Three Star take another Volvo

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Luton based Three Star Coaches has taken delivery of its second Sunsundegui bodies Volvo, with the latest addition to its fleet based on the B7R chassis. The 38-seater has a 7.1litre Volvo D7E engine and is specified with a TV screen, a CD/DVD player and a rear servery.

Three Star Coaches’ Colin Dudley said, ‘The 38-seat vehicle allows us to easily cater for those travelling groups of around 25-35 people that we often get. It is light weight and therefore quite nippy when travelling around. It also proves economical in terms of fuel. We’ve obviously tried other manufacturers in the past and one thing that particularly stands out about Volvo is the excellent back-up and support. They have a reputation for excellence and from our experience it is well deserved. We are constantly reviewing the requirements of our fleet. Our policy is to try and bring in a new vehicle each year, in order to improve and reduce the overall age of our 15 vehicle fleet. We intend to continue our dialogue with Volvo going forward to help achieve our long-term goals.’

Volvo Coach Sales supplied the vehicle.

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Cresta take Turas pair

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Cresta Coaches of Bridgend has taken delivery of two Noone Turas 800 bodied Mercedes-Benz Vario 818 minicoaches. One of the vehicles has 29 Politecnica seats, two tables and a red interior, whilst the other has 33 Politecnica seats and blue interior. They each have an Autoclima air conditioning system, convection heating, a reversing camera and a full Bosch entertainment package.

Minis to Midis supplied the pair.

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Johnson takes Avantgarde

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A Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 516CDi based EVM Avantgarde has been added to the fleet of Johnson Transport of the Shetland Islands. Powered by a Euro5 163bhp engine coupled with an automatic gearbox, it features a plug entry door, LED strip lights, EVM’s drop boot solution, 19 EVM Club Class seats trimmed in Epengle moqudette, air conditioning, a saloon heater, a Mercedes-Benz Sound 20 entertainment package and a PA system.

The vehicle was supplied by EVM’s sales office in Horsham, West Sussex.

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Welsh’s new Futura

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A VDL Futura FHD2 122.365PR coach has been added to the fleet of Welsh’s Coaches. It has 49 leather seats, a manual gearbox, an off side centre sunken toilet, a Bosch Professionaline audio visual system, a water boiler, a fridge and front, rear and centre stepwell cameras. It benefits from the dealer’s Coach Assist package, as well as the Moseleycare extended warranty.

The coach was supplied by Moseley (PCV). Pictured is Proprietor of Welsh’s Coaches, John Welsh and Moseley (PCV) Network Support Manager, Stuart Binns.

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Citaros for Go NE

Go North East has added 11 new Mercedes-Benz Citaros to its fleet. They have entered service on ‘Connections 4’, the Go-Ahead owned operator’s freshly re-branded M1 service connecting Houghton-le-Spring, Washington, Concord and Heworth. The vehicles have audio visual next stop announcements, free wi-fi and high back seats. They will provide a service up to every ten minutes during the day on Mondays to Saturdays, up to every 15 minutes on Sundays and every 30 minutes during the evening. A marketing campaign to promote the service is under way, with households along the route receiving information leaflets.
Marketing and Sales Manager at Go North East, Stephen King, said, ‘We’ve invested more than £2m in new buses based at our local depot in Washington for one of our most popular routes. We’re delighted to be bringing a new, fresh brand for Connections 4, with a new, modern metallic blue livery. Connections 4 plays a key role in getting people to work, school, college, shopping and leisure in Washington and Houghton, plus it’s easy to connect onto Red Arrows buses for journeys towards Gateshead and Newcastle, with a weekly ticket starting from just £18 for commuters from Fatfield to Newcastle.’

Freight Transport Association talks Driver CPC

Driver CPC needs to be improved, but we should be careful what we wish for in changes arising from the Driver Training Directive, according to the Freight Transport Association (FTA). Adding additional constraints could prevent responsible, professional vehicle operators from training drivers in the knowledge and skills they need to do their job effectively, claims the FTA. The comments came in the Association’s response to the Driving Standards Agency’s consultation on the Driver Training Directive as it prepares to submit its own thoughts on the regime on the behalf of the UK government.
FTA’s Head of Road Freight and Enforcement Policy, James Firth, said, ‘Driver CPC was brought in to raise standards across the industry, but many responsible vehicle operators were already developing their drivers’ knowledge and skills before the European Directive came along. When it came into force these operators had to make their existing high quality training conform to the administrative requirements of Brussels. The UK government was right to implement a flexible interpretation of the requirements when Driver CPC started back in 2008, but it means that any changes to the Directive which the Commission may be planning will have a direct impact on training courses on the ground.’
FTA also warned against allowing Brussels to dictate exactly what a driver should be trained in. Firth said, ‘The problem with one-size-fits-all is it usually becomes one-size-fits nobody very well. If the specific training content is defined by politicians – either in Brussels or Westminster – we run the risk of every driver investing time and money on redundant training. For instance a driver in the retail sector should not be forcibly required to be trained in loading and securing aggregates. There is certainly a challenge still in engaging drivers fully with DCPC, but insisting upon irrelevant training is a sure-fire way to alienate them further.’

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North Yorkshire cuts consultation

Bus Users UK has expressed its concern over plans to introduce further cuts to bus services in North Yorkshire. As part of North Yorkshire County Council’s commitments to save £92m over the four years ending 31 March 2015, it has proposed a reduction of £1.1m in what it pays to finance bus services. At present, it spends £4.4m a year on subsidising bus journeys. It plans to withdraw subsidy from services it deems are not well used, to cease providing contract services of more than one journey every two hours and to take away funding for town services in urban areas. It has also announced plans for reducing the amount it spends on home to school transport services. This announcement comes after the Council made funding cuts to Sunday and evening services. The local authority has launched a public consultation on the plans.
In response to this announcement, Bus Users UK is holding a ‘Your Bus Matters’ event on 1 November at Station Parade in Harrogate. The day will provide an opportunity for passengers to raise their concerns directly with those responsible for providing local bus services. Transdev, Connexionsbuses, Yorkshire Tiger and Eddie Brown buses will be present along with North Yorkshire County Council and representatives from Bus Users UK.
Chief Executive of Bus Users UK, Claire Walters, fears these cuts will have a ‘massive, damaging and lasting impact on local communities with the most vulnerable being hardest hit’. Claire said, ‘Buses provide vital links to isolated, rural communities and ensure that people with disabilities, the elderly and vulnerable can lead active lives. They enable people on low incomes to access a wider range of employment opportunities and play a pivotal role in economic regeneration. They also ease congestion in our towns and cities and offer a safe, low carbon alternative to the car. However the people of North Yorkshire are in very real danger of losing these essential services if they don’t speak out to save them.’

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