FREVUE wants to work with large electric HGV manufacturers for urban delivery project

A European project exploring the viability of electric vehicles for urban freight deliveries is calling on the manufacturers of electric HGVs of 7.5-tonnes and over to take part in the scheme.

The Freight Electric Vehicles in Urban Europe (FREVUE) project wants to make sure its research is representative of a wide range of vehicles used for city logistics, from car-derived vans through to 18-tonne goods trucks.

It currently has 55 electric freight vehicles procured and operational across the partnership, 17 of which are in London. These vehicles provide valuable data ranging from procurement and maintenance costs to kilometres driven per day and battery status at the end of each shift.

However, the project team said larger electric freight vehicles over 7.5 tonnes involved in the project are under-represented, with few available on the market and those that are set with a “hefty price tag”.

To develop a better understanding of the reasons for this lack in vehicle choice at the heavier end of the market and to address these issues, FREVUE would like to co-operate more closely with a European manufacturer of electric HGVs.

If you would like to get involved or find out more about the project, please contact the FREVUE co- ordinator, Tanja Dalle-Muenchmeyer, on

Project partner Heineken is successfully operating larger electric HGVs in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, with a plan to expand their numbers on its urban beer delivery routes.

Freight operators call for UK-wide compliance standards for fleets

More than 85% of truck operators believe there should be a UK-wide compliance standard for fleets to improve safety, according to a new survey by Freight in the City.

Currently, there are no national guidelines, meaning that standards differ across regions.

In London, TfL’s Safer Lorry Scheme requires all vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tonnes be fitted with Class V and Class VI mirrors giving the driver a better view of cyclists and pedestrians. Vehicles must also incorporate side guards to protect cyclists from being dragged under the wheels in the event of a collision.

Yet operators working in other major cities are not required to incorporate the same features.

DHL Supply Chain’s MD of strategy, innovation and development, Phil Roe, said he believes consistency is key for the logistics industry.

He said: “A unified industry scheme for standards of operation would create simplicity and clarity for authorities, manufacturers and transport companies alike. It will cut down on red tape and ensure safety is consistent across the country.”

“Our industry is great at working towards defined goals but operators will be nervous about taking action without commonly-agreed guidelines being put in place. Ultimately, a more unified national approach to compliance is essential if we’re to have safer, cleaner and quieter urban logistics.”

A universal compliance standard will be among topics discussed at Freight in the City’s Spring Summit, to be held at Manchester Central on March 3 2016.

The Summit follows the inaugural Freight in the City Expo held in London last month. It is a free-to-attend conference where an audience of 200 industry professionals will discuss and debate policy, strategy and organisational issues surrounding sustainable urban deliveries. For more information visit


New ‘people friendly’ sideguard panel launched for HGVs

Dawes Highway Safety is now selling a sideguard panel designed to prevent people or equipment becoming entangled with an HGV’s under-run bars.

The panels are made from a shatterproof, durable grade of polypropylene with no sharp edges and the company said they can be easily retrofitted to existing lorry under-run bars.

During a collision, the material is designed to bend and soften the impact for the vulnerable road user.

MD James Dawes said: “Most UK vehicles are now fitted with under-run bars; unfortunately while these may partly assist a vulnerable road user during accidents, they were originally designed for vehicle collisions and research shows they may actually contribute to ‘entanglement’ and increase injury risk.”

Panels can be designed to dimensions to fit individual operators’ requirements and can incorporate company branding if desired.

The firm last month launched its DropDown retractable safety barrier for HGVs at the Freight in the City Expo at London’s Alexandra Palace.

It said it has since been receiving a high volume of interest in the new technology designed for urban operations.


Bibby lowers carbon impact with investment in LPG trucks and longer semi-trailers for Ultraframe

Bibby Distribution has boosted its investment in LPG technology with the addition of five converted dual-fuel MAN TGX tractor units for customer Ultraframe.

