Rail replacement PSVAR: Where does it go next?

first_imgThe question of how PSVAR will be satisfied on rail replacement services rumbles on. Minister of State for Transport Chris Heaton-Harris expects the rail industry to deliver a pathway to compliance. But how that will be achieved remains a mystery.In a letter to the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) – the rail industry’s trade body – the Minister made it clear that he views PSVAR as its problem to solve. It is not for coach operators to deal with, although they will naturally be involved in any work that may deliver what the Minister is demanding.That puts rail replacement service providers in a difficult position. Among them is Abellio. The Dutch group holds several rail franchises and it also administers a good chunk of the UK’s rail replacement work.The current exemption from PSVAR on rail replacement expires on 30 April. Availability of compliant coaches, lead times for new vehicles and the rate at which conversions can be undertaken mean that there is likely to have been little change to the status quo by then.Is rail replacement PSVAR an impossible problem?That leaves service providers with only one avenue, says Abellio Rail Replacement (ARR) Business Support Manager Paul O’Bentley: Seek another exemption.“For us, PSVAR is an ARR problem but it is also a railway problem. It is not long until the current exemption expires. The rail industry, via the RDG, will be going back to the Minister and making further representations.”ARR accepts that, unlike home to school work, coach operators view rail replacement as jam on the cake. Some may divorce themselves from it entirely if full PSVAR compliance is mandated.Because of that, the need for a realistic dialogue about how things move forwards is obvious. Whether there will be compromise is unknown. But it is fact that there are insufficient compliant coaches to satisfy demand, and the rail industry’s appetite for moving towards buses is minimal.ARR will soon launch an online questionnaire that will not be limited in scope to its suppliers. It will attempt to start a discussion on where rail replacement goes in the future. Talks will include key stakeholders.It does not expect to settle on a solution easily. If one existed, it would have been found by now.Presenting a plan to governmentChris Heaton-Harris wants compliance – but how it will be achieved is unclearViews generated by this process will be used as part of a plan presented to Chris Heaton-Harris.ARR sees its consultation process with suppliers as giving them a voice; it does not plan to propose a concrete solution to the government.It is important that coach operators take the opportunity to have their say.ARR has swapped some work to buses under what Paul calls “the right circumstances,” but he adds that there will be no wholesale shift across the board. Coaches remain favoured under most circumstances.ARR is mindful of operators that have invested to satisfy PSVAR. Paul takes their collective point that they have been treated shabbily via the various exemptions. But he also notes that the government has ensured that they are still favoured.“We are required to always seek PSVAR compliant vehicles first. That gives suppliers that have them some degree of certainty,” he says. Only after that supply has been exhausted are non-PSVAR coaches with exemption certificates sourced.What has already been raised with ARR by more than one of its suppliers is the discrepancy between the number of wheelchair user spaces on some trains and what is called for by PSVAR on replacement road vehicles.An 11-carriage train may have three spaces for wheelchair users. That does not correlate with Chris Heaton-Harris’s view that all replacement road vehicles should eventually be PSVAR compliant. Raising points such as that is important as part of the coming discussion process, says Paul.‘Constructive dialogue’ is necessary“Our job now is to articulate those opinions. They must go into the discussion. Dialogue will centre on what the coach industry can offer that is within the spirit of the Regulations.“What we cannot bring is a list of reasons why PSVAR is impossible. Instead, it is incumbent on the coach industry to outline what it can do.“We have to look forward and at what is achievable, although we acknowledge that for now, that is hard. The focus must be on what is doable. Suggestions are welcome.”Chris Heaton-Harris’ decree that PSVAR must be achieved on all rail replacement vehicles may sound incredibly naive. But he has made clear that is what he expects in the fullness of time.The tone of his letters, and the suggestion of a Judicial Review into exemptions brought by wheelchair users’ lobby groups, make it clear that there is only one way forward: A road to compliance.What that compliance looks like under those circumstances is unclear. It remains to be seen whether the Minister will put forward realistic ideas of his own that will help to achieve his goal.Through rail replacement providers, the coach industry now has its chance to have a say in the process of bringing about a satisfactory conclusion to one of the most absurd episodes in its recent history.last_img read more


