Leeds operator Fourway Coaches’ fleet investment continues with the delivery of a tri-axle Touring HD, supplied by Scania Great Britain (01909 500822).To full executive specification, it has 57 seats with leather headrests and three-point belts, a toilet, Bosch Professional Line entertainment system and alloy wheels.The coach is supported by the local Scania dealer in Leeds, and comes as standard with ten years’ fleet management software to allow the operator to keep watch on operational efficiencies on a weekly basis, while the operator reports that excellent value for money also helped in its decision.
Suffolk-based family firm Forget Me Not sells up as director retiresSoames name will end, as Forget Me Not branch carries on under NorseSoames & Sons of Ipswich, trading as Forget Me Not Travel, has been sold to Suffolk Norse, a transport operator owned by Suffolk and Norfolk County Councils. Its director, Tony Soames, is retiring. Suffolk Norse will take on the Forget Me Not trading name, depot, bookings and around five vehicles from 1 September, while the Soames name will be dropped.Six staff have been offered positions with Suffolk Norse, including Tony’s son Andrew and daughter Mandy. Suffolk Norse will be running school contracts and private hire from the depot in Otley.Suffolk Norse has also taken on the workshop and engineering staff, a new arena for the firm, which runs around 75 vehicles.A joint venture of 20% Suffolk County Council and 80% Norfolk CC-owned Norse Commercial Services, Suffolk Norse runs 46 coaches and buses; the rest of its fleet comprises minibuses, providing special educational needs transport across the county.Founded around 1920 by Tony’s grandfather Albert, Forget Me Not currently runs around 10 vehicles from its depot in Otley, Ipswich.Suffolk Norse Operations Manager Michael Davis tells routeONE: “Tony Soames has been in the industry a long time and has built up a wonderful business, and will be missed as an ‘old school’ operator.“I’m disappointed that Soames is going, but this isn’t the horror story of an old family operator closing. We’re going to operate it as well as Soames did, with a high quality of service, good drivers and good vehicles. It’s a sad story, but it’s not a bad story.“I wish Tony all the best and good luck in his retirement.”
Go North East, represented by law firm Ward Hadaway, has won an important case against an improper personal injury claim.The case was heard at Sunderland County Court where a Judge ruled that, not only was a personal injury claim improper and should be dismissed, but that the claimant and his solicitors should pay Go North East’s costs.This is the second time this year that dishonest claimants have been caught out by Go North East, highlighting what the company sees as a growing problem with some personal injury solicitors who pursue claims they know to be improper.In September 2014, a Go North East bus had a minor collision with the partly-open door of a parked van, causing superficial damage to the bus, which the bus firm accepted liability for.A bus passenger claimed he had been jolted backwards and forwards by the accident, and suffered a significant neck injury, which resulted in him not being able to work for several months.However, CCTV showed that the passenger was standing, not seated as he had said, waiting to get off the bus, and was completely unaffected by the minor accident.The CCTV was disclosed to the passenger’s lawyers with a request that they ask the medical expert to comment upon whether he could have suffered injury in light of what was shown, but they decided to issue proceedings despite the inconsistent evidence.The court documents said that the claimant was standing at the time of the accident. When a formal witness statement was disclosed, the passenger said that he could not remember if he was standing or seated.Eventually, the medical expert was shown the CCTV and agreed that there was no medical basis to support the allegation that the passenger was injured in the accident.The claim was then withdrawn.The Court ruled that the claimant was fundamentally dishonest and ordered the passenger to pay Go North East’s costs.The Court found that the claimant’s lawyers acted improperly or rather failed to act by not earlier sending the CCTV to the expert. The claimant’s lawyers were therefore also ordered to pay the bus firm’s costs.Go North East MD Kevin Carr says: “We take a firm stance against anyone who attempts to obtain money from our company improperly.“There are no winners when it comes to dishonest compensation claims“Ultimately we all pay for these through subsequent rises in transport fares, or in the case of private motorists, the cost of insurance.”Paul Hughes, Consultant at Ward Hadaway, who advised Go North East on the case, said: “This is a welcome and refreshing decision. It is very unusual for solicitors to be ordered to pay costs in this way.“This decision demonstrates that courts are becoming more robust in the challenge to improper claims not supported by evidence.”
Sittingbourne-based Chalkwell is putting live tracking data on its website so parents, pupils and schools can see in real time on a map, precise locations of all its home-to-school buses.No login is required to see the open data.In September Chalkwell starts new services from Sheppey and Iwade, direct to Sittingbourne, under a new Island Buses brand.There are also additional buses serving Lower Halstow and Upchurch due to increased demand.Chalkwell Commercial Director Roland Eglinton says: “Travelling to and from school is an important part of a child’s day and for those starting secondary school in September the process of catching the bus might be a bit daunting.“The new website feature provides important peace of mind for existing users and those starting school.”