It has also introduced three 15.65m longer semi-trailers (LST) onto the conservatory roofing firm’s fleet, which Bibby said will slash road miles and carbon emissions due to their greater internal load capacity.

The new dual-fuel tractor units, which are expected to cover 200,000km a year, have already seen diesel usage drop by 20%, with projected carbon emission reductions of more than 10% over the next five years.

A dedicated LPG tank has been installed by Bibby at Ultraframe’s Lancashire site to enable easy refuelling for the new tractor units when returning to base.

Bibby now runs a total of 10 LPG tractor units, having already successfully introduced the fuel to five converted vehicles working on its Unipart contract in May last year. The company said at the initial introduction of LPG technology that it offered a “genuine long-term solution” to driving down fuel costs and lowering fleet emissions.

The new 15.65m LSTs joining the fleet will operate on trunking routes from the Ultraframe depot in Clitheroe to distribution centres in Glasgow, Avonmouth and Biggleswade.

They will form part of the 44 units Bibby is operating as part of the government’s 10-year trial of LSTs.

The LSTs will feature a lower deck and smaller wheels, allowing for a taller trailer, which reaches the maximum legal height of 4.96m. With an increased capacity of 35%, the trailers can accommodate six stillages in the front of the trailer and seven in the rear.

They will be used to carry pre-fabricated roofs, roof components and non-standard freight, which includes 6m long stillages, 7m length beams that can weigh up to 120kg, and sheets of polycarbonate glazing.

Paul Greaves, logistics manager at Ultraframe, said: “Bibby Distribution has always understood the detailed nature of our business and our specific delivery profile. The new trailers have already delivered in terms of cost, efficiency and our green footprint.”

The introduction of the new trailers on a permanent basis follows the trial of a loaned LST, which was a shared resource borrowed from another part of Bibby Distribution’s fleet.

To ensure driver and operator compliance with the regulations of the trial, Bibby has provided an on-site driver trainer at the Clitheroe depot to ensure its team are expertly trained in operating the longer articulated combinations.


Camden Council introduces safety spot checks across contractors’ HGVs

Camden Council has introduced spot checks on contractors’ vehicles working on its sites to ensure they meet strict safety standards and do not pose a risk to vulnerable road users.

The checks mean that any contractor working for the council must meet a minimum level of work-related road risk standards (WRRR). These include:

  • Accreditation to at least Fors (or equivalent) bronze level, to demonstrate legal compliance;
  • Driver training relating to vulnerable road users and the challenges of driving in an urban environment;
  • Ensuring vehicles are fitted with additional safety features to reduce the blind spots that are present on most large vehicles, reducing the chance of a collision;
  • Driver licence checks and collision reporting and analysis.

To ensure the standards are followed, a monitoring and enforcement procedure has been developed, which incorporates spot safety checks of contractors’ vehicles. Where any issues are identified, the contractor is obliged to rectify the issue within a set period of time.

Camden’s own vehicle fleet is compliant with the WRRR standard and has achieved Fors silver accreditation. It is also currently working towards achieving gold accreditation.

The council is also a champion of the Clocs standard, which is now a planning requirement for all private developments in the borough, as well as a requirement for its own construction projects.

Councillor Phil Jones, cabinet member for regeneration, transport & planning, said: “In Camden, we take a proactive role in improving the safety of large vehicles travelling through our borough and London.

“We have also used the opportunity to introduce changes to our procurement practices to include stringent road safety requirements, as well as via our planning process to ensure safer vehicle operation on construction projects in the borough.

“This means we are the first borough to monitor and spot check compliance for safety equipment on large vehicles as well as driver training and accreditation.”



Iveco launches New Daily Electric for urban operations

Iveco has launched the New Daily Electric in Italy this week, which features reduced energy use, higher payload and longer battery life.

With an extended range of up to 280km, the manufacturer said its 100% electric, zero-emission van is particularly suited to urban distribution work.

Compared with its predecessor, New Daily Electric sees a reduction in energy consumption due to high-efficiency, low-weight electric auxiliaries, in addition to a 20% increase in battery life. It also features an increased payload capacity of around 100kg.

