Retail manager Alan Aim has a dream for long-distance coach travel. We talk to him about the set-up of his own operation: Travel by KnightThe minicoach, with its clever marketing straplines, has just been delivered The logo is a knight in shining armour, based on literature’s most chivalrous dreamer Don Quixote. The slogan is “Save your day, Travel by Knight”. The concept is simple: Instead of groups forking out twice – once for transport and again for accommodation – combine the two and let them sleep on the way. Saving their day, as the slogan says.Alan Aim, the man behind the idea, is based in Fife, and hopes his idea will provide a good alternative to spending either many daylight hours travelling on express coaches, or lots of money on trains. Small groups can board in the late evening, get straight to sleep, travel through the night, and arrive at their destination the next morning hopefully well-rested.Ultimate goalCurrently operating with a restricted O-Licence granted early in the summer, Alan’s full-time job is running four retail stores, but he has always been interested in coach travel, and he has big dreams. “The ultimate goal is to have a network of sleeper buses, connecting Glasgow to Beijing – a sort of Trans-Siberian journey, but on tyres,” he tells routeone. “It will allow people to travel overnight, have a day in a city, and spend the next night travelling to the next city.”Earlier this year Alan bought his first vehicle, a secondhand Ayats double-deck sleeper coach, which has 14 berths and an upstairs lounge. It’s an ex-band bus, and Alan intends to continue using it for that purpose. He also used it to take a group to Glastonbury this summer, with good results, and has since bought his second vehicle – this one brand new.Inside, the berths are angled to create space for more of themIt’s a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 516 conversion from Swansea Coachworks, a minicoach with a difference: It’s fitted with 12 berths, each ingeniously designed in a ‘reclining’ position instead of flat, so that more can be fitted in. Each berth has draw curtains, a magazine rack, a reading light, and a mobile phone USB charger port. Alan calls it “the UK’s first sleeper minicoach”.The new vehicle is well equipped, including air-conditioning and a microwave for warming up Travel by Knight-branded face cloths for the mornings.The marketAlan’s goal is to one day run registered services, but for now, the coaches are both available for private hire for small groups. He says the concept is aimed at school groups, sports groups, and stags and hens – obviously, those that don’t mind the lack of shower and changing facilities onboard.When we met Alan at CBUK this month, he’d arrived via a National Express coach. “It reiterated to me why I want to do this,” he says, citing the often long journey times – then the need to pay for a hotel on arrival.“We don’t need to be too price-competitive with other coach companies, because we’re saving our customers the cost of hotel accommodation,” says Alan.Alan’s concept isn’t one for every kind of group – but it’s different, and with the right market, it could prove to be very rewarding.
Tour wholesaler ICT has launched ‘Complete Holiday Villages’, a brochure giving full details of group-friendly resorts in the UK and Europe.ICT first offered its holiday village packages in 2016. It now offers six holiday villages in the UK, each packaged with a visitor attraction.Thanks to ICT’s partnership with Pierre et Vacances, the brochure also offers several resorts in Spain and in France, including the south of France – “a notoriously difficult region to get group capacity for operators”.The brochure also highlights the creation of the Irish touristic route ‘Ring of Cork’, rivalling the familiar Ring of Kerry, a route that contains ICT’s Trabolgan Holiday Village.Ian Marsh, ICT Sales Manager, says: “We have had great success with our featured holiday villages; indeed, a lot of repeat business from operators won over by the concept on our regular hosted familiarisation trips. I hope this carefully compiled extended selection will go down just as well.”Call 01708 802350 or visit ictgrouptravel.com/brochures
Legal advice obtained by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) indicates that virtually all rail replacement coach and bus services come within scope of PSVAR.The opinion is from Zoe Leventhal, Barrister at Matrix Chambers. It was sourced as part of ORR’s consultation into parts of its Accessible Travel Policy guidance for train operating companies (TOCs).PSVAR applies to PSVs with more than 22 passenger seats that are used on scheduled or local services where separate fares are charged.The derogation for some older coaches will be withdrawn from 1 January 2020. Until then, those that were first used on or after 1 January 2005 are subject to PSVAR when on in-scope duties. Those first used on or after 1 January 2001 are subject to PSVAR on the same basis, but they do not require access for wheelchair users.Ms Leventhal says that payment by passengers to a TOC satisfies the separate fares stipulation. That is even though passengers may have bought tickets with the intention of travelling by rail.“The possibility of an alternative service being provided by road… is envisaged expressly in the National Rail Conditions of Travel.“It is a service that is encompassed within the fare paid. It does not matter that the passenger does not pay the coach or bus company for the road service. A rail replacement service is one for carriage of passengers by road at separate fares.”A service could be considered not to be local if all stops are more than 15 miles apart. However, Ms Leventhal continues by saying that it is unlikely that much, if any, rail replacement work does not qualify as a scheduled service.“The issue… is whether a service is provided along a specific route at specific times and stopping at predetermined points. It seems… that very many rail replacement services will satisfy these criteria.”She adds that the only rail replacement services to fall outside PSVAR are those that are neither local nor scheduled. However, they are few and far between. That is because of TOCs’ passenger information obligations and industry-accepted good practice. PSVAR makes no distinction between planned and unplanned work.
