After 45 years, Hull-based EYMS will once again be running through the historic North Bar at Beverley, to coincide with the opening of the Flemingate Centre in the town.The Wykeland Group, developers of the 70m shopping and leisure scheme, opening on 31 October, are providing a new shuttle bus to operate around the town centre. The free 20-minute frequency service runs every Saturday, initially for three years, taking passengers on a hop-on hop-off loop of all the major Beverley shopping areas, the railway station and Flemingate.The bus will be a 27-seat single decker, capable of passing safely through the ancient North Bar.EYMS was famous for its specially-shaped ‘Beverley Bar’ double decks, one of which is still owned by the company. Buses stopped using the arch in 1970 when the town’s bypass opened.EYMS Chairman Peter Shipp says: â€œWe are delighted that EYMS has been chosen to run this from our depot in the town. I hope it will prove useful for local residents and visitors, and help the new development and the retail trade in Beverley generally.â€The idea came about following discussions with the Beverley Chamber of Trade and Wykeland. Says retailer David Bird: â€œIn short, the success of Flemingate is very much linked to the continued success of existing shops. The bus will be a perfect way to help customers visit all that Beverley has to offer in one trip and without having to move the car.â€
To mark its 15th birthday vehicle tracking company Quartix has a special offer to all new customers: it’s award-winning system is free for 15 weeks with Quartix’ InfoPlus package.Founded on 14 February 2001 by four industry professionals, Quartix has grown into one of the UK’s most respected suppliers of telematics solutions and services and installed 200,000 units for 7,000 fleet customers and 10 major insurance companies. Promotion: System is free to new customers for 15 weeksQuartix employs 100 people at six locations and has operations in France and the USA.In 2015, Quartix won the Shropshire Star Business of the Year award and the Cambridge Business Award’s Business of the Year.It was also named in an LSE group report as one of the 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain, which celebrates the fastest growing and most dynamic SMEs in the UK. Details from Cheryl Charles at 01686 213 749 or [email protected]
Newport Bus is helping its drivers and customers get fit after teaming up with The Gym to provide discounted membership at Newport’s biggest city centre gym.Drivers James Lawson (R) and Julian Duggan (L) with The Gym Manager, Simon PopeAll 250 members of staff at Newport Bus, as well as its Passport card customers, will be entitled to special discounted monthly rates and no joining fees.Newport Bus is also helping staff at The Gym by providing them with discounted Passport cards to help them get to and from work.
The 2017 CTA Summer BBQ is being held at the Best Western Burn Hall Hotel near York on Sunday 30 July. VisitScotland will be holding a workshop at the hotel on the morning of Monday 31 July, with up to 12 Scottish suppliers. coachtourismassociation.co.uk
Coach tour operators won big at the high-profile routeone Awards last week.Easton’s team collect their accolade at the gala routeone AwardsEaston’s Holidays, based in Stratton Strawless in Norfolk, took home the Small Coach Operator of the Year award, being praised by the judges for its “long-established and hard-earned reputation”.Cotswolds operator Pulham & Sons (Coaches) won the same accolade for Medium Coach Operator, with the judges citing its record of “growth, profitability and high standards”, while Large Coach Operator was awarded to Horseman Coaches of Reading.Stephen Barber, formerly the Confederation of Passenger Transport’s Director of Coaching and once the Managing Director of Wallace Arnold, won the Special Award. The judges praised his demonstration that he is “prepared to defend all that is best in the coach industry”, and that he took “considerable pride in representing an operator of such standing that other operators could only aspire to emulate.”Organised by GT&T’s parent Diversified Communications UK, the gala presentation evening was held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on 4 October, attended by 800 coach and bus industry guests. It was presented by broadcaster Katie Derham, with entertainment provided by comedian Hal Cruttenden.Sister event the British Coach Tourism Awards returns on 21 March 2018. Entries close on 17 November.
