Thursday, 31 May 2012

AEC Centenary Rally

The AEC Centenary Rally took place last weekend at Newark Showground where over 500 vehicles were entered. Stuart Jones and Ken Jones have sent us pictures which are shown below. Other makes other than AEC were welcome, which all added interest to the event. In the afternoon a Douglas Dakota from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight made three passes over the rally site.

Ex Carris 141 AEC Regal.  Richard Lomas had some involvement with this vehicle and one
of the last emails I received from him on 10th May said "141 goes from Butterley for
an MOT on Monday. If it passes the offer of a drive to Newark is still on the table"
Sadly Richard didn't make it to the rally.    David Gambles
 A Douglas Dakota from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight made three passes over the rally site.
More pictures from this event will follow in due course

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Tube staff agree Olympic pay deal

A deal has been agreed for London Underground staff to receive extra pay for working during the Olympics.
The RMT union said it had reached an agreement with London Underground (LU).
It said drivers could earn up to £1,000 while other staff could get up to £850 in recognition of the "massive additional pressures" they will face.

The union added that it was still balloting its control staff and its maintenance members on strike action over other pay and condition issues.
Some of the workers who were being balloted for industrial action are employed by a contractor, which the union said had rejected a claim for an Olympic bonus.
A date has not been set for strikes if members vote to take this action.
Transport for London said RMT members now joined those of Aslef and Unite who had signed up to the deal and TSSA, which has agreed in principle.

The union said that it still had concerns about the staffing levels planned by LU and the use of untrained volunteers "at a time when safety and security will be absolutely paramount".
The union has also repeated its demand for a full-scale, mock emergency evacuation to test the robustness of the safety procedures in operation.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: "After months of hard work by our negotiators we have been able to come to an agreement that both protects the contractual rights and existing agreements of our members and rewards them in recognition of what we all know will be the biggest transport challenge ever faced by this city."

Howard Collins, LU chief operating officer, said: "I am pleased that we have now got agreement from all four unions on our proposals for how we can fairly reward staff over the London 2012 Games.
"I know our staff are keen to play their part in the Games and, now that we have agreement across the board, we can all look forward to focusing on supporting a fantastic summer of sport and cultural events in London."

Oliver Cromwell Steams Through Matlock to Rowsley

Oliver Cromwell travelled from London to Rowsley in Derbyshire, as part of a tour organised by Peak Rail.
It was one of the last steam engines to operate on the line through the Peak District before closure in 1960's and has returned hauling a special train, more than 40 years after it last visited the region.

Link from Tony Wilson

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Richard Lomas - Funeral Details

Richard Lomas 1941 - 2012
Wednesday 6th June 2.45pm
Derby Markeaton Crematorium, Markeaton Lane, Off Ashbourne Road, Derby DE22 4NH
Family flowers only. Donations please see below.
Kath would like to know in advance numbers of those attending the funeral and those attending the Wake (which will be held some miles away from Derby - details given upon request). Please use one of the four methods on the CONTACT PAGE to pass on this information no later than 4 June.
DONATIONS gratefully accepted on the day or cheques / postal orders made payable to KATH LOMAS may be sent to:
Focus Transport, 130 Little Barn Lane, Mansfield NG18 3JT
Donations will be split between Derby Royal Hospital Intensive Care Unit and Pancreatitis Research Fund.
TRIBUTES: Thank you to those who have sent in tributes and condolences. These, and any others received, will be passed on to Kath.


Ken Jones has sent us the following pictures from a visit to London that he made last week

Monday, 28 May 2012

First Issues Profit Warning

First Group's bus business in the UK continues to suffer as operating profits fell 9.7pc. The company warned that revenue growth in 2012/13 will not fill the gap created by a withdrawal of Government funding and "deterioration of economic conditions particularly in Scotland and the north of England".

Fuel costs during the year to March 31 increased £31.8m compared with 2011.
As a result, Mr O'Toole said he plans to "repositioning our UK bus portfolio through a programme of business and asset disposals" and focus on the stongest performing areas.
The company will invest £27m in new ticketing technology, eventually offering "touch in, touch out" contactless payment using bank cards. The equipment also has the capability to accept payment by mobile phone.
However, the company is looking forward to the London 2012 Olympics, where it will be "the main provider of spectator transport". It is providing buses for shuttle services at Games venues and Park & Ride services from sites around the edge of London to the Olympic Park.
In its UK rail business - which includes FIrst Capital Connect and First Great Western - like-for-like passenger growth was 8.4pc.
Last December saw the first 12-carriage services operate on First Capital Connect's Thameslink route. FirstGroup also agreed a £28.9m deal with the Department for Transport for 48 new carriages to be added to its High Speed Train fleet, providing an extra 4,500 seats for customers on peak services into and out of London.
However, the group has warned the sector is in a "period of transition". It revealed it was the only operator to pre-qualify for all four of the rail franchises being re-let by the Government so far - InterCity West Coast, Great Western, Thameslink and Essex Thameside.
Emirates Air Line will provide much needed new river crossing for east London
New transport link key part of Mayor’s regeneration plans to create
jobs and growth

