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Focus NEWS 2
from 24 September to 23 November 2010

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Chinese order more Rolls Royce engines

Information from Colin Sellers. First published on website 23 November 2010.

More information on the Guardian website HERE.




Wellglade new services update

Information from Richard Lomas. First published on website 23 November 2010.

Kinchbus' web site now contains a timetable for the new service 9 to Nottingham commencing on 13th December. It operates during the daytime on Mondays to Saturdays. Timetable HERE.

The same web site has a look up table for fares showing the adult fare to be £1.00 single: HERE.

Bargain Bus are looking at a service to Keyworth early in 2011. This was published on their Facebook page yesterday HERE.

Webmaster's note: Both Kinchbus and Bargain Bus are part of the Wellglade Group, the main member being Trentbarton. The above services are being launched in competition with Premiere (though currently Premiere only have an indirect route to Keyworth). Premiere website HERE.




Bluebell Rally this weekend (20/21 November 2010)

Information from Ken Jones. First published on website 19 November 2010.

Subject to me and my camera fully drying out (see paragraph below) I'm due to have a day on the Bluebell Railway this Saturday and a day at their vintage bus rally on Sunday. The bus time table for Sunday is now out and I attach a copy (PDF format) HERE.

I have received much response about my wet and dark Exeter pictures on Focus Transport (HERE) - my friends in Australia want to know if I'm the photographer for the royal wedding next year!!

Currently I've had feed back from USA, Australia, Germany and UK making it one of the best sets I've sent you - or more likely people felt sorry for me getting so wet!!




URGENT REQUEST

We have been asked if anybody knows where to get pressure relief valves for the hydraulic steering rams of 1970s Bedford Duples.

If you have any information on this please CONTACT us urgently.




TM Travel run Sheffield night bus network

Information from Tony Wilson. First published on website 18 November 2010.

Three new commercial services are to commence on Saturday 20th November.

They are the N1,2,3. A new network of night buses for Sheffield.

The services will depart the city at 0100, 0200 & 0300 and will have police on board.

There will be a flat fare of £2.50 and the following is a summary of the routes:
City - Crookes - Hillsborough - Parson Cross - Ecclesfield - Chapletown.
City - Ecclesall - Abbey Lane - Woodseats - Meadow Head - Hemsworth.
City - City Road - Mansfield Road - Crystal Peaks - Beighton - Woodhouse - Handsworth.

All will be operated by TM Travel with cctv fitted vehicles




Clay Cross bus station

Information from Tony Wilson. First published on website 18 November 2010.

According to the Derbyshire County Council website HERE:

Clay Cross: The new bus station in Clay Cross (behind the Somerfield store off Market Street) will be opened from the 28th November, and Services 48, 49, 51 (to Chesterfield), 52, 54, 63, 64, 73, 98/98A and SPI ("Spira") will run from there instead of their present stops. Service 51 to Danesmoor will continue to stop in Market Street, and Service RA ("Red Arrow") will also not use the new Bus Station.

Note: Clay Cross is a small Derbyshire town lying on the A61 between Chesterfield and Alfreton.




Sheffield Tram Crash

Information from David Gambles. First published on website 15 November 2010.

More information on the BBC website HERE.




New Bus for London photos

Information from Phil G. First published on website 15 November 2010.

The Borismaster mock-up was unveiled at the LT Museum on 11 November 2010.

See Flickr HERE.

This link to Getty Images website added 16 November 2010 HERE.




Malta - is the end nigh?

Information from Phil G & Tony Wilson. First published on website 11 November 2010.

Malta Bus changeover set for 3rd July 2011

More on the website of the Malta Times HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.


For more on the buses of Malta on the TRANSPIRE website CLICK




A 'new' halfcab, but not for London

Information from Tony Wilson. First published on website 11 November 2010.

An item found in the London Evening Standard HERE.

So whilst Wrightbus of Northern Ireland continue with the NB4L (New Bus for London) project, Macedonia gets their nice new shiny decker sooner rather than later.




Stagecoach Sheffield investment

Information from Colin Sellers. First published on website 7 November 2010.

