Landmark Finance moves into new offices

first_imgLandmark Finance, headed by Ron Telford, is taking the next step in cementing its long-term commitment to financing the coach and bus market by moving to new purpose-built offices.Still located in Hazel Grove the new address, from 10 November, is Affinity House, 1 Station View, Hazel Grove SK7 5ER. Also, as part of its continuing commitment to the industry, Landmark Finance will be exhibiting at Euro Bus Expo 2014 (4-6 November). It will be offering flexible finance solutions through its wide panel of funders, for new and used vehicles.last_img read more

REVIEW: Big Fish, little theatre, groups in tears

first_imgBased on the novel and film, Big Fish has been transformed into a musical in London’s West End. Tim Farr reviews the tear-jerking production  If it wasn’t for the big name of Kelsey Grammer (Frasier, Cheers) Big Fish may have passed the theatre-going public by without being noticed. Tucked away in a side street down the road from Buckingham Palace, The Other Palace – with its 312 seats – offers a very intimate atmosphere that give this musical a special feeling even before it begins.It tells the story is of Edward Bloom (Kelsey Grammer) who has been a travelling salesman all his working life, returning home and telling his son, Will (Matthew Seadon-Young), tall tales of his travels and his life.As a child, Will is excited and enchanted by his father’s stories, but as he grew up the legendary yarns cause a distance between them as Will struggles to make sense of fact and fiction.When Edward becomes ill, Will explores his dad’s adventures on a magical journey to find out who Edward Bloom really is.This wonderful musical with beautiful songs and dazzling performances is funny, touching and spellbinding. Grammer may top the bill and lives up to his star name, but this is a full company triumph. Such a small, simple London production leaves a massive impression on everyone in the theatre.A great one for groups who don’t mind travelling home with red eyes.last_img read more

London is not a panacea

first_imgWhile local authorities are facing bus subsidy cuts, Manchester is poised to spend a massive £11.5m on working up a business case for franchisingLast week I was highly complimentary about Nusrat Ghani, the new buses minister, based on feedback from those who have met her since she took up office.Andy Burnham has ordered spending £11.5m to write a franchising business caseNow I’m getting quite complimentary reports about Matt Rodda, the new buses spokesman for the Labour Party. I’m told that, in private at least, he is keen to come up with sensible and pragmatic ideas and solutions that benefit passengers.Party lineIn public, of course, he will have to tow the party line that buses outside London must be re-regulated, but if in private he talks a more pragmatic talk, then there is some encouragement to be had.Meanwhile, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) is budgeting a cool £11.5m to prepare a business case for bus franchising.The Authority is well within its rights to prepare such a case and these things clearly don’t come cheap. Especially, when you take into account the need to have a case audited, consulted on and all the rest.But I am startled that it would cost this much.Then I recall being told that the GMCA was busy assessing the case for franchising even while the Bus Services Act was going through parliament, so what’s happened to all of that work?To be budgeting for £11.5m on top of all that historic work makes this whole exercise even more expensive.Then I wondered how many extra buses could be bought for £11.5m; I’m told at least 60. More importantly, I wonder how many tendered bus services could be subsidised by GMCA for £11.5m?I expect there are quite a few local authorities around the country who look enviously at the GMCA’s ability to budget £11.5m just to assess the case for franchising, let alone actually run a franchise system.But it’s hard to be too critical of the GMCA.It is within its rights to develop a case for franchising – or rather, to assess whether such a case exists and stands up to scrutiny.But it just strikes me as an incredibly expensive process especially if, having spent the £11.5m the Combined Authority concludes that the case for franchising doesn’t exist or is at best marginal.Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester’s Mayor has been quoted as saying that “London’s regulated system is light years ahead” of Manchester’s.London’s factsExcept, Mr Burnham, bus patronage in London is falling, and its regulated system costs an awful lot of money.Andy Burnham is a sensible politician. I just hope that, rather like Matt Rodda, what he says in public is not a true reflection of what he says behind closed doors.I hope he isn’t going to expose the taxpayers of Greater Manchester to the risky costs of franchising, when London shows that it is not a panacea.last_img read more

