Saturday, 3 December 2016

London Emissions news & Latest London Bus Contract Awards

Simple technology swap boosts NOx removal from 35% to 85% on London city buses


In June, Amminex announced that it has won a major order from the London bus operator Metroline Travel to replace existing AdBlue® emissions technology on 55 vehicles with an Amminex ASDS™ solution. Installations have now begun and the goal is to retrofit five vehicles and finalize the entire project in only a few months from now on the buses based at the Brentford (AH) Garage..


The buses are Volvo B9TL / Wrightbus Eclipse Gemini 2 type allocated to routes 237 (White City & Hounslow Heath), E2 (Greenford Broadway & Brentford) and E8 (Ealing Broadway Station & Brentford).
Prior to securing the contract, extensive testing has shown that NOx reduction increases from approximately 35% to 85% simply by swapping AdBlue® systems to ASDS™ with no changes done to the existing catalyst or engine. This is primarily because the gaseous ammonia used in Amminex' enhances NOx reduction performance with no compromises in terms of extra fuel consumption. This makes it a fast, affordable and also CO2 friendly way to instantly improve air quality in cities.
Engineering Director at Metroline, Ian Foster, confirms:
“As a large fleet operator we see this system as the next step forward in exhaust emission reduction, and a considerable improvement of current urea based injection systems. When we upgraded from AdBlue® to ASDS™ we got a major decrease in NOx emissions and the system is proving extremely stable in terms of daily operation. Commonly recurring issues with AdBlue®, such as the formation of solid deposits in the exhaust system, has been completely eliminated.”


Latest London Bus Contract Awards

The latest awards have recently been announced by Transport for London as follows:


70      (Acton & South Kensington Station) Awarded to London United with new but as yet to be announced single-decks. Currently operated by Tower Transit with ADL Enviro200 single-decks from Westbourne Park (X) Garage (new contract date commences 24th June 2017).
120    (Greenford & Hounslow) Awarded to Metroline with new Euro VI hybrid double-decks. Currently operated by London United with ADL and Scania double-decks from Hounslow (AV) Garage (24th June 2017).
C1      (Victoria Station & White City) Re-awarded to London United with new but as yet to be announced single-decks (1st July 2017).
R68    (Hampton Court Station & Kew) Re-awarded to London United with new Euro-VI diesel engine single-decks (24th June 2017).
R70    (Manor Circus & Nurserylands) Re-awarded to London United with new Euro-VI diesel engine single-decks (24th June 2017).

Friday, 2 December 2016

Oxford-Cambridge rail link gets £110m funding


The government has announced £110m of funding for an east-west rail link between Oxford and Cambridge.
It will use part of the former Varsity Line that was decommissioned in the 1960s and will also connect Milton Keynes, Aylesbury and Bedford.



In the Autumn Statement, the chancellor said £100m would be spent to "accelerate" the building of the Oxford to Bedford link.
It also allocated £10m to explore options for Bedford to Cambridge.
The government also announced the proposed Oxford to Cambridge Expressway will receive £27m of funding.
The "brain belt" would link existing roads between the two cities and is due to be delivered by the 2020s.
The East West Rail Consortium (EWRC) welcomed the news and has predicted the new line will reduce congestion in London.
Consortium member and Oxfordshire County Council deputy leader Rodney Road said he hoped the western section would be completed by 2019.
Network Rail has also welcomed the the planned restoration of the Varsity Line.
The Campaign for Better Transport said the east-west rail link provided a "real opportunity to embrace truly sustainable development for the 21st century".
But it criticised the proposed expressway as a "missed opportunity" and predicted it would only increase traffic.

NOW SEE THE LATEST ON THE NEW FOCUS FLICKR SITE:



Two further albums have been added from the Showbus 2016 event held at Donington Park. These feature preserved single-decks which can now be viewed here, and preserved coaches accessed here


Thursday, 1 December 2016

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Double-Deck for London

WRIGHTS GROUP SHOWCASES GROUND-BREAKING HYDROGEN FUEL CELL TECHNOLOGY AT ZERO-EMISSION BUS CONFERENCE, LONDON


Press release from the Wrights Group

London’s City Hall was the venue for the launch yesterday (30 November 2016) of the new Wrightbus – zero-emission double deck bus.  The zero-emission vehicle debuts a new hydrogen fuel cell driveline from Wrightbus which will rapidly become available to power both single deck and double deck buses as it becomes fully production ready next year.

