Transit
Widely read by rail, light rail and bus operators, local and central governments, the city, consultants and suppliers, New Transit delivered comprehensive passenger transport news and comment.
TRANSIT CEASED PUBLICATION IN JUNE 2010

Edinburgh's big four employers pledge only £1m for trams

THE four largest private sector firms in Edinburgh have pledged just over £1 million between them to the cost of the city's £545m tram project, it can be... continue

23 Jun 2009Transit Xtra

Go-Ahead: Next stop Aviation - as London bus starts to see margin pressure
Damian Brewer, JP Morgan

Trimming 09/10E EPS, PER premium remains Go Ahead’s 65% venture Go-Via recently retained the Southern rail contract, and we wrote about this in our note of 09/06/2009. Following this note’s slight adjustments 08/09E clean EPS remains at 145.4p, 09/10E is cut 1.2% to 107.9p but the PER... continue

23 Jun 2009Transit Xtra
Record bus journeys for Stagecoach Sheffield

Record bus journeys for Stagecoach Sheffield
Meera Rambissoon

Stagecoach Sheffield has clocked up more than 100,000 extra journeys per week during the last 12 months compared to the same period... continue

23 Jun 2009Transit Xtra
ORR welcomes joint plan to improve West Coast performance

ORR welcomes joint plan to improve West Coast performance
Meera Rambissoon

The Office of Rail Regulation has today welcomed the... continue

23 Jun 2009Transit Xtra

Adonis: 'high-speed rail would be end of domestic flights'

A high-speed rail network in Britain would mean the end of domestic flights and short flights to Europe, according to Lord Adonis, the new Transport Secretary. A 200mph high-speed rail network would cut journey times from London to Manchester to one hour 22 minutes and Glasgow to two hours 42... continue

22 Jun 2009Transit Xtra

National Express agrees debt buffer with banks

National Express has struck a deal with banks to delay for six months a tightening of the terms governing its £1.2bn debt mountain. The bus and rail operator had faced reverting to stricter lending terms from 30 June, under which its net debt would be pegged at three-and-a-half times its... continue

18 Jun 2009Transit Xtra

Virgin Trains sets Network Rail deadline to sort WCML

Virgin Trains has set Network Rail a three month deadline to carry out major work on the troubled West Coast Main Line. Angered by months of disruption which has accompanied the £9bn upgrade of the route, the train operator's patience has snapped. Earlier this month the Office of Rail... continue

18 Jun 2009Transit Xtra

£1m spent on bid to keep the Metro

METRO bosses are paying up to £1m in a bid to run the railway they already own. As competition to run trains in Tyne and Wear continues, staff at Nexus have insisted their financial support for the in-house team does not mean they have a vested interest in securing success, but admit they... continue

17 Jun 2009Transit Xtra

National Express in debt talks

National Express is in talks with bankers to renegotiate terms on part of its £1.2bn ($2bn) debt amid fears that the bus and rail operator will breach loan conditions in December. The group is expected to pass a key test of whether it is meeting the terms of its debt at the end of this... continue

17 Jun 2009Transit Xtra

Putting foot down for faster rail links

TRANSPORT minister Stewart Stevenson has unveiled a new team charged with developing the business case for extending high-speed rail links between Edinburgh and London. Speaking during a major conference in the Capital yesterday, Stevenson said the economic evidence would be submitted to High... continue

13 Jun 2009Transit Xtra

Stagecoach's Megabus coaches profit in North America

megabus.com, the Stagecoach-owned budget inter-city coach service, has attracted one million passengers in North America in the past six months as the airline and car industries are hit by the economic downturn. Sales at megabus.com in North America grew by 183% between 1 May 2008 and 30 April... continue

12 Jun 2009Transit Xtra
NedRailways acquisition of Travel London business complete

NedRailways acquisition of Travel London business complete

NedRailways today completed its acquisition of National Express Group’s London bus business, Travel London - a deal which represents NedRailways' first step into the UK bus sector, and which it says reinforces the... continue

10 Jun 2009Transit Xtra

Veolia eyeing Transdev to form transport giant

French utility group Veolia (VIE.PA) is looking at ways to combine its transport arm with French transport group Transdev to create a new European leader in the travel sector, it said on Tuesday. Veolia Transport is "interested in possible changes in the share capital of Transdev", a... continue

10 Jun 2009Transit Xtra

RMT strike after 'LU lawyers pull rug from deal'
Meera Rambissoon

The RMT have said that their 48hour tube strike, currently underway on most but not all of the London Underground, has gone ahead after lawyers for London Underground "pulled the rug from under a deal which would have settled the dispute". "RMT negotiators spent all afternoon and... continue

10 Jun 2009Transit Xtra
Govia's Southern Railways keeps South Central franchise

Govia's Southern Railways keeps South Central franchise

Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis today awarded the South Central rail franchise to Govia subsidiary Southern Railways - the current franchise operator, beating other bidders NedRailways, Stagecoach and National Express... continue

9 Jun 2009Transit Xtra

TfL tries to keep London moving under strike
Meera Rambissoon

London mayor Boris Johnson and Transport for London have unveiled a raft of extra services to help Londoners and commuters get around the Capital, after talks between the London Underground and the RMT broke down - signalling that the 48-hour Tube strike from 1859 today to 1858 on Thurday June 11... continue

9 Jun 2009Transit Xtra

Talks break down over Tube strike

Millions of commuters and visitors to London face travel chaos after talks aimed at averting a two-day strike by Tube workers broke down. The announcement was made after 10-hour talks failed to produce a breakthrough in the dispute, over jobs and pay. The walkout, which is expected to affect the... continue

9 Jun 2009Transit Xtra

Howarth leaves Blackpool as concessionary fares bite

Blackpool Transport has announced that its operations director, Oliver Howarth, is to leave the company in August as part of a package of savings required because of deep cuts in the concessionary reimbursement rates paid to the company by the consortium of Lancashire district councils. Other... continue

