Tuesday, 14 August 2018

ADL Careers Roadshow


Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), is to hold a series of four Careers Roadshow events at key UK locations this September to highlight available job opportunities. Openings include engineering roles at all levels to support the manufacturer’s growing development of passenger-friendly low and zero emission buses for domestic and international markets.

The Enviro 400 double decker is a hugely popular vehicle in UK fleets

ADL is looking for Design Engineers, Lead Engineers and Principal Engineers across all its disciplines of chassis, body, electrical, test & development and homologation engineering. Candidates could be based at any of the company’s UK locations in Scotland, the North of England and Surrey.

ADL also hopes to attract graduate talent as well as looking for qualified Project Managers, Procurement Engineers and Commodity Buyers/Commodity Managers.

 ADL have partnered with Chinese manufacturer BYD to produce the
electrically powered Enviro200EV
The events will take place in Manchester, York, Guildford and Glasgow on dates between 10th and 25th September 2018, each running from 12pm to 8pm to give interested people the opportunity to visit in their lunchbreak or after finishing work in the evening. Senior engineers and other members of the ADL team will be on hand to talk about the roles the company is seeking to fill, and to kick-start the application process.

 ADL are building a successful export market in
the USA, Asia Pacific and in mainland Europe
(See below)
More information about the Careers Roadshow events is available on the ADL website at



Monday, 13 August 2018

Key Edinburgh Roads Will Be Closed Each Month

Key roads across Edinburgh will be closed to traffic once a month.
Councillors agreed to approve the roll-out of the Open Streets programme on the first Sunday of every month, between 10:00 and 17:00.
A major public consultation into radical plans to reduce air pollution in Edinburgh could also see the city's main shopping streets pedestrianised.
Another idea being looked at is for vehicles to be able to "go to, but not through" the city centre.
The plans could also see widened pavements and improved public spaces.
The consultation will begin in September and last eight weeks.

'No decision has been taken yet on which roads will close in the pilot project, Open Streets programme, which will also act as a test for any future restrictions on vehicles in certain parts of the city.
The closures could include "key parts of the city centre and town centres" across the capital.
Conservatives voted against moving forward the plans for regular Open Streets days, citing a lack of evidence linking road closures to air pollution levels.
Nick Cook, Conservative councillor for Edinburgh's Morningside ward, called for a "high level of public confidence" in the plans and an "assurance that this is what the public and businesses want".
He said: "We are in a situation where we are using anecdotal evidence. We are putting forward a full programme without enough data. We need a more cautious and data-driven approach."
Commenting on the wider consultation plans, Lesley Macinnes, the city council's transport convener, said: "This prospectus is a truly ambitious document which is bound to generate some lively debate right across the city about what kind of place we want Edinburgh to be.
"It's a powerful opportunity to make some really transformational changes to our city centre and town centres for the benefit of everyone who lives and works in, or visits them.
"Frankly, the status quo is just not an option anymore. As a council we are serious about tackling poor air quality, reducing congestion and making it as easy as possible to get around Edinburgh, especially by walking, cycling and public transport."
Karen Doran, the council's transport vice convener, added: "The ideas in this hugely significant consultation have come from a series of workshops held in the spring with a huge range of organisations and interest groups, including transport providers."
Sustrans Scotland is providing funding of £750,000 to help support the plans. Deputy director Grace Martin said: "It is fantastic to see our capital city developing solutions to make the city a better place for people to live, work and visit.
"We are particularly pleased to be able to support a vision of more walking and cycling with funding through our infrastructure and behaviour change programmes."
Joseph Carter, head of British Lung Foundation Scotland, said: "Poor air quality must be recognised for what it is - a major public health crisis.
"Reducing the level of noxious pollutants in Edinburgh's air must be a priority in the coming years.
"The publication of these proposals brings additional clarity on the council's approach to reduce emissions from the most polluting vehicles and encourage active travel."
He added: "We want to see ambitious proposals for the low emission zone and we will be urging councillors to take the bold steps needed to ensure that everyone in Edinburgh can breathe easier in the years to come."

