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routeone Issue 702 - 9 August 2017

NEWS/this week New style for latest smart motorway The £174m M3 upgrade to a smart motorway is now complete - and it introduces a new style of emergency refuge area. The work started in November 2014. Technology on a 13.4 mile section between the M25 and Farnborough sets the speed limit to match conditions, helps spot queuing traffic, incidents 10 / ROUTE…ONE.NET 9 AUGUST 2017 or broken down vehicles, and informs drivers about conditions ahead. The hard shoulder has been converted to a new fourth traffic lane in each direction, boosting capacity by a third on this busy stretch. As well as the smart motorway upgrade, it is the most extensive maintenance on the M3 since it was built in 1971, fully resurfacing the motorway and its slip roads and restoring it to an ‘as new’ condition. It follows other smart motorways. Library & Archive marks 75 years The Omnibus Society (OS) is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its Walsallbased Library & Archive, widely regarded as the most comprehensive collection of material recording the history of buses throughout the UK, some of it dating back to horse bus days. Newly-appointed Archivist Philip Kirk says: “We have an amazing resource here at Walsall that is the result of dedicated work by many members of the society who understood how important it was to save, catalogue and store irreplaceable items that tell us so much about the history of this amazing industry. “Negotiations are at an advanced stage with the Kithead Trust with a view to merging the two collections, which will mean that an excellent service will get even better.” Darlington rapped over use of S19 holders for school contract work Council slammed by BUSK is now re-tendering school routes for commercial operators School transport safety campaigner BUSK has revealed the part it has played in the DfT’s decision to enforce a ban on Section 19/22 permit holders bidding on competitivelytendered routes see page 9. The organisation warned Darlington Borough Council in January this year about its use of Darlington & District Youth Community Association (DDYCA), a charity using Section 19 permits, for home-to-school Jessamy Chapman / Features Editor contracts. BUSK Director Pat Harris contacted the council after receiving complaints from local operators. Mrs Harris told the council that it was using public money to fund an illegal school bus operation, and putting children using the service at risk. She cited Traffic Commissioner Kevin Rooney’s statement at a Public Inquiry last year that there is a misconception that “non-commercial” means not making a profit, when in fact it means not being paid money routeone/news/1 June 2016. Mrs Harris made a Freedom of Information request to Darlington Council which showed that DDYCA has received well over £200,000 from the council in the last two years. When the council did not stop using DDYCA to provide school services, Mrs Harris wrote to TC Rooney. The Office of the TC said it would investigate. Since the DfT released its letter to issuers of S19/22 permits last week, Darlington Council has put up all of its school services for retender on its website. Mrs Harris says: “This is a very serious matter and one that is also likely to have had a huge effect within the local economy, because local commercial operators have potentially lost a lot of business. “Obviously, from a business perspective, a charity operating in accordance with a Section 19 permit doesn’t have many of the expenses and overheads required of an O-Licensed operator, so to then operate commercially puts them at a significant advantage. “Section 19 permits do not allow this and they were never intended to be used in this way.”


routeone Issue 702 - 9 August 2017
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