Nottingham hosts world’s largest double-decker biogas fleet

first_imgDelivery of the world’s largest double-decker biogas-fuelled bus fleet has been completed with Nottingham City Transport having now received all 53 84-passenger-capacity vehicles provided by Scania and Alexander Dennis Limited (LDL).One of Nottingham City Transport’s new biogas-fuelled buses (Pic courtesy of Scania (Great Britain) LtdThe 11.5m long vehicles, each based on Scania’s 280bhp N 280 UD4x2 chassis and equipped with ADL’s Enviro400CBG City body, are now operating daily services on a number of routes in and around Nottingham.Each bus has a minimum range of 250 miles on a single fill and offers reductions of carbon dioxide emissions by up to 84% and low emissions of nitrous oxides and particulate matter to help improve air quality.“The successful introduction of the fleet backed by an installation of an in-house gas refuelling station, is redefining sustainability and demonstrating a new and exciting model of bus operation,” says Martin West, New Bus and Coach Sales Director for Scania (Great Britain) Limited.“Not only does this fleet deliver the green credentials of biogas, it also provides a premium, passenger-centric specification,” says Richard Matthews, ADL’s UK Sales Director.last_img read more

Swans Travel feeds NHS heroes with MasterChef’s Simon Wood

first_imgNominations have poured in for NHS heroes to be recognised by Swans Travel and Simon Wood and receive complimentary meals.The Manchester-based operator teamed up with the BBC MasterChef champion as its Managing Director, Kieran Swindells, felt that the company should recognise the work of the NHS staff working to fight the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.Participants are invited to tag an NHS worker on social media alongside a short message to be in with a chance of winning.Salford City Co-Owner Paul Scholes will select 10 ‘NHS heroes’ tomorrow (29 April), who will each receive two complimentary ‘Wood at Home’ meals, personally delivered by Swans Travel the following weekend.“Simon Wood and Paul Scholes are ‘friends of Swans’, so we reached out to them for their support in recognising the outstanding work of the NHS frontline staff,” says Kieran.Nominations can be made on the Swans Travel Instagram post.last_img read more

South Bend School Board Holds Off on Security Assessment

first_img Facebook Facebook Previous articleStay Off the Pier When the Waves are RockingNext articleIndiana Gets $21M Grant for Drug Overdose Data Collection Carl Stutsman WhatsApp IndianaLocalNewsSouth Bend Market South Bend School Board Holds Off on Security Assessment WhatsApp Pinterest Twitter Twitter Google+ Pinterest (Photo supplied/South Bend Community School Corporation) A vote on a security assessment for South Bend Schools has been delayed for another couple weeks.The assessment would be district wide and include things like armed intruder training for all staff members, natural disaster training, and address overall security issues at school building.Superintendent Todd Cummings said the delay is just to give them more time to work out the details of the contract. They were also very clear that arming teachers would NOT be part of the overall plan.It should cost around $100,000 to carry out the assessment, but that cost is being 100% covered by the State Department of Homeland Security.They are now set to vote on Sept. 16th.ABC 57 has the full story here Google+ By Carl Stutsman – September 4, 2019 0 225 last_img read more

Two women injured in shooting at Leer and Indiana in South Bend

first_img By Jon Zimney – December 1, 2019 0 446 Twitter (Photo supplied/ABC 57) Two women were injured in a shooting in South Bend.Police were called to the 1800 block of Lincoln Way East just before 3 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 1, where they found a 25-year-old woman suffering facial injuries. She was taken to the hospital where her condition was stabilized. Doctors say her injuries are not life-threatening.The second victim, also a 25 year old woman, suffered a laceration injury to the arm that was caused by debris.Through the initial investigation, officers learned the shooting occurred in the area of Leer and Indiana. The victims report they were in a vehicle when it was hit by gunfire.Anybody with information is asked to contact South Bend Police Department at 574-235-9201 or Michiana Crime Stoppers at 574-288-STOP. Facebook Pinterest Facebook Pinterest WhatsApp Two women injured in shooting at Leer and Indiana in South Bend WhatsApp Twitter IndianaLocalNews Google+ Google+ Previous articleArrest made after armed robbery of Approved Cash Store in NilesNext articleClay Fire begins Keep The Wreath Red fire danger awareness program 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.last_img read more