258 Trucks Deliver Hay To Farmers Suffering From Drought (Video)

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreOver 800 drought afflicted farmers in the Queensland area of Australia rejoiced at the site of a truck convoy carrying salvation this week.Thanks to an overwhelming wave of cash donations, 14,000 hay bales worth $6 million were delivered to the struggling community by The Burrumbuttock Hay Runners.WATCH: Disabled Veteran Converts Wheelchair into Snow Plow to Help Town258 trucks, 406 trailers and 500 volunteers completed the 1800 kilometer journey, drawing cheering families and farmers out to the road in celebration of the newly-delivered resources.“All keeping the dream alive for our Aussie Farmers,” a post to the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners Facebook page read.RELATED: Tesco to Give All Unsold Food to Charity in its 800 UK SupermarketsThe delivery even broke the volunteer’s January record of 120 volunteers delivering 4,500 bales of hay, but the organization says they have no plans of stopping and their next stop will be Thargomindah in the southwest Queensland area.(WATCH the trucks pulling in below…) Photo by Thomas HinterdorferDeliver This Story of Community To Your Friends: Click to Share…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more


Bike New York rides with JustGiving

first_img Related JustGiving, ‘the world’s no.1 fundraising platform’ has announced a new partnership with Bike New York. The online giving platform has 16 years’ experience and 20 million users in 164 countries around the world. In that time, it has helped raise US$4.2billion for thousands of charities, crowd funders and good causes.After launching a presence in the US in February, JustGiving will bring its social fundraising expertise to Bike New York’s TD Five Boro Bike Tour Presented by REI and its 32,000 participants. Combine this with the recent acquisition of Just Give and its 1 million users and 1000 companies, JustGiving and Bike New York are ‘poised to revolutionize fundraising in the USA’.This new partnership launches as the TD Five Boro Bike Tour enters its fortieth year. To celebrate this, Bike New York will introduce its 40/40/40 campaign – asking riders to celebrate its 40th anniversary by cycling 40 miles and raising a dollar a mile to help educate New York kids about bike safety and skills.32,000 cyclists x US$1 a mile = 75,000 kids educated.Anthony Valentino, JustGiving’s Director of Business Development said of the partnership, “The entire global team at JustGiving is ecstatic to be partnered with Bike New York to deliver a completely new and innovative donation stream to support the great work they do. It is incredibly meaningful for us to make a huge impact for BNY and the community they serve coordinated with celebrating the 40th anniversary of the iconic TD Five Boro Bike Tour.”Ken Podziba, CEO of Bike New York said “We think that the bicycle is a powerful tool to affect change and improve lives, and we are so grateful to the 32,000 cyclists who support our vision by participating in America’s largest bike ride, the TD Five Boro Bike Tour Presented by REI.“Last year alone, we were able to teach more than 17,000 kids and adults how to ride safely and confidently through our free bike education programs, and this year, on the Tour’s 40th Anniversary, we want to expand our programming in order to share the transformative power of the bicycle with even more New Yorkers. We’re thrilled to be partnering with the fundraising experts at JustGiving on this crowdfunding campaign, and can’t wait to kick it off in anticipation of the Tour on May 7.”www.justgiving.comwww.bike.nyclast_img read more


