Sharpes takes first Van Hool EX for the UK

first_imgSharpes’ EX will gain the operator’s blue and silver livery later onEstablished Van Hool operator Sharpes of Nottingham has become the first UK operator to place an EX into service.The Macedonian-built EX was introduced by Van Hool as a complementary coach to its established TX range, and is imported on an exclusive basis by Arriva Bus and Coach. The Sharpes example has been delivered in base white, but is to be repainted into the operator’s blue and silver scheme and a set of Alcoa alloy wheels later in the year.It is part of a stock batch built for Arriva Bus and Coach.last_img

Read More

Community choir welcomes new Perryman’s Optares

first_imgTo mark the arrival of four new vehicles on its Edinburgh commuter service, Perryman’s Buses, part of West Coast Motors enlisted the voices of an East Lothian community choir.The £560,000 investment in Optare Metrocity buses is for service 253, Berwick-upon-Tweed to Edinburgh via Dunbar and Haddington.The low emission midi-buses are designed for city and town environments. Seating up to 44 customers, all vehicles are custom fitted with USB charging stations and bus stop audio and visual announcement systems.In recognition of its investment, and to entertain its customers on a cold winter’s day, Perryman’s Buses called on the musical talent of an East Lothian community choir, DunbarSings to serenade its commuters.  With its own version of “The wheels on the bus” and “Ye canny shove yer granny off a bus” the community choir, which formed in 2008 and made up local people, raised many smiles and much applause.Claire Lark, operations manager for Perryman’s Buses, said: “We are delighted to launch four new vehicles on service 253. We are proud to serve the route and thought the choir would be the perfect way to celebrate this investment plus thank our customers for choosing to travel on the service.“We would also like to say a big thank-you to Karen and all the singers for providing such a joyous performance.”Karen Dietz, Musical Director for DunbarSings said: “We have performed at a number of events, but this most definitely has to be the first time on a bus. It has been tremendous fun and the choir have had a wonderful time.“The new vehicles look great and as a regular Perryman’s customer I give the USB charging stations the big thumbs up.”Councillor Michael Veitch said: “I think it would be fair to say East Lothian has one of the best served bus routes in Scotland. This recent investment by Perryman’s further demonstrates the bus company’s commitment to the area. Furthermore, by enlisting DunbarSings, who delivered a sterling performance, it highlights the bus company’s focus on working closely with the local community.”The official launch of the vehicles coincides with a timetable update for the service 253. From 12 December the service has been amended to suit growing demand and maintain reliability. It no longer serves Haymarket Station.Claire Lark added: “There has been a marked increase in the volume of people using the service, which is great news. To meet this growing demand, and to ensure we maintain a reliable and frequent service, we have made some alterations to the route.”last_img read more

Read More

13% Oxford rise

first_img[tag – destination]13% Oxford rise[45]Oxford University’s museums saw a 13% rise in visitors in 2017, compared with a 7.4% increase for UK visitor attractions as a whole.The Ashmolean, Bodleian Libraries and Museum of Natural History are now in the top 50 most visited attractions in the UK.last_img

Read More

Remembering the past

first_imgReading your article on Warwickshire-based Webbs Coaches (j.mp/2PodCUy), I remember its Director, Derek Webb, very well as I used to be a driver in London for Wahl Coaches and then Redwing Coaches.I have lots of great memories. After many happy years as a coach driver with Wahl, I moved on to be a Tour Director with Insight International Tours for a number of years.Then I met my wife-to-be as I was doing a guided tour of Britain and Ireland.We left London and moved to Melbourne, Australia and I became a driver-guide for Gray Line Australia.I am now retired and looking back. I have to say that I have had a great life in tourism thanks to first working for Wahl Coaches all those many years ago.Oh, those heady days…Joseph Holtlast_img

