From 01 April, the Office of the Traffic Commissioner is removing the main operator licensing forms from GOV.UK. Research has shown that operators are familiar with digital services and also confident using them.
It wants more people to use the Vehicle Operator Licensing service because it's quicker for compliant operators. However, for forms will still be available through the Contact Centre for operators who don’t have access to digital services.
The Traffic Commissioners perform an important gatekeeper role in deciding who gets to run vehicles and how many they can operate. That won’t change, because more applications are made online and can be processed more quickly.
You can find out about the changes by reading the Moving On blog.
Driving Forces Roadshows are streamlined and focussed events which are fully supported and approved by the MOD. The Roadshows will enable leading vehicle manufacturers to showcase and offer test drives of their latest models, together with other motoring related products being exhibited.
Event organiser Paul Doyle commented: “We feel it is important that serving personnel are able to take advantage of the great offers and discounted rates available to them on new vehicles and other motoring relating products in a family-friendly environment with ‘no hard sell’. To facilitate this, we are bringing the Driving Forces Roadshows to garrisons through out the UK.”
The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), whose members are collectively responsible for almost five million vehicles operating on UK roads, has published a report assessing the threat of vehicle terrorism on the UK rental sector.
The report ‘Vehicles as weapons: a threat and policy assessment for the UK rental sector’, commissioned by the BVRLA and produced in association with the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, makes a number of recommendations on how the sector hopes to work with law enforcement organisations and policymakers from across government.
Security services acknowledge that terrorists are increasingly relying on home-grown, ‘low-tech’, ‘lone-agent’ attacks against public spaces in the West. Many of these attacks have involved the use of rental vehicles as weapons, causing 14 deaths of innocent people and injuring many more during 2017 in the UK.
Today, Shell has announced the opening of a new hydrogen refuelling station at Shell Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire. Supplied by ITM Power, this opening follows the launch of the first fully branded and public hydrogen refuelling site in the UK at Shell Cobham in February 2017.
Situated at one of the UK’s busiest service stations, Shell Beaconsfield on the M40 will be the first site in the UK to bring hydrogen under the same canopy as petrol and diesel, providing drivers with a range of fuel choices to co-exist with traditional transport fuels. The hydrogen is generated on-site using an electrolyser that requires only water and electricity to generate the hydrogen gas.
Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles convert hydrogen into electricity to power the engine and produce only heat and water when driven. They can travel up to 700 kilometres on a single tank and can be refuelled in a few minutes.
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has launched (23 March) a consultation on Managed Electric Vehicle Charging, seeking views on proposed solutions to help avoid potential overloads on local electricity networks caused by sharp increases in the use of electric vehicles.
The consultation forms part of SSEN’s Smart EV project, undertaken alongside technology partners EA Technology and supported by GB distribution network operators. The project, funded by Ofgem’s Network Innovation Allowance, set out to review and research charging solutions that will allow the transition to electric vehicles to take place with minimum disruption to customers and avoiding unnecessary network reinforcement.
Street cleaning teams in Bristol are improving productivity after investing in an all-electric truck.
The Bristol Waste Company purchased an Alke ATX 200E utility truck from ePower Trucks, one of the UK’s leading independent suppliers of EVs. It replaces a 10-year-old petrol-powered vehicle.
The electric truck is predominantly used by the company’s street cleansing team, to empty bins in pedestrianised areas of the city such as Harbourside, The Centre, and the Broadmead shopping quarter.
Iain Fortune, Fleet Manager for Bristol Waste Company, said: “We wanted an electric vehicle that had a modern look and feel to it, had excellent carrying capacity and was efficient to run. The Alke utility truck was the only vehicle we looked at that met all of our criteria.
“As a battery-powered vehicle it is very economical to run and a lot less noisy than the previous petrol-powered truck we had.”
A five-point action plan has been outlined by ACFO for fleet professionals to adopt to ensure compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which takes effect on 25 May.
ACFO, the UK’s premier fleet decision-makers’ organisation, held its second webinar, which was supported by TomTom Telematics, on GDPR, and says now is the right time for fleet decision-makers to review and check all data collection and whether all information gathered is required.
Furthermore, it is critical to engage with all employees - company car and van drivers - as well as employees who drive their own cars on business, the so-called ‘grey fleet’ and occasional drivers.
GDPR is claimed by TomTom Telematics to be the “most important change in data privacy regulation in 20 years”, but was also claimed by Beverley Wise, sales director UK and Ireland, to be “an evolution, not a revolution” by bringing information protection into the digital age with processes that were “open and transparent”.
Telematics data analysis by ALD Automotive has found that over three-quarters of daily journeys could be completed using a fully electric vehicle.
Following ALD Automotive’s recent trial in which 20 company car drivers were allocated Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs), the company wanted to see how many typical fleet drivers could realistically convert to fully Electric Vehicles (EVs) based on their actual driving profile. By looking at over 1,400 days’ worth of journey data available through the company’s ProFleet telematics system, ALD Automotive was able to identify where journeys made in a diesel or petrol vehicle could be replaced by an electric alternative.