9 Jun 2009Transit Xtra
Bob Dorr takes helm at First Aberdeen

Bob Dorr takes helm at First Aberdeen
Meera Rambissoon

City bus operator, First Group in Aberdeen, has this week appointed Bob Dorr as managing director of the... continue

9 Jun 2009Transit Xtra
New Transit coming 23rd June

New Transit coming 23rd June

Find out what life is like for Sir Moir Lockhead, head of rail and bus giant First Group.  Lockhead muses... continue

8 Jun 2009Transit Xtra

TfL consultants 'cost millions', claim unions

Unions have accused Transport for London (TfL) of "wasting" millions of pounds on consultants. Unison and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) said TfL's consultants earn up to £2,700 a day. The unions alleged TfL were keeping consultants on the roll while laying off... continue

8 Jun 2009Transit Xtra
Stagecoach invests £9m in green coach fleet

Stagecoach invests £9m in green coach fleet
Meera Rambissoon

Stagecoach announced today that it is investing more than £9m in an entire new fleet of vehicles for its Oxford Tube... continue

8 Jun 2009Transit Xtra
Talks aim to prevent tube strikes

Talks aim to prevent tube strikes

London Underground and union leaders will hold talks later in an attempt to avert a 48-hour Tube strike which could leave millions... continue

8 Jun 2009Transit Xtra

South Central franchise to be announced this week

Rail franchise award points way ahead The first rail contract to be awarded since the recession started will be announced this week in a closely-watched deal that will set the benchmark for future agreements. Four bidders are on the shortlist to run the busy South Central commuter routes, which... continue

8 Jun 2009Transit Xtra
DfT takes control of London & Continental Railways

DfT takes control of London & Continental Railways
Meera Rambissoon

New transport secretary Andrew Adonis has announced today that the government has taken formal control of London & Continental Railways and its financial subsidiaries, as the next step towards... continue

8 Jun 2009Transit Xtra
Sadiq Khan Tweets about new transport minister role

Sadiq Khan Tweets about new transport minister role

Tooting MP Sadiq Khan has announced his promotion to the role of transport minister on Twitter. "...I have been asked to be Minister of State for Transport and a Privy Councillor attending Cabinet... continue

8 Jun 2009Transit Xtra

BRT may roll out in nine Queens locations

Bus Rapid Transit program may roll out in nine locations in Queens Bus Rapid Transit - a system that allows buses to function more like a subway - is key to expanding the city's mass transit, some advocates and transportation officials argue. BRT was established in New York for the first time... continue

7 Jun 2009Transit Xtra

First U-turn on Huddersfield bus axe

Huddersfield residents force bus boss to back down in cuts meeting Many bus services will be axed across Huddersfield next month. Transport chiefs meeting in Huddersfield heard First were making service cuts despite seeing their profits rise. But the company’s regional boss did offer a... continue

7 Jun 2009Transit Xtra

Top engineers drafted in to sort West Coast problems

Two Network Rail engineering specialists are being drafted into a new maintenance organisation focusing on infrastructure problems on the southern part of the West Coast main line. The crack engineers – a track specialist from the East Coast main line and an overhead line engineer from Great... continue

6 Jun 2009Transit Xtra

Metronet's collapse 'cost £410m'

The collapse of London Underground maintenance firm Metronet cost taxpayers up to £410m, a report says. The company went into administration in July 2007 mainly due to poor corporate governance and leadership, the National Audit Office (NAO) report revealed. The NAO said the firm's failure... continue

6 Jun 2009Transit Xtra
Hoon quits - Adonis succeeds

Hoon quits - Adonis succeeds
Meera Rambissoon

Transport secretary Geoff Hoon has today resigned from government and rail minister... continue

5 Jun 2009Transit Xtra

Push for free bus fare reimbursement transparency

The Local Government Association is considering using the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act to demand openness on how much bus operators are paid in the concessionary fares scheme. LGA senior policy consultant, Caroline Green, said the association would consider using the act to get details of... continue

5 Jun 2009Transit Xtra
London Underground offers new pay deal to avert strike

London Underground offers new pay deal to avert strike

London Underground today met with all trade unions for negotiations towards a revised four-year offer of 1.5% this year and RPI +0.5% in future years, with no reduction in working hours or any other changes in terms... continue

5 Jun 2009Transit Xtra
TfL takes forward next generation Routemaster

TfL takes forward next generation Routemaster
Meera Rambissoon

Transport for London has today announced that six bus manufacturers have qualified to bid for the contract to design and build the new... continue

4 Jun 2009Transit Xtra

National Express appoints Liverpool St station manager
Meera Rambissoon

National Express East Anglia has appointed Colin MacConnachie to the role of Station Manager at London Liverpool Street.   MacConnachie joined the rail industry in March 2007 and has worked at Liverpool Street  for the past 2 years. He has enjoyed a career in retail, working for key... continue

4 Jun 2009Transit Xtra
Rotala makes progress following Go Ahead bus buy

Rotala makes progress following Go Ahead bus buy
Andrew Garnett

AIM-listed transport group Rotala has broken into annual profitability for the first time according to its results for the year ending November... continue

4 Jun 2009Transit Xtra
First hits back at Metro claims over bus cuts

First hits back at Metro claims over bus cuts
Meera Rambissoon

First Group has defended itself against West Yorkshire PTE's claims that the number of fare-paying bus passengers in the area could... continue

4 Jun 2009Transit Xtra

IATA to raise 2009 airline industry loss forecast

2009 airline industry losses to top $4.7bn forecast; Boeing, Airbus orders seen down 30%in 2010 Losses from the world's airlines will be worse than forecast this year and will cause a knock-on effect on suppliers, with Boeing and Airbus orders next year looking to be down 30%, the industry's top... continue

4 Jun 2009Transit Xtra

First ‘propaganda’ letters aim to avert strike

Attempt to avert strike action over new pay claim from the Unite T&G union. Bosses at transport giant First have written to more than 400 drivers in an attempt to avert possible strike action. The company said it wanted to keep staff “fully informed” after union members agreed to... continue

