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News
Whatever the result, devolution has won

Whatever the result, devolution has won

Scottish referendum has let the devolution genie out of the bottle, and the implications will be huge     The passenger transport sector is wrestling with the broad implications of this week’s Scottish independence referendum. As Passenger Transport went to press the result of the ballot was not yet known, but whether or not Scots...
National Express exits German coach business

National Express exits German coach business

25-vehicle city2city operation faced ferocious competition     National Express Group is to close its German city2city coach business in October, 18 months after it started, due to ferocious competition from five rival operators. The company had grown steadily to run 25 vehicles on routes connecting Munich, Frankfurt, Cologne and Hamburg. However, a final attempt...
Northern franchise will reflect ‘angry’ feedback

Northern franchise will reflect ‘angry’ feedback

DfT franchising director Peter Wilkinson stands by franchise consultation. ‘We asked tough questions and yes they will get some people angry,’ he says     The Department for Transport has pledged that it will design the next Northern Rail franchise around the responses to its contentious consultation which included suggestions for ‘trade-offs’ to help modernise the...
On-bus audio visual is ‘pitiful’ outside London

On-bus audio visual is ‘pitiful’ outside London

Guide Dogs chief criticises lack of action by operators     The chief executive of Guide Dogs has praised the audio visual equipment on buses in London as “amazing”, but has slammed the “pitiful” provision elsewhere. “We have some horrific statistics of the number of people with sight loss who have been left on a...
Creagh: Network Rail will be ‘guiding mind’

Creagh: Network Rail will be ‘guiding mind’

If Labour wins next year’s general election, the infrastructure controller will compete with ROSCOs and take over tasks from train operators     Network Rail rather than train operators will have lead responsibility for planning train services, and provide competition to the rolling stock leasing companies if Labour wins next year’s election. The new responsibilities form...
Centro ponders jumbo artics for Sprint scheme

Centro ponders jumbo artics for Sprint scheme

PTE seeks derogation for the operation of bi-articulated buses     Centro, the West Midlands PTE, is seeking a special dispensation from the Department for Transport that would allow it to introduce Britain’s longest buses on its proposed Sprint-branded Bus Rapid Transit corridors. Bus operators in the UK are currently limited to a maximum vehicle length...
Wilkinson heads Office of Rail Passenger Services

Wilkinson heads Office of Rail Passenger Services

New Office of Rail Passenger Services announced     The Department for Transport’s franchising director Peter Wilkinson has been appointed as managing director of the government’s new Office of Rail Passenger Services. ORPS will be formally launched on November 1 as a distinct section of the DfT’s rail executive with responsibility for awarding and managing...
Fears of ‘chaotic’ race for northern franchises

Fears of ‘chaotic’ race for northern franchises

The shortlisted bidders for the Northern and TransPennine franchises have been named, but some fear the competitions will conflict with each other   The announcement of shortlisted bidders for the new Northern and TransPennine rail franchises has been accompanied by claims from within the rail industry that the competition for the new contracts risks “becoming...
First consults on rival plan to NGT trolleybus

First consults on rival plan to NGT trolleybus

First takes forward plans for New Bus for West Yorkshire with a new exhibition for stakeholders ahead of a wider consultation in the region     FirstGroup is pushing ahead with its alternative to plans for the introduction of the £250m NGT trolleybus scheme in West Yorkshire with a new consultation into its own plans...
Arriva's Gilbert to take charge at Reading Buses

Arriva’s Gilbert to take charge at Reading Buses

  Martijn Gilbert has been named as the new chief executive officer of council-owned Reading Buses. Gilbert (pictured), currently business director of Arriva’s 125-vehicle Yorkshire Tiger business, will take up his new role on November 1. He will spend time with his predecessor, James Freeman, before and after that date to make sure that there...
£466bn transport vision for London

£466bn transport vision for London

  The capital’s first long term infrastructure plan forecasts a 50% increase in demand for public transport over the next 35 years. (The illustration shows the density of employees in Greater London) London mayor Boris Johnson has set out proposals for a £466bn upgrade to London’s transport system over the next 35 years. The proposals form...
Coach marketing nous to kick start c2c growth

Coach marketing nous to kick start c2c growth

Personalised marketing and new timetable National Express Group plans to introduce personalised marketing techniques tested in its coach business to achieve rapid growth required during the early years of its new c2c franchise. The schedule for c2c’s premium payments to the DfT, published last week, shows significant increases of £13-14m during the first three years...