The cost to Arriva of Liverpool City Council’s decision to permanently axe all but four bus lanes has been shown in figures revealed by Merseyside’s largest operator.Speaking at a Transport Focus seminar on bus punctuality monitoring in Liverpool last Monday (29 June), Arriva Merseyside Area MD Howard Farrall says that lost mileage â€œincreased massivelyâ€ when the bus lanes were temporarily withdrawn by Mayor Joe Anderson in October 2013.The change was made permanent a year later, although four bus lanes in the city centre were reinstated in November 2014 following what Mr Anderson described as a â€œthorough analysis of their effect on traffic.â€Mr Farrall uses Arriva Merseyside’s high-frequency service 79, from Liverpool to Halewood, to illustrate the effect of the bus lanes’ removal. â€œPrior to this we had worked through reliability issues by speaking to drivers and users. We put an extra vehicle into the service, which made it very reliable â€“ until the bus lanes were taken away.â€He points out that, where bus lanes have been withdrawn, the space is often used by residents to park their cars, rather than to speed the flow of all traffic, as the Mayor intended.â€œWe also find the lack of predictability very difficult to deal with,â€ says Mr Farrall. â€œSince October 2013 we have had to add nine additional buses to our city network. In real terms, that’s around a 1m investment.â€Figures from the operator show that average journey times for the area’s buses, regardless of whether they used bus lanes or not, increased by on average 1% following the lanes’ removal. For non-bus journeys, average journey times increased by an average of 1.5%.However, on Arriva’s route 79, average journey times increased by up to 13.4% during the peaks and by up to 5.6% between them. Arriva will add a further two buses to the service’s PVR next month.â€œIt is up to us to operate a reliable service and we just have to get on and do it,â€ says Mr Farrall.
Our founder Kunj Shah had a nice little chat with Erick “Danger” Coomes, aka Jesus, aka Lord of the Strings, aka the funky bassist of Lettuce. He divulges on the killer Winter Tour they just wrapped up as well as what upcoming events he’s super stoked on, including The Fort with Umphrey’s McGee and Red Rocks with The Motet. Read more about what’s going on in the always amazing life of Jesus Coomes here!Photo by Brandon XuerebL4LM: You just wrapped up a massive winter tour, how did that go?Jesus: It was phenomenal. It was beyond my expectations, it was just awesome. We’re getting somewhere musically and I’m having so much fun playing every night, it’s incredible.L4LM: What were some of the highlights, which cities really kicked ass, where were the crowds poppin’?Jesus: We had a bunch of really good shows. Aspen was a really nice show, Detroit was a great show. LA was the best, we hit LA harder than we’ve ever hit it in my whole life. I live here and we hardly ever play here. We actually sold out the El Rey, which is a cool venue and a classic LA theatre. I’ve seen Dilla play the El Rey, I’ve seen a lot of really great shows there, so to be able to play it and have people come out and support us was awesome. Everyone turned up and it was a great party and a really good time. I think that’s a rare thing too, people talk about LA nightlife and it’s hit or miss. But when it hits, it’s so good, you can have the greatest night ever in LA and I think that’s what we did.*10 Things You Didn’t Know About Jesus From Lettuce*L4LM: What was it like having Break Science on tour with you guys? What was the vibe like having an electronic band open up for Lettuce?Jesus: That was a major blessing, it just completely adds to our party. Borahm is family, so it was great to be able to bring one more person on to the crew that we really love and have known well for years. We really link with them musically too. I’m a big Break Science supporter and fan, so you’ll see me in the front row of those shows rocking out! So to be able to have that and bring the party vibe even harder was great.Jesus raging Break Science with an inflatable bass on Jam Cruise. Photo by Chad SmithL4LM: So L4LM was there from the inception of the forthcoming album, we even had the opportunity to get a glimpse of your writing process in the studio in New Orleans before fall tour which was really something. How has the new material been shaping up the more it gets played live, and what has the crowd reaction been?Jesus: It’s been great. The reaction from the crowd is like…there’s no words to even express the way it feels to play some ill music and see their faces light up and see people just start jamming. There’s no way to express that. But I think in terms of the new material and how that’s playing into it, we know the material pretty well now so it’s just a matter of creating the setlist. So I think when Shmeeans and Zoidis and Deitch and I create the setlist, now we have a lot more to work with. So it’s really cool, we can bookend the show in a hip-hop way, like the other night in Detroit we put “Double Header” at the start and then our hip-hop medley in the end. It’s not gonna be called that…the thing is we don’t have definite names for all the songs yet, we’re just focused on the music, so focused on the music. But when you bookend the show you can make it really hip-hop, or really psychedelic, or super old-soul motown, or more James Brown.Photo by Brandon Xuereb[Be sure to catch Jesus and the Lettuce crew performing at James Brown’s hometown, Augusta, GA, for the