The study examined a random sample of company cars covering a total of 95,000 miles and 2,396 hours of journey time. The data revealed that:
What have Johnson & Johnson, Transport for London, Arriva Denmark, Unilever Poland, Bolk Transport and British Telecom got in common? These organisations all know that taking a lead on road safety pays off - helping the bottom line, improving working conditions for staff, and boosting customer satisfaction.
What's more, they are all previous winners of a PRAISE award - for European organisations, large and small, that have committed to putting road safety at the core of their business.
If your organisation has a road safety programme, and the results to prove it - ETSC wants to hear from you.
The competition is divided into three separate categories: SME (Small-Medium Enterprise), large company and public authority. To find out more, and to download an application form, please visit the website.
The deadline for applications is 1 September 2018.
For more information about how to make the business case for road safety at your organisation, you can download reports and case studies on the ETSC's website.
Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS) is driving down carbon emissions with new hydrogen-electric vehicles as part of its support services.
It is the first ambulance service in the country to introduce the support vehicles and has set itself the challenge of making the entire fleet as eco-friendly as possible over the next few years.
The vans, which do not produce any emissions, are powered by an electric motor using energy from both the battery and a hydrogen fuel cell. The battery recharges from a power supply and the hydrogen can be replenished at a refuelling station.
In addition to this, a vehicle from the non-emergency Patient Transport Service has been converted to run on both diesel and hydrogen. The harmful emissions from a conventional diesel engine can be reduced by up to 70% through a hydrogen injection system.
Meanwhile, YAS is working with low emission technology company ULEMCo to build a prototype hydrogen-electric ambulance which will have zero emissions.
Leeds Teaching Hospitals, one of the biggest NHS trusts in the UK, is using an advanced telematics solution from Ctrack, an Inseego company, to track vehicle usage, investigate complaints, protect staff and comply with industry best practice. Web-based Ctrack Online is enabling the organisation to monitor a mixed-use fleet of 32 vans that provide a wide range of services including staff and passenger transport, catering delivery and blood sample collection.
In particular, Ctrack Online is helping Leeds Teaching Hospitals achieve and retain its Van Excellence accreditation by underlining its commitment to operating a safer, more efficient and sustainable fleet. “The FTA certification requires fleets to demonstrate they are effectively managing driver behaviour, so we can show exactly how we are using vehicle tracking to monitor and investigate speeding, harsh driving events and road collisions,” explains Walter Pawinski, Facilities Coordinator Logistics & Transport at Leeds Teaching Hospitals.
The DVSA has announced that the way that the MOT test works in England, Scotland and Wales will change from Sunday 20 May 2018. The changes will affect cars, vans, motorcycles and other light passenger vehicles. There are five main changes you need to know about.
1. Defects will be categorised differently
Defects found during the MOT will be categorised as either:
MOT testers will still give advice about items you need to monitor. These are known as ‘advisories’.
Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council have opted for contract hire rather than outright purchase to replace their waste and recycling fleet, following a comprehensive cost comparison and tender procurement process.
Caroline Roffey, Head of Street Scene Services, Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council said: “When we compared contract hire with the outright purchase of vehicles, contract hire proved to be the cheapest and most cost/risk-effective solution.”
The incumbent supplier, Specialist Fleet Services Ltd (SFS) was successful in delivering the winning bid, which was based primarily on price. The new 7-year contract starts on 1 September and comprises the provision of 20 vehicles, including Refuse Collection Vehicles, sweepers, hook loaders and box vans. SFS will continue to maintain the vehicles at the council’s depot in Hinckley.
As part of the CallConnect service, Lincolnshire CC has taken delivery of the Strata HF bus to add to their existing fleet. The Strata HF is aimed primarily at the local authority and community transport sectors. The vehicle is based on the popular Mercedes Sprinter chassis and is fully accessible, with a passenger lift at the rear.
Steve Roberts, Fleet Engineer for Lincolnshire Country Council, said: “The Strata HF provided the seating capacity we needed for our CallConnect service operating around the Skegness and Mablethorpe areas. We were impressed by the flexibility of the layout of the vehicle which allowed us to configure the inside space to meet our needs. We have paid special attention to the graphics on the vehicle livery, utilising a contemporary design, with an aim of encouraging younger passengers and demonstrating that this service is not just for the disabled or elderly."
Jane Dransfield, Area Sales Manager for Mellor, said: “We are pleased that Lincolnshire CC specified the Strata when they needed a new vehicle. It offers a flexible layout and can be tailored to suit specific customer requirements. The medium wheel base Strata will accommodate 16 seats and six wheelchairs, while the long base boasts space for up to 19 seated passengers or up to seven wheelchairs.
“The bus features wide seats, a 2+2 layout and a completely flat floor with no slope or internal steps, making it perfect for elderly and disabled passengers. But the modern interior includes all the features and benefits passengers would expect on a standard sized bus making it suitable for all ages."
LDV is the latest commercial vehicle manufacturer to join the Go Ultra Low grant scheme, a government initiative to encourage drivers to switch to low emissions vehicles and start enjoying the benefits of greener driving.