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Yutong on Trial in Oxford

The Yutong E12 all-electric bus hit the streets of Oxford for the first time last week, however, transport bosses say there are still 'practical concerns' over plans to introduce a zero emissions zone (ZEZ) in the city centre by 2020.

The comments from Oxford Bus Company boss Phil Southall come as the firm launched a two-week trial of the zero-emission, all-electric bus.

Under current Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council proposals, diesel and petrol vehicles would be banned from some streets in the city centre from 2020.

As vehicle technology develops it is proposed the Zero Emissions Zone will extend to cover all non-electric vehicles across the city centre by 2035.

The council has insisted the ZEZ should be introduced within the timescales as it looks to reduce illegally-high levels of toxic nitrogen dioxide, which contributes to diseases including cancer, asthma, stroke and heart disease.

The bus to be used in the trial, currently the ‘best on the market’, according to Mr Southall, only has a range of 130 miles - more than 100 miles short of the daily bus routes on which it would be used.

However, the trial will allow the company to gain a better understanding of battery life and performance and to gauge customer and driver feedback.

He said: “This trial is an important part of the journey and will enable us and key stakeholders to better understand the technology, what the current standard is and better inform everyone involved in developing a strategy to deliver a greener future for the city of Oxford.

However he said there would need to be major advancement in the technology in order to make the 2020 time frame feasible: “Based on the technology available today, the Zero Emission Zone as it is currently proposed is not realistic or practical.

“The aspiration to have one is absolutely right but there is no point in trying to rush it.”

The single decker bus, developed by Chinese manufacturer Yutong Bus, emits zero tail pipe emissions and has no engine noise or vibration.

The white single decker will operate for one week on services 3A and 6, with the first week of the trial being used to allow drivers to get used to the state-of-the-art vehicle, which is charged via a diesel generator at the Cowley depot.

Leader of Oxford City Council, Susan Brown, said: “The trialling of the fully electric single-decker bus is another exciting step forward for Oxford, moving along the road to zero.

“We are looking forward to seeing the bus in operation and to hearing Oxford Bus Company’s thoughts on how we can continue to work together to deliver the Zero Emission Zone proposals and cleaner buses in Oxford.”

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Annual Cost of Congestion in the UK will Rise 63 Percent by 2030 to £21 Billion

The true impact of traffic congestion on quality of life has been revealed by a new poll showing that commuters leave home an average of 13 minutes early every day to allow for jams on Britain’s roads.

A study by polling agency Walnut Unlimited commissioned by The Go-Ahead Group, one of the UK’s leading public transport operators, highlights the level of inconvenience suffered by road users from worsening traffic and slowing speeds.

 During the rush hours his Go North East vehicle will be delayed
 by severe traffic congestion during the 24 mile journey into the
 centre of Newcastle

By building in a 13-minute buffer on every morning journey, commuters are missing out on an hour and five minutes extra sleep a week, or just over 55 hours’ free time annually.

Even with this buffer, many are still late – 40% of road commuters have been late for work over the last six months due to traffic jams, while 18% have been late for a family event. Perhaps the worst suffering are the one in 20 (4%) who admit to being late to a job interview thanks to a traffic jam.

Official figures show that traffic congestion is getting worse, with delays on A roads up by more than 10% since 2014[1]. Last year, the Centre for Economics and Business Research estimated that congestion would cost the British economy more than £300bn by 2030[i].

Martin Dean, MD of Bus Development at The Go-Ahead Group, said: “Traffic congestion causes frustration, anxiety and inconvenience. It hurts Britain’s productivity as well as affecting quality of life.

 Cities such as Oxford have supported the idea of
Park & Ride for many years. A reliable service will
convince travellers to leave their cars at home.

“Public transport can be a part of the solution to that problem – a fully loaded double decker bus can take as many as 75 private cars off the road, easing congestion and improving air quality. Yet unfortunately we’re seeing many local authorities cutting back on funding for local buses as they face a budget squeeze.