4 Jun 2009Transit Xtra

Stagecoach bus can't cope with country lanes

Offwell has been cut out of a bus service to Honiton because a newly introduced bus is unsuitable for country lanes. However, the village is to benefit from a new door-to-door service.A spokesperson for Devon County Council told the Herald: "From May 16, Stagecoach won a renewed contract for... continue

4 Jun 2009Transit Xtra
Gatwick Express celebrates 25th birthday

Gatwick Express celebrates 25th birthday
Meera Rambissoon

Gatwick Express, the non-stop link between London's Victoria station and Gatwick Airport, has created what it describes... continue

3 Jun 2009Transit Xtra

Passenger Focus urges less train delays

Passenger Focus has welcomed today’s news that more trains than ever are running on time but has warned punctuality continues to be a priority for improvement for passengers. The national passenger watchdog has raised concerns that too many trains still run with delays. The latest findings... continue

3 Jun 2009Transit Xtra
'Network Rail failed to make efficiency savings'

'Network Rail failed to make efficiency savings'
Meera Rambissoon

The Office of Rail Regulation has today published its national rail review, looking back over the past five years, and Network Rail monitor... continue

3 Jun 2009Transit Xtra

Network Rail sees profits slide

British railway infrastructure operator Network Rail has seen its annual profit fall and its debt level increase. Pre-tax profit fell to £1.52bn in the period to 31 March, from £1.59bn in the same period a year before. Meanwhile net debt rose to £22.3bn from £19.7bn.... continue

3 Jun 2009Transit Xtra
BlogWatch: Classic Yellow Buses to cease

BlogWatch: Classic Yellow Buses to cease

Omnibuses 2.0: No room for sentiment There can be no room for sentiment within the commercial bus industry. Even so, the news that there will be no yellow... continue

2 Jun 2009Transit Xtra
CrossCountry e-ticketing 14% of sales

CrossCountry e-ticketing 14% of sales
Meera Rambissoon

CrossCountry has announced that it has sold over 24,000 e-tickets since the rail operator launched the online... continue

2 Jun 2009Transit Xtra
Real-time info at Metro's West Yorks bus stations

Real-time info at Metro's West Yorks bus stations
Meera Rambissoon

By the end of summer 2009, Metro will have equipped eight major West Yorkshire bus stations with yournextbus real-time information... continue

2 Jun 2009Transit Xtra
Breakdown' in Tube strike talks

Breakdown' in Tube strike talks

Talks aimed at averting a 48-hour Tube strike in a pay and jobs row have "completely broken down", a union... continue

2 Jun 2009Transit Xtra
'Worst year in aviation history', warns Branson

'Worst year in aviation history', warns Branson

The aviation industry is set to suffer the worst year in its history, Sir Richard Branson warned today. Sir Richard Branson, the chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, told Telegraph... continue

2 Jun 2009Transit Xtra
WCML 'late' despite £9bn improvements

WCML 'late' despite £9bn improvements

Three out of every five trains on Britain's busiest railway line have been running late despite a £9bn upgrade, the TSSA have claimed. ... continue

2 Jun 2009Transit Xtra
Southeastern to preview new high speed services

Southeastern to preview new high speed services
Meera Rambissoon

Southeastern has announced that a limited high speed ‘preview’ service on High Speed 1 between Ashford International, Ebbsfleet... continue

1 Jun 2009Transit Xtra
Virgin Trains driving airlines out of the skies

Virgin Trains driving airlines out of the skies
Meera Rambissoon

Latest figures from the Civil Aviation Authority show that rail operator Virgin Trains has now captured 77% of the rail/air sector compared... continue

1 Jun 2009Transit Xtra
Metrolink tram named after steam rail line

Metrolink tram named after steam rail line

One of Greater Manchester's Metrolink trams has been renamed in honour of a tourist steam railway line. Tram number 1007 was renamed as East Lancashire Railway... continue

1 Jun 2009Transit Xtra
Tube Lines/TfL row rocks £30bn LU improvement

Tube Lines/TfL row rocks £30bn LU improvement

Tube Lines and TfL dispute threatens £30bn LU improvement The London mayor, Boris Johnson, could be forced to consider slashing a £30bn London Underground... continue

1 Jun 2009Transit Xtra

'Bribe probe' Network Rail exec in suicide pact

'Bribe probe' rail executive and wife killed themselves in suicide pact A senior Network Rail executive facing allegations of bribe-taking and his wife gassed themselves in an apparent suicide pact, an inquest heard today. Anthony Burgess, 45, was on police bail when he was found dead with... continue

31 May 2009Transit Xtra
BlogWatch: The era of electronic ticket machines

BlogWatch: The era of electronic ticket machines

Omnibuses 2.0: New era dawned Electronic ticket machines have been with us for 30 years. Given Wayfarer of Poole was within Hants & Dorset ’s area, it’s not surprising... continue

31 May 2009Transit Xtra
Boris refuses to meet RMT in tube strike feud

Boris refuses to meet RMT in tube strike feud

Mayor Boris Johnson yesterday refused to meet union bosses in talks aimed at averting the 48-hour Tube strike.  His refusal increased the chances of the walkout going... continue

30 May 2009Transit Xtra
LU chief says RMT pay claims 'wildly unrealistic'

LU chief says RMT pay claims 'wildly unrealistic'
Meera Rambissoon

London Underground chief operating officer, Howard Collins, has said that the RMT is making "vastly inflated pay demands" and ignoring a... continue

30 May 2009Transit Xtra

Former First Bus MD Juffs to champion Scottish buses

Bus champion to improve standards for passengers in Scotland  A Scottish "bus champion" has been appointed to help improve standards for travellers amid concern operators are cutting vital services and piling pressure on local authority budgets. Brian Juffs, a former managing... continue

