Nathan Wilson has joined Allison Transmission as UK market Development Manager.Nathan Wilson: Allison Transmission’s new UK market Development ManagerHis role is to increase sales and revenue growth, manage relationships with Allison’s various OEMs and commercial vehicle customers and to support market development activities.Nathan worked previously as Aftersales Director for Essex Motor Company and as Aftersales Development Manager for Hyundai UK. Prior to that, he was national Account Manager for EvoBus and a regional representative for the Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle division.Nathan will be based at Allison’s UK sales office in Ampthill, Bedfordshire.
The Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) has moved to reassure coach operators that drivers bringing tourists to or through France will not normally have to pay a fee.Under the new ‘Loi Macron’ rule to be introduced for posted workers in France next year, the French Government is slapping a €40 fee on people who have to be registered to work in the country on a temporary basis.The government has not, however, suggested that there will be any change to the scope of the law, so tourist coach drivers bringing tourists to or through France on behalf of a non-French company, and taking them home again, do not need to register and will not have to pay the fee.CPT’s Director of Policy Development, Steven Salmon, who was instrumental in clarifying that tourist coach drivers are not, normally, posted workers, says: “CPT will do all it can to ensure that tourist coach drivers remain outside the scope of the French legislation.“We also await with interest the outcome of the European Commission’s actions against the disproportionate posting rules in France, Germany and Austria.”
Smoothing the peaks and troughs of demand is the golden goose for coach operators, and doing it easily is even better. At the CMAC Group, a shakeup of its systems will further simplify doing thatCoach Hire Booking (CHB) provides rail replacement work at rates that it believes are the best in the business. It majors on delivering easily-earned income, often at non-peak times, that supplements an operator’s core revenue.CHB is part of the CMAC Group. CMAC also handles flight diversion and business contingency transport, and that, too, generates additional profit for operators.In 2018 the C-Mac trading name will become more prominent as it takes a more holistic view of its coach work. What’s on offer will remain the same, but CMAC believes that it will make itself an even more attractive industry partner by further simplifying its relationships with operators.CMAC employs 115 people and it is on track to turn over £30m in the current financial year. Of that, £8m will be paid to the coach industry.Rail replacement along the west coast main line is what the Coach Hire Booking brand is known best for, and Operations and Commercial Director Peter Slater says that it wants more operators to come on board.“Some operators still don’t realise how well we pay for rail replacement,” he says.“We encourage the industry to see it as a reasonably profitable cherry on top of its own cake. It’s not clear profit, because naturally there are costs involved, but it’s often lucrative.”Thinking outside the box…Traditionally, emergency rail replacement develops at short notice and is dealt with by calling operators nearby. That still forms part of CHB’s operating practice, but it is keen to take ideas from elsewhere to make the process smarter. That will also encompass CMAC’s flight delay arm, and the key is knowing where coaches are in real time.For example, a Lancashire-based coach may be on an extended layover in London. Were an emergency requirement to arise in the south-east, it’s logical that CHB would call operators there first, leaving that vehicle out of the running. That will soon change, however.“We need operators to let us know where their coaches are, particularly when they’re not where we might expect,” says Peter. If CHB knows via GPS that the Lancashire-based coach is in London, there is scope for it to absorb some of that emergency work.Will operators accept a third party using their GPS data? Peter believes so. Many have tracking as part of their fleet management system (FMS), and CHB has done lots of work to make it happen. The only information taken from the FMS will be vehicle location.CMAC wants to hear from operators re suggestion to pay drivers direct“When this is rolled out, we will be able to see coaches that are near to an emergency call, regardless of where they are based. We won’t know whether they are available, but we can ask the operator. It’s potential revenue that they wouldn’t otherwise have earned.”Paying smartCMAC will also introduce a much speedier payment process in 2018. Currently, it pays at 30 days from invoice, but ‘e-invoicing’ will bring down the gap between doing the work and being paid for it to three days.“There are some complications to get over; on rail replacement, we need to know exactly what the coach has done to calculate the payment. What the operator will need to do is upload their invoice to a web portal. We will authorise it and pay within three days.”The portal will have other functionality. Operators will be able to see what work they have carried out for CMAC, and how much they have earned.There will be no cost for access to the web portal, but CMAC accepts that it will not suit everyone. Invoices will still be accepted via the conventional method after it goes live, but they will not benefit from the improved terms.Give and takeProviding replacements for broken-down coaches is another area that CMAC is looking to expand via web-based tracking, and it is also examining whether it can take some work off operators for antisocial-hours callouts. “Often when we call out of hours, the operator’s first response is that it doesn’t know if any drivers are available,” says Peter.