Nottingham’s pioneer gas ‘deckers set new standard

first_imgNottingham City Transport used the ALBUM conference to reveal the first of a 53-strong order for Scania/ADL Enviro400 City gas buses.And, with the gas pressure increased from 200bar (as used on Reading Buses’ E400 fleet) to 250bar, it will give the buses a 250-mile range.The £18m investment – only made possible by a £4.5m OLEV grant – will see 53 buses delivered; 30 in 2017 and 23 in 2018.They will be used on NCT’s colour-code routes, the display example being branded for the 15-minute frequency Green Line route 10.NCT MD Mark Fowles tells routeone that the ADL E400 City body will only be used for gas buses, to ensure they stand out from ADL’s diesel E400 buses. The message is reinforced by internal and bus-back branding, explain the gas bus’ green contribution, thanks to using biogas from anaerobic digesters.Internally, they have a hi-spec, with free wi-fi, plus Lazzerini seats including seat-back USB chargers, rather ADL’s normal below-seat USB position, and tinted glazing.The seats have a moquette/synthetic leather covering that takes its cues from car styling, and is equally as comfortable.At the rear of the upper deck, the gas tanks are positioned differently to Reading’s batch, with a redesigned cover and reduced-size rear window, compared with a diesel E400 City.The 11.2m body seats 72, plus 11 standees, and the move to gas comes ahead of Nottingham becoming a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in 2020, requiring all buses to meet Euro 6.last_img read more

Panorama ‘deckers first service launched

first_imgStagecoach West Scotland has launched the first service of Plaxton’s Panorama double-decker coaches on Volvo B11RLE chassis.Says Plaxton: “Five of these high-capacity vehicles provide an upgrade for the frequent X76 service from Kilmarnock into Glasgow.”The operator has also announced a fleet of 10 newly refurbished high-spec coaches to operate between Ayr-Glasgow on the X77 express route.last_img

Will retrofit policy and funding come for coaches?

first_imgThe Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership hopes that it will give a boost to coaches’ case for financial support for retrofit via a Coach Interest Group, which was formally launched in Birmingham on 13 FebruaryWill the road ahead for coach Euro 6 retrofit slowly become clearer?Finally, there are signs that coach operators may eventually be able to access grant funding towards the retrofit of older vehicles to achieve Euro 6 compliance.That was the message from the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) when launching its Coach Interest Group (CIG) on 13 February. It drew operators, vehicle suppliers and companies that manufacture exhaust aftertreatment systems.LowCVP is partially government-funded and it is influential in policy development. The CIG’s purposes are to:Develop the definition of a low-emission coachDevelop proposals for low-emission and ultra-low emission coach grant schemesDevelop proposals for a coach retrofit programme.It is hoped that these workstreams will accelerate the uptake of low-emission coaches – although with London’s ULEZ just weeks away, the work will not affect those operators that are affected by it from the outset.CAZs to spreadMore Clean Air Zones (CAZs) are likely. A non-negotiable aspect of a CAZ is that Euro 6 will be required of PCVs. However, it is not mandatory that a charge is levied on those that fail to meet the standard, while in other areas air quality can be brought under control by different means.LowCVP says that the current best source of money to help pay for coach retrofit is the Clean Air Fund, although its scope is limited. Project Manager Daniel Hayes uses Leeds as an example. Up to £16,000 per affected vehicle based within the CAZ will be made available. LowCVP hopes to see more examples of that in the future.If that happens, the allocation of funding will be controlled locally, which is not ideal, says Lucketts Group Director Ian Luckett. Based on experience, he advocates strategic control at a national level.In Lucketts’ home town of Fareham, a CAZ was initially planned. The operator and the local authority compiled a case for Clean Air Fund money to be made available for Lucketts’ vehicles. Then, it was decided that a CAZ was unnecessary. No financial support could thus be had and Lucketts is left to fund retrofit – essential for journeys elsewhere – itself.Slow thus farEminox has developed a CVRAS-accredited retrofit installation for Euro 5 Volvo B9R-based coaches, but interest has been minimal. “Retrofit systems are highly-bespoke and they are tested via a specific coach cycle. The biggest issue so far is uptake. Each development can cost £150,000. We have to be led by the market,” says UK Sales Manager James Thorpe.Eminox is now working on a retrofit package for the DAF PR engine, and it is creating a facility in Stoke-on-Trent to handle installation work that will complement its Gainsborough headquarters.Baumot, meanwhile, also points to six-figure development costs as something that forces it to target its coach efforts carefully. Nevertheless, it expects to receive CVRAS accreditation for its first such installation shortly. Like Eminox and Proventia, Baumot will benefit from the government’s award of almost £1m to help develop additional applications.Further retrofit systems for Euro 5 coaches are set to be developed soon“We expect to start testing DAF- and Volvo-based systems towards the end of Q1 2019. Serial production for coaches begins in May – but it will be difficult to justify keeping kits ‘on the shelf’,” says Service Manager David Hobbs.Not just retrofitWhere reducing carbon is prioritised, retrofit does not get a look in. Instead, other areas must be explored, including lightweighting and alternative fuels.In regard to the former, significant work is being done to develop magnesium alloys. They are already in the wider automotive sector, and while they come with some design constraints, an item made of magnesium alloy weighs one-third of what the same component does in steel.Hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) and biodiesel are the alternative fuels of relevance to coaches, and Lucketts Travel in conjunction with Scania and HVO supplier Green Biofuels undertook a HVO trial last year. It reduced CO2 equivalent by 90%, and no operational changes were necessary. However, HVO costs around 10% more than diesel.With Lucketts’ fuel bill over £3m per year, fleetwide adoption would deliver a large increase in costs. There is thus no incentive to use HVO, says Mr Luckett, despite it being compatible with numerous coach engines.Added to the equation is zero tailpipe emissions. Yutong will deliver the UK’s first electric coaches this year, and it says that their fuel consumption will be the equivalent of commentComplying with the ULEZ, CAZs and Scotland’s Low Emission Zones without buying new Euro 6 vehicles has already caused a lot of grey hairs in the coach industry. There is still no one obvious path to follow, but some potential avenues are slowly becoming clearer.LowCVP’s work to deliver clarity on the future for coaches should be welcomed. It is not a short-term project and there will no doubt be stumbles on all sides along the way.What is affecting the rate of overall progress is a policy of devolving governance of many aspects of emission control zones.There is no consistent approach. For coach operators, who by default will each be affected by many of those areas, taking a holistic approach thus becomes very difficult.That needs to change.last_img read more