30 May 2009Transit Xtra
National Express shares up after upgrade

National Express shares up after upgrade

Such is the impact of the recession on the country’s railways, with passenger growth faltering as would-be commuters stay at home without jobs, perhaps... continue

29 May 2009Transit Xtra

Speed probes improve Stagecoach Metrolink trams

New speed probes improve performance of Stagecoach Metrolink Trams Following a successful trial of new generation speed probes, Stagecoach Metrolink Limited is now planning to adopt the new system on its fleet of 26 original T68 trams. The advanced technology speed probes were supplied by rail... continue

29 May 2009Transit Xtra
Peterborough chooses bus over car

Peterborough chooses bus over car
Meera Rambissoon

Peterborough residents are increasingly choosing to use local bus services rather than travel by... continue

29 May 2009Transit Xtra
Government on Yellow School Buses: 'one size does not fit all'

Government on Yellow School Buses: 'one size does not fit all'
Meera Rambissoon

The government's response to the Transport Select... continue

29 May 2009Transit Xtra
Stagecoach: OFT's Preston referral is

Stagecoach: OFT's Preston referral is "bizarre"
Meera Rambissoon

Stagecoach has said it was dismayed at the "bizarre" decision by the Office of Fair Trading to refer its recent acquisition of... continue

29 May 2009Transit Xtra
Here comes yourbus - a Dunn deal

Here comes yourbus - a Dunn deal
Meera Rambissoon

After a three year gap, the Dunn-Line family are back with a 10 minute bus service from Bulwell... continue

29 May 2009Transit Xtra
Announcing New Transit Magazine

Announcing New Transit Magazine

This June will see the launch of a new kind of magazine to meet the changing needs of the passenger transport sector and... continue

28 May 2009Transit News
OFT refers Stagecoach Preston acquisition to Competition Commission

OFT refers Stagecoach Preston acquisition to Competition Commission

The Office of Fair Trading has referred the acquisition of Preston Bus by Stagecoach Bus Holdings to the Competition Commission. Stagecoach and Preston Bus provide local bus services in Preston and, as a result of this acquisition, Stagecoach has become the... continue

28 May 2009Transit Xtra
Planning ahead: rail industry sets out 30-year vision for rail

Planning ahead: rail industry sets out 30-year vision for rail
Meera Rambissoon

The rail industry has today set out its vision for what the... continue

28 May 2009Transit Xtra

First accuses union of planning Aberdeen bus strikes

First Group claims that the T&G branch of Unite is planning a fresh wave of strikes in pursuit of a new pay claim. Bus passengers in Aberdeen are being “held to ransom” by trade union officials who are planning a fresh wave of strikes in the city, transport giant First claimed... continue

28 May 2009Transit Xtra
48-hour RMT tube strike over job cuts and pay

48-hour RMT tube strike over job cuts and pay
Meera Rambissoon

The RMT rail union has announced that it is to strike for 48 hours nex... continue

28 May 2009Transit Xtra
Network Rail doing a better job than Railtrack

Network Rail doing a better job than Railtrack

Things must be serious if you get people across the rail industry agreeing with Bob Crow. But the unreconstructed left-wing leader of RMT has struck a chord with his warning about... continue

28 May 2009Transit Xtra
Who will foot £200m free bus pass bill?

Who will foot £200m free bus pass bill?

Ministers have defied warnings that the flagship scheme of national free bus travel for over-60s is over budget and may have to be restricted in the... continue

27 May 2009Transit Xtra
First plans 4% bus cut in West Yorks

First plans 4% bus cut in West Yorks

Fresh details have emerged about the Leeds bus service cuts being proposed by transport giant First. The company confirmed last week that it... continue

27 May 2009Transit Xtra
First Aberdeen's Mair leaves after 38 years

First Aberdeen's Mair leaves after 38 years
Meera Rambissoon

First Group’s longest-serving managing director, bus operator First in Aberdeen’s George Mair is leaving the... continue

27 May 2009Transit Xtra
Network Rail shelves quarter of track renewals

Network Rail shelves quarter of track renewals

Train passengers face an increase in delays and disruptions because of a funding row between Network Rail and a Government quango. Network Rail, in charge of railway infrastructure,... continue

27 May 2009Transit Xtra
Plymouth CityBus up for sale as First shows interest?

Plymouth CityBus up for sale as First shows interest?

Council leader Vivien Pengelly has declared Plymouth CityBus will not be sold unless a 'sensible' offer is put forward. Yesterday – within hours of the authority announcing that it was looking into... continue

26 May 2009Transit Xtra
BA worst loss in 20 years as Virgin Atlantic profits jump

BA worst loss in 20 years as Virgin Atlantic profits jump

British Airways: worst loss in 20+ years British Airways (LSE: BA) lost £375m ($595m) in the 12 months ending March 31, 2009. This is down from a profit of £712m ($1.1bn) the year before. The airine, which was... continue

26 May 2009Transit Xtra
Train punctuality record high at over 90%

Train punctuality record high at over 90%
Meera Rambissoon

Train punctuality has exceeded the 90% mark for the first time, as 90.6% of train services arrived on time between April... continue

26 May 2009Transit Xtra
First Group to 'bed in' Swansea ftrmetro

First Group to 'bed in' Swansea ftrmetro
Meera Rambissoon

First Group is to run its first ‘in-service’ ftr vehicle between Morriston and Singleton via Swansea city... continue

26 May 2009Transit Xtra

Fury at rail report that cost £500k

Rail passengers like somewhere to sit and prefer trains to run on time, says a "blindingly obvious" report costing taxpayers £500,000. Other revelations include how people like to "maintain space around them to minimise discomfort" and hate being "pushed or... continue

25 May 2009Transit Xtra

Bus lane has wrongly painted sign

The government's financial exposure to the rail industry could worsen amid predictions that a shortfall in fare sales could cost taxpayers up to £400m in the next two years. A controversial new bus lane cannot be used because the wrong times have been painted on the sign. Signs for the new... continue

