Tag Archives: henry bilinski

Smart transport ticketing in the North?

HATS Group and Olympic South Ltd CEO Henry Bilinski discusses new ‘Oyster Care for the north’.

The simple, but innovative Oyster card has come to define travel in London – it’s helped to transform the way we use and view underground transport. But can the highly successful, easy-to-use payment system be used outside of London? Well, we might be about to find out.

Efficiency and accessibility

In today’s transport industry, efficiency and accessibility is everything. Services and transport such as buses, trains and taxis haven’t changed too much over the years in terms of their primary function, but there’s always more we can do when it comes to performance and overall value.

Introducing a new system for quick travel payments in London was a big step for improved transport. The Oyster card, followed by Apple Pay and contactless card payments, has led the Capital’s underground system into a new era. But if our new efficient payment system is so affective – surely other cities in the UK should follow?

Autumn spending review

Well according to a number of sources, Chancellor George Osbourne is expected to announce £150m in new cash to start rolling out an ‘Oyster Card for the north’ at the autumn spending review.

This new smart ticketing system could see use in cities such as Manchester and Liverpool in the future, in which passengers could travel by bus, train or tram, in a number of different locations, all using the same digital ticket.

Next steps

Whilst digital, mobile phone tickets are already available on a number of different transport modes in the North, this new smart system will see more fluidity between different providers and transport systems. Great news for commuters.

TfN (Transport for the North) says smart ticketing will ’make it simple and easy to travel around and between city regions’.

It’ll be a long wait until the new ‘northern Oyster card’ is up and running, but this could be great news for transport users in the North.

More information when it comes in.

Until next time…

Henry Bilinski.

No night tube in 2015

When it was announced earlier this year that a number of main underground train stations in London would introduce a new ‘night tube’ service, the response from the public was mainly positive. But with unions locked in talks with London Underground representatives, it seems the new 24-hour service won’t be properly introduced until 2016.

‘Night Tube’ Service

Originally due to start in September, the ‘night tube’ service has been significantly delayed amid talks over pay and working conditions. These talks, between representatives from train union ASLEF and London Underground bosses, have broken down, with no current agreement in sight.


Talking about the negotiations, district organiser for ASLEF, Finn Brennan, confirmed a recent breakdown on the 15th of October saying:

“Unfortunately talks ended without any agreement, it’s pretty clear night tubes won’t be running in this year.”

Despite failed negotiations, which have been on-going for the past 3 months, the union hopes to resume talks with London Underground to resolve issues regarding working conditions for drivers and Underground staff.

What next?

Brennan said he would discuss next steps with other union representatives so that an agreement could be met:

“We have put forward a number of proposals to resolve this dispute in a way that is fair and benefits both sides. London Underground have rejected them all. Most disappointingly of all, [London Underground] have decided to blackmail their own employees by refusing to make a pay offer unless staff agree to worsen their working conditions. That is not something we are prepared to accept.”

With such an innovative and well-publicised new service at stake, talks between both unions and London Underground couldn’t be more important. And despite the delays in opening the service, here’s to hoping the 24-hour night tube is introduced in early 2016.

You can find out more about the service delays over on the Guardian website.

Until next time….

Henry Bilinski.

About the Author

Henry Bilinski is the UK Chief Executive Officer for the Health and Transport Services (HATS) Group/Olympic South Ltd based in Wimbledon.

Henry is a highly experienced Chief Executive with over 30 years’ experience working in the transport and logistics industry. Having acted as a Dispatch Rider, Operations Controller, Managing Director, Owner and CEO for a number of different organisations throughout his career, Henry is an expert in his field.