Friday 31 January 2014

New Go North East Depot Opens & an 'oldie' arrives at Barrow Hill


Go North East has officially opened a brand new £8.5m super depot, bringing its investment in the region to £30m over the last two years.

 The new depot on the day of official opening (click to enlarge)
The Mayor of Gateshead, Cllr Jack Graham MBE, officially opened the state of the art Gateshead Riverside depot on Tuesday (28 January 2014).
The 3,500 sq m depot will accommodate 160 buses and will be home to more than 500 drivers and engineering staff. 
The new, high-tech facility replaces depots at Sunderland Road in Gateshead and Winlaton that date back to the days of the tramways. All employees at these bases are transferring to the new building, which includes a brand new driver training school and the company’s occupational health department.
Although the opening ceromony took place on 28th January vehicles will move into the new premises over the weekend of 1st and 2nd February.

L to r Kevin Carr, Go North East MD, Cllr Jack Graham MBE & David Brown, go-Ahead group chief executive at the opening ceremony.
 The spacious and impressive interior of the depot had a selection of Go North East vehicles on display for the opening ceremony
See the article on our Features website here for more details about Go North East's investment, together with more pictures taken on the day of opening.


A4 class steam engine Dominion of Canada 4489, was one of the six of the type displayed at the National Railway Museum's 'Great Gathering' event during 2013. Yesterday it was delivered by road on a low loader to Barrow Hill and the Focus Transport team were able to capture the arrival in preparation for an event during February. The engine is a non-runner and arrived from a museum in Canada to the United Kingdom not in the best of condition. The NRM did some remarkable work on the engine before being put in the 'Great' exhibition, where amongst the other exhibits, it was well received.


Thursday 30 January 2014

FirstGroup Trading In Line with Management’s Expectations

First trading as expected
In an interim management statement on trading for the three months ended 31 December 2013, FirstGroup reports its overall performance has been in line with management’s expectations, with good developments made in four divisions offset by slower progress in First Student.

In its UK Bus division, like-for-like passenger revenue increased 2% during the period, underpinned by good passenger volume growth, continuing the encouraging trends achieved in the first half of the financial year. It continues to see positive results from the operations furthest along the transformation programme, despite the challenging economic conditions that prevail in a number of its local markets.
First’s management claim the company is on track with plans to return the division to double digit margins in the medium term. It aims to achieve this through further cost optimisation from more disciplined operations; market-by-market improvements to its network designs and fares structures to drive improved volume growth; and further investment in its bus fleets and technology to improve customer experience.
It recently confirmed a £70m investment in 425 new buses, helping to improve reliability, reduce fuel and maintenance costs as well as significantly enhance the quality of its service offering to customers.

UK Rail performed well in the period. Like-for-like passenger revenue increased by 6.3%, with further strong volume growth across all of the train operating companies, with successful delivery on a number of important fleet and infrastructure projects where the company worked in partnership with equipment manufacturers and Network Rail.
During the period First submitted pre-qualification proposals for the Essex Thameside and the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchises. They have been shortlisted for the upcoming ScotRail, Caledonian Sleeper and Luas light rail franchise competitions.

Commenting, Tim O’Toole, Chief Executive said:
"I am pleased to report that overall trading in the period is in line with our expectations, with a good performance in four of our divisions offset by slower progress in First Student. While there remain a number of short term challenges to overcome, the programmes are in place that will enable the Group to benefit from its market leading positions. The slowing of our margin progression in First Student during the period was disappointing, however we remain confident in achieving our medium term objectives for the division as we refresh the management team and drive further cost efficiencies and improve returns across the business. As we work through the current bidding season, which is just commencing, our focus remains on those markets where our superior offering is valued. The performance of the other divisions in the period was encouraging. In UK Bus, we are pleased with the tangible results we are seeing from our comprehensive transformation plans, and although challenging economic conditions continue in some of our local markets, our confidence continues to grow.
"I am confident we are on the right track to increasing the resilience of the Group and improving returns and growth prospects for the benefit of all our stakeholders. I am very pleased to welcome John McFarlane to the Board as Chairman. He joins at an important time for the Group and his extensive international experience and track record of value creation will be invaluable as we work to deliver sustainable long term value for shareholders."

