Month: April 2021

NEWM Platinum: The Platinum partners

first_imgLess haste, more speedNEWM won’t be removing any resource as a result of running time improvements, says Mr Rideout. “The time saved has gone into making the services more reliable. We have reinvested it into making the timetable more robust, making our offering to the customer better, and enabling us to deliver what we say we will.“It’s not simply about a pretty-looking bus; we must run it as we promise. Investment plus journey time savings equals growth, which allows further investment. It’s a self-fulfilling virtuous circle.”What is also important to note is that these improvements can be delivered for moderate cost, much less than a comparable guided busway or light rail line.“The incremental cost of Platinum is not huge,” says Mr Rideout. “We’ve gone for various enhancements inside the buses, and have foregone revenue from external advertising. But when it’s all taken into account, there isn’t a massive difference.“But the proof will be in the pudding.“If passengers buy into Platinum, and we start seeing significant modal shift, then it gives us excellent traction to push forward.” When applied correctly, there is no doubt that premium-quality bus services such as Arriva’s Sapphire and Stagecoach Gold do exactly as they say on the tin. Through operators’ investment, they drive passenger growth which outweighs the additional cost of providing the service, thanks largely to high-quality vehicles with more comforts than would otherwise be the case.National Express West Midlands (NEWM) has watched these ventures carefully, and on Monday (25 May) it launched one of its own when the first of 18, 10.8m Alexander Dennis (ADL) Enviro400 MMCs in a distinctive livery entered service from Birmingham Central garage.They will soon be followed by 40 identical buses at Walsall, and the new brand has been christened Platinum.In a departure from the existing NEWM fleet, the new buses include Wi-Fi, additional legroom, custom high-backed seats and colour co-ordinated interior dcor. Forming part of NEWM’s multi-year procurement deal with ADL, they are among 171 new buses, worth 34m, which the operator is putting into the West Midlands during 2015.But there’s much more to the Platinum story than shiny new buses. A great deal of other work has gone on behind the scenes between NEWM and its partners to maximise the Enviros’ impact, and the ambitious project is a sign of things to come. Give and takeHow these infrastructure improvements have been financed is an example of NEWM’s partnership working. “Adam and his team put a brochure about the Platinum concept together and we took it to the councils,” says Mr Kelly.“They were immediately impressed and quickly agreed to commit a substantial sum of money to highway improvements, as long as we held our side of the bargain and introduced the high-specification new buses.”A look at some of the Enviro400 MMCs, in the process of receiving vinyls and being examined by some of NEWM’s senior management when routeone visited Birmingham Central last week, shows that it has done exactly that.The operator then worked closely with both local authorities to decide where the money for road improvements should be spent, and it predicts a reduction in journey time between Solihull and Birmingham of up to nine minutes.“We’ve worked together and done some research into pinch points, and what creates them,” continues Mr Kelly. “It’s testament to our partnership approach with both councils. We can be open and challenge each other, but still come out at the end singing from the same hymn sheet.”Journey time improvements are perhaps the most significant part of Platinum after the vehicle investment, and the importance of speeding up services is often underestimated.“[The premium model] has worked for other companies, but we think we’ve been a little smarter,” says Mr Kelly.“Birmingham City Council and Solihull Council have given us a significant amount of money to improve journey times. Having luxury seats and Wi-Fi is wonderful, but if the passenger is on the bus for the same amount of time as previously, the full effect may not be felt.“Nobody is telling us that they don’t use the bus because the seats are too close together or there is no Wi-Fi. Rather, it’s because they can complete the journey by car or train in less time.“So while we know that the new vehicles will generate improved patronage on their own, we now also know that thanks to the work we’re doing with both councils, our journey times will be competitive with other modes’.”center_img Partnership paysThe new Enviro400s are visually distinctive and naturally the most noticeable part of the upgrading of the routes they serve.As Head of Marketing, National Express Bus, Adam Rideout and his team designed the grey-based livery and have also masterminded a number of promotions to drive awareness of the new brand.He points out that new stock would be expected to grow passenger numbers simply on its own merits; Mr Rideout and his team’s task was to capitalise on that.“Our Platinum livery is not the most revolutionary of its kind, but we have to realise that the buses will be working heavy traffic all the time. That means minor dents are inevitable, and we have made it as easy as possible for the engineering team to replace lower panels by making that section of the livery one solid colour.“We initially had some bolder ideas, but we consulted throughout the business and have tried to make Platinum as easy to operate and maintain as possible.”Much of what Platinum is expected to achieve will come thanks to NEWM’s partnership with both local ITA Centro and councils in the West Midlands. Having delivered a number of major benefits in two years, the current deal expires soon and will morph into an even more ambitious plan.Platinum acts as an indicator of what passengers can expect to see more of under the coming partnership, says NEWM Head of External Relations Jack Kelly. Combining the thinking behind it with delivery of tangible service improvements produces a textbook example of how partnership working can benefit the most important party of all.“What we want to do more of in the new partnership with Centro is use our knowledge of what passengers want, along with our investment power, to give a product which is ultimately more than the sum of its parts,” says Mr Kelly.“That’s exactly what Platinum is. Highway improvements and new buses both generate increased passenger numbers when implemented separately. But when we put them together, we will see more growth than we would if the two were independent,” he adds.The Platinum routes operated from Birmingham Central garage run together along Coventry Road before splitting. The 900 goes on to Coventry via the NEC and Birmingham Airport, while the 957 terminates in Solihull. Over the shared section, they offer a bus every seven minutes during the day.NXWM has worked closely with both Birmingham City Council and Solihull Council to deliver infrastructure improvements. But, says Mr Kelly, the operator thought carefully about what it requested.“Bus priority is king, but what operators are asking for is changing,” he explains. “Favourable traffic light phasing and bus gates potentially have as positive an impact on journey times as bus lanes, and are much less contentious politically.“We have been smarter in what we asked for. We could probably have had every traffic light sequence between Birmingham and Coventry altered in our favour for a cost similar to that for a couple of hundred yards of bus lane.”last_img read more

