Tag Archive: bus

£20,000 coach donation gets pupils moving outside the classroom

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BRAND NEW: The minibus will replace the ‘run down’ former vehicle

BRAND NEW: The minibus will replace the ‘run down’ former vehicle

This school means bus-iness

Children at a special educational needs school in Knaresborough have been given an extra ‘drive’ to succeed this month after a brand new mini bus pulled up on their playground.

The £20,000 vehicle was donated by local businessman, Mahmood Mazhar, and will help children at The Forest School with all their transportation needs.

Organised in partnership with ‘Variety, the Children’s Charity’, pupils, staff and dignitaries were in attendance on Friday 23rd September for the official ribbon cutting.

Upon the donation of the ‘Sunshine Coach’, Mr Mazhar, of Core Telecom commented: “I’m delighted to have been able to work with both ‘Variety, the Children’s Charity’, and The Forest School to provide such a valuable service. I thoroughly look forward to our support benefitting both the students and staff.

“I’m passionate about making a difference to inspirational organisations and improving the lives of individuals who rely on them.”

HANDS UP: Children celebrate the arrival of their new bus

HANDS UP: Children celebrate the arrival of their new bus

The Forest school currently caters for 108 pupils who suffer from moderate to severe learning difficulties, Autism, Epilepsy, communication difficulties and other complex medical conditions.

The new 17-seater mini bus comes fully equipped with a tail lift to allow for wheelchair access and will replace the previous model which had been ‘driven to its limits’.

It will be utilised to provide invaluable experiences such as Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, training visits, sporting events and residential visits to outdoor activity centres.

The Mayor of Knaresborough, Bill Rigby, was present at the official unveiling alongside Town Crier, Roger Hewitt, who rang his bell and declared the bus as now belonging to The Forest School.

Headteacher, Peter Hewitt, thanked The Variety Club and Core Telecom for their support and explained how the bus would benefit the learning opportunities for all pupils.

ON THE MOVE: Mahmood Mazhar hands over the keys to the new minibus to The Forest School headteacher, Peter Hewitt

ON THE MOVE: Mahmood Mazhar hands over the keys to the new minibus to The Forest School headteacher, Peter Hewitt

He added: “Out of school visits would not be possible without us having our own specialist transport.

The students go to various and wide ranging activities during the school day, after school and during the school holidays.

“It is vital that our children have ‘real-life’ learning experiences. For example, learning about money in the classroom is great but there is no better place to learn such things than at the local supermarket and shops.

“We are so grateful to Core Telecom and Variety, The Children’s Charity, for supporting us in this way. By providing us with a new minibus they have made a significant difference to the learning and lives of our pupils.”

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The strikes on the bus go round and round

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STRIKES: Bus drivers are enraged that they will only be getting a pay rise of 38 pence an hour

STRIKES: Bus drivers are enraged that they will only be getting a pay rise of 38 pence an hour

38 pence an hour for three years sparks new trouble

Bus bosses in Leeds have been accused of deliberately prolonging the city’s bus dispute by Unite, the country’s largest trade union, after the latest offer amounted to 38 pence an hour extra for the next three years.

Unite said that the ‘insulting 38 pence an hour’ offer sparked the third 24-hour strike in Leeds from 2am on Friday 8th July. There will also be a six-hour stoppage from 4am to 10am on Monday 11th July.

bus protestors leeds (299x450)The union blamed the management of First West Yorkshire for the strike by deliberately dragging its feet in negotiations and showing scant regard for the travelling public.

A thousand bus workers at the Bramley and Hunslet Park depots in Leeds will be striking on Friday and Monday, following two 24-hour strikes last month. The union points out that First Bus drivers in Halifax earn nearly £2 an hour more than their Leeds counterparts.

Unite regional officer Phil Bown said: “The bus bosses have an eccentric way of negotiating which means each new offer is worth less than the one before.

“The latest insulting offer works out at 38 pence an hour extra for the next three years – basically, 18 pence an hour in real terms.

“This is from a company that last month announced a UK-wide annual profit for its bus division of £52 million – £11 million of which came from its Leeds operations.

“This is a profitable company that is treating not just our members with contempt, but also the travelling public, by its failure to negotiate in good faith.

“We understand the inconvenience these strikes will cause the public on Friday and Monday – striking is a last resort of our members – but how many of bus users would be happy to be offered 38 pence an hour extra for the next three years?  I suspect, not very many.

“The company is using the travelling public as a pawn in its anti-union stance, as it is cancelling 150 bus journeys the day after the strikes, as it refuses to pay overtime to restore normal services.

“Unite’s door is open for talks at any time, but the management has to get serious about negotiating – they need to put away their macho posturing and think of the travelling public of Leeds.”

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‘Out of service’: Commuter chaos as bus strikes hit Leeds

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JOINED FORCES: Unite the union were representing the employees and slammed the proposed wage rises

JOINED FORCES: Unite the union were representing the employees and slammed the proposed wage rises

Hundreds of bus drivers from across Leeds joined forces at picket lines in the city earlier this week, after management refused to improve a ‘pitiful’ pay offer.

STRIKE: Dozens of First Bus employees were seen on the picket lines on Monday

STRIKE: Dozens of First Bus employees were seen on the picket lines on Monday

Employees from First Bus staged a one-day strike on Monday 13th June as the city’s public transport services went into standstill.

Describing the action as the ‘last resort’, their union, Unite, blamed First Bus management’s unwillingness to find a negotiated solution in talks at the conciliation service Acas.

The pay dispute comes at the same time as First Bus cuts the use of ‘bendy’ buses in Leeds, making 45 people redundant to save £1 million per year.

