Month: April 2021

Stagecoach charity bus

first_imgStagecoach South West has unveiled a bespoke liveried bus, supporting local charity Chemo Hero on Sunday (19 November).Chemo Hero provides gift boxes to people undergoing chemotherapy at the Seamoor Unit in North Devon District Hospital. On the patient’s first treatment, their nurse gifts them the box filled with practical items and little luxuries.Helen Scholes, Marketing Manager at Stagecoach, says: “We are delighted to be supporting Lisa and Chemo Hero and hope the special bus will increase awareness of the charity and the important work it does in the North Devon community.”last_img read more

Zeelo launches luxury coach service

first_imgOn-demand coach provider Zeelo has launched a new luxury coach service called ZeeloLux for travel to sports and music events.Zeelo uses AI to find surges in travel demand and fill them with coachesZeelo uses artificial intelligence to detect surges in travel demand that aren’t met by existing transport options. It uses this knowledge to provide direct coach routes, hiring coaches from operators.For ZeeloLux, the start-up specifies executive coaches with leather seats, tables, wi-fi and toilets onoard, as well as snacks and bubbly served by an onboard host.ZeeloLux will make its debut on 13-16 March for the Cheltenham Festival. Zeelo plans to roll out ZeeloLux coaches for other major sporting events later in the year, including Ascot and Henley Royal Regatta.Zeelo says that coach operators working with it can reduce their vehicles’ downtime, while Zeelo shoulders the risk by hiring the coaches. It gives coach operators tools to use the service, including a scheduling system.Co-founder Barney Williams says: “We are currently working with thousands of coach operators up and down the country to reinvent the way groups travel and provide hundreds of luxury coaches for fans to major events.“If our partners are successful, then we are successful. We want to help operators grow their business through providing them with access to new customers.”He adds: “While the Cheltenham races are synonymous with luxury, getting to and from the racecourse can be a cramped and longwinded affair.“With ZeeloLux we are able to offer passengers two of life’s most important luxuries, time and legroom. No more standing in someone’s armpit on the train or having to drive: We take you right to the racecourse with a drink in hand.”Zeelo was founded in February 2017 by Mr Williams, Sam Ryan and Dani Ruiz. They sold their previous start-up JumpIn, a taxi booking and sharing app for students, to Addison Lee in 2014 while still at university. Zeelo received £1.2m in seed funding in November last year from a number of investors, including Manchester-based Swans Travel.last_img read more

National Express backs road safety campaign

first_imgNational Express is supporting Highways England’s ‘Don’t be a Space Invader – stay safe, stay back’ road safety campaign to highlight the risks of tailgating.Chris Hardy, Chief Executive Officer of National ExpressA retro ‘Space Invaders’ poster will feature on the rear of 12 of the operator’s coaches, and stickers have been added to bumpers of the remaining 500-plus fleet of vehicles to remind drivers travelling at speed that tailgating is dangerous.One in eight of all road casualties are caused by people who drive too close to the vehicle in front, with more than 100 people killed or seriously injured annually, according to campaign statistics.“As the UK’s largest coach operator, we experience tailgating of our vehicles and fully endorse the message to not be a Space Invader and leave enough room,” says National Express Chief Executive Officer Chris Hardy.last_img read more

West Mids gets £5.5m boost

first_imgThe West Midlands has received a £5.5m government award, giving a major boost to Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street’s commitment to deliver the cleanest bus fleet in the UK outside London.The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has received nearly £3m to upgrade buses to Euro 6 emissions standard across the region, with a further £2.5m going to Coventry.The funding from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will enable 350 buses to be retrofitted to Euro 6.The Mayor’s goal is for the entire fleet in the West Midlands metropolitan area to have Euro 6 engines by April 2021The Mayor says: “I am delighted that we have been successful in our bid for government funding. This is a massive boost to our ambition to clean up the air in the West Midlands.“We will now be working with the companies involved to make sure their vehicles are upgraded as soon as possible.”last_img read more