Prentice Coaches celebrates quarter century

first_imgPrentice Coaches celebrated a quarter century of service last weekHaddington, East Lothian-based Prentice Coaches celebrated its 25th anniversary last Wednesday (1 June).“We started with one coach when, after being employed by Ian Glass Coaches for many years, my father Don found himself working for Lowland Scottish after Ian sold his business,” says MD Ross Prentice.“As he was used to working for a family business, he quickly decided that Lowland Scottish was not for him, and Don Prentice Coaches was born. We incorporated as Prentice Coaches Limited in 2009.”The operator now runs 20 coaches and buses, and regularly purchases new vehicles from Alexander Dennis and Plaxton. “25 years later, we are transporting groups throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians. We also carry over 500 passengers on our service routes, and take children to school throughout the area,” adds Mr Prentice.Besides being honoured in the routeONE Awards, Prentice Coaches has also gained recognition at the Mid and East Lothian Chamber of Commerce Awards, and the Scottish Chamber of Commerce Awards.last_img read more

Transdev Blazefield: A gimmick for growth

first_imgIt’s getting harder to attract bus passengers, thanks to congestion. For operators who already use Wi-Fi, on-bus charging and comfy seats, what else can you do to get growth? Transdev Blazefield is using sat-nav on its trail-blazing Cityzap express routeCityzap uses buses cascaded from 36 routeThere are a couple of ways to get to Leeds city centre from York. One is to stand up on a shaking, crowded train for 20 minutes, followed by a 10-minute walk. The other is by bus.Until recently, the bus from York to Leeds and vice versa took well over an hour, with a 20-minute frequency. What’s more, it wasn’t very clear to the people of each city what it was; it was branded as Coastliner, so non-bus users could be forgiven for thinking it went directly to Yorkshire’s seaside towns.Operator Transdev Blazefield changed things earlier this year by introducing Cityzap: A new brand directly between York and Leeds, an express route that misses the towns and villages served by Coastliner. Cityzap runs every 30 minutes, and now so does Coastliner, creating a 15-minute frequency between the two. But Cityzap is up to 25 minutes faster; the journey takes 45 minutes, non-stop between York and Leeds, creating a much more desirable alternative to the train – and at half the price. “If it was only a few minutes faster, it would be more difficult to see the point of it,” says Transdev Blazefield CEO Alex Hornby. “But 20-25 minutes along fast roads makes a real difference.”Getting there fasterCityzap is about achieving growth – a big problem industry-wide, as passengers require more and more to tempt them onto buses, especially with current levels of congestion. “Simply buying new buses doesn’t automatically get the 10% growth that it used to,” says Alex. “You’ve got to do something different on vehicles to get growth.“Wi-Fi, USB charging and comfy seats are almost the standard now. People expect them, so what else can you do?”For Cityzap, sat-nav is that something else; it makes the service more reliable and punctual. “It’s not just practical, it’s such a brilliant gimmick,” says Alex. “It turns people’s heads.” As something that most car drivers use, it sends a message to people that using the bus isn’t so different to using their own car. Similarly, Cityzap uses the motorway – which is sufficiently unusual in a bus service to attract local attention.There’s also the benefit of empowering drivers.Called ‘ZapNav’, it works by allowing the driver, who has an in-cab Garmin sat-nav monitor, to select either the regular A64 route, or one of three alternatives between Leeds and York – whichever will be fastest according to traffic levels.Launch event drew attention to the new brand and its ‘super-fast’ credentialsThe route is registered with three alternatives, which the Traffic Commissioner’s Office has accepted. Each route was devised by the local operations team working with drivers.ZAP vehiclesCityzap uses buses new in 2003 with personalised ZAP plates, cascaded from the luxury 36 Leeds-Harrogate brand. They were refurbished for the 36 in 2010 with leather seats, USB points and Wi-Fi, and were taken off the route this year to be replaced by brand new Volvo Wrightbus Gemini 3s (routeONE, News, 27 January).Transdev considered putting coaches on the route, instead of double-deckers – it worked well with the luxury Red Arrows brand at Trent Barton, where Alex was formerly Commercial Director. But the company wasn’t sure they would communicate the same thing.“There is hardly any use of coaches on normal service work in these parts,” says Alex. “We were very nervous that our key selling point of ease of use, and turning up and going, would not be communicated as obviously with coaches, especially with it being a new product.”The buses have been given their own flash red-and-silver livery, complemented by drivers’ red-and-silver waistcoats.The waistcoats were a 36 idea too. Transdev wanted to differentiate the drivers, but if the whole uniform was 36-branded, what if a 36 driver had to drive a different route? The solution was red-and-black waistcoats with a plain shirt, and the idea works well across the firm’s brands.Hitting leisure marketTwo months from launch, Cityzap is doing even better than predicted. Its most popular days are Friday and Saturday, which is indicative of its popularity with shopping and leisure travellers, particularly as a new John Lewis has recently opened in Leeds – a stone’s throw from the bus station, another benefit over the train.Alex Hornby (r) with local MP and transport minister Andrew Jones“The leisure market is easier to reach than the commuter market,” says Alex. “It will take longer to attract commuters – they’re often committed to a routine, perhaps have rail season tickets or long-term city centre parking spaces, so we knew it will take more effort and time to get them. But we’re more than happy with how it’s going so far.”Cityzap is poised to become part of a bigger picture for Transdev. “Interurban bus travel has major potential for growth,” says Alex. “It’s competitive in terms of comfort and service, and has the ability to compete with on-demand app solutions such as Uber. It also justifies higher fares and higher standards of service, which we see as more of our speciality going forward.