The new technology from the Northern Ireland company provides a zero-emission drive system which encompasses a hydrogen fuel cell and a battery pack to power the vehicle. The combination of these two technologies makes the continuous daily operation of the public transport vehicle feasible.

Offering a reliable system with no emissions, all Wrightbus hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will feature an electric drive axle packaged to allow a full flat floor throughout the bus, a zero-emission heating/cooling system, the ability for overnight charging if the operator desires, and remote diagnostics. Key to the success of this concept are the lightweight hydrogen storage tanks, and the automatic battery management system which continuously monitors and balances the stored power while the vehicle is in service.


Image courtesy of the Wrights Group

Dr William Wright CBE, Co-Founder & Director of Wrights Group, said: “Wrightbus is a company where innovation and technology is at the core of everything we do, and we have led the way in the practical development of clean vehicle technology in buses over many years. This vehicle joins the recently launched StreetAir EV and brings an interesting new dimension to zero-emission bus technology offering transport operators a responsible choice to help address the world’s environmental challenges.”

Adding to Dr Wrights sentiment’s, Wrights Group Chairman and CEO Mark Nodder OBE, said: “This exciting new zero-emissions driveline technology, developed with support from our partner Advanced Propulsion Centre UK (APC), is the pinnacle of our on-going work to deliver highly innovative buses with the best possible fuel consumption and environmental credentials that are supported throughout a long and productive operational life.”

The project has been part funded by the APC under a grant for common platforms and assembly methods for Ultra Low Emission Buses.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Bus stops designed to fight killer pollution in London

Pollution-fighting bus stops have been designed to zap exhaust fume particles and pump out fresh air for pedestrians.
Airlabs, a Piccadilly-based start-up, believes adding its oxidation filters to bus stops, the sides of buildings and on Tube platforms could help people breathe more easily and save lives.
It is claimed that the technology,  costing from £4,000, is most effective in high-density areas with the worst  pollution, such as Oxford Street and Farringdon Street in the City.



The system has been installed in European factories and at the Danish embassy in Beijing, and Airlabs believes it could be used to fight toxic air on London streets.
The start-up is backed by SGO, whose chairman Lord Malloch-Brown is among speakers at today’s 2016 Global Innovation Summit event, by Imperial College and the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils.
Airlabs chief executive Sophie Power said their technology is particularly beneficial for people close to exhaust level on the road, neutralising harmful chemicals and providing clean air.
She said: “We take in air through the unit, which is then passed out to provide clean air where people need it.
“This method is low energy and low maintenance, so well suited to city infrastructure.”


The system is effective against pollutants in exhaust fumes, including nitrogen dioxide and PM2.5, particulates which have been linked to respiratory diseases that contribute to the deaths of nearly 9,500 Londoners every year.
Independent tests on the Airlabs  system were conducted in Marylebone Road by the Environmental Research Group at King’s College London.
David Green, who led the research, called results from the kerbside tests “promising” after they showed 87 per cent of NO2 was removed from the air.
Ms Power said the units have been tweaked to now remove “almost all” nitrogen dioxide.
A further test unit is planned for Oxford Street, where pollution breached the legal limit for a whole year after just four days in 2015.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

South West of England railway news

Government announces £10 million funding for rail resilience in the South West




Additional £10 million to help strengthen the resilience of the railway line from Exeter to Newton Abbot via Dawlish confirmed.
The government has recently (17 November 2016) confirmed an additional £10 million to help strengthen the resilience of the railway line from Exeter to Newton Abbot via Dawlish.
The funding comes as Network Rail publish a report which sets out their proposals for strengthening the route, which was significantly damaged by extreme weather in the winter of 2014.
A section of the sea wall was washed away, leaving the tracks hanging in space, and there was also a major landslip on the cliffs at Teignmouth while the line was closed. The closure of the line was estimated to cost the South West economy more than £1 billion pounds.
The funding is for Network Rail to carry out further planning for how to keep the track better protected from extreme weather.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:
It is vital that we do all we can to prepare our transport system for extreme weather.
Never has the impact of nature been better demonstrated than at Dawlish and it is important that we make our railways strong enough to weather any storm. The further funding we have today announced will help to make sure that this vital link remains open.
 