Online DCPC training launched by FTA

first_imgThe Freight Transport Association (FTA) has launched e-DCPC, an online version of Driver CPC (DCPC) training. It says the courses will ensure that PSV drivers can continue to undertake such training during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.e-DCPC is approved by JAUPT as a suitable online delivery alternative to classroom-based DCPC training.Says Keith Gray, FTA General Manager of Training, Audits and Standards: “While FTA has temporarily suspended all face-to-face training events under coronavirus COVID-19 government guidance, we are committed to ensuring that workers can continue to receive the vital training they require to keep operations safe, efficient and compliant.“By launching e-DCPC, we can help to ensure that businesses remain as operational as possible throughout the pandemic.“With the government permitting individuals to undertake training while on furlough, businesses could use that time to upskill their workforces, enrolling their drivers on the e-DCPC course to keep them up to date with mandatory training requirements.” read more

Stagecoach in South Wales celebrates its heroes

first_imgStagecoach in South Wales has named a number of its staff ‘heroes’ for their outstanding efforts during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.John Carpenter, Supervisor at Brynmawr Out Station, appealed to his colleagues for donations such as toiletries and basic necessities for patients being treated for the virus at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil. The first batch of supplies has already been donated and John continues to campaign for more.Kevin Mathias, Electrician and Health and Wellbeing Representative at Porth depot regularly shares posts on the company intranet to help staff maintain mental and physical health during the pandemic. Kevin has also raised money for local charities such as The Rhondda Sea Cadets and Ty Hafan. He has written two poems about coronavirus COVID-19 to raise staff spirits.Nathan Davies, a driver and Green Road Champion at Merthyr depot, has been calling isolated staff regularly to ensure they are safe and well. He has been shopping for essential goods for those isolated and started a quiz on the company intranet.Mark Powell, Fleet Engineer for Cwmbran, Brynmawr and Megabus, has helped raise staff spirits during the pandemic by cooking them breakfast rolls.Matthew Morris, Supervisor, and Mark Rees, Trade Union Representative, both from Blackwood depot, have made regular appeals to staff in need of help. They have maintained contact throughout the pandemic and have collected shopping.Nicholas Young, a driver at Cwmbran depot, contacted colleagues to keep in touch and offer support while at home.Brothers Phil and Steve Walters, General Service Operatives at Aberdare depot, have ensured vehicles are ‘smart cleaned’ every night, with thorough sanitising and sweeping.Steve Napper, a driver at Porth depot, has been involved in fundraising activities for local charities before and after the pandemic. He offers much of his free time to assist others.Stagecoach staff are able to nominate further colleagues for going the extra mile during the pandemic situation.Managing Director for Stagecoach in South Wales Nigel Winter says: “The staff at South Wales are doing a fantastic job to keep the country moving and ensuring links are available for key workers and other essential journeys.“I would like to add my heartfelt thanks to the staff that have been rightly named ‘heroes’ for giving up their time to help their colleagues and the local communities. They are all a credit to Stagecoach and we will celebrate and commend them for everything that they are doing.”last_img read more

