London Ambulance Service’s Car Benefit Scheme, provided by Tusker, has won Best Staff Travel Benefit at the annual Employee Benefits Awards. The prestigious Awards saw a host of companies from across the public and private sectors, eagerly awaiting the announcement of whether or not their benefits had been given this highly prized recognition.
Tusker, the Car Benefit People, entered the awards in conjunction with the London Ambulance Service, which had implemented its scheme in 2015. London Ambulance had seen dramatic results following the scheme’s introduction, with a reduction in employee turnover of 45%, something which it felt deserved to be noted.
Former Senior Traffic Commissioner for Great Britain and SOE Patron, Beverley Bell, has been awarded for her service to the road transport industry with a CBE.
Appointed as the Senior Traffic Commissioner in 2011, Beverley took up her role as SOE Patron in 2016, and has influenced the sector significantly through both roles.
When reacting to the announcement, Beverley said: “I am surprised and delighted in equal measure to be honoured in this way. I feel it is reward, not just for me, but for my fellow Traffic Commissioners and all the staff working on our behalf.”
Beverley was appointed Traffic Commissioner for the North West of England in 2000, and has been an honorary fellow of SOE since 2010, having previously worked as a solicitor, specialising in criminal and transport law.
“Our job is to regulate and promote in what is generally a fabulous industry. Now I have finished in my role as Senior Traffic Commissioner, I will be concentrating on working with the industry steering group, working on behalf of, and further improving the image of the transport sector,” said Beverley.
Ian Chisholm, Chief Executive of SOE, said: “Beverley fully deserves to be recognised for her tireless work in road transport and, having worked with her for over a year, I have seen first-hand how devoted she is this industry’s progression.”
Published on June 16, the Queen’s Birthday Honours list recognises more than 1,000 people for engagement in public service.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has this week unveiled his transport strategy, pledging to make central London a zero-emission city by 2025 and the entire TfL area by 2050.
With an estimated 40,000 deaths each year in the UK being linked to poor air quality, the BVRLA recognises the need for major cities to lead the way in reducing harmful emissions but believes that national government and local authorities need to take a considered and phased approach to avoid punishing businesses and car-owners.
BVRLA members are responsible for buying nearly half of all new vehicles sold in the UK every year. Millions of these cars, vans and trucks operate in and around London every day. The association supports the London Mayor’s ambitious plans and believes its members can play a key role in driving the transition towards a zero-emission city. To achieve this quickly and effectively, the Mayor must listen to fleet operators and offer the right mix of incentives and support.
“We support the Mayor’s focus on improving air quality, but people must be given practical and affordable alternatives if we are to deliver on his vision of reduced car use and zero-emission streets,” said BVRLA Chief Executive, Gerry Keaney.
“As well as investing in public transport and cycle lane provision, we will be pushing the Mayor to provide more support for electric vehicle infrastructure and car sharing.”
The recent Queen’s Speech introduced the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill, which could see every petrol station and motorway services being required to install electric charging points. Venson Automotive Solutions welcomes the Bill, which aims to encourage more people to make the switch to electric vehicles.
Alison Bell, Marketing Director of Venson Automotive Solutions, said: “Research we conducted recently found that 85% of motorists would consider buying an electric vehicle, however 69% said that the lack of charging points across the UK would be the biggest deterrent. Whilst both Total and Shell earlier this year confirmed their intention to install charging points at their stations across the UK, the move to make every petrol station offer charging facilities is extremely reassuring. Easy access to charging points is crucial to the successful take-up of electric vehicles in the future and the new Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill is set to ensure this is addressed.
“Uptake of electric vehicles has been slow, but it’s important to realise that cost isn’t always the biggest hurdle, it is access to charging points and limited mileage range of the vehicle. Our research clearly shows there is an appetite for electrical vehicles but motorists do have their reservations when it comes to the day-to-day running of the vehicle. Hopefully this Bill should move forward plans to invest in infrastructure for electric vehicles, helping more people get on the road to a zero emissions future.”
Find out more about research from Venson Automotive Solutions with the ‘Plug-In Vehicle Guide’ white paper at http://www.venson.com/Media/ViewWhitePaper/23.
The successful installation of the hydrogen technologies at the Levenmouth Community Energy Project represents the dawn of a new energy era, according to specialists Logan Energy.