In their report Network Rail identify 3 priority areas where action is needed to prevent the main Exeter to Plymouth railway line being blocked by further extreme weather. These are:
  • the risk of landslip from the steep cliffs between Teignmouth and Parson’s Tunnel which would block the main Exeter to Plymouth railway line
  • rock falls from the cliffs above the Parson’s Tunnel north entrance
  • flooding from the sea of the railway and the road at Marine Parade between Dawlish station and Kennaway Tunnel
 

The £10 million funding will allow Network Rail to continue their development work on mitigation against these risks from 2017, when the current funding comes to an end.
Mark Langman, Network Rail’s managing director for the Western route said:
Keeping the South West connected to the rest of the country by rail is vital to the economy of the region.
We very much welcome the additional £10 million in funds announced today to help us build on the work we’ve already done to prevent this crucial line being blocked in the case of extreme weather.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Sheffield to Rotherham tram-train scheme delayed further


The UK's first tram-train scheme has been delayed until summer 2018, the BBC understands.
The £58m pilot project will enable trams to run on existing train tracks between Sheffield and Rotherham as well as on tram lines on the city streets.
The service was due to start in 2015 but has been subject to a number of delays.
Richard Wright from the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce said he was "pretty disgusted" by the latest delay.


He said: "This is going on and on. We're trying to join the region up.This is one of the good pilots that would have done that and instead of talking about what more trams we want the around region, we're actually talking about delays on the first bit we've done to try and take it out of Sheffield."
In a statement, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) said: "Network Rail, in discussion with the Department for Transport, is in the process of completing a thorough review of the current programme of works needed to adapt infrastructure to operate tram-train vehicles between Meadowhall South and Rotherham Parkgate.


"SYPTE hopes to receive confirmation on the rescheduled programme and an expected passenger service start date from Network Rail before the end of the year."
Network Rail said that the "next steps will be announced in due course".
SYPTE added that the seven train-tram vehicles, which were delivered last November, would run on the existing tram lines from Spring 2017.

NOW SEE THE LATEST ON THE NEW FOCUS FLICKR SITE


The annual Lincolnshire Road Transport Museum's open day in 2016 took place on the 6th November. Weather was mixed and decidedly wet at times, but did not appear to dampen the spirits of the many visitors to this event. The usual mix of LVVS-owned and visiting vehicles provided much interest, and many were used on a variety of services throughout the day.
Two new sets have been added to the albums and can now be viewed here and here

Sunday, 27 November 2016

London Underground disruption






Piccadilly Line delays: Chaos to continue for days as trains taken out of service


Passengers fear delays and cancellations on the Piccadilly Line could last for days as work continues to fix faulty wheels caused by wet leaves.
Commuters have faced major delays on the Tube as one in two trains on the Piccadilly Line were taken out of service.
Transport for London said wheels on trains serving the Underground’s fourth busiest line had been damaged as a result of slippery rails.
When tracks become too slippery wheels on Tube trains lock while braking, causing excess wear and rendering them unsafe to use.


Although fixing a wheel is a small job, the intricacy means the task is time-consuming, TfL said.
The problems on Friday morning meant trains between Acton Town and Uxbridge were cancelled and severe delays hit the rest of the line after a week of disruption.
It was not known when the line’s trains will be back in service but TfL warned delays could stretch into next week.
A spokesman told the Standard repairs have been happening all week but Friday had seen the worst of the problems. He added it is not known when the trains will be back in service.
The Tube trains are currently being repaired at depots at Cockfosters and Northfields.
A spokesman for TfL said it “sincerely apologises” to customers for the disruption.
Tony Matthews, general manager for the Piccadilly Line, said: “We have had to take some Piccadilly Line trains out of service to repair their wheels, which unfortunately means we do not have a full fleet available.
“We’re working around the clock to fix the trains so that we can return to a good service as quickly as possible.”
Delays plagued the Piccadilly Line repeatedly this week, with commuters taking to social media to complain.

Tube drivers on the Piccadilly Line are set to walk-out in a 24-hour strike on December 6 and 7.
A TfL spokesman said the Piccadilly is the only Tube line affected by the wheel locking problem from wet leaves. The trains spend a lot of time overground and are older so more susceptible to the problem, he said.

