Winners of the fifth annual IRTE Skills Challenge announced at high-profile ceremony.The winners of this year’s IRTE Skills Challenge, the competition for coach and bus technicians, have been announced.The Challenge saw 50 technicians and apprentices entered from 10 operators, battling it out over five days in June at the S&B Automotive Academy in Bristol.The top prize â€“ the IRTE Outstanding Team Award, given to the highest-scoring team â€“ was won by teammates Andrew Howie, Tim Laws-Chapman and Ray Silcox from FirstGroup.This year the Challenge saw the introduction of a new award, the Philip Margrave Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement, given to the individual who most embodies the spirit of the Challenge. Pamela Chapman, an apprentice mechanic from Arriva, was its first winner.Pamela also walked away with the Top Scoring Electrical and Mechanical Award (with teammate Tom King), the Runner Up DVSA Inspection Apprentice Award, and Top Scoring Mechanical Apprentice.Lloyd Mason, Engineering Development Manager for Arriva UK Bus, has taken part since the event was founded in 2011. â€œThe IRTE Skills Challenge is now an established event in the bus and coach calendar, and encourages engineers to showcase their abilities and perform to the highest level,â€ he says.The keynote speaker for the ceremony, held at the National Motorcycle Museum adjacent to the NEC, Birmingham on 16 July, was Sir Moir Lockhead OBE, patron of the Society of Operations Engineers, the umbrella organisation of IRTE.He said: â€œIt has been an honour to see the commitment of operators, technicians and apprentices in this year’s competition.â€œThis event not only rewards those individuals who are committed to their profession, but also the operators who strive to ensure their people are trained to the highest standards.â€The winners received prizes from Teng Tools, as well as a demonstration day out with the DVSA, which supported the Challenge for the second year.
Alfa Leisureplex is hosting Christmas fam trips for GTOs and partners to try its hotels.Three free Festive Party Nights will take place at the Queens Hotel, Blackpool (5 November), Hydro Hotel, Llandudno (26 November) and Queens Hotel, Eastbourne (3 December).Each party night includes afternoon tea, drinks reception, meet-the-team presentation, dinner, bed, breakfast and live entertainment. GTOs can also extend their stay, adding Friday or Sunday dinner, bed and breakfast for £29pp, or staying all three nights for just £50pp.Alfa Leisureplex is also hosting a fam weekend at the Royal Norfolk Hotel, Bognor Regis on 17 March 2017. It includes three nights with half-board accommodation, afternoon tea, drinks reception, meet-the-team, day excursions on an Alfa coach and live entertainment for £79pp.For more details call Julia Pearce or Razina Mohamed on 01257 248007 or email [email protected]
Ensuring drivers are not under the influence of alcohol is a critical aspect of risk management.For most operators, driver safety performance tests begin at the recruitment stage and often include alcohol screening as part of an operational safety policy.Alcolock UK, a division of Alcohol Countermeasure Systems (ACS), has been a leading manufacturer of breath alcohol sensing equipment and drug screening solutions since 1976.Its breathalyser products use the same electrochemical sensors as law enforcement and are approved by the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation, Cenelec and other worldwide standard agencies.The Alcolock V3 ignition interlock, Drivesafe personal breathalyser, and the Alert J5 professional breathalyser with Bluetooth printer are used extensively within the transport, commercial and industrial sectors.Alcolock UK’s ignition interlock devices ensure that the vehicle cannot be started if alcohol is present in the driver’s breath sample.It also distributes the Saf’ir Evolution – evidential infrared breathalysers used by law enforcement, medical and alcohol rehabilitation facilities – worldwide.www.alcolock.co.uk
TC Kevin Rooney revokes and disqualifies to safeguard the public following continued concern over poor maintenance and company-wide shortcomingsFareham-based Victory Travel and its sole Director Paul Donald were disqualified indefinitely from holding or obtaining a PSV O-Licence after Traffic Commissioner (TC) Kevin Rooney immediately revoked the company’s six-vehicle licence. He also disqualified Mr Donald indefinitely from acting as a Transport Manager (TM). The company attended a PI in 2014 where they were granted a licence for six vehicles, rather than the requested eightThe company, of Cranleigh Road, Fareham, failed to attend a Bristol Public Inquiry (PI).In his decision the TC said that the company had previously attended a PI relating to a variation application in 2014, when he granted authority for six vehicles rather than the eight vehicles requested. At the same time, he revoked the licence of Vision Coaches, of which Mr Donald was the Director.DVSA had carried out a series of maintenance investigations. The first was in June 2015. Two prohibitions were issued, inspection intervals had been exceeded, and some records were missing. No brake tests were recorded and no effective quality system was in place. The company had major shortcomings across every area, and the drivers’ hours’ systems were found sadly wanting by the TEA follow-up maintenance investigation took place in September 2016. The majority of the shortcomings identified in June 2015 were still evident – of concern was that a condition on the licence for alternative safety inspections to be conducted by an independent contractor was no longer being complied with. In parallel, DVSA became aware that a vehicle lost a nearside outer wheel while travelling northbound on the M3 on 26 November 2016. A further investigation identified that the company had been in the habit of checking the wheelnuts but to a torque setting of 700Nm.The manufacturer’s specification was for wheelnuts to be tightened to 600 Nm. The company had disposed of the subject hub and wheel studs so no further investigation was possible. Driver defect reporting had, in the vehicle examiner’s words, “appeared to have fallen by