10 January 2008

Keeping a LOCAL eye on 2008

In Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire we have the development of new franchise operators National Express East Coast and Stagecoach East Midlands Trains and look forward to each operator's planned improvements to the area's rail network.

The introduction of free local travel for concessions on a national scale commences in April. Councils such as the East Riding of Yorkshire are well ahead of others in terms of preparing its residents for the changes. There will certainly be a massive effect on operators' loadings, especially those seaside resorts which see a massive influx of seasonal passengers - local councils in North-East Lincolnshire, East Riding of Yorkshire and East Lindsey are set to bare the brunt of the upsurge in rebate to operators as a result of those from, say South Yorkshire, aged 60 and over who will be allowed to travel for free while on holiday. Not only will operators' loadings be affected but so too will the budgets of already cash-strapped councils.

East Yorkshire Group Chairman Peter Shipp may choose 2008 to be the year in which he announces his retirement from the Industry, a varied and lengthy career in public transport that continually sees praise for the way in which he operates his company. Mr Shipp like a good deal of other bus and coach operators in the LEYTR area subscribe to the magazine and with their goodwill and enthusiasm for all aspects of the industry, help to keep the LEYTR as accurate and informed as it is today.

Will new coach operator A&P Travel of Osbournby win the Lodge Cup again at Showbus in the autumn?

Lincolnshire County Council has continually received praise for its InterConnect network of easy access bus services throughout Englands second-largest county (assuming you classify each Riding of Yorkshire separately); will one of the many planned additions to the network come to fruition throughout the year? Bus operator Stagecoach's insistence that it, like its predecessor RoadCar, will be totally comitted to the scheme is very commendable indeed. Brylaine Travel, TransLinc, Cavalier and Norfolk Green provide bus services on the InterConnect network in addition to those provided by Stagecoach.

We also hope to see Hull Trains' missing Class 222 'Pioneer' return to service following its accident a year ago today at the Crofton works depot seeing 222103 "Dr John Godber" fall from the supporting jacks that were holding it aloft and causing "major damage" to the train. Two carriages are reportedly beyond repair and are to be replaced with a timescale of between 12 and 24 months.