Read More

routeone Awards almost sold out with just six weeks to go

first_imgThis year’s routeone Awards presentation evening is just six weeks away, and tickets are already over 90% sold out, which means a small number of seats remain available for sale.Capacity audience expected again at this year’s routeone AwardsIt will be a glittering evening celebrating the stars of the industry, as co-hosts routeone Editor designate Tim Deakin and a well-known celebrity announce the winners of the prestigious 2018 Awards.With the vast majority of tickets already snapped up it is important to remember that this will again be a sell-out event, so time is rapidly running out if you have yet to book your place – visit routeoneawards.com for details.Now in its 14th year, the routeone Awards seek to reward excellence and best practice through a judging process that is both rigorous and fair.With the strongest entries in the event’s 14-year history making decisions on the winners more difficult than ever, the routeone Awards judges deliberated long and hard over their two-day session last month.Meeting at the Peterborough offices of routeone parent company Diversified Communications, the five-person panel of industry experts was faced with having to make the most crucial decision of all in each of the 16 categories – i.e. which of the shortlisted finalists is to be named the winner at the routeone Awards Gala Presentation evening on 31 October.Last month’s meeting was the culmination of a process that started in March with the call for nominations. This was followed by detailed and compelling entry submissions before round three brought the judges together in June to determine the finalists in the all-too-important shortlisting process.To be shortlisted is an accolade in itself, but it brings with it the challenge of providing the judges with further compelling information that helps them decide who deserves the accolade of best in the business.The panel – former Volvo MD Steve Dewhurst, former Traffic Commissioner Chris Heaps, former Proudmutual Director Tony Kennan, former Stagecoach Commercial Director Peter Nash, and former Plaxton Sales Director Kevin Wood – have now made those decisions.In the case of finalists for the people awards – Engineer of the Year, Manager of the Year and Rising Star – there were interviews, while the judges still reserve the right to defer confirmation of their decisions until they have completed any necessary site visits and verified information supplied.That’s why the names of the winners won’t be made public until 31 October when a capacity audience assembles at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole for what is widely acclaimed as the most important evening in the industry calendar.To see the shortlist, visit routeoneawards.com/awards-2018last_img read more

Read More

Yutong expects to pass 500 in UK and Eire in 2019

first_imgTC9’s success driving numbers, but GT12 will form important part of market; 30 in total this yearPelican Bus and Coach expects the number of Yutongs on the UK and Ireland’s roads to exceed 500 later in 2019 – and for the marque’s annual retail coach sales figure to stabilise at around 150 once the high-specification GT12 is established in the market.It is little over five years since the first Yutong, a TC12, arrived, but Managing Director Richard Crump says the TC9 has proven to be the cornerstone of the range here.TC9’s strength in numbers“We never predicted the amount of excitement and uptake that the TC9 would generate. It took off exceptionally well. On its own, the TC9 has grown the midicoach market. Operators like them, and so do passengers.”When the 500 milestone is reached later this year, Pelican expects that around 300 of those will be TC9s.It reports that recent changes have seen a reduction in the TC9’s unladen weight; a move to the Cummins ISB6.7 engine in 320bhp form has also been well received.Additionally, Pelican handed over the first GT12 to a customer last week when Nova Bussing of Rye, East Sussex collected its coach from the dealer’s Castleford premises. Cropley Coaches of Boston, the first operator to order a GT12, will take delivery of one this week. Mr Crump says that 20 GT12s are now in the country with 10 more on order.Zero-emission TCe12 soonWith the addition of the GT12, and the decision to focus the TC12 on the cost-effective segment, Pelican believes that 150 retail sales per year are achievable. That figure will be bolstered by electric buses. Additionally, the first zero-emission TCe12s, for Westway Coaches, are due to arrive in June.“The UK is now Yutong’s biggest European market. It is very keen to develop vehicles that suit our needs and we are seeing a lot of interest from operators in the TCe12,” adds Mr Crump.last_img read more