the wayside in the middle of 2016”.On 16 September 2016, a DVSA traffic examiner (TE) conducted an audit of the company’s traffic management systems. The outcome was unsatisfactory. The findings were highly relevant in relation to Mr Donald’s repute as a TM. He noted in particular that the TE reported that the digital tachograph data files showed that a vehicle had not been downloaded since April 2015 and five drivers had not had their driver cards downloaded within the specified 28 days, with times varying between 56 and 373 days. On 11 January, PC Michael Goddard of Greater Manchester Police notified the Office of the Senior Traffic Commissioner that, on 7 January, a vehicle had dropped off Crystal Palace football supporters in Bolton Town Centre ahead of an FA Cup tie. That was contrary to an industry-wide set of guidelines designed to reduce the risk of violence at football matches.This was a case where one individual was the company and it was appropriate to pierce the corporate veil. The company had major shortcomings across every area, and the drivers’ hours systems were found sadly wanting by the TE. He commented that no single person within the company has responsibility for ensuring that the downloads were completed. That might be how it appeared but it was not correct. The TM was responsible, plain and simple. He had also failed to ensure that vehicles were inspected on time, had discontinued the external audit inspections without agreement and had allowed the driver defect reporting system to fall in to misuse. Given that the company disposed of the evidence, the TM was culpable for the loss of a wheel from a coach on the M3 in November 2016 because he had allowed the wheelnuts to be over-tightened on a systemic basis. The loss of a commercial vehicle wheel at motorway speeds could have a devastating effect. The breadth and seriousness of the shortcomings, affecting all management systems and producing potentially lethal results, meant that Victory Travel and Paul Donald had each forfeited their good repute and that more than just mere revocation was necessary to safeguard public safety.
Whites Coaches of St Albans has stuck with EVM for its latest miniWhites Coaches of St Albans has returned to EVM Direct (0845 520 5160) for a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter with coachbuilt Grand Tourer bodywork to a high specification.The minicoach has 16 VIP Class seats, finished in two-colour Ultra leather. Some are positioned around full-size tables and the remainder have drop-down examples fitted.Entertainment is from an Audio 15 upgrade unit with a DVD player incorporated into the dash, and a reversing camera display is part of the head unit. Wi-fi is also fitted.A large boot along with smaller side lockers are for luggage storage. Colour-coded bumpers, moulded side skirts and grille and EVM’s trademark front bumper add to the external styling and the minicoach also comes with Euroliner wheel trims and a chrome pack.
The Traffic Commissioners (TCs) have started to publish online the outcomes of driver conduct hearings.It follows widespread approval of the proposal from respondents to a consultation held in 2019. While there is no statutory requirement for TCs to publish notice of driver conduct hearings or the decisions taken therein, the consultation document noted that they “recognise the risk of action being taken against a driver’s entitlement of which an employer is unaware.”As a result, the publication of outcomes will make it easier for employers to investigate whether a driver has been subject to regulatory action.The data is presented in an Excel spreadsheet. Within it is the date of the hearing, the driver’s first name and surname, their year of birth, the categories of their vocational driving entitlement and the first three digits of their postcode. The decision is detailed in brief. Updates will be made weekly, usually on Mondays.Where applicable, the spreadsheet will also include details of when a decision is appealed and the outcome of that appeal.In the consultation document, the TCs noted that many licence suspensions handed out at driver conduct hearings are relatively short. Because of that, an employer may unwittingly continue to deploy such an driver as the sanction may not be identified during routine licence checks.The TCs have ensured that data protection principles are complied with when the document is published.
DVSA has outlined what its approach will be to the discovery of tyres that are over 10 years old and fitted to the front axle of a coach, bus, minibus or LGV after doing so becomes illegal. The change in law comes into force on 1 February 2021 under the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2020.Discovery of such a tyre at annual test will result in a failure. A failure will also be recorded if a tyre captured by the change to the law does not display a date code. Should a tyre aged 10 years or older fitted to a front axle be discovered during roadside enforcement checks, an S-marked prohibition will be issued and a follow up investigation will be conducted.The Agency plans to update the Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness, Categorisation of Vehicle Defects and the MoT inspection manual before the new legislation comes into force.Casings that were re-treaded 10 or more years ago will be subject to the same restrictions as first use tyres. They must display the date that re-treading was carried out.The change to legislation will also apply to the rear axle of minibuses that are fitted with single wheels. The Department for Transport had originally proposed a total ban on the use of all tyres aged 10 years and over on coaches, buses and minibuses but revised its position after a public consultation.DVSA has confirmed to routeone that an annual test failure will not be recorded for tyres that are 10 years old or more and found in any other position than those described above. However, a spokesperson notes that operators using tyres that fall into that age category on other axles are “expected to follow the guidance set out in the Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness and to conduct a risk assessment for their continued use.”