Hull graduate design chosen for Stagecoach’s official face covering

first_imgStagecoach has unveiled its official facemask, sporting a design by 23-year-old Hull graduate Matthew Cheung.Matthew submitted his design after Stagecoach launched national competition to support student and graduate designers across the UK boost their CVs.Matthew’s design, which features a modified Stagecoach logo integrated into the mask’s creases and folds, was selected and will now be distributed to students across the UK free of charge.Says Matthew: “The chance to be named as the official designer of Stagecoach’s face masks was an opportunity I couldn’t ignore.“I wanted to build a print that worked if the mask was either opened out or not, while still making it ownable to Stagecoach. So, I took its own colours and created a swirly design which was bright, colourful and different to anything else out there. I didn’t actually think I would ever win, but it’s great to be able to add this to my portfolio.”Regional Director North for Stagecoach Catherine Acton-Brazier says: “Although coronavirus COVID-19 has caused previously unimaginable disruption for people up and down the UK, students have been hit particularly hard. As a result, we wanted to do our bit at Stagecoach to give tomorrow’s graphic designers a boost for their own CV, and it was from a very competitive entrants list that Matthew was selected as the winner.“From all of the team here we’d like to say a big well done to him and thanks also to every applicant who clearly put in a lot of effort to enter this competition.”Face coverings are now mandatory on all public transport across the UK and it is hoped reusable fabric face coverings will help prevent pollution.last_img read more

A new Ilesbus Renaissance for Pulham’s Coaches

first_imgPulham’s Coaches of Bourton-on-the-Water has added a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter with an extended Ilesbus Renaissance conversion. It seats 16.The minicoach is finished to a high specification. Its seats are trimmed in two-tone leather and they come with drop-down tables, magazine nets and wood veneer armrests. A powered passenger plug door is fitted, with LEDs in step edges.A large rear boot has been enabled by the extension. Other fittings include a courier seat, double-glazed panoramic windows, an additional windscreen above the OEM fitting, a fridge, a DVD player with a monitor, LED lights to the roof and suede interior trim.A 12kW roof-mounted air-conditioning unit ducts to passenger service units on the underside of luggage racks. An additional 5kW air-conditioning unit is fitted in the dash. Heating is via perimeter radiators that are linked to a diesel-fired heater booster.On the exterior of the Pulham’s minicoach, Ilesbus has fitted a body kit including a new front bumper design, and a coach-style rear.Ilesbus has provided a three-year bodywork warranty. It complements a chassis warranty of identical duration from Mercedes-Benz.www.ilesbus.comlast_img read more

