, Ian Barrett, a friend who worked closely with John on numerous restoration projects said: “He was always a willing volunteer who would be ready to lend a hand if someone else needed it. Until relatively recently he was still the holder of a PCV licence and often drove school buses and other types of private hire work, as well as driving Trust vehicles for open day services and various other reasons. “John had a wide interest in varying vehicles, be it two or four wheels, or with multi axles. This varied from owning a Sunbeam S8 motorbike,

through a part built kit car and up to buses and a recovery truck. Often when I would be talking to him, he would tell me about another vehicle that he had just purchased, or was working on and seemed to be increasing his collection when most people of his age would be reducing theirs. “He spent a great deal of time working on his Chiltern Queens Reliance coach whilst I was helping him with its restoration and I would often leave him to carry on working into the evening when I went home for the night. John would be pleased to know that a close friend of his has found it a good home, so it’s pleasing to know that all his work won’t be in vain and will have helped to get the vehicle completed.” Part of the Human Capital Investment Group Offices in Birmingham - London - Surrey

We are specialist recruiters with over 25 years experience in the PSV & Coach market. Providing 24/7 staffing solutions to prestigious Bus & Coach clients across the UK. We are immediately able to supply and looking to recruit the following skill sets: • Engineering Directors • Diagnostic Technicians • Coachbuilders • Parts Specialists • Welders • General Labour

• Engineering Managers • PSV Technicians • Auto Electricians • Workshop Controllers • Cleaners • Administration & Office Staff

Please contact Andy Jennings - Divisional Manager 01784 487616 or 07799 866467

November 20, 2013 | COACH & BUS WEEK | 71 18/11/2013 21:07




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Coach & Bus Week : Issue 1114  
Coach & Bus Week : Issue 1114  

Coach & Bus Week : Issue 1114