SMMT: Two different stories in 2014

first_imgThe SMMT coach and bus registration figures for 2014 once again tell two contrasting stories. Numbers for buses are down on 2013, but the coach sector continues to be buoyant, with its total at a five-year high. Tim Deakin looks more closely at the totals.Just as it was a year earlier, it was a tale of two halves for the industry in 2014, if new coach and bus registration figures are used as a barometer. The coach segment maintained a largely strong showing, particularly among heavyweights, while in the bus sector a downward trend continued.The overall figure for all coach and bus registrations in 2014 was 7,352, a drop of 4.6% on 2013’s 7,708. Conversions dominate the market, accounting for 3,912 registrations – 53.2% of the total – in 2014. As a percentage, that was similar in 2013.In the purpose-built sector there were two contrasting stories. The 892 coach registrations – 49 more than in 2013 – were helped by growing operator confidence in Euro 6 vehicles, which have proved themselves reliable and fuel efficient.The bus market continues to suffer funding worries, which saw numbers drop further. 2,548 purpose-built buses were registered in 2014, down 294 on the previous year. The best performersIn manufacturer terms, the status quo was maintained in 2014, with the top six in terms of registrations being exactly the same as the previous year.As in every year of this decade, the best performer by some margin was Alexander Dennis (ADL). It registered 1,096 vehicles to give a total market share of 31.9%, although reflecting the decline of the bus market both its unit figure and market share were down on 2013.In second place was Volvo, registering 595 coaches and buses in 2014 for a market share of 17.3%, also down on 2013. In third is Wrightbus, with 420 registrations in 2014, slightly enhancing its market share, while Optare retained fourth place and increased its share of the market. It registered 310 buses last year, just seven fewer than in 2013.In fifth place was Scania. Its 301 coaches and buses registered in 2014 represented an increase in both volume and market share and will no doubt be welcomed by the Swedish manufacturer. An even better performance came from sixth-placed Mercedes-Benz, which grew volumes by 42.4% and share of the market to 4.9%, helped by the success of its Tourismo coach range.The biggest increase in volume was from Van Hool, which grew volumes by 68.2% to 143 units – or 17% of the coach market above 16t GVW. Also performing strongly was Irizar, which saw volumes of its DAF-powered integrals grow by 31.6% to 50 units. That gives it 6.5% of the heavyweight single-deck coach market. Coaches remain strongCoaches came in strongly for 2014, and had December not been so dismal, with just 22 registrations recorded during the month – less than half of the 45 from the same period in 2013 – the 900 barrier would have been broken.Nevertheless, the year’s total of 892 is the highest recorded this decade. It’s up 5.8% on 2013’s figure of 843, which in itself was a massive 20.4% increase on 2012’s number, but there is variation among individual totals dependent on segment.At the smaller end of the market, registrations of coaches in the 3.5-16t GVW sector remained moribund: 49 were registered in 2014, compared to 59 in 2013, 75 in 2011 and no fewer than 132 in 2010.However, Euro Bus Expo showed that a variety of keenly-awaited Mercedes-Benz Atego-based models are finally about to begin production, and for body manufacturers at the lighter end of the market that’s not a second too soon.Builders such as Noone, Plaxton and UNVI are already reporting healthy interest in their new offerings around the 30-seat mark, so it’s likely that the downward trend will reverse in 2015 as operators have held off purchases of smaller coaches until the Euro 6 Atego comes to market. New midicoaches from China and Turkey will also debut in 2015.In the 16t and over GVW single-deck coach sector, almost all manufacturers have their Euro 6 products established in the market. Numbers here continued a strong upward trend in 2014, with 771 heavyweight single-deckers registered. That’s a 7.5% increase on the 717 in 2013, and almost a quarter up on the 621 in 2012.In the double-deck coach segment, 72 registrations in 2014 mirrored the 7.5% increase in heavyweight single-deck coach numbers for the year.2013’s double-deck coach total was 67, and 2012’s just 31, although figures in what remains a compact part of the market are easily distorted by Stagecoach’s purchases for its Megabus and Oxford Tube operations. Between them, these arms of its business accounted for 32 units – all Van Hool Astromegas – in 2014, representing 44% of the double-decker coach market.center_img Bus declines againAlthough a rosy picture is painted by coach registration figures, it’s not the same for bus totals. The purpose-built number of 2,548 in 2014 is almost 300 down on 2013’s figure, and 563 fewer than 2012. Year on year, it’s a 10.3% drop, representing some cause for concern.All of the bus segment’s five demarcations recorded a decline in 2014, although some were much more notable than others. Double-decker numbers remained almost constant – at 1,016 against 1,023 – meaning that they made up 39.9% of the market compared to 36.0% in 2013.Surprising was the sharp drop in lightweight single-deckers in the 12-16t GVW category, which had rapidly come into favour earlier in the decade as operators faced increasing pressure on costs. In 2014 the segment was down 19.1%, from 1,076 units to 870, although this total remains 28 units above 2012’s figure despite the bus market as a whole having contracted by 18.1% since then.The 12-16t GVW sector’s level of decline was, equally surprisingly, considerably higher than in the heavyweight, over 16t GVW category. The latter dropped by 40 units to 281, a 12.5% contraction.Even so, the heavyweight sector grew its share of single-deck bus registrations in 2014 by 0.7%. That compares favourably with the lighter, 12-16t GVW segment, which lost 2.4% of market share by the same measurement.Despite initial scepticism, that would appear to back up claims from Scania and Volvo – both of which are active only in the heavyweight sector – that there will remain a consistent, albeit diminished, demand for single-deckers around the 18t GVW mark for certain types of work.At the lighter end of the bus market, numbers in the 8.5-12t sector remained stable, at 262 registrations in 2014 against 277 in 2013, representing a below-average level of decline. The sub-8.5t GVW segment dropped by 17.9%; it saw 119 registrations, against 145 in 2013.last_img read more