Gloria Williams named head girls basketball coach at Parkway

first_imgNew Parkway head girls basketball coachGloria Williams, then an assistant, sits between former head coach Aaron Megee and assistant Kent Falting during a game in the 2014-15 season. Gloria Williams, an assistant for five years, has been promoted to head girls basketball coach at Parkway.Williams takes over for Aaron Megee, who stepped down after 13 years to become an assistant principal at Haughton Middle School.Williams said she’s very appreciative of the administration at Parkway, including new principal Waylon Bates, for giving her the opportunity.“I’m super excited about it,” she said. “Everyone in my family is excited about it. I got out of head coaching when I first moved here to Bossier Parish. It’s always been a dream of mine to become a head coach again. Once this opportunity presented itself, it’s like, it’s just awesome.”Before moving to Bossier Parish, Williams was the head girls basketball and track and field coach at Ringgold. She spent one year coaching at Rusheon Middle School before coming to Parkway as an assistant in 2011.“She’s got a great vision where she wants to take the program and help rebuild the program,” Parkway athletic director Rick Bryant said. “She’s been here at Parkway as an assistant coach. She sees the things these girls need to do. She’s been with them. She’s developed great relationships with these kids, and she has an excellent vision on how to move this program forward and be successful.” Williams thinks she is more ready now to be a head coach again after her experience at Rusheon and as an assistant to Megee. “Being at a middle school and then going to a high school as an assistant has made me a better coach,” she said.Williams is married to Bossier boys head coach Jeremiah Williams, who is fresh off winning his second Class 4A state championship.“He’s just excited as I am,” Williams said. “He knows that I’ve wanted to get back to head coaching.”Parkway won six district championships and 258 games during Megee’s tenure. He led the Lady Panthers to eight straight playoff appearances from 2004-05 to 2011-12. Parkway reached the Class 4A semifinals in the 2007-08 season after consecutive trips to the quarterfinals.After moving up to Class 5A in 2011-12, Parkway lost to eventual state champion Lafayette in the second round 53-44. Since then, the program has had a tough stretch with no playoff appearances in the last four seasons.Williams obviously believes there is plenty of potential at Parkway to get the program back to where it was.“We have some athletic kids that are in the program,” she said. “They’re working hard this summer. We’re excited about the new leadership and where the possibilities could take us.”Williams said there naturally is some basketball talk in her household between her and her husband, but the two try to keep it to a minimum.“We don’t make that the main priority here at home because we have so many other responsibilities,” she said. “We try not to talk about it too much, but we’ve had to talk about it a lot in the last couple of weeks in making this decision.”There is also some strategy talk.“We do talk about the scheme of the games, the Xs and 0s and what would you do in this situation,” she said “It’s pretty funny because he likes to use coins to draw up plays and so it’s always — if the ball is here, this, this, this and that, and I’m always like well, what if you do this, and I change it in a different direction. It’s nice to have that support and extra head to bounce ideas off of.”One thing the Williams definitely have in common is their belief that playing tough defense leads to success.“We are definitely defensive-oriented in this household,” she said. “We know that defense wins championships and offense wins games. We have to have that defensive mindset.”Russell Hedges/Press-TribuneNew Parkway head girls basketball coach Gloria Williams, then an assistant coach, sits between former head coach Aaron Megee and assistant Kent Falting during a game in the 2014-15 season.— Russell Hedges, [email protected] Expat InsuranceExpat Living in Hong Kong without Health Insurance?Top Expat Insurance|SponsoredSponsoredUndoNews gadgetThis watch takes the whole country by storm! it’s price? Ridiculous!News gadget|SponsoredSponsoredUndoTheTopFiveVPNThe Secret Netflix Doesn’t Want You To Know To Unblock RestrictionsTheTopFiveVPN|SponsoredSponsoredUndoPerfect-Dating.comAre You Ready to Meet Cool Guys in Tung Chung?Perfect-Dating.com|SponsoredSponsoredUndoTheTopFiveVPNThe Trick Netflix Doesn’t Want You To Know To Unlock RestrictionsTheTopFiveVPN|SponsoredSponsoredUndoCelebsland.com9 Celebrity Before-And-After Plastic Surgery DisastersCelebsland.com|SponsoredSponsoredUndolast_img read more