The construction of London’s newest transport link has reached another
milestone as all 34 cabins of the Emirates Air Line took off for
their inaugural load testing flight. This extensive testing programme
is part of a series of rigorous safety trials and follows last month’s
completion of the Emirates Air Line’s three towers with cabling
extended across the river. The cabins will travel across 1.1km of
cable, gliding 90m above the Thames with weights representing the
maximum number of passengers before the Emirates Air Line opens for
passenger service in summer 2012.

The innovative Emirates Air Line is
a key plank of the Mayor’s plans to revitalise east London and create
jobs for Londoners and attract investment into the capital. It will be
a much needed new river crossing with the capacity to carry up to
2,500 people per hour in each direction – the equivalent of 30 buses
per hour. The Mayor has secured £36m from Emirates to fund the
connection which will create a direct link between the O2 and ExCeL,
and an additional interchange between the Jubilee line and Docklands
Light Railway. Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said: “The speed
with which we have gone from designs to safety testing of the Emirates
Air Line is a clear demonstration of London’s ability to deliver world
class projects and attract major investment. This new transport link
is set to support my plans to transform east London into a vibrant new
metropolitan quarter boasting new jobs, homes and enterprise.
“Londoners can now see this fabulous new feature of our city’s skyline
being put through its paces before they can get on board themselves to
breathe in the stunning views it will afford.”When the Emirates Air
Line opens passengers will have spectacular views of the city
including St Paul’s Cathedral, the Gherkin, Thames Barrier and the
Olympic Park. It will also be possible to see as far as Wembley
Stadium Arch, 15 miles away. Laurie Berryman, Vice President UK at
Emirates said: “This test flight is a significant milestone in the
development of this new transport system, and brings us closer to
being able to fly passengers across the Thames between the two
terminals at Emirates Greenwich Peninsula and Emirates Royal Docks.
This innovative form of air travel is an interesting addition to our
extensive flight network, allowing us to connect with even more people
in London and from across the world.”Design, Build and Operating
contractor Mace is working closely with cable car specialist
Doppelmayr to carry out the testing. Matt Randall, Project Director
for Mace, said: “The testing and commissioning of all 34 cabins over
the Thames will see the system really put through its paces over the
coming days. The cabins have travelled smoothly on their early
journeys and we are making excellent progress on the wider
construction with both Terminals and landscaping nearing
completion.”The Emirates Air Line will provide the first additional
river crossing in a proposed package of measures. Following a
consultation at the beginning of the year, TfL is developing proposals
for further river crossings; a tunnel at Silvertown and a new ferry
crossing at Gallions Reach.

Providing a direct connection between the Greenwich Peninsula and
Royal Victoria Docks, Emirates Air Line will cut journey times and
link the O2 Arena with the ExCeL – Europe’s two biggest entertainment
venues. ·
Both areas surrounding the Emirates Air Line have been earmarked for a
number of regeneration projects with the Royal Victoria Docks selected
as one of the new Local Enterprise Zones. The Emirates Air Line will
play a key role in supporting these regeneration projects by providing
a quicker and more direct link. It will also give local communities on
both sides of the Emirates Air Line access to a range of
entertainment, job and leisure opportunities that are set to become
available as regeneration kicks up its pace. ·
The South Tower, at the largest of the three, is made up of
approximately 6,500 steel pieces measuring between 30-50mm long and
weighing around 570 tonnes.

See also the following link from the BBC website


Sunday, 27 May 2012

United Bristol LS Returns to the Road

1958 Bristol LS6G single decker coach 304 GHN has returned to the road after a 10 year restoration, partly financed by Heritage Lottery funding. The vehicle was painted last week at the Arriva depot in Newcastle upon Tyne and yesterday was driven out for all to see.
It will make its first public appearance at the Aycliffe & District bus Preservation Society's Rally at the National Railway Museum at Shildon on Sunday 29th July or maybe before that date at one of the other north east events.