Wednesday 29 January 2014


1.   Tramtastic!

From the Oldham Evening Chronicle

Manchester Metrolink finally enters Oldham town centre 

 The tramworks as they progressed at Oldham Mumps in late 2013

Trams on test through Oldham town centre in early 2014. Image from the Manchester Evening News

TRAMS are now up and running through Oldham town centre, marking the end of years of disruption and the start of a bright future for the town.
Excited passengers from Oldham and beyond braved wind, rain and sleet to board the Metrolink tram shortly after 5am recently to be part of the historic first journey.

The opening of the new line includes four new stops in the town, Oldham Mumps, Oldham Central, Oldham King Street and Westwood, as trams zip along the roads towards Manchester or Rochdale.

Several eager transport enthusiasts bought tickets and braved the cold pre-dawn start to be part of the momentous occasion, boarding the tram at various stations along the way.

The tram followed the new route through each of the four new stops, including Westwood, Oldham King Street and Oldham Central, before arriving at Oldham Mumps just before 5.35am.

It was a welcome end to the years of disruption, engineering work and line closures that the town has struggled through as the new service was installed along Union Street, through King Street and down the hill towards Westwood.

One of the first passengers on the new line was Peter Crichton, a transport enthusiast from Grotton.

He said: “I’ve always been interested in transport, probably because I grew up around buses and trains as my dad was a bus conductor. Every now and again I don the old anorak and take a ride on local transport.”

Oldhamers weren’t the only ones ready and waiting for the opening of the new line. Paul Steane (56), from Altrincham also got up several hours early to take a ride before heading to work in Preston.

“I try to get on the first trams when I can,” he said. “It’s exciting to be on board the first tram to go along a new line in Oldham and take some photographs along the way. It is a way to be part of history.”

After completing its trip through the town centre, the tram continued to Rochdale, arriving at 6am, before returning to Oldham Mumps at 6.18am to take the first set of commuters to Manchester.

Metrolink driver Chris Allen (50) had the pleasure of driving the historic first tram on the new line and said it was a “very exciting experience”.

Mr Allen, from Hazel Grove, Stockport, said: “I really enjoyed driving the tram along the new line.

“Everything has gone to plan and it has been a very exciting experience for me, one that no-one else will have.”

Transport for Greater Manchester project manager Alan Cayton, who was also on board, said: “It is great to see so many people using the tram even at this time in the morning and that everything has gone to plan.”

The town centre line, which stretches from East Didsbury, through Manchester and Oldham to Rochdale, is the latest addition to Metrolink’s network, bringing it to 48 miles and 76 stations.

Journeys from Rochdale Manchester Victoria take around 45 minutes, while journeys from Oldham Mumps will take 30 minutes.

A return off-peak adult ticket from Oldham Mumps to Victoria will cost £3.60 or £5.40 at peak times.

Off-peak return tickets from Oldham Mumps to Rochdale cost £2.90 or £3.70 at peak times.

The new Oldham Mumps stop also benefits from links to bus services and a free park and ride site for Metrolink passengers.

Councillor Jim McMahon, Oldham Council Leader, said: “Today is a historic and exciting day in Oldham’s history – and one that points to a much brighter future.

“We knew the biggest infrastructure project in our borough’s history would inevitably cause disruption, especially for businesses and motorists, and I want to thank people for the patience they’ve shown during the construction period.

“Looking ahead, our wide-ranging regeneration plans for Oldham town centre – like the work currently underway to turn the Old Town Hall into a multi-screen cinema – are all designed to capitalise on the arrival of the tram and the fantastic new opportunities it offers to residents, investors, businesses and visitors.

“Metrolink has been the catalyst for all these plans and we are totally focused on delivering schemes like this that will transform what is on offer in Oldham town centre.”

2.   Nottingham tram extension enters final phase


Photo: NET.

Photo: NET.

Nottingham is taking several steps closer to realising a £570 million modernisation of the city’s tram network at the start of 2014, as work gets underway on the final stretch 7.5-kilometre extension to Clifton.

Two images of the tramworks in the city centre, a new bridge over the main Nottingham railway station (upper), and progress of the line away from the station (lower). 

Contractor Taylor Woodrow will begin installing track and constructing new stops on Southchurch Drive and Farnborough Road on February 2.
The works will complete one of two new lines being built to extend Nottingham’s tram system from the city centre south and south east to Clifton and Chilwell/Beeston.

