HGV News roundup
Given its vital role in the performance and strength of the UK economy, it may come as no surprise that haulage operations and every aspect of owning and operating HGVs continue to grab news headlines.
This might be the place to highlight just a few.
HGV braking distances
A headline item by the BBC News on the 23rd of May 2015, for instance, reported the results of ground breaking research and development by an engineering team at Cambridge University.
Together with the major HGV manufacturer, Volvo, the team has been developing a new braking system which, it is claimed, may cut the braking distances of commercial vehicles by up to a fifth.
Clearly a major road safety break through, such a system might help to redress current statistics which show that a half of all fatal road accidents involve HGVs, even though these vehicles make up only 10% of the traffic on British motorways.
Anything that helps increase road safety is of course likely to be welcomed by the haulage industry – and not just in the reduction of road accidents but also fewer insurance claims and a potential reduction, therefore, in HGV insurance premiums.
Crunch time for the fair fuel campaign
This year, 2015, is the milestone set by Road Haulage Association (RHA) for achieving a total of £30 billion savings – not just for haulage operators but for ordinary motorists, too – through its pressure on government to keep the tax on fuel within bounds.
The RHA has been party to a Fair Fuel UK Campaign for the past four years and boasts success in pressurising government to hold the fuel tax steady or at least not to go ahead with planned tax increases.
The industry association points out that the UK currently has the highest rate of tax on fuel in the whole of the European Union, with the government siphoning off 60% of what motorists and haulage contractors pay at the pumps. Thanks to the RHA’s activities, however, it is claimed that vehicle owners have been saved up to 16p a litre paid for fuel.
Whether the much vaunted referendum on the country’s continued membership results in a yes or no vote, there seems little doubt that a large share of Britain’s haulage business will lie if the transport to and from continental Europe.
An invaluable tool for haulage contractors looking to take advantage of this trade is likely to be the latest edition of the European Road Transport Guide, according to HGV UK on the 27th of May 2015.
This 20th edition of the comprehensive 450-page guide is completely updated to reflect the latest changes in European practices and legislation. Notable changes include:
- major revisions on the sections of the guide relating to Switzerland, Netherlands, Estonia and Belgium;
- updated information on public holidays;
- relevant revisions to sections about driving bans;
- updated information and charges for toll roads – particularly throughout Austria, France and Italy, including the key Alpine tunnels;
- updated information on all of the cross channel and other European ferry routes.
It seems certain, therefore that the latest European Road Transport Guide will continue to play an important role in any haulage operations office – not to mention the driver’s cab itself.