2019 will see a fifth Barbi Galileo-bodied MAN RR2 join Anthony’s fleetAnthony’s Travel has placed orders for two MAN-powered coaches for delivery in 2019.One will be a 12.1m Neoplan Tourliner P21, and the other is a bespoke Barbi Galileo-bodied RR2 supplied by BASE Coach Sales – the fifth Galileo for the Runcorn operator.Managing Partner Richard Bamber says that both orders have been influenced by the increasing emphasis on Euro 6 compliance along with continued uncertainty surrounding availability of exhaust retrofit kits for coaches.“While I did consider other manufacturers, we have a great relationship with both MAN and BASE that goes back 14 years. The aftersales service that we receive from both parties is superb; they each understand my company and our business ethos.”Anthony’s fifth Barbi will be to team coach specification. “The Galileo is not a mass-produced coach but it is bespoke. Finalising the purchase with BASE and the Aspinall family was an easy decision to make.”
Peter Bradley speaks to his good friend Richard Shirley about his enterprising festive bus serviceOn Christmas Day no wheels move on the London Bus Network. But in 2017 one free bus service was provided by an enthusiastic small operator – and 455 trips were made.The free service will run again this year, following last year’s successPicking up over 60 passengers an hour on a day when demand is considered too low to justify official bus provision is no mean feat, so I ask Richard Shirley more about his decision to operate an hourly service between Roehampton and Putney Bridge.Connecting key areas“Roehampton combines some of the highest population density and lowest car ownership levels in London: You only need to look at TfL’s fantastic 24-hour bus network on other days to see that demand is buoyant,” says Richard.“The 430 connects the people of Roehampton with one of their main local centres in Putney where at least seven pubs are open on Christmas Day, some serving Christmas dinner, and there are numerous churches.“It also passes Roehampton hospital, or can take you for a walk by the Thames. Being able to connect these two areas at an easy-to-understand hourly frequency with one bus was key to the decision.”Providing a serviceThis well-informed approach, coupled with plenty of publicity, was behind a service that proved rewarding to operate, while fun and useful for local people.“On our first trip, a man walking along looked over his shoulder when he heard the bus approach,” Richard continues.“We stopped and found he’d allowed himself two hours to walk to church in Putney. He was overjoyed to see us. As the day went on we picked up plenty of people going to and from pubs or just coming out for a family ride.”Of course, the service would have been no use at all if no one knew about it and drawing attention to a solitary bus operation in a huge metropolis isn’t easy, as Richard explains: “London bus route numbers are a brand in themselves. People have a strong loyalty and attachment to them and know where they go, as you sometimes see when a long-established route number is proposed for withdrawal. “So, it was important that we tagged onto an established brand which people understand. An enthusiast suggested I use the historic route number 85A, but that was a no-no.”Spreading the wordThey targeted local websites and publications and got coverage in the Roehampton Voice, delivered to every household in the area, and the London Evening Standard, resulting in people coming from other areas by car specially to travel.“There’s still no substitute for walking the route though, dropping leaflets into local shops, pubs and community centres, as well as talking to people,” says Richard.Of course, the service has a role in raising awareness of Richard’s private hire facility.“We did get more enquiries from the area as a result, and all those extra website hits raise you up the all-important Google rankings,” he says.The vintage service will run hourly between about 0930-1530hrs on Christmas Day, following the normal 430 route between Roehampton and Putney Bridge.Find out more: j.mp/2L5cWls
Reading Buses has announced that a new Saturday service will begin this week (16 March) in Henley on Thames.To encourage people to try the new service, the first Saturday of operation will be free.The compressed natural gas-powered buses will have on-board audio-visual equipment, USB charging points and free wi-fi.
Operators using Section 19 and Section 22 permits have been urged not to pursue the recently introduced short distance exemptions from O-Licensing requirementsTAS Partnership Director John Taylor (pictured) says that instead, they should not abandon the idea that they are working non-commercially. If any changes are required to work non-commercially, they “should identify how they can continue to meet [that exemption],” he adds.The definition of non-commercial is under scrutiny at a Judicial Review brought by the Bus and Coach Association (BCA) that is being heard this week. The BCA argues that when money changes hands the work is commercial, and the operator requires an O-Licence.The short distance exemptions would override arguments about non-commercial use. However, its 10-mile limits except for some occasional services are viewed as insufficient by some operators.