In the background one can observe the new bridge that will carry the tramway over the ring road just south of the Queen's Medical Centre and the University campus.
In total, 17.5-kilometres of new track will have been installed by May this year.
The new lines are part of a multi-million pound programme of improvements to Nottingham’s tram system, which also includes a fleet of 22 new Citadis trams from Alstom.
Tram operator NET has also begun installing ticket machines and validators at the city’s tram stops.
Although the new ticketing system will do away with the need for conductors on trams, NET has said members of staff affected will be redeployed across the network.
Phil Hewitt, chief executive of NET concessionaire Tramlink Nottingham, said: “The new machines will be simple to use and the process will be quite straightforward.
“Conductors will still be on trams for some weeks after the ticket machines are switched on as the new system beds in.
“The role of conductor will then be replaced by a range of other customer facing staff who will be out and about on the network, checking tickets and helping people with travel queries.
“As originally planned, our operating partner Nottingham Trams Limited has been able to redeploy all conductors as part of the continuing recruitment drive as we build up to the expansion of the network at the end of this year. In all, around 100 new jobs are being created for drivers and customer service staff.”

Tuesday 28 January 2014


At noon yesterday Transport for London (TfL) launched a silver (and red) version of their New Routemaster (some still refer to it as the New Bus for London [NBfL]), at City Hall nearby to Tower Bridge.

Nearside aspect showing the three doors at City Hall (Ian Rivett)

It will go into service with London United on route 9 (Hammersmith & Aldwych). Then later on in the spring it will transfer to route 10 (Hammersmith & St.Pancras Station), when that route will be the next to have the type, after the conversion of route 148 (Camberwell Green & White City) on the 15th February.

Later in the day the bus was driven around parts of Central London, the offside aspect of the bus shown here as it passed over Westminster Bridge (Mark Lyons)
It has also recently been announced that Route 9H (Trafalgar Square & High Street Kensington), the heritage Routemaster route will be withdrawn during the spring. However, route 15H (Trafalgar Square & Tower of London), the other heritage Routemaster route, will continue to operate for the time being.
Hope this helps should you wish to plan any London trips in the near future.
As a reminder of the two heritage routes there follows a small selection of the current traditional Routemaster operation with images kindly provided by Mark Lyons and Terry Wong Min. These include a 'special' in the shape of the unique front entrance Routemaster FRM 1 and another 'silver' RM.


An explanation as to why the change to route 9H is necessary can be viewed on Leon Daniels blog and is available here

Monday 27 January 2014


Sheffield 'crash-for-cash' ringleaders jailed

Two men have been jailed for orchestrating a series of "crash-for-cash scams", including one involving a major operator's bus with up to 40 passengers on board.
Mohammed Gulzar and Shoaib Nawaz, from Sheffield, attempted to net £500,000 from a series of fraudulent insurance claims via their firm City Claims 4 U.
One staged accident involved a 12-tonne bus hitting a car in Burngreave, Sheffield.
Gulzar, 31, and Nawaz, 25, were jailed at Sheffield Crown Court.
Gulzar and Nawaz, who were found guilty of fraud after a trial last year, were jailed for four-and-a-half years and three-and-a-half years respectively.


Mohammed Gulzar, 31, of Osgathorpe Road, Sheffield - jailed for four-and-a-half years
Shoaib Nawaz, 25, of Earl Marshall Road, Sheffield - jailed for three-and-a-half years
Adam Herbert, 25, of Ecclesfield Road, Sheffield jailed for 20 months
Javed Khan, 46, of Nansen Road, Birmingham - jailed for four months
Sami Ahmed Selam, 37, of Chester Road, Flint - jailed for three months
Mohammed Abbas Jaffar, 25, of Dintree Croft, Coventry - four months imprisonment suspended for one year
Osman Bakri, 25, of Rockingham Street, Sheffield - four months imprisonment suspended for one year
Saeeda Ali Bi, 40, of Coleridge Gardens, Sheffield - three months imprisonment suspended for one year
Safaida Bi, 30, of Ings Way, Bradford - three months imprisonment suspended for one year
Saif Allah Kara Glenn, 25, of Middlemarch Road, Coventry - three months imprisonment suspended for one year
Dusan Pacan, 27, of Cammell Road, Sheffield - three months imprisonment suspended for one year
Nine other people were also sentenced for their part in the fraud.
Bus driver Adam Herbert, 25, from Sheffield, was jailed for 20 months, after admitting his involvement.