The Edinburgh-based company has designed, supplied and installed a state-of-the-art hydrogen-based energy storage systems and two mobile hydrogen vehicle refuelling units at Methil, in Fife, Scotland.
The renewables industry is becoming increasingly important to energy supply. Scotland has recently produced more electricity from renewables in a single day than it used. However, energy storage is required to match production with demand. Hydrogen is one of the key solutions to this dilemma.
Logan Energy believes this project is a turning point in positively proving the case for hydrogen as a key clean energy solution.
Hydrogen has been demonstrated at Levenmouth to be a significant resource for both electricity and heat requirements, as well as a sustainable zero emission transport fuel which can drive the energy sector through the global clean energy revolution.
Hundreds of people turned out at Weston-super-Mare seafront on Saturday, 10 June to watch crews from across the UK compete in the National Refuse Championships.
Aylesbury Vale District Council won the coveted National Refuse Champions 2017 trophy and the event raised over £12000 for the Alzheimer’s Society. The event was such a success that organisers have already confirmed a date for next year – 15th & 16th June 2018.
Over 17 teams took part in the Championships including Biffa, Amey, Simply Waste, Kier, Aspect solutions, Hills Waste, Devon Contract Waste, Swindon Borough Council, Weir Waste, Pirtek, Equinox Recycling, Grist Environmental, FCS Cleaning and Cartwright Skips. Staff from Gullivers Truck Hire and Dennis Eagle also participated in a fun run.
Each team consisted of 5 people, including one driver, working in pairs and taking turns to run, load wheelie bins (240 litre and 1100 litre) with stones and push them 50 metres before emptying them into an awaiting refuse vehicle.
A Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service delegated driving examiner has passed a course to become the country’s first driving examiner trainer outside of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) or Ministry of Defence.
Rowan Kitton recently completed an intensive five week course at the DVSA’s training centre in Cardington, Bedfordshire, and is now qualified to train emergency service examiners.
Rowan has worked as the Service’s delegated driving examiner for over 10 years, testing numerous firefighters so they are able to drive fire appliances under emergency response conditions.
He has also instigated innovative collaborative work with the DVSA to open Stone and Cannock Community Fire Stations as public driving test centres.
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) says new proposals announced today by the Mayor of London for road charging based on elements such as distance travelled and vehicle emissions could be a positive step for freight operators - provided they don’t simply add cost.
The organisation, which represents half the UK’s road fleet, is interested in distance-based charging as an alternative to broad schemes such as congestion charging and low emission zones. But it says the proposals must be well planned and take advantage of new technology available.
Natalie Chapman, FTA’s Head of Policy for London, said: “The Congestion Charge has arguably played a role in suppressing traffic demand in central London, but FTA has always argued that it is a blunt tool which fails to recognise the essential role that freight plays in serving London's businesses, residents and visitors.
“New and emerging technology could play a pivotal part in providing a more sophisticated system that accounts for the essential role of the vehicle and the time of day and incentivises cleaner vehicles.”
Commercial vehicle fleets are likely to be hit hardest by the backlash against diesel simply because of the lack of alternatives available, according to FleetCheck, one of the UK’s leading fleet software and management specialists.
It says that the mainstream media commentary developing against diesel is often indiscriminate and frequently does not appreciate the strides made in reducing harmful diesel emissions in recent years.
Peter Golding, managing director, said: “You can barely open a newspaper without reading about the dire effects of diesel on air quality and this is starting to have an impact on buying habits, most notably in the 20% fall in diesel new car sales last month. Initially, this is only hitting older vehicles in terms of actual measures such as clean air zones, but it does seem inevitable that we are at the beginning of a long term trend where diesel is seen as ‘dirty’ and using a diesel vehicle will become less and less acceptable.
“This is more easily managed by car fleets because there are a range of viable alternatives but there are almost none for commercial vehicle fleets, with just a handful of petrol and electric models available in the van sector.”
Ford trials connected vehicle technology that could help Emergency Services reach their destination quicker
Trying to locate the source of a siren when you are behind the wheel can be stressful. Worse, it can delay the progress of an emergency vehicle if you do not quickly and safely move out of the way.
Now Ford has developed technology that sends a signal from the ambulance, fire engine or police car directly to nearby drivers, so that they will know exactly where the siren is coming from, and how far away it is.
