Wind farms are not the salvation to Britain’s ‘clean energy’ needs, says a leading alternative power expert.
For every wind farm built there has to be additional conventional power stations to supply electricity for days when there is no wind. Wind is intermittent and will not bridge the energy gap we are facing.
Jim Heathcote, CEO of ITM Power, said: “Without energy storage capability for power generated when conditions are good, wind and solar energy are virtually useless. This is the vital part of the jigsaw that supporters of clean energy are completely failing to see and it’s tragic.
Four M Group Services businesses have been presented with prestigious Occupational Health & Safety Awards by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). The awards were presented in recognition of achievement in health and safety management systems, including practices such as leadership and workforce involvement.
Putting the safety of drivers, cyclists and pedestrians first: Amey unveils its new Front End Loading waste vehicle
Amey has unveiled its new Front End Loading (FEL) waste collection vehicle which will be operating as part of Amey’s waste collection fleet – improving safety for workers and other road users as well as increasing the efficiency of our collection service.
Amey’s first Mercedes-Benz Arocs Tridem - a 32-tonne, 38m³ Frontpress refuse collection vehicle - will be servicing Amey’s commercial waste clients in Cambridgeshire. Due to its large storage compartment capacity and even bin-loading capabilities, it is ideal for collecting large volumes of solid waste in commercial environments.
Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service selects Civica to improve fleet safety and drive operational efficiencies
Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service will create a single view of fleet and equipment management and move further towards a paperless environment via new five-year Civica Tranman contract.
Civica, a market leader in business-critical software applications, digital solutions and managed services has won a new £278k, five-year contract with Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) to implement its Tranman software, as part of NIFRS’ drive to improve fleet and equipment management across the organisation.
NIFRS serves the entire 1.8m population of Northern Ireland across 68 locations. The need for a fleet and stores management information system was identified to support a long term strategy and drive efficiencies for Fleet, Engineering & Supplies. Following a robust tendering exercise the contract was awarded to Civica who will provide NIFRS with the Tranman software, to streamline processes including creating a single view of all fleet management activity which will enable better data management while controlling costs.
CTS has opted for the RXLite Live Camera Hard Disk Recording System from Innovative Safety Systems Ltd (ISS).
Tony Nicholson, National Hire Manager, CTS said: “We want to make sure our vehicles are of the highest specification and fitted with the latest technology. The system is reliable and well-engineered plus ISS are well known for their excellent after sales service so we know we will be well looked after.”
To date ten vehicles on the CTS fleet have been fitted with RXLite technology, which can give the customer access to the vehicle cameras in real-time should they require it. Eight of these vehicles are currently in service at Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council facilitating its new in-house recycled service launched this April. As part of CTS’s commitment to continually renewing and expanding its fleet, more new ‘live-camera’ enabled vehicles are already in the pipeline.
Innovative Safety Systems Ltd is a leading vehicle safety technology provider that designs, supplies and maintains a wide range of products, many of which are manufactured here in the UK. ISS products include the Cyclear™ (Cyclist Safety Warning Device), the Reaclear reverse device, 360 Vehicle Camera Systems, Hard Disk Recording, Remote Footage Download Systems, reversing radar and vehicle-tracking systems.
Oliver Hoadley, Sales Director, ISS said: “We are really pleased that CTS have chosen to our RXLite live camera system, and we look forward to providing more systems and support as the system is rolled out across new additions to the fleet.”
For more information about CTS Hire: visit www.ctshire.co.uk.
CTS on social media – Facebook - @CTSHire; Twitter - @CTSHire
West Sussex County Council has become the latest in a long line of public sector organisations to take its first steps into electric motoring with the 100 per cent electric Renault ZOE.
The local authority has added four ZOE Q90 Dynamique Nav models with the Z.E.40 battery to its 530-strong fleet – its first pure EV cars – after being convinced by the model’s 174-mile estimated real world range.
Thousands of outpatients across Wales will be able to attend essential appointments in comfort and safety after the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust (WAST) enhanced its fleet with 67 specially-converted new Renault Master ambulances.
The new ambulances will be used by WAST’s Non Emergency Patient Transport Services to transport people to and from routine outpatient appointments at clinics, hospitals and day centres, playing a major role in the 1.5 million journeys that the service completes each year for patients. Specially converted to WAST’s individual requirements, the new Renault Masters allow a wide spectrum of patients to be easily catered for, including those who require stretchers, wheelchair users and those who have limited walking mobility.