Individual drivers and business owners can take advantage of an £8,000 grant towards a brand new EV80 van or Chassis cab.
Recently awarded LCV Manufacturer of the Year at the 2017 GreenFleet Awards, LDV’s electric vehicle range has been designed with zero emissions technology together with advanced electric power systems, providing greener power and in return, reducing environmental impacts.
Mark Barrett, General Manager, LDV U.K. & Ireland said: "Since its launch in 2016 we’ve had a fantastic response to the EV80 and now it is part of the Go Ultra Low initiative there has never been a better time for fleet owners to make the switch to plug-in vehicles. Environmentally and financially, electric vehicles are a great investment and when the long-term running costs are combined with the Go Ultra Low grant, purchasing an EV80 offers fantastic value for money."
With two models from which to choose, the 3,500Kgs GVW EV80 panel van has a payload of almost 1,000kgs and the chassis cab offers a body and payload allowance of around 1,300kgs. Both come with a 56kWh battery, and 92kWh rated motor and CCS (combined charging system) type 2, capable of both DC and optional AC charging.
Go Ultra Low exists to help UK organisations and motorists understand the benefits, cost savings and capabilities of the raft of electric vehicles on the market. The collaborative campaign is the first of its kind, bringing together a consortium of vehicle manufacturers, Government and the SMMT.
Swansea Council has placed its largest ever order for refuse collection vehicles, and is currently taking delivery of 38 new Dennis Eagle trucks as part of a significant investment programme worth around £6-million.
The order includes 35 Elite 6 chassis supplied with a variety of Olympus and Olympus Twin Pack bodies. Replacing existing Dennis Eagle vehicles in the Council’s fleet, they will be used for the collection of domestic and trade waste and recycling streams
The decision to award the contract to Dennis Eagle was reached following a competitive tender process, with the company coming out on top in terms of value for money and the quality of its aftermarket care, with support provided by the local Service Centre at Merthyr Tydfil.
Speakers announced for Brake’s latest fleet safety webinar: Vehicle procurement for safety – active safety systems
Brake, the road safety charity, has announced the speakers for their upcoming fleet safety webinar, Vehicle procurement for safety – active safety systems. This webinar will inform attendees about new devices and vehicle features that can have a significant impact on fleet safety.
The full agenda and speaker line up for the webinar, which is sponsored by National Vehicle Distribution, includes:
• The main features of active safety systems and the current technology available, including intelligent speed assistance, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and electronic stability control
Laurence Atchison, policy officer at European Transport Safety Council
• Choosing the safest vehicles - ADAS technology saves lives and prevents injuries and should be standard on all vehicles
John Pryor, national chairman of ACFO
• Detecting people outside the vehicle: collision avoidance systems, including a case study –
Phil Hibbard, sales manager UK at Mobileye
• How can telematics be used to monitor and support drivers, including a case study
Alix Edwards, automotive researcher & data team leader at TRL
• The minimum standards that organisations across the world should demand and adopt to ensure that they can procure the safest vehicles
Niall McNally, senior executive at National Vehicle Distribution Ltd.
The Recycling Partnership in Crawley has purchased three brand new refuse vehicles from Gloucestershire-based Refuse Vehicle Solutions Ltd (RVS) equipped with the latest bin weighing equipment and installed with new waste management software.
Jason Taylor, Group Commercial Manager, The Recycling Partnership said: “The business continues to grow rapidly and we have recently installed new software to the existing fleet, which is providing us with better access to data and enables us to be more proactive in relation to our service provision. We wanted to roll it out across the whole fleet and we didn’t want to retrofit to old rolling stock. The addition of these new vehicles ensures that 100% of our fleet is running on the same software.”
The Recycling Partnership operates a fleet of 18 vehicles and has previously procured four new trucks from RVS.
ULEMCo, the company leading the use of ultra-low emission hydrogen-fuelled commercial vehicles in the UK, has collaborated with Aberdeen City Council (ACC) to deliver the world’s first hydrogen dual fuel road sweeper. The vehicles will use hydrogen fuel for around a third of the energy used to drive and operate the vehicles, making valuable reductions in CO2 emissions.
The cleaner sweeper has been adapted by retrofitting a standard EURO 6 DAF truck to run on both diesel and hydrogen fuel. Emission savings of around 30% are projected from the refitting of ULEMCo technology onto the DAF truck, and the partners believe this makes it best in class for both CO2 and air quality emissions for this type of vehicle.
The team behind the ground-breaking GATEway Project has presented a summary findings from its three year research programme. The first project of its kind to explore the public’s hopes, fears and attitudes towards autonomous vehicles, it invited them to be part of trials with prototype technologies. Early results from Commonplace’s sentiment mapping, an online map capturing the public’s comments, indicates broad support (78%) for the idea of driverless vehicles on urban streets, provided they are safe and resistant to cyber attack.
The public were invited to test prototype vehicles and services through a number of research streams; simulation trials, observations of pedestrian behavioural interactions with driverless vehicles, automated grocery delivery trials and a public shuttle service which offered a hop-on hop-off service at the Greenwich Peninsula.