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Stuart O'Brien

New low emissions buses as part of £48m investment

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Communities across the UK stand to benefit from greener journeys with the introduction of 263 new low emission buses on certain routes.

A £48 million investment from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles will fund green vehicles and infrastructure to drive forward government plans to clean up the air in towns and cities.

Speaking at the UK Bus Summit, Buses Minister Nusrat Ghani also announced a new partnership with Greener Journeys to reflect the ‘pivotal role’ played by the bus industry in tackling loneliness and social isolation.

The partnership will see companies across the sector pledge to tackle loneliness, including through innovative vehicle design and initiatives to encourage bus passengers to talk to each other.

Buses Minister Nusrat Ghani said: “Buses are far more than a way of getting from A to B. They are a crucial tool in the fight against loneliness and it is good to see the industry taking steps to tackle isolation.

“This government is doing more than ever before to reduce emissions across all modes of transport and I’m delighted to see the bus industry putting itself at the forefront of this.

Nineteen successful bidders across England and Wales will receive funding to purchase new low emission buses and supporting infrastructure, such as charge points.

The fundings is part of the government’s £1.5 billion Road to Zero strategy published last year.

Claire Haigh, Chief Executive, Greener Journeys, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with the government to tackle the epidemic of loneliness affecting millions of people in the UK. Research from Greener Journeys shows that a third of people in Britain go at least a day a week without speaking to anyone – not a friend, colleague or family member.

“Buses play a vital role in facilitating social connections among the most vulnerable people, who rely on them to take them to visit friends and family. It’s fantastic to see the industry come together to launch such a brilliant range of initiatives to address the problem of loneliness.”

LCV demand strong in early-2019

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The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMT) says the new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market grew 8.6% in January, with more than 22,000 new vehicles in this category joining UK roads in the first month of 2019.

The findings equate to an uplift of 1,761 vehicles as compared to January 2018.

Commercial vehicles weighing less than  2.0 tonnes also saw an increase of 31.7%, along with pickups (13.4%). Demand for larger vans also grew by 7.1%.

However, medium sized vans weighing 2.0-2.5 tonnes fell by 3.9%.

New models and proactive sales campaigns have been attributed to the rise in demand.

Discussing the findings, Mike Hawes, chief executive SMMT, said: January’s positive performance follows a mixed 2018, which finished on a particularly poor December, so some bounce-back was to be expected. Further fluctuations in demand are predicted over the coming months as the UK’s post-Brexit future remains uncertain. 

“Operators need stability to invest and renew their fleets, which now depends on government providing the right conditions starting with removing the threat of ‘no-deal’.”

Improve efficiency, increase happiness and save money – all with business parking

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If your employees are still hanging around in the rain and cold, hassling with coins and wasting time on pay and claim, why not use RingGo Corporate?

It’s the UK’s leading phone parking solution, used by the UK’s largest utilities, telecoms, facilities management and security companies, and it’s offered across the UK.

One RingGo Corporate customer saves £3M pa having virtually removed PCNs and the admin of dealing with them. Another saves £500,000 pa.

Businesses that use RingGo Corporate say: 

  • Their employees are happier and more productive at work. 
  • They’ve improved control with the online parking reports.  
  • They claim back VAT with our HMRC approved invoice.  
  • Their business works more efficiently and
  • Customer satisfaction has increased as a direct consequence (yes, really!*)

How it works

You nominate drivers for your RingGo Corporate account.  They park where RingGo is offered and use the app, call or website to pay.  RingGo recognises the mobile or vehicle registration and offers immediate payment. 

Each time someone parks, the fee is debited from your prepaid account.  If the job overruns, employees can top up wherever they are. 

If you’re not already using RingGo Corporate, we wonder why.  It’s the easy, efficient way for employees to park and pay.

Call 01256 317523 for more information

*One of the UK’s leading telecoms providers insists their employees use RingGo Corporate whenever they park.  Engineers no longer worry about topping up their parking, watching for CEO’s or rushing to finish their jobs.  And customers are happier because of it. 