25 May 2009Transit Xtra
Payouts to rail operators set to soar

Payouts to rail operators set to soar

The government's financial exposure to the rail industry could worsen amid predictions that a shortfall in fare sales could cost taxpayers up to... continue

24 May 2009Transit Xtra
TwitterWatch: PTEG on Notts CC

TwitterWatch: PTEG on Notts CC

Read a profile of our newest member - Nottingham City Council 20 May Nottingham City Council is a Unitary... continue

23 May 2009Transit Xtra
BlogWatch: Tom Harris on MP scandal

BlogWatch: Tom Harris on MP scandal

The worst possible time to consider wider reform Saturday 23 May ...One friend remarked at the time: “If someone... continue

23 May 2009Transit Xtra
High Speed 2 - how and when, not if, says Adonis

High Speed 2 - how and when, not if, says Adonis

Transport minister Lord Adonis has said high speed rail in the UK is: “Just a matter of dates” in a speech to ICE members at the Arup campus in Solihull. Adonis gave the assorted... continue

23 May 2009Transit Xtra
First Group funds footie talent

First Group funds footie talent
Meera Rambissoon

The future is looking bright for a talented team of footballers from across the west of... continue

23 May 2009Transit Xtra
Graham Eccles is Go Ahead new London Midland deputy

Graham Eccles is Go Ahead new London Midland deputy
Meera Rambissoon

The Go Ahead Group has appointed Graham Eccles as... continue

22 May 2009Transit Xtra
Blackberries for all Northern Rail conductors

Blackberries for all Northern Rail conductors
Meera Rambissoon

Northern Rail will be the first rail operator to issue BlackBerries to all of its conductors - over 1,000 - so that they can give... continue

22 May 2009Transit Xtra
Over 7,000 FGW's services cancelled a year

Over 7,000 FGW's services cancelled a year

More than 7,000 rail services  run by the firm that operates trains between Exeter and London were cancelled in one year alone. Around half were the fault of... continue

22 May 2009Transit Xtra
Smartcard rail tickets on cards for ScotRail

Smartcard rail tickets on cards for ScotRail
Meera Rambissoon

ScotRail will begin to trial the smartcard tickets among their staff members later this month, with Season Ticket holders... continue

22 May 2009Transit Xtra
New Edinburgh tram boss admits further delays

New Edinburgh tram boss admits further delays

The launch of Edinburgh's trams has again been put back by several months, in at least the fourth delay to the scheme since it was approved. Trams were due to start running in... continue

22 May 2009Transit Xtra
National Express to sell London buses to NedRailways for £32m

National Express to sell London buses to NedRailways for £32m

National Express Group has announced that it has entered a binding agreement to sell Travel London, its London bus business, to NedRailways, a subsidiary of state operator, NS Dutch Railways.  In an agreement subject to the consent of... continue

21 May 2009Transit Xtra
Boris sells off hated bendy buses for £80k

Boris sells off hated bendy buses for £80k

Bag yourself a bendy bargain: Boris Johnson sells off hated buses for £80,000 each (o. n.o). They are 58ft long and notoriously hard to parallel park. And for... continue

21 May 2009Transit Xtra
Stagecoach Barnsley bus network sees 7% increase

Stagecoach Barnsley bus network sees 7% increase
Meera Rambissoon

Passenger growth of more than 7% since 2006 has marked the second anniversary of Stagecoach Yorkshire’s major revamp of its Barnsley and... continue

21 May 2009Transit Xtra
CSR enters London Midland ROSCO race

CSR enters London Midland ROSCO race
Meera Rambissoon

CSR Nanjing Puzhen Rolling Stock company has confirmed that it hopes to bid for a contract to supply train... continue

21 May 2009Transit Xtra
First Capital Connect launches Twitter service

First Capital Connect launches Twitter service
Meera Rambissoon

First Capital Connect has provided its customers with a new way to access important travel information, using the fast-growing... continue

21 May 2009Transit Xtra
Operators plan to axe 22 Huddersfield bus services

Operators plan to axe 22 Huddersfield bus services

Sweeping bus cuts are planned for Huddersfield and the surrounding area. Details obtained exclusively by the Examiner show some services will be reduced and others dropped entirely in cost-cutting... continue

21 May 2009Transit Xtra
National Express boss won't be derailed by £1bn crisis

National Express boss won't be derailed by £1bn crisis

Disarming transport boss who won't be derailed by £1 billion crisis There are some people I'd fancy my chances at poker with. Richard Bowker isn't one of them. The boss of National Express is in the midst of a... continue

21 May 2009Transit Xtra
Adonis to call for London-Birmingham high-speed rail corridor

Adonis to call for London-Birmingham high-speed rail corridor

Train journeys from London to Birmingham could be cut to 40 minutes as the government makes its firmest commitment yet to high speed rail. Lord Adonis, the rail minister, will pave the way for Britain to run some of the fastest trains in the... continue

21 May 2009Transit Xtra
OFT to refer Stagecoach over Eastbourne Buses and Cavendish

OFT to refer Stagecoach over Eastbourne Buses and Cavendish

Competition worry takes buses saga to next stage The sale of Eastbourne Buses and Cavendish to Stagecoach earlier this year has run into more controversy as the Office of Fair Trading announced it is to refer the matter to the... continue

21 May 2009Transit Xtra
Mistral rights over Optare products come to end

Mistral rights over Optare products come to end
Meera Rambissoon

Changing market conditions have led bus manufacturer Optare and bus leasing firm Mistral to end their arrangement where Mistral had... continue

20 May 2009Transit Xtra
Trainline.com ads banned for exaggerating online savings

Trainline.com ads banned for exaggerating online savings

Watchdog censures ticketing firm Trainline.com's TV adverts portraying rail users who buy tickets at stations as sheep. A high-profile TV advertising campaign by the ticketing firm Trainline.com, promising big discounts... continue

