Tag Archives: Transport

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.

Student protest coincides with transport halts

Last week, a student protest in London turned violent when police clashed with rioters. Over 12 arrests were made whilst local transport came to a grinding halt.

Protests

Protesting against high fees and the government’s plans to scrap student grants, thousands of students and demonstrators marched outside the Home Office in central London.

Starting as a peaceful march, the protest soon turned sour when protesters met police lines in the capital.

Rioters hurled paint outside the Home Office whilst others threw smoke bombs and attempted to push their way into the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.

Officers on the scene were said to have arrested over 12 of the protesters for public order offences after the riot subsided.

Transport strikes

Adding to the unease in the capital, transport strikes also brought travel to a halt, meaning long delays and panic.

Transport union RMT continued with their 48-hour strike on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), which ended on Thursday morning.

Speaking about the strikes, RMT general secretary Mick Cash said:

“RMT negotiators have made every effort over the past 72 hours to resolve this dispute through negotiation but due to the sheer intransigence of the management the DLR will now face its first ever all-out strike action in the 28 years history of the railway.”

Ongoing problems

All in all, with student protests, rail strikes and bonfire night problems, it hasn’t been a particularly good few weeks for London commuters and locals. The increasing number of ongoing disruptions to transport in the capital is extremely worrying, and with night tube negotiations still ongoing, we might not see any true respite until early 2016.

With the Christmas period quickly approaching, we can only hope that these issue die down soon.

You can find out more about the recent protests and strikes over on the BBC website.

For more information about me and my work, be sure to visit the HATS Group website.

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.

Negotiations

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.

Henry Bilinski discusses ambulances vandalised in West Midlands

Ambulance and healthcare transport services need to be more prepared than ever after repeat attacks in the West Midlands.

HATS Group

At the Healthcare and Transport Services (HATS) Group and Olympic South Ltd, we’re always well aware of the importance of our services to the community and those around us. That’s why we go to such great lengths to deliver our specialist services, day in day out, no matter the risks.

Working in patient and home to school transport, at HATS, we take our jobs very seriously. When helping the vulnerable and dependant, we help to deliver services which are as comfortable and risk-free as possible – employing the very best individuals and implementing first-class procedures and practices.

Managing risks

Preparing for complications and managing risks is something we’re very used to at HATS. We regularly review our services and make sure that our staff are equipped for new problems and potential accidents, especially when in the field. And with the unexpected news about ambulance services in the West Midlands this week, there’s never been a better time to be prepared.

Vandalism

Reported by ITV news, it seems ambulances in the West Midlands area are being targeted by vandals, after two vehicles were recently attacked in under 24 hours.

Ambulance Vandalised Henry Bilinski
Credit: WMAS

The second of the two attacks took place whilst paramedics were inside a building treating patients. The ambulance’s window was smashed in in Shrewsbury as paramedics treated a victim of an assault. The bumper of another ambulance was prised off on the same day.

Speaking about the attacks, Area Manager for Warwickshire said:

“It’s beggar’s belief why someone would do this to an ambulance, a vehicle designed to help save lives.

“The ambulance crew noticed the damage immediately after returning to their vehicle and were very disappointed and upset by the incident.”

As the CEO of a Group working in healthcare transport, it’s shocking to see such disregard for services dedicated to helping people. It’s something at HATS, we hope we and our transport users never have to experience first-hand.

For more about the story, please visit ITV, and for more about HATS, be sure to visit www.HATSGroup.com.

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.