Network your way to success at the Fleet Services Management Summit

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Join with 65 fellow professionals for two days of networking and learning at the Fleet Services Management Summit, which takes place on November 11th & 12th 2019.

This unique two-day event is tailor-made for senior fleet managers – and is FREE for you to attend!

Simply register your place here.

  • Meet with innovative and budget-saving suppliers based on your own requirements
  • Attend a series of insightful seminars
  • Network with like-minded fleet managers
  • Enjoy complimentary overnight accommodation, all meals and refreshments, plus an invitation to our gala dinner, with entertainment.
  • Give your business the edge in 2019 and beyond

Don’t miss out! There are only a limited number of VIP places available.

Or for more information call Katie Bullot on 01992 374049 or email

To attend as a supplier, call Chris Cannon on 01992 374096 or email

Do you tick these boxes? Then the Total Supply Chain Summit is for you

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Are you a senior professional working in Supply Chain, Logistics, Distribution or Operations?

Do you have any upcoming projects?

Are you looking to reduce your expenditure?

Would you like to learn about new innovations and trends in the sector?

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then you need to attend the Total Supply Chain Summit. It takes place on May 20th & 21st at Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire.

You’ll meet new suppliers, attend insightful seminar sessions and network with other senior care professionals.

Plus, your free pass includes overnight accommodation, all meals and refreshments and an invitation to our gala dinner.

Register now to avoid disappointment.

Alternatively, contact Jamie Higgs on 01992 374058 / to find out more.

Or, if you’re a supplier to the sector and would like to use the event to showcase your solutions, contact Nick Stannard on 01992 374092 /

Research throws spotlight on hi-tech car theft

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New research by consumer watchdog Which? has found that four of the five best-selling car brands in the UK are susceptible to so called ‘keyless theft’.

Analysed data from roadside recovery organisation General German Automobile Club (ADAC) by Which? revealed that out of 237 keyless cars tested by ADAC for keyless attacks only three remained secure, with the Ford Focus, Nissan Qashqai, VW Golf and Ford Fiesta all at risk.

Latest models of Range Rover and Discovery, along with the 2018 Jaguar i-Pace, were resistant to keyless theft.

Thieves fool the car’s onboard keyless security by bypassing the systems with devices that allow them to access the vehicle and drive away. More than 106,000 offences of theft of a motor vehicle were reported to police in England and Wales up to March 2018, the highest figure since 2009, with keyless technology thought to be partly responsible.

In a statement, Which? said: ”Thieves have been using keyless theft for several years, but manufacturers continue to make new models that can be stolen in this way, meaning there is an ever-larger pool of vehicles for thieves to target.”

In a response to the findings, the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) said that new cars were “more secure than ever”, with manufacturers “investing billions” in sophisticated security features.

Meanwhile, the AA has released a video sharing its top 10 tips for avoiding car break-ins in light of new Home Office figures that show a 50% increase in vehicle thefts in the last five years.

In 2017, there were 280,313 recorded thefts from vehicles in England & Wales, up 13% on 2016, while 103,644 were stolen, up 19% on 2016.

Watch the AA video here:

Concerns raised over Leeds Clean Air Zone charging plans

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Many commercial vehicle operators will not have enough time or money to upgrade their fleets for the introduction of the new Leeds Clean Air Zone (CAZ) arriving in January 2020.

The British Vehicle Rental & Leasing Association (BVRLA) issued the warning as Leeds City Council became the first authority to have its charging CAZ plans approved by government. It will charge non-Euro VI trucks £50 per day to enter parts of the city from 6th January 2020.

To help businesses affected, government has pledged more than £29 million in funding for the council to implement the zone and support businesses. The council has stated that £13.8m would be made available as grants of up to £16,000 per affected HGV, subject to a ‘funding competition’. Applications are expected to open towards the end of March and grants can be used for either retrofitting or towards the purchasing of a new vehicle.

BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney said: “Around half of the UK truck fleet is currently non-compliant with the CAZ standards so we are pleased to see that Leeds City Council will be providing support to HGV operators.