The court heard how the bus crash, in June 2011, was just "the most extreme example" of a series of fake collisions masterminded by Gulzar and Nawaz.
The collision was only slight and caused £800 of damage to the vehicle but innocent passengers among those on board said they were amazed to see some people overreact to the small bump.
One man even threw himself into the windscreen.
Detectives found that some passengers had picked up claim forms from Gulzar's company, City Claims 4 U, even before the crash had happened.
Inquiries into the bus crash led to a wider investigation into the Sheffield-based firm.
Judge Graham Robinson heard how Gulzar set up more than 30 collisions in order to make false claims which could have cost insurance companies almost £500,000, although only around £40,000 was ever paid out.
Charges were eventually brought in relation to nine fake incidents in Halifax, Sheffield and Rotherham.
Det Con Mark Wootton, of South Yorkshire Police, said: "The sentences handed out today send a strong message to those who think they can get away with making false claims and defrauding insurance companies to pocket the cash for themselves.
"It is also vital to point out that this is not a victimless crime. Not only do false claims raise insurance premiums for all drivers, but staging crashes such as these could have resulted in injury or even death.
"It is by sheer luck alone that nobody was seriously hurt in these reckless collisions." 

Graffiti tribute to 'Trigger' actor Roger Lloyd-Pack sprayed on side of train in Kent


A graffiti tribute to the late Only Fools And Horses star Roger Lloyd-Pack has been spotted on the side of a train. The 'Trigger' street art, which features the 69-year-old actor's nickname in the popular BBC sitcom, was sprayed on the side of a Southern train carriage. The show's logo was also included in the artwork but was adapted to say Rest in Peace. Architect Andrew Paulson posted a picture of the mural on Twitter yesterday and it was quickly shared hundreds of times. He wrote: "I don't condone graffiti, but had to smile at this one at Tonbridge station." Southern said the train had since been taken out of service and that the graffiti was being removed. Lloyd-Pack died of pancreatic cancer last Wednesday at his home in Kentish Town. Sir David Jason, his Only Fools and Horses co-star, described him as "a pleasure to work with". Another mural featuring Lloyd-Pack was spotted in Brighton. Paul Gargan, who discovered the artwork, posted a picture of it on Twitter with the caption: "Brilliant graffiti tribute to Roger Lloyd-Pack's 'Trigger' appeared over the weekend in Brighton".

Tribute: the graffiti on a train at Tonbridge station (Picture: @Andrew_Paulson/Twitter)


Mural: another graffiti tribute to Roger Lloyd-Pack in Brighton (Picture: @PaulGargan/Twitter)


Martin Arrand has provided another set of images from his recent visit on a rather dull-weathered Derby day, all modern low-floor buses bar one operated by Arriva, Kinch, Trent and Yourbus. These can now be viewed here

Sunday 26 January 2014

500,000 Page Views

We are pleased to draw your attention the fact that we have reached the 500,000 page views mark since this website was launched by Richard Lomas on 14th May 2011. Richard would have been proud to have reached such a milestone and we will always be grateful of his efforts to ensure that we could continue to bring you a wide range of articles, pictures and other subjects connected with transport.
We launched the Focus Features website last year which is building a regular audience and has now reached over 7,700 page views since launch in November.
Another recent milestone was reached on our FocusFlickr website where we recently reached one million page views and we thank the Flickr team of Colin Sellers and Martin Arrand for their excellent efforts over the time their branch of the Focus website has been in existence. We must also acknowledge the efforts of Oliver Foreman who was webmaster of the original Focus Transport website which is now archived and still available for reference. here
Thank you to all who continue to view our websites on a regular basis and a warm welcome if you are a new visitor to this site.

David Gambles  Tony Wilson

Our New Year Posting featured a favourite photo from each of the Focus team and other contributors.
Those who supplied pictures were asked to vote for their overall favourite, (but not their own) and the winning picture is the excellent one shown below by Martin Arrand of Stanier Coronation Class Pacific No.46233 Duchess of Sutherland working the Newcastle to Sheffield via Derby on  8/6/13.

Released today, the latest article on our Focus Features website. 
David Gambles visits London and takes a ride on the battery powered BYD bus, the hydrogen powered bus and the New Routemaster.

click  here
to visit the Focus Features website

    Today's Blog Posting↓            

Stagecoach Gas Buses for Sunderland

Sean Blair has sent us pictures of the new ADL Scania gas buses that have been acquired by Stagecoach North East to operate in Sunderland.