Due to high demand, Witness for the Prosecution has extended its run on London’s South Bank and is now booking until 16 September 2018.This new production of Agatha Christie’s classic courtroom play has captured the imagination of audiences who have experienced the drama inside the unique setting of County Hall’s ornate Chamber. Director Lucy Bailey thrillingly places the audience in the thick of the action, with some even watching from the jury box, as this gripping tale of justice, passion and betrayal unfolds around them.Leonard Vole is accused of murdering a widow to inherit her wealth. The stakes are high. Will Leonard survive the shocking witness testimony? Will he be able to convince the jury of his innocence and escape the hangman’s noose?Casting for the new booking period is to be announced, and tickets for the dates are now on sale at www.witnesscountyhall.com
David Yelland plays the brilliant lawyer for the defenceAgatha Christie’s mastery of dialogue and suspense are alive and well in County Hall production of Witness for the Prosecution. Jessamy Chapman reviews itThere’s no greater escapism than a good old Agatha Christie, and the latest West End run of her famous play Witness for the Prosecution does not disappoint, offering a couple of hours of intrigue, drama and sheer entertainment.It’s set in the sumptuous surroundings of London County Hall on the South Bank, the previous home of the Greater London Council; the grand Chamber doubles splendidly as the Old Bailey. You the audience are in the public gallery (with unusually ample legroom) to hear the case of Leonard Vole (Jack McMullen), a handsome, rather naive young man who just can’t believe the nightmare he’s found himself in: He stands accused of murdering a wealthy, lonely older woman, and the penalty is hanging.The cast is wonderful, from the witty defence lawyer Robarts (David Yelland) to his hapless opponent for the prosecution Myers (Philip Franks), to Leonard’s dangerous wife Romaine (Catherine Steadman); they effortlessly bandy Christie’s timeless dialogue between them. Most of the play takes place in the courtroom, but there’s never a dull moment.If you’re familiar with Agatha Christie’s work, the plot is classically familiar and yet quite unique, with enough twisting to leave your mouth hanging open on at least one occasion – and a dramatic ending to leave you reeling.Witness for the Prosecution is terrific fun, and bound to be a hit with groups. It’s booking until September.For group bookings, call 020 7206 1174 or email [email protected]
Transport Focus has held workshops to find out how operators can make using the bus easier for 16-18-year-olds. It has published recommendations for making it ‘as simple as ordering pizza’Young people use the bus more than any other group of people, yet they’re the least satisfied with bus services.That’s the paradox addressed by independent watchdog Transport Focus as it launches a new best practice guide designed to help bus operators and local authorities (LAs) better serve the under-19s.David Sidebottom, Transport Focus Director, says: “Young people want using the bus to be as simple and intuitive as ordering pizza. Bus operators and local authorities must seize the opportunity to cater for their customers of the future.”‘Making Bus a Better Choice for Young People’ reports on five workshops Transport Focus carried out earlier this year to learn what young people want.Key recommendationsTaking place in Birmingham. Colchester, Exeter, Oxford and York, the five workshops brought young bus users together with bus operators, LAs, bus manufacturers and transport consultants to explore ways to make buses better for teenagers.The workshops examined existing schemes as case studies.They included:West Yorkshire – half-price fare for passengers wearing school uniformLiverpool City Region – a simple flat fare for under-19sWest Midlands – half-price travel for apprentices and trainees.From the workshops, Transport Focus has made plenty of recommendations in its report, emphasising these three in particular:Smart fares – discounted fares for 16 to 18-year olds that are easy to buy and understandOne-stop nationwide bus app – one central source for information and ticketing provided by the bus industry that is intuitive, easy-to-use and accessed via an app that will earn its place on a young person’s phoneBetter on board – wi-fi and USB charge points at every seat.More you can doIt also advises bus operators and LAs around the following areas:Interaction with the driver – including driver attitude, better customer service training, and providing some degree of automated ticket purchaseTickets and fares – including payment options and technology, fare zones, discounts and easily accessible ticket pricesInformation provision – including real time information and personalisation towards young peopleCommunication and engagement – including tone of voice and language, targeted social media posts, and using a peer-to-peer approach to influenceThe experience on board – including asking young people what they want to do on the bus and designing buses around that, plus cleanliness and securityBus operators working in partnership – including working with businesses that also target young people such as shops and cinemas to offer incentives, creating relationships with schools and colleges, and organising forumsKeeping young passengers so they’re still using the buses in 10 years – including getting the basics right, engaging and innovatingAttracting new bus users – including promotion, improving the bus’s image, and keeping bus travel simple.