14 August 2007

Weekly Transport Update 3

  • Wife of Alec Head Coaches operator applies for O Licence. Anthea Head, wife of Tony Head {Alec Head coaches}, trading as Decker Bus based at the former yard of Alec Head, has applied to the Eastern Area Traffic Commissioner for a 10-vehicle O licence. Her husband, Tony, was disqualified from holding an Operators Licence along with his two partners earlier in the year.
  • MASS to close Finningley depot. MASS Transit, which once attempted to make inroads into Grantham, Lincolnshire, is closing its depot at Finningley, Doncaster, passing its three commercial bus routes to First. Routes 191 Doncaster-Finningley, 195 Doncaster-Warmsworth and 196 Doncaster-Hexthorpe require two vehicles and signal MASS's departure from commercial bus operation from 3 September. The Finningley depot was home to Leon Motors (est. 1922) and vehicles based there operating school contracts will transfer to MASS's South Anston depot.
  • Megabus expansion in USA. Megabus announced the expansion of its USA network with a new West Coast hub in and around Los Angeles, taking in such places as Las Vegas, Oakland, Phoenix/Tempe, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose. Since operations in the US began in April last year, over 450,000 passengers have used services linking 13 Mid-West cities with Chicago.
  • Showbus celebrates Plaxton. This year's Showbus International event, taking place at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, on 16 September hopes to attract over 100 Plaxton vehicles to commemorate the body builder's centenary.
  • Lothian Buses results 'up'. Turnover at Lothian Buses increased by 18.3% in the year ending 31 December 2006, compared to the year earlier; margins increased slightly from 5.2% to 5.6% over the same period. Pre-tax profit fell dramatically from £16.3m to £7.3m, though in 2005 the company received £12m from the sale of property it owned. Its Chief Executive, Neil Renilson, received a £9,000 pay rise, taking his salary to £227,000.
  • Stevensons of Uttoxeter's 80th anniversary. To celebrate Burton-upon-Trent's longest-running bus operator, more than 70 former members of staff joined locals and enthusiasts to ride around the town in a dozen or so vehicles that have been preserved in the company's destinctive yellow and white livery. The business was established in 1926 by John Stevenson, a farmer, and passed to Arriva at the start of the decade.
  • First saves £43,000 thanks to cctv. A number of people claimed they were injured when a First Manchester vehicle hit a car in the city. Inspection of cctv proved the number of people claiming injury was different to the number inside the vehicle and other discrepancies in the claimants stories. As a result a combined claim of £43,000 was thrown out by the Crown Court.
  • Low PCV registrations for July. ADL's July registrations are down 10.1% from last year, 27.5% for Mercedes-Benz, 7.2% for Optare, 21.2% for Scania and 29.5% for Volvo.
  • Transdev buys Northern Blue. Transdev's Blazefield Holdings subsidiary has purchased Travelspeed Ltd, trading as Northern Blue buses of Burnley; Oswaldtwistle-based Lancashire County Transport, trading as Accrdington Transport; and Blackburn with Darwen Transport Ltd, based in Darwen, for an undisclosed sum. The total acquisition comprises 62 O licences and 75 members of staff.
  • Stagecoach East increases fares as a result of concessions. Due to reductions in the reimbursement payments to bus operators by Northampton Borough Council from April this year, Stagecoach East has announced additional fare increases to cover costs. In the last financial year, Northants gave operators 73.6p in the pound though this lowered to 44.3p from April.
  • First Devon & Cornwall's losses hit £6.1m. The financial position of First Devon and Cornwall dramatically worsened to the end of the last financial year, leaving a £6.1m loss after taxation. Turnover rose by 3% and fares by 15% though a bitter four-month driver dispute in 2005 took its toll.
  • Stagecoach Yorkshire's SupertramLink-bus. A small fleet of Optare Solo buses have been painted in the same style of Stagecoach corporate livery as applied to the Supertram units and connect with the trams at the northern termini.
  • Preston competition monitored. North-Western Traffic Commissioner Beverley Bell has introduced a Traffic Regulation Condition to the streets of the city to limit the number of new vehicles and services Stagecoach can introduce in such a short space of time. PrestonBus, whose traditional 'patch' Stagecoach are encroaching, have withdrawn two sparsely used bus services in the city to move their resources onto the competing services.
  • Rochdale Interchange receives £800,000. GMPTA has agreed to spend £800k on Rochdale's planned £11.5m interchange, replacing the existing town centre bus station on Smith Street.
  • Last two Caetanos go to Jersey. The last two of an order for 13 Caetano Nimbus-bodied Dennis Darts have been delivered to Connex Jersey. This marks the end of body assembly by the Portuguese manufacturer at its SC Coachbuilders Waterlooville factory.