Cardiff’s new reward scheme

Cardiff Bus has teamed up with local businesses to reward ‘iff’ card travellers with discounts and special offers. ‘iff extras’ is a new scheme which gives additional benefits to passengers who use the operator’s travelcard. Organisations signing up to the scheme include Bellinis, The Pancake House, World of Boats and Edward’s Coach Holidays. Amongst the benefits are a 15% discount at Mimosa, as well as money off guided tours at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay.

Business Development Manager at Cardiff Bus, Gareth Stevens, said, ‘We’re thrilled to be able to launch ‘iff extras’. Our iff cards are extremely popular with our customers and it is great to be able to reward them for their loyalty. We’re delighted that so many companies have signed up to the scheme and hope more will sign up once they hear about the benefits to their business.’

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Nottingham’s record Optare electric order

 Nottingham City Council has ordered 20 Solo and Versa electric buses from Optare. Nottingham already has eight Optare Solo EVs in operation in the city and it is thought the enlarged fleet will be the largest electric bus fleet in Europe not relying on direct current collection from an external source. The existing electric vehicles are currently being used on its high frequency CentreLink and MediLink services. Each of the new buses will be equipped with a rapid charge system allowing them to use charging stations being installed at the Queen’s Drive Park and Ride site on the outskirts of the city. Part of the financing for the buses is coming from the Green Bus Fund. The vehicles are expected to create savings of £8,000 a year on fuel alone, with daily recharging costs estimated at less than £10. Further savings are expected from reduced maintenance costs because of the relative simplicity and robustness of the electric propulsion system and from Road Fund Licence savings. According to Optare, this new order consolidates its position as the UK and Europe’s leading manufacturer of full-size, commercially viable battery powered electric buses.

Optare’s Deputy CEO, Glenn Saint, said, ‘This is a significant and important order for Optare which validates the commitment we made three years ago to take the lead in electric bus technology in the UK. The successful operation of our EV models in Nottingham and elsewhere has proved beyond doubt that this technology is both technically and commercially viable and that electric buses have a place in the public transport scene both here in Britain and around the world.’

Portfolio holder for Planning and Transportation at Nottingham City Council, Councillor Jane Urquhart, said, ‘This is a welcome addition to our fleet of buses. We have award winning public transport in Nottingham and a strong commitment to the environment. These buses will help us to continue leading the way in efficient, greener transportation.’

West Yorkshire’s £1.4bn transport investment

A ten year programme of investments in West Yorkshire’s transport network has been announced. Worth £1.4bn, it has been described as ‘a shot in the arm’ for the local economy by Chairman of the county’s transport authority (Metro), Cllr James Lewis. Drawn up by the five West Yorkshire districts, Metro and York City Council, it includes a bus interchange in York; new link roads and bypasses in Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield; improvements at rail stations; better road links to Leeds/Bradford Airport and an extra junction on the M62. It also begins paving the way for the extension if the NGT trolleybus network in Leeds; completing the electrification of major rail routes in the region; an upgrade of the motorway network and a rail based link to Leeds/Bradford Airport.

Cllr Lewis said, ‘Transport underpins many aspects of economic growth and I am delighted that Metro has been able to work with our colleagues in the districts to develop this joined up, county wide programme of improvements that will connect people with jobs and enhance the way goods and services are delivered.’