“Attitudes are changing in the way people live and the distance they travel for work or leisure. Interurban routes are generally growing, while local routes are slowing down.“We don’t think this will be the last Cityzap.”However, it needs the right conditions. Alex remembers his experience at Go South Coast, when the team couldn’t quite make its Southampton-Portsmouth express route work; the two cities were too similar and the local populations simply weren’t attracted to either city by bus or coach.Cityzap works because York and Leeds are very different cities. They each offer different attractions for residents of the other.‘Amazing’ bus companyCityzap is part of a wider vision for Transdev. Since Alex joined in February 2015, the company has adopted a vision of being ‘the amazing bus company’, with three aims: To serve people who are proud to be customers, to employ people who are genuinely happy to work for the company, and to be a successful and innovative company. “You can be successful by managing decline,” Alex points out. “We want to be innovative too, to promote bus use, make bus travel better and get more people on board.”Staff magazine Red and White Express introduces ‘amazing’ visionThe mission statement itself is short, snappy and non-corporate, but the most important thing is that it’s believable – and staff can see that it’s working.When we met Alex at the bus stop outside York railway station, he was eagerly eavesdropping on one of his customers informing another what time ‘Cityzap’ would be there. He likes hearing customers saying the name; it’s an indication that the brand is working. The name was chosen because it’s memorable; it appeals to young people while not offending older people; and it accurately conveys what it does.Route-branding is something Transdev Blazefield is very keen on, but not just in the sense of making the destinations clearer. It’s about creating a product, and a desirable one, and the time for listing special features on the side of the bus – Wi-Fi, USB charging, leather seats – is passed.“If you think about the brands we buy every day, it’s not about listing the ingredients on the side of the packaging,” says Alex. “People feel an affinity with certain brands – they swear by Cadbury’s, or Apple, or Head & Shoulders, and buying those brands is part of their whole lifestyle.“The 36 is a high-quality product. You wouldn’t see a list of products sold outside an Apple store. The way it looks and feels communicates a lot more; how it’s presented tells you what it does.”The name ‘Cityzap’ was chosen to convey what it does – fast travel between cities – but when the company looked at renaming 36, they found it was already a strong brand in itself. “People in Harrogate and Leeds already know it’s the aspirational bus,” says Alex. “After all, O2 is just a letter and a number – but, like the 36, it’s a brand and it means more than that.”Brand newsAcross the Transdev Blazefield business, there will soon be 12 high-profile routes, including 36, Cityzap and the Witch Way. They have certain standards, like Wi-Fi, USB power, dedicated teams and additional customer service training for the drivers.But what about the rest of the routes?Alex on Cityzap, speaking to customersTransdev Blazefield already trades locally as six subsidiaries, which will be branded as ‘the Keighley Bus Company’, ‘the Harrogate Bus Company’, ‘the Burnley Bus Company’, etc. – the process is already underway, with the Keighley network being overhauled at the moment.The base routes will still have highly-trained drivers and modern buses, but without some of the frills of the flagship services, partly because they’ll typically be serving 10-minute journeys, or perhaps have less scope for growth, where research has identified that the frills aren’t seen as important to users.But the base routes will still have their own brand and character, using local emblems – such as the Yorkshire and Lancashire Roses – and local phrases, including ‘stay connected for nowt’, ‘champion’, and ‘ey up and away’.“Buses should be very local,” says Alex. “That’s a no-brainer to me.“Despite being a worldwide mobility provider, Transdev gives us the freedom to be local.”He adds that the company is aligned with his own beliefs of what a bus company should be – one of the elements that attracted him to the company in February 2015.Staff involvementThe relationship between the global company and its Lancashire and Yorkshire business is one of mutual respect and support, says Alex, and the parent has already benefited from the subsidiary’s ideas.Blazefield’s staff app was launched last year, designed in conjunction with employees to discern exactly what they wanted and needed from it. It puts the company magazine ‘Red and White Express’ onto their smartphones, along with policies, holidays, staff surveys, vacancies, news and other employee information – and it has already been adopted by the other Transdev companies around the world.Says Alex: “For the first week I was here, I left my car in depot and went everywhere by bus, introducing myself. Drivers were asking ‘what will you do for us, then?’ and that summed it up for me: They expect something from me.”One of the first big projects was the refurbishment of the 36. “Internal communications are really important. We don’t want staff seeing expensive new buses turning up and wondering how we can afford it,” says Alex.The company has done a lot of work on staff engagement, including getting whole depot teams of drivers, engineers, operations staff and cleaners off the road and out of the garage for the day, at the same time, for a team talk (with cover from other staff).It’s about asking those people what the company can do to move the business forward and best serve customers, and who better to ask than the people on the ground? It helps to promote their ownership of the business.“It gets results in terms of growth,” says Alex. “There’s more engagement, more ownership, and more respect for the business.”There are other results, such as less staff absence, because people are more involved and unwilling to let other staff down. It sees results from cleaner, better-driven buses, to drivers feeling proud to wear a route-branded waistcoat and a name badge.Alex says: “We don’t want people to do something because we tell them to do it. We want them to want to do it, and believe in it.”last_img read more

