Friday, 17 August 2018

Major East Coast Main Line Improvements Approved


A Network Rail proposal to construct a new section of railway underneath the East Coast Main Line has been approved by the Secretary of State for Transport.


The improvement is part of the Railway Upgrade Plan and will see a new rail line running underneath the East Coast Main Line, linking the Stamford lines and the Great Northern Great Eastern lines at Werrington Junction near Peterborough, removing the need for freight trains to cross over the East Coast Main Line.



Currently, slow moving freight trains need to cross over three lines of the East Coast Main Line, causing high speed passenger trains to have to slow down on the approach to Werrington Junction. This multimillion pound investment will mean freight trains no longer need to do this and can dive under the East Coast Main Line.

Capacity on many stretches of the East Coast Mainline is restricted to two tracks. The differing speeds between freight and passenger traffic creates delays.

The project, when combined with upgrades elsewhere along the route, will mean greater capacity for passenger services on the line, as they will no longer need to slow down on the approach to Werrington Junction, meaning it would be possible to run additional passenger services.

Network Rail submitted a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) in 2016 to begin work on the project, which is one of the crucial pieces of work to improve travel on the line. Network Rail has worked closely with members of the public and key stakeholders on the project, and the dive under was selected as the preferred option for the scheme based on their feedback.


This investment, combined with the introduction of new trains, other schemes on the route and revised timetables will not only create space for additional train services between London and the North, but will also help ease congestion and reduce journey times.

Work on the project will begin later this summer and the dive under is expected to be completed by early 2021.

Rob McIntosh, Route Managing Director at Network Rail, said: “We’re delighted that these plans to improve capacity on the East Coast Main Line have been approved by the Secretary of State for Transport.

“This is a significant investment into the railway in this area which, when coupled with other upgrades on this route, will have widespread benefits for those travelling between London and the North through an increased capacity of 33 per cent.


“This vital upgrade will ensure we can provide an improved service for passengers and will create a more modern, reliable and resilient railway suitable to meet the needs of the communities and economies our railway serves.”

Network Rail continues to work closely with residents and businesses and is holding regular community information events for them to find out more about the scheme. The next drop-in session takes place on Friday, 17 August at The Loxley Community Centre, Davids Lane, Werrington, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE4 5BW between 14:00 and 18:00.

For more information, and to watch a 3D video of the dive under, visit www.networkrail.co.uk/werrington


https://www.networkrail.co.uk/running-the-railway/our-routes/lne-and-em/east-coast-mainline-route-upgrade/werrington-grade-separation/

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Massive BYD Order

The Chinese Bus Market is booming, with production of around 300.000 buses per year. 
The city of Guangzhou the Guangdong Machinery & Electric Equipment Tendering Center Co., Ltd. and Guangzhou Guoke Bidding Agent Co., Ltd., have issued tenders for a total 4,810 electric buses. 
BYD has now received confirmation to build 4,473 of these buses.



BYD, Build Your Dreams, entered with two bids by its Guangzhou BYD Auto Sales Company Limited subsidiary. It announced that it recently received successful bid confirmation notices for two bidding projects, worth RMB 3,707,841,600 and RMB 1,813,619,600 respectively (700 million euro in total). 

BYD is to deliver 4,473 electric buses (889 of their new 8 metre model, 2,419 of the 10 metre model and 1,165 12 metres) to several public transport operators in the city of Guangzhou for which BYD will sign individual agreements with the customers. 

China is market leader when it comes to the use of electric buses. Last year over 106.000 electric and hybrid plug-in buses were registered.


Above & below, BYD have had success in the UK with single and
double deck vehicles being used in the London fleets.



..

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

200 Scottish Rail Jobs on Offer


Network Rail Scotland will be creating around 200 jobs this summer in one of the biggest recruitment drives in its history.

The jobs will be based across Scotland, including in the North East, Highlands, Perthshire and the South West as well as across the Central Belt.

The roles are now being advertised as Network Rail prepares to invest billions in Scotland’s railway over the next five years.




Posts on offer include administrative, logistics and planning jobs, technician and team leader roles as well as construction and project management posts and rail operative jobs.

Scotland’s railway is currently undergoing a period of enhancement unmatched since the Victorian era and across the country Network Rail is working on projects to expand the railway, improve passenger facilities and introduce greener, faster electric trains.

Between 2019 and 2024 more than £4bn will be spent on running and maintaining the country’s rail infrastructure and the company needs to add to its highly-skilled workforce to help deliver a rail network fit for 21st century Scotland.

Nick Pascazio, Network Rail Scotland’s head of human resources, said: “We’re currently building the best railway Scotland has ever had and to do that we need to recruit and retain the best people.

“The railway is an exciting and fast-growing industry and Network Rail can offer you a rewarding career whether you are returning to work after a career break, a school leaver, a graduate, or looking for a change of career or industry.



“Rail travel is more popular now than ever before, with more than 96m passengers travelling in Scotland each year, and our industry makes an important contribution to keeping the country and its economy moving.”

With nearly 3,000 staff at locations across Scotland, and around 40,000 UK-wide, Network Rail can offer a wide range of career-development and professional learning opportunities as well as excellent staff benefits which include flexible working and a defined benefit pension scheme to those joining the company.

In additional to its general recruitment activities, Network Rail also runs highly-successful apprenticeship and graduate training schemes.

In Scotland, as part of the ScotRail Alliance, Network Rail maintains more than 2,800 miles of track, 359 stations and over 14,000 structures – including the world-famous Forth Bridge and Glenfinnan Viaduct – on a network which carries over 2,500 trains a day.

More information about the company and the careers it can offer can be found at: https://www.networkrail.co.uk/careers/

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

ADL Careers Roadshow

ADL TO HOLD CAREERS ROADSHOW ACROSS UK TO ATTRACT ENGINEERING TALENT

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

https://www.alexander-dennis.com/careers/careers-roadshow/.
https://www.alexander-dennis.com/newsroom/news/2018/august/adl-to-hold-careers-roadshow-across-uk-to-attract-engineering-talent/



..

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.

http://inrix.com/press-releases/traffic-congestion-to-cost-the-uk-economy-more-than-300-billion-over-the-next-16-years/

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.
http://press.hitachirail-eu.com/latest_news

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.
Locomotives:
• 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.



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

Timetables:
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.

http://www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk/product.php/87/deltic-running-weekend

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.