As part of a Government drive to reduce greenhouse gases, the Department for Transport has launched a consultation on whether, and how, it should introduce E10 fuel – which contains more bioethanol than traditional petrol – to the UK market.
Professional drivers face action against vocational licences on top of fine and points If one of your drivers is caught using a hand held mobile phone whilst driving they could face a suspension from driving commercial vehicles.
That’s in addition to the fine and points they’ll receive.
Traffic commissioners are told about mobile phone offending and will call drivers in to conduct hearings.
If a driver’s caught in a commercial vehicle, the minimum suspension period is four weeks.
That will affect their livelihood and is likely to impact on your business too.
There’s a leaflet here you can share with your drivers warning about the dangers of using hand held devices while driving.
Professional drivers have a responsibility to maintain a high standard of driving to ensure the safety of other, more vulnerable road users.
A transport manager who lacked the hunger for compliance has been disqualified from working in the role for five years.
Traffic Commissioner Kevin Rooney took the action after finding the TM didn’t have the necessary knowledge to carry out the job.
UNITED Utilities is building up an ambitious plan to switch its entire fleet of vehicles from diesel to home-produced energy within the next ten years. The water company is aiming to reduce its annual diesel consumption from 4 million litres to zero.
The Government has launched a new, simplified Public Sector Contract designed to make it easier for businesses to apply for Government contracts.
This new contract removes duplication from the application process and streamlines procurement for companies that supply to government through Crown Commercial Service (CCS) procurement frameworks.
Patience may be a virtue for business drivers who want to remain focussed at the wheel as rising temperatures could be impacting their reaction times.
According to SEAT, common air-con mistakes – including immediately turning the system on full-blast – could be reducing its effectiveness, resulting in higher interior temperatures and possible dehydration.
A difference of just 10°C – 35°C compared to 25°C – inside the cabin can diminish reaction times by 20% – the equivalent to a blood alcohol reading of 0.05%; matching the Scottish limit and close to the maximum of 0.08% for the rest of the UK.
With outside temperatures recently soaring above 30°C in the UK, hurried commuters and company car drivers in particular could be at risk of dehydration, impacting reactions at the wheel.
Cars parked in the sun can reach a startling 60°C. To help reduce cabin temperatures before setting off and while on the move, the Spanish car manufacturer – based in Barcelona – has published the most common air conditioning mistakes that drivers make:
Around two-thirds of drivers aren’t aware of the risks of higher temperatures and dehydration*, which can cause tiredness, dizziness, headaches and reduced reaction times.
Engineers at SEAT spend three years developing each model’s cooling system. This time is used to study the geometry of the ducts and vents in 3D, with virtual simulations performed to predict how the air will flow inside the car.
Ángel Suárez, an engineer at the SEAT Technical Centre, says: “Open the doors and lower the windows for a minute before turning on the air conditioning to naturally lower the temperature in the interior.”
If passengers say they can’t feel the cool air, then the nozzles could be set incorrectly. “It isn’t a matter of temperature, but in which direction the air is flowing inside the car,” says Suárez. “The nozzles should be pointing upwards, not towards peoples’ faces. Then the air flows all around the interior of the car and reaches every passenger consistently.”
Disqualification for son caught using father’s licence to operate illegally and dangerously - Operator told DVSA he had nothing to do with the licence whatsoever as all he did was “sign the cheque”
Why is it so important for traffic commissioners to know who is operating the vehicles authorised on a licence?
Because a key part of their job is to make sure the people they grant licences to are the people who’ll actually be running the business.
When you apply for a licence you make certain promises about keeping vehicles fit and serviceable and ensuring that drivers’ hours rules are observed.
If one of your competitors isn’t playing by the rules, your business could suffer.
That’s why traffic commissioners are doing everything they can to get these operators off the road.
Making sure there’s a level playing field for licence holders is one of their key aims.
Nick Denton, Traffic Commissioner for the West Midlands, recently disqualified an operator for five years because he used a liquidated company’s O licence to run vehicles illegally.