“This study shows the true impact traffic jams have on peoples’ lives. It’s in everybody’s interests to get the country moving more quickly.”

Congestion affects those who travel by bus as well as those who drive. Go-Ahead’s research finds that the typical bus passenger hits a tipping point of impatience after 20 minutes, 16 seconds in stationary traffic, prompting them to get off and walk.

Asked what should be done to improve speeds on the roads, 51% of respondents advocated more investment in public transport, while 30% backed workplace incentives to subsidise bus travel. Only one in five (22%) suggested building more roads.

It is a fact that congestion drastically affects pollution so many UK towns and cities are failing miserably to meet pollution targets

A major problem is that many Councils are reluctant to tackle congestion and pollution head-on as they see car restrictions as vote losers. Car drivers are affronted when new bus lanes are introduced as they expect to have the right of unrestricted access to towns and cities.

Councils are desperate to do something so in some cases have targeted buses and coaches on pollution but ignored cars, taxis and delivery vans. In other words they start at the wrong end because they know that bus and coach companies are soft targets.


Friday, 10 August 2018

Azuma Production Starts in UK

Hitachi’s train factory in the North East begins construction of the new fleet for the East Coast main line
LNER’s Azuma fleet to start carrying passengers later this year

Passengers are a step closer to experiencing new trains as work steps up on Azuma.

The new fleet for the East Coast main line is being built at Hitachi’s Newton Aycliffe factory in County Durham. The factory, home to 730 permanent employees and has recently seen 50 apprentices graduate.

This milestone for Newton Aycliffe follows Azuma trains built in Japan being tested on the East Coast route.

Azuma is due to begin carrying passengers later this year along the East Coast main line, connecting London and Yorkshire, and from 2019 running in Scotland.

Hitachi has designed the trains using their Japanese bullet train technology, with the front of the train using a sleek aerodynamic design. With much faster acceleration passengers can expect their journey times to be cut once the fleet is fully introduced. The name Azuma means “east” in Japanese, an acknowledgement of Hitachi’s roots and Japan’s advanced railways.

David Horne, Managing Director of LNER explains:

“We’re delighted that manufacturing has now commenced on Azuma in County Durham. Our customers can expect a fleet of high-tech, modern trains that will deliver more seats and space, as well as faster journeys. Azuma will play a key role in revolutionising travel on the east coast mainline, delivering first-class service as well as extra services for Bradford, Lincoln, Harrogate and Edinburgh"

Karen Boswell , Managing Director of Hitachi Rail Europe said:

“Newton Aycliffe continues to go from strength to strength, now building three separate fleets to serve passengers across the country.

“Our pioneering Azuma trains, inspired by Japanese bullet trains, will transform journeys on the East Coast main line. By building them at Newton Aycliffe, we are supporting thousands of jobs with a strong British supplier base”

Hitachi delivered the hugely popular Javelin HS1 fleet in advance of the 2012 London Games, the company is delivering major orders for new trains, with 281 due to be in service by 2021. The first wave of new trains is being made at the purpose-built factory in County Durham entered passenger service in 2017 as part of the UK Government’s £5.bn Intercity Express Programme. Hitachi rail is growing rapidly, employing over 2,000 people and soon to be operational at 15 locations across the UK.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Go-Ahead Awarded Fourth Rail Network in Germany

The Go-Ahead Group are continuing their expansion into mainland Europe by announcing that it has been awarded the ‘E-Netz Allgau’ routes by the Bavarian rail authority and the Baden-Wurttemberg public transport authority.
 Allgäu Electric Network services will be
 operated by new Stadler Flirt EMUs.
The network provides regional services and important links between Munich and Lindau, within the German federal states of Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg.  Electric trains will run approximately 2.5m train kilometres on the route, which is currently operated by Deutsche Bahn.