Major Rager!]L4LM: Have you been doing different variations of each song, testing them out?Jesus: Oh yeah! We’ve been freaking them out, totally expanding on them and being able to go freestyle heavy.L4LM: What’s your favorite new track?Jesus: Lett Zeppelin. Between that and Phyllis.L4LM: So you’re set to play this 19th century fort in April that normally hosts Civil War re-enactments. Are you psyched to take the funk army to battle with Umphrey’s, and what can we expect in such a cool, different venue?Jesus: It sounds like a trip, I can’t wait! It’s gonna be really fun for sure. I like old places. We’ll bring new energy into a really old place. Joel and I have been texting and I’m pretty excited about it, I can’t wait. I’m glad we finally get to play with Umph’s cause they’re our boys.L4LM: Awesome. So you’ve also got the Red Rocks date coming up with The Motet. Are you stoked to be returning to one of the most spectacular venues in the country as a headliner?Jesus: It’s all I think about all the time. Every day. I can’t wait to go back. I can see it filling up with people in my mind, walking in and on the steps. I can’t wait. We’re gonna go super hard on it and make it a really fun night for sure.Jesus raging Red Rocks with our founder, Kunj ShahL4LM: What’s been your experience playing that venue and what have been some of your best Colorado experiences in general?Jesus: Playing Red Rocks changes life for sure…in case that ever happens to you you’ll be able to know what I’m talking about. Then being able to take that new you and go up into the mountains and go for a hike….I spent a few days up in Carbondale and around different areas hiking and going to hot springs, and it’s just a beautiful feeling like you’re one with nature. And I think that’s really important. I love that place so much. Denver’s great, Boulder, everywhere.L4LM: So you’ve got a bit of a break from touring at the moment, what have you been up to in your downtime?Jesus: I’m making some tracks right now actually, sitting here working on a new project which has yet to be named. I’m working on my computer in Ableton, and my brother Tycoon is gonna come over and help on the drums. We’re making some dance music. For people to dance to!Photo by Patrick HughesL4LM: Nice! So have you been living for live music lately? Seeing any good shows?Jesus: Totally. Umphrey’s is coming next week, so I’m gonna go see them. I’ve only been home in LA for two days but I’ve already been out once and saw this little jam session thing. Yeah, I totally Live for Live Music all the time, that’s my motto!L4LM: What’s on your playlist right now? What’s motivating you these days?Jesus: Aw man, everything’s motivating me man! It’s hard to say…I listen to a lot of DJs, that’s for sure. I’ve always listened to a lot of electronic music, but definitely going on Holy Ship helped me discover more new cool shit. There was so much good music and different genres within EDM, it definitely opened my eyes to some new cool stuff. Rudimental was great on there, Odesza in the Theater, Flume, Disclosure. We’ve got the Break Science Live Band coming up at Aura Music Festival, I’m starting to go over the material for that. Borahm just sent me an e-mail full of stuff I have to learn.L4LM: Are you going to be playing an actual bass or are you going to be playing an inflatable guitar like on jam cruise?Jesus: I will be playing both! That particular inflatable guitar has an incredible tone. Anyway, I’m about to go check out Diplo and Skrillex, they’re playing down in LA right now and it’s free and they’re having a skate competition right there. I’m just sitting by the beach in Long Beach, so I figure I’ll drive over there and check out the party down there. What day is it? Thursday? Friday? Wednesday? Who knows! It’s time to start the weekend.*Lettuce Members Share Real Time Experiences From The Road (Fall Tour)*L4LM: Enjoy that! So anything crazy happen on tour? Everyone was safe this time around, no injuries?Jesus: No injuries, Adam was working hard, everyone kept healthy and in good spirits the whole way through. It was a great tour dude. We had a lot of pu-erh tea and smoothies and actually checked out a lot of fine dining on this one too. It’s getting more and more comfortable to bring the funk around. Cause the funk is funky…when I say comfortable I still mean rough and rugged, but more comfortable. It’s a wonderful life we get to do, waking up in a new city every day and playing music for those people. We sold out places we’ve never even been! That just made us feel so good to get out of that bus after that travel and people already know all about the show and can’t wait. And with that energy to get the day started, by the time you actually get on stage you’re just feeling it. So we just really got to vibe out and get to know each city and then get on stage and be blessed by them.-Kunj ShahCover photo by Joshua Timmermans