Deadly Mosquito Born Virus Found in Elkhart County

first_imgIndianaLocalNews Google+ Facebook Twitter WhatsApp WhatsApp Pinterest Deadly Mosquito Born Virus Found in Elkhart County Pinterest By Jon Zimney – September 12, 2019 0 608 In this case it is not the West Nile Virus, although that was discovered in the county early in the season.The Indiana State Department of Health released a statement warning about the presence of Eastern Equine Encephalitis. This disease has been found elsewhere around Michiana and last week claimed the life of a woman in Kalamazoo.You are warned to take standard precautions to prevent exposing yourself to the disease. Below is the full press release from the ISDH with more details about the disease and how to protect yourself:INDIANAPOLIS—State health officials are urging Indiana residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites in response to the detection of eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus activity in northern Indiana.Since mid-August of this year, three horses and one group of mosquitoes from Elkhart County have tested positive for EEE virus. No human cases of EEE virus disease have been reported in Indiana in 2019; however, three human cases have been reported in southwest Michigan this year, one of which was fatal.“EEE, or triple-E, virus is rare but extremely serious. It can cause long-term complications and even death,” said Jennifer Brown, D.V.M., M.P.H., state public health veterinarian at the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH). “You can protect yourself from EEE virus and other viruses by taking steps to prevent mosquito bites whenever you spend time outdoors. You can also reduce the risk for yourself and your neighbors by eliminating mosquito breeding sites from your property.”State health officials recommend the following preventive measures:Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are active (especially late afternoon, dusk to dawn and early morning)Use an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol on clothes and exposed skinCover exposed skin by wearing a hat, long sleeves and long pants in places where mosquitoes are especially active, such as wooded areasInstall or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your homeYou can eliminate mosquito breeding sites from your property by doing the following:Discard old tires, tin/aluminum cans, ceramic pots or other containers that can hold waterRepair failed septic systemsDrill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoorsKeep grass cut short and shrubbery trimmedClean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drainsFrequently replace the water in pet bowlsFlush ornamental fountains and birdbaths periodicallyAerate ornamental pools or stock them with predatory fishWhile rare, EEE virus can cause serious illness and has a fatality rate of about 33 percent in people. Many people who recover may still experience long-term complications. Symptoms of EEE virus disease include chills, fever, body aches and joint pain. Some people develop a more severe form of the disease that affects the nervous system and causes encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). People who are younger than 15 years and older than 50 years are at the greatest risk of severe disease if infected with EEE virus. People who think they may have EEE virus disease should see a healthcare provider.To see the latest results of ISDH’s mosquito surveillance program, go to To learn more about EEE virus, visit the ISDH website at ISDH at or follow us on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at Facebook Twitter Google+ Previous articleSeveral South Bend Schools Run Out of Food; District InvestigatingNext articleBerrien County man pleads guilty in daughter’s death Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney.last_img read more


first_imgCONSUMER Protection Commissioner David Byrne won the support of the full Commission last week for his call for an emergency ban on some baby toys made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) softened with chemicals called phthalates. The Commission also endorsed his proposal for permanent measures which would outlaw the use of six kinds of phthalates in baby toys and introduce new labelling rules. THE amount of money the Union spends on subsidising school milk supplies would be halved to 47 million euro under plans unveiled by the Commission this week. National governments will be asked to match Union funds if they want to keep cheap milk programmes for school children. The Commission originally wanted to wind up the scheme altogether, but ran into fierce opposition from member states which argued that the programme offered clear health benefits to growing children.A DECISION on whether to allow Spain, Greece and Italy to continue selling leaded petrol in 2000 has been delayed by the Commission until next month. Under the EU’s Auto-Oil programme to cut emissions from cars and lorries, leaded petrol is due to be banned in the Union at the end of this year. But the three Mediterranean countries have asked for exemptions for three-to-five years.PLANS for tough new limits on tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarettes and stark new health warnings on packets were approved by the full Commission this week. If agreed by EU governments and MEPs, the proposals would provide the highest level of protection against tobacco-related diseases in the developed world.last_img read more

China and India: EU’s future economic threats

first_imgThe pamphlet Economic Reform in Europe: Priorities for the Next Five Years brings together articles on economic and social policy in the EU from some of Europe’s most influential centre-left thinkers including John Kay, currently a visiting professor at the London School of Economics, Jean Pisani-Ferry, a member of the French Conseil d’analyse économique, and Luc Soete, professor of economics at Maastricht University. In the introduction to a new publication issued by Policy Network, a think-tank chaired by Mandelson, Liddle says that the Commission has “pulled its punches” on the Lisbon Agenda, and warns that “Lisbon fatigue” now poses a “huge political problem for the new Commission”. The Spring economic summits have been disappointing, Liddle says, before criticizing the council of finance ministers, Ecofin, saying it “has shown less ability to take member states to task on their economic reform failings than on conformity to fiscal criteria”. Liddle and Mandelson have worked closely together for several years and jointly wrote a book promoting the New Labour reform agenda in the United Kingdom, The Blair Revolution. From 1997 until he quit recently to come to Brussels, Liddle was a special advisor to Prime Minister Tony Blair in Downing Street.“Europe’s innovation weakness could become more acute with the growing economic weight of China and India,” Liddle says. last_img read more