Go North West (GNW) is celebrating its first year in operation in Manchester.In a socially-distanced celebration with local businesses and key workers across the city, 12 colleagues were recognised with Queen’s birthday Honours and the unveiling of a giant card highlighting the team’s achievements.The company took over operations of First Bus at Manchester’s Queens Road depot on 2 June 2019. Investments totalling over £3m were made to provide a more modern fleet, an increase of key services frequency, a number of new routes, and improvements in timekeeping, reliability, and bus interiors. Pre-coronavirus COVID-19, the company was operating 5% more miles than the previous year.GNW says the changes have inspired passenger growth across the network.Go North West Managing Director Nigel Featham says: “A strong public transport offering is vital to Manchester’s future, and the response to the improvements we are making has been encouraging. The team here, the engineers, the cleaners, the office staff and the drivers have all made such a tremendous effort to make a real difference for our customers, and I’m pleased to say that the city is already seeing these changes out there on the road.”
Service, parts, rental and sales group HB Commercial has opened a new remanufactured caliper and brake-shoe profiling facility at its parts supply centre in Bury St Edmunds.The company hopes the new service will cut costs and improve reliability for operators.Remanufacturing removes the need for new callipers to be imported and comes with environmental benefits. Says Operations Director Oliver Brunt: “Our customers are now benefiting from low cost, wide choice and fast supply – which the new service brings.”The company is IRTEC and ITRE workshop accredited.Find out more
By Jon Zimney – October 5, 2019 0 280 Pinterest Previous articleEEE spreads to another horse in St. Joseph County MichiganNext articlePolice: Speed, no seatbelts, factors in serious injury crash in Howard Township 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. WhatsApp Twitter WhatsApp Twitter IndianaLocalNews Google+ Google+ Facebook Facebook Pinterest Newsome found guilty in conection w/home invasion and shooting (Photo supplied/St. Joseph County Jail) A man charged in connection with a home invasion and shooting that happened in late June in St. Joseph County has been found guilty.Jermaine Newsome, 19,m was found guilty of burglary resulting in bodily injury, criminal recklessness, and battery by means of a deadly weapon.According to court documents, Newsome was involved in a June 29th home invasion of an apartment on Putnam Place that resulted in one person being shot and injured.The resident told police she was preparing to leave the apartment when a man opened the front door while armed with a handgun, pushed his way inside and fired the gun, according to 95.3 MNC’s reporting partners at ABC 57.Newsome had three men with him.There were several juveniles inside the home at the time of the shooting. One was nearly hit by a bullet.Newsome is set for sentencing in late November, ABC 57 reported.
WhatsApp Google+ Pinterest Twitter Pinterest By Associated Press – December 8, 2019 6 573 Google+ WhatsApp IndianaNews Facebook (“Long Beach” by Max Klingensmith, CC BY-ND 2.0) PORTER, Ind. (AP) — Lakefront property owners in a northwestern Indiana town are challenging the state Supreme Court’s ruling that guarantees public access to Lake Michigan beaches.The Northwest Indiana Times reports the lawsuit was filed Thursday in a Hammond federal district court on behalf of Porter homeowners Randall and Kimberley Pavlock and Raymond Cahnman.The suit seeks to repeal the highest court’s landmark 2018 Gunderson v. State ruling that the lake’s shoreline is open to all, and adjacent property owners can’t exercise exclusive control of the beach between their homes and the water.The plaintiffs want the federal court to prohibit Indiana from enforcing it. Twitter 3 Indiana homeowners aim to limit Lake Michigan beach access Facebook Previous articleWarren, Buttigieg scrap puts Democratic divide on displayNext articleFormer SVU detective suing St. Joseph County for wrongful termination Associated PressNews from the Associated Press and its network of reporters and publications.
