Title: Chase Park Festival: An Interview with Alistair McDonald

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Summary: The summer is set to bring a wide variety of activities to the North East, but none are as highly anticipated as Chase Park Festival. The festival is the biggest open air event of its kind in the UK, bringing together people from all walks of life to experience the best acts that the North East has to offer. The unique event ensures that regardless of ability, everyone can enjoy the event, with accessible facilities for those with disabilities.

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The summer is set to bring a wide variety of activities to the North East, but none are as highly anticipated as Chase Park Festival. The festival is the biggest open air event of its kind in the UK, bringing together people from all walks of life to experience the best acts that the North East has to offer. The unique event ensures that regardless of ability, everyone can enjoy the event, with accessible facilities for those with disabilities.

Alistair McDonald, who organises the event, spoke to us about the history and future of the festival.

Could you tell us a little bit about the history of Chase Park Festival – how and when did the idea for the festival come about?

The festival first started back in 2009. I was working for a care company that provided rehab and care to people with brain and spinal injuries. Once of the clients and his physio approached me with the idea of running an accessible music festival. It all developed from there! The young man in question is called Paul Belk and he is playing on our second stage this year with his band White Dove.

What years have been your most successful?

Michael Eavis from Glastonbury Festival usually says after the event “This was our best festival yet!” and I would tend to echo that approach. Every year we manage to improve the accessibility, grow the crowds and get bigger artists on the bill. Fingers crossed 2017 will be our biggest and best yet. I think this is the strongest line up we have ever had and I think that the move to Saltwell Park should really help us to reach new people.

Are there any artists that you’ve been particularly excited about being involved with the festival?

Over the years we have had some pretty high profile acts such as Ash, The Futureheads, Reverend and The Makers, Turin Brakes and Stornoway all of whom have been fantastic bands. We have also been lucky to have worked with brilliant emerging artists such as The Lake Poets. I have to say that the most exciting artists for me are the ones who perform on our second stage. The second stage is designed to give emerging disabled artists a platform. I love The Sound Beam Band, Aukestra and The Twisting Ducks.

Do you run any other projects alongside the festival?

We have been involved in a number of artist development programs which aim to help disabled musicians to develop their careers in the music industry. We are going to run some smaller gigs later in the year to try and give some exposure to new disabled artists who aren’t quite ready for the festival a chance to perform.

What plans do you have for the future of Chase Park Festival?

We really continue to push the boundaries in terms of what we can do to make the event as accessible as we can, as well as giving disabled musicians as much exposure as we possible. We want to make sure people have a great time so we will always be looking for way to get the best line up possible!

Chase Park Festival will be held on Saturday 26th August 2017 from 12-9PM. Be sure to visit our stand on the day and learn more about how we can help you create the perfect vehicle based on your individual needs.

To learn more about the festival, head over to the official website.

Author: Manpreet Sandhu

Title: Taxi News Roundup June 2017

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Summary: Take a look at our roundup of June's most important taxi news stories.

Meta Title: Taxi Industry News June 2017

Meta Description: Read the most important news stories from the taxi industry in our June taxi news roundup post.

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Taxi News June 2017UberPop Pulls Out of Finland

Uber’s troubles in Europe continued in June, with the company announcing the withdrawal of its UberPop service from Finland. The withdrawal is only expected to be temporary, with Uber stating the services have been suspended whilst it waits for a law that will deregulate the countries taxi industry to be passed.

Joel Järvinen, manager of Uber’s Finland operation, stated: “While we are looking forward to the reforms coming into effect, we have decided it is best to pause UberPop from 15 August until the new regulations allow a better environment”

“We want to ensure that we do not pose drivers who use our app or our employees any unnecessary issues, especially now that we have a bright future to look forward to. We believe that the best way to do so and focus on the future is to pause UberPop and relaunch in the summer of 2018.”

UberPop, which allows drivers to operate without needing a taxi license, has been the root of many of Uber’s recent problems in Europe. In 2015 Uber was forced to withdraw from Hamburg, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt due to licensing issues, and UberPop has been banned since launch in Paris, Berlin and Brussels. In addition, UberPop has never been offered in the UK due to strict regulations around unlicensed taxi operations, with the company instead offering their licensed Uber X service.

Yorkshire Drivers Tackle Emissions

“Good progress” is being made to tackle air pollution by private hire and minicab drivers, according to the region’s Transport Committee.

An increased uptake in hybrid and electric vehicles by taxi drivers is set to significantly aid improvements to air quality in the area, with emissions set to be significantly lowered by 2020.

Councillor Keith Wakefield said that “around 500 diesel taxis and private hire vehicles are expected to be hybrid or pure electric versions by 2020”. This is partly due to increased investment in sustainable travel in the region, with a government grant expected to create funding for 88 new taxi and private hire charging points around Leeds alone. According to Wakefield, by 2020 this investment “could improve Nitrogen Dioxide emissions by as much as 18%”.

UK to See Public Driverless Taxi Trials

The UK is set to see a glimpse of the future later this year, with a fleet of brand new driverless cars set to take to the streets of Greenwich. The news marks the first public trials of driverless vehicles in the UK, with previous tests requiring passengers to register in advance.

The vehicles are set to run a circuit on a 2km strip of road in Greenwich, with prospective passengers able to hop in and out at four dedicated stopping points along the route. Cars will be able to ferry up to five passengers at a time, who will be accompanied by an on-board “safety warden” able of taking control of the vehicle should it need to make an emergency stop. However, as the vehicles are limited to a maximum speed of 15 miles an hour, there’s very little risk of any serious incident taking place.

It’s expected that demand for the vehicles will be high, with transport consultancy TRL expecting each vehicle to transport hundreds of people a day over the four week trial period. The trial comes as part of the UK funded “Gateway” project, which is using Greenwich as a testing hub for autonomous vehicles.

Author: Fusion