Transport for Greater Manchester rules out its own Direct Vision Standard

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is unlikely to roll out its own version of London’s Direct Vision Standard, due to it having less resource than TfL and, arguably, less need. caught up with Helen Smith, head of logistics at TfGM, at the Alexandra Palace Expo, when she said a Direct Vision Standard was not on the cards for the city.

“One reason is that we’re a long way behind TfL,” she said.  “They’ve got a lot of resource, they’ve got a big team, and they’ve been doing it for years. Manchester’s just got me! So we’re in no hurry.”

“But the other things is that within Manchester we don’t have that same disproportionate representation of cyclists involved in collisions with HGVs.

“That’s not to say that we want to sit back and accept any level of culture, because we want zero tolerance, but it’s about us working with the industry in a supportive way. It’s not about limitations, we’re about enabling, rather than using a big stick. It’s getting it off the ground and seeing how it evolves.”

Smith added that TfGM would be working with the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University to help them meet the Clocs standard.

It also plans to work with local authorities and transport operations, and eventually reach out to smaller hauliers.

Smith said: “We’ve received a lot of positivity around it, but in the main we’re preaching to the converted at the minute. We’re engaging with the higher level operators who are already engaged with the standard, or, if they’re not, they’re quite open to doing so.

“So the first big challenge will be how do we link in with the smaller operators?

“Is the approach consolidation, so lower the number of operators coming into the city centre? That way you don’t need to reach the whole supply chain, but you’ve got compliance in your open areas, which is the critical part at the minute.”

TNT: industry must ‘future-proof’ itself to meet the challenge of emissions legislation

TNT has said the industry needs to “future-proof” itself against changing urban legislation, as it has done with the cargo bikes it has rolled out across the country.

Andrew Lowery, TNT’s city logistics and public affairs manager (pictured, left), told Freight in the City Expo delegates yesterday:  “We’re taking this specific strategy at the moment rolling out cargo bikes and electric cargo bike solutions in cities across the country, in an effort to future proof against all the legislation that’s coming in: the clean air zones, the low emissions issue, etc.”

However Lowery added that the use of bikes for final mile deliveries was just “one of many solutions we need to look at in order to overcome the challenges we’re going to face”.

This, he said, did not just apply to London, where focus on emission lowering legislation often falls.

“This will be country-wide”, he said. “I don’t think it’s just London. London is a mature environment, but the other cities are catching up.”



Fors must be cultural, not just a ‘badge’, warns transport lawyer

Operators with Fors accreditation must not use the brand as a badge of honour to win them business, a transport lawyer has said.

Addressing delegates at the Freight in the City Expo at Alexandra Palace, Jonathon Backhouse, partner at Backhouse Jones, said Fors had to be part of a company’s culture.

“Is Fors a badge, or a culture?” he asked. “Because if it’s a badge, a tick box exercise, something that you want to say you’ve got so you can win contracts, then you’re not taking Fors seriously. It’s got to be cultural. Only then will it be effective.”

Backhouse also warned delegates to be aware of their operating environments, and the effects that growing residential areas around a haulage business could have.

He said: “If you’re in an industrial estate and housing has closed in around you, you will, if you haven’t already, begin to be impacted by the opinions of those residents.

“Every five years your O-licence is up for review, and at that review you will be expected to demonstrate you are operating in an environmentally sound way. They have the right to object and the traffic commissioner can put conditions on your licence on your operating hours, even if you have been operating at the site for years.

“So be aware of this, and be aware of your environment.”

Geodis to move more deliveries to evenings after successful trial

Geodis UK wants to roll out its retiming of deliveries to evening time after a successful year of doing so with a major client.

Kevin Huskie, sales director at Geodis UK, told delegates how the company had worked with a fashion retailer to move deliveries to 38 of its stores, most of which are in city centres, out of daytime hours over the course of the year.

This, he said, had been “very successful” and something Geodis plans to do more of.

He said: “The benefits are clear to the customer, and our goal is to try and move daily deliveries for other retailers. We have 70 depots all over the UK working during the day, and we want to move some of that into the evenings.

“That’s our challenge, now that we’ve seen that it can work.”

Huskie also outlined some of the challenges that operators were up against when delivering at night.

These included having to use two-man crews because there’s no one in the stores to help unload deliveries, having to work with local police who tried to move the vehicles on, and even simple obstacles such as acquiring keys for the store and finding light switches once inside.

Another problem at night, he added, was looking out for pedestrians that were “less sober than they would be during the day”.

Vehicle cost and grid infrastructure biggest obstacles to going electric, says FREVUE

There is demand for electric vehicles, but the price has to be right for it to make sense to operators, according to the Freight Electric Vehicles in Urban Europe (FREVUE) project.

FREVUE co-ordinator Tanja Dalle-Muenchmeyer told delegates at yesterday’s Freight in the City Expo that operators using electric vehicles as part of its four-year project, now in its final 10 months, liked having the vehicles on their fleets.

“It’s becoming the new normal for them”, she said of UPS, which runs 42 electric vans in London (16 as part of the FREVUE project).

Others would follow, she added, “but it needs to be at the right price, and it needs to be available”.