New facilities for coach groups at Southend-on-Sea

first_imgSouthend-on-Sea has new and improved coaching facilities, with 110 free parking spaces for coaches and additional set-down and pick-up points.Toilets are onsite, and drivers can claim a free mealThe move follows a meeting between Southend Borough Council and the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) after July’s closure of the long-standing Seaway Coach Park.The new facilities are on Lucy Road, SS1 2AU (10 spaces) and nearby Garon Park Sports Centre, SS2 4FA (100 spaces). Both provide secure all-day parking, completely free of charge, from 0900-1800hrs daily.Scott Dolling, the Council’s Head of Service, Economy, Regeneration and Tourism, says: “While we appreciate that operators will be disappointed that Seaway Coach Park has closed, we hope the new facilities clearly demonstrate that Southend understands the requirements of the industry and is very much open to coaches and coach tourism.“In addition, there are toilets available on each site and visiting coach drivers who register for a token can also claim a free meal and drink at the Pebbles One cafe on the seafront.”Adds CPT’s Coaching Manager Andy Warrender: “At an extremely positive and productive meeting with the Council we were delighted to hear that alternative coach parking arrangements are already in place close to the original Seaway Coach Park.“Coaches are increasingly becoming the holiday mode of choice and it is refreshing to see that seaside towns such as Southend recognise their importance and are providing suitable facilities for both operators and drivers.”A page dedicated to visiting coaches and groups is on the Visit Southend website.last_img read more