Former UK Bus Driver of the Year (BDoY) stalwart Jack Raine died on 17 November at his home in Tattenhall, Chester. He was 89.Mr Raine was an early supporter of BDoY. He was the association’s Secretary and Treasurer from 2003 until 2009 and he remained a Director until retiring in 2011. As someone who made a significant contribution to staff training and development, Mr Raine also taught PSV Transport Manager CPC courses at the Centre for Transport Studies.Mr Raine is survived by his wife Joyce and his daughter Pam. BDoY Chairman Joe Mackie has paid tribute to Mr Raine: “I had known Jack for some years before my BDoY days. Jack and Joyce were such a lovely and genuine couple, and he will be sorely missed.”Former BDoY Chairman Brian Constable adds: “BDoY owes more to Jack than most of us because he kept our chins off the ground during the very difficult days of the National Bus Company privatisations, which starved companies of money to spend on training-related activities.”Funeral details have not yet been announced, but BDoY points out that inevitably the number of people that can attend will be restricted.
WhatsApp (Photo supplied/City of South Bend) South Bend Venues & Parks and United Federal Credit Union are teaming up in the first week of June for a series of events designed to celebrate the things that make South Bend great.Events are scheduled through Saturday, June 8th, and each day focuses on one or two signature events throughout South Bend. You can find a complete list of events and experiences at BestWeekEver2019.com.The signature event schedule for BWE is as follows:• Sunday, June 2 – Rebel Art Fest at Potawatomi ParkMake South Bend will kick off BWE 2019 with their curated showcase of local makers, artists, and musicians with the best modern craft, design, and sound. There will be a DIY craft station, food vendors, beer garden, and more.• Monday, June 3 – Best. Game Night. Ever. at Near Northwest Neighborhood, Inc.This game night extravaganza will foster the importance of quality time while promoting organizations that support better neighborhoods and strong families. From classic board games to life size games, cornhole tournament, face painting, balloon twisting, food, live music, neighborhood resources, and more.• Tuesday, June 4 – Choose Your Own Adventure at Rum Village ParkEnjoy a fun day at the beautiful Rum Village filled with sports and adventure themed activities including: disc golf, pickleball, high ropes course, rock climbing wall and more. Live music, food vendors and additional fun activities for the whole family will also be on site. Don’t miss the special experience from Boomer, VPA’s new mobile experience vehicle!• Wednesday, June 5 – Westside Wednesday Festival on Western Ave (between Kaley and Dundee)There is something for the whole family to enjoy as La Casa de Amistad heads up this outdoor festival celebrating the Hispanic culture in our community. You will experience local favorite cuisine, family activities, incredible live music, and more. The kid zone has child friendly activities and music. There will also be a beer tent for those 21+. This is a great night of celebration on the west side!• Thursday, June 6 – Taste of Michiana at Century CenterThis is your chance to try the absolute best food and drink offerings from over 50 of Michiana’s most popular restaurants. From regionally-known establishments to those deemed by the community to be one of the best-kept secrets, there is sure to be something to please everyone’s taste buds.• Friday, June 7 – First Friday – Kids Night Out in downtown South Bend and Riverlights Music Festival on Niles Ave.First Friday is organized by DTSB, inviting the entire family for a night of exciting events and activities. Live music, food vendors, Touch-a-Truck, and a frenzy of other fun taking place downtown with businesses hosting activities and specials for kids. Fireworks launch from the Jefferson Street bridge at 10:00 p.m.Riverlights Music Festival is about more than the lights, sights and sounds. It’s about community. Discover local bands, taste incredible food from local vendors, check out the handmade art from local merchants. Bring the kids for a fun-filled weekend along the St. Joseph River where the river lights will illuminate the entire event.• Saturday, June 8 – Belly Burst Un-Run in the Renaissance District and Riverlights Music Festival on Niles Ave.This less-than-1k charity “un-run” is hosted by South Bend City Church with a mission to raise money for a designated community organization/charity. This is a fun way for everybody to be involved in a race, have fun, and be part of positive change in South Bend. The walking, running, eating, and resting does not stop at the finish line.The Riverlights Music Festival will bring together local bands, local vendors, and local food to celebrate everything South Bend has to offer. It’s an event that is perfect for the entire family. Facebook WhatsApp Twitter Twitter IndianaLocalSouth Bend Market South Bend celebrating “Best. Week. Ever.” Google+ Pinterest By Tommie Lee – June 3, 2019 0 395 Google+ Pinterest Facebook Previous articleWoman injured in accidental shootingNext articleBurket home destroyed in Saturday night fire Tommie Lee