Close Brothers Asset Finance to make Freight in the City Expo debut

Close Brothers Asset Finance will be exhibiting for the first time at next month’s Freight in the City Expo.

On stand 33, Close Brothers will be on hand to talk you through their range of funding options that can help spread the cost of new vehicles or help businesses release working capital via their current fleet.

Funding routes include hire purchase, refinancing, finance and operating lease.

Close Brothers is currently working with the RHA to launch a programme to help SMEs secure the skills they need for future growth by recruiting young drivers into the transport sector.

The RHA/Close Brothers SME Apprentice Scheme – 20/20, will see Close Brothers contribute to the cost of apprentices for 20 SME members of the association (those with less than 20 vehicles) who might otherwise be unable to afford to take on a new apprentice HGV driver under the age of 24.

Visit stand 33 at the expo to find out more.

PSI Automatic Tyre Inflation System at Freight in the City Expo

Celerity DRS will be at the Freight in the City Expo next month (7 November) showcasing the PSI Automatic Tyre Inflation System, which it is the exclusive European distributor for.

The inflation system is used by fleets including FedEx, UPS and Coca-Cola.

It is designed to automatically maintain the correct tyre pressure on any commercial vehicle trailer whether static or dynamic, therefore extending tyre life and reducing required maintenance.

The PSI system also reduces the threat of a blowout, by preventing a drop in tyre pressure, therefore reducing downtime and improving safety, according to the manufactuerer.

Greyroads of Oswestry uses the system, and Simon Yarwood general manager said: ‘The PSI system has provided us at Greyroads a return on investment within 12 months.

“The system has also saved us £1,000 minimum in maintenance per trailer each year after, this is without factoring in other costs to us such as roadside call out charges.

“The system also increases our uptime and allows us to repair or replace tyres at the end of the week rather than during working hours. Most importantly we are now a safer fleet with the risk of a blowout on one of our trailers significantly reduced.”

Cenex to showcase low emission projects at Freight in the City Expo

Cenex will be demonstrating its expertise on the low emission alternatives to medium and heavy goods vehicles by showcasing three of its key projects: ACCRA, Triumph and Dedicated to Gas.

Cenex will also display its offerings in real-world data collection, trial management/delivery, report writing and dissemination – aimed at fleet managers and any organisation with a fleet of medium and heavy goods vehicles.

Project ACCRA is a collaboration between Leeds City Council, Cenex, the Transport Systems Catapult, EarthSense, Dynniq, and Tevva Motors.

It showcases smart-city technology applications that demonstrate real-time emissions control, using live air-quality data to trigger electric hybrid engines to automatically switch to zero-emission mode in heavily polluted areas.

Dedicated to Gas involves trialling over 80 vehicles, ranging from 12-tonnes to 44-tonnes, between a number of logistics fleets such as Asda, Great Bear Distribution, Wincanton and Kuehne + Nagel.

The project will judge the viability of operating spark-ignited natural gas vehicles from an economic, environmental, logistical and fleet management perspective by tracking truck movements and fuel use, and undertaking portable emissions testing (PEMS).

Triumph, managed by Kuehne + Nagel, will involve running low emission trucks in urban-delivery scenarios.

A variety of drive trains will be tested, including range-extended vehicles, battery electric vehicles and unique Dearman liquid nitrogen-fuelled vehicles. The project aims to map the levels of urban pollution.

Cenex is already heavily involved in HGV trials and can offer knowledge sharing opportunities and access to a large network of industry contacts.

To find out more about Cenex’s services or current projects, come and talk to one of our representatives on stand S04.

Join the Brigade at this year’s Freight in the City Expo

Brigade at Freight in the City Expo

Brigade Electronics will be returning to Freight in the City Expo this year with its demonstration vehicle showcasing a full suite of working products.

On board the vehicle will be a 3G/Wi-Fi capable mobile digital recorder; the Backeye 360 camera monitor system; sidescan ultrasonic detection systems; White Sound warning alarms and radar detection sensors.

Brigade’s Backeye 360 camera monitor system assists low speed maneuverability and provides the driver with a real-time surround view of the vehicle in a single image, effectively eliminating blind spots.

The live images produced by four ultra-wide-angle cameras, mounted on each side of the vehicle, are simultaneously sent to an electronic control unit (ECU) where they are instantly processed, combined, blended and stitched, according to Brigade.