Unite regional officer, Phil Bown, said the drivers and First Bus employees had been left with no other option.

“First Bus makes massive profits from the travelling public in Leeds and the hard work of our members who keep the city on move day in, day out,” he said.

“Strike action is very much the last resort, but faced with management’s refusal to improve on its pitiful pay offer and negotiate meaningfully at Acas, our members feel forced into taking this action.”

First Bus made an estimated £11 million profit from its services in Leeds last year with some senior managers reportedly enjoying a five per cent rise in pay and bonuses.

Meanwhile bus workers were offered a rise of 16 pence an hour for this year and 20 pence for next year.

Mr Bown described the terms as unacceptable and discussions needed to be reopened as a matter of urgency.

OUT OF BUS-INESS: Bus timetables across Leeds were massively affected by the cancellations

OUT OF BUS-INESS: Bus timetables across Leeds were massively affected by the cancellations

“All our members are looking for is fair treatment and recognition for their hard work,” he added.

“We would urge First Bus management to drop its hard line attitude which risks causing disruption for the travelling public and enter into meaningful negotiations to resolve the dispute.”

Bus workers operating out of the Bramley and Hunslet Park depots in Leeds are among the lowest paid in First Bus’s Yorkshire operations with colleagues in Halifax earning up to £2 an hour more.

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Buzzers on the bus

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india bus (800x600)

CCTV and panic buttons for safety on Indian public transport

More than three years after the fatal gang rape of a student on a bus in Delhi, the transport minister of India has announced that a government initiative will introduce mandatory panic buttons to public buses ‘to ensure the safety of women’.

The government said a series of measures, which aim to help female commuters feel safer on public transport, will become law on 2nd June.

Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari told reporters in New Delhi: “To ensure the safety of women after the unfortunate incident, we have decided to make it mandatory for public transport buses to install emergency panic buttons, CCTV cameras and GPS-enabled vehicle tracking devices.”

The ministry had issued the draft rules earlier this month under the Motor Vehicles Act and had sought comments from stakeholders - including vehicle manufacturers.

Under the proposed law, transport vehicles with a seating capacity of over 23 passengers will mandatorily have CCTV cameras that will be monitored by the local police control room and connected to GPS tracking devices.

Mr Gadkari said that in case of any untoward event, a woman passenger would be able to press the emergency button which in turn will transfer the information to the nearest local police station via the GPS.

Once the emergency signal is triggered, the CCTV cameras will start displaying live footage of the bus at the central control room.

To make buses safer still, if a vehicle moves away from its prescribed route, the system will start sending signals tracking its movement to the control room.

The government's latest anti-sex attack move follows its announcement last month that all mobile phones sold in India would have a panic button from the start of 2017.
The button would allow users to call the police by pressing a single key on their phone.

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Controversial ‘bus gates’ cause traffic chaos

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FINES FOR NON-BUSES: Only buses can pass through gates located at Westgate, amongst other locations in Huddersfield

FINES FOR NON-BUSES: Only buses can pass through gates located at Westgate, amongst other locations in Huddersfield

Huddersfield’s new scheme sees motorists flouting the rules

Huddersfield town centre has activated new ‘bus gates’, much to the dismay of motorists.

Many drivers have already been fined and taxis have arrived late in the town centre.

The controversial scheme which aims to prevent vehicles from driving around key routes in town launched this week, causing ‘chaos’ on the roads.

Only buses and Hackney Carriage taxis are allowed to pass through the gates located at Westgate, Railway Street, Kirkgate, Market Street and High Street when they are activated.

Any unauthorised vehicles passing through the bus gates will receive a hefty £60 penalty charge, reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days.

The operating times of the bus gates are shown on new signs at each location, with additional signs on the approach showing a route that drivers can take to avoid the enforcement cameras.

Cllr Peter McBride said: “The work follows consultation with town centre users including businesses, residents, shoppers and students who generally said they wanted Huddersfield to be an accessible town where people could get around easily and safely.

“In areas like Leeds and Bradford, bus gate and bus lanes are already in place and have been enforced using cameras for a number of years. Their purpose is to ensure the free flow of traffic where historically traffic congestion has been a recognised problem, particularly where that has had an impact on public transport.

“These initiatives speed up bus journey times and reliability, and create a better environment in the town centre where people can get about more easily and safely.”

A spokesperson for Kirklees Council said: “Nationally the majority of enforcing councils do not allow private hire vehicles to pass through bus lanes/gates.

“This is partly because national legislation states that only vehicles available for public hire - such as buses and Hackney Carriages - are allowed to use bus lanes, not private hire vehicles.

“In addition, Hackney Carriages and private hire vehicles operate in different ways: Hackney Carriages can pick up from taxi ranks and be flagged down in the street, this means they do not know where their customers want to go until they get into the cab, and this destination could be within an area covered by a bus gate or bus lane.

“Private hire vehicles are only legally available if pre-booked, and cannot be flagged down in the street. This enables them to plan their journeys in advance and avoid any streets where access is restricted.

“Another reason is that Hackney Carriages which have a lit ‘taxi’ sign on the roof making them easily identifiable.

“However, private hire vehicles look like regular vehicles, especially in the dark. If private hire vehicles were allowed through the bus gates it could lead to confusion for members of the public who may think they can follow them through.

“In addition, as a member of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), the council needs to be consistent in its approach to driving enforcement activities and mirror exemptions already in place across the WYCA.”

Bus gates will be active from 8am to 6pm. On High Street, near Huddersfield Town Hall, they will operate from 10am to 4pm.

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