Three school coaches were taken off the road in Bristol after inspectors found all to be in a dangerous condition, raising further questions about the industry’s capacity to self-regulate.
Despite losing an operating licence a year earlier, Bill Phillips continued to run a coach company by moving the licence to the name of another individual, again putting the lives of his customers at risk. In this case, inspections were not carried out on the vehicles for over a year as the coaches were transporting children to school carrying dangerous defects. Routine and regular safety inspections – which are standard for most operators – were ignored.
The UK’s best-selling truck brand, DAF, has revealed a new all-electric heavy truck designed for urban distribution work.
Partnering with Dutch technology company VDL Groep, the zero-emission 4×2 tractor unit has been designed to work on 40-tonne articulated distributions, where it can collect semi-trailers from outside of emissions restricted zones and draw them in, making it ideal for operations within urban areas in which single or double-axle trailers are typically used.
DAF says the CF Electric will travel for 100km (62 miles) on one charge and is designed to have fast-charging capability up to 80 per cent within 30 minutes, or a full charge in around 90 minutes. It is powered by a 210W electric motor, which gets its energy from a 170kWh lithium-ion battery pAll vehicles will be manufactured by DAF, with the electric installation completed by VDL.
There are 12,000 electric vehicles in London, that’s ten times as many as in 2012.
But the growth in the number of electric vehicles in the capital is outstripping the number of charge points and this could limit the number of people owning an electric vehicles, at a time when it is essential that Londoners move away from internal combustion engine vehicles.
60 per cent of Londoners do not have their own garage or driveway and would therefore need to rely on electric on-street charging.
The London Assembly Environment Committee publishes its report on electric vehicles today, which calls for a pan-London approach to electric charging points, spearheaded by the Mayor.
The report found:
Leonie Cooper AM, former Chair of the Environment Committee, said:
“The time is ripe for London to take charge, if we want to future proof this city for an electric car revolution. The Mayor has a key role to play in spearheading the shift to electric vehicles, preferably not individually owned but shared via car clubs.
“An electric vehicle is a great option for Londoners in the minority of cases when a journey can’t be done by public transport, walking or cycling. These cars are cleaner, quieter and much better for the environment. What puts people off though, is not knowing whether they will be able to find a charger.
“We need to get the number and location of charging points right, as well as raise awareness of charging points in the capital. This infrastructure is essential if London is to continue the electric vehicles revolution.”
Community Transport for Town and Country (CT4TC) will become Derbyshire Community Transport from 4 May 2018. The move is in light of feedback from staff and service users and also marks their new status as a part of HCT Group.
Explaining the change, Patrick Dawson, Derbyshire Community Transport Chief Executive, said “In April this year we joined HCT Group – the UK’s largest transport social enterprise. This will help us to face the future with real confidence and we felt we should celebrate this new beginning with a new name.
PIVOT POWER TO WORK WITH NATIONAL GRID TO FUTURE-PROOF ENERGY SYSTEM AND ACCELERATE ELECTRIC VEHICLE REVOLUTION
World first 2GW network of batteries and rapid charging stations planned
Pivot Power today unveiled plans to build a world-first 2GW network of grid-scale batteries and rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the UK.
The £1.6 billion programme will provide infrastructure to support the rapid adoption of EVs and underpin clean air policies, while introducing valuable flexibility into the energy system to accommodate the demands of mass EV charging and higher levels of intermittent renewable generation.
Pivot Power plans to develop 45 sites around the country, installing grid-scale 50MW batteries at electricity sub-stations connected directly to the extra-high-voltage transmission system. These will give the electricity system operator National Grid a huge resource in managing supply and demand.
The battery network will be the world’s biggest, storing enough electricity to supply 235,000 average homes for a day. It will have the ability to release or absorb two thirds the power of the planned Hinkley C nuclear power plant in response to grid balancing requirements.
Sites have been chosen near towns and major roads where they can also power rapid EV charging stations. These will be fed directly by the transmission system, and so will be able to offer mass charging at competitive rates, supporting up to 100 rapid 150KW chargers. They will also be able to support rapid 350KW chargers when they are available in the UK.
It will also be the world’s largest network of rapid charging stations, addressing the three biggest barriers to EV adoption identified by the Department for Transport: availability of chargers, distance travelled on a charge, and cost. By offering affordable charging it will also lower the costs of car ownership for the next generation, the third biggest barrier.
Graeme Cooper, National Grid Project Director for Electric Vehicles, said: “We expect the use of electric vehicles to grow rapidly. This innovative solution will help accelerate adoption by providing a network of rapid charging stations across the country enabling cars to charge quickly, efficiently and as cost-effectively as possible.
“It will also give the system operator more choice and flexibility for managing the demands in the day to day running of the network, and also help mass EV charging”.