Due to commence in 2021, the 12-year franchise is the fourth network that Go-Ahead’s Germany company, Go-Ahead Bus and Bahn, has been awarded.  The other contracts start in June 2019 and December 2019.
Go-Ahead Chief Executive, David Brown, said:
“We are delighted to have been awarded this important regional route. Our growing local team continues to look for opportunities in the region as part of our strategy to build a long-term German transport business. 
This network complements our existing contracts in the region and builds on our desire to provide end to end journeys including through our stake in German electric car sharing business, Mobileeee.”

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

More Orders for Volvo7900 e-buses

Volvo Buses has announced contracts for more new electric buses. New Volvo 7900's will be going to the Dutch public transportation company Arriva and to Sweden for another order.

Dutch public transport company Arriva operates throughout Europe and is a key player in alternative propulsion tech. It was among the first in Europe to order hybrid buses from Volvo. Subsequently it has now ordered 23 Volvo 7900 e-buses.

This order was followed by an order from Sweden. The Dutch ceremony coincided with the Volvo's Ocean Race, which finished recently in the Hague, NL.

The new Volvo 7900 e-buses have 200 kWh battery packs. Deliveries are estimated between Q1 and Q3 in 2019.

Håkan Agnevall, President of Volvo Buses, said: “We are delighted to establish our first large-scale system of fully electric buses in the Netherlands in cooperation with Arriva, a pioneer in sustainable city transportation. The order is yet another example where also smaller cities are shifting to sustainable, electric bus systems as a means of solving the problems with air quality and noise in the city.”

Anne Hettinga, CEO of Arriva in the Netherlands: “This is a big step in making public transport more sustainable in the province of Zuid-Holland. With shared sustainability ambitions, the province of Zuid-Holland, Arriva and Volvo are able to make the public transport of a complete city emission-free in one go.”

The Dutch Volvo 7900 e-buses will use four fast-charging stations from ABB. They will use an open interface, OppCharge, allowing other e-buses access. Volvo worked hard to get the efficiency of its e-buses to around 80%. The e-buses are a turnkey platform, with Volvo in charge of all vehicle maintenance. They are on regular daily service in Sweden, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Poland, and now the Netherlands. So far, the company has sold more than 4,000 electrified Volvo buses worldwide.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Lothian Launches New Airport Service

Lothian have launched a new cross city service for Edinburgh Airport customers, boosting the company’s existing airport services and creating new links for residents and visitors to the city.

Skylink 400 will connect Edinburgh Airport with Fort Kinnaird via Gracemount, Oxgangs and Colinton, introducing vital links for customers from the south east and south west of the city directly to the airport.

Nigel Serafini, Commercial Director, Lothian said: “As Edinburgh Airport continues to expand and customer demand on our Airport Services continues to grow, it is important that Lothian recognise this and support the increased demand for direct, reliable, value for money services to various key locations in Edinburgh. The introduction of our new Skylink 400 service will boost our existing Airport offering and better connect residents and visitors with our city.”

Lothian’s other airport services consist of Airlink 100, Skylink 200 and Skylink 300, which has also been re-routed to now serve Cameron Toll, linking air travellers with hotels and guest houses in the Southside of the city.

Judy George, Head of Property and Commercial Transport, Edinburgh Airport said: “We’re Scotland’s busiest airport with more than 13.4 million passengers passing through ever year so providing easily accessible links to areas across the city is important to us because we want to make that journey to and from the airport as easy as possible. We’ve worked closely with Lothian and other transport partners to provide a greater variety of choice and routes like the Skylink 400 will allow people to get their holiday off to a relaxing start.”

To mark the launch of the new service, Lothian staff spent the morning of the launch in International Arrivals handing out tickets to potential customers.

Monday, 6 August 2018

IET Now Serves Paignton

Great Western Railway’s 12.10 arrival at Paignton from London Paddington on Saturday 28th July marked the first Intercity Express Train to travel to the seaside town.

The 9-carriage long Class 800 train, 800309, is the first Intercity Express Train to travel from London beyond Exeter in passenger service, marking another milestone in the roll out of the new fleet.

GWR Transformation Director Richard Rowland said:

“This Intercity Express Train running to Paignton is a key milestone in the delivery of the new fleet across our network.