In Brief

first_imgVOLKSWAGEN has launched an appeal against a European Court of First Instance ruling upholding the Commission’s decision to fine the company for alleged anti-competitive practices. The CFI ruled in July that the Commission was justified in punishing the carmaker, but reduced the fine from 102 million euro to 90 million euro after concluding that the infringement occurred only over a three-year period. The Commission levied the fine after concluding that VW had barred its Italian distributor from selling cars to consumers in Germany and Austria.BANCO Commercial Portugues and Greek insurer Interamerican Hellenic Life Insurance have received clearance from EU regulators to set up a banking joint venture called NovaBank. Regulators said the deal would not create or strengthen a dominant position and found no significant overlaps in the parties’ activities outside the planned venture in Greece.EU COMPETITION officials have approved plans by Salzgitter to buy steel tubes maker Mannesmann-Roehrenwerke. The deal was cleared after Salzgitter promised to continue offering plate and hot-rolled wide-strip steel to smaller manufacturers in a non-discriminatory way. THE Commission has approved plans by Alstom to buy a majority stake in railway rolling stock manufacturer Fiat Ferroviaria, a unit of car giant Fiat. Officials said the deal would not affect competition in the Union’s rail equipment market.OIL giant TotalFinaElf’s offer to sell 70 service stations in France to win regulatory approval for the newly-merged oil company has been rejected by the Commission. A spokeswoman said the firm’s list of potential buyers of the motorway service stations was unacceptable because the new owners would not be able to compete with the French giant.COMPETITION Commissioner Mario Monti said this week that the recent spate of media and Internet mergers required anti-trust authorities to change the way they look at market dominance. His comments came as the Commission considers whether to clear or block EMI Group’s 23-billion euro joint venture with Time Warner’s music division as well as Time Warner’s 173-billion euro merger with America Online. Monti said it might be necessary to look at how the industries are structured to see whether the parties’ commercial interest in maintaining the status quo is hampering the development of Internet services.ENERGY Commissioner Loyola de Palacio has warned that the EU will force electricity grid operators to open their networks to competitors if they fail to do so voluntarily. “If no rapid progress is made by voluntary agreements, the Commission will shoulder its responsibility and draft legislative proposals,” she said.last_img read more

Developing road safety

first_imgIt is particularly appropriate that the message should come from Brussels, a capital city where much of the urban road network still lacks sensible priority signs and road markings.More seriously, it is the car industries of Europe, America and Japan which set the technological pace and the accompanying standards and specifications. Yet it is in the developing and emerging countries of the world where over 80% of the road accidents occur. Such countries need safety technologies which are simple, reliable, low-cost and, perhaps above all, easy to repair and maintain. DG Energy and Transport is rightfully concerned about improving road safety within the EU; let us hope that DG Development is keeping an eye on the global transport environment which their colleagues are helping to create.J. Stuart YerrellBudleigh Salterton, Devon, UKlast_img read more

‘Bird flu’ claims first EU victim

first_imgThe Commission’s standing committee on the food chain and animal health was told that the Netherlands’ authorities are investigating the 17 April death of a 57-year-old veterinarian. Initial reports had suggested that the virus was harmless to humans.The vet died of pneumonia in the southern Dutch town of Den Bosch two days after visiting a farm at which animals were infected with avian influenza. Health officials said he had failed to undergo vaccination or take antiviral medication recommended by the government as a preventative measure for workers coming into contact with infected animals. Belgium said it may also decide to apply vaccination against avian influenza of susceptible birds in zoos. The committee also extended until 10 May similar measures in place for Belgium, where only one case of conjuctivitis, a mild eye infection, due to avian flu has been reported – as opposed to 82 in the Netherlands.However, Belgium lifted its own restrictions on domestic transports of chickens and eggs outside areas affected by the outbreak on Monday (21 April).Bird flu claimed six lives in Hong Kong in 1997, but Dutch officialswarned that it was alarmist to compare it to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), the pneumonia-like virus which has claimed more 200 victims worldwide in the past few months.However, they conceded there was a small risk that bird and human flu could produce a mutation that humans might have no immunity against.The mutation could form in pigs, so the standing committee also voted in addition to its existing safety measures that tests will be conducted on pigs kept in infected holdings.center_img A total of 82 Dutch animal health workers have been infected with the disease since late February, but all have since recovered after suffering mild eye infections.Commission spokeswoman Beate Gminder said two further cases of avian flu were discovered in Belgium over Easter following an initial outbreak at a farm in the eastern province of Limburg on 16 April. Some 550 birds were found dead there and the Belgian authorities immediately pledged to slaughter 250,000 birds within a three-kilometre radius of the farm. Anyone coming into direct contact with poultry is being urged to get vaccinated.Meanwhile, some 20 million chickens and turkeys affected by the virus have been slaughtered in the Netherlands since late February, where 233 infected holdings have been confirmed and another 23 are suspected to be contaminated. German farms are on full alert in case the virus spreads into their country.The Commission’s food chain and animal health voted this week to extend until 12 May existing measures in the Netherlands aimed at eradicating the disease. They include an export ban on live poultry, hatching eggs and unprocessed poultry manure or litter. Birds must also be culled in ‘buffer zones’ around the infected areas.last_img read more