More on HR Media website HERE.

For photographs on this website of the bus launch in Sheffield by Brian Souter CLICK.




Enthusiasts Christmas present?

Information from Phil G. First published on website 7 November 2010.

Take a look on the Transport Art Collections website HERE.

Webmaster's note: This link is published simply because we think our surfers may be interested. Focus Transport has no connection with Transport Art Collections and cannot be held responsible for the outcome of any dealings you have with the Company.




Concrete mixer lorry falls on train

Information from Tony Wilson & Ken Jones. First published on website 6 November 2010.

Several people were injured when a concrete mixer lorry fell from a bridge and landed on a train at Oxshott, Surrey.

More on BBC website HERE.




GC Railways to be joined

Information from David Gambles. First published on website 5 November 2010.

GCR Development Ltd has been created from the boards of both existing GCR heritage railway companies and aims to raise £15m to reunite the two track sections creating a 17-mile (27.3km) long heritage and freight railway between Leicsester and Nottingham.

More on BBC website HERE.

Details of the considerable bridge and earthworks required to re-join the two parts of the railway are listed here and include replacing a bridge over the Network Rail line, the refurbishment of the Grand Union Canal Bridge, replacement of a 345 yard embankment north of the canal bridge, replacement of a rail bridge over Falcon Street and construction of a new bridge over a car park that has been built over the GCR trackbed. Also part of the plan is a spur off the Midland Main Line linking the GCR with Network Rail and introducing the possibility of regular trains running to and from Ruddington. The locomotive sheds at Loughborough would need to be re-located, adding considerably to the cost of the scheme.

More on Bridging the Gap website HERE.




Qantas grounds A380s

Information from Colin Sellers. First published on website 5 November 2010.

Following an emergency landing, Australian airline Qantas has grounded all its Airbus A380s.

More on BBC website HERE.




Point of debate: school bus behaviour

Information from Colin Sellers. First published on website 5 November 2010.

Derbyshire bus operator bans under 16 year olds from school bus for 2 days.

More on BBC website HERE.




Wellglade before Traffic Commissioner

Report by Richard Lomas. First published on website 4 November 2010.

I have spent an interesting three hours in Ashbourne Town Hall at a public sitting of the Traffic Commissioners presided over by Beveley Bell, Traffic Commissioner for the North Western Traffic Area which includes Derbyshire. (3 November 2010). The Transport Managers of four Wellglade subsidiaries had been summoned to the court:
Brian King for Midland General Omnibus trading as Door to Door which has 16 authorised vehicles and was seeking an increase to 24;
Brian King for Notts & Derby Traction (70 authorised vehicles) concerning LRA 121 which had been driven to a repair shop in an unroadworthy condition;
Goeff Counsel for Trent Motor Traction (190 authorised vehicles) concerning R61 RAU which had lost the near side twin road wheels;
Paul Hopkinson for TM Travel (90 authorised vehicles) concerning a stationary bus that had run away hitting other vehicles and a lamp post.

Mrs Bell opened the proceedings by explaining her role as a regulator and her carrot and stick approach to find what has gone wrong and what is being done to put things right. She had to assess the situation and then decide whether to use her powers to issue formal warnings, suspend licences or reduce the size of the fleet. Also in court were two representatives of VOSA who had concerns that incidents were not being reported to them as required by Section 20.

LRA 121 had been hit by another vehicle about three miles from its base at Meadow Road, Derby. The driver had phoned in and had driven the bus back to the depot. The duty operations manager had organised the removal of the rear bumper and the rear lights and arranged for a van to escort it to a repair shop in Loughborough. The company accepted that this action was incorrect and that the manager had been disciplined. The accident had not been reported to VOSA as the company thought it was a minor accident and not reportable.

R61 RAU had had a wheel change in Derby and the company's procedures stated that the wheel nuts should have been checked that evening. However it spent the night at Doves Holes depot whose staff were unaware of the wheel change and therefore didn't check the wheel nuts. The accident had taken place on a Saturday and had been reported to VOSA by phone on Monday afternoon (the first working day) but no record of the call had been kept. The report was confirmed by fax on Tuesday afternoon by which time the vehicle was back on the road.

