Archives for category: Transport

It sounds like a ghost story: A huge cargo vessel sails up and down the Norwegian coast, silently going about its business, without a captain or crew in sight. But if all goes as planned, it’s actually the future of shipping.

Last week, Kongsberg Gruppen ASA, a Norwegian maritime-technology firm, and Yara ASA, a fertilizer manufacturer, announced a partnership to build the world’s first fully autonomous cargo containership. Manned voyages will start in 2018, and in 2020 the Yara Birkeland will set sail all on its own. It’s the beginning of a revolution that should transform one of the world’s oldest and most conservative industries — and make global shipping safer, faster and cleaner than it’s ever been.

The commercial rationale for autonomous ships has long been clear. The U.S. Coast Guard has estimated that human error accounts for up to 96 percent of all marine casualties.

Source: Autonomous Ships Will Be Great – Bloomberg


Local authorities are refusing to take simple measures that will provide new legal protection from discrimination for wheelchair-users who want to travel by taxi. On 6 April, the government finally brought into force legislation that imposes fines of up to £1,000 on drivers of taxis and private hire vehicles who refuse to accept wheelchair-users, try to charge them extra, or fail to provide them with appropriate assistance. But the new laws only apply in those areas where the local authority has drawn up a list of all the wheelchair-accessible taxis and private hire vehicles in their area. Even though the government has been encouraging councils to start drawing up such lists for the last seven years, early responses to freedom of information requests sent by a disabled activist to every council that licenses taxis in England, Scotland and Wales have revealed that many are refusing to draw up the lists. So far, about one in four of the councils that have replied to Doug Paulley have said

Source: Setback for taxi wheelchair access, after councils snub new laws | DisabledGo News and Blog


Disabled people hit by the government’s benefit reassessment programme will be able to keep their Motability vehicles for up to six months while they appeal against losing their eligibility, thanks to a new series of measures. The changes will help former claimants of disability living allowance (DLA) who lose their eligibility for the higher rate of mobility support after being assessed for the new personal independence payment (PIP), and are therefore no longer able to stay on the Motability scheme. The need for the new measures has been highlighted by new Motability figures, which show the overall number of its customers plunged by 22,000 (3.4 per cent) to 633,000 between March 2016 and the end of March 2017. This is only slightly higher than the 629,000 customers at the time PIP was launched in April 2013, despite tens of thousands of new customers joining the scheme in the last four years. Last summer, Disability News Service (DNS) revealed that Motability expected 35,000 vehicles –

Source: Minister announces new PIP flexibility on Motability… but no sign of scheme extension | DisabledGo News and Blog


United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz is blaming “a system failure” for the dragging of a passenger off a flight earlier this month

Source: United CEO Oscar Munoz Blames David Dao Incident on ‘System Failure’ – NBC News


A new badge specially designed to make travelling easier for people who find it difficult to stand has been officially launched by Transport for London today. The blue ‘Please Offer Me a Seat’ badge is available to disabled passengers and those with hidden conditions, illnesses and injuries, to help them find a seat on public transport. The badge, and accompanying card have been created following requests from customers who can struggle to get a seat as their need is not immediately obvious. A six week trial with 1,200 people was held in autumn last year to test the new badge and card. More than 72 per cent of journeys were found to be easier as a result of the badge, and 98 per cent of people taking part in the trial said they would recommend it to somebody who needed it. The free badge and card is now available through the TfL website – http://www.tfl.gov.uk/accessibility The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “These blue badges will make a real difference to passengers who need a seat but just haven’t felt

Source: ‘Please offer me a seat’ badges launched on London transport network | DisabledGo News and Blog


Same Difference

Jenny Gumbrell has been housebound and unable to work since returning from a trip to New Zealand in mid-February. When her flight arrived at Gatwick she discovered that her portable mobility scooter was in pieces, having been apparently dropped from a height. It was declared beyond economic repair and, since then, the multiple sclerosis sufferer from Winchester has fought in vain to persuade Emirates Airlines to pay for a replacement.

“I can’t leave the house unless I pay for a taxi,” says Gumbrell, who had to be pushed by airport staff in a borrowed wheelchair to her taxi. “The scooter gives me a sense of independence, despite the difficulties caused by my condition.”

Gumbrell’s plight highlights the inadequacy of aviation law when it concerns travellers with disabilities. Airlines are only obliged to pay passengers a maximum of around £1,200 when their luggage is lost or damaged. The threshold was…

View original post 1,218 more words


Waging endless wars abroad isn’t making America, or the rest of the world any safer, it’s certainly not making America great again, and it’s undeniably

Source: Beware the Dogs of War: Is the American Empire on the Verge of Collapse? – TruePublica


The CEO of United Airlines has said that employees “followed established procedures” in an incident which saw a passenger dragged off an overbooked US domestic flight.

In an email to employees, Oscar Munoz said he was “upset to see and hear about what happened”.

But he said that the passenger had been “disruptive and belligerent”.

The airline earlier said that it was investigating what happened after videos provoked a social media outcry.

The footage taken inside the airliner shows a man being pulled out of his seat and dragged down the aisle. He is later seen with blood on his face.

Shares in United Continental Holdings, which owns United Airlines, dropped by more than 3% on Tuesday, the day after the incident.

The man has not been officially identified but a passenger who sat next to him told BBC Radio 5 Live that he said he was originally from Vietnam and had been living in Louisville, Kentucky, for about 20 years. He said he and his wife were both doctors.

The flight from Chicago to Louisville on Sunday evening had been overbooked.

The airline wanted to get four passengers to leave the flight to make room for four staff members.

Source: United Airlines: Passenger forcibly removed from flight – BBC News


It is reported that plans for a ‘toxin tax’, after repeated calls for a diesel scrappage scheme, will be unveiled to crack down on air pollution

Source: If you drive a diesel car you could soon have to pay up to £20 a DAY – Daily Record


A new user-led campaign is calling on the government to address the “disgraceful” and “unacceptable” treatment experienced by disabled rail passengers. Transport for All (TfA) has issued a series of seven demands to the government and rail industry as part of its Rail Access Now campaign, and has described the current situation as a source of “national shame”. Next month, on 5 April, TfA is planning a protest about access to services on the much-criticised Southern Rail network. The campaign has been backed by Paralympian Anne Wafula Strike and commuter Dave McQuirk, who both spoke this week of the “shocking” treatment they have received when using the rail system as wheelchair-users. Among TfA’s demands is for the government to reverse the “shameful” decision to defer until at least 2019 nearly half of the planned spending on its Access for All programme, which provides funding to improve access at rail stations. The funding delays were first revealed by Disability News Service last

Source: Campaign hopes to force improvements to ‘disgraceful’ access to rail travel | DisabledGo News and Blog

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