Apr 20, 2010Sebelius cites H1N1 success storiesHealth and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius yesterday thanked those “on the front lines” fighting H1N1 flu and highlighted successes. Among them: investing in preparedness, declaring a public health emergency quickly, mobilizing health workers for vaccination, relaying prevention messages, reaching out to other nations, ensuring vaccine safety, defining vaccine priority groups, and employing creative distribution. She said HHS needs to better engage minorities and physicians.http://www.hhs.gov/secretary/speeches/sp20100419.htmlSebelius’s Apr 19 speechVolcanic ash smothers New Zealand’s vaccinationsNew Zealand’s Ministry of Health has halted clinic and workplace influenza vaccinations because of supply issues related to the volcanic ash cloud over Europe, according to Radio New Zealand. Although demand for seasonal influenza vaccine, which includes the pandemic strain, has been “unprecedented” for this time of year, the ash cloud has disrupted vaccine shipments from Paris. An immunization manager said the country has 80,000 vaccine doses in stock.http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/stories/2010/04/20/1247fe67c9ccApr 20 Radio New Zealand reportAlberta seeks reimbursement for unused vaccineAlberta, Canada, is recalling more than 650,000 unused doses of H1N1 vaccine and seeking a refund from its maker, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), according to the Ontario-based National Post. Health Canada has reduced the expiration date for adjuvanted vaccine only from 18 to 6 months, which has left the province with $2.2 million worth of about-to-expire vaccine. An Alberta official said there will be discussions with federal officials, regulators, and GSK about reimbursement.http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=2910645Apr 15 National Post storyMost Australians willing to take vaccine during pandemicAn Australian survey found that most participants would accept pandemic H1N1 vaccine, though their perceived risk for the disease was low. Vaccine became available there Sep 30, 2009; 627 people were surveyed from Sep 5 to Oct 3: 53% perceived their risk of H1N1 as very low to low; 55% were willing to accept vaccine. Other findings: 25% thought H1N1 would affect their health very seriously or extremely, and 49% had made one or more behavior changes (eg, avoiding crowds, frequent hand washing).http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2334/10/99/abstractApr 19 BMC Infect Dis abstractFrench show low acceptance of H1N1 vaccineA survey of over 2,000 people conducted in France 1 week before the country’s November H1N1 peak found the H1N1 vaccine as acceptable by only 17% of respondents. Acceptance was highest among pregnant women, people with chronic diseases, and those who had been formally advised to get vaccine. Of those refusing vaccination, 71% noted safety concerns. H1N1 was perceived as a severe disease by 36%. A mass vaccination campaign had begun last July in France but did not involve primary care physicians.http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0010199Apr 16 PLoS ONE study
Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart Caricom prepared to take Britain to court over reparationsThe 15-member Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries have sent a formal letter of complaint to Britain seeking reparation for slavery.The letter, which was written by Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and sent to the British Foreign Office, calls on London to formally acknowledge the region’s demands for payment for the transatlantic slave trade.Caricom has said it will not release the contents of the letter, which was sent last week by Stuart — who is the chairman of the Caricom subcommittee on reparations — until there is a reply by the British Prime Minister David Cameron.But Caricom has warned that it is prepared, as its next option, to take the matter to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Netherlands for a ruling. The regional grouping says it prefers a negotiated settlement of the matter.Last October, on an official visit to Jamaica, Prime Minister Cameron acknowledged the “wounds of slavery run very deep” but avoided speaking on the issue of reparation as he addressed a joint sitting of the Parliament.Cameron, the first British Prime Minister to visit Jamaica for the last 14 years, said the slave trade was one “from which history has drawn the bitterest of lessons”.“That the Caribbean has emerged from the long, dark shadows that it casts is testament to the resilience and spirit of its people. I acknowledge that these wounds run very deep indeed, but I do hope that as friends, who have gone through so much together since those darkest of times, we can move on from this painful legacy and continue to build for the future,” Cameron said in his only remarks to the transatlantic slave trade,“ Cameron said.But former Jamaica Prime Minister P J Patterson criticised Cameron for seeking to “trivialise and diminish the significance of 300 years of British enslavement of Africans”.In an open letter to the British leader, Patterson said the slave trade is still “a most heinous crime against humanity — a stain which cannot be removed merely by the passage of time”.Last month, Sir Hilary Beckles, who chairs the Caricom Reparations Commission, said Caribbean countries were not looking for “handouts” as a result of its call for reparation for the slave trade.Professor Beckles, who is also Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI), told a public lecture on Reparation organised by Oxford University, that a suggestion by European countries that ‘they have now moved on… sorry it is a closed chapter there is nothing to discuss” does not negate the call for compensation.The Caribbean countries say they will allow “a two-year period to elapse” before formally taking the matter to the World Court for adjudication.Leaders have already hired a British law firm, which won payment for Kenyan tribesmen, to represent their case both to the British Government and to the court.