The licence had even been suspended but the director continued operating trucks under it.
DVSA investigations revealed issues with drivers’ hours compliance, a 50% trailer prohibition rate, infrequent driver defect reporting and an S marked prohibition for an insecure load and serious brake defect.
A total of 33 vehicle and trailer prohibitions had been recorded against the licence.
The transport manager also lied to DVSA by claiming he was still TM for the operator in January 2018. He’d actually stopped working as TM in December 2016.
Mr Denton said the transport manager’s deception allowed an unlicensed operator to continue running vehicles. If he’d told the truth the operator wouldn’t have met professional competence.
The Traffic Commissioner called the operator’s non compliance “serious, sustained and deliberate”.
Plans to raise the cost of using the M6 toll road later this month have been met with strong opposition from residents, hauliers and politicians, who say the move will have a negative impact on air quality and congestion.
An open letter, led by West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and signed by six local MPs, read: “We are extremely disappointed at the decision to increase charges, in particular for HGVs.
“This will do nothing to move more vans and heavy goods vehicles off the region’s other major roads and onto the M6 toll.
“This needs to happen if we are serious about improving air quality and managing congestion.
“Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and Highways England have worked tirelessly with Midlands Expressway Ltd over the last 12 months to make better use of the M6 Toll as part of the region’s wider road network.
“Actions include improved signage and other measures to encourage more long distance traffic, especially HGVs, off the M6 and onto the M6 Toll.”
The Volkswagen brand will also be offering its customers car sharing services in future. The WE customer platform is to begin rolling out various vehicle-on-demand services, in particular car sharing, in Germany in 2019. These services are to be extended to major cities in Europe, North America and Asia as early as 2020. This was announced by the Volkswagen Brand Board Member for Sales, Jürgen Stackmann, at an event held in Berlin.
Nottingham City Council has taken delivery of twelve new refuse collection vehicles as part of a framework agreement between Terberg Matec UK and members of the Nottinghamshire Vehicle Procurement Consortium. In addition, a further three vehicles are currently in build and due for delivery over the coming weeks.
A long-standing partner to the Consortium, Terberg Matec UK is currently one year into a third successive four-year framework agreement, designed to deliver greater efficiency through the formation of strong working relationships with suppliers.
"Deploy a smart-charging system or face a total collapse of consumer confidence in EV’s,” says Off Grid Energy CEO
The company’s UBESS (Universal Battery Energy Storage) systems have been deployed by UPS at its Camden depot, now officially launched.
With the power demand from charging electric vehicles too great for the already buckling London power grid, Danny Jones, Founder and CEO of Off Grid Energy – a leading energy technology company – today stressed the importance of battery storage and smart charging systems as the take up in EVs increases exponentially.
Westminster City Council has agreed an important new contract with Zipcar, the UK’s largest car sharing network, which will see car sharing offered at an even broader level throughout the London borough from early July.
The new agreement will boost the car sharing options available to Westminster residents, with both Zipcar Flex and Zipcar Roundtrip now accessible through the Zipcar app:
Key inner city borough Westminster is the tenth London borough to sign up to Zipcar Flex since it launched just a year ago and marks a major milestone for the service, which is credited with helping to popularise car sharing in the capital.
Zipcar Flex is also available in Wandsworth, Tower Hamlets, Islington, Lewisham, Southwark, Hackney, Merton and Waltham Forest, making it the largest ‘free floating’ car club service in London and the only one to span north and south London.
Zipcar UK General Manager Jonathan Hampson said: “Zipcar has been working with Westminster since 2009, and so we are absolutely delighted to be able to further extend our partnership. Since 2009 nearly 12,000 Westminster residents have discovered car sharing with us.
"We are excited that Westminster City Council shares our ambition to build on what has been achieved and to further grow adoption of this important concept as an alternative to car ownership in the borough. With the introduction of Zipcar Flex, I have no doubt at all that we will do just this.”