20 May 2009Transit Xtra
First launches respect campaign on buses

First launches respect campaign on buses

First is launching a campaign to encourage people to be more considerate when using buses across South Yorkshire. The campaign 'It's your bus. Respect it.'... continue

20 May 2009Transit Xtra
Villiers says Bombardier vital to UK economy

Villiers says Bombardier vital to UK economy

The shadow transport secretary has heaped praise on Derby train-maker Bombardier following a visit to its factory. Theresa Villiers described the Litchurch Lane company as a... continue

20 May 2009Transit Xtra
Bransons bids £1bn WCML upgrade for franchise rehaul

Bransons bids £1bn WCML upgrade for franchise rehaul
Meera Rambissoon

Richard Branson, chairman of the Virgin Group, has... continue

20 May 2009Transit Xtra
1,300 rail carriages by 2014 'over-optimistic'

1,300 rail carriages by 2014 'over-optimistic'
Meera Rambissoon

The Department for Transport's promise of bringing 1,300 new rail carriages into service by 2014 is "over-optimistic",... continue

19 May 2009Transit Xtra
London Midland strike averted after RMT talks

London Midland strike averted after RMT talks
Meera Rambissoon

London Midland has announced that industrial action by members of the RMT Union, scheduled for Tuesday May 19 Thursday May 21, has now... continue

19 May 2009Transit Xtra
First and Metro reverse decision to axe Leeds buses

First and Metro reverse decision to axe Leeds buses

Transport chiefs have reversed a decision to axe bus services in south Leeds after an angry outcry from passengers. Bus firm First and public transport coordinator Metro have agreed to reinstate five... continue

19 May 2009Transit Xtra
Rail services worse since London Midland takeover

Rail services worse since London Midland takeover

Passengers believe train services are worse since the Department for Transport awarded a franchise to London Midland, an inquiry has warned. The operator, which runs local services in the West... continue

19 May 2009Transit Xtra
Rail-discount web fares focus condemned

Rail-discount web fares focus condemned

It is "unacceptable" that low-cost rail fares are easily available only to those with internet access, MPs say. The House of Commons Public... continue

19 May 2009Transit Xtra
£135 a day to park at rail station

£135 a day to park at rail station

Rail passengers are paying as much as £135 a day to park at stations. The 'scandalous' prices are generating more than... continue

19 May 2009Transit Xtra
First bus drivers  boost Skills for Life on GMTV

First bus drivers boost Skills for Life on GMTV
Meera Rambissoon

Two First bus drivers in Leeds appeared on national GMTV this week to highlight adult learning opportunities during National Learning Week (May... continue

18 May 2009Transit Xtra
New wave of fast track rail investors on way, says Alstom boss

New wave of fast track rail investors on way, says Alstom boss

Only the fast track will do for next generation of rail investors, says head of Alstom Transport. Rail transport is on the cusp of a decade of upheaval, with mergers, takeovers and new investors from the airline industry and elsewhere, according... continue

18 May 2009Transit Xtra
First Group to axe West Yorkshire buses

First Group to axe West Yorkshire buses

Transport giant First is planning a savage round of bus service cuts across West Yorkshire. The Yorkshire Evening Post understands 6% of the firm's... continue

18 May 2009Transit Xtra
Tube improvements at risks, says Tube Lines' boss

Tube improvements at risks, says Tube Lines' boss

Out going Tube Lines executive Terry Morgan questions the future of the company. Senior public officials are risking the improvements in efficiency and performance on some London Underground... continue

18 May 2009Transit Xtra
Minister tackled over £2m bus pass shortfall

Minister tackled over £2m bus pass shortfall

A government transport minister is being tackled over the £2m cost of pensioners' free bus passes in Torbay tomorrow. Torbay Council says it is expecting the cost of... continue

18 May 2009Transit Xtra
Deutsche Bahn deal would mean Germany/London link

Deutsche Bahn deal would mean Germany/London link

German national railway seeks deal to let trains run direct to UK Deutsche Bahn is close to securing a concession from Eurotunnel that would allow the German national railway to send its... continue

18 May 2009Transit Xtra
RMT calls for Crossrail to be run in public sector

RMT calls for Crossrail to be run in public sector

Crossrail services should be run in the public sector and its rolling stock built in Britain, the RMT rail union has said. As work on the cross-capital rail link began, the RMT said the project... continue

17 May 2009Transit Xtra
Operators urge early commitment on electrification

Operators urge early commitment on electrification
Meera Rambissoon

Association of Train Operating Companies chief executive Michael Roberts has called for commitment on high speed rail with the go-ahead of electrifying the Great Western and Midland Main... continue

17 May 2009Transit Xtra
Branson: Let me invest in railways

Branson: Let me invest in railways

Sir Richard Branson is urging ministers to hand the private sector a greater role in the railways by giving entrepreneurs freedom to... continue

17 May 2009Transit Xtra
First Group merges Yorkshire bus operations

First Group merges Yorkshire bus operations

Bus operator First Group has completed a shake-up of its operations covering Huddersfield in a bid to cut costs. The group has merged its four subsidiaries covering... continue

16 May 2009Transit Xtra
Adonis body blow to National Express East Coast

Adonis body blow to National Express East Coast

Transport minister Lord Adonis delivers blow to rail firm National Express by refusing to change the terms of its NXEC franchise. The government has flatly ruled out allowing York-based... continue

16 May 2009Transit Xtra
Transdev Keighley bus beats congestion

Transdev Keighley bus beats congestion

Keighley’s bus company is tackling congestion problems - by introducing another vehicle. Transdev Keighley and District has added an extra 662... continue

16 May 2009Transit Xtra
Dogs on the Eurostar? You're barking

Dogs on the Eurostar? You're barking

After her passports for pets victory, Lady Mary Fretwell is campaigning for dogs to be allowed to travel by Eurostar Her ladyship's dog... continue