The Focus Transport's own potential disruptions to service appear to have passed without incident, and hopefully normal service will continue uninterrupted.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Hyperloop Moves Forward With Additional Funding

Hyperloop One, which is developing technology for a futuristic transit system, said it had raised an additional $50 million as it prepares for a full-scale test of a Hyperloop system in the first quarter of 2017.


A Hyperloop involves using magnets to levitate pods inside an airless tube, creating conditions in which the floating pods could shuttle people and cargo at speeds of up to 750 mph (1,200 kph).
The concept originated in a paper by Tesla Motors Chief Executive Elon Musk in 2013, who envisioned it whisking passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes.

Hyperloop One got its latest round of funding from DP World Group of Dubai. 
The $50 million takes its total funding to $160 million.
DP World Group, whose chief executive is also joining Hyperloop One's board, signed an agreement with the company in August to explore a Hyperloop system to move containers from ships docked at its flagship Port of Jebel Ali to a new inland container depot in Dubai.
Los Angeles-based Hyperloop One has previously got funding from the likes of 137 Ventures, Khosla Ventures, the French National Rail Company and GE Ventures.


Former Uber Chief Financial Officer Brent Callinicos was also appointed as a full-time adviser to Hyperloop One Chief Executive Rob Lloyd and the board.
There are currently no functioning Hyperloops anywhere in the world, and skeptics wonder if the technology can ever make the leap from science fiction to reality.
Musk has encouraged third-party firms to develop the technology.
These firms include Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT).  

If the plans go ahead, and the technology proves successful, people could travel the 67 miles from Dubai to Fujairah in 10 minutes. 
This currently takes just over 2 and a half hours to drive.


London to Manchester in 18 MINUTES: Radical Hyperloop system that travels at 740mph could be coming to the UK

  • Futuristic transport network would slash journey times in northern England
  • It would use magnetic pods to reach 760 mph through a series of tubes
  • Two of the firms racing to make Hyperloop a reality spoke with the UK
  • The government showed interest in the concept for the north of England 
Hyperloop, the radical technology which transports passengers at close to the speed of sound, could be heading for the UK.
The UK government has shown its interest in concept, which could link cities in the north of England and cut the journey time to London to a matter of minutes.
Both of the firms competing to build the futuristic transportation network – Hyperloop One – have reportedly held conversations with the government and private firms regarding bringing the concept to the UK.

Details of the discussions emerged as part of an extensive report from Wired, in which firms and the government’s own Innovate UK showed interest in the technology.
The brainchild of billionaire and head of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, Hyperloop will use magnetic train-like pods to shuttle passengers and freight around a network of tubes at close to the speed of sound.
While the technology is still largely at the concept stage, early tests have been carried out on the propulsion technology, which could ultimately transport passengers at 760 miles per hour (1,220 kph).
According to Wired, talks with UK firms centred on the potential for a Hyperloop system linking Manchester to Liverpool, which would overcome existing transport issues linking the two cities, creating a true ‘northern powerhouse’.

The head of Hyperloop One said travelling at such high speeds could enable passengers and freight to make the journey from London to Manchester in 18 minutes (pictured)
The head of Hyperloop One said travelling at such high speeds could enable passengers and freight to make the journey from London to Manchester in 18 minutes (pictured)

Friday, 25 November 2016

Kinchbus is first with contactless cloud fares

From Wellglade Kinchbus




50 Kinchbus and Skylink customers will trial the UK’s first cloud-based contactless payment system that guarantees the best fare on every trip.
By simply tapping their contactless cards when they get on and off the bus, customers’ accounts will be charged overnight with the cheapest possible fare for their exact journeys. Customers can check what they’ve paid via an app or our secure website.
During the December trial volunteers will be able to use their contactless debit or credit cards (initially, Visa and MasterCard branded) to make contactless payments on:
• Kinchbus 2 linking Loughborough, Charnwood villages and Leicester
• Then Kinchbus 9 between Loughborough and Nottingham
• And the skylink route linking Derby, Loughborough and Leicester with East Midlands Airport.
Each person taking part in the trial will be given additional discounts on their bus travel for providing feedback on the new system.