Coach & Bus UK 2017: First Theatre speakers announced

first_imgGiles Fearnley, Steve Whiteway, Helen Scholes, and Adrian de Courcey, are among the top speakers now confirmed for Coach & Bus UK 2017, which returns to the NEC Birmingham on 4-5 October. The Theatre at Coach & Bus UK, sponsored by SmartDrive Systems, will feature a host of high-profile experts from across the bus and coach industry. They’ll be sharing their insights into some of the hot topics affecting today’s public transport community, including recent developments in green vehicle technologies, contactless payments and mobile ticketing, congestion and the Clean Air agenda, electric vehicle roll out, customer engagement, and more.Giles Fearnley, MD of First Group’s UK Bus Division, heads the show’s Theatre line-up, appearing in an exclusive opening day Keynote. Mr Fearnley has spearheaded First Bus’ industry-leading approach to operating cleaner and more fuel efficient vehicles. He’ll be discussing the challenges of the last two years and the opportunities ahead at 1100hrs on Wednesday 4 October.Other opening day session highlights include a compelling look at effective marketing strategies for operators, hosted by former Epsom Coaches MD Steve Whiteway and Stagecoach South West’s Marketing Manager Helen Scholes. Dan Hayes, project manager at Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, will be giving an update on LowCVP’s recent activities, including a preliminary evaluation report on the UK coach market.  He’ll outline how carbon and air quality are finally being addressed in unison, touching on the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme to be used for vehicles to gain access to Clean Air Zones.Adrian de Courcey, CEO of Travel de Courcey, is the first panellist to be announced for day two’s opening session, which will focus on profitability and business growth in the coach travel sector.  Well-known for his tech-savvy approach – leading the way in adopting the latest innovations on the market (like big fast-charging electric buses and smart telematics, for example) – he’ll be sharing his insights on how new and next generation technologies can help operators develop more effective ways of working.  Under his leadership, Travel de Courcey recently won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the category of Sustainable Development.  The only bus or coach operator to ever have been recognised for this honour. Another new speaker for 2017 is Estibalitz Aramburu, business development manager at Jema Energy SA.  She’ll be discussing ‘Integrating electric mobility in cities’ in the show’s closing session.  According to the latest report from the Zero Emission Urban Bus System (ZeEUS) project[1], the UK is leading the rest of Europe in electric bus deployment.  With more electric buses hitting the UK’s streets in the next year, the session will examine how these vehicles can be integrated into the distribution grid, and their impact on local infrastructure, load profiles and demand.The full 2017 line-up is due to be unveiled in the coming weeks.   Senior representatives from National Express, Stagecoach, First Group, Arriva, The Go-Ahead Group, Metroline, Abellio, Transdev, RATPDev, Translink, Brighton & Hove Bus & Coach Co, Metrobus, Reading Buses, Nottingham City Transport, trentbarton, Bus Eireann, Lothian Buses, Shearings, Centrebus, Edwards Coaches, Bakers Dolphin, Transport For Greater Manchester, Transport for London, and Tower Transit, are among the who’s who of visitors that have already pre-registered to visit.  Over 6,000 attendees are expected. To register free in advance, visit prestigious routeone Awards take place on the first night of the show (Wednesday 4 October) in the Monarch Suite at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel.  The 2017 finalists are now available to view at read more

UK overnighters increase

first_img[tag – destination]UK overnighters increase[44]The UK is the third most important source market in Europe for German tourism, statistics have revealed.The German National Tourist Office is celebrating a rise in overnight stays from the UK, with an increase of 5.9% for August 2017 compared with August 2016.last_img

