New Engineering Director for Stagecoach Midlands

first_imgStagecoach Midlands has appointed Dave Morgan as Engineering Director. He has been with the company for 22 years and has been Engineering Manager at its Rugby depot for the past 16 years.Dave Morgan (l) with Dave Heptinstall who he will be taking over fromDave, 41, takes over from the current Engineering Director, Dave Heptinstall, at the end of September and will be based at the Northampton Head Office.When he left school, Dave Morgan did a College course in engineering, welding and fabrication for two years and he then accepted an offer of a three-year apprenticeship based at the Stagecoach Rugby depot, during which time he also worked as a shift mechanic.When he completed his apprenticeship, Dave was made up to the position of Charge Hand, the equivalent to an Assistant Engineering Manager today.He says: “I am greatly looking forward to taking up my new post.  I believe I have a lot to offer. I have seen many changes in engineering practices over the years and my experience should put me in a strong position to tackle my new responsibilities.”Dave Heptinstall is transferring to Stagecoach Yorkshire as Engineering Director there.last_img read more

Play transfers to Wyndham Theatre

first_imgLong Day’s Journey Into Night will transfer to the Wyndham’s Theatre in January 2018.The show first ran at the Bristol Old Vic in 2016, starring Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville, who will reprise their roles.It’s set over one day and tells the story of the Tryone family in a town in Connecticut.last_img

McCarron Coates: Names you can trust

first_imgInsurance is imperative to running a safe and successful business and finding the right broker is just as important. We find out how McCarron Coates is paving the way for an open and honest service with a personal touchWhen you work in the same industry for a period of time, it’s inevitable that you will befriend some of the acquaintances that you have grown to like and trust over time.For coach and bus operators that could be anyone from fellow operators, to vehicle manufacturers or suppliers you buy from and rely on. But how about your insurance broker?Paul Coates (L) and Ian McCarron each have over 18 years’ experience in insurance brokingThis relationship is arguably the most important since, after all, it is your insurance broker’s job to find you the right cover, find you the right insurer and help you make and manage a claim for your most expensive assets – your vehicles.Getting the cheapest deal is not always the be all and end all when it comes to insurance, something Ian McCarron and Paul Coates – Directors of McCarron Coates – know only too well. With over 18 years’ experience in insurance broking each, the coach and bus industry has always been at the forefront of their careers. They pride themselves on not only knowing what their clients want, but also providing them with a personal service. Industry involvementBased in Leeds, Ian and Paul have worked together for 16 years.“Paul and I have followed the same career path throughout our journey together,” says Ian.The firm has ‘a particular specialism’ in being able to identify operator’s needs “We have been involved in every aspect of the insurance broker role, from writing cover notes, to handling claims, the recruitment of new staff, and working with new and existing operators.“We’ve been around when there’s been legislative changes in the market and we’ve been involved in the challenges that arise when clients have had accidents and they’ve needed our help, support and expertise.”It was with a former employer that Ian and Paul were introduced to the coach and bus industry.“We’ve always had an active involvement in the industry because of our relationship with the insurance companies that trade in that sector,” says Ian.“However, attending the industry’s trade shows was a real eye-opener for us because we got to see the vehicles we were insuring and spend more time with the operators to understand their needs.”This experience means that McCarron Coates believes it is best placed to manage its clients’ expectations.Says Paul: “We have a particular specialism in being able to work with coach and bus operators and talk on their level, as well as being able to identify their needs and where they’ve got challenges in the business.”Working with operatorsWhen it comes to providing a service, McCarron Coates prefers a face-to-face, hands-on approach.McCarron Coates prides itself on providing a personal service“We sat down on day one and thought ‘what do our customers want?’ and ‘where can we add value to them?’.” says Ian.And the feedback received from clients was ‘traditional values’.“The big thing that came back from us speaking to them was ‘we want someone who I can pick up the phone to, someone I can talk open and honestly with, and someone that’s going to tell me the truth whether it’s good news or bad’,” says Ian.“We see some of our clients monthly, we see some of them every other week, and we’re available to them almost as an extension of their own business.”This relationship is especially important for McCarron Coates to gain an understanding of how its clients operate.Says Paul: “It’s our job to act on behalf of our customers and identify every aspect of their business so we can protect it. In order to do so, we need to be able to demonstrate to the insurance company that we understand exactly how the business is made up.”The firm then works with operators, looking at ways to reduce their premiums.“We highlight the positives, such as what operators do in terms of monitoring accidents. We then work with them on any negatives, as we’ve got the tools and resources to be able to help them.“We’ve taken on a lot of clients that have historically had a poor claims history and worked with them to improve it, which has brought their insurance premium down.”Utilising technologyAdopting and using technology is something that the industry is good at, and McCarron Coates has tapped into this.“We’re investing in technology which is helping operators,” says Ian. “For instance, our clients can access their documents at any time using a secure online portal.”The firm has also developed an app which helps operators with motor claims. Says Ian: “If there’s an incident, the driver can stop, complete all of the questions on the app, take photos of the vehicles and scene, and send us an immediate notification. We can then ensure that we’re straight on to the claim with no delay.”“We want to work with operators who believe in the whole package of everything we do – including this technology.“Operators want to know that when they need to make a change to their insurance or if an incident occurs, they’ve got support. And that’s what we’re here to do.”www.mccarroncoates.comlast_img read more