In the UK alone, in 2015, there were 475 road accidents involving emergency services vehicles.* And it is thought the technology – that provides to the driver audible and visual alerts in the instrument cluster – could one day even advise drivers on the best course of action to safely get out of the way.
A pioneering Kent medical practice is using the all-electric Nissan LEAF to deliver on-the-doorstep care and improve its service to patients while freeing up valuable GP time.
In what’s believed to be a national first, Whitstable Medical Practice has equipped its 30kWh LEAF with high-tech medical equipment, including a portable ECG machine for measuring heart traces and a GP-linked computer system to send information back to surgery in real time.
Operated by three skilled paramedics employed specifically for the scheme, the LEAF will also prove to be a vital lifeline in the winter months when more patients will be unable to get to their appointments in icy weather. And, because the
Nissan LEAF is 100% electric, as well as offering
zero emissions mobility, it’s cost-effective too
An electric car club where you can pick up a car from any local charging point has launched at Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s recent ‘eco fair’ bringing an incredible offer for residents so that everyone can make the switch to greener travel.
The service, known as Bluecity, allows subscribers to pick up a car from any local charging point, using a club smartcard to unlock the vehicle. Cars can be reserved 30 minutes in advance or booked at the docking bay.
Hammersmith & Fulham Council have partnered with the service provider and charging point operator Source London to offer more electric vehicle charging points than any other London borough to support the club. By the end of this summer, the council will have a network of 150 on-street electric vehicle charging points. Car club members can pick up or leave their car at these, or those in other London boroughs. Bluecity cars create no exhaust emissions, so you can drive around safe in the knowledge you’re not contributing to local air pollution levels as well as helping to combat climate change.
A European-first cycle hire scheme, which will help make cycling a more convenient and attractive way to travel in city centres, is coming to Manchester and Salford. Greater Manchester political leaders have welcomed news that urban bicycle sharing service Mobike is launching a six-month pilot scheme on Thursday, 29 June, which will see 1,000 bikes made available for public hire in central Manchester and Salford.
Mobike is the world’s largest bike-sharing company, running cycle hire schemes in 100 cities across Singapore and China, and the Manchester and Salford trial is the first by the business outside Asia.
The scheme’s unique bike design, built-in smart lock and cashless smartphone app system allow cyclists to pick up and drop off hire bikes at any convenient legal cycle parking location, rather than needing to be parked at dedicated docking stations.
With four million vans and more than 300,000 HGVs on Britain’s roads, freight drivers are definitely in demand in the UK. The unsung heroes of British business, drivers ensure that industries ranging from retail to manufacturing receive the materials they need on time, on budget and without incident. To recognise the valuable contribution that freight drivers make to the UK’s economy, and acknowledge the skills of the best in the business, the Freight Transport Association, the UK’s leading membership body in the sector, has launched its second annual search for its Driver of the Year 2017, sponsored by Bridgestone Tyres.
“To be a successful logistics driver you need to have a broad array of skills,” says Carlie Nowell, Head of Events at FTA. “As well as being able to manoeuvre a large vehicle safely, efficiently and cost effectively to a tight timetable on Britain’s crowded roads, successful drivers must have excellent observation and concentration, as well as an understanding of the safety procedures and the legal requirements for a heavily regulated industry. Freight drivers are an extraordinarily skilled bunch – and we are now looking for the very best of the best. Could that person be you?”
Millbrook Healthcare has taken delivery of 27 new PEUGEOT vans, marking the 400th PEUGEOT to join the company’s fleet. The 27 new vans are mostly PEUGEOT Boxer 435 models, with the addition of two PEUGEOT Expert vans and a Luton-bodied Boxer. All vehicles have been supplied through Charters of Aldershot.
The vans will be used for delivering and collecting community equipment on behalf of local authorities and the NHS. Community equipment helps individuals to stay active, comfortable and independent in their own homes. Equipment supplied includes a wide range of items from walking sticks and crutches, to beds, hoists and pressure care equipment.
Motorists who lease their vehicle could be falling foul of the law when driving overseas. According to a recent survey, over 15% of Brits who take their cars abroad have admitted to driving on the wrong side of the road and only 1 in 5 bother to learn foreign laws in advance of getting behind the wheel.
Alongside brushing up on the rules and regulations of driving overseas, motorists are now required to display a Crit’ Air sticker on their windscreen when driving through the French capital. Without it, drivers could face fines of up to £117.