Read More

South Bend Cubs just two wins from a Midwest League Championship title

first_img Google+ South Bend Cubs just two wins from a Midwest League Championship title Twitter IndianaLocalNewsSports Previous articlePolice searching for suspects following two shootings in Benton HarborNext articleMan, 22, killed, 5 others injured in crash on U.S. 6 in Elkhart County 95.3 MNCNews/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel is your breaking news and weather station for northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan. WhatsApp WhatsApp Google+ Pinterest (Tommie Lee/95.3 MNC) (Brendan King/South Bend Cubs) With Chicago Cubs right-hander Kendall Graveman making the game one start in the Midwest League Championship Series, the South Bend Cubs battled against the Clinton LumberKings in a pitcher’s duel and earned a very important 3-1 win to open the five-game set on Wednesday, Sep. 11.South Bend is now just two wins away from their first Midwest League Championship since 2005. Despite being 5-0 in the 2019 postseason, Wednesday’s win once again did not come easy. In each game of the playoffs so far, the Cubs have had to grind their way out of jams and battle.Graveman set the tone for the Cubs and tossed 3.2 innings of one run baseball. The former Oakland Athletics right-hander gave up his only run in the top of the 1st inning after allowing back-to-back hits to start the game. Following that point, he locked in and showed off his vanishing sinker. He finished with three strikeouts.After 54 pitches, Graveman was taken out of the game. Brandon Hughes recorded the final out of the top of the 4th inning. In a 1-1 game heading to the 5th, it came time for South Bend piggyback reliever Zach Mort to take the stage.Mort was equally as good, as he also worked with jams and battled his way through three shutout innings. The right-hander earned the win and also picked up four strikeouts.South Bend put Mort in line for the win as Nelson Maldonado broke a streak of 14 straight batters retired by Clinton starter Remey Reed. Maldonado smacked South Bend’s first postseason home run deep over the left field wall for the 2-1 lead.The Cubs added another run in the bottom of the 8th when Clayton Daniel laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to bring in Nelson Velazquez from third base. This set up Brian Glowicki with a two-run lead to try and earn the save.Glowicki ended up working a six out save and two scoreless innings to finish off the game one win.South Bend now possesses the 1-0 series lead and can really put a stranglehold on the LumberKings tomorrow with another win. Game two is set for 7:05 p.m. on Thursday, Sep. 12.Left-hander Faustino Carrera is the expected starter for the Cubs. Twitter Facebook By 95.3 MNC – September 12, 2019 0 391 Facebook Pinterestlast_img read more

Read More

Breaching the borders of democracy

first_imgWe urgently need a deep modification of the way democracy is organised. In this respect, the internationalisation of democracy, the renewal of the parliamentary institution and the use of e-techniques in the exercise of democracy are some trends we should be wise to focus on.We must also focus on human rights. The problem of inequality in the distribution of wealth is a major concern of our economic development and there are different possible political and ideological answers to this inequality. But the moral values linked to the very essence of mankind and the consecration of social and economic rights in international legal tools force us to reject any economic development that would not be accompanied by the necessary corrections against violations of human rights in terms of poverty, lack of dignity, human exploitation and many such issues.Then there is good governance, which in terms of economic development implies that public authorities define the rules of the game and have the means to ensure the respect of these rules. In other words, beyond the necessary – and welcome – ethics developed by the market itself, the rules, the exceptions and the public control of the economic game and of its various stakeholders is a central pillar of good governance. In this respect, good governance condemns any illegitimate interferences, any illegal influences, any ‘judge and party’ position between economic actors and public controllers. Good governance means also precaution. In economic terms, this means that the development has to be adequate with the durability of the natural resources. This raises the question of the sustainability of the new economy. We need to have the courage to ask ourselves whether our choice of society is sustainable and, if the answer is negative, to adapt it. Humility has to make us realise that only one thing is not negotiable: not our way of life but the physical, biological and chemical rules that have shaped and maintained our planet.As the EU examines itself in this unknown phase it may appear that everything is wrong. Not at all. This economic change is a real chance as long as it does not undermine the paradigms on which our civilisation is based. But if we do recreate democracy, if we give human rights the place they deserve, if we apply the rules of good governance – and if we do not forget that the change means a greater responsibility for stakeholders as well as beneficiaries – we are undoubtedly on a good path. As a national ombudsman I am focused on how our human societies should adapt themselves to these rapidly changing economic parameters to take into account the three fundamentals of democracy, human rights and good governance.Democracy – as the principle of the people deciding for themselves – is and remains the answer to our changing economy. The problem is that while the economy is developing increasingly on international bases, democracy, in contrast, appears to remain strictly a national concept. While new private actors of power have emerged, concentrating in a few hands tremendous influence and financial power, the concept of nation states appears to have remained the only reference to organise current communal life. In others words, if there is a world economy today, there is no world democracy – a clear reason to worry any democrat, for as Montesquieu noted: “Only power can stop power.”In this respect the discussion of the future shape of the United Nations, the necessary renewal of the Council of Europe and the current debate over the EU constitution show how difficult it is for states to accept going beyond a strict intergovernmental basis – or, at best, as in the case of the EU, a communitarian exercise of sovereignty. The ‘No’ victory in the referenda concerning the EU constitutional treaty in France and in the Netherlands should also therefore be read as the rejection of a transfer of sovereignty from national states to EU institutions without a parallel transfer of democratic control. Pierre-Yves Monette is federal ombudsman of Belgium and professor at the College of Europe.last_img read more