Brookline Corporate Travel’s Noone Turas 600s

first_imgBrookline Corporate Travel’s new Noone Turas 600s seats 21 passengersBrookline Corporate Travel of Kenilworth has taken delivery of an Iveco 70C18 with Noone Turas 600s bodywork, supplied by Minis to Midis (01302 892060).It has 21 seats finished in two-tone real leather, 12 of which are around full-sized tables, and USB charging points mounted in the side walls.A courier position is also fitted and the minicoach has the recently-unveiled CAD-created dash, which includes a well-designed fridge installation.Wood-effect flooring, a large boot and freeview TV along with two monitors are also part of the specification, and all of the above is contained within an 8m-long road footprint.Power is from a 3.0-litre F1C engine rated at 180bhp driving through the acclaimed Hi-Matic eight-speed automatic gearbox.last_img read more

Masterpart renews Irizar parts supply agreement

first_imgMasterpart has renewed its parts supply contract with manufacturer IrizarMasterpart Truck and Bus has renewed its parts supply contract with Spanish coachbuilder Irizar, a deal that was first struck in 2011.It comes after the announcement of partnerships between Masterpart and GB Fleet Maintenance in Hoddesdon and Centurion Travel of Midsomer Norton. They will support Irizar customers in the London area and the south-west respectively.“We have been working with Irizar for seven year and our business has grown rapidly alongside the success of Irizar UK,” says Masterpart General Manager Jon Hale.“We have formed a strong relationship with Irizar, and also with our ever-increasing customer base that operates both DAF-engined integral and Scania-based coaches.”The parts arrangement with GB Fleet Maintenance and Centurion Travel complements an agreement with Belfast-based Engine and Truck (NI). Mr Hale adds that Masterpart is looking for further expansion in other key areas.last_img read more

Unregistered service found to be running for three years

first_imgLiverpool-based Anthony and Jane Mullane have to wait to see what action Traffic Commissioner (TC) Simon Evans is to take over a number of issues including the operation of an unregistered bus service for three years.The partners, trading as A&J Taxis, with a two vehicle restricted licence, had been called before the TC of concerns over main occupation, over drivers’ hours, a failure to notify a conviction, non-compliance of an undertaking not to operate vehicles with eight passenger seats or fewer without obtaining written permission, and the operation of the unregistered service.Mr Mullane said that his main occupation was as a taxi and private hire operator. He held a special restricted licence and operated a registered bus service called Taxi One Bus Service.He was being bullied by Arriva and Stagecoach. Due to ongoing works a bus stop was moved to Lime Street – one his firm was supposed to be able to use but it had been “bullied out of it” by Stagecoach using nine buses. Traffic Examiner (TE) Tim Aspull was wrong in stating that he had been driving a minibus that was not displaying a taxi or private hire plate. The driver had been his son. The TE had established that the bus service, which he had been operating for three years, was not registered. That was corrected within 48 hours. He agreed that the minibus, which had fewer than eight passenger seats, had been operating under his PSV O-Licence on the service without a PSV MoT.He said that his error was that he had thought it was covered by the O-Licence, which he had thought had replaced his special restricted licence. He had not been trying to circumvent the law. He was operating a successful bus service for Liverpool Football Club supporters 25 times a year and he had had absolutely nothing to gain. The fact the bus service had not been registered was not his fault. He had never been told by the TC or Mersey Travel that it had not been registered for three years. He had corrected his errors as soon as they were brought to his attention.He agreed that he had personally originally held a special restricted licence while in partnership with his wife, saying that that had now been corrected with a special restricted licence in the name of the partnership. When the licence was transferred over, the registration was cancelled without anyone telling him. He agreed he had been operating the small minibus on the service for three years. He said it had been taken off the road for two weeks until it was licensed as a private hire taxi and it now operated as it should.The conviction for failing to use a tachograph arose out of an error on his part. He had not realised that he needed to use a tachograph because of the short distance being travelled, some 15 miles. He had not realised he had to notify the TC.     The TC is to issue a written decision at a later date.last_img read more

New driver app hits the app store on the first show day

first_imgDistinctive systems has launched its Coach Manager Driver App at Coach & Bus UK, which it says is ‘traditionally very busy for us.”Sales Director, Andrew Fraser, says: “Usually an operator would give a driver a work ticket which has all the details of the job.“Paper is something which is going out of fashion with lots of operators, so basically the online portal allows the driver to look at the job on his device and be taken through it start to finish.”The app allows the operator to see that the driver has left the yard, and what time, what time he arrives at the pickup point and any other relevant information.”It integrates seamlessly with the online Driver Portal and can step in and out of Google Maps for access to its routing, navigation and direction features.last_img read more