The TM bus had been parked unattended when it ran away. The company felt that the driver had not applied the hand brake correctly but the driver disputed this. The VOSA examiner had examined the hand brake mechanism on the operator's premises and reported it was just possible that in certain circumstances the brake would release. Following this all similar vehicles were inspected by TM engineers and suspect collars were replaced. The incident had been reported and the vehicle examiner had a basic look round at the site and a detailed examination back at the depot.

Questions were raised as to whether the Traffic Commissioners had been notified correctly when Brian King retired as Transport Manager for Trent in April 2009 and it was accepted that he had not notified the Commissioners that he was now a part time Transport Manager at Notts & Derby and Midland General. Driver training at TM was also discussed.

The Midland General application to increase the authorised vehicles to 24 was granted subject to an undertaking to appoint an additional Transport Manager within 14 days and a second additional Transport manager within 6 months.

A similar undertaking to appoint additional Transport Managers was accepted from Notts & Derby and no further action was taken.

Turning to Trent, the Traffic Commissioner felt that clarification of the reporting requirements of Section 20 was required. She took the view that best practice was not to repair vehicles until VOSA had the opportunity to inspect them. She also felt that the Trent should appoint a second Transport Manager within 6 months.

TM Travel gave undertakings to confirm their training programme for defensive driving within 14 days and also to write to all drivers and maintenance staff about the correct use of handbrakes. Beverley Bell felt that all TM staff had co-operated in her enquiries and that the Transport managers were doing their jobs properly and that no further action was required.




Stagecoach trading update

Information from David Gambles. First published on website 4 November 2010.

The Group has performed well since 30 April 2010, and remains on course to meet its expectations of profitability for the year ending 30 April 2011.

Like-for-like revenue growth in each of the Group's main businesses is provided below.

UK Bus - twenty four weeks ended 17 October 2010 2.3%
UK Rail - twenty four weeks ended 17 October 2010 6.5%
(excluding tram businesses)
North America - five months ended 30 September 2010 7.5%
Virgin Rail Group - twenty four weeks ended 17 October 2010 15.2%

The Group plans to announce its interim results for the six months ended 31 October 2010 on 8 December 2010.

More details on the Stagecoach website HERE.




Oxford Street Crossing

Information from David Gambles. First published on website 4 November 2010.

More than 90 million people have used the X-shaped pedestrian crossing in Oxford Circus in its first year, Westminster Council has said.

More information on the BBC website HERE and HERE.




Doubt on Leeds trolleybus scheme

Information from David Gambles. First published on website 31 October 2010.

More on BBC website HERE.

See also Leeds Tbus website HERE.




Go Ahead increases revenue

Information from David Gambles. First published on website 31 October 2010.

More on NE Business website HERE.




Stagecoach announces green investment for Yorkshire

Information from Colin Sellers. First published on website 31 October 2010.

More on HR Media website HERE.

See also on this website CLICK




Souter named 'UK Master Entrepreneur of the Year'

Information from Tony Wilson. First published on website 31 October 2010.

More on Business 7 website HERE.

Webmaster's note: Note that Brian Souter is due in Sheffield next Tuesday 2 November 2010 to launch extra Stagecoach services.




Competition: nicest bus route in Britain

Information from Daniel Austin. First published on website 31 October 2010.

Daniel writes
Just thought that your site's readers, might be interested to know about this competition to find the nicest bus routes running in Britain. It's still open for about another few weeks.

More on Bradt website HERE.




Alstom loses Eurostar court case over German train deal

Information from David Gambles. First published on website 31 October 2010.

More on BBC website HERE.




Passengers force open train doors

Information from David Gambles. First published on website 31 October 2010.

The remaining passengers were locked in and threatened with arrest if they left!

More on BBC website HERE and HERE.




London Midland Trains bargain fares

Information from Dennis Basford. First published on website 23 October 2010.