WMT’s new branded buses now in operation

first_imgWest Midlands Transport (WMT) first, new-brand buses are now in operation.Buses on the 42/43/43A service between West Bromwich, Dudley and Bilston now feature the distinctive red branding, along with buses on the new 31/32 service between Walsall, Bloxwich, Mossley and Lower Farm.The new branding is said to help create a clear identity for the region.He said: “Public transport in the region previously came in a variety of colours, with different logos and companies and very little, visually, to tie trams, trains and buses together.“Now, we have a clear, distinctive brand – West Midlands Transport – which will not only make things look better for commuters and passengers, but will make a much bigger impression on visitors to the region.“We want to inspire a sense of pride and identity for people in our region and the transport links that connect their lives. Over time, we hope this brand becomes something which defines the West Midlands.”The new branding provides distinctive livery for public transport in the region – orange for trains, blue for trams, red for buses and green for bikes.These new bus services are also something of a first: National Express West Midlands and Diamond bus are sharing the routes.The operators previously competed for passengers on these routes – which meant travellers needed the right ticket for the right bus.Now, passengers can simply hop on the first bus that comes along.last_img read more

Passenger rise for Rosso one year on from Transdev buyout

first_imgRosso is celebrating 12 months of success since becoming part of the Transdev family last year.The firm’s 240 staff and 102 buses became part of Transdev in January 2018 – a move which gave the green light to an immediate £3m investment in a new fleet of buses for its routes in and around Rossendale, Bury and Rochdale.This has seen customer numbers on its main network rise by over 9% in the last 12 months.Rosso introduced new-look buses to Lakeline in summer 2018, leading to a 10.2% rise in customers using the service by October compared with the previous year.Transdev CEO Alex Hornby says: “In just 12 months we’ve welcomed thousands more customers on board as a result of our investment.“The investment in the new Lakeline brand has seen a double-digit rise in the number of customers now travelling on this route alone. We’re working hard to build on those excellent results with more improvements across our network in 2019.”last_img read more