Alex Kerr, general manager at Kinchbus, said: “We believe this is the first of its kind on buses in the UK. It’s as simple as touch on, touch off, and the system works out the best value travel for our customers.

Whilst some contactless trials elsewhere have used standard card readers for buying fixed fares and tickets, we are going the extra mile with contactless touch-on, touch-off, as it’s a quick, convenient method of paying for everyday transactions such as bus fares.

Customers won’t need to remember to have cash or to pre-select a ticket – the best value fare will be worked out for them based on their precise journeys each day.”
Two university students have already been road-testing the contactless payments. One is Nipunika Silva, 20, a natural sciences student at the University of Leicester, who said: “It’s an easy way to pay. You don’t have to have sufficient change or go to an ATM or fish around in your bag. If you’re in a rush to catch the bus, then it’s a great way to pay. Since I started the test I no longer pay in any other way.”
Alex said: “Testing has gone very well so far. Once we have run November’s trial we will be able to see if it is a popular success. If customers love paying with contactless cards, we can consider whether we should roll it out further.”
A UK Cards Association spokeswoman said: “Bringing contactless payments to buses in this trial will make travel more convenient for passengers, who will be able to use the bank card already in their pockets to pay their fare.”
Alexander Peschkoff, CEO of TEDIPAY, the company that provides that game-changing smart ticketing solution, said: “Bus fares are an ideal purchase for contactless payments. Kinchbus is a pioneering partner working with us to bring the benefits to their customers.”

NOW SEE THE LATEST ON THE NEW FOCUS FLICKR WEBSITE 


Whilst in the Midlands with this posting we may as well stay here with a couple more albums from the 2016 Showbus event held at Donington Park adjacent to the East Midlands Airport. These can now be viewed by clicking here for a selection of preserved full front double-decks, and here for half-cab double-decks.

FOCUS TRANSPORT APOLOGISE FOR POSTINGS THAT MAY BE CANCELLED, DELAYED OR DISRUPTED OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS. No leaves on the line or the wrong kind of snow, just major engineering at the home hub. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Latest London Bus Contract Awards

The latest awards have recently been announced by Transport for London as follows:



143    (Archway Station & Brent Cross Shopping Centre) Re-awarded to Metroline Travel using existing fleet Euro-V diesel engined single-decks (new contract starting date 24th June 2017).



195    (Charville Lane Estate & Brentford County Court) Awarded to Abellio with new Euro-VI diesel single-decks. Currently operated by Metroline West with DE-Class ADL E200 single-decks from Greenford (G) Garage (15th April 2017).
260    (White City Bus Station & Golders Green Station) Re-awarded to Metroline Travel with new Euro-VI hybrid double-decks (24th June 2017).


302    (Mill Hill Broadway Station & Kensal Rise Station) Re-awarded to Metroline Travel with new Euro-VI hybrid double-decks (24th June 2017).
350(U5)  (Uxbridge Station & Hayes & Harlington Station) Awarded to Abellio as revised route 350 with new Euro-VI diesel engined single-decks. Currently operated by Metroline Travel with DE-class ADL E20D single-decks from Hayes (HZ) Garage (29th April 2017).

350 (currently Abellio) and U5 (currently Metroline West) To clarify, these two routes are restructured with their present routeings swapped between Hayes and Stockley Park.  The current contract on the U5 ceases from 29th April 2017 but the current 350 contract is not yet due.  The way it will work is that a new contract (as 350) is awarded to Abellio West London (pvr 5) between Hayes Station and Terminal Five with new Euro VI diesel single-decks.  The existing contract on the present 350 with Abellio West London is ’varied’ to run instead as U5 from Hayes to Uxbridge using the existing double-decks.

