Month: April 2021

Arriva Stafford depot under threat of closure

Arriva Stafford depot under threat of closure

first_imgArriva Midlands set to move some of Stafford’s work to Cannock depotArriva Midlands has confirmed that it proposes to shut its depot in Stafford, with a consultation period currently underway with the 50 employees there.Arriva operates 17 buses in the town as an outstation of Cannock depot, and the company says that some services will be transferred to Cannock. Others are slated to be withdrawn altogether.Speaking in the Express and Star newspaper, Area MD Rob Cheveaux says that the operator is “currently looking to undertake a restructure of [its] business across the West Midlands” as it seeks to maximise the efficiency of a “vast network.”Mr Cheveux adds that no compulsory redundancies are planned among the workforce at Stafford.It will be offering redeployment to other depots and voluntary redundancy, and blames the plans on reduced funding and a drop in passenger numbers. It is not yet known when the closure will take place.Arriva Midlands is currently completing the process of selling the majority of its operations in Burton-on-Trent to independent operator Midland Classic, while its Stoke-on-Trent depot and some of its work was disposed of to D&G Bus in March 2015. The remainder were deregistered.last_img read more

Competition delivers falling prices for bus service tenders

Competition delivers falling prices for bus service tenders

first_imgBus tender contract prices fell by an average of 2% last year – the eighth consecutive fall, according to an annual survey of local transport authorities (LTAs) by the Association of Transport Co-Coordinating Officers (ATCO)It says that contract prices for home-to-school and special educational needs (SEN) fell for the 10th consecutive year (averaging 8.3% less, and 2.3% less in the 12 months to 341 March 2016)It adds that the cost of contract prices for subsiding socially necessary bus services fell by 25 on average in 2015/16However, the survey also shows a reduction in competition for local bus service contracts. There were an average of 2.9 bids per contract. Nearly one-third (31%) of contract only had one bid and 1.8% had no bids.Of the 130 LTAs surveyed outside London, 73 responded to ATCO’s request for information.ATCO estimates that £280m is spent on supporting local bus services a year (outside London), alongside an estimated £835m on English and Welsh national concessionary travel schemes.It adds that competition for school, and SEN transport remains “fairly strong” along it has reduced. There are an average of 3.7 bids per contract for schools, and 5.9 bids for SEN. There is competition for 90% of contract, with fewer than 2% having no bids.last_img read more

REVIEW: 42nd Street: Ex-tap-aganza!

REVIEW: 42nd Street: Ex-tap-aganza!

first_img42nd Street taps its way onto the stage at Drury Lane’s Theatre Royal. Jessamy Chapman reviews it42nd Street arguably has some of the catchiest numbers of any musical yet on the West End stage in 2017.It opens in Depression-era New York, where stage director Julian Marsh is back in town with a new show and work for dozens of people – all of whom need the show, Pretty Lady, to be a success.‘Refreshingly, there’s not much in the way of distracting romance; and it’s sexy, without being overtly so’Clumsy Peggy Sawyer is a chorus girl and a tap wizard, but when she accidentally breaks prima donna Dorothy Bock’s ankle, she’s immediately fired, and flees, ready to give up on stardom and get the train back to small-town America. It’s up to Julian and the crew to win her back to play the lead…It’s a revival of the Broadway hit that first came to the stage in 1980, an evocative adaptation of the original 1933 film.And it’s got a lot of tap dance – a lot, a lot of tap dance – right from the opening number.That aside, it starts off a little slow, and is a little light in plot, but it makes up for it with the music and dancing, as well as literally dazzling costumes and inventive set pieces – watch out for the big mirror, and the stairs.The chorus excel – their part feels like a proper meaty acting part. Refreshingly, there’s not much in the way of distracting romance; and it’s sexy, without being overtly so.After the first half-hour the memorable songs come thick and fast, including ‘Dames/Keep Young and Beautiful’, ‘We’re in the Money’, ‘Lullaby of Broadway’ and ‘Shuffle Off to Buffalo’, climaxing with the unforgettable, eminently hummable ‘42nd Street’. ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ is also thrown in for Sheena Easton, who plays Pretty Lady’s lead Dorothy.Groups will love it.Tickets for groups of 10+ start from £20.https://seatplan.com/london/42nd-street/last_img read more