‘More confidence’Buses Minister Nusrat Ghani says: “Young people take the bus more often than any other age group, so this Transport Focus research is vital in showing how to encourage them to continue to use buses in the future – both councils and bus companies should follow this best practice.“We’re also funding a new open data platform so companies can develop apps to help passengers find out where their bus is, how long it will take, and how much it will cost, giving them more confidence to take the bus.”Graham Vidler, CEO of the Confederation of Passenger Transport, says: “The industry recognises the huge importance of meeting the expectations of younger travellers on services across the country. “Bus companies continue to invest in services younger passengers expect, and onboard facilities including contactless and mobile ticketing, wi-fi, USB charging points and leather seating are now commonplace on many services.“The latest satisfaction statistics clearly demonstrate that the industry is moving in the right direction, but of course there is always room for improvement. CPT welcomes this report’s recommendations and looks forward to continuing to work closely with its members, central and local government to further improve the experience of all bus users.”Darren Shirley, Chief Executive of the Campaign for Better Transport, says: “Increasing young people’s bus use can also reduce traffic on our roads at the busiest times of day as well as making bus services more viable, benefiting us all.“The report includes encouraging examples of bus operators and local authorities working together to encourage young people to catch the bus. This is something that the Bus Services Act of 2017 can make easier. We want to see more local authorities taking up the powers in the Act.“We also want to see a National Coach and Bus Investment Strategy that would protect vital bus services and support the greening and modernisation of the bus fleet.”Find out moreDownload the report hererouteone commentSatisfaction among 16-18-year-old bus passengers is higher than it was – it’s increased from 77% to 80% at the last Bus Passenger Survey.That’s perhaps a result of operators already pursuing initiatives that are lauded in the new report, such as discounts for under-19s, and wi-fi and USB charging points on buses. Greater consistency of these, plus more partnership work to deliver better information to passengers, should lead to more satisfaction – as well as new apps and journey planning websites enabled by operators publishing their timetables and fares as open data.It’s well worth reading the report – there are a lot of interesting ideas on a smaller scale that operators can think about taking forward.
routeone revisits Zeelo to see how far the business has come since it was launched two years ago, and its aim to work in partnership with the coach sectorGetting people out of their cars and onto public transport is one of the biggest hurdles the coach and bus sector is facing.It’s a growing struggle that the industry has been seen to tackle head on by launching demand-responsive operations to rival the likes of Uber. However, operators are not alone with wanting to get more seats filled by those who use cars; there is another firm wanting to join forces in a bid to get more people onboard with using public transport on a regular basis, and that is Zeelo.Zeelo joined the coach sector after Co-Founders Barney Williams and Sam Ryan sold their first business, JumpIn – a taxi booking and sharing app for students – to Addison Lee in 2014.routeone met with Barney and Sam last year when the business was just a year old, now two years since its launch, we return to see how far the business has come.Meet ZeeloMeeting in its Shoreditch, London-based office, Sam explains that it’s important to understand Zeelo is not wanting to take customers away from an already-established operation, but rather team up together to enhance the service.“We define ourselves as a shared transport service with a mission to move people out of cars and into shared transportation,” he says.“Zeelo delivers that by building great relationships, in terms of technology and operational delivery, with coach operators all over the country.”Working with Zeelo, operators can gain access to new markets as well as an opportunity to take on extra work. The firm is currently live in four key regions across the UK and has also expanded into South Africa where it is now live in three regions over there.Why work with Zeelo?Sam explains that the business has been out building daily commuter services and partnerships with companies. From that, it is then trying to give regular work to operators it works with.“What we found is all over the country there are amazing family-run businesses that have been running from 10 years to over 70 years, and that’s for a good reason – because they are great at operating safe and reliable transport services, maintaining vehicles and drivers,” he says. “We need these amazing operators to work with partners to deliver great services.”At the same time as forming partnerships, Zeelo is also launching new technology to help operators with this service.