Revealed: Rejected rail industry plans for all coaches to satisfy PSVAR

first_imgRejected proposals for legislation mandating that all coaches ultimately satisfy PSVAR – regardless of the work that they are used on – were presented to the government by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) on 31 March. They form part of the industry trade body’s work to tackle the troublesome issue of PSVAR compliance on rail replacement services.On 21 April, Minister of State for Transport Chris Heaton-Harris declined to accept RDG’s plans. While noting that the submission was “a step in the right direction,” he directed that effort to achieve compliance “be more ambitious.”The proposals are outlined in a report, Rail replacement vehicles – a pathway to regulatory compliance, that has only recently been made public. It calls for planned and non-planned rail replacement work to be treated separately in terms of achieving compliance with PSVAR.Following his rejection of RDG’s proposals, Mr Heaton-Harris awarded a third short-term exemption. It allows non-compliant coaches and buses to be used on all rail replacement work and it expires on 31 December.Report details rail industry’s hopes for PSVAR on all coachesThe RDG paper leaves no room for doubt around the rail industry’s wishes. “To achieve full compliance for unplanned disruption, legislation must be enacted to require all coaches to be PSVAR compliant,” it says.But RDG’s calls are not without caveat. The report asks for two long-term exemptions – one for planned services, the other for non-planned – to precede enforcement of PSVAR compliance across the coach sector.RDG says that longer exemptions than those so far awarded by Mr Heaton-Harris would allow work towards a permanent solution to be undertaken. It adds that until the coach market adapts, “a fully compliant service for planned and unplanned disruption is unachievable.”RDG: ‘Exemption for planned work should tie in with that for H2S’For planned duties, RDG asks for an exemption that as a minimum is tied to that awarded for home-to-school services that are within scope of PSVAR.It does so on the basis that coaches for home-to-school and planned rail replacement work are often from the same pool. A shorter exemption for planned rail replacement would instead incentivise operators to remove themselves from that market.Nevertheless, the existing timeframe of exemptions to PSVAR for in-scope home-to-school services is “extremely ambitious.” It will likely require government financial support if it is to be achieved, says RDG.When creating its proposals, RDG engaged with several groups and organisations, including the Confederation of Passenger Transport. It estimates that around 6,000 coaches used on home-to-school work will need to become compliant with PSVAR. That is well above the projected peak demand for planned rail replacement work of 962.RDG says legislation change ‘essential’ for unplanned RR complianceRDG notes that obtaining enough compliant vehicles for unplanned situations would remain difficult unless steps beyond a long-term exemption are taken.It writes: “For unplanned disruption, the [rail] industry believes that must be supported by the removal of exemptions to PSVAR across the whole private hire coach sector. Therefore… legislative provision ultimately requiring every coach in the country to be PSVAR compliant is essential.”RDG accepts that sufficient time would be required to enable the entire coach market to become compliant. It says that an exemption to PSVAR of at least eight years for unplanned rail replacement work would be needed to create a contingent pool of compliant coaches.Government ‘still expects PSVAR compliance on rail replacement’The report adds that such a timescale would be “critically dependent” on how quickly operators added compliant vehicles in response to the proposed change to legislation.It says that the industry being “largely exempt from PSVAR” has created the shortfall in compliant coaches for rail replacement work.RDG advocates that “sufficiently robust legal foundations” were put in place if the government adopted it proposals.“Otherwise, there is a risk that what will already be a difficult and time-consuming programme to deliver gets thrown off course by legal challenge of some form or other.”‘Short-term exemptions doing the coach industry no favours’In his response to RDG’s paper, Mr Heaton-Harris stated that the government still expects eventual compliance with PSVAR on all rail replacement work. He did not indicate whether Westminster would consider RDG’s proposal for legislation mandating that all coaches should satisfy PSVAR.Three consecutive short-term exemptions for rail replacement duties have now been awarded. RDG says that such an approach does not “provide the longer-term clarity that coach operators need before committing investment… and without that, compliance will simply not be achievable.”RDG’s report presents several avenues to help train operating companies (TOCs) to best meet the needs of less able passengers on rail replacement services while the proposed exemptions were in force. For planned work, those include:Splitting longer-distance services into multiple legs, allowing compliant buses to be utilisedPrioritising the provision of one compliant vehicle on multi-vehicle departuresKeeping accessible coaches or minibus on standby to be used only when required, mitigating concerns about segregation that have been raised by disability advocacy groupsMoving compliant coaches around the country coupled to a collaborative approach by TOCs to allow cross-acceptance of tickets held by disabled travellersProvision of an accessible taxi or other small vehicle.RDG adds that while its pathway to would not be easy to navigate, the rail industry “remains committed to working with wider stakeholders and government to achieve compliance” with PSVAR on rail replacement services.What do you think? Email [email protected] to have your say.last_img read more