Saturday 25 January 2014


McGill's Buses eyes Malta transport tender


McGill's buses  

West of Scotland-based McGill's Buses is poised to make a bid to run Malta's public transport service in a move that would double the size of the west of Scotland bus operator.
McGill's said it was "seriously considering" a bid after Arriva pulled out of running bus services on Malta and Gozo earlier this month.
The Maltese authorities are expected to call for expressions of interest this week.
McGill's said it would consider a bid, depending on the tender specifications.
The bus operator has already formed a consortium with "very prominent individuals and companies" in Malta to take its plans forward.
The move is being led by McGill's managing director Ralph Roberts, who is a former boss of Arriva Scotland.
'Very good fit'
He told BBC Scotland that there were about 360 to 370 buses in Malta public transport service, which is currently being run by state authorities.
He said: "The size of the contract would double the size of McGill's, which is something we can cope with.
"Malta would be a very good fit for us. The size is perfect and it is self-contained.
"As long as the authorities in Malta are realistic about the tender specifications, we are very serious about putting in a bid."
Malta has about 320,000 inhabitants and attracts about one-and-a-half million visitors a year. It relies heavily on bus services as there is no train or tram service on the island.
McGill's has an annual turnover of about £35m. The company doubled in size between April 2010 and March 2012 and doubled again after acquiring rival Arriva Scotland West in 2012.
It operates about 350 buses across more than 50 routes, mostly in Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire.

Friday 24 January 2014


Huge delays on Victoria line as concrete bursts into control room 


Commuters last night faced rush-hour misery after cement leaked into the Victoria line control room, causing services to be partly suspended. Trains did not run between Warren Street and Brixton, with Transport for London (TfL) confirming the rest of the line experienced "severe delays".


Tens of thousands of commuters searched for alternative routes home, with a TfL spokesman confirming the line remained affected for the "remainder of the day" so repairs could be carried out.


Concrete: a picture apparently showing damage to a control room. Credit:
London Underground's operations director Nigel Holness said: "This afternoon our contractors were working on the new station in an area next to the Victoria line signal control room.
"These works involved the use of water and cement which leaked into the room, damaging equipment. This has meant there are no signals working on the southern section of the line.
"Our engineers are working hard to resolve the situation as soon as possible to get services back up and running, but the line is expected to be affected for the remainder of the day while repairs are carried out." 
Transport for London apologised for the delays, and advised that a replacement bus service was in operation.
A spokesman said tickets are also being accepted on South Eastern Trains, South West Trains, Greater Anglia, London Overground and London Buses via "reasonable routes". 

A spokesman for the RMT union said: "We understand that a foot of concrete burst into the control room, having been poured into an escalator void.
"We await further information but what we do know is that LU technicians are on site now, working flat out to clear up the mess and get services back on line, proving once again that it's directly-employed public sector staff who are needed to deal with this kind of emergency, making a nonsense of Boris Johnson's Tube staff cuts plans."

As happens on these ocassions Transport for London do their best to instigate rail replacement services in the shape of alternative bus services. Ensignbus managed to rustle up a selection of vehicles and crews at their usual short notice, including this Volvo bendibus. An emergency service ran between Green Park and Brixton.

This is one of two Volvo B10MA-55 articulated buses with Plaxton Premiere Interurban bodywork recently acquired from Stagecoach by Ensignbus of Purfleet. They are ostensibly for rail replacement work on the C2C railway line between London Fenchurch Street and Southend, and was originally supplied to Fife Scottish (Daniel Sullivan)

The line has since re-opened for business


Similar Plaxton bodywork adorns this vehicle in the Notts & Derby fleet. Martin Arrand has posted a selection of older vehicles in PCV service in Derby and Nottingham, and can now be viewed here

Thursday 23 January 2014

USA Success

Continued Success for in USA

Following the news last month that Stagecoach Group reported that revenue from its operations in North America increased by more than 20% in the six months ended 31 October 2013, it has been announced that $10.5m is to be invested in 15 new Van Hool double-decker coaches. 
Also, further expansion is planned in the next 12 months.