When combined with the firm’s mobile digital recording device, which has the ability to capture 1164 hours of footage from up to eight cameras at any one time, the systems together can provide evidence in the case of false claims, incidents or vandalism.

Footage can also be used to support the driver, who is often the subject of increased scrutiny.

Brigade will also be showcasing its sidescan ultrasonic obstacle detection systems and real-speech side turn warning alarms, which are required to meet FORS and CLOCS specification standards.

In addition, a range of bbs-tek White Sound reversing alarms that are approved by the Noise Abatement Society and Quiet Mark for night time deliveries, will be on display on the stand.

  • Freight in the City takes place on 7 November at London’s Alexandra Palace. It is free to attend and features an exciting exhibition of urban logistics vehicles, technology and services, as well as a complementary full-day seminar programme.

Register now to attend!

Astra ClearView to bring retrofit, low-level passenger door windows to Freight in the City Expo

Astra Vehicle Technologies returns to the Freight in the City Expo this year to showcase its Astra ClearView range of low-level passenger door windows.

The ClearView range is designed to improve HGV driver vision of vulnerable road users and to help reduce blind spots on the left-hand side of the vehicle.

Director John Chadderton said: “This is a unique product because it is the only retrofit window that allows the main passenger window to remain fully operational.”

The Astra ClearView range is available to all makes and models of Euro-6 trucks, including Daf, Iveco, MAN, Scania, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo.

The large, low-level window can be retrofitted to all Euro-6 trucks or to new vehicles being prepared for application. It is available in kit form and can be fitted via a nationwide fitting service.

The Ellesmere Port-based company, which specialises in chassis modification services, developed the Astra ClearView range after working with Daf to produce a similar solution for its larger construction trucks.

TfL is currently consulting with industry over its proposed Direct Vision Standard, which it plans to introduce to improve safety of vulnerable road users around HGVs.

Part of the DVS plans include a proposed safety permit that will take into account additional technology fitted to lorries, such as sensors, cameras and additional window panels.

To find out more about Astra ClearView windows and explore the latest safety equipment on the market for vans and lorries, make sure you register to attend this year’s free-to-attend Freight in the City Expo on 7 November at Alexandra Palace.


Utility companies face hourly roadwork fee in bid to reduce congestion


Plans to introduce hourly lane-rental charges for utility companies when roadworks are carried out are in the pipeline after pilot schemes in London and Kent saw a decrease in congestion.

The proposals, published this week in the DfT consultation paper Roadworks: the Future of Lane Rental, seek to cut the number of roadworks on England’s roads to reduce pollution and congestion.

The government estimates 
2.5 million roadworks are carried out in England every year, costing the economy approximately £4bn.

The pilot scheme, operated by TfL, has 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.

The consultation paper said Kent saw similar results after its pilot, with the local authority reporting more collaboration and improved road user satisfaction, as well as a reduction in congestion.

The government is now considering rolling out the model nationwide, but unlike the pilot schemes, which charge daily rates of up to £2,000 for road closures and £800 a day for lane closures, local authorities would charge hourly lane-rental fees.

Proposed options include limiting the scheme to the London and Kent pilots; rolling out lane rental to all local authorities; and allowing councils to use super permits costing about £1,000 and charge increased fines for delays rather than lane-rental charges.

Launching the consultation, transport secretary Chris Grayling said: “These proposals would give councils greater powers to ensure utility companies avoid carrying out works at the busiest times and on the most popular routes.

“This would not only improve journeys and cut congestion but also save businesses from the increased costs they incur as a result of traffic on our roads.”

Scotland to phase out diesel and petrol vans by 2032

Scotland plans to phase out petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032, eight years ahead of the UK government’s target.

Announcing the Scottish Government’s legislative programme for the coming year, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon laid out plans to take the lead in promoting the use of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs), with a target to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032.

The programme also announced plans to “massively expand” electric charging, accelerate procurement of ULEVs in the public and private sectors and make the A9 Scotland’s first fully electric-enabled road.

The legislative programme also revealed plans to create a Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) “in one of Scotland’s cities” by the end of next year as well as creating  low emissions zones in Scotland’s four biggest cities by 2020 and in all Air Quality Management Areas by 2023.

Plans also include a new climate change bill next year, setting out “even more ambitious” targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Sturgeon said.