One of the UK’s leading and most innovative water companies is once again turning to the Renault Kangoo to help meet the needs of its 2.8-million customers across the South West of England.
Wessex Water has taken delivery of 67 Renault Kangoo vans, the latest order reaffirming the versatile French LCV’s hold on the company’s small van fleet with it accounting for circa 60 per cent of its 450 vehicles. Notably, all feature the brand new Wessex Water livery – the company’s first vehicles to do so.
J. Murphy and Sons Ltd has demonstrated its commitment to reducing on-site emissions by becoming the first construction company in the UK to use the cleaner burning diesel alternative, Shell GTL Fuel, outside of trials.
The Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) fuel, supplied exclusively in the UK by Certas Energy, helps to reduce emissions and improve local air quality through improved combustion properties inside standard diesel engines. The fuel has been proven to immediately reduce local emissions of air pollutants including nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM).
This ‘drop-in’ fuel can be used as a direct replacement for conventional diesel fuels, suitable for both on-road and off-road applications without the need for engine modifications. Not only is it more environmentally friendly due to its biodegradability and lower emissions, but it also improves working conditions for operatives, producing less smoke, odour, and can also reduce engine noise.
The paper reviews the different fuel type options that are available on today’s market – including petrol, diesel, hybrid and electric – alongside both tax and legal changes that can have implications when choosing fleet vehicles.
Fuel selection has a considerable impact on the capital and operational costs on a fleet – where diesel was once the fuel of choice due to reliability, lower vehicle Excise Duty (VED) and driving range, recent changes to Government legislation concerning climate change and air quality have thrown vehicle emissions (and diesel vehicles!) into the spotlight.
In light of this, the paper references Government incentives that have been put in place to increase the uptake of ‘greener’ vehicles such as electric (EV) and hybrid (PHEV), and grant schemes against the cost of new purchases that are in support of achieving 50% of new vehicle sales by 2040.
Speaking on the topic, Ashley Sowerby, Chevin’s Managing Director, said:
“Having a clear understanding of the pros and cons of each fuel type available, as well as a good understanding of the cost elements is paramount when choosing vehicles.
“Our latest whitepaper reviews the recent changes in legislation and subsequent implications to fuel types, allowing fleet managers to evaluate all the options available to them before making investments in their fleet”.
The free whitepaper is available to download at chevinfleet.com.
Approximately one in three companies (32 per cent) believe business use of artificial intelligence will be commonplace within the next decade, new research from TomTom Telematics has revealed.
The study found that 22 per cent believe virtual reality will be in common usage, while around one in five anticipate the prevalence of in-vehicle working due to the development of autonomous vehicles.
However, almost a third (32 per cent) fear they may struggle to keep pace with the rate of technological change. Furthermore, one in two (49 per cent) believe those that fail to embrace digitalised processes and the Internet of Things are at greater risk of going out of business.
“Complacency can sound the death knell for businesses,” said Beverley Wise, director UK & Ireland at TomTom Telematics.
“Companies should be mindful of the pace of change and keep a close eye on the solutions and processes that will help ensure a competitive future – from smart mobility and connected tech to advanced manufacturing and design systems. Many of today’s new emerging technologies will disrupt and revolutionise commerce, and in the process become the standard for tomorrow.”
Almost half of companies (46 per cent) believe remote working has, or will become, the norm within the next 10 years. Remote working is currently proving more prevalent among larger companies (58 per cent) than their SMEs counterparts (37 per cent).
“The onus is on businesses, both large and small, to adapt to this new era of hypermobility and connected working that is being ushered in by advancements in areas ranging from telematics and the connected car to iPaaS and blockchain solutions,” added Wise.
“Such connected technologies and unified communication systems are unshackling workers from traditional working patterns - an empowering development that is set to significantly impact productivity and business efficiency.”
Our frontline enforcement staff have started using an innovative new search app that's set to save you time at enforcement stops.
Reducing the burden
You'll already know all about our roadside enforcement checks. They play a vital role in keeping Britain's roads safe by allowing us to take dangerous drivers and vehicles off the road.
But sometimes drivers and vehicles get stopped where the vehicle's in good nick and the driver hasn't done anything wrong. This costs us time and costs the people we stop time, so we want to cut it out as much as possible.