“We’re looking at whether we can send notifications straight to drivers, and even pay them directly. That won’t work for everyone, but I want to know what operators think of it.” Like everything else, monies paid to drivers by C-MAC will be reported via the web portal.Making things as simple as possible is key to CMAC, and it believes that along with its impending developments, paying a fair rate for emergency call-outs will attract more operators to the fold.“We believe that we are leaders in what we pay for emergency work, but it’s also about the relationships that we build. We can take out some of the industry’s seasonality; we have a high winter requirement because of weather issues,” he adds.“Our work is good quality. It is simple and straightforward. We have the best payment terms in the business and, I believe, the best payment reputation.”www.cmacgroup.co.uk
Six Nottingham City Transport (NCT) employees have raised over £2,000 for mental health charity Mind, by completing a 10-peak challenge in the Lake District.The 13-mile circular walk on Sunday 28 April took in 10 summits in the north-western fells, starting and finishing in Braithwate, two miles from Keswick.Setting off at just after 0500hrs, the team reached the 10th summit on the extended ‘Coledale Round’ in just under 10 hours.The group consisted of NCT’s Anthony Carver-Smith, Lee McClory, Wayne Massey, Jack Smith, Paul Radford and Bobby Squires. They were joined by friends Lee Brightmoor and Jo Briggs.Anthony Carver-Smith, NCT’s Marketing Manager, says: “We aim to do a fundraising challenge each year to support a charity that has helped or supported friends, family or a colleague and we are overwhelmed to have exceeded our target and raised over £2,000 for Mind.”
The possibility of a Greater London Boundary Charge being levied on vehicles that are registered outside the capital when entering has been raised by Mayor Sadiq Khan as he seeks to find a solution to the long-term financial health of Transport for London (TfL).Mr Khan says it may be necessary to plug a hole created by the loss of revenue from fares if the government does not “play fair” and allow London to retain the £500m that is raised annually from vehicle excise duty charged to vehicles that are registered to addresses in the capital. The proposal is contained in a recently published Independent Review into TfL.Greater London Boundary Charge now being examined by TfLTfL officials have now been asked by the Mayor to investigate the feasibility of the charge. That work will involve the assessment of what vehicle classes it would apply to and any potential discounts, exemptions and mitigations. It could apply to coaches and other commercial vehicles in addition to private cars.The “small charge” – suggested at £3.50 per day – could have “significant benefits in terms of managing congestion, reducing emissions and encouraging more use of sustainable transport,” says the Mayor’s office. Income generated would be invested into London’s transport network.Mr Khan has powers to introduce road user charging schemes to facilitate the achievement of his Transport Strategy. The feasibility study to be undertaken by TfL would need to establish whether a Greater London Boundary Charge would be effective in delivering existing policy objectives while also providing income for the capital’s transport network.‘Small charge’ could reduce congestion and raise £500m per annumEstimates suggest that setting the charge at £3.50 for vehicles that are not registered in London could contribute to a reduction in weekday car trips across the Greater London boundary of up to 15% and raise £500m per year.A public consultation would be required before the charge could be introduced. Also needed would be an amendment to the Mayor’s Transport Strategy. That would additionally be subject to consultation. Development of the scheme, consultation and implementation would take at least two years.Existing infrastructure associated with the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) would be used to enforce the Greater London Boundary Charge if it was introduced. A tightening of LEZ standards for some vehicles, including coaches and buses, to Euro VI from 1 March 2021 was ‘baked in’ to an earlier government funding settlement with Transport for London, for £1.8bn.
Huddersfield-based Stotts Coaches has been named Operator of the Year for 2020 by National Express.Stotts has operated services on behalf of National Express for over 10 years. It saw off competition from 30 other businesses to claim the crown, which was awarded at a virtual ceremony held in February.National Express considers criteria including engineering and safety standards, operating performance and customer feedback when deciding on its Operator of the Year. Stotts has consistently scored over 95% and it has been in the top ten every year for the last decade.Director Carl Stott says: “We are extremely proud of this achievement, particularly given the challenges of 2020. We have an incredible team of people – the back office staff, cleaners, engineers and of course drivers, who deliver an excellent service. This award belongs to all of them.”National Express UK Coach Managing Director Chris Hardy says it “was more important than ever” to recognise achievement, despite it not being possible to hand out awards in person.“We would not be National Express without our operators. Their professionalism and willingness to adapt in the last 12 months has really demonstrated that. Stotts Coaches has been outstanding, and I was pleased to be able to have the opportunity to recognise its efforts and celebrate it as a valued partner.”
