by James Scannell

TfL Celebrates International Women in Engineering Day

On 22 June, to mark International Women in Engineering Day (23 June), Transport for London (TfL) profiled a number of its engineers across the London Underground network by displaying inspirational messages about why they got into the profession. Customers were able to see them at Canning Town, Cannon Street and Loughton Tube stations, as they made their journeys through Britain’s capital.

The vinyl displays were part of the Year of Engineering campaign led by the Department for Transport and taking place during 2018. The displays and campaign aim to debunk some myths around the profession, including it being a ‘profession for men’, and to inspire the next generation of engineers. It is incredibly important that more people are brought into engineering roles as it is anticipated that there will be a shortfall of more than 55,000 people equipped to work in transport infrastructure by 2020. Moreover, research shows that having a diverse workforce is vital for any organisation as it increases levels of innovation, safety and performance.

There is a particular lack of women in the engineering sector. According to Engineering UK in their State of Engineering report, only 12 per cent of those working in core and related engineering roles are women. Research also shows that at every age boys are far more likely than girls to consider a career in engineering. The displays showcasing the range of female engineering talent at TfL allowed girls, or women looking for a change of career, to read the tips and be inspired to consider engineering as a profession.

Simpler fares system the next stop for Metrolink

A simpler, more flexible fare and ticketing system for Metrolink has been given the green light by members of the U.K.’s Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

The four-zone system – which will deliver easy-to-understand and better value fares for millions of passengers across the network – will be introduced in early 2019, alongside the pre-planned fare increase. When factored in, 78.5% of fares are lower under the zonal system than they would have been under the current system, while 10% are the same and 11.5% are higher.

Bus operators and ‘mini-police’ launch campaign to tackle illegal parking at bus stops in Liverpool, U.K.

From 6 July, automobile users caught parking illegally at a bus stop could be asked to explain themselves to school kids and people with disabilities, as part of a new scheme to reduce incidents at bus stops in Merseyside. Year 5 pupils from Hatton Hill Primary School joined forces with Merseytravel’s ‘Travel Safe Partnership’ to highlight the dangers of parking illegally and how it can cause problems for passengers particularly those in wheelchairs, people with pushchairs, people using walking aids and also people with hidden disabilities such as dementia or autism. Top hazards caused by illegal parking at bus stops include:

• Passengers falling as they get on or off the bus

• Bus drivers unable to lower the ramp for wheelchair users

• Pram wheels getting caught between the bus step and kerb edge and

• Collisions between buses and parked vehicles Motorists spotted parking illegally at bus stops during the 12-month operation will be invited on-board a bus to meet with the pupils in ‘court’, who will explain the consequences of parking illegally.

Subway gates issue

At the end of July the Subway gate system in Glasgow, Scotland, was not reading Smartcards so paper tickets were issued to passengers to enter and exit the Subway. Strathclyde for Public Transport (SPT) began working with suppliers to rectify the problem as quickly as possible and, to avoid Smartcard holders being disadvantaged, staff at stations issued them with paper tickets for travel.

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Revised: Sep 2018