Isle of Man contract won by Ticketer

first_imgTicketer has won the tender to supply Isle of Man Transport with fixed and hand-held electronic ticketing machines (ETMs) for its buses, trams and steam trains.It is supplying 70 ETMs fitted to vehicles, as well as 14 units for the main stations and the two central information points.Isle of Man Transport is among the first customers to order Ticketer’s new hand-held units, which have all the same functionality as the fixed units.Isle of Man Transport runs 65 buses, one diesel and six steam trains, several electric trams, and six mountain trams. Photo showsJohn Clarfelt, Managing Director of Berkshire-based Ticketerlast_img read more

Skills teams up with Trent Barton

first_imgSkills of Nottingham has teamed up with Trent Barton to offer discounts through the bus operator’s Mango smartcard scheme.Mango cardholders can get 5% of Skills’ holidays and day trips as part of the bus operator’s Mango Moments scheme, which offers added value through partnerships with stores, restaurants and other businesses.last_img

London parking: Use it or lose it, says CPT

first_imgMore users of CPT’s deal with Go-Ahead for space at London bus garages needed, says associationThe Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) has asked operators who have not done so already to consider making use of the members-only arrangement it has made with Go-Ahead for them to park coaches in two of the bus operator’s depots in London.CPT’s deal with Go-Ahead is a viable alternative to on-street parking30 spaces are on offer, 20 at Camberwell depot and 10 at Stockwell. They are available between 0900-1700hrs Monday to Friday, and are charged at a rate of £35 per day plus £1.50 admin fee, but after two weeks’ operation take-up has not been as high as hoped, the trade body has revealed.“We need to increase the number of coaches taking advantage of this trial to justify and expanding the facilities on offer,” says South West Regional Manager John Burch in an email to members.“We realise that it only really benefits operators with vehicles in London for periods of several hours, but we would like to see more coaches take advantage of the offer.” Mr Burch suggests that if insufficient coaches continue to make use of the parking availability at Go-Ahead’s depots, the trial may not be extended beyond its 24 June finishing date.“Enquiries with drivers suggest that word is not yet spreading, so we’d like to encourage you to publicise the existence of these facilities,” adds Mr Burch.CPT members can book parking space in advance by calling 020 7267 2507 between 1000-1600hrs Monday to Friday, or emailing [email protected] Same-day bookings are not accepted and cancellations are non-refundable, says the CPT.Bookers will be asked to provide their operating name, driver details, vehicle registration number, purpose of visit and expected arrival and departure times upon booking.A confirmation email including a booking reference number will be sent once payment has been authorised, and the driver must present the booking reference number on arrival; there are no driver facilities at either depot.last_img read more