Grand Funk Railroad concert coming to New Buffalo in December

first_img Pinterest WhatsApp Twitter WhatsApp Twitter IndianaLocalMichiganNewsSouth Bend Market Facebook (photo/Dresner Corporate Services) Classic Rock legends Grand Funk Railroad are planning a show in New Buffalo on Friday, December 27 at 9 p.m.Official Release:A CONCERT BY GRAND FUNK RAILROAD AT FOUR WINDS NEW BUFFALO’S SILVER CREEK EVENT CENTER ON FRIDAY, DECEMBER 27Tickets go on sale on Friday, October 18NEW BUFFALO, Mich. – October 14, 2019 – The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians’ Four Winds® Casinos are pleased to announce a concert by Grand Funk Railroad on Friday, December 27 at 9 p.m. at Four Winds New Buffalo’s Silver Creek® Event Center. Ticket prices for the show range from $39 to $59, plus applicable fees, and can be purchased online beginning on Friday, October 18 at 11 a.m. Eastern. Hotel rooms are available on the night of the concert and can be purchased with event tickets.Originating from Flint, Michigan in 1969, Grand Funk Railroad is a top selling American rock group that is touring in 2019 to mark a 50 year milestone. After playing to millions of fans on the band’s tours from 1996 to 2018, Grand Funk’s 2019 American Band Tour will continue to reach both new and long-time fans. Known as “The American Band,” the high-energy five-piece group includes original founding members Don Brewer, who sings vocals, plays the drums, and is writer and singer of the multi-million selling hit, “We’re An American Band,” and bassist Mel Schacher, who is known as “The God Of Thunder.” Joining Don and Mel are singer Max Carl, lead guitarist Bruce Kulick, and keyboardist Tim Cashion.Grand Funk Railroad’s hit songs include “We’re An American Band,” “I’m Your Captain/Closer To Home,” “Locomotion,” and “Some Kind Of Wonderful,” which still receive continuous airplay on Classic Rock radio. More information on Grand Funk Railroad is available at make a hotel reservation at Four Winds New Buffalo or for more information on Four Winds New Buffalo, Four Winds Hartford®, Four Winds Dowagiac® or Four Winds South Bend®, please call 1 (866)-4WINDS1, (866) 494-6371 or visit Additionally, be sure to like Four Winds on Facebook at and follow on Twitter at for information on the latest offers and promotions. Facebook Google+ Grand Funk Railroad concert coming to New Buffalo in December Google+ Previous articleBremen Post Trooper honored for lifesaving effortNext articleRuling: Records can be withheld in IU student’s 1977 killing Tommie Lee By Tommie Lee – October 14, 2019 0 384 Pinterestlast_img read more

Warsaw offering grant opportunities for starting teachers

first_img WhatsApp Pinterest Pinterest Facebook WhatsApp Twitter Google+ Facebook By Tommie Lee – October 17, 2019 0 291 Previous articleUS Rep. Elijah Cummings has died.Next articleMichigan temporarily allows flavored vapes in stores Tommie Lee Twitter Google+ (Photo supplied/Warsaw Community Schools) The Warsaw Community Schools are giving teachers in their first three years an opportunity to apply for grant money.The WCS and the Mary Louise Miller Foundation will consider grant applications for up to 15 hundred dollars that can be used to help these teachers furnish their first classroom.It’s part of an effort to ensure equality of supplies and materials for all teachers and students in the schools. Warsaw offering grant opportunities for starting teachers IndianaLocalNewsSouth Bend Marketlast_img read more