In addition, the vehicle’s flexible charging modes allow operators to recharge the van in public or private infrastructure, by connecting to a fast-charging station for an average charge time of just two hours.

The vehicle allows the driver to choose between two driving modes: Eco and Power. In Eco mode, the engine torque is moderated to minimise energy consumption, without imposing any limits on the maximum speed of the vehicle. In Power mode, the driver can enjoy the full performance of the electric drive motor.

Regenerative braking is another major new feature of the New Daily Electric, allowing the driver to decide which braking method to use while driving.

The vehicle’s nearly-silent running characteristics contribute to a reduction in noise pollution, said Iveco, and enable night-time deliveries in urban areas. In addition, it is equipped with a pedestrian acoustic alert system as standard, which is activated automatically when driving at speeds of 0-30km/h.

Iveco said the vehicle’s power and robustness are guaranteed by its C-profile frame. Formed in high-strength steel, the C-profile frame ensures maximum durability over time and flexibility of use.

Inside, the New Daily Electric is equipped with a 7’’ detachable tablet and an electronic dashboard for vehicle data management, navigation technology designed by TomTom® Bridge for Iveco. A semi-integrated dashboard dock delivers the comfort of a built-in system and the flexibility of a detachable device.

London Assembly calls for rush-hour HGV ban in capital

London Assembly members have unanimously agreed a motion to ban HGVs in the capital during rush hour.

The call formed part of a package of measures the assembly would like to see implemented by the mayor, the government and the freight sector to reduce the number of HGV-related cyclist fatalities.

During a plenary session at City Hall yesterday (4 November), assembly member Darren Johnson, who proposed the motion, said: “Far too many people have died under the wheels of an HGV in London. We know the safety measures which would make cyclists safer and there is a growing cross-party determination that we need to end the unnecessary deaths and injuries on our roads.”

He added that new, segregated Cycle Superhighways will separate cyclists on some roads in the capital, but that action is now needed to protect them on the rest of London’s roads by having HGVs travel at different times of the day.

Seconding the motion, Andrew Boff, added: “Seven out of the eight cycling deaths this year have been caused by collisions with an HGV. This is a shocking statistic and a clear indication that action is needed.”

Boff said it was now essential that a full impact assessment was conducted to ensure that banning lorries during peak hours would not simply displace collisions to another time of the day, and to prove to the mayor that it would not impact businesses too greatly.

Other proposals in the assembly’s motion included the adoption of Clocs standards across the entire construction sector, including direct vision lorry cabs, with the mayor called upon to make this compulsory by the end of his term of office on all Greater London Authority contracts.

Also, the roll-out of a confidential reporting system to enable HGV drivers to flag up bad practice, irrespective of whether their employer wants to take part in the scheme. Such a system is already in place across the railway industry and London Underground, as well as being recently introduced across London’s bus sector.

Finally, the LA wants to see comprehensive enforcement to crack down on rogue operators, with regular reporting from the London Freight Enforcement Partnership against an aim to reduce commercial vehicle casualties.

  • The London Assembly is an elected body with a key role of holding the mayor to account on behalf of Londoners by directly questioning his activities, strategies and decisions across all areas of policy. As well as examining the mayor’s actions and decisions, assembly members act as champions for Londoners by investigating issues that are important to the capital. Assembly investigations are carried out by cross-party committees often looking at long-term issues facing London.

TRL launches road accident investigation course for fleet managers

The Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) has today launched a new CPD-accredited vehicle accident investigation course for fleet, operation and health and safety managers.

It is designed to equip those responsible for fleet management with the skills to address issues arising from incidents involving company vehicles and staff.

The two-day course will teach attendees to understand, investigate and assess vehicle accidents.

Participants will be given the introductory skills required to analyse physical evidence and produce conclusions about the circumstances of an accident, with topics covered including: health and safety considerations, injury causation, vehicle examination, reconstruction methods and report writing.