The Scottish Government has approved the allocation of up to a further £61.4m through its COVID-19 Support Grant – Restart mechanism to support bus services in Scotland over the 12-week period between 1 April and 27 June.As with previous rounds of grant support, the latest award will plug the gap between reduced revenue and operating costs. It follows £29m that is enabling services to continue between 18 January and 31 March, and multiple previous allocations.A maximum of £191.3m was made available by the Scottish Government the purpose of supporting bus services in the 2020/21 financial year. Operators may not return a profit while receiving the grant, and it is subject to reconciliation exercises at least every 12 weeks. Because of that, the Scottish Government forecasts that the actual spend in the current financial year will be £144.5m.Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson says the Scottish Government will “continue to all we can to support our bus industry and our public transport network,” adding that buses “have been absolutely vital in keeping Scotland moving safely during the COVID-19 pandemic – most recently, helping people to attend vaccination appointments.”
Twitter Facebook Pinterest WhatsApp Twitter Western Manor Apartments South Bend, IN South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has issued a statement about the sudden rent increase at the West Manor ApartmentsIn the statement he says that “no one should face sudden, unjust rent hikes”, and “forcing over 100 families into this situation is unconscionable”.Earlier this month residents of the complex discovered notices posted around their buildings informing them of a $200 a month increase, and a new policy that requires tenants cover their own electricity.Premier Real Estate Management from Wisconsin purchased the property in June.Buttigieg did say that the city is looking into legal and code enforcement actions, but that won’t be enough to help address the immediate housing need. He is hoping that local housing providers can step up to help until more permanent solutions are found.Here is the mayor’s full statement:“Residents of the Western Manor Apartments are facing a crisis and deserve our attention and support. No one should face sudden, unjust rent hikes from landlords, and forcing over 100 families into this situation is unconscionable. I join community members in calling on the new owners of Western Manor to honor their obligation to this community beyond maximizing short-term profit.South Bend is currently taking legal and code enforcement action, but these measures will not be enough to address the immediate housing need. We urge local housing providers to rise to the occasion and help locate these residents until a more permanent solution can be found. My office has also followed up with our state and national lawmakers to inquire about their capacity to provide assistance.The residents of Western Manor deserve better. Let us come together as a community to protect our neighbors, making South Bend an example in the process.” By Carl Stutsman – August 29, 2019 1 301 IndianaLocalNewsSouth Bend Market Google+ Google+ WhatsApp Previous articleGroundbreaking set on $1B Michigan natural gas plantNext articleSix cases of e-cigarette/vaping related illnesses reported in Michigan Carl Stutsman Mayor Pete: “The residents of Western Manor deserve better.” Facebook Pinterest
(“Police Line / Police Tape” by Tony Webster, CC BY 2.0) A release from the department clarifies that the shootings are not believed to be related, despite all the victims reportedly being the same age.Below is the full press release from SBPD:The South Bend Police Department is investigating two separate and unrelated shootings.In the first incident, officers were responded to Memorial Hospital for a walk-in shooting victim around 8:30 Sunday night. The victim is a 23 year old male suffering from a non-life threatening wound to the upper body.Through the initial investigation, the victim reported being robbed in the area of the 1000 block of E. Ireland Road. During the robbery, shots were fired striking the victim in the upper body.Possible suspect is described as a white male last seen wearing a black hoodie.In the second incident, around 1:10am Monday morning, officers in the area of the 3700 block of Western heard gunfire which was followed by a dispatch to the 400 block of S. Wellington. Officers quickly arrived at a home on Wellington and located two 23 year old male victims with gunshot wound injuries to their upper body. They were taken to the hospital for treatment of apparent non-life threatening injuries.Through the initial investigation, it is believed the victims were injured after a person or persons fired shots towards the home on S. Wellington.Detectives with the South Bend Police Investigative Bureau continue to investigate both of these incidents.Anyone with information can call the South Bend Police Department at 574-235-9201 or Crime Stoppers at 574-288-STOP. Google+ Google+ Pinterest Twitter Twitter South Bend Police Investigating Two Shootings Overnight WhatsApp Facebook Pinterest By Carl Stutsman – December 9, 2019 0 268 Facebook Previous articleMichigan nears deal to legalize sports, online gamblingNext articleMichigan power customers with own solar panels on the rise Carl Stutsman IndianaLocalNewsSouth Bend Market WhatsApp