Read More

Buy-to-let is not a one-way street in Brussels

first_imgThe surge in house prices has been attributed to several causes. The need to off-load undeclared Belgian francs during the switch to the euro, coupled with the Belgian state’s tax amnesty on black money re-entering the system, meant that property was a safe place for people to park their capital. The collapse of the stock market post-9/11 was also a reason for investors to switch to property, thus pushing up prices. Property currently offers a better return on capital compared to banks and is safer than the stock market. But there are disadvantages if the property was bought in order to let out for rental income. There are pros and cons to becoming a landlord in Brussels.Rents for residential property follow inflation, so rents have risen slower than property prices. Landlords with property in the middle-to-top range of the rental market, which is traditionally filled by ex-patriate tenants, have been finding it increasingly difficult to let. That is not a huge problem if the property was bought outright, but can be painful for small-time landlords with just one or two properties, if there was an expectation that the rental income would cover a mortgage. One couple who have spent several months trying to rent out their three-bedroom house in the centre of Brussels for a year, while they are temporarily transferred abroad by the husband’s employer, have been obliged to leave it empty. The only person who is interested wants to buy it instead of renting it – exactly what they did themselves when they moved to the city 18 months ago. If they do manage to rent it out – and as the year that they are away shrinks so does the prospect of finding tenants – the money they get will just about cover the mortgage repayments. Some agents are reporting improved demand this year over last year, for houses in the suburban communes south and south-east of Brussels. According to agents specialising in houses in these areas, properties in the upper price bracket that are properly renovated to a high standard are being snapped up more quickly than those elsewhere. The reality in most other areas is that many rental properties stay empty for months on end.There are fewer ex-pats out there wanting to rent. Again, 9/11 can be blamed for fewer Americans wanting to travel and live in Europe. Real estate developer Xavier Mertens of Home Invest Belgium, an investment trust quoted on the Brussels stock exchange Euronext, says the reduced supply of arriving ex-pats can also be attributed to improved telecommunications and quicker and easier travel: fewer people have to live in Brussels to be able to conduct their business here. Those ex-pats planning to stay in the country for longer than a few years tend to want to buy their homes rather than rent them. Neither have the recent European Union and NATO enlargements eastwards made as much of an impact on the rental market as earlier enlargements, because these new countries were organised well in advance and the majority of the political, diplomatic and business personnel needed for Brussels had already been based here for several years. Mertens says there is a glut of empty rental property on the market and the wide and varied choice of property to let means anyone faced with a rental demand of €1,200 or more can easily negotiate the price down. Quite apart from the hassle of finding suitable tenants, landlords have the cost of upkeep to consider and often face a bill for renovation to meet increasingly high rental standards. In what is now a renters’ market, tenants are demanding superior decoration and top-of- the-range fixtures and fittings as well as flexibility on the rent. Patricia Kelly is a freelance journalist based in Brussels.last_img read more

Read More

The bogus referendum squad

first_imgSunday’s referendum in Crimea would not have been complete as an exercise in sham democracy without the attendance of some members of European Parliament. Fortunately for Vladimir Putin, there were a few self-sacrificing MEPs ready to come to his aid – willing travellers as well as fellow travellers, as long as someone else is paying.Take a bow, then, Tatjana Ždanoka, an ethnic-Russian Green from Latvia; Fabrizio Bertot, from Italy’s centre-right; Charalampos Angourakis, from Greece’s hard left; Béla Kovács of Hungary’s Jobbik party; and Ewald Stadler, from Austria’s far-right. They ventured forth where no electoral observer from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe was allowed to go.last_img

Read More