“We want to work with the industry as opposed to disrupting it, and one way we are doing this is by starting to work on new routes in partnership with operators. “The first operation that Zeelo are running is in partnership with south Wales-based Creigiau Travel running a commuter service from Newport to Bristol.Sam says: “We are both actually sharing the risk and reward of that service. So Creigiau has added a couple of additional vehicles to its fleet and both parties are motivated to making a success of the service, which I think is a really interesting way to get everyone moving in the same direction.”High standardsCurrently Zeelo has what it calls its network of ‘preferred operator partners’ which stands at around 12 in the UK. These operators have gone through a certain level of vetting and now have regular work with it over a certain threshold. It also has a much wider pool of operators that its calls upon when it has less regular work.“Generally, the standards we look for in operators are those that have a fleet of 20 upwards. We are looking for some variability in the fleet; having a fleet of full-size coaches is great, but actually we think there is a real need on the market for some small vehicles.Co-Founders Barney Williams (left) and Sam Ryan“Then when we dive into the actual operation and service itself, we look to make sure that operators have their own operations team. While we have our own live operations team overseeing the service, we also expect them to have the same. We also expect operators to have some form of driver training scheme in place.”Future plans“Our current focus is to give more to our current operators in the regions we already operate in through more commuting and better work,” Sam says.Sam also says he would like the business to be in seven major regions across the UK by the end of the year as well as further expansion overseas and beyond South Africa.“We are here in the industry, not trying to take an operators’ lunches, but trying to reinforce the contract to make sure they don’t lose them and also help them win even more with the aim of increasing their fleet utilisation and eventually – if they have aspirations to grow – their fleet size,” he adds.“We are a really friendly and easy way to bring their business to a place where operators can gain access to new kinds of work.”
When it comes to your health, no one knows what’s around the corner. CDC members can receive the first month for free of exclusive Sickness and Hospitalisation plans, Tax-Free Savings plans and Health Cash Plans, all designed for transport workers.Who is TFS?Transport Friendly Society (TFS) started in 1885 and began by providing peace of mind to bus drivers, who in exchange for a penny or two per week, knew that if they died while working on the buses, their loved ones would have some money to help them pay for essentials.The principles are the same today. We still provide that peace of mind through our various plans that include Sickness and Hospitalisation plans, Tax-Free Savings plans and Health Cash plans.Membership is open to people involved in the passenger transport industry, their family and friends – it’s almost like an exclusive club!Sickness and Hospitalisation Plan*Sadly, illness or accident can affect any of us at any time and this could significantly reduce what you earn. What happens then when the bills keep coming in?With our sickness plan the TFS will pay you a weekly sum, up to a maximum of £175, if you are unfortunate enough to go off work sick for more than a week and even give you money back if you don’t claim.TFS Health Cash Plan*It’s reassuring to know that from just over a couple of pounds per week, the TFS Health Cash Plan can help you budget and pay towards your health expenses, should they arise.It’s simple – members can claim cash back on a wide range of health cost such as dental, optical and therapy treatments as well as specialist and hospital related expenses.And to support your family, up to four of your children under the age of 18 who live with you are covered on certain benefits for free. What is more, you can also cover your partner, by choosing one of our Individual plus Partner Plans.Tax-Free Savings Plan*^Saving for the future is one of those ideas that has always been a good one. We offer Savings Plans that aim to grow their value each year, provide a valuable life cover from day one and a guaranteed lump sum after 10 years.Start saving today from just £2.30 per week and enjoy the peace of mind knowing you have made plans for the future!*Terms & Conditions Apply^Under current legislationWhy TFS?TFS sets out to provide security and peace of mind to all members through our tailored and valuable plans. We are a mutual organisation which means any profits are for the benefit of members; TFS continues to be run by passenger transport people for the benefit of passenger transport people.In 2019 TFS paid out nearly £2.3m benefits to its members. Membership continues to grow each year, with nearly 23,000 members in 2019 and assets worth in excess of £76m under management.Coach and bus drivers have sadly been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. TFS has been there to support its members through this difficult time and under its Sickness Plan has been paying out weekly sickness benefit to those unable to work due to COVID-19 related conditions.CDC Members OfferAs partners of the Coach Drivers’ Club, TFS is offering an exclusive benefit to CDC members. Join today quoting TFS01 to receive your first month’s premium free. To apply or to find out more visit www.tfs.uk.com or email us at [email protected]“For the small amount you pay each month the benefits are fantastic.”-from CDC member Richard