Point guard position for Jazz uncertain going forward with free agent George Hill and 3 part-time starters
Utah Jazz: Gobert’s huge strides this season a big reason for team’s improvement Related There’s always competition and that’s a good thing because it accelerates growth and fuels improvement. I feel good about everyone who’s played that position. – Utah Jazz head coach Quin SnyderSALT LAKE CITY — No team in the NBA has played as many point guards for significant minutes as the Utah Jazz have over the past couple of seasons.During the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons, the Jazz started four different players at the point guard position for at least 25 games. Because of injuries and other factors, it’s been divided fairly equally among George Hill (49), Shelvin Mack (36), Raul Neto (53) and Dante Exum (26), who also started 41 games in 2014-15 as a rookie before sitting out a year with a knee injury.Those four are among a dozen players the Jazz have started at point guard since Deron Williams was traded in 2011 after manning the point for five and a half years. With Hill’s status up in the air as a free agent, the Jazz have little idea right now who will be the starting point guard when the 2017-18 season opens in October.Hill is the logical choice should he decide to re-sign with Utah, albeit at a much higher price tag than the $8 million he received this past season. At Tuesday’s season-ending press conference, Hill wouldn’t reveal his plans, saying, “I let that take care of itself this summer,” but he had nothing but good things to say about his time in Utah.“I loved it,” he said. “I love the culture, the fans, the organization . . . I was fortunate to be in this position with these guys and happy with what we accomplished as a group. We set some goals to get 40-plus wins, 50-plus and get to the playoffs and we accomplished those things. Hopefully we continue to build in the future.”That sounds like Hill wants to stick around and he also talked about how Hayward “is like my little brother now.” But the Jazz may not be able to pay him what another franchise may offer.Hill said “it didn’t end the way I like it with the injuries,” as he was limited to 49 games because of injuries to his thumb, toe, groin and concussion symptoms. But he dismissed the idea that he is injury–prone, saying he only had one major injury in his first eight seasons in the NBA.If Hill does opt to go elsewhere on the free agent market, the Jazz must decide if one of their other three point guards is up to the task of becoming a full-time NBA starter. Otherwise, they may look at the free agent market or a trade for a starting point guard, which isn’t easy in a league where top point guards are at a premium.When coach Quin Snyder was asked about the point guard logjam, he mostly deferred, saying, “A lot will come down to what guys do this summer. There’s always competition and that’s a good thing because it accelerates growth and fuels improvement. I feel good about everyone who’s played that position.”The night before, Snyder had praised Exum, a player that he didn’t want to single out during the season. He hinted that the reason Exum didn’t see more minutes was because of a lack of team play by the 21-year-old Australian.“What Dante’s shown, the last half of the season especially, is his ability to play within the team and help the team,” he said. “Anytime you’re on the floor and help your team play better, you’re doing a good job.”Snyder also pointed out that Exum, Mack and Neto have all been starters for significant stretches over the past two years and also how they’ve each been the fourth-string point guard.“That’s unusual, so to be able to ride that roller-coaster, you have to respect them,” he said. “It’s always gratifying when you see guys coming back raise their level and that’s what you saw (all three) do.”Exum admitted to being frustrated by his lack of playing time — he averaged just 18.6 minutes, didn’t get off the bench for nine games and was injured for seven.“Obviously it’s frustrating when your minutes go up and down,” he said. “It’s something as a professional athlete you have to fight through.”However, Exum says he’s confident he can take over starting point guard duties if Hill decides to go elsewhere.“I definitely have confidence in myself that I’m a point guard and ready to lead this team, whatever George decides,” he said.Mack, who joined the team in February of 2016 when he immediately took over starting point guard duties from Neto, hardly played for nearly two months when he was relegated to No. 4 on the depth chart and then got injured. However, he got the playoff minutes against Golden State, perhaps to the chagrin of many Jazz fans, who are rooting for Exum to turn into the star he was projected to be when the Jazz drafted him in 2014 with the No. 5 pick.Mack performed admirably against Golden State, averaging 12.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists while making 6 of 12 3-point shots, but he isn’t looked at as the long-term solution and he seems to know that as a free agent.“Everything will take care of itself,” he said. “I’m thankful and blessed and I’ll be in the NBA next year, so I’m taking it one season at a time and I’ll let my agent handle that.”As for Neto, his future is uncertain after starting 53 games as a rookie and then not starting and playing in just 40 games total this year.“I was thinking my first season would be like this and it was kind of the opposite,” he said. “It was a different season for me, but I got better and I think that’s what matters.”The Jazz have a team option on Neto, who turns 25 next week.“We’ll see how things go with the Jazz during the summer,” he said. “We have a lot of free agents and they have a lot of decisions to make. I hope I’m here, I’m real happy and I’ll work hard to take my opportunities for next year.”