DfT preparing for national roll out of lane rental scheme to cut congestion


The government is now considering the national roll out of a lane rental scheme, which could see councils charge utility companies up to £2,500 a day for carrying out roadworks at peak times.

The decision follows the successful piloting of the lane rental scheme by Kent County Council and TfL, which reported significant cuts in the disruption caused to drivers during roadworks.

Both trials, which were due to end in March 2019, have now been extended indefinitely by the DfT.

The TfL and Kent trials found the scheme discouraged utilities from carrying out roadworks at peak times and incentivised them to collaborate on works to avoid the same stretch of road to be dug up twice.

TfL’s pilot scheme reported a 55% decrease in serious and severe congestion caused by planned utility works in 2015/16, and a 616% rise in the use of collaborative work sites, compared with the 2010/11 baseline.

The average number of days in which disruption was avoided also rose 221% from 110 to 353 in the same period. Kent reported similar results from its pilot scheme.

Announcing the extension of the two pilot schemes following a consultation on the subject that attracted positive support, DfT confirmed that it is “considering rolling out the lane rental scheme to other areas in England”.

It added that the roll out would begin in 2019.

Image: Shutterstock

Red Route price hike will unduly penalise those delivering goods into London

TfL’s plans to increase penalty charges for vehicles stopping illegally on London’s Red Routes will penalise freight operators and could drive up delivery costs across the capital.

The warning came from the FTA, which expressed “bitter disappointment” after TfL revealed its intention to increase Red Route PCNs from £130 to £160.

The RHA echoed TfL’s concern, condemning the move as a way of raising funds to pay for London mayor Sadiq Khan’s fare freeze.

The proposal, announced this week follows a TfL consultation on congestion charging and remains subject to a review by transport secretary Chris Grayling.

The FTA argued that the lack of loading bays in London means that many truck and van drivers have no choice but to park on Red Routes during deliveries.

Natalie Chapman, FTA London policy lead, said: “The plan to increase the penalty charges for Red Routes is ill-considered.

“The fact that there’s been an increase in repeat offenders suggests these vehicles are making multiple journeys into London and they could well be van and truck deliveries.”

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “It’s a punishment tax on motorists and goods vehicle operators. London is one of the world’s major business centres and tourist attractions – for the city to work it needs the goods moved by the road haulage industry.

“Current policies being promoted by the mayor are increasing congestion and attack motorised mobility of all types, including the essential movers of goods.”

Chapman added: “In many cases, there is simply nowhere for drivers to stop and deliver legally. It could also be that the operating hours of loading bays and red lines do not meet the needs of businesses or residents receiving deliveries and need to be changed.”

She called on TfL to increase the number and size of loading bays and extend loading times as alternative ways to ease congestion along London’s routes.

She added that the FTA is contacting transport secretary Chris Grayling to raise its “very serious concerns” about the increase.

“Without solid evidence to support these higher charges, they could prove pointless and may end up punishing all of London’s residents and workers, who will have to pay the increased cost of deliveries,” Chapman added.

A TfL spokeswoman told Freight in the City that TfL plans to raise Red Route PCN charges have yet to be reviewed by the transport secretary.

She added:  “Our stakeholder team has engaged with the freight industry during the consultation period and its views are being taken very seriously.”

Image: PA Images

UPS to trial extended range fuel cell electric vehicles

UPS fuel cell electric vehicle

UPS is to trial a fleet of extended range Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) delivery trucks on California’s highways.

The trial, which is set to begin in Sacramento before the end of the year, is part of a project UPS is working on with the US Department of Energy (DOE) to design a first-of-its-kind, zero tailpipe emissions, Class 6 medium-duty delivery truck that can match the range of UPS’s existing conventional fuel vehicles.

Unlike fuel cell auxiliary power units, the FCEV vehicles will use an onboard fuel cell to generate electricity to propel the vehicle and will be tested on UPS routes for a minimum of 5,000 hours during the trial. The test vehicles will join UPS’ Rolling Laboratory fleet of alternative fuel vehicles.