“From later this summer, our customers in Devon and Cornwall will see more of these new trains when we introduce our Class 802 versions, which were specifically built to deal with the steep gradients on route to Penzance.”

The new trains boast up to 24% more seats per a train than the High Speed Trains that they are replacing; with more legroom, an at-seat food and drink service and improved air conditioning.

Devon and Cornwall will further benefit from the Intercity Express Trains when the region-specific Class 802 variations begin to be introduced later this summer.

MP for Torbay Kevin Foster, said:

“The arrival of GWR’s new Intercity Express Trains into our bay is a great moment not just for the passengers who will use them, but our region as a whole as these trains speed to the south west for the first time. These sleek new trains will replace the current fleet built in the 1970’s, improving journey times, comfort and reliability.”

“One hundred and seventy years after Brunel built the GWR his legacy lives on as these iconic trains use his iconic coastal railway.”

Chief Executive of the South West Business Council Dr Robin Daniels said:

"This first Intercity Express, travelling from Paddington all the way to Paington, is testament to GWR's support for the economy and the travelling public of the UK. Fast and efficient travel is key to building our economy and this important development is yet another indication that the South West is very much open for business."

The train operated to Devon for the first time as part of normal rotation of the fleet; and regular IET services will start later this Summer.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Buses in 'crisis' as 3,000 routes reduced or scrapped

More than 3,000 bus routes have been cut back or withdrawn in England and Wales in the past eight years, transport campaigners have said.

Subsidies for buses fell by £20.5m in the past year, the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) said.
Council bus budgets had been cut by 45% since 2010, it claimed.
The government said it provided £250m a year to support bus services and £1bn for free travel for disabled and older people.
CBT public transport campaigner Steve Chambers said some 199 bus routes were altered or withdrawn last year amid the decline in funding.
Mr Chambers said: "Our latest report confirms that the slow death of the supported bus continues,
"Only when we treat what is happening to buses as a national crisis, rather than a local one, will we start to reverse their decline."

Analysis of the figures showed spending by councils in south-west England fell by more than a quarter between 2016-17 and 2017-18 alone.
Two thirds of councils reduced their spending or spent nothing at all on buses.
Across England, excluding London, councils spent £202.7m on subsidising buses in 2017-18. This was down from £222.9m the year before and £374.3m in 2010-11.
Since 2010-11, 3,088 bus services in England and 259 in Wales have been "reduced, altered or withdrawn", CBT said.
It is reported that Britain's bus network has shrunk to levels last seen in the last 1980s.

Most bus services England outside London are privatised since the deregulation of the industry in 1986.
Councils provide funding to operators to keep running routes they would not be able to afford to run commercially. London services are operated by private companies but regulated by Transport for London.
The loss of a bus service can have "huge implications" such as preventing people accessing jobs and education, increasing congestion due to a reliance on cars and affecting people's physical and mental health by making it harder for them to leave the home, researchers warned.
Martin Tett, transport spokesman for the Local Government Association, said councils were "desperate" to protect bus services.
He said: "It's nearly impossible for councils to keep subsidising free travel while having to find billions of pounds worth of savings and protect other vital services like caring for the elderly and disabled, protecting children, filling potholes and collecting bins.
"Faced with significant funding pressures, many across the country are being forced into taking difficult decisions to scale back services and review subsidised routes."
A Government spokeswoman said: "We recognise that buses are vital in connecting people, homes and businesses, and that's why we have given local councils extra powers to work in partnership with bus companies to improve the services passengers expect and deserve."

Many bus operating companies have worked with local councils to help subsidise routes that are under threat, now operating them as commercial routes.
On a positive note Wiltshire spends over £4 million supporting local bus routes and is currently involved in a re-tendering exercise, so the principle of councils supporting local services does still survive in some areas.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Date for the Diary 11th / 12th August Spa Valley Railway

Class 55 55019 'Royal Highland Fusilier' is visiting the Spa Valley Railway this Summer courtesy of the Deltic Preservation Society. The Deltic will be in action alongside the standard Green timetable trains on Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th August hauling 3CIG 1497 for a total of five return trips per day between Tunbridge Wells West and Eridge.