Pivot Power aims to have operational batteries at 10 sites within 18 months. Each will provide a hub that can support a variety of infrastructure such as public rapid charging stations, electric bus depots and bases for large transport fleets. A site on the south coast could be operational by the middle of 2019, subject to planning approval, and more details will be announced in the coming months.
CEO Matt Allen said: “We want to future-proof the UK’s energy system and accelerate the electric vehicle revolution, helping the UK to clean up its air and meet climate targets. Big problems require big solutions, and we are moving fast to put in place a unique network to support a clean, affordable, secure energy system and embrace the low-carbon economy.
“We are keen to hear from anyone who shares our vision and wants to ‘go electric’, particularly partners with large fleets such as local authorities, supermarkets and logistics companies.”
Pivot Power has financial backing from Downing LLP, a UK-based investment manager which has funded over 100 deals into renewable energy investments since 2010, totalling more than £500 million. Pivot Power is already in talks with institutional and strategic investors, and potential partners, such as car manufacturers, charging providers, and technology and energy companies.
Downing has provided financial support for the initial phase of the project and plans to provide further funding as the rollout of rapid charging stations progresses. Members of the public including EV drivers will have the opportunity to invest alongside institutional investors through the Downing Crowd platform.
Waltham Forest Council is making it even easier for residents to get around and consider different transport options after introducing two new fixed bay car club operators to the borough.
From today, a further 33 cars will be available to residents with a driving licence for short term hire, whether they need a vehicle for a couple of hours to buy a large food shop, or a whole day while going on a family trip.
Car clubs are a great alternative to owning a car and are proven to reduce the number of car owners in an area where they are available. Their users are likely to use public transport more often than driving to a destination.
Enterprise Car Club and Ubeeqo have been given permission to operate in the borough, offering residents convenient access to a vehicle from a street nearby.
Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for the Environment Cllr Clyde Loakes said: “Waltham Forest has got a great transport network including more than 30 bus routes, ten train stations and four Tube stations, as well as increasing cycling and walking routes. For many of our residents it does not make sense to own a car, but some have told us that they would like to have access to four wheels as, and when, they need it.
“We have listened to our residents and that is why we are welcoming Enterprise and Ubeeqo to the borough who will be using a mix of lower emission vehicles or hybrids. Car clubs like these are in line with our ambition to improve air quality, encourage more sustainable and active modes of transport while reducing congestion on our streets.”
Lanes Group plc is the first drainage specialist in the UK to introduce a new low entry high visibility lorry cab developed by Scania.
The company is taking delivery of a jetting and vacuumation tanker that has the new L-series cab, designed to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety, especially in urban environments.
The JHL RECycler 312 jet vac tanker was shown off by Scania at IFAT, the environmental technologies exhibition in Munich, Germany (May 14-18 2018), before being delivered to Lanes Group.
Investment in the innovative cab is the latest step by Lanes Group to boost road safety. It already holds FORS Bronze accreditation and has invested in an advanced lorry video camera system to ensure vehicles comply with the London Safer Lorry Scheme.
How safe is your vehicle? Traffic commissioners take action as DVSA investigations uncover alarming failings in safety standards
How much importance are you putting on safety when you send your vehicles out onto public roads, where everyday people go about their day-to-day business?
Shockingly, it’s not always the answer we’d expect within the transport industry.
Expired MOTs, missed maintenance inspections, loose wheel nuts, failing ABS systems and inadequate monitoring of drivers’ hours are commonplace in some operations, raising very serious concerns for road safety.
In a recent case heard by Traffic Commissioner Nick Denton, a vehicle had a tyre blow out while in service which also left the rear stop and indicator lights inoperable. After replacing the tyre, the driver continued on his journey for a considerable distance with lights that weren’t in working order.
Teenage entrepreneur invents sensor system for public transport that can detect and report road hazards
Student entrepreneur Connell McLaughlin has created an embedded sensor system that is detecting and reporting hazards like potholes and overhanging branches on public transport.
The 19-year-old secured £100,000 for his Route Reports startup at a Dragons’ Den-style investment event with the University of Southampton’s Future Worlds incubator on Saturday, as he seeks to scale his innovation to impact the UK transport industry.
Connell, a first year Aeronautics and Astronautics student at Southampton, came up with the idea aged 16 in a school engineering project at Ballymena Academy in Northern Ireland and three years on is partnering with transport provider such as Reading Buses, where the technology is being trialled on its fleet.
The AA has reacted with disappointment to the news that investment in green technology is at its lowest for ten years, following the Environmental Audit Committee’s alarm at the ‘dramatic collapse’ in the government’s green investment*.
Ian Crowder, the AA’s electric vehicle spokesman commented: “The statement from Mary Creagh MP, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, makes depressing reading.
“While sales of electric vehicles jumped by 30% last year there remains significant barriers for drivers – and top is the perceived lack of charging points. In an AA-Populus poll of 18,574 drivers**, nearly two thirds (62%) said that they would be more likely to buy an EV is there was an adequate charging infrastructure.