The complete package

first_imgAs one of the UK’s leading vehicle dealers, Drew Wilson Coach Sales offers the complete package for buying secondhandPurchasing a new vehicle – whether it’s brand new or secondhand – can be a time of excitement and trepidationWhile is a big investment, it is necessary for keeping fleets fresh and ably serving customers for years to come. Another necessity is finding a vehicle dealer you can rely on.Founded in 2002 by Drew Wilson, Carluke-based Drew Wilson Coach Sales is a leading UK dealer of secondhand coaches, buses and mini/midibuses both in the UK and internationally.Buying secondhand can be more a more cost-effective option and with so much to offer, the dealer provides a one-stop-shop for all operators’ vehicle-purchasing needs.It prides itself, not only on its range of stock on offer, but also the time and effort it invests in making sure its vehicles are to the highest possible standard before they go on sale. Changes to suitWhile Drew Wilson can sell vehicles on behalf of operators, it primarily buys its own stock to sell on.Trips to the Republic of Ireland and further afield are also taken to find the right vehicles, and it also exports vehicles all over the world, including as far as Australia and the Falkland Islands.“We offer a delivery service as well as collection, which is one less barrier for operators who think that Glasgow is too far for them to travel,” says Graham Blades, Sales.One advantage of buying from Drew Wilson is that it can arrange a number of vehicle improvements, at the customer’s request.The various options mean operators can have the vehicle they want altered to the specification that suits them.This can range from repainting to interior refurbishment, including retrimming. It can also carry out DVSA-certified seatbelt installations and upseating.“If an operator sees a vehicle and says it needs a bit more work doing to it, we can accommodate that and carry out the work for them prior to delivery,” says Graham.In terms of upseating, the business has seen a big change in customers’ requirements.With the help of Duoflex, we’ve been doing a lot more 70-seat conversions this year.He adds: “A few years ago, double-deckers would have been the choice for school, but people are now turning their attention to 70-seat coaches.“So we will source vehicles that would make good 70-seat conversions and have them built to the customers specifications in terms of colour and interior trim.”Help with costsAs Drew Wilson can also offer its customers finance options (subject to status), the cost of the alterations can be added to the total cost of the vehicle, which the operator is then able to pay through their finance, says Graham.The company is providing vehicles that are like new and the operator is able to pay it through their finance.Operators don’t have to find the capital to fund the changes made to the vehicles themselves and they get a vehicle they can operate for a long time.Failing that, if its stock vehicles do not fit a customer’s requirements, Drew Wilson can also source vehicles from coach and bus operators or UK dealers to suit individual specifications and budgets.Pick-up serviceDrew Wilson’s customer service cannot be faulted, with its additional service of collecting customers from Glasgow or Edinburgh Airport and local rail stations to come and view the vehicles.Viewings can be arranged seven days a week, at a time to accommodate the customer.Says Graham: “In essence it’s all about the customer experience, we try to sell a service. We pick customers up from the airport or train station, take them for a test drive and they can carry out a full inspection before purchase.Drew Wilson also accepts part-exchanges, something which is not always available from other dealers.Drew’s experience and contacts in the industry means the business has the knowledge and support to be able to return most of its part-exchanged vehicles to the market.Arrange a visitThe last time routeone visited Drew Wilson in 2016, it had just set up shop in its new purpose-built facility where it sells its vehicles from – on a site it continues to share with Stuarts Coaches.The premises are built across two floors with a reception area, kitchen and multiple offices that vary in size.The business now has the highest number of staff it has ever had and, with its purpose-built premises and vehicle stock it’s keen to show off, it continues to encourage operators to come and see all it has to read more