Each FCEV produces electricity which continuously charges the batteries, providing additional power and an extended range of 125 miles. The UPS trucks are retrofitted with a 32kW fuel cell coupled to 45kWh of battery storage and 10kg of hydrogen fuel. The drive train runs on electricity supplied by batteries, which, unlike other fuel cell applications, will support the full duty cycle of the truck, including highway driving.

Announcing the project, UPS said it was “an important step toward demonstrating the commercial viability of zero tailpipe emissions trucks to fleet operators and the developing FCEV supply chain.”

Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president global engineering and sustainability, added: “The challenge we face with fuel cell technology is to ensure the design can meet the unique operational demands of our delivery vehicles on a commercial scale.

“This project is an essential step to test the zero tailpipe emissions technology and vehicle on the road for UPS and the transportation industry.

“We have a long history of developing and promoting the use of more sustainable alternative fuels with our Rolling Laboratory, and hope that by bringing our unique expertise to the development of hydrogen fuels, we can help advance the technology.”

Terberg Urban Safety Logistics vehicle in the spotlight at Freight in the City Expo

The recently launched Terberg Urban Safety Logistics Vehicle is taking pride of place on the manufacturer’s stand at the Freight in the City Expo 2017.

The 18-tonne refrigerated truck was designed in conjunction with Terberg’s recently acquired sister company Dennis Eagle and bodybuilder Gray & Adams.

The vehicle is designed to go beyond the current trend for low-entry, high-visibility trucks and create a complete package to enable safe, quiet and efficient urban deliveries.

The truck is based on Dennis Elite 4×2 rigid chassis and has a Volvo D8K 280bhp Euro-6 engine and Allison MD3000 six-speed automatic gearbox.

It also features the low-noise, low-emission Carrier TRS Twin Cool undermount 2CPT refrigeration system as standard, which is fitted to a Gray & Adams dual compartment reefer body with an internal moveable bulkhead.

The walk-through cab has seating for a driver and two passengers, with storage for extra kit. Nearside access is through a bus-style full length glass panel folding door, giving direct vision capability.

Another safety feature is the Dhollandia 500kg side loading lift, incorporated into the rear nearside corner of the body to form the load floor, which complements the standard Dhollandia tail-lift.

The truck is also installed with the latest Mobileye Shield + collision avoidance system, which combines proximity intrusion information from around the vehicle, removing the need for the driver to monitor individual cameras.

  • See the Terberg Urban Safety Logistics Vehicle for yourself at the Freight in the City Expo 2017, taking place at Alexandra Palace on 7 November. Register for your free place today.

Martrans Trailers to exhibit new urban Walking Floor trailer at Freight in the City Expo

Martrans Trailers is preparing to impress visitors to the Freight in the City Expo 2017 with a new compact version of its Walking Floor trailer, designed to give greater maneuverability than traditional straight tippers in tight urban areas.

The Compact V Floor Walking Floor trailer is targeted at companies transporting aggregates and coated tarmac materials.

The body, which can be adapted to any make of vehicle, is fitted to an eight wheeler rigid DAF chassis with a 5.1 wheel base to keep the vehicle compact.

It has a rear steer back axle to aid maneuverability in confined spaces which lifts when the vehicle is empty to relieve wear and tear on road surfaces.

Martrans Trailers, which is a subsidiary of Paneltex Group, developed the trailer for ABH Haulage of Mansfield.

The brief was to create a Walking Floor trailer which could give maximum payload and be able to deliver into cramped urban areas, sites with limited space or access, and areas with overhead power cables or services. The build took 20 weeks.

Morris Abbott, site and trailer development manager for Paneltex Group, said the Compact V Floor Walking Floor trailer stands out from the competition by being able to take almost the same payload as a straight tipper.

“One of the biggest problems is the reduction in payload to 18-tonnes in previous rigid tipper vehicles, which requires more vehicle movements than the traditional tipper, which has a 19- to 20-tonne payload.