“With less than a year to go until the new charging zone comes in, small businesses will need all the help they can get as they will be hardest hit by charges. With a typical rigid 18-tonne truck costing £40,000, many companies are going to face massive costs in upgrading their fleets.

“We would like to see more cities following in the footsteps of Nottingham, whose air quality measures are set to reach targets without the introduction of charging zones.”

Leeds City Council Councillor James Lewis, executive member with responsibility for sustainability and the environment announced the council’s approved plans thusly: “Businesses that are likely to be affected need to look at the vehicles they operate and begin their final preparations for the introduction of the zone. We recognise that this will be a difficult transition for some businesses to make.

“We have not received the full amount of funding that we asked the government for, however, we are pleased to confirm today that a number of significant financial support packages will be available to assist owners of affected vehicles. We will be working hard to make sure this money is available swiftly. Leeds City Council will not make money from these charges.”

The BVRLA says it continues to engage with cities across the UK to encourage them to consider all alternatives to charging Clean Air Zones.

Confusion over laws & regulation impacting EV adoption

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Confusion around regulations on electric car adoption is actually preventing environmentally friendly vehicles from taking off in the UK.

According to research from YouGov Custom, only 2% of households currently own a hybrid car, with only 1% owning an electric.

Laws that will eventually ban diesel and petrol cars are slowly being introduced around the world, however the report says a lack of financial incentives and limited choice is also preventing growth within the electric/hybrid market.

41% of those polled admitted that they were “somewhat likely” to buy a hybrid car next, while only 19% said the same about purchasing an electric vehicle.

The YouGov research found that there were three main barriers preventing people form purchasing environmentally friendly automobiles: confusion surrounding financial benefits; incentives not being attractive enough; and a lack of choice.

Almost three-quarters (74%) said that the initial cost of the car discouraged them from purchasing a vehicle, along with 52% that were put off by the expense of charging the vehicle at home.

Changes to legislation back in October 2018, which scrapped grants for new plug-in hybrids and reduced discounts on electric cars also added to car owners concerns. A third (36%) of the total population say they’re less likely to consider a hybrid/electric vehicle for their next purchase and this rises to four in ten (40%) among petrol and diesel owners.

Finally, the lack of choice has done nothing to help elevate sales here in the UK. Ford currently has 13% share of the market, along with Vauxhall with 10%. However, only 4% or 1% would consider either a hybrid/electric car from either manufacturer respectively.

One car manufacturer who is embracing the hybrid/electric car market is Toyota, who already have seven models available. 7% of those polled considered the manufacturer when choosing an electric vehicle, which happens to be the same percentage of existing drivers who currently own a model by the Japanese brand.

Fleet Services Management Summit – Registration now open!

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This unique two-day event is tailor-made for senior fleet managers and takes place on November 11th & 12th 2019 at the Whittlebury Hall Hotel in Northamptonshire – and is FREE for you to attend!

Simply register your place here.

  • Meet with innovative and budget-saving suppliers based on your own requirements
  • Attend a series of insightful seminars
  • Network with like-minded fleet managers
  • Enjoy complimentary overnight accommodation, all meals and refreshments, plus an invitation to our gala dinner, with entertainment.
  • Give your business the edge in 2019 and beyond

Don’t miss out! There are only a limited number of VIP places available.

Or for more information call Katie Bullot on 01992 374049 or email

To attend as a supplier, call Chris Cannon on 01992 374096 or email

Do you specialise in Dash Cam solutions for fleets? We want to hear from you!

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Each month on Fleet Management Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the fleet & logistics market – and in February we’ll be focussing on Dash Cam solutions.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help fleet buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re a supplier of Dash Cam solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Chris Cannon on 01992 374096 /

Here are the areas we’ll be covering in 2019, month by month:

February – Dash Cams
March – Driver Training
April – Accident & Risk Management
May – Fleet Management Software
June – Telematics
July – Contract Hire & Leasing
August – LPG/Alternative Fuel & Fuel Management
September – Vehicle Tracking
October – Duty of Care
November – Grey Fleet
December – Service, Maintenance & Repair

For more information on any of the above, contact Chris Cannon on 01992 374096 /