Register now for Merseyflow

Register now for Merseyflow

first_imgRegistration for Merseyflow, the tolling service for the new Mersey Gateway Bridge and the Silver Jubilee Bridge across the Mersey, is now open. Registering an account with Merseyflow is the only way to get discounts on journeys across the river in Halton.Halton’s new Mersey Gateway Bridge will mean quicker, easier and more reliable journeys across the River Mersey.A free-flow tolling system means there will not be toll booths, to reduce journey times and minimise congestion.When the new bridge opens this autumn, the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge will also become tolled.Register at www.merseyflow.co.uklast_img

Lancs to go for PSVAR on all school routes

Lancs to go for PSVAR on all school routes

first_imgLancashire County Council has announced that all its school bus contracts (fare paying or closed contracts) will be tendered for PSVAR-compliant vehicles only for single and double-decker buses from July and, and for PSVAR coaches from 1 January 2020.Under current law, only routes open to the public are required to be PSVAR compliant.It is understood that existing contracts remain unchanged.last_img

NW CPT goes to sea

NW CPT goes to sea

North West region of the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) is taking to the virtual high seas for its AGM on Monday 30 April with guest speaker Captain William Wells for a nautical adventure of tales and humorous anecdotes.Explaining the decision to depart from the roads and ride the waves Regional Chairman Richard Bamber says: “Regional Manager Sue Mullen suggested we invite the captain, following from our dinner dance at the prestigious Titanic hotel.Regional Chairman Richard Bamber“No matter what the method of transport there is always something you can learn or even laugh about by listening to people in other parts of the transport industry.“Our region is very proactive and every credit to Sue for arranging what should be a great evening. “ The evening is open to anyone connected to the industry and we are looking forward to piping aboard lots of guests.”For further details contact Sue Mullen on 07710 833577 read more

Operator’s restricted licence bid rejected

Operator’s restricted licence bid rejected

first_imgA bid for a new one-vehicle restricted licence by Junaid Hussain Ajaz, trading as Prestige Minibus Service, has been rejected by Traffic Commissioner Simon Evans as he was unhappy over the financial evidence presented in relation to his main occupation.Oldham-based Mr Ajaz had been called before the TC at a Golborne Public Inquiry (PI).For Mr Ajaz, Bill Bowling, Legislation Officer of the National Limousine and Chauffeur Association (NLCA), said that the plan was that the grant of a restricted licence was likely to lead to the making of a substantive application for a national licence if things went well.In that regard, Mr Ajaz was seeking to take a course of qualification towards the Transport Manager CPC examination. He had obtained informed advice as a result of his NLCA membership, there would be external drivers’ hours analysis and an analysis of licence compliance.Mr Ajaz said he understood and would comply with the undertakings proposed and which were typically added to these licences. He planned to carry out airport transfer, group travel and “party” work. There was no intention to carry out local authority contract work.After Mr Ajaz was questioned about his main occupation, the TC said that his assessment of what he had heard had been complicated by the recent decision by Mr Ajaz to change the nature of his claimed “main occupation”.The application had been submitted in June 2018 when he worked as a black cab driver in Manchester, working 30 hours per week.It transpired that it was a new self-employment, since his accountant-prepared accounts showed for the financial year to 5 April 2018 his role was as a Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) driver.There was no evidence produced at all to confirm the extent of the income and expenditure from the now discontinued black cab work.Mr Ajaz had ceased his black cab driving and had, for the month or so preceding the PI, worked once again in the PHV sector but this time as an Uber driver.Mr Ajaz had said that early indications were positive, as compared to the black cab market, which had dried up. He was shown a screenshot of his income for the most recent full week.A projection of expected PSV income prepared by his accountant was produced. Those figures also contradicted Mr Ajaz’s narrative in his letter of 3 September 2018, which referred a net profit based on different gross takings.When that discrepancy was put to him, Mr Ajaz struggled to provide a coherent explanation, except that the figures represented, at best, only estimates.The TC was not satisfied that Mr Ajaz had shown that the PSV work would not be his main occupation. Mr Ajaz had not produced convincing evidence of his current income as a PHV driver which could be compared to the projections for PSV income. His assessment of income likely to be generated from proposed PSV work contained anomalies and could not be relied upon.last_img read more