The BR Blue 'Deltic', based at Barrow Hill and preserved by the Deltic Preservation Society in 1982 will certainly look smart paired with matching BR Blue & Grey rolling stock in the form of Southern Region Class 421 3CIG No. 1497.
Subject to volunteer availability a miniature bar area with a local real ale and snacks will be set up in the guards van of 1497.
• Class 55 55019 'Royal Highland Fusilier'
• Class 10 D3489 'Colonel Tomline' – For shunt release duties, does not haul a train on the line.
• Drewry 2591 'Southerham' – For shunt release duties, does not haul a train on the line.

• Adult Day Rover: £12.00
• Child Day Rover: £6.00

55019 will haul five return trips between Tunbridge Wells West and Eridge each day, at Eridge and Tunbridge Wells West another locomotive will be on hand to assist in shunt releasing the train, our headshunt at Tunbridge Wells West is only long enough for a Standard 5 or Class 47 and at Eridge no facilities exist to run round.

At Eridge, the train will stop outside the station, the Deltic going to Platform 3. Our Class 10 D3489 will then attach to the train and haul into Platform 2. At Tunbridge Wells West, the train will stop outside the station, the Deltic going to the yard. Drewry 2591 will then attach to the train and haul into Platform 1.
The Green timetable will be in action for the other trains which are running that weekend, these will use the visiting Lancashire & Yorkshire 0-6-0 A-Class No.52322 and Class 17 D8568 which is appearing courtesy of the Diesel Traction Group.
Deltic departures from Tunbridge Wells West will be at: 09:45, 11:00, 12:45, 14:25 & 16:05.
Deltic departures from Eridge will be at: 10:20, 12:00, 13:40, 15:20 & 16:35.


Gatwick Express

Gatwick Express 30-minute ad claims ruled 'misleading'

Gatwick Express must no longer claim it runs "non-stop to Victoria Station in half an hour" unless it manages it most of the time, a regulator has ruled.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the 30-minute claim was not substantiated and was "misleading".
The watchdog's ruling followed two complaints about a poster and website.
The ASA found 20.1% of Gatwick Express trains between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport were delayed between 30 April and 26 May.
It ruled that a "significant proportion" of the delayed services during that period were due to reasons within the operator's control.
Govia Thameslink Railway, which runs Gatwick Express services, said it was difficult to mitigate against certain causes of delays, such as staff sickness.

The ASA said rail travellers would expect Gatwick Express to achieve the stated journey time barring exceptional circumstances.
It said: "Whilst we acknowledged that a proportion of services were delayed due to exceptional or unforeseeable circumstances outside of Gatwick Express's control, such as track faults, fatalities and power supply failures, we considered that a significant proportion of services were delayed for reasons that were within Gatwick Express's control.
"As such, we concluded that the claims 'Non-stop to Victoria station in half an hour' and 'in just 30 minutes' had not been substantiated and were misleading."
A spokesman for Gatwick Express said: "Just a third of Gatwick Express delay minutes were within our control. However we acknowledge the ASA ruling and began withdrawing these adverts many months ago."
Last October Gatwick Express cancelled services because of the possibility of leaves on the line.
The Govia Thameslink Railway franchise also includes Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern.
The operator has suffered major disruption on certain routes in recent years caused by factors including industrial disputes, a shortage of drivers, infrastructure failures and the introduction of new timetables earlier this year.

Friday, 3 August 2018

Stagecoach Driverless Bus

Transport operator Stagecoach confirmed that it has partnered with bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) and technology company Fusion Processing to produce a single deck autonomous bus.