FOCUS TRANSPORT APOLOGISE FOR POSTINGS THAT MAY BE CANCELLED, DELAYED OR DISRUPTED OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS. No leaves on the line or the wrong kind of snow, just major engineering at the home hub. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Leeds Trolleybus & Supertram


Leeds trolleybus and Supertram promoters had “unrealistically high ambitions”

 


The NGT New Generation Transport Leeds Trolleybus as it would have looked The NGT New Generation Transport Leeds Trolleybus as it would have looked Aisha Iqbal A planning expert has given a damning verdict on the role played by decison-makers in Leeds’s failed NGT trolleybus and Supertram schemes. 
Professor Peter Bonsall, Emeritus Professor of Transport Planning at the University of Leeds, was invited to offer his views to an inquiry panel which is investigating the city’s doomed duo of transport projects, which were developed over a period of 30 years in total before both were eventually dumped by the Government. And in his 18 page report to the cross-party panel, which meets for its first session next week, Professor Bonsall says: “The history of the Supertram and NGT schemes is a sad one. “It has involved considerable waste of public resources, decades of delay in addressing Leeds’s transport problems and consequent frustration for the city’s people and businesses. “It is tempting to blame Whitehall and Westminster for having seemed to encourage the projects and ultimately to have refused to fund them, but I believe that much of the problem lies closer to home.” He said “unrealistically high ambitions” were a key factor, adding: “The scheme for which funding was eventually sought was clearly larger than DfT were willing to accept and its business case was not sound. “These proved to be fatal flaws when combined with unfortunate timing - had a smaller scheme been brought forward while tram schemes were popular with Government then Leeds might have received funding for a scheme which might later have been extended.” 
Referring to the NGT trolleybus, he said its eventual rejection following a public inquiry was due to the “fundamental weakness of its business case”. He said opposition from local communities and businesses was “significant but would not have swayed the inspector had the Business Case been sound”. He added: “This weakness was, in my opinion, due to an over-hasty decision to pursue a trolleybus scheme as a kind of ‘supertram-lite’ and to implement the main part of the scheme in the A660 corridor - where segregation from other traffic is difficult to achieve.”

Read more at: http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/leeds-trolleybus-and-supertram-promoters-had-unrealistically-high-ambitions-1-8245019

PLEASE NOTE THAT POSTINGS MAY BE DELAYED OR INTERRUPTED OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS. No leaves on the line or the wrong kind of snow, just major engineering at the home hub. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.
Leeds trolleybus and Supertram promoters had “unrealistically high ambitions” The NGT New Generation Transport Leeds Trolleybus as it would have looked The NGT New Generation Transport Leeds Trolleybus as it would have looked Aisha Iqbal A planning expert has given a damning verdict on the role played by decison-makers in Leeds’s failed NGT trolleybus and Supertram schemes. Professor Peter Bonsall, Emeritus Professor of Transport Planning at the University of Leeds, was invited to offer his views to an inquiry panel which is investigating the city’s doomed duo of transport projects, which were developed over a period of 30 years in total before both were eventually dumped by the Government. And in his 18 page report to the cross-party panel, which meets for its first session next week, Professor Bonsall says: “The history of the Supertram and NGT schemes is a sad one. “It has involved considerable waste of public resources, decades of delay in addressing Leeds’s transport problems and consequent frustration for the city’s people and businesses. “It is tempting to blame Whitehall and Westminster for having seemed to encourage the projects and ultimately to have refused to fund them, but I believe that much of the problem lies closer to home.” He said “unrealistically high ambitions” were a key factor, adding: “The scheme for which funding was eventually sought was clearly larger than DfT were willing to accept and its business case was not sound. “These proved to be fatal flaws when combined with unfortunate timing - had a smaller scheme been brought forward while tram schemes were popular with Government then Leeds might have received funding for a scheme which might later have been extended.” Referring to the NGT trolleybus, he said its eventual rejection following a public inquiry was due to the “fundamental weakness of its business case”. He said opposition from local communities and businesses was “significant but would not have swayed the inspector had the Business Case been sound”. He added: “This weakness was, in my opinion, due to an over-hasty decision to pursue a trolleybus scheme as a kind of ‘supertram-lite’ and to implement the main part of the scheme in the A660 corridor - where segregation from other traffic is difficult to achieve.”