See for details of other vehicles owned

David Gambles

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Finished at Last

A rare vehicle has taken to the road today, following a full restoration taking over nine years. See this Focus Transport Blog tomorrow, for pictures and details of the remarkable return to glory.

David Gambles

Pre 1960 Vehicles Won't Require MOT

Classic and historic vehicles are to be exempted from the annual MoT test, the Government has announced.
From November 18 this year, owners of vehicles manufactured before 1960 will not have to have to take them in for an MoT, Roads Minister Mike Penning said.
Pre-1960 licensed vehicles make up about 0.6% of the total number of licensed vehicles in Britain, but are involved in just 0.03% of road casualties and accidents.
Mr Penning said: "We are committed to cutting out red tape which costs motorists money without providing significant overall benefits.
"Owners of classic cars and motorbikes tend to be enthusiasts who maintain their vehicles well - they don't need to be told to look after them, they're out there in all weathers checking the condition of the engine, tyres and bodywork."
He added: "Owners of classic vehicles will still be legally required to ensure that they are safe and in a proper condition to be on the road, but scrapping the MoT test for these vehicles will save motorists money."
The decision follows a campaign by the All-Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group, led by East Yorkshire MP Greg Knight, its chairman.
Mr Knight said: "I am delighted by this announcement. Accidents involving historic vehicles are extremely rare and the majority of owners are meticulous in keeping their vehicles in good condition. Having to have an annual MoT test for a vehicle which may only travel a few hundred miles in a year was costly and absurd."
AA president Edmund King said: "Cutting the red tape of an MoT requirement for classic pre-1960 cars is a victory for common sense."

UK’s first Government-standard commercial mobile contactless ticketing trial

Stagecoach Group and the UK’s biggest communications company, Everything Everywhere (T mobile & Orange), today announced plans to transform the way consumers use tickets to travel on public transport.
The two companies have unveiled the UK’s first Government-standard commercial deployment of mobile contactless transport ticketing, which could lead to a nationwide roll out across select bus and rail services in 2013.
The trial, already underway on the Stagecoach bus network in Cambridgeshire, enables a small cross section of bus users to receive, store and validate their bus tickets using their mobile phone. Everything Everywhere is providing each customer in the trial with a Quick Tap enabled mobile handset on its Orange mobile brand. Quick Tap is the umbrella name used for Orange’s NFC (Near-Field Communications) services, and the handsets used will feature the technology as well as a specially designed app, making them compatible with the local bus network’s smartcard readers. This will allow users to travel on Stagecoach buses across Cambridgeshire including the Cambridge Park & Ride and Guided Busway services.  
The trial uses the Department of Transport’s preferred ITSO (Integrated Transport Smartcard Organisation) smart ticketing technology, and will monitor the levels of customer convenience the Quick Tap service provides, as well as for operational and technical efficiencies. The trial also contributes to the Government’s vision to deliver, along with transport operators and public sector bodies, the infrastructure to enable most public transport journeys to be undertaken using smart ticketing by December 2014.

Friday, 25 May 2012


Today Friday 25/05/2012, Princess Elizabeth 6201, hauled the Cathedrals Explorer, The train journey commenced at Hellifield with destinations of London Victoria & Stains. Tony & myself photographed it passing through the Derbyshire countryside north of Barrowhill. It must of been using smokeless fuel as it passed through the valley on a wonderful sunny day.

Richard Lomas

 Richard Lomas
I'm sorry to inform everyone that Richard Lomas passed away peacefully this morning (25 May) at 4.20am at Derby Royal Hospital.
Richard set up this Focus Transport Blog just over a year ago and also ran his popular Richard's Tram Blog as well as Travels With a Bus Pass Blog.
Just over six months ago he was admitted to hospital suffering from Pancreatitis and had only recently been discharged. Although weak from his illness he showed great enthusiasm to return to contributing to this website and we were all pleased to see that he was 'on board' again.
During the past two weeks further health complications occurred so he was re-admitted to hospital but sadly had no reserves left to combat the new illnesses.
We have sent our condolences to Kath, his wife and their family and will inform everyone of the funeral arrangements in due course.
More details on our main Focus transport site

David Gambles

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Stagecoach "Green Week" in Chesterfield

Posters have been on all our Stagecoach in Chesterfield buses advertising Green Week and the chance to win free travel for up to a year with Stagecoach. Today an Optare Solo was parked in Chesterfield market place to promote the event. Staff were on hand to offer advise and to give out free Eco kits.