It may be of interest to know that from today and into next week, that London Midland trains are doing a promotion where for £10 second class or £20 first they will give you a day ticket to anywhere on their Network which runs roughly from London to Liverpool and south and west into the Midlands.

The nearest point to access the network for me (Ripley) is Lichfield either Trent Valley or City.

I would suggest logging on to London Midland Trains and following the links. Website HERE.




Wellglade Group update (see also down the page)

Information from Matt of www.derbybusdepot.co.uk. First published on website 23 October 2010

Matt writes:
Can confirm that Midland General will be running route 4 from end of Nov, under the Bargain Bus brand. The service runs every 20 mins during the daytime Mon - Sat, with departures 5 minutes in front of the new Premiere RED 4.

From December route 9 has been registered, by Kinchbus (in competition with Premiere X9 Nottingham - Loughborough). Again it should be branded as Bargain Bus. Timetable is said to be roughly every hour, although there are gaps of 1 1/2 hours at times!

Premiere have plans for new routes Red 3 and Red 5 in the near future!

Cash Saver 7


Trentbarton Cash Saver 7

Information from Oliver Foreman. First published on website 23 October2010.

I picked up the leaflet on the right on a Trentbarton bus, though strangely I can find no reference to this offer on the Trentbarton website at the time of writing.

Discount passes have been in operation for some time for long periods of time (minimum 28 days) either online or from the office at Broadmarsh Bus Station. Where this Cash Saver 7 is different is that it is for 7 days and bought from ths bus driver (like a Stagecoach Megarider). It is valid for 7 days unlimited travel on any Trentbarton bus within the zones paid for.

One possible problem for an average passenger (as opposed to a bus enthusiast) is that it may not be clear which routes are run by Trentbarton since the Company appears to have gone out of its way NOT to have a corporate identity. I wonder if it is valid on Trentbarton workings on the Pronto service (Zigzags and Mango cards are NOT valid on Pronto)?

The apparent spread of Bargain Bus (run by Midland General and now, it seems, Kinchbus, both, like Trentbarton, part of the Wellglade Group) with its 50p single fares makes the Cash Saver 7 not look such a bargain (and yes, this Facebook page found by Richard Lomas suggests it will be 50p from Nottingham to Loughborough on Bargain Bus: CLICK).


Wellglade Group new services and issues

Information found by Richard Lomas & Dennis Basford. First published on website 21 October 2010

The Spira (Sutton - Tibshelf - Clay Cross - Chesterfield) is replacing the 241 service on Monday 25 October. News of its launch on Trentbarton website HERE.

Also on Monday 25 October Trentbarton are taking over the tendered 409 (Ashbourne - Uttoxeter). Information on Derbyshire CC website HERE.

Competing with part of Trentbarton's Rainbow 4 route is a new service from Premiere (Red 4 Long Eaton - Sandiacre - Nottingham) commencing on 14 November 2010. (Derbyshire CC website HERE.) Apparently in retaliation, Wellglade's Midland General are running a 4 over a similar route from 29 November 2010. (Derbyshire CC website HERE.) It is possible that, as with Cotgrave, this route will run using the Bargain Bus branding, perhaps with a 50p flat fare, but we shall have to wait and see!

There is a rumour that Midland General have registered a competing service with Premiere's X9 Nottingham to Loughborough but at the time of writing no details can be found.

Information concerning the Wellglade Group has been posted on the This is Derbyshire website HERE.




Deutsche-Bahn ICE 3 Reaches St Pancras

Information found by David Gambles & Ken Jones. First published on website 21 October 2010

After weeks of media build up a Deutsche-Bahn train has reached St Pancras Railway Station.

The train, an Inter City Express (ICE) 3, class 407 was posed in the platforms of St Pancras International station to publicise plans to launch rail services from London to Frankfurt via Cologne.

German railway giant Deutsche Bahn has been busy buying up a number of UK train operators and has now set its sight on taking on the airlines and arch rival Eurostar to win passenger services between the UK and the Continent.