A £60m innovation fund will also be set up to encourage climate change solutions such as electricity battery storage, sustainable heating systems and electric vehicles charging.

Sturgeon said the measures would “send a clear signal that Scotland is the place for innovation in digital and low carbon technology.”

Warwick University develops electric vehicle concept based on Renault Twizy

An electric vehicle concept for the urban delivery market has been developed by design company Astheimer and WMG, Warwick University’s R&D department.

Named the Deliver-E, the vehicle is based on a Renault Twizy platform, is fitted with a 48V 6.5kWh battery system with a peak power of 36kW, and has an open-platform vehicle control system with a touchscreen interface.

The battery system is the first module produced by WMG’s new automated battery production line for electric vehicles, developed as part of the Automated Module-to-pack Pilot Line for Industrial Innovation project, which has created a UK supply chain for hybrid and electric vehicle battery packs.

Astheimer developed the WMG concept, enlarging the vehicle’s rear storage area for three online delivery baskets. It also added new body panels to the Deliver-E and fitted it with programmable LED pixel strips, which can change colour for brake and indicator lights.

Astheimer founder and creative director Carsten Astheimer said: “The Deliver-E is the result of an intensive 10-week collaborative project between Astheimer and WMG to design and build an electric delivery vehicle prototype. This unique collaboration showcases the design and prototyping capabilities of Astheimer.

“We are working on several projects at the forefront of electric transportation and autonomous technology, anticipating the future of mobility, which will be dominated by electric vehicles as emission controls tighten and on-line acquisitions increase.”

Professor Dave Greenwood of WMG, said “It’s great to be able to showcase some of the technologies that we’re working on in a real driveable vehicle – this really helps us bring home the benefits of the technologies we develop at WMG, and helps industry see how they may adopt them.”

ULEMCo develops zero-emission fuel cell for Nissan van

ULMECO fuel cell for Nissan

Hydrogen engine retrofit company ULEMCo has developed a zero-emission fuel cell unit, which can be fitted to Nissan’s standard electric e-NV200 van to provide additional power.

ULEMCo is set to launch a fuel cell-based unit that will extend vehicle range to more than 150 miles when fully laden.

Using a 12kW fuel cell and 1.6 kg/day on-board hydrogen storage capability, the van will have almost twice the range of the standard e-NV200, measured to New European Driving Cycle standards, without sacrificing load space capacity.

ULEMCo’s fuel cell RX power module will be roof mounted, and provide motive power via the battery to support the drive load requirements for the base van.

ULEMCo CEO Amanda Lyne said: “We are excited to have completed our integration study for a zero-emission FC extended van. This UK-engineered solution will meet the need for a practical small van urban delivery operation.”

ULEMCo added the development was significant since the fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) is eligible for the Office for Low Emission Vehicles’s (OLEV) support scheme.

The OLEV Hydrogen for Transport Programme was launched last week to provide up to £23m of grant funding until 2020 to support the growth of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, alongside the deployment of new vehicles via an open competition for both Hydrogen Refuelling Stations and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Retiming deliveries could lead to cyclist deaths, says SteerSafe

Moves to encourage out-of-hours deliveries in London, aimed at cutting congestion, have been slated by safety campaigners who warn they could lead to more cyclists’ deaths.

Road safety campaign SteerSafe said this week that any move to night-time deliveries should be accompanied by a mandatory requirement for hauliers to install 360-degree camera systems on their trucks.

The call came after TfL launched a campaign to retime deliveries to shops, pubs, hotels and restaurants during off-peak hours to cut congestion.

SteerSafe founder Chris Hanson-Abbott said: “Moving deliveries to off-peak hours throws up a host of safety issues. The point is that blind spots exist at any hour of the day or night and at night people are less visible and drivers can be less alert, and audible warning systems are switched off.”

He added: “I would like to see the mandatory fitting of 360-degree camera systems. These give drivers a view all around the vehicle via a single glance at a screen in the cab. That’s the only way to eliminate all blind spots.”

FTA head of policy for London Natalie Chapman said: “London is a 24/7 city with an increasing population. That is driving greater demand for goods and services and London is struggling to accommodate that need in daylight hours and so other options have to be explored.

“We are not arguing for all deliveries to be switched to 
night time. The aim is to ease 
peak traffic, particularly in the morning rush, which is so dangerous for vulnerable road users, by spreading those traffic levels throughout the day and night.”