Stagecoach claim that travellers in the United States saved more than $1 billion last year by taking and other discount inter-city bus operators rather than the train or plane, according to new independent research.
The study found bus passengers saved 52% compared with trips by rail on the same route, while they paid 79% less than people who chose to fly to their destination.
Inter-city bus users paid an average of 38% less than motorists, with the savings exceeding 50% when the full costs of owning a car were taken into account.
Research by the DePaul University Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development in Chicago looked at city-to-city trips of 80 miles to 500 miles in the 50 largest metropolitan areas on the US mainland.
On average, bus customers saved more than $36 per one-way trip relative to other transport modes, with cumulative savings of $1.1 billion annually.
The report, entitled Motoring into the Mainstream1, found that inter-city bus carriers expanded their number of daily operations by 4%, exceeding growth rates in city-to-city rail and airline services.
Previous studies by the transportation institute have found that the launch of in the United States in 2006 sparked a renaissance in inter-city bus travel after decades of decline.
"Travellers are flocking to the bus. Not only for [the obvious benefits of] the low fares, but also to avoid the stress of flying and driving, said Joseph P. Schwieterman, co-author of the new report. "Bus travel continues on an impressive upward trajectory." now operates in more than 30 states in the United States and two provinces in Canada, serving more than 120 destinations. Around 10 million customers travel on more than 200,000 trips with every year, with more than 50% of passengers previously driving by car.
Customers benefit from the most modern fleet of double-decker buses in North America. The state-of-the-art, green-certified and wheelchair accessible double-decker buses are equipped with free Wi-Fi, power outlets, seat belts and toilets. has also created more than 1,000 new jobs over the past seven years.
Dale Moser, President and Chief Operating Office of, said: " has again been recognised for leading the way in transforming inter-city bus travel. Travellers can make huge savings by leaving their car keys at home and taking the bus to get to work, make a business trip, travel with friends or go on a vacation.
"Our on-board Wi-Fi means customers can make the most of their time travelling. We have also developed an app our customers can use to get real-time information on the progress of their service and any issues affecting their trip."

USA Route Map


Colin Sellers has added a few more images to the 'Farewell to Doyles' set and can now be viewed here

Wednesday 22 January 2014


Brighton bus emission zone approved

From The Argus - online

Brighton and Hove bus bosses will have to own up if their polluting vehicles are not meeting strict new guidelines.
From January 1, 2015, a “low emission zone” will be introduced in Brighton and Hove city centre as part of plans to improve air quality.
As councillors gave it the go-ahead, town hall officials confirmed they would not be actively enforcing the restrictions despite having CCTV cameras along the “bus corridor”.
Instead, they said it would be up to bus operators to tell them when vehicles breaching the limit were used while the government's Traffic Commissioner would oversee any fines.
The new zone, which will stretch from North Street to Palmeira Square and only cover buses, was unanimously approved by Brighton and Hove City Council's transport committee on Tuesday.
Speaking after the meeting, Green councillor Pete West said: “Our great bus network already improves the city's air quality by reducing the number of private vehicles that would otherwise be travelling on our streets.
“It's great to see bus companies doing even more to help reduce emissions - something we'd like to help other organisations and individuals do too.”
The new area is one of a number of steps the council is doing to reduce pollution and ensure the city does not get hit by EU fines.

Tim Nicholls, the council's head of regulatory services, said the city “was not made for the internal combustion engine” with hills, tall buildings and tight roads leading to the “canyon effect” of fumes not being able to disperse.
Those buses that do not meet the strict standard will be barred from using the city centre unless it applys for a licence from the local authority.
Martin Harris, of Brighton and Hove Bus Company said more than a third of its 300-strong fleet will not meet the test in 12 months time. 

This was despite a government grant of £700,000 towards the scheme meaning 50 of its vehicles would be retrofitted with catalytic converters.
Mr Harris said he was confident the zone would not have “unintended consequences” for passengers, such as increased fares, reduced frequencies or disruption to the pattern of services.
Green councillor Ian Davey said the zone meant the local authority would be able to look elsewhere for funding to pay for future works.
Conservative councillor Graham Cox said: “I do not expect any bus company to use this as an excuse for putting up bus fares.”
Labour councillor Gill Mitchell said: “I think it's the right thing to do and it's a good first step.
“All credit to the bus company as they are the ones actually delivering the council's local emission zone.”
The local authority will now apply for formal approval from the Government's Traffic Commissioner. 

Focus Comment

Despite the tone of the report in the local online media it has been brought to our notice, that it is fair to say that the local bus companies are already doing their best to upgrade their respective fleets.
The new proposed LEZ is in the central shopping district between Old Steine and Hove Palmeira Square covering Castle Square, North Street, Churchill Square and Western Road. Although the 'headline figure' is that only Euro-5 vehicles will be allowed, in fact there are some practical exemptions until current vehicles can be progressively renewed. Euro-3 buses can run until 31/12/16 and Euro-4 until 31/12/19.  In any case a high proportion of buses used on those roads (Brighton & Hove, Metrobus, Compass Bus, thesussexbus and Stagecoach) are already compliant or are due for imminent replacement within those time limits.   

Images have been kindly supplied by Eamonn Kentell, Mark Lyons and Terry Wong Min with some text guidance from Dave Stewart