An awareness campaign focusing on van speed limits for drivers of daily rental vehicles is being launched by fleet software specialist FleetCheck.
It has been created in response to a number of cases the company has seen among its clients where drivers have picked up points on their driving licences because they did not know that different limits applied to cars and sub-3.5 tonne vans on some roads.
Drivers are suffering more than ever as a result of potholes, the AA says, as vehicle damage caused by defective road surfaces is sending breakdown numbers and repair costs soaring.
The number of jobs attended by the AA for tyre, suspension and wheel related damage – which is often caused by potholes - jumped by nearly 14,000 in a year, from around 587,500 in 2016 to more than 601,000 in 2017, according to the breakdown organisation.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council has completed another major investment with Mellor, updating its fleet with eight new Strata high floor buses.
The council’s total accessible fleet numbers 67 vehicles, all provided by Mellor. This latest order was won following a competitive tender process.
The new vehicles have been delivered and will be deployed on transport services as part of East Riding of Yorkshire’s Adult and Children’s Services provision, including special educational needs.
Carl Gillyon, Fleet Services Manager for East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “We were looking for passenger comfort, accessibility and cost effectiveness when updating our fleet, and that’s exactly what we got.
“We can now deliver these essential transport services more efficiently thanks to the new Stratas. Our drivers and passengers have given us really good feedback, so all in all it’s a great addition and brings our fleet up to date.”
The vehicles feature a powered single leaf glider passenger entrance with manual foldout step and double rear doors. Each is fitted with 14 Phoenix Blenheim seats, and can further accommodate two wheelchair using passengers.
The internally mounted tail lift (a Ricon Clearway S2038X) carries up to 500kg and has a spacious capacity of 1.6m x 0.8m. The buses are also fitted with on-board CCTV by 21st Century Technology for enhanced passenger and driver security.
Area Sales Manager (Central England and North Wales) for Mellor, Jane Dransfield, commented: “It gives us great pleasure to send these new Stratas into service with East Riding of Yorkshire Council, where they will be delivering vital public services.
“We’ve worked closely with the customer, adapting the vehicles to match their exact specification, and we’re confident that the bus’s accessible design and excellent fuel economy makes it a perfect match for the needs of this local authority.”
The conference will include both a celebration and a retrospective of the scheme’s many notable achievements over the last decade, and will be followed by the important business of key-note conference presentations, networking opportunities and a dedicated exhibition.
The FORS Members’ Conference – free to attend for FORS members – will take place on Tuesday 16 October 2018 with FORS again choosing the National Conference Centre in Solihull as its venue.
For less than 12 months
Take your V5C (log book) with you if you’re taking your vehicle abroad for less than 12 months (also known as temporary export). If your V5C needs updating, allow 6 weeks before you travel to get it back in time.
UK-registered vehicles that are exported temporarily remain subject to UK law. That means you need to make sure:
Taking a vehicle outside the EU
You may need to pay import duty on your vehicle if you take it outside the EU. Check with the authorities in the country you’re taking your vehicle to.
If the country charges duty, you can buy a CPD Carnet. This lets you take your vehicle into the country temporarily without paying duty. It can also make crossing the border simpler.
You’ll usually get the carnet within 4 weeks of applying. It costs from £210 and you’ll also need to pay a deposit.
Bringing your vehicle back untaxed
If you bring your vehicle back to the UK untaxed you cannot drive it back into the UK - it’ll have to be transported and a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) must be made straight away.
Taking hired vehicles abroad temporarily
You’ll need a VE103 vehicle on hire certificate to show you’re allowed to use a hire vehicle if you’re driving it abroad.
You can get a VE103 for a fee from the:
Arval is announcing the launch of an innovative fleet consultancy approach called SMaRT - Sustainable Mobility and Responsibility Targets.
This new, five phase methodology is a response to a clear acceleration towards greener mobility across many European countries and will be used to help the company’s clients define and implement their fleet energy transition strategy.