Guests travelling to Queen's Diamond Jubilee event were ironically stranded on the Tube Jubilee line 

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

New Platforms Open at Blackfriars

Two new platforms have been opened at Blackfriars Station as redevelopment work nears completion.
The new platforms will enable 700 extra trains to use the station each week.
Trains will also be able to arrive and depart later at night and on weekends. For three years the local section of the route has been closed every night and almost every weekend for work.
But Network Rail cautioned there was still plenty more work to do at the station.
Senior programme manager for Blackfriars, Paul Byrne, said: "Our work to rebuild Blackfriars is approaching completion.
"We've still got a plenty of work to do before the Blackfriars upgrade is completed, but more areas of the new station are opening month-by-month, train services are improving, and passengers are seeing the benefits."
The £5.5bn Thameslink upgrade means that trains running from Bedford and Brighton will have 12 carriages instead of 8 and will eventually run to a more frequent timetable.
Network Rail has rebuilt Blackfriars station on top of a Victorian rail bridge, creating the only station in London to span the River Thames.

The new station roof, built on top of the bridge, is being fitted with 4,400 solar panels to create London's largest solar array.

In February Blackfriars London Underground station was re-opened after being closed for nearly three years.
Improvements to the Tube station include increased capacity, a bigger ticket hall, refurbished platforms and step-free access.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Green Bus Funding for Tyne & Wear Bus Company?

When the list of successful applicants was published for the third round of Green Bus Funding, an allocation of £436,000 was shown for the Tyne & Wear Bus Company for 5 single-deck hybrid electric buses.
 click to enlarge
At the time nothing was known about this company, who weren't currently running any services in the Tyne & Wear area. It now transpires that the company never a had a licence and could therefore not run any vehicles in service. How the Green Bus Fund was allowed to let this one slip under the radar is a mystery, as you would expect that an award of £436,000 should go with some security checks.
According to the latest Notices & Proceedings for the north east traffic area, a licence has now been granted to this company, with the proviso that bank statements are to be submitted to the traffic commissioners office. Presumably if the owner of the company can find the remainder of the money to purchase the five hybrid vehicles in question this company must have some plans to register routes on which the buses can be used?
We wonder whether any promises have been made to the potential new operator, as to whether some of the routes up for tender in the Tyne & Wear area would be allocated to them.
The whole matter seems to bring some questions as to whether the Green Bus Funding should be allocated to just anyone who can put a good case together. We would have expected that these awards could only be given to current operators with a valid O licence and who had a track record with established routes. It also brings up the question of who actually owns the buses that have been partly or fully financed by Green Bus funding. If the operator gets into financial difficulties, can the DfT lay claim to the vehicles or could they just be sold off by administrators?
Have promises been made to this company regarding guaranteed work for five buses?
We will report on this situation as it develops.
David Gambles

Worker Death at Grosmont

A rail worker has died after becoming trapped between two trains on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.
The man died at Grosmont Station on the heritage line at about 12:30 BST yesterday, British Transport Police (BTP) said.
Officers from BTP and North Yorkshire Police attended the incident, which is not believed to be suspicious.
BTP said an investigation had started and the Rail Accident Investigation Branch had been informed. All services are currently suspended.
In a statement BTP said: "Paramedics attended, but the man, who is believed to be in his sixties, was pronounced dead at the scene.
"An investigation is ongoing to establish the full circumstances surrounding the man's death."
Services suspended The railway is a popular tourist attraction staffed by volunteers, which runs steam trains through National Park moorland on an 18-mile (29km) route from Grosmont to Pickering.
As well as carrying tourists, the line has appeared in a number of films and television programmes, including Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and the ITV series Heartbeat.
A statement on the railway's website said: "All services are currently suspended due to a serious incident at Grosmont.
"The North Yorkshire Moors Railway apologises for any inconvenience caused."

Monday, 21 May 2012

Leeds Hybrids Take to the Road

Major improvements have been taking place to bus services in Leeds using the A61 guided bus-way on Scott Hall Road, as a result of a partnership between Metro, First and Leeds City Council.

The improvements include the introduction of 22 brand-new diesel-electric hybrid buses that produce 35% lower carbon emissions, are kinder to the environment and are quieter than other vehicles.

In preparation for the arrival of the new vehicles, which are partially funded via the Department for Transport Green Bus Fund, Metro and Leeds City Council have resurfaced sections of the guideway, made shelter improvements and increased the number of litter bins.