Train: Inter City Express (ICE) 3, class 407
Power: electric
Pulling power: 11,000 brake horse -power (equivalent to 11 Bugatti Veyrons or 100 Ford Fiestas)
Top speed: 200mph
Total fleet: 15
Cost per train: £33million
Cost of total fleet: £500million
Built by: Siemens- first deliveries 2012.
Passengers: 888 total

More information on the Daily Mail website HERE and videos on the BBC website HERE and HERE.

See also report further down this page




A380 Cleared for landing at Gatwick

Information found by David Gambles. First published on website 19 October 2010

Gatwick Airport has spent £43m preparing for the A380, with two of its six new large aircraft stands able to accommodate it and now final planning permission has be given by Crawley Borough Council.

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, which operate from Gatwick, have both ordered the plane which can seat up to 555 passengers.

More information on the BBC website HERE.




Trains Through The Tunnel

Information found by David Gambles. First published on website 18 October 2010

Deutsche Bahn sent one of its ICE-3 trains into the tunnel for the first time last week - Saturday night's test was the first with passengers. Trains passing through the tunnel have to be long enough to allow people anywhere on board to be able to reach emergency exits in the tunnel.

Currently only Eurostar is allowed to operate on the route but the German firm is keen to widen competition.

More information on the BBC website HERE.

Eurostar's recent announcement that it was ordering new trains worth more than £700m from German firm Siemens has upset the French Government.

France had been pressing for the new trains to be built by French firm Alstom. On Thursday, France's transport minister insisted the order was null and void, saying only rolling stock made by Alstom met safety standards.

More information on the Railnews website HERE.




Stagecoach back in London

Information found by David Gambles & Colin Sellers. First published on website 16 October 2010

Stagecoach Group plc acquisition of London bus business from East London Bus Group Limited

The acquired business is the third largest bus operator in the London market, and has an estimated 15% share of that market. 99% of its revenue is from Transport for London.

For the year ended 2 April 2010, the acquired business generated unaudited consolidated revenue of £253.5m and profit before exceptional items, interest and taxation of £9.0m, although that level of profit is not expected to be maintained for the year to March 2011. As at 2 April 2010 the unaudited, consolidated gross assets were £150.8m.

Commenting on the acquisition, Brian Souter, Chief Executive of Stagecoach, said,
"We operated a successful bus business in London for several years and are pleased to re-enter the London bus market at what we consider to be an attractive price. Whilst we do not underestimate the challenges we face in driving up the financial performance of the acquired business, we relish the opportunity to apply our expertise in managing UK bus businesses to create value from a turnaround situation.
We intend to operate the acquired business as a standalone business unit within the Group, whilst realising the synergies deliverable from integrating its back office activities with the rest of the Group."

Significantly Stagecoach plan to finance the majority of new vehicles for the business with operating leases that match the related contracts with Transport for London. The operating lease model will increase the London business' costs. "However, it will mean that the fleet strategy of our non-London UK Bus operations is less dictated by owned vehicles that are no longer required by the London business being forced upon the non-London business."

More information on the Stagecoach Group website HERE.




For Green Awards CLICK




New CFC Shuttle Bus Service

Information found by Tony Wilson. First published on website 7 October 2010

Chesterfield Football Club now has a dedicated shuttle bus service on match days and evenings. This is operated by TM Travel double-deckers, those with dot matrix type blinds display "B2NET CFC". From Brockwell Lane/Saltergate via Rose Hill and Cavendish Street (despite what the website says), to the new ground off Sheffield Road.

See the 'How to get there' section on the footbal club website here HERE.




Ruddington railway on TV

Information found by Colin Sellers. First published on website 6 October 2010

Soap fans are about to see the episode of the popular soap EMMERDALE that features a level crossing incident filmed on the Great Central Railway Nottingham at Asher Lane, Ruddington.

Emmerdale's episode featuring GCRN airs on Wednesday, October 6 at 7pm on ITV1.

The locomotive featured - Class 47 292 - will be starring at the diesel gala on 23rd & 24th October, together with 8 further diesels including main line visiting 66. Full details soon on GCRN website HERE.