Passengers on Go North East buses get chatty

Passengers on Go North East buses get chatty

first_imgAround 250 people took advantage of a new initiative to combat loneliness last week (29 January) as Go North East’s 10-strong team of ‘chatty champions’ boarded over 30 buses travelling across the region in a bid to get people talking.Chatty bus champion, Lee Harvey Their one-day mission was to encourage passengers to strike up conversation and have a natter with a neighbour, in response to research revealing that three in 10 Brits go at least one day a week without speaking to anyone.Chatty champion Pat says: “One lady told us we’d made her day and she wished we were on board all the time.“Another, called Lauren, explained she had mental health issues and autism and that we were the only people she had spoken to in over a week. She thought the chatty bus was a fantastic idea that she would love to see happen again.”last_img read more

Scrappage among bus manufacturers’ hopes for support

Scrappage among bus manufacturers’ hopes for support

first_imgThe UK’s three largest bus manufacturers – Alexander Dennis (ADL), Optare and Wrightbus – have written to Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps asking him to work with them to support and secure the sector’s future.The letter is signed by ADL Chief Executive Colin Robertson, Optare Chief Executive Graham Belgum and Wrightbus Chief Executive Buta Atwal in addition to Confederation of Passenger Transport Chief Executive Graham Vidler. It says that by helping manufacturers, Mr Shapps will save thousands of jobs while delivering the government’s clean air targets.Mechanisms such as scrappage schemes, procurement grants and the financing of leasing arrangements are among suggestions raised in the letter.The signatories also call for the release of funding to allow operators to place orders. If that does not happen, “fleet investment is likely to be cut back heavily in the remainder of 2020 and well into 2021,” they say.Forward orders have already been “drastically reduced”, and the three manufacturers add that many operators have deferred or cancelled planned new vehicle deliveries.“The entire industry was delighted by the Prime Minister’s pledge to support investment in ultra-low- and zero-emission buses during this parliament,” the letter continues.“However, the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis represents an immediate threat to the future of the UK bus manufacturing industry and its extensive supply chain. Without immediate support, future orders will not be forthcoming, placing over 10,000 jobs and apprenticeship opportunities at risk.”The three companies and Mr Vidler note that the UK’s bus manufacturing industry “is a global leader and a technological centre of excellence,” and that it accounts for more than 10% of the country’s motor industry employment total.last_img read more

Dealership Moseley (PCV) enters administration

Dealership Moseley (PCV) enters administration

first_imgCoach dealership Moseley (PCV) entered administration on Tuesday 16 June. Mark Hodgett and Phil Pierce of business advisory firm FRP have been appointed as Joint Administrators. They are now urgently seeking a buyer for the South Elmsall business.A statement from FRP says Moseley (PCV) “had faced significant challenges in recent months following a reduction in its order book after the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic led customers to postpone or delay the purchase of new coaches.“This, combined with shutdown of the UK tourism sector and the restrictions put in place as a result of coronavirus, led Moseley to operate in a limited capacity from March and ultimately enter administration.”Moseley (PCV) supplies coaches from Beulas, Indcar and VDL. 29 employees have been made redundant as a result of Moseley (PCV) entering administration. The remaining eight have been retained to manage enquiries and support aftersales as a buyer is sought.Mr Hodgett says: “Over the last 60 years Moseley (PCV) has established itself as an industry leader, renowned among customers across the UK for providing a high-quality service and best-in-class products.“Our priority is now to ensure minimum disruption for customers as we market the business for sale. I would like to thank the firm’s employees for their continued support throughout this process.“We will be working closely with the Redundant Payments Service to support those affected and would urge any other interested parties us as soon as possible.”In April, Moseley (PCV) consolidated operations that were previously handled from the Moseley in the South site at Wellington, Somerset, into its South Elmsall base.There is no suggestion that any other coach dealership with the Moseley name is affected. Airdire-based Moseley Distributors quickly moved to reassure its customers that it is open for business for vehicle sales, parts and repairs.last_img read more