To mark the introduction of new, diesel-electric hybrid buses on services 7, 7A and 7S to Wigton Moor, Alwoodley and Shadwell, Leeds people were asked to name buses after local heroes who have done good work for Leeds and have helped raise the profile of the city.

LEEDS snooker legend Paul Hunter has been remembered as his name was unveiled on the side of a new First hybrid-powered bus designed to be kinder to the local environment.

The new diesel-electric hybrid bus was taken to the World Snooker Championships at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield where it was unveiled by snooker legends Steve Davis and Dennis Taylor, along with members of Paul’s family.

The unanimous choice of many was former Leeds based snooker legend Paul Hunter, who many believe would have gone on to be a world champion if his life had not been cut tragically short when he died of cancer.

Chris Lovell, of the Paul Hunter Foundation, said: “I would like to thank First and Metro for giving such a wonderful honour to the memory of Paul’s name.

“Paul was very proud to come from Leeds and it seems very fitting that a bus with his name on will be seen on the streets of Leeds for many years to come.”

Simon Pearson, First's Revenue & Customer Services Development Director, said: "We are delighted to work in partnership with Metro to honour some of Leeds's most famous sons and daughters.

"These new hybrid buses are at the cutting edge of technology in terms of comfort, safety and environmentally-friendliness and therefore it is right and proper they are named after people at the very top of their chosen professions, both past and present, such as Leeds legend Paul Hunter."

The silver double deck buses, which are powered by a combination of diesel and batteries, provide an increase in capacity and will be a major boost for the local environment. The introduction of leather seats will provide increased comfort for passengers. Dubbed the ‘Seven Series’,services 7, 7A and 7S provide a five-minute frequency along common parts of the rout, including the Scott Hall Road guided busway.

 Other buses have been named after such Leeds based legends, both past and present, as Radio One's Chris Moyles, Spice Girl Melanie Brown, Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis, late fund raiser Jane Tomlinson, Leeds United legend Billy Bremner and DJ and fundraiser Sir Jimmy Saville.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Stagecoach Green Week 21-25th May

Stagecoach is using its fourth annual Group-wide Green Week to celebrate its environmental achievements so far in a programme of activities planned across the UK.
During the week-long programme of events, the Perth-based company will encourage employees and customers to further drive forward the green agenda with a series of activities taking place across all of its businesses from 21-25 May.
Stagecoach is currently in the third year of a five-year plan to reduce its own carbon footprint as a business. However, the Group has been taking action for a number of years to cut carbon emissions at its buildings and vehicles and the results show that the company is making good progress.
Stagecoach Group reduced carbon emissions relative to the turnover of its UK businesses by 5.6% in the two years to 30 April 2011 as a result of a package of measures designed to make the Group more sustainable. This reduction followed a 5.7% carbon efficiency improvement in the three years to 30 April 2009*.
The Group is continuing to further reduce the impact of its operations on the environment as well as encouraging greater use of public transport to reduce pollution and congestion in towns and cities. Stagecoach is committed to offering motorists a greener, smarter and better value travel option through its network of affordable and high quality bus, coach and rail services.
The following activities will take place throughout Green Week:
• Competitions within the company’s UK Bus, UK Rail and Canadian operations for customers to win free travel on their local services
• A series of green giveaway events and roadshows at bus and rail companies across the UK where employees will hand out thousands of ‘Eco kits’ to passengers
• Employee energy awareness events at many of the Group’s businesses
• Walking and cycling lunchtime activities for staff
• Stagecoach green teams getting involved in local environmental projects
• Green Staff Day encouraging employees to leave their cars at home for the day
• Green schools competitions and family fun days
• Staff raffle competitions with proceeds going to local environmental projects
Stagecoach Group Chief Executive Sir Brian Souter said: “Green Week is now an established and important part of our efforts to protect the environment and become a more sustainable business. But we know the global challenge we all face on climate change is not just about what we do during this week, but how we make a difference every day of the year. That's why we will continue to work hard to encourage our staff and help our customers to adopt greener lifestyles.”

David Gambles

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Diddler in Action

Having checked Richard's Tram Blog I was pleased to see a link to a video showing LT Diddler trolley bus
filmed at the East Anglia Transport Museum, near Lowestoft, on Sunday 6th May 2012.
This film shows the 1931 trolleybus which is nicknamed 'Diddler' in action at a special event to commemorate it being 50 years since the closure of London's trolleybus system in 1962.
(there is no sound to the first part of the video)

David Gambles

Friday, 18 May 2012

Stagecoach Pay £100m for Assets of Coach America

Stagecoach is to acquire businesses and assets from Coach America which has been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since January 2012.  The transaction is subject to the approval of the United States Bankruptcy Court of Delaware.