Once complete, the 12m ADL Enviro200 vehicle will be completely autonomous and able to operate without a driver in an off-road environment. The technology also delivers road safety benefits when driven in manual mode.
Work on the vehicle is being carried out at ADL’s site in Guildford and the bus is expected to be ready for use by the end of this year.
In the short term, the bus will be used in autonomous mode only within the depot environment, to carry out movements such as parking and moving into the fuelling station and bus wash. Using self-driving vehicles within depots more widely could help improve safety, efficiency and space utilisation within the depot.
Legal restrictions mean the vehicle will not be used in autonomous mode in passenger service for some time. However the system can be used straight away to help improve the safety of road users. For example, when the bus is driven in manual mode, the sensor system on the bus, whilst not engaged to drive the vehicle, can still be used to provide assistance to the driver by warning of cyclists or pedestrians that may be in the blind spot or arrive unexpectedly close to the vehicle.
Over time, autonomous bus technology is expected to be used more widely, including on services carrying passengers, dependent on legal developments.
Stagecoach UK Bus Engineering Director Sam Greer said: “Stagecoach has long been at the heart of innovation within the bus industry and this is an exciting trial that will deliver the UK’s first fully autonomous single deck bus.”
“We look forward to working with our partners on this project which we believe could, in time, help improve safety and efficiency within our depots, and over the longer term, help transform bus travel in the future.”
The Stagecoach bus will be fitted with the CAVstar® system provided by Fusion Processing Ltd.
CAVstar® was utilised successfully in the UK’s largest public trial of autonomous vehicles to date, in Greenwich earlier this year, and a number of other projects.
The system uses multiple sensor types, including radar, laser, camera and ultrasound, along with satellite navigation to detect and avoid objects, in all weathers, day and night, and plan an optimum path for the vehicle.
Jim Hutchinson, CEO of Fusion Processing Ltd said: “We’re delighted Stagecoach and Alexander Dennis have selected our CAVstar® product, the sensor and control system that enables autonomous vehicles. CAVstar® will offer increased safety and efficiency, and will be demonstrated in the Stagecoach trials later this year. “
Ken Scott, Group Engineering Director at ADL, commented, “ADL is renowned for harnessing the latest technology solutions to enhance our products and services to benefit our customers, their passengers and the wider environment. We’re excited to be working with Stagecoach and Fusion Processing on this innovative project. In the first instance it will deliver real and demonstrable improvement to efficiency and safety in depots, while taking another significant step on our journey to bringing fully autonomous vehicles to market.”

Thursday, 2 August 2018

DATE FOR THE DIARY - Saturday 18th August - Imberbus 2018

This year’s Imberbus event is being held on Saturday 18th August and as a result of a television programme broadcast a few months ago, it is expected that more visitors will be coming from far and wide to ride on a Routemaster bus across the Salisbury Plain to the lost village of Imber and beyond.

We are therefore planning to use at least 20 old and new Routemaster buses to operate the Imberbus service from Warminster Station.  A summary of the timetable can be downloaded by clicking here, but if you would prefer to see a more detailed version, click here instead.  Important features this year include:
  • Departures approximately every 15 minutes from Warminster Station to Imber from 9.30am onwards;
  • Buses serving Tilshead, Chitterne, West Lavington, Market Lavington, New Zealand Farm Camp and Brazen Bottom twice an hour throughout the day.
  • An additional car park to the east of Imber, which will enable visitors to drive closer to the village then Park & Ride.
  • Imber Church open for viewing and refreshments from 10am to 6pm.
  • Buses stopping opposite Market Lavington Museum which is opening again specially for our event and also serving cream teas.
  • Refreshments also available at Chitterne Village Hall.
The routes the buses take can be seen on the map below (please click on it to see a larger version in PDF format). Many journeys will be operated by at least 2 vehicles, some of which will be wheelchair accessible, so if you have mobility problems, please email us so that we can tell you which journeys we are planning to use the low floor buses on.