16 May 2009Transit Xtra

Reading Bus drivers may lose jobs

Reading Buses has said it may have to make some of its drivers redundant after a dramatic drop in the number of fare-paying passengers. Takings are down by £100,000 a month - a 14% drop, the firm said. Bosses said the decline is due to the economic downturn and the revenue from fares is... continue

16 May 2009Transit Xtra

Hoon refuses to let rail bosses off hook

Transport secretary Geoff Hoon has ruled out renegotiating the East Coast rail franchise as growing numbers of MPs expressed concern. The fate of the critical rail link between the North East, London and Scotland has been at the centre of speculation for months because the recession has squeezed... continue

16 May 2009Transit Xtra
Network Rail proposes electrification strategy

Network Rail proposes electrification strategy

Network Rail has published a proposed strategy on electrification as part of a formal consultation examining the expansion of the electrified network. The network route utilisation... continue

15 May 2009Transit Xtra

Halcrow has new regional director

Transport consultant Halcrow has appointed Gordan Buchan as regional development director of its transport planning team in Scotland. Based at the firm’s Edinburgh office, Buchan will be responsible for expanding the company’s transport planning business in the private development... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

GoSkills has new head of policy

GoSkills has appointed Robert Spano as its new head of research and policy. He was most latterly head of research at the Engineering and Technology Board. Spano has previously worked for the Automotive Skills Sector Skills Council for the automotive industry, where he was research manager and... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

CPT North West appointments

The Confederation for Passenger Transport North West have made two new vice chair appointments. Duncan Aspinall, who works for Holmswood Coaches, has been appointed as the senior vice chair and Chris Bowles, who works for Stagecoach North West, has been elected as junior vice chair.... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

Assembly has new transport chair

The London Assembly transport committee has appointed Caroline Pidgeon as is its chair for the coming year, replacing Labour member Val Shawcross. Pidgeon’s work programme for the year includes responding to the London Mayor Boris Johnson’s transport strategy, continuing work on... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

Reading Transport gets new manager

Council-owned bus operator Reading Transport has appointed Jacqui Gavaghan as its new performance manager - the culmination of an 18-month process. “It has taken that long to find the right person to take on the running of the operations at Reading Transport,” said chief executive... continue

15 May 2009Transit News
Buchanan retires from consultancy

Buchanan retires from consultancy

Malcolm Buchanan, chairman of consultancy Colin Buchanan and Partners, has retired from the board after 35 years with them. He... continue

15 May 2009Transit News
LCR state aid could mean Eurostar rival

LCR state aid could mean Eurostar rival

The European Commission has approved a final package of UK state aid for London and Continental Railways in a decision which could lead to rival rail... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

Stagecoach celebrates depot anniversary

Stagecoach last week celebrated the first anniversary of its Barnstaple depot in north Devon at an event attended by local dignitaries. The group introduced its first route in the area in late 2006 and now operates 20 local routes from the depot. Operations director Richard Stevens said Stagecoach... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

National Express makes gains in London

National Express’s Travel London business has secured new bus contracts in the capital that will increase its peak vehicle requirement by 31 vehicles. The firm has gained the contracts for route 407 between Caterham and Sutton from Arriva and route 414 between Putney Bridge and Maida Hill... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

Transdev launches new south coast fleet

Transdev Yellow Buses has introduced the first of 11 new Optare Tempos on its 1A route between Bournemouth and Somerford. The vehicles feature leather seating and wood effect flooring and follow the introduction of new Optare Versas to a similar specification last year. Last week saw the frequency... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

Bus Users UK backs UITP user rights position

Passenger lobby group Bus Users UK has backed a joint statement by several international transport organisations calling for controversial European bus and coach passenger rights legislation to be amended in order to allow more feasible introduction. Members of the European Parliament... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

MAN bribe claims deepen

An investigation into bribery allegations at German bus and truck manufacturer MAN is far larger than previously thought with more than 100 individuals now being implicated. Prosecutors in Munich claim that MAN had a system of bribery in place to boost the sales of buses and trucks across Europe.... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

Council rejects calls for bus reregulation in Manchester

A Labour-led motion calling for the reregulation of bus services in Greater Manchester was rejected by councillors in Bolton last week. Nick Peel, Bolton Council’s member for environmental services put forward the motion that urged GMITA to use powers under the Local Transport Act to... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

Oxfordshire rejects SQP proposal and goes ahead with pedestrianisation

Oxfordshire County Council is to press ahead with controversial plans to close a number of central Oxford streets to bus traffic. It has also rejected alternative proposals put forward by dominant local bus operators Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach Oxford that included plans for a Statutory... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

TfL begins speed limiting trial with bus

Transport for London has announced a six-month trial of an intelligent speed limiting device that will be initially installed on a single London bus. The Intelligent Speed Adaption system uses a digital road speed map of London. GPS tracking technology then enables drivers to select an option where... continue

15 May 2009Transit News
Grant moves up at First Group as Finch moves out

Grant moves up at First Group as Finch moves out

Dean Finch has left First after 10 years with the company to become the new chief executive of Tube Lines. Finch was group chief operating officer at Aberdeen-based First and was regarded as... continue

15 May 2009Transit News
Hoon lends support to Manchester’s plans for TIF alternative improvements

Hoon lends support to Manchester’s plans for TIF alternative improvements
Andrew Garnett

Transport secretary Geoff Hoon this week made a surprise visit to... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

London Midland to hold RMT strike talks

Train operator London Midland says that it is to hold further talks with the RMT union, despite it calling two 24-hour strikes next week. Some senior conductor’s working at depots in Watford, Bletchley and Northampton will strike on Tuesday and Thursday in a dispute over pay. However,... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

Arup wins ORR reporter contract

Arup, last week signed a three-year contract with ORR and Network Rail, to act as their data assurance, finance and efficiency reporter over Control Period 4. The Independent Reporter is critical for the successful implementation of the industry’s plans for CP4 and particularly for Network... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