She added that grid infrastructure for recharging the vehicles was also an obstacle, and cited UPS’s £600,000 upgrade of grid infrastructure in Kentish Town to allow it to charge its vehicles when it needed them.

“It was costly but they had the funds”, said Dalle-Muenchmeyer, “and other operators may not be able to do that. So that’s something we need to think on going forwards.”

Freight “absolutely essential” to London economy, says Shawcross

London needs to find new ways to tackle issues caused by its “essential” freight movements, was the message from deputy mayor of London for transport Val Shawcross as she opened the Freight in the City Expo at Alexandra Palace this morning.

Speaking at her first freight industry event in her role, Shawcross told delegates that while the mayor’s office recognised that some of its new policies would be challenging for operators, “we all need to do things differently in order to cope with the growing demands of the roads, and to continue to ensure London gets the clean and safe deliveries that it needs”.

Shawcross outlined plans to move more freight by rail and river, and said she wanted to speak to operators about retiming deliveries to outside of peak hours where possible, as well as working with the industry to achieve more consolidation of freight in London.

She also highlighted air pollution as one of the mayor’s “biggest challenges” and priorities, and that air quality “isn’t just a London problem. It is a national problem”.

Shawcross said that 79% of Londoners had supported mayor Sadiq Khan’s move to bring forward the beginning of London’s ULEZ, and that 71% supported the decision to increase the size of the zone to cover all of Greater London.

Shawcross added: “I want to make it really clear we understand that freight is absolutely, absolutely central to sustaining London’s global competitiveness.

“Part of my job has got to be working out how we can ensure that freight is embedded in how we think about London’s growth into the future, and how we do it in a modern way.

“I look forward to working with the industry in the years ahead to ensure deliveries are made in the most efficient way, in the safest and cleanest vehicles.”

Government opens Modern Transport Bill consultation

A consultation into the Modern Transport Bill, which aims to boost the use of electric vans in the UK, has begun.

The bill was announced in the Queen’s Speech earlier this year, and would tackle what the government described as the three main challenges of boosting ULEV (ultra-low emission vehicle) use in the country.

These, it said, are the consumer experience of using electric cars or vans, the interaction between the necessary charging structure with the electricity system, and future-proofing the ULEV infrastructure.

The consultation is seeking opinions on potential items for inclusion in the bill that could support the uptake and use of ULEVs.

It opened yesterday (25 October) and will run until 23 November.

Teletrac Navman launches guide to role of technology in fleet management

Telematics firm Teletrac Navman has released a free guide for operators on how technology supports fleet risk management.

The free to download document talks readers through the role technology can play in managing fleet risks.

It also provides tips on catching maintenance issues before they evolve into bigger problems and optimising vehicle checking procedures.

Additionally, the guide gives advice on ensuring drivers remain within the speed limit and making the best out of dash cam footage.

The guide is available to download from Teletrac Navman’s website, and staff will be on hand to discuss its content at the Freight in the City Expo on 2 November.

Registration is still open for the free-to-attend event at Alexandra Palace, so book your place today.

Green light for Silvertown Tunnel

London at dawn

The Silvertown Tunnel is set to be built and operational by 2023, after Sadiq Khan gave the new crossing the green light earlier today.

The tunnel, said Khan, will reduce traffic and aid the growth of East London.

“It’s no secret that London has long needed more river crossings in the east,” he said.

“With new homes and economic growth across East London,” he said, “it becomes even more important that we deliver new greener transport links.

“As we continue to unlock the massive economic potential of East London, we must secure the very best transport infrastructure that improves the quality of life for everyone living and working in the area.”

The mayor of London said any vehicles working on the construction of the tunnel, which will connect Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks, will comply with the new Direct Vision Standard.

TfL also committed to moving 55% of the building materials by water to minimise congestion caused by the project, and added it would increase this percentage if possible.

A six-month public examination on the tunnel will begin next week (11 October).

The FTA welcomed the news that the tunnel would go ahead, but said it wanted to now more about the user charge that Khan said would pay for its construction.

The association’s head of national and regional policy, Christopher Snelling, said: “We still want to see more detail on the charging regime.

“It is crucial for the best use of the crossing that we do not discriminate against essential users like freight – as well as buses, coaches, disabled drivers and tradespeople.”

The plans for the tunnel were announced alongside plans for a further three Thames crossings in East London (pictured below), including a ferry between Canary Wharf and North Greenwich and an extension to the DLR.


TfL head of freight to step down next month

TfL’s head of freight and fleet programming, Ian Wainwright, will step down at the end of October.

He will leave TfL on 28 October, after 11 years with the business.

During his time in the freight role, Wainwright was a key player in the success of the London 2012 Olympics logistics.

TfL head of surface transport Leon Daniels said: “Ian was a key player in the development of the original London Freight Plan and led the freight team during the 2012 Olympics, ensuring the success of both the freight industry and London during the Games.”

He went on to credit Wainwright and his team with the prominence of freight issues in the London Mayor election manifestos earlier this year, which Daniels said was a result of their work to “ensure that the lessons from the Games were captured and developed upon”.

Wainwright will remain in his post until the Freight Forum on 21 October, where plans for the future management of TfL’s freight programme will be outlined.

Freight in the City understands that a review at TfL will see freight intergrated into TfL’s day-to-day operation, rather than operating as a standalone team.