Public transport corridor boosts journeys for Stagecoach

first_imgStagecoach East Scotland has announced a 10% increase in passenger journeys since the re-opening of the Forth Road Bridge, which celebrated its first anniversary as a dedicated public transport corridor on 1 February.This means Stagecoach services now carry an average of 80,000 passengers per week on the Edinburgh corridor.The operator runs 350 journeys per day across the bridge, connecting Fife and beyond with Edinburgh city centre, Edinburgh Airport and Livingston. Express coaches operate up to every five minutes from Fife to Edinburgh, using park-and-ride sites as well as directly connecting towns and cities across Fife, Perth and Dundee with the capital.Douglas Robertson, Commercial Director, Stagecoach East Scotland says: “The public transport corridor has provided longer bus lanes, which means more reliable services and quicker journeys as well as improved connectivity through the use of park-and-ride sites.”Our investment in new vehicles throughout 2018 also had a positive impact on passenger usage. We launched 19 new coaches last year all operating over the Forth Road Bridge marking a spend of £5.1m and a significant investment in our Express City Connect network. Following the opening of the Queensferry Crossing in September 2017, the Forth Road Bridge was closed for maintenance until early 2018, when it reopened as a public transport corridor.last_img read more

Unemployment rate in St. Joseph, Elkhart Counties inches up

first_img Facebook Unemployment rate in St. Joseph, Elkhart Counties inches up Previous articleDog Goods USA recalls pig ear treats due to Salmonella concernsNext articleNo charges to be filed in connection to deadly Berrien County motel fire Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney. Twitter WhatsApp Google+ By Jon Zimney – August 19, 2019 0 260 Twitter Pinterest Facebook Pinterest Google+ IndianaLocalNews WhatsApp (Photo supplied/Indiana Department of Workforce Development) While the statewide unemployment rate dropped, as a whole, the local figures increased a bit.The jobless rate in St. Joseph County was 4% in July, compared to 3.7% in June.In Elkhart County, the rate jumped up to 3.6%, from 3% the month before. That rate is nearly a full point higher compared to a year ago.Statewide, the July Employment Report for Indiana showed the jobless rate dropped to 3.4%, which is lower than the national rate of 3.7%.last_img read more

Indiana election upgrade leaves much paperless voting

first_img In this Sept. 25, 2019 photo, Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson demonstrates an upgraded voting machine on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, at the Indiana Statehouse office in Indianapolis. The state is buying the boxes at the rear right of the voting booth that will display a paper printout allowing voters to double-check how their vote is recorded on the electronic machines. (AP Photo/Tom Davies) INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana officials are launching an election system upgrade adding devices to perhaps 2,000 electronic voting machines around the state that will display a paper record to voters.Those devices are intended for placement before the May 2020 primary on 10% of Indiana’s paperless voting machines, which election officials say are still used in up to 58 of the state’s 92 counties. The State Budget Committee voted Friday to approve spending $6 million for that project.Republican Secretary of State Connie Lawson says adding the devices will help improve voter confidence that their ballot is being correctly counted. Lawson had initially sought up to $75 million for adding the equipment to electronic machines, but scaled that back at the request of state budget writers. IndianaLocalNationalNews By Associated Press – September 27, 2019 0 276 Pinterest Google+ Twitter Pinterest Facebook WhatsApp WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+ Indiana election upgrade leaves much paperless voting Previous articlePrivate prison company to house non-US citizens in MichiganNext articleUPDATE: Silver Alert for missing Goshen woman cancelled Associated PressNews from the Associated Press and its network of reporters and publications.last_img read more