Read more at: http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/leeds-trolleybus-and-supertram-promoters-had-unrealistically-high-ambitions-1-8245019
A planning expert has given a damning verdict on the role played by decison-makers in Leeds’s failed NGT trolleybus and Supertram schemes. Professor Peter Bonsall, Emeritus Professor of Transport Planning at the University of Leeds, was invited to offer his views to an inquiry panel which is investigating the city’s doomed duo of transport projects, which were developed over a period of 30 years in total before both were eventually dumped by the Government. And in his 18 page report to the cross-party panel, which meets for its first session next week, Professor Bonsall says: “The history of the Supertram and NGT schemes is a sad one. “It has involved considerable waste of public resources, decades of delay in addressing Leeds’s transport problems and consequent frustration for the city’s people and businesses. “It is tempting to blame Whitehall and Westminster for having seemed to encourage the projects and ultimately to have refused to fund them, but I believe that much of the problem lies closer to home.” He said “unrealistically high ambitions” were a key factor, adding: “The scheme for which funding was eventually sought was clearly larger than DfT were willing to accept and its business case was not sound. “These proved to be fatal flaws when combined with unfortunate timing - had a smaller scheme been brought forward while tram schemes were popular with Government then Leeds might have received funding for a scheme which might later have been extended.” Referring to the NGT trolleybus, he said its eventual rejection following a public inquiry was due to the “fundamental weakness of its business case”. He said opposition from local communities and businesses was “significant but would not have swayed the inspector had the Business Case been sound”. He added: “This weakness was, in my opinion, due to an over-hasty decision to pursue a trolleybus scheme as a kind of ‘supertram-lite’ and to implement the main part of the scheme in the A660 corridor - where segregation from other traffic is difficult to achieve.”

Read more at: http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/leeds-trolleybus-and-supertram-promoters-had-unrealistically-high-ambitions-1-8245019
A planning expert has given a damning verdict on the role played by decison-makers in Leeds’s failed NGT trolleybus and Supertram schemes. Professor Peter Bonsall, Emeritus Professor of Transport Planning at the University of Leeds, was invited to offer his views to an inquiry panel which is investigating the city’s doomed duo of transport projects, which were developed over a period of 30 years in total before both were eventually dumped by the Government. And in his 18 page report to the cross-party panel, which meets for its first session next week, Professor Bonsall says: “The history of the Supertram and NGT schemes is a sad one. “It has involved considerable waste of public resources, decades of delay in addressing Leeds’s transport problems and consequent frustration for the city’s people and businesses. “It is tempting to blame Whitehall and Westminster for having seemed to encourage the projects and ultimately to have refused to fund them, but I believe that much of the problem lies closer to home.” He said “unrealistically high ambitions” were a key factor, adding: “The scheme for which funding was eventually sought was clearly larger than DfT were willing to accept and its business case was not sound. “These proved to be fatal flaws when combined with unfortunate timing - had a smaller scheme been brought forward while tram schemes were popular with Government then Leeds might have received funding for a scheme which might later have been extended.” Referring to the NGT trolleybus, he said its eventual rejection following a public inquiry was due to the “fundamental weakness of its business case”. He said opposition from local communities and businesses was “significant but would not have swayed the inspector had the Business Case been sound”. He added: “This weakness was, in my opinion, due to an over-hasty decision to pursue a trolleybus scheme as a kind of ‘supertram-lite’ and to implement the main part of the scheme in the A660 corridor - where segregation from other traffic is difficult to achieve.”

Read more at: http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/leeds-trolleybus-and-supertram-promoters-had-unrealistically-high-ambitions-1-8245019
A planning expert has given a damning verdict on the role played by decison-makers in Leeds’s failed NGT trolleybus and Supertram schemes. Professor Peter Bonsall, Emeritus Professor of Transport Planning at the University of Leeds, was invited to offer his views to an inquiry panel which is investigating the city’s doomed duo of transport projects, which were developed over a period of 30 years in total before both were eventually dumped by the Government. And in his 18 page report to the cross-party panel, which meets for its first session next week, Professor Bonsall says: “The history of the Supertram and NGT schemes is a sad one. “It has involved considerable waste of public resources, decades of delay in addressing Leeds’s transport problems and consequent frustration for the city’s people and businesses. “It is tempting to blame Whitehall and Westminster for having seemed to encourage the projects and ultimately to have refused to fund them, but I believe that much of the problem lies closer to home.” He said “unrealistically high ambitions” were a key factor, adding: “The scheme for which funding was eventually sought was clearly larger than DfT were willing to accept and its business case was not sound. “These proved to be fatal flaws when combined with unfortunate timing - had a smaller scheme been brought forward while tram schemes were popular with Government then Leeds might have received funding for a scheme which might later have been extended.” Referring to the NGT trolleybus, he said its eventual rejection following a public inquiry was due to the “fundamental weakness of its business case”. He said opposition from local communities and businesses was “significant but would not have swayed the inspector had the Business Case been sound”. He added: “This weakness was, in my opinion, due to an over-hasty decision to pursue a trolleybus scheme as a kind of ‘supertram-lite’ and to implement the main part of the scheme in the A660 corridor - where segregation from other traffic is difficult to achieve.”