T&WA approval for MediaCityUK trams

Greater Manchester PTE has successfully concluded its Transport & Works Act application for the extension of the Metrolink light rail system to the new MediaCityUK complex at Salford Quays. The quarter of a mile extension to Metrolink’s Eccles branch will connect the new development,... continue

15 May 2009Transit News
Mock-up of new ScotRail trains unveiled

Mock-up of new ScotRail trains unveiled

Scottish transport minister Stewart Stevenson last week unveiled a mock-up of the new Class 380 units that will enter service with ScotRail on services in... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

Southeastern will not impose maximum fare on CTRL trains

Southeastern Trains will not impose the full 35% premium fare it is entitled to charge for its 140mph services which will operate on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link from December. Keith Ludeman, chief executive of Go Ahead Group, Southeastern’s majority shareholder, said fare levels on the new... continue

15 May 2009Transit News
Network Rail urges government to formulate longer term vision

Network Rail urges government to formulate longer term vision
James Dark

Network Rail has called for the government to endorse a... continue

15 May 2009Transit News
Pendolino is worst train say intercity passengers

Pendolino is worst train say intercity passengers

Virgin’s Pendolinos have received the worst rating of any long distance train in a Passenger Focus survey aimed at influencing the interior design of the new Intercity Express trains.... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

Lib Dems slam bus cost increases since 1997

New research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed that bus and coach fares have increased by 17% in real terms since 1997 and by 55% since 1979, while the real cost of driving has fallen 13% since 1997 and by 17% since 1979. The study also suggests that train fares have risen 7% in real terms... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

Excel starts north west airport service

Excel Coaches and Manchester Airport have teamed up to begin a new service linking the airport with Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport. The service will also call at central Manchester, Warrington, Widnes and Liverpool city centre. The vehicles used on the service will feature an enhanced... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

PlusBus expands and starts web sales trial

The PlusBus integrated bus and rail ticket scheme has been expanded further with five more rail-served towns have joining the scheme. Three existing PlusBus destinations in Scotland are also to start offering season tickets to rail commuters for the first time. The news means that the scheme will... continue

15 May 2009Transit News
First performance data shows that Manchester punctuality struggles

First performance data shows that Manchester punctuality struggles

First has issued punctuality statistics for its UK bus division that reveal that none of its operations around the country met the group’s target of 95% of vehicles operating within the traffic commissioner’s six minute window of tolerance. The... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

First withdraws Ftr from evening and Sunday services in York

First has announced that it is to withdraw its Ftr trambuses in York from services on weekday evenings and Sundays in order to make savings. At these times the cross-city route 4 service between York University and Acomb will be operated by conventional vehicles instead. Commenting on the change,... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

First aims to improve bus behaviour

Passenger Focus is backing a new campaign by First that aims to reduce anti-social behaviour on its buses across the UK. The on-bus advertising will include a series of quirky characters, each representing a major customer complaint, such as the playing of loud music, or eating hot food on buses.... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

Hendy urges young managers to undertake market research

Transport for London commissioner Peter Hendy told members of the Young Bus Managers Network this week that it was important for industry managers to undertake market research in order to develop their businesses for the better. He also said that electronic ticketing methods were a powerful... continue

15 May 2009Transit News
OFT Eastbourne referal met by disappointment from Stagecoach

OFT Eastbourne referal met by disappointment from Stagecoach
Andrew Garnett

The Office of Fair Trading has announced  that it is... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

Stagecoach employee is ‘green champion

East Midlands Trains employee Ted Ingle has been named as the Stagecoach Group Green Champion after being selected as the staff member who has contributed the most to reducing the company’s carbon footprint. Ingle, safety and quality manager at the East Midlands Trains Neville Hill Depot, has... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

Public transport is better value

Public transport offers better value for money than usually stated. These are the findings of a focus paper by UITP, the international association of public transport, on the assessment of the benefits of public transport. It says that current appraisal techniques do not do justice to the full... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

Network Rail chief will not take his bonus

Network Rail’s chief executive Iain Coucher has announced that he will be forgoing any annual bonus this year. Coucher has informed the company’s remuneration committee that he has taken a personal decision to withdraw from the bonus scheme for the 2008/9. Coucher said that over the... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

TOCs must promote value walk-on fares

Transport minister Andrew Adonis has told train operators that they should pay greater attention to promoting good value walk-on fares as well as discounted advance purchase tickets. In particular, he suggested standard, off-peak return fares could be highlighted prominently at stations as a means... continue

15 May 2009Transit News
Adonis will demand more rigorous station standards in new franchises

Adonis will demand more rigorous station standards in new franchises

Train operators will be required to meet more rigorous station standards when new franchises are let, transport minister Andrew Adonis has announced. Adonis’s decision follows his tour of the country’s rail network during which time he used over 50 stations.... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

Targets set to improve quality of information during delays

The Association of Train Operating Companies and Network Rail have set a target to improve the poor rating the rail industry achieves for the quality of information provided when trains are delayed. ATOC chief executive Michael Roberts acknowledged that the industry had so far failed to match... continue

15 May 2009Transit News
Unease among National Express shareholders over Cosmen’s role

Unease among National Express shareholders over Cosmen’s role
James Dark

Shareholder discontent with financial performance and... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

Coming soon - a new magazine for a changing sector in challenging times

Next month sees the launch of a ground-breaking new monthly magazine. To meet the changing needs of the passenger transport sector and map out the future of its vital role in a changing society, New Transit will showcase the best and map out the future for the passenger transport sector. It will... continue

15 May 2009Transit News
ATOC - don’t blame us for rising fares

ATOC - don’t blame us for rising fares

The Association of Train Operating Companies has called on the government to be more honest about the reason for large increases in rail fares. Chief... continue

15 May 2009Transit News
First Group claims advantage in battle to survive the recession

First Group claims advantage in battle to survive the recession
Robert Jack

First Group has claimed it is unique among UK transport groups... continue

15 May 2009Transit News

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