“While around 400 charging points are being installed every month***, there remains very poor charging access for people who live in flats or terraced housing in towns and cities, and thus don’t have the luxury of being able charge an EV at home. Yet these are the people who would benefit most from EV ownership while local authorities would most benefit from the resulting improvement in air quality.
“A £4.5m Government pot was announced in December 2016 to help such drivers take advantage of the ‘electric car revolution’ with its on-street residential charge-point scheme but few councils have taken the incentive up, which was acknowledged in a parliamentary debate on the issue on 9thMay****.”
The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership – the stakeholder group established to accelerate the shift to low emission road transport – is overseeing a programme of robust comparative testing of the latest, most innovative commercial vehicle technologies targeted at emissions reduction and fuel saving.
While the electrification of the passenger car sector takes most of the headlines, the CV sector is often overlooked but its importance should not be understated; vans and trucks contribute over 33% of the greenhouse gas emissions from road transport.
Commissioned by Innovate – the government agency set up to drive productivity and economic growth - the LowCVP is working with key partners TRL and Millbrook, to assess the latest range of Euro VI trucks, using a representative testing process developed by Partnership experts specifically for the purpose of developing the evidence base around new CVs.
Using the new test regime, the LowCVP will help define a new category of Ultra Low Emission Trucks alongside which future incentives and policies can be based. The work will also be used to inform government policy in terms of gas-powered HGVs and will feed into discussions around the review of the fuel duty differential taking place this year.
The new Volvo S60 saloon – to be launched later this spring – will be the first Volvo to be produced without a diesel engine, highlighting Volvo Cars’ commitment to a long-term future beyond the traditional combustion engine.
All new Volvo models launched from 2019 will be available as either a mild petrol hybrid, plug-in petrol hybrid or battery electric vehicle. This is the most comprehensive electrification strategy in the car industry and Volvo Cars was the first traditional car maker to commit to all-out electrification in July 2017.
“Our future is electric and we will no longer develop a new generation of diesel engines,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and Chief Executive of Volvo Cars. “We will phase out cars with only an internal combustion engine, with petrol hybrid versions as a transitional option as we move towards full electrification. The new S60 represents the next step in that commitment.”
DriveTech, part of the AA, supportive of DfT published report on effectiveness of speed awareness courses
Research commissioned by the Department for Transport with Ipsos MORI was published this week (14 May 2018) with the objective of making an impact evaluation of the National Speed Awareness Course.
The report is based on data provided for 2.2 million drivers using records made available by 13 police forces in England for the period 2012 – 2017. Of these, 1.4 million had accepted the offer to participate in the National Speed Awareness Course. These courses are available across the country, a significant proportion of them being delivered by DriveTech, part of the AA, on behalf of NDORS (the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme).
The report looks at the likelihood of reoffending and concludes that participants are 23% less likely to re-offend within 6 months and that, even over a three-year period, taking part in the course was more effective at reducing reoffending than a fine and penalty points.
Vauxhall continues its move to Euro 6d-TEMP with two new engines joining its award-winning Astra range, a powerful 1.6-litre Turbo (200PS) petrol and a 1.6-litre CDTi (136PS) diesel unit. The strict Euro 6d-TEMP emissions standard, which includes real driving emissions measured on public roads, comes into force for new registrations in September 2019.
Producing 200PS and 300Nm, the 1.6-litre petrol engine with six-speed manual or automatic transmissions can power the Astra to a maximum speed of 146mph and achieve 0-60mph in just 7.3 seconds. Fuel economy is 43.5mpg (combined) and CO2 emissions are 151g/km. In order to reduce particulate emissions as much as possible, the 1.6-litre direct injection petrol engine features a close-coupled Gasoline Particulate Filter (GPF) for optimum regeneration (i.e. oxidisation of the particles that accumulate in the filter).
With 320Nm of torque, the first Euro 6d-TEMP diesel engine to be introduced to the Astra range is the 1.6-litre CDTi (136PS), available with either manual or automatic transmission. It achieves combined fuel economy from 64.2mpg and CO2 emissions from 116g/km.
The government has launched a consultation on vehicle excise duty for vans so drivers can be incentivised to go green. Currently vehicle excise duty for vans remains at a flat rate of £250 no matter what type of vehicle. This consultation will look at changing this duty to encourage drivers to choose cleaner vans when purchasing a new van.
It will explore creating a graduated first year rate for vans, as is already in place for cars. Most van purchases would pay less tax in the first year as a result of the change.
Around 75% of vans purchased in 2016-2017 emitted over 150g/km of CO2, while only 0.4% of vans purchased that same year were ultra-low emission vehicles.
Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Robert Jenrick, said: “We want to be the first government to leave the environment in a better state that we found it. One of the ways we can do this is by using the tax system to help drivers afford greener choices.
“We want to help ‘white van man’ go green. We appreciate that buying a new van is a major investment for small businessmen and women and want to help make environmentally friendly choices more affordable.
“Public health is at risk due to the use of red diesel in towns and cities. So we are looking at how we can level the playing field on red diesel and exploring how we can encourage users to ditch it.”
Renault UK is supplying Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) with its first electric cars as SNH begins its move towards a fully electric car pool fleet as a way to reduce its emissions. SNH has purchased five 100 percent electric Renault ZOE, and Renault UK Regional EV expert Matt Kiziuk is going the extra (Zero Emission) mile by presenting EV best practice at three sites that the vehicles will be used from.
SNH, whose board is appointed directly by the Scottish Government, promotes, cares for and improves Scotland’s natural heritage. It advises the government on Scottish nature, habitats, and wildlife, working to connect people with nature and encourage them to enjoy nature responsibly. Looking to the future, it promotes the sustainable use of natural assets and eco-friendly solutions to the current climate challenges to safeguard the environment for future generations.
This is why SNH has chosen Renault, with a range of Z.E. (Zero Emission) vehicles available, and, in particular, the Renault ZOE, which provides the optimum balance of range and cost effectiveness. The organisation has purchased five Renault ZOE to be used as part of its car pool fleets in Edinburgh, Inverness, Perth, and Golspie.
Ford total vehicle sales exceeded 28,000 in April as it maintained UK leadership in both car and commercial vehicle (CV) sales. According to the official sales figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT):
April 2018 highlights:
A RECENT SURVEY conducted by road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist shows overwhelming support among road users for speed awareness courses and other schemes which offer drivers a learning opportunity as an alternative to prosecution.
More than 2,500 people completed the survey during March 2018. Of these, just over 74% said they believed that participation in the National Speed Awareness Course was a good idea, as an alternative to prosecution.
GEM road safety officer Neil Worth says: “We welcome the research published today (14 April) by the Department for Transport, which shows that the targeting the behaviour of motorists through these courses reduced the likelihood of reoffending by up to 23 per cent.
“No one will feel positive when a speeding ticket arrives, but those who have the chance to attend one of these courses have an opportunity to take a look at their own behaviour in a positive and non-judgemental environment.
”We always thought that this must be a good thing for road safety, and it’s encouraging to know that this is now backed up by thorough, independent research.
“The next stage is to take this research to any insurance providers who are still intent on raising the premiums for motorists who attended these courses, with the spurious claim that their experience has made them higher-risk road users. The independent research shows this is categorically not the case.”
Bike Smart is the message at the heart of this year’s Road Safety Week, focusing on the safety of those on two wheels. Taking place between 19 – 25 November and co-ordinated by Brake, Road Safety Week seeks to raise public awareness over road safety, acting as the driver for positive change on our roads.
The number of cyclists in the UK is increasing at a rapid pace, however, those on two wheels are among the most vulnerable UK road users:
Brake’s week-long campaign will raise awareness about the importance of protecting those on two wheels by focusing on:
Brake’s efforts for Road Safety Week will be supported through working with campaigners, community groups, road safety professionals, companies and schools - who can now register for a free action pack via www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk - and by funding from the Department for Transport.
Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “Every year Road Safety Week provides a unique opportunity to focus the public, and policy makers’, attention on saving lives on our roads. The numbers of those travelling on two wheels is ever-increasing and yet bike riders remain incredibly vulnerable to death and injury; that is why this year our theme is Bike Smart. From 19 – 25 November we will be shouting about the importance of bike safety and encouraging all across the UK to do the same. Small changes can help save countless lives on our roads and now is the time for us to act to improve bike safety in the UK.”
 Reported road casualties Great Britain: 2016, Department for Transport, 2017
 Reported road casualties Great Britain: 2016, Department for Transport, 2017
Jaama expects business wins as fleets introduce 'approved' Key2 system to join new DVSA earned recognition scheme
Jaama anticipates increased business with commercial vehicle, coach and bus operators needing to use a ‘validated IT supplier’ for the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency’s (DVSA) newly launched Earned Recognition Scheme.
The Scheme was officially launched following a successful 12-month pilot involving more than 60 commercial vehicle operators from various sectors of the industry - some already users of Jaama’s multi award-winning Key2 web-based technology.
Operators that use Key2 are able to record walk-around vehicle inspection checks, servicing and MoT information which will be directly sent to the DVSA database every four weeks.
In return, their vehicles are less likely to be stopped for roadside inspections, saving them time and money. Roadside checks typically have an impact on business efficiency because they inevitably result in delays and subsequent fines from customers for missing allocated time slots. Additionally, vehicle defects found in checks can potentially result in legal action and trigger a chain reaction nightmare for bosses.