The fight for the first place among the mortals

first_imgAlthough the end of the first round, in which the big Riga derby is still planned and “Riga” will still have to host “Ventspils”, and also the transition period may change the proportions of points, currently there are three layers in the Premier League table. Both Riga’s big clubs RFS and “Riga”, which will be dueling for the first time in the season on Friday, have become the strongest layer, the latter being debutant “Tukums 2000” / TSS, but in the middle layer there are even seven clubs, which are currently separated by only four points. If until recently “Ventspils” could flourish that only the derby of the capital is expected, and at least in terms of demonstrated performance we could talk about the big three, then the unplanned loss in Jelgava (0: 1) has left Kurzeme for the time being ordinary mortals category.The results of the first rounds may be deceptive in the long run, but at least for the time being, “Ventspils” continues to accumulate significantly fewer points in the tradition of the previous season than in its own field. At home, Ventspils players have seven points out of nine, missing the victory over “Valmiera” (2: 2), but the guests’ subordinates Viorela Frunze have suffered two losses in three matches – although the loss in the opening round against RFS (0: 1) was more of a coincidence. . Tonight “Ventspils” will visit Daugavpils, which is usually an inconvenient place for away teams, but “Daugavpils” has a very bad historical balance against “Ventspils” – only one victory in six games, which was achieved six years ago. “Ventspils” has responded with 12 successes, and last season the people of Kurzeme scored eight out of twelve points.While Moldovan Frunze, who became the first head coach in the Premier League to collect three warnings and disqualification, will be allowed to return to the helm of Ventspils, Jelgava will have to do without one of the middle line leaders Jevgenijs Kazačoks tonight due to the card norm. “Jelgava”, thanks to Nikita Ivanov’s goal after Igor Kozlov’s corner kick, managed to stop three series of losses against “Ventspils”, while “Valmiera” won in Liepaja (also 1: 0) and has not lost in four matches in a row, seemingly starting to play after the heavy the first round of the calendar.It is interesting that in six games “Valmiera” was in control of the ball only against “Tukums 2000” / TSS (67.2%), while in the other five matches the maximum was 45.2%. In contrast, Jelgava’s average ball control rate is 51.4%, which can be attributed to a good calendar – in three matches against the latter, there was an advantage, especially against Tukums (68.6%), but then the ball control deficit against the best of last season followed. three. Valmiera also has the second worst score in terms of shots allowed to opponents – an average of 16.00, allowing opponents to make at least 10 shots in each game. In the previous season, “Valmiera” once lost to Jelgava – two victories, two draws, 4: 1 goal.Since yesterday, the new gathering restrictions have come into force in the competitions organized by LFF – no more than 250 people will be able to attend the games in the future, at the same time not exceeding 30% of the stadium capacity. Clubs must also ensure that viewers’ contact information is collected. While “Jelgava” game visitors will be able to provide contact information at the entrance, “Daugavpils” has announced registration for the game via e-mail – registration is mandatory until 14:00.Sportacentrs.com TV channel will broadcast the game in full from Daugavpils, but we will connect to Jelgava in the second half. You will also be able to watch both matches on Sportacentrs.com.7th round of the Optibet Premier LeagueDateTimeThe gameLive streamRez.12.07.16:00Tukums 2000 – RigaSportacentrs.com TV 1:512.07.18:00Metta – RFSBest4SportTV0:112.07.20:00Liepāja – SpartakGame moved!13.07.18:00Daugavpils – VentspilsSportacentrs.com TV13.07.19:00Jelgava – ValmieraSportacentrs.com TVTournament tableVThe teamSUNWITHGatesP1.RFS770019:5212.Riga760118:4183.Ventspils631210:6104.Jelgava63034:695.Spartacus62229:1286.Valmiera62227:1087.Liepaja62048:1068.Daugavpils620413:1169.Metta72057:13610.Tukums 200070164:221The best goal scorersVPlayerThe teamGates1.EmersonsRFS62.Nemaņa BelakovičsSpartacus53.Chinonso OforsDaugavpils44.Raimonds KrollisMetta4 (1)Tolu ArokodareValmiera4 (1)Kulē MbomboRiga FC46.Kaspars SvārupsVentspils3Eugene KozlovVentspils3Cedric QuadioRFS3Tomasz SimkovichRFS3last_img read more