“By getting the payload on this vehicle to close to 19-tonnes, we have gone a long way to reducing that problem.”

He added: “The other advantage is the vehicle’s suitability for road and rail tunnel work which unlike traditional tippers, which have to leave their load at the mouth of the tunnel can deliver into the tunnel, eliminating all that extra movement to feed the pavers.”

Abbott added that Martrans is seeing strong interest in the Compact V Floor Walking Floor trailer with a steady stream of orders.

  • See the Compact V Floor Walking Floor trailer and tonnes more at the Freight in the City Expo 2017, taking place at Alexandra Palace on 7 November. Register for your free place today.

Renault Trucks returns to Freight in the City with latest vehicles to meet the urban challenge

Renault Trucks returns to Freight in the City Expo this year with a set of new vehicles designed to meet the challenges of the urban environment.

The manufacturer is showcasing the brand new C320 8×4 Tridem in 2.3m cab variant on stand V01 along with the Range D18 4×2 R Low 250 E6 with a Boughton skiploader body.

The Range C320 Tridem (pictured below) delivers the load capacity of an eight-wheeler with the manoeuvrability of a six-wheeler and comes with factory-fitted extra axle adaption.

Its smaller, lower cab has a factory-fitted vision window and short front overhang allowing greater manoeuvrability and vision in congested urban environments.

A rear-lifting axle delivers a narrower turning circle which also keeps the truck closer to the kerb when turning left, compared to traditional 8x4s, reducing the high-risk area for cyclists when turning.

The Range D skiploader (main picture) includes two-step access with a step height of just 375mm. Equipped with a factory-fitted vision window in the nearside door, the vehicle is specified with a full CLOCS safety system, including cycle sensors and the Roadcrew 4 camera system with recorder.

Nigel Butler, Renault Trucks commercial director, said the urban concept C2.3 Tridem is particularly suited to the construction, logistics, distribution and refuse sectors.

“The combination of the low cab with the tridem rear axle lends itself to use as a walking floor tipper, a concrete mixer or a rigid distribution model where the urban concept’s weight advantages and manoeuvrability will be of particular benefit to operators working in constrained urban environments,” he added.

Meanwhile on stand V53, visitors to the show can see the new Renault Trucks Master Welfare Van and the Master Optilogistics Van on display, both of which are from Renault Trucks’ ‘Ready for Business’ range.

Freight in the City Expo takes place on 7 November at Alexandra Palace, London. It is free to attend, so why not register for your pass today!

Wilcox ENERGYA concrete mixer set to electrify Freight in the City Expo 2017

Wilcox Commercial Vehicles is set to cause a stir at Freight in the City Expo 2017 with the ENERGYA series truck concrete mixer that cuts fuel use, noise and emissions.

Unlike traditional truck mixers where drum movement is generated by a hydraulic system, Cifa’s ENERGYA truck mixer is powered from its own rechargeable lithium-ion batteries which are independent to the chassis engine.

ENERGYA truck mixers are equipped with a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS), which allows energy recovery during vehicle deceleration. The batteries can also be charged from both the power grid and through a generator powered by the diesel engine on the truck, allowing the truck mixer to be fully operational, even if the batteries are dead.

Jamie Boyce, Wilcox area sales manager, said this makes the mixer particularly suited to congested areas with high traffic levels.

“Concrete mixers need to be kept rotating to keep the concrete mixed while on route to the delivery site,” he said. “With the mixer being independent to the chassis engine, when in congestion or waiting to discharge, the driver can cut the engine without affecting the mixer or the load being carried.”

A recent trial run by Cifa showed a saving of 3,600 litres of fuel and more than 9,500kg of Co2 with the ENERGYA mixer creating no Co2 emissions and less than 10db of noise when in operation.

Boyce added: “The batteries can be recharged in around three hours from a power source, but they also recharge through the KERS from the braking system of the chassis.