Upon completion of the course, TRL said attendees will be able to:

  • Capture potentially critical short live evidence from incident scenes;
  • Investigate, understand and take corrective actions following an accident;
  • Support the staff disciplinary process with evidence if necessary;
  • Advise the company’s legal position following an accident;
  • Base future vehicle safety policies, investment and actions on facts.

Individuals attending the course will also gain 11 CPD hours, which can be allocated to their professional development record.

“The course is not about teaching fleet managers how to manage their fleet effectively,” said Helen Cotton, safety and technology group manager at TRL. “It’s about arming them with the skills needed to investigate and gather facts from accidents. This not only helps to facilitate decision making and corrective actions, but can inform an organisation’s legal position and help reduce insurance costs.”

“Even minor injury accidents can result in stress, lost productivity and criminal or civil litigation, so it’s imperative that businesses understand the appropriate steps to take to mitigate these risks,” she added.

The next training course is scheduled to take place at TRL’s offices in Wokingham on 11 – 12 November 2015. For more information on the course, availability and booking details please contact at or 01344 770137.

Highways England wants feedback on key roads challenges facing logistics operators and customers

Highways England is keen to hear from transport planners, fleet operators and drivers about the best method to interact with them about the latest road network information.

It also wants to find out exactly what facts and intelligence operators need, as well as gain a better understanding of the key roads challenges facing them in their day-to-day activities and the impact on their businesses.

An online survey was launched at last week’s Freight in the City Expo in London by the CILT, on behalf of Highways England, to seek the views of those working in logistics planning, ‘on the road’ planning, operations, drivers and end customers.

CILT said this is a key opportunity for all those involved in road transport operations to voice issues or concerns about the current systems in place for information sharing and communication and to ensure its views are represented to Highways England.

The survey, which closes on Friday 20 November, will take no longer than 10 minutes to complete. Please click here to begin.

DHL Supply Chain urges a unified approach towards HGV compliance schemes across major cities

A senior executive at DHL Supply Chain has called for a common approach to HGV compliance across major cities.

Speaking at last week’s Freight in the City Expo, DHL Supply Chain vice president for innovation, strategy and business Phil Roe (pictured) said while a national standard was not the solution, he believed a more unified approach to compliance would help local authorities and operators to adopt best practice in sustainable urban freight movements.

Increasing regional devolution meant that national standards “don’t work very well any more”,” Roe explained, because local needs are seen to supersede those national minimum standards.

However, as individual cities and regions step-up their local focus on issues such as air quality, noise, use of road space and vehicle safety, the emergence of multiple sets of regulations could cause confusion for operators in knowing which rules to follow. This in turn could hinder the adoption of new technology, Roe warned.

He added: “What we would like to see is not a new scheme – and I absolutely want to stress that – but what we do need is a more unified approach for our compliance schemes.

“I am talking about the scope that those compliance schemes refer to and the areas that they apply. We think the key areas are about covering safety, fuel economy and emissions, but also largely noise. Because that is what residents and receivers of goods tell us really matters.”

Roe suggested drawing on the best practice already brought about by existing initiatives such as Fors, Clocs and ECO Stars, which have been “fantastic” in driving safety and environmental advancements across the sector, rather than create brand-new regulations.

This would enable individual city regions to still focus on their own urban targets, but using guidelines already established by existing schemes for specifying vehicle kit and training, for example. This would help operators to kit their fleets out confidently with the latest safety equipment and know this would be acceptable across multiple cities.

“If an approach is taken in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow, where 65% of my fleet might be operating, for example, this effectively becomes a de facto national standard,” he added.

There should also be incentives for those operators that do opt for cleaner, quieter and safer vehicles, Roe added, to help them recoup some of their financial investment. For example, he suggested less restrictive operating hours would enable operators to run trucks over longer hours and recoup some of the investment in technology for its fleet.

“This won’t happen overnight, but is a long-term vision…I’m calling for all those industry bodies and compliance schemes to pull together so we can create a united front to meet our vision,” he added.