Vets dash hopes of early end to EU-US dispute over beef

first_imgEU trade and agriculture officials and their US counterparts had been exploring ways of compensating American cattle exporters for lost sales caused by the Union’s ban on hormone-treated beef by building up trade in hormone-free beef. But the vets’ refusal to give US beef a clean bill of health has scuppered hopes of a deal before February.This week’s discussions on American food-safety controls followed a visit by EU veterinary inspectors to the US in October which found that Washington’s testing procedures for residues of growth- promoting hormones and other harmful substances were inadequate. A Commission spokeswoman said this week that the US had reassured the Union that it was making every effort to improve testing methods.Consumer Protection Commissioner David Byrne welcomed the “firm engagement of the US authorities to solve these issues”, adding that he hoped the next visit by EU veterinary inspectors in January would confirm that the US was meeting its commitments.The Union first threatened to impose a ban on imports of red meat from the US last June after checks on random samples of American meatsupposed to be hormone-free revealed traces of banned substances in 12% of the batches tested.The vets’ decision not to carry out that threat despite the inspectors’ findings – which could have prompted swift retaliatory action by the Clinton administration – will improve the atmosphere at next week’s EU-US summit in Washington. National animal health officials decided this week to give the US authorities until next February to improve testing procedures for beef, pork and horsemeat. The committee considered imposing a ban on all imports of these products from 15 December, but decided instead to extend the deadline for two months to give the US time to step up its monitoring of growth-promoting hormones and other potentially harmful substances.Although officials stopped short of introducing a total embargo, the delay before Washington will be allowed to resume sales of hormone-free beef means that the EU stands no chance of persuading the US to drop sanctions on 117 million euro of Union exports before next year.A World Trade Organisation panel ruled earlier this year that the EU did not have sufficient scientific evidence that eating hormone-treated beef posed a risk to health to justify a ban on imports of US beef. The Union has commissioned new scientific studies into the possible health threats from growth-hormones, but the results are not expected until next summer. Leaders from the two blocs are planning to use the meeting to emphasise the strength of the transatlantic partnership over issues such as the future of the Balkans and the continuing Russian military campaign in Chechnya. They will be relieved that their talks will not now be overshadowed by the prospect of an escalating trade war.last_img read more

Dots, squiggles, Szekspir and the future

first_imgWhat encapsulates the former captive nations? A broken hammer and sickle? Not only passé, but inaccurate. My patch includes ex-Yugoslavia and Albania, which were only briefly in the Soviet camp. I thought of candles and flags, the symbols of the collapse of Communism. But they seem dated 16 years on. Churches with onion domes? Not eastern enough, and what about protestant Estonia? I toyed with the idea of a map. But it would be hopelessly cramped in the format. I thought of shooting stars, to illustrate economic growth. Or frayed, tatty stars, to show messy politics. Or both.Then I got another email. “By the way: no stars please.” The European Union’s flag, it seems, was needed in another branding exercise elsewhere. I carried on thinking, in wilder and more fanciful directions. The potato, perhaps: the symbol of the hearty peasant cuisine that stretches from the Baltic to the Black Sea. Accurate, but unflattering and a bit hypocritical coming from a Brit. But why is the new logo needed? Because Wilder Europe is migrating to, which is launching a daily column; this one will appear on Thursdays, plus new logo. The same piece will continue to appear in European Voice – but with a suitably anonymous sign-off. The author is central and eastern Europe correspondent of The Economist. Then a colleague hit on the perfect idea. What really unites all the post-communist countries is their alphabets. Every one is different. Every one has letters that look intimidating and unfamiliar to the western eye. Estonian has the õ, Latvian the ķ, Lithuanian the ų, Polish the infernally similar ż and ź, not to mention the ł; the Czechs have the ů, the Slovaks the ŕ and the Hungarians the ő. I could go on, but you get the point. The countries that use Cyrillic have their own non-standard letters too. There is a political dimension to this. Westerners who pride themselves on a pedantic use of the German umlaut or the French cedilla and always put the accent on Chávez and Guantánamo, blithely ignore the crucial diacritical marks in the languages of the new Europe. They are too complicated; too difficult, too unfamiliar. But they do matter. Imagine if the Anglophone world was told that the letter ‘w’ would henceforth be substituted by the easy-to-understand ‘v’, and that ‘th’ would in future be a simpler ‘t’. Ve vould not tink tat vas vorkable.Estonia’s national anthem, for example, starts: “Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm” [My fatherland, my happiness and joy]. Leave out the vital diacritical mark and the last words become, comically “onn ja room” [roughly: small hut and crawl].Admittedly, it cuts both ways. There is still a tendency in the post-communist world to ‘localise’ spellings. Lithuanians refer to the president of the United States as Džordžas Volkeris Buöas. There is a partial excuse for that – Lithuanian needs an ending with ‘s’ in order to decline male surnames correctly. But it is mostly a legacy of past provincialism, which thinks foreign names are too difficult unless transcribed phonetically into the local language. When your correspondent was a student in Poland in the mid-1980s, he was surprised to see the author of Makbet was Szekspir. Such oddities are diminishing. The easterners have learnt, mostly, to spell western names properly. But not vice versa. I will believe that western Europe really takes its new neighbours seriously when the media and politicians there start adopting the elementary courtesies of spelling names right. last_img read more