As usual, all buses will connect at Gore Cross so that passengers can easily travel to/from all points on our network. However this year the interchange will be in a new location, away from the main road, to make changing buses much simpler.  To enable you to do this in an affordable way, we offer an all day ticket at a cost of £10 per adult, with up to 3 children being allowed to accompany each adult for the bargain fare of just £1 each. However, ordinary bus fares will also be available and so if you just wish to travel from Warminster to visit the 16th century St Giles’ Church at Imber (which will be open specially on this date), you can purchase an ordinary single ticket for just £2 each way.
Imberbus operates as an ordinary local bus service, so there is no need to pre-book or pay in advance – just turn up and pay the conductor on the bus in cash (payment in £5 or £10 notes or £1 or £2 coins would be appreciated !). To speed things up we will also have staff selling day tickets outside Warminster Station in the morning, but please note that unfortunately we cannot accept credit/debit/contactless cards or concessionary bus passes.

Advice on travelling to Warminster can be found on the “How to get to Warminster” page on our website. Remember that trains run approximately every hour to Warminster from Cardiff, Newport, Bristol, Bath, Trowbridge, Westbury, Salisbury, Southampton and Portsmouth, with connections available from London and the West Country at Westbury and Salisbury – please see the First Great Western website for timetables and further details.
Ordinary bus services also run to Warminster on Saturdays from Bath, Bradford on Avon, Trowbridge, Westbury, Salisbury and Frome and further details of these can be found on the Traveline website.
If you are intending to stay overnight in the area, you may wish to visit the Warminster Community Hub website to find suitable accommodation.
IMPORTANT – If you are planning on bringing a group of people to Warminster in a bus or coach, please contact us immediately as there are few coach parking facilities available in Warminster.
We hope that you will be able to join us on 18th August and if you would like further information about our event, please check out the other pages on our website, including the Frequently Asked Questions page provides important information on where you can and cannot go, where you can get something to eat and also the location of public toilets (which are few and far between on the Salisbury Plain!).

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

ADL Selects Proterra to Build Electric Double Deckers

Alexander Dennis Inc (ADI), Proterra, and Southern California’s Foothill Transit has announced the first electric double deck bus order for a public transit company in North America. 

ADI selected Proterra’s E3 battery technology for its next-generation double deck Enviro500 platform for the North American market.

An ADI spokesperson shared with CleanTechnica that Proterra was selected to provide the batteries and powertrain because of its ability to, “deliver a proven and reliable battery solution with outstanding range in the correct timescales and to the high quality standards we expect from all our partners.” The two ADI Enviro500 units in the order will go into service at Foothill Transit in Q4 2019 and complement FT’s existing electric vehicle fleet.

Proterra’s battery packs offer the highest pack-level energy density in the heavy-duty industry at 160 Wh/kg and 260 Wh/L. The new Alexander Dennis Enviro500 vehicles will complement Proterra’s E2 battery packs with Proterra charging hardware and battery thermal management.

Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra, shared that, “As electric mobility continues to evolve, we’re pleased our battery technology has been chosen by world class, heavy-duty manufacturers like Alexander Dennis in their pursuit to go electric in North America. The opportunities to electrify medium- and heavy-duty platforms with our technology, from transit vehicles to trucks and school buses, are abundant.”

As the world’s largest double deck bus builder, Alexander Dennis builds 2,300 buses per year by partnering with best-of-breed powertrain and technology providers to complement its bus building mastery. Foothill Transit was especially interested in ADI’s new electric double deck bus as a means for improving passenger density and driver efficiency in its fleet.

“The Alexander Dennis design and ride quality thoroughly impressed our most discerning customers during an extended demo through downtown Los Angeles last year,” said Doran Barnes, Executive Director at Foothill Transit. “As congestion intensifies across Southern California, every inch of road space matters, so increasing passenger occupancy while maintaining comfort and a singular bus footprint is a public transit solution we’re really excited to introduce.”

The new buses will service Foothill Transit’s Silver Streak Line which branches out to the east from Downtown Los Angeles, connecting travellers to and from the Inland Empire. Foothill is excited to be leading the charge into electric double deck buses as part of its journey to electrify its fleet by 2030. An average 12-year life on transit buses will result in no more purchases of internal combustion buses.


Another set of pictures from North Yorkshire has been placed on the Flickr site and can be viewed by clicking  here