Stagecoach has agreed to acquire:
1. Certain businesses and related assets and liabilities, for a cash
consideration of US$134.2m (approximately £85m) and;
2. at the option of the Sellers, up to 85 further coaches for a cash
consideration of up to US$25.6m (approximately £16m).

The businesses being acquired include contract, line-run, charter and
sightseeing operations. The transaction enables Stagecoach to acquire selected
businesses at an attractive price and to acquire vehicles as part of its capital
expenditure programme.

The businesses to be acquired include operations in Texas and California, which
will provide depot infrastructure to enable Stagecoach to expand its
budget coach network more efficiently, more quickly and under its full control,
whilst avoiding the need to pay a sub-contract profit margin in these locations.
In addition, Coach America's Atlanta business is the existing sub-contractor of
the Atlanta hub and that business is amongst those to be acquired.

The nine businesses being acquired are located in:
- San Antonio and Dallas, Texas
- Sacramento, California
- Anaheim, California
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Cleveland, Ohio
- Gillette, Wyoming
- Elko, Nevada
- Hanover, Maryland
- Portland, Oregon
Stagecoach Group Chief Executive, Sir Brian Souter, said: "Our North American
division is the fastest growing part of the Group and this transaction will
allow us to acquire selected businesses and vehicles at attractive prices in
markets and regions we know well. These businesses will benefit from both our
management expertise and ability to invest for growth.

"We see significant potential to roll-out's successful package of
low fares and high quality service to new locations in the United States. The
acquisitions in Texas and California in particular will give us an extended
geographic footprint to accelerate our growth strategy for the brand, which
already covers around 80 key locations in North America."

David Gambles

Tram-train gets Long Awaited Approval

 Stagecoach run the existing tram network in Sheffield
The government has confirmed that Tram-trains which run on street tracks as well as railway lines are to be piloted in South Yorkshire in a scheme worth £58m, 
Starting in 2015, the newly-built tram-trains will run on local tram routes and Network Rail lines between Sheffield, Meadowhall and Rotherham.
The two-year pilot scheme will be the first of its kind in the UK.
Transport Minister Norman Baker said the pilot would test the concept for a possible wider roll-out across the UK.
Announcing the final go-ahead for the pilot scheme, Mr Baker said it would help to determine the practical and operational issues surrounding the running of tram-trains.

South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive would take the lead in providing the new tram-trains and would sponsor the pilot in collaboration with Network Rail, Northern Rail and Stagecoach Supertram, said Mr Baker.
The £58m budget would cover the cost of the new vehicles and the necessary changes to infrastructure, he added.
Julie Dore, leader of Sheffield City Council, said passengers would be "extremely pleased" the pilot scheme would take place in South Yorkshire.
"We've been waiting for it for a few years. The country needs to do something like this.
"It will reduce congestion on the roads so it's beneficial to both Sheffield and Rotherham."
The tram-trains are expected to cut journey times and make it easier for people to get into the city centres the vehicles serve.
They are said to be lighter, more energy efficient and have faster acceleration and deceleration than conventional trains.

The question for Rotherham town centre is whether this will attract people, or encourage them to go and shop in Sheffield or Meadowhall.
That aside, it is being seen as a boost for the economy, and along with plans to trial a travel card similar to London's Oyster system, the Government and Transport Executive hope it will get commuters off the Parkway and onto trams.
Seven special tram-trains will be brought in that will be able to cope with both sets of tracks and the different levels of tram and train platforms.
You will be able to hop on in Sheffield and get off in Rotherham from 2015, but the project is a trial for two years and there is no guarantee it will continue after that.
Having already worked well in Europe, other cities here, including Manchester, will be looking to see if it is a success.
"It will also allow us to gauge passenger perception and acceptability of tram-trains," he said.

Link from Tony Wilson

Thursday, 17 May 2012

"We've gone retro but we're still good value."

At long last we have pics of the East Midlands 85yrs anniversary bus.

EMMS 85th Anniversary 
A new look Mansfield Miller

 More Pics on Focus flickr      Click Here

Children in Need RML

Spotted at Hopwood Park Service Station on the M42 was this RML in 'Children in Need' livery.

 Is the number plate spaced correctly?

 All pictures © Nimrod