The French government rolled out The Air Quality Certificate, dubbed ‘Crit’Air’, on January 22, outlining that all cars driving into Paris and other major cities are required to display a Crit’ Air sticker – including foreign cars. The stickers indicate how much NOx a vehicle produces and will allow officials to monitor the amount of pollution in major cities, giving them the ability to stop higher category cars from entering on high emission days.
There are six categories that vehicles are ranked by depending on their air pollutant emissions from the cleanest (100% electric and hydrogen vehicles) at 0, to the highest polluting pre-2006 diesel vehicles. However, not all diesel cars will be ranked in the high polluting categories; diesels registered since 2011 will rank at level 2, equal to Euro 4 petrol cars (registered from 2006 to 2010).
This new legislation means that not only must drivers of leased vehicles notify their leasing company, at least four weeks prior to travel, to obtain a Vehicle on Hire (VE103) certificate – in lieu of a vehicle registration certificate (V5C) – and a letter giving written permission needed to drive their car overseas, but they must know the European Emissions Standard of their vehicle in order to apply for a Crit’ Air sticker.
On Sunday, 18 June, 25 cars and drivers departed from London in an electric road trip to Milton Keynes in celebration of the 100,000th electric vehicle (EV) registered in the UK*. Travelling approximately 100,000 metres, the convoy attracted significant attention as it travelled to the UK’s first Go Ultra Low city, Milton Keynes.
The road trip included an example of almost every electric vehicle currently available and was organised by Chargemaster, the UK’s largest provider of charging units and operator of the POLAR network.
It had support from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), Go Ultra Low and the AA, as well as vehicle manufacturers and a number of other electric vehicle stakeholders.
Brake, the road safety charity, is inviting all organisations with employees who drive for work to take part in its annual fleet safety survey.
The survey, conducted by Brake Professional with the support of Licence Bureau, will focus on your organisation's policies and procedures on managing driver distraction caused by mobile phones and other technology in your fleet.
Taking part in the fleet safety survey is free and anonymous, and provides organisations with an opportunity to benchmark themselves against industry safety standards. All organisations who take part will receive a free copy of the survey report and results. Brake’s 2016 survey was completed by more than 200 organisations operating fleets of various sizes and types, and with responsibility for thousands of drivers and vehicles.
Official figures show that at least 10 people are killed each week and 100 seriously injured in crashes involving people driving for work ; taking part in the fleet safety survey is an ideal opportunity for organisations to identify ways to improve their occupational road risk management and take action to reduce the number of collisions on our roads involving at-work drivers.
Complete the fleet safety survey online here. The survey takes just 15 minutes to complete, and will close on Friday, 18 August 2017.
 Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: 2014, Department for Transport, 2015.
Yesterday was the UK’s first National Clean Air Day and TRL, the global centre of innovation in transport and mobility, took the opportunity to issue a call for greater clarity about who is responsible for tackling the air quality issues facing the UK currently.
One of the chief concerns facing the sector is how to ensure a coordinated approach in the search for solutions to improve air quality. With so many agencies involved, there is a lot of noise and no clear source of independent, unbiased, information on which to base decisions.
Therefore, the TRL Academy has launched its brand-new white paper, ‘A Breath of Fresh Air: A Holistic Approach to Reconcile Future Transport with Improved Air Quality’, which is based on discussions held at the organisation’s annual symposium.
Speakers from government agencies, such as Transport for London, and academics from Kings College London, as well as TRL itself, combined to present the insight the white paper draws upon. The white paper explores the problem of poor air quality in our urban areas and the range of possible solutions that are currently being studied or trialled with the potential to reduce pollution levels, as well as addressing the issue of creating a coordinated approach.
To learn all about the threats of air pollution, its solutions and the future then click here to read a copy of the white paper.
Truckman has secured a significant project from national vehicle hire specialists Enterprise to supply almost 200 hardtops for its fleet of pick-up trucks.
The Dudley-based manufacturer and distributor of hardtops and 4x4 accessories will manufacture and fit its Truckman RS hardtops for a fleet of Toyota Hilux Double Cab Mitsubishi L200 Double Cab pick-ups.
This latest project follows on from an agreement with Enterprise to supply over 55 Truckman RS hardtops for a fleet of Ford Ranger pick-ups, which was completed earlier this year.