Are you unaware of what has been common knowledge for more than a year now? The number of Palestinian deaths in Jenin was 52. Around half of those, by the reckoning of the United Nations, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, were fighters. The others – somewhere between 20 and 30 civilians – were not “massacred”, but died despite the efforts of the Israel Defense Forces to minimize civilian casualties. It is not known how many of these civilians died in houses that were demolished when booby-traps set by the Palestinian militants exploded. What is known, and has been widely reported, is that there was no massacre. Even that supposed journalistic paragon, the BBC – which had initially thrown all standards to the winds and rushed to publicize the utterly unfounded and unverified claims of a massacre as if they were established truth – had no choice but to later discredit the story. It is no accident that this story is now mostly referred to as ‘the Jenin myth’. Yet your paper not only insists on warming the story up again, neatly inserting the word “allegedly” before “massacre”, which has the effect of lending credibility, rather than referring, as you should have done, to ‘discredited allegations’. Lena Summers London
But there are concrete worries about human resources work in the future member states’ administrations (or lack of it), at least in the Czech Republic.The tip of the iceberg is of course new member states’ ministers, their deputies and other high-ranking officials, who often prefer to speak their native languages (as they often know no other ones), and, curiously, shy away from using translator headphones when listening to speeches (as the cliché goes, English is easy, ain’t it?). No wonder, then, that the new statesmen often have very little to say – their lack of language skills is an obvious obstacle to flexibility. From 1939-1989, the extreme-right or extreme-left administrations knew only totalitarian power and politics. Yet, amazingly enough, in 1989 the new leaders somehow forgot to propose and agree upon a new, effective, civil service law. Now, after 15 years, the Czech Republic representatives proudly proclaim that they have such a law. But, alas, the parliament has postponed its entry into force until 1 January 2005.The Czech civil service has for decades been, and probably will still be after enlargement, full of people with little or no skills in languages, who do not know what tendering procedure or equal treatment is, and whose only qualification was not what, but who, they knew. This grave situation is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that several hundred employees at the cabinet office have not been unionized since the early 1990s, and are still afraid their employer would take revenge on them if they chose to join up. The situation in the other nine accession states has, if anything, been worse. Thus, the admission of the ten new members will just add to the Union’s problems, through the new states’ administrations’ incompetency, lack of transparency, inadequate or missing civil service laws, and overall democratic deficit.Name and address withheld
But, in a broader framework, these differences, given goodwill, should be quite manageable and must in any case never be permitted to overshadow the commonalities. Frankly, too much hangs in the balance when it comes to global security issues.A powerful Union of 15 nations, soon to be 25, cannot easily be ignored or dismissed, even when Americans don’t like what they see, no more than Europe can ever afford to ignore or dismiss the US. Each side must engage the other with skill, sophistication and sensitivity, with ever-more points of contact established. Dialogue and cooperation on the core issues confronting democratic nations are essential for the world’s future. David A. Harris is executive director of the American Jewish Committee, which on 12 February launched the Transatlantic Institute in Brussels – devoted to rebuilding and strengthening ties between Europe and the US. We have to do a better job of coordinating policy, not only when it comes to fighting the terrorist groups themselves, but also in confronting those nations that help and harbour these groups. We cannot afford to let such nations play us off against each other, as they so often have in the past.In the final analysis, the struggle against the radicals also entails strengthening the moderates in the Islamic world. Those of us living on both sides of the Atlantic have a profound stake in finding constructive ways to encourage greater openness in countries that, by and large, have been remarkably resistant to the political and economic revolutions of recent times. Otherwise, further regression is inevitable, with a still-greater disparity between their world and ours, and all the attendant implications for conflict, terrorism and the spread of fundamentalism.Imagine for a moment the catastrophic global consequences if nuclear Pakistan — a turbulent country of 150 million, with 40% of its population under the age of 15 — descended into civil war or fell into the hands of the Islamists. The unravelling of Pakistan would have staggering geopolitical, strategic and economic implications for both Europe and the US.America and the EU share an interest in extending the reach of some modicum of democracy and pluralism, especially to the Arab world, much of which is located at Europe’s doorstep. There’s room for collaboration driven by the common overall objective of stabilizing the region and increasing prospects for peaceful conflict resolution and human development.To be sure, there inevitably will be serious differences between Europe and the United States that are rooted in political rivalry, economic competition or divergent assessments. But these events and issues do not erase, or even erode, the common principles that bind Americans and Europeans — democracy, the rule of law, respect for the dignity of the individual — and our need for each other in the face of global threats. Just as the survival of democratic nations was at risk during the Second World War and again during the Cold War, today these nations are in the cross-hairs of the radical Islamic terrorist network.True, some European countries initially convinced themselves that this threat concerned America (and Israel) but not them. But as Islamist terrorist cells have been uncovered in the UK, Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and elsewhere in Europe, there needs to be a recognition that we are all in this together. The targets are not merely specific countries; they are the fundamental values of democratic societies: freedom, separation of religion and state, religious tolerance, pluralism and women’s rights.Moreover, at the risk of stating the painfully obvious, the threat from terrorist groups and their supporters operating in nearly every Western country is heightened by the prospect, the Libyan turnaround notwithstanding, of increasingly available weapons of mass destruction. In the face of this global, long-term menace, the United States and Europe must maintain full cooperation in the gathering and sharing of intelligence and countless other fields if we are to win this daunting conflict.