Facebook WhatsApp Performers at the 2018 Winona Lake Jazz Festival You don’t have to travel too far to hear some cool jazz before the month is out.The Winona Lake Jazz Festival is set for Saturday, July 27, from 1 till 7, under a large tent on Tabernacle Lawn in Winona Lake.The lineup includes Marty Becker and the Dockside Dixieland Band, the Alicia Pyle Quartet, and Wally Brath and Friends and Chicago jazz trumpeter Orbert Davis.The concert is free to attend. Pinterest By Jon Zimney – July 10, 2019 0 363 Google+ Twitter WhatsApp IndianaLocal Winona Lake Jazz Festival planned for July 27th Previous articleMan injured in crash on SR 19Next articleSouth Shore to offer free rides to teachers next week 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 Google+ Facebook Pinterest
Previous articleNew sentence handed down in 1993 murder caseNext articleBacon and football, a match made in heaven! Recipes with Carl Stutsman Tommie Lee Pinterest By Tommie Lee – January 30, 2020 1 370 South Bend sets 2020 parking ticket amnesty dates Google+ Google+ Facebook IndianaLocalNewsSouth Bend Market Twitter Facebook WhatsApp (Photo supplied/City of South Bend) The City of South Bend has announced the parking ticket amnesty days for 2020.City Clerk Dawn Jones says her office will offer two days this year: Thursday April 30, and Friday May 1.On those days residents will have additional time to pay their unpaid parking fines without being hit with future fines and court fees.Last year more than 700 tickets were paid in the city, boosting revenue in the city while saving money for its residents. WhatsApp Pinterest Twitter
The changes are being driven by budgetary concerns. Japan is still committed to fusion energy research but is feeling the impact of Asia’s financial crisis.The US is also under pressure to channel some of its contribution to the multi-billion-ecu project back into its own domestic fusion research programme.The proposed extension would postpone the start of the planned construction phase of the project for a further three years.But European scientists insist that this would not detractfrom ITER’s long-term goal and stress that there is no suggestion of the programme being closed down.“We would not be abandoning the grand design completely as it has its own value,” said one. “A smaller ITER would be compatible with present spending levels, but it would not give the answers to all our questions. Some of these would have to be put off to the next stage.” The EU, the US, Japan and Russia, who jointly participatein the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project (ITER), are seeking to extend the current engineering design phase for a further three years.The Commission must agree the extension with the three other partners before the 20 July deadline for completion of the current design phase.The terms of reference for the teams involved in the project will also be modified to allow them to examine alternatives to the demonstration reactor now on the drawing board.
Swedish-Swiss engineering giant ABB, British sugar firms, German car company Volkswagen and a cartel of shipping companies all faced the wrath of Van Miert for riding roughshod over consumers and rivals.ABB was hit by a whopping 92.1-million-ecu fine after it and a number of smaller firms were foiled in their attempts to drive a rival out of one of their markets. The Commissioner also exacted sweet revenge on behalf of UK sugar consumers by fining the two main producers, British Sugar and Tate & Lyle, a total of 46.6 million ecu after officials found evidence that they and two other distributors had colluded to keep prices artificially high.Van Miert ignored a wave of protests when he fined members of the Transatlantic Conference Agreement a massive 273 million ecu for price-fixing on the inland legs of door- to-door container transport. These draft guidelines were intended to help the institution settle a number of pending television state aid cases. Instead, a majority of member states – anxious to control their broadcasters – said the Commission should continue to deal with state aid probes into public service broadcasters on a case-by-case basis. He also imposed a record 102-million-ecu fine on Volkswagen for stopping its Italian dealerships from selling cars to German and Austrian customers wishing to take advantage of lower prices. If that were not enough, Van Miert also signalled his willingness to move into relatively uncharted waters by announcing that his staff would reviewing anti-trust policy in sport.The Belgian soccer enthusiast got a taste for the sport sector when he locked horns earlier in the year with Formula One motor-racing supremos Max Mosely and Bernie Ecclestone over their allegedly exclusive television deals.He also hinted that he would have liked to be in charge of the probe into UK pay-TV company BSkyB’s take-over of Manchester United Football Club – but, sadly for Van Miert, that falls within the remit of British officials.At the same time, the Commissioner and his officials have shown they are not afraid to block anti-competitive mergers and joint ventures, however politically sensitive they might be.Van Miert told German media giants Kirch and Bertelsmann that they could not pool their resources in the Premiere platform, despite warnings that blocking the deal would put back digital TV developments in the country. He also wrestled concessions out of reluctant corporate giants such as British Airways and American Airlines and Lufthansa, United Airlines and SAS, setting a bench-mark for future aviation alliances.But while Van Miert demonstrated his determination to use the powers he already has this year, he is facing an uphill struggle to convince member states to give his staff a freer hand to rule on the financing of public-service broadcasting. His officials got short shrift from member states in October when they presented a policy paper on the issue which recommended that TV channels should be forced to account more fully for the state hand-outs they receive to fulfil their public service remits.