We've already started this by introducing the earned recognition scheme in April and the new search app should reduce the burden of enforcement stops on compliant operators even further.
Info at their fingertipsBy scanning a vehicle's registration number or vehicle identification number (VIN) with their smartphone or tablet, our enforcement staff can now quickly access all the information they need to do their jobs. This includes the vehicle's testing history and any previous mechanical or driver problems.
Before, DVSA staff would have had to search lots of different databases for this information. Having it available in one place will save both DVSA and operators time and money.
This will give DVSA staff more time to focus on catching more dangerous, non-compliant drivers and vehicles by cutting down on the time they spend on good operators.
We estimate it could also save safe operators as much as 15-20 minutes at each enforcement stop helping them get back on the road.
Fitting autonomous emergency braking systems as standard on all commercial vehicles in the UK has the potential to stop almost 2,500 crashes per year.
Analysis of Department for Transport van accident statistics reveals 2,496 incidents involving vans weighing up to 3.5 tonnes could have been avoided if autonomous emergency braking systems had been fitted - preventing 348 deaths and serious injuries.
A building firm based in Chard will lose its operator’s licence this month after committing the same offence twice.
Despite being given advice by DVSA after the first offence, the partnership did the same thing again two months later.
Kevin Rooney, the West of England Traffic Commissioner, told the business that committing the offence once was a serious error but to repeat it was “reckless”.
The firm twice used an agricultural tractor and trailer in connection with its building activities. The driver didn’t have the right licence to drive the vehicle, which meant he wasn’t insured.
Mr Rooney also found the partnership had abandoned its maintenance responsibilities.
There were concerns over the frequency of safety inspections for vehicles.
Brake testing efficiency on PMIs was just recorded with a tick.
And an advisory defect for a wet fuel tank was repaired 28 weeks after being notified to the operator.
After hearing evidence from the partners at a public inquiry, Mr Rooney concluded they were unfit to continue holding a licence.
We are delighted to have Trimble PULSE as Headline Sponsor at Utility Fleet Forum, an educational conference and exhibition for fleet professionals working in the Utility, Construction, Civil Engineering and Infrastructure Management sectors.
The event is intended for all those who have fleet procurement and management responsibility, and will take place on Wednesday 19th September 18, at Mythe Barn in Leicestershire.
The day consists of conference modules presented by industry professionals all developed around the theme of developing an effective fleet management strategy, together with a superb exhibition and vehicle display areas.
Utility Fleet Forum is now in its third year and previous delegates attending have highly praised the event for delivering a unique opportunity for industry professionals to get together and share best practice.
We understand companies within these sectors operate vehicles, capital assets and drivers which require complex management and that running a compliant and safe fleet has a direct and significant impact on achieving corporate objectives. The processes you adopt as fleet professionals have to work across a diverse range of vehicles, plant and machinery, which almost always includes geographically dispersed assets and staff. Therefore, achieving standardisation in driver and vehicle safety across large fleets is a complex task.
Fleet operations within your sector often mean working in shared environments with the wider public, contractors and on large projects in a collaborative environment. Therefore, fleet composition, and the types of vehicles you have a requirement to procure, have to be flexible enough to meet these needs. Your fleet provision must include vehicles for engineers and corporate staff, as well as specialist and converted vehicles with on-board facilities such as welfare and power.
A key focus for the utility fleet sector has to be on optimising fleet utilisation and replacement. This again is usually part of company-wide initiatives that are put in place to improve asset accountability and to avoid unnecessary capital expenditures in the fleet procurement process.
The effective management of fleet assets and drivers helps to reduce unnecessary risk and costs and therefore as a Fleet, Transport or Plant Manager you need to be armed with all the relevant tools and information to be able to deliver not only corporate objectives, but to ensure that your role is effective in this process.
JDM the event organisers, are pleased to offer both Utility Fleet Magazine and a place at the conference and exhibition event Utility Fleet Forum, free* of charge, as they feel it is important for us to support the industry in achieving and adopting effective solutions that have a real impact on the wider public, driver safety, and sustainability.
So if you are a fleet professional working within the power, water, or telecoms industry or for a main contractor in construction or infrastructure management, you would derive real benefit from reading Utility Fleet Magazine and attending the conference event Utility Fleet Forum.