Up to 33 redundancies at Reading Buses as part of survival plan

first_imgUp to 33 redundancies are to be made by Reading Buses as part of a wider cost-saving exercise brought on by continuing uncertainty in the bus industry.The operator says that a slow recovery of passenger numbers, combined with an end to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme later this year and no guarantee that customer habits will return to normal in the long term, mean that the company must make changes if it is to survive. It does not rule out taking further steps to reduce costs later.No redundancies among Reading Buses driving staff are expected. However, as part of its plan to ensure a sustainable future, the operator will also introduce a freeze on recruitment, including apprenticeships; a freeze on investment in new vehicles; and “new ways of working for existing staff.”Says Chief Executive Officer Robert Williams: “It is probable that these will not be the only changes needed as we begin to look forward into the ‘new normal’ future. We do not take any of these decisions lightly and we have tried to avoid redundancies for as long as possible.“If we continue to operate with the same costs while waiting for customers to return, it will result in the company no longer being able to survive.”Mr Williams adds that at the worst point of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the operator’s passenger numbers dropped to below 10% of normal.  The most recent data from the Department for Transport shows that across the UK, weekday patronage had recovered to no more than 33% of its pre-pandemic equivalent as of Monday 20 July.“The industry as a whole is suffering,” continues Mr Williams. “Once the pandemic is over and things return to ‘normal’, we expect that some people will continue their current pattern of using other modes of transport, working from home and internet shopping – all of which will see an ongoing reduction in both customer numbers and revenue.”last_img read more

Brighton and Hove Buses staff shine a leading light for women in transport

first_imgBrighton and Hove Buses Operations Manager, Kirstie Bull, and Head of Marketing and Communications, Vicky Doyle, have been recognised for their contribution to the transport and logistics industry.Ms Bull won the Above and Beyond Customer/Passenger Award at the virtual everywoman in Transport and Logistics Awards ceremony on Tuesday 6 October. She won the award for excelling in her role working for customers in transport, logistics and freight.Ms Doyle was a runner-up for the Industry Champion Award – an award that goes to a woman who is championing the progress of women working in transport and logistics.Martin Harris, Brighton and Hove Buses Managing Director, says: “I’m delighted to have two great ambassadors and important role models to so many others in the business.“We will continue to push for a more diverse and inclusive workforce and keep getting better at backing women equally in their careers with us.”Everywoman was established in 1999 to help advance women’s careers in the transport industry. It has a presence in more than 100 countries and a network of over 30,000 members.last_img read more

Amish couple settles lawsuit over photos their faith forbids

first_img Facebook Pinterest Google+ Twitter Pinterest By Associated Press – May 30, 2019 0 384 IndianaNews WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+ Amish couple settles lawsuit over photos their faith forbids (“An Amish family on a Morning Stroll” by johnny_appleseed1774, CC BY 2.0) INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Amish couple with 13 children settled a lawsuit that accused federal officials of violating their constitutional rights by insisting they provide photographs of themselves before the Canadian wife’s request to become a permanent U.S. resident can be approved.The southern Indiana couple sued last year in U.S. District Court. Their lawsuit said they won’t allow themselves to be photographed “for any reason,” in keeping with their Old Order Amish belief that photos of people are “graven images” prohibited by the biblical Second Commandment.The Indianapolis Star reports Wednesday that the settlement allows the woman to become a permanent U.S. resident without submitting photos. The government agreed to allow her to cross the U.S.-Canada border without photo ID.The lawsuit identified the couple only as John and Jane Doe. WhatsApp Previous articleIndiana fetal remains law could boost costs for abortionsNext articleMichigan governor signs overhaul to cut high auto premiums Associated PressNews from the Associated Press and its network of reporters and publications.last_img read more