Read more at: http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/leeds-trolleybus-and-supertram-promoters-had-unrealistically-high-ambitions-1-8245019

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Bristol's 'poo bus' plan goes down the pan



Plans to roll out a fleet of "poo buses" have gone down the pan after the government turned down a funding bid.
The UK's first "Bio-Bus" launched on the number two route in Bristol, in March last year. The bus ran on gas produced by human and food waste.
Following a successful trial First Group and rival operator Wessex Bus had hoped to run fleets of bio buses.
However, the bid was rejected by The Office for Low Emission Vehicles.
The "poo bus" initiative was led by Wessex Water's renewable energy company GENeco to show how biomethane gas - produced during the treatment of sewage and organic waste - could be used as a sustainable alternative to traditional fossil fuels to power vehicles and homes. First West of England had applied for a grant to run 110 gas-powered double-decker buses in Bristol.
Wessex Bus and partners GENeco had also put in a £2.5m bid to fund 20 bio-buses in the city by 2019.
The gas produced by Bristol sewage treatment works in Avonmouth, run by Wessex Water's renewable energy company GENeco, is now instead injected into the national gas network.
First Bristol confirmed that the number two "poo bus" service is no longer running.
Ian Drury, from GENeco, said while the firm was disappointed the bids were unsuccessful, the pilot project "started a global debate on how biomethane buses running on renewable sources could significantly reduce air emissions in cities around the world".
He added that more than 70 biomethane buses were given the go ahead by The Office for Low Emission Vehicles to run in other areas.

NOW SEE THE LATEST ON THE NEW FOCUS FLICKR SITE:




The now annual Vintage Bus Running Day at Kingsbridge was held during September. Roger Kaye visited the event and a set of images are in the latest album which can now be viewed by clicking here

Monday, 21 November 2016

Crossrail station news


Huge new station planned for Ilford ‘to meet Crossrail demand'




Plans for a huge new glass-fronted station at Ilford were submitted today as part of a package of improvements for the start of Crossrail services.
A new ticket hall flooded with natural light and designed by architects Atkins will replace the Cranbrook Road station, which has been criticised as a “ghetto” by some passengers.
There will also be new lifts for step-free access to all platforms from street level, longer platforms, improved lighting, signage, customer information points, CCTV and overhead information screens.
Network Rail's proposed improvements come after Transport for London opened a new ticket hall in York Road as part of its station upgrades.
The first Crossrail trains on the new Elizabeth line will start passing through Ilford from May next year with up to 12 services an hour into central London by May 2019.
Matthew White, Crossrail surface director, said: “These major improvements will make travelling through Ilford station a vastly better experience for the many thousands of people who use it every day.
"The proposals for the striking fa├žade and new, spacious ticket hall are designed to underline the importance of the station and of the Elizabeth line to the local area.”
Jas Athwal, leader of Redbridge council, said: “The arrival of the Elizabeth line will represent a game-changing moment for Ilford. Commuting times will be slashed and the Elizabeth line will rapidly link us to the City, West End and Heathrow airport.”

Sunday, 20 November 2016

The New Focus Flickr Site

Two years ago to the month in November 2014 the New Focus Flickr site was created. A few days ago we passed the 1-million mark of viewings, so it looks like we may be doing something right. Since then we have hopefully provided an eclectic mix of subjects within the many albums now on the site, which can now be found by clicking here

Scroll down and there are two pages of albums to peruse, the first two a selection of buses and coaches found on the island of Malta in late 2014. These two are able to be viewed by clicking here and here





Prior to this the original Focus Flickr site has since been archived and can be accessed by clicking here
Once again there is a further mix of subjects that include planes, trains, buses, coaches and the ship. These stretch back as far as February 2011, the first of which being closer to home with trains through the Hope Valley in Derbyshire. This can be viewed by clicking  here