Trentbarton commit to Optare

Information found by Tony Wilson. First published on website 5 October 2010

Optare named "preferred supplier" for next three years, with 39 Tempos, 9 Versas and 17 Solos ordered for the period.

More on the Optare website HERE.




Stagecoach: first Wi Fi buses in South Yorkshire

Information found by Colin Sellers. First published on website 3 October 2010

More on the HR Media website HERE.




Peace in Derby Bus Station at last!

Information found by Richard Lomas. First published on website 3 October 2010

Peace has broken out in Derby with Trentbarton announcing that the Mickleover service will continue to use the bus station whilst the council looks at ways to improve the raffic flow. More on the Trentbarton website HERE.

Trentbarton have also appointed a new bus station customer care officer. See Trentbarton website HERE.




Public transport: Nottingham beats London

Information found by Oliver Foreman. First published on website 3 October 2010

Nottingham has made national news yet again - this time as England's least car-dependent city in a survey that exposes how poor planning in towns such as Milton Keynes has made travel a nightmare for cyclists and bus users.

More on the Trentbarton website HERE.




Council to cut transport funding in Derbyshire?

Information found by David Gambles. First published on website 30 September 2010

"Up to 30 bus services in Derbyshire could be reduced or axed by the county council as it tries to bridge a £700,000 funding gap."

"For example, on Sundays and bank holidays on six bus routes serving Belper to Matlock, Belper to Ripley, Matlock to Ripley and Chatsworth to Matlock, 750 people use the services each month, requiring a subsidy of £6.80 per passenger."

More on This is Derbyshire website HERE.

Phil G has sent in a link to the Derbyshire CC Agenda of the meeting to decide savings. From page 9 it lists the services under consideration for reduction or withdrawal with reasons, though you will have to turn your head sideways to read the list! Report (in PDF format) HERE.




Bus Stop Data

Information found by David Gambles. First published on website 30 September 2010

"The National Public Transport Data Repository is the UK's largest transport dataset. It tells you where every bus stop, station and airport is - and how they're used. Find out which place has the fewest bus stops and help us go through the data."

Scroll down the page for the list on the Guardian website HERE.




Leo's Bus Tours

Information from Oliver Foreman by request. First published on website 26 September 2010

There is a new source of trips for bus enthusiasts in the Nottinghamshire / Derbyshire / South Yorkshire area, Leo's Bus Tours.

On Saturday 20 November there is a visit to Marshall's of Sutton-on-Trent with a pick up at Worksop Station (connecting with trains), using a variety of vehicles, including a run to Lincoln.

On Sunday 12 December there is a visit to Andrew's of Tideswell picking up in Sheffield and Chesterfield Station, again using several vehicles and including a visit to Buxton.

Both trips are priced at ten pounds.

Full information on this blog: leobustours.blogspot.com

Focus Transport website has no connection with or experience of Leo's Bus Tours. The above information is posted because we consider it may be of interest to our readers, and because the proprietor of Leo's Bus Tours requested publicity. If you go on a Leo's Bus Tour, please let us know how you get on.




FirstGroup chief executive Sir Moir Lockhead leaving

Information from Oliver Foreman. First published on website 24 September 2010

Sir Moir Lockhead is to step down as chief executive of Aberdeen-based FirstGroup after 21 years in the job.

Sir Moir took the firm on as Grampian Regional Transport in 1989, with 500 employees, and it now has a £6bn turnover and 130,000 employees.

Further information on the BBC website HERE




Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

Information from David Gambles. First published on website 24 September 2010

Ecclesbourne Railway has replaced 728 sleepers between Wirksworth and Duffield in three weeks in an effort to beat new rules concerning safety inspections. From October they would have needed to pay thousands of pounds for a private safety inspection. Now the sleepers have been replaced and the track is up to standard it is hoped to re-open the line during spring 2011 between Wirksworth and Duffield Railway Station where passengers can transfer from national rail services. The far northern terminus is at Ravenstor, Wirksworth, a few minutes’ walk from the National Stone Centre and the Steeple Grange Light Railway.

Further information on the BBC website HERE

Ecclesbourne Valley Railway website HERE



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