If you would like to confirm your free* attendance at Utility Fleet Forum on the 19th September this year at Mythe Barn in Leicestershire - please visit www.utilityfleetforum.co.uk or call T: 0161 820 3671 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Despite their highly hazardous work, dedicated refuse workers have seen their pay plummet in real terms since 2011 says GMB Union
Deaths among refuse workers have shot up 50% according to the latest HSE figures – at the same time staff face 1,000 instances of dangerous driving every single day, GMB union has revealed.
But campaign to continue for Advisory Fuel Rates for plug-in hybrid models
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has bowed to campaigning from ACFO, the UK’s premier fleet decision-makers’ organisation, and will introduce an Advisory Fuel Rate for 100% electric cars from 1 September, 2018.
Calling it an Advisory Electricity Rate, it has been set at 4p per mile and will be published alongside Advisory Fuel Rates for petrol, diesel and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) cars based on engine size. Plug-in hybrid and hybrid cars will continue to be treated as either petrol or diesel models for mileage reimbursement purposes.
Advisory Fuel Rates apply where employers reimburse employees for business travel in their company cars, or require employees to repay the cost of fuel used for private travel. They are deemed to be tax and National Insurance-free. Advisory Fuel Rates are reviewed quarterly and similarly, the new Advisory Electricity Rate will be kept under review.
In notifying ACFO of the introduction of an Advisory Electricity Rate, HMRC said: “HMRC will accept that if employers pay up to the Advisory Electricity Rate of 4p per mile when reimbursing their employees for business travel in a fully electric company car there is no profit - there will be no taxable profit and no Class 1 National Insurance to pay.
“On a similar basis to Advisory Fuel Rates, employers can use their own rate which better reflects their circumstances if, for example, their cars are more efficient, or if the cost of business travel is higher than the guideline rate. However, if they pay a rate that is higher than the Advisory Fuel Rate and can’t demonstrate the electricity cost per mile is higher, they will have to treat any excess as taxable profit and as earnings for Class 1 National Insurance purposes.”
For many years, ACFO has been calling on HMRC to publish official tax-free company car Advisory Fuel Rates for plug-in vehicles. It has been ACFO’s belief that the absence of defined mileage reimbursement rates was a handicap to some organisations including plug-in vehicles on their choice lists.
Last year ACFO hosted a fleet industry summit, which included representatives of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, contract hire and leasing companies, motor manufacturers producing plug-in vehicles and fleet managers operating zero emissions and plug-in hybrid cars.
Together they called on HMRC to publish Advisory Fuel Rates for 100% electric vehicles, range extended electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrid petrol and diesel models and submitted suggested reimbursement rates and related calculations. ACFO followed that up by launching an online petition earlier this year, which to date has attracted support from fleet managers operating more than 120,000 company cars.
ACFO chairman John Pryor said: “I am delighted that HMRC has listened to the voice of ACFO and its members and introduced an Advisory Fuel Rate for 100% electric cars and at the rate we recommended. Historically, HMRC has consistently said that it did not consider electricity to be a fuel so for it to make this change is a major leap and will assist all fleets operating and seeking to introduce pure electric cars.”
However, he continued: “We are disappointed that HMRC has not supported ACFO’s call for Advisory Electricity Rates to be introduced for plug-in hybrid petrol and diesel cars and range extended electric vehicles.
“Plug-in hybrid models are a major part of vehicle manufacturers’ future electrification programmes and, as a result, an increasing number of such vehicles will find their way onto company car choice lists due to their benefit-in-kind tax efficiency.
“But without an incentive linked to how such ultra-low emission vehicles are used on the road, it will not prevent drivers using the combustion engine alone in a plug-in hybrid car.
“Plug-in hybrid vehicles are at their most efficient when driven for as many miles as possible on electric power. Therefore, particularly with technology advances likely to increase the electric range of such cars, publishing appropriate Advisory Electricity Rates for plug-in hybrid cars will help to encourage drivers to use the car in the optimal environmentally-friendly way.”
Mr Pryor concluded: “Therefore, we will keep up the pressure on HMRC to introduce Advisory Electricity Rates for plug-in hybrid cars as well as for range extended electric vehicles.”
ROAD SAFETY and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is warning drivers that it’s not just speeding, seatbelts and mobile phone use that can bring them to the attention of the police. There are a host of other infringements, some better known than others, which can result in drivers picking up fines they may not have been expecting.