“By just operating in traffic with frequent stopping and starting, the mixer can stay recharged for a whole day through the KERS system.”

Freight in the City Expo takes place on 7 November at London’s Alexandra Palace. It is free to attend, so why not register for a pass today!


Associations question London T-Charge as surcharge goes live

Trade associations have questioned the effectiveness of the London T-Charge, as the new tax went live this morning (23 October).

The T-Charge costs drivers of pre-Euro 4 vehicles that enter London’s congestion charge zone between 7am and 6pm on any weekday £10.00, on top of the £11.50 congestion charge.

But the FTA has warned the tax may not go far enough to remove older vehicles from London’s streets

Natalie Chapman, FTA head of policy for London told Freight in the City: “This charge means other road users will be sharing a burden that the freight industry has been shouldering for years.

“It will bring cars up to the standard that HGVs have had to meet for sometime. This is about all road users playing a part in cutting emissions.”

Chapman acknowledged the charge could impact on some vans and older HGVs but added: “We are talking about vehicles that are more than 10 years old so the charge will have minimal impact on the freight industry.”

However Chapman questioned if the Toxin Tax goes far enough in ensuring older vehicles are removed from the capital’s streets.

She said: “I question how effective it will be. I suspect that it depends on how often people use these vehicles. For many if it is for an occasional journey they may just decide to pay the T-charge, so although it will certainly raise revenues, will it make a real difference to emissions?”

The RHA warned that new Toxin Tax combined with the planned Ultra Low Emission Zone risks damaging London’s economy and dismissed the charge as “just another tax on business in the capital.”

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett added: “The T-Charge on lorries is a modest tax, but the coming changes the mayor plans for ULEZ in 2019 will be a massive tax burden.

“It will impose taxes on those operators of lorries just a few years old who simply cannot afford replace nearly new lorries – we will see jobs lost and hauliers put out of business to achieve very modest air quality improvement.”

However TfL said that since the T-Charge was announced in February the daily number of older more polluting vehicles driving into the Congestion Zone had decreased by around 15%.

Gareth Powell, TfL’s Director of Strategy, said: “The T-Charge shows that London is leading the way with the toughest pollution standard of any world city, which will be further strengthened with the introduction of the Ultra Low Emission Zone.

“We are encouraged that people appear to be heeding these initiatives and finding more environmentally friendly ways to travel. This is the bedrock on which the mayor’s ambitious plan for a zero emission city by 2050 is built.”

Bradshaw to electrify Freight in the City Expo with Goupil vehicle showcase


Freight in the City caught up with Drew Bradshaw, joint MD at Bradshaw Electric Vehicles to hear what they’d be exhibiting on stand 31 at the London expo on 7 November.


Which products and services are you planning to promote at the show and why?

Bradshaw is showcasing the new range of Goupil Electric Road Legal Vehicles. They’re designed especially for inner city last mile delivery and service operations. They’re compact, with great manoeuvrability, excellent range and zero emissions.

Are they unique?

Yes! These are innovative European-manufactured commercial vehicles, featuring a modular design that allows a multitude of body types to be fitted. It means there’s a huge range of options, including a Pick-up, Tipper, Pressure washer, Leaf collector, Waste collector, Cage body, Van body and more.

We introduced the range earlier this year to the UK. They are designed from the ground up as 100% Electric Vehicles and made by Goupil, part of the Polaris Group.

For more than 60 years, the Polaris brand has been synonymous with making high quality, breakthrough products – which is a big part of why we love working with them!

Who are you trying to reach with your products and services?

Any commercial customer with a requirement to move loads up to 1200Kg, or carry out cleaning operations.

What is their relevance to urban transport?

The Goupil range offers excellent on-road driving characteristics for inner city applications:
compact size; silent; zero emissions; N1 & L7e road approval;payload up to 1,200kg; max speed of 31mph; range 50 miles; tight turning circle; lithium-ion battery option for even faster recharge; 11 models, many options available