Elkhart man found dead after pick-up truck explodes on Adams Road

first_img Google+ IndianaLocalNews (Photo supplied/ABC 57) An Elkhart man died after a vehicle caught fire and exploded in St. Joseph County.It happened around 3:40 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2, in the 1900 block of Adams Road.St. Joseph County Dispatch says emergency crews were called by neighbors who reported   a “loud explosion”, according to 95.3 MNC’s reporting partners at ABC 57.Crews arrived to find a pick-up truck on fire and Nicolas D. Oliver, 33, dead, several feet away.At this time, detectives believe Oliver was working on the truck with a torch, sparking an explosion of the gasoline tank on the truck.The St. Joseph County Police Department issued the following update:On Saturday, November 2, 2019 at approximately 3:40 a.m. St. Joseph County Police were dispatched to the area of 19800 Adams Road in Clay Township in St. Joseph County for a “loud explosion” called in by multiple neighbors.Upon arrival, patrol officers discovered a large pick-up truck fully engulfed in flames. Also discovered approximately 8 to 10 feet from the burning vehicle was a deceased person, also engulfed in flames. The deceased has been identified as Nicolas D. Oliver, age 33 of Elkhart.At this time, detectives believe Oliver was working on the truck with a torch, sparking an explosion of the gasoline tank on the truck. St. Joseph County Police Detectives and Clay Fire Department will continue to investigate the activity leading up to the explosion, as well as the cause of the explosion. Due to the charred condition of the truck, detectives are currently unable to identify an owner of the vehicle. The St. Joseph County Coroner’s Office has scheduled an autopsy for Tuesday morning.Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call our department at 574-235-9569 or Crime Stoppers at 574-288-STOP. Facebook Facebook Google+ Twitter WhatsApp Pinterest Twitter Elkhart man found dead after pick-up truck explodes on Adams Road Previous articleMichigan takes applications for adult-use marijuana licensesNext articlePolice: Portage man arrested after driving 142 miles per hour Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney. Pinterest WhatsApp By Jon Zimney – November 3, 2019 0 500 last_img read more

10-11 June General Affairs Council

first_imgCOOPERATION with Damascus inched forward with thesecond ministerial meeting.The Union offered financial contributions towards the modernisation of Syria’s crumbling economy, in return for a clear answer from Damascus as to whether it was prepared to negotiate a partnership accord and join in on plans for a regional free trade zone between the Union and the Middle East.MINISTERS approved guidelines for the Commission to negotiate an association agreement with Algeria covering political, financial, social and cultural cooperation. As for trade, the goal would be to bring Algeria into a planned Euro-Mediterranean free trade area by 2010. Spain is still concerned that Algerian citrus growers would compete with its own, and other ministers want a detailed schedule of which industrial goods would be affected by the gradual dismantling of tariffs. But the UK’s non-cooperation policy prevented ministers adopting broad plans for the region.GREECE continued to block funding for regional development in North Africa and the Middle East. Greece’s deputy foreign minister said Athens would oppose the MEDA funding package, which contains money for Turkey, until its EU partners showed more solidarity over what it perceives as security threats from Ankara.FARM trade must be reviewed this year, ministers agreed, approving a system which would create rules for opening Union agricultural markets to countries which do not already have contractual links to the EU. Member states will review a list of countries which benefit from the Union’s Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) and report on each case before 1 January. Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini said the republics of former Yugoslavia deserved urgent attention, and it was “very likely that the GSP would apply there”.THE Union still disagrees with Washington’s policy on Cuba, but will temper its criticism rather than risk spoiling relations with the US. Ministers said EU leaders would bring up the issue, but not make a big deal of it, at the EU-US summit on 11-12 June. The US legislation, which punishes foreign firms doing business in Cuba, has caused problems for some European companies, and the Union has complained to the World Trade Organisation. THE UK blocked agreement on 16 ‘A-points’ on the Council agenda as part of its continuing protest over beef, including a declaration on the gradual resumption of cooperation with Niger, a political dialogue with the Andean pact countries and a mandate for a trade agreement with Mexico. But in addition to the Slovenia accord, the UK also abandoned its blocking tactics on two other proposals: one to send 3 million ecu to support elections in Bosnia and another on the adoption of a negotiation mandate for a cooperation accord with Algeria.SPAIN blocked the planned approval of a transatlantic pact between the Union and Canada, saying it did not guarantee Spanish fishing boats access to Canadian ports. Spanish trawlers fish heavily off Canada’s east coast, a cause of conflict between the two which erupted into gunfire last year. Ministers instructed their ambassadors to go back and look at the pact’s fisheries chapter. In the meantime, the EU and Canada still plan to go ahead with their scheduled 26 June summit in Rome to approve a “free trade agreement in all but name”.MORE progress was made with South America. Foreign ministers of the four Mercosur nations – Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay – joined EU ministers for their first joint meeting since the Union and Mercosur signed a framework agreement last December. Argentine President Carlos Menem said the two blocs should eliminate all trade barriers between them by 2005. He called the pact a “qualitative leap for relations between Europe and Latin America”. Both Mercosur and the EU are on the verge of signing trade pacts with Chile.last_img read more