Israel attacks ‘surprise’ Union paper

first_imgHalevy was not convinced. “We are somewhat surprised by the timing of this,” he said. “It could be construed as an attempt to influence deliberations during the visit of our prime minister to Washington.”The Commission paper notes that in spite of EU economic aid worth 1.7 billion ecu to the Palestinian Authority since the start of the peace process, Palestinian gross national product has declined by 35%, unemployment has doubled and private investment has plummeted.Marín claimed that this was due in part to “a series of measures put into practice by Israel to seal off the Palestinian territories from the outside world”. This made it difficult for the Commission to justify further aid to the region, he said, adding: “The problem the Commission has is that the programme comes to an end this year. Will it be extended for another five years?”Although EU assistance had helped to keep the peace process alive, Marín warned that without economic growth in the territories run by the Palestinian Authority it would be impossible to foster long-term reconciliation.Halevy acknowledged that EU financial aid had been useful, but stressed that it was directed only towards the Palestinians and was supplemented by substantial Israeli funds. He firmly rejected any suggestion that Israel should open its bordersin pursuit of long-term economic development. “This would mean sacrificing lives in an effort to bring about economic improvement,” he said.He also dismissed the Commission paper’s suggestion that Europe could help Israel protect its security. “This is not what Israel is asking for,” said Halevy. “Besides, this is not something which the Union is even capable of contributing to.” Israel’s ambassador to the EU Ephraim Halevy said the document published last week demonstrated a severe “misunderstanding” of the peace process and the EU’s role within it. “The approach should not be ‘how can the Union have a role?’ but ‘does the EU have something valid to contribute to both sides?’,” said Halevy. “We believe this should be a free negotiation between the parties, without outside participation except at their request.”Mediterranean Affairs Commissioner Manuel Marín has insisted that the collapse of the Palestinian economy and region-wide instability “should lead us to consider more active participation in the peace negotiations”.This latest storm between the EU and Jerusalem follows the surprise publication of the Commission paper a month after it was unanimously adopted by the institution. Marín claimed the delay resulted from the document’s extreme sensitivity, but said last week that he “could not wait any longer before raising the matter openly”. Marín’s move also surprised some EU governments, which have yet to receive an official copy of the paper. One UK official described the report as “naïve”, stressing it was “a Commission, not an EU paper”.The Commissioner will present the paper to foreign ministers at their meeting on Monday (26 January), but substantial discussions are not expected until the following month.last_img read more

French flag set to go on flying over top job

first_imgThe incumbent is in the pivotal position of preparing the Commission’s agenda and writing up minutes of meetings. With the departure of Frenchman Claude Landes, the post has now been advertised internally, but there are strong rumours that another high-flying French official has already been earmarked for the post.Meanwhile, the job has been filled temporarily by Patricia Bugnot, a senior French official and former deputy chef de cabinet to Finnish Commissioner Erkki Liikanen.France’s insistance on keeping the greffe post, while agreeing to have its hands prised off the agriculture director-generalship, says a great deal about the importance it attaches to the job. The move comes, ironically, at a time when the most-used language at Commission meetings is fast becoming English.last_img read more

Accession states pin hopes on Danes

first_img“Failure to complete the negotiations will be viewed as a major disappointment. Spain has done well to pave the way for the enlargement process to be concluded and I hope the Danish presidency continues the momentum.”Jensen, deputy chairman of the budgets committee, also predicts that December’s Copenhagen summit will be the last hosted by the Danes under the present system.“Everyone acknowledges the six-month rotating presidency will have to change,” she said.Fellow Liberal MEP Lone Dybkjaer said the Danish presidency would be judged entirely on its record in closing enlargement negotiations with the candidate countries.“This is the one big, single issue that is going to dominate the whole presidency,” he said.“There are going to be a few obstacles along the way and, as much as I want to see agricultural reform, I hope this issue does not hold up discussions. She says the accession negotiations – due for completion by the end of the year – will overshadow all else during the next six months.But the former journalist, who is a member of the ruling Liberal Party, admits that meeting the enlargement deadline will not be easy.“Everyone is hoping that the Danes will make one final, big push on enlargement. But there could still be problems along the way, such as the current arguments over EU subsidies to candidate countries. “One thing is sure – if we don’t succeed in completing the process it will not be for the want of trying.”Meanwhile, Danish eurosceptic Jens-Peter Bonde said he hopes the presidency “respects” the result of the second Irish referendum on the Nice Treaty.last_img read more