FTA welcomes more enforcement

The Freight Transport Association says it welcomes plans to extend the stopping powers of enforcement officers into Scotland and Northern Ireland.  The move will effectively give enforcement officers will have the same powers across the UK.  “FTA members support the move to allow Vosa and DVA, with their specialist knowledge and equipment, to focus on issues of vehicle roadworthiness and road safety,” said James Firth, head of road freight and enforcement policy at the FTA.  “It is simply a better use of time and resources, with the added benefit of freeing-up police time.”
More from James Firth on 01 892 526 171 or jfirth@fta.co.uk

ePower Trucks launches new electric van

UK-based ePower Trucks is launching a new 3.5t electric van that delivers whole life cost savings as well as environmental benefits.  At £30,000, the XT320E costs 50% less than other 3.5t electric vans.  With a standard battery pack it can carry a one tonne payload for 60 miles on a full charge.  A double battery pack gives 120-mile range with 670kg payload.  ePower says the two pence a mile energy cost means the van can pay for itself in 3.5 years compared to a diesel-powered 3.5 tonner.
More from Dan Jenkins +44 (0)7 536 092 682 or dan@brightsparkspr.com

Cascone leads Multipart direct-selling business

John Cascone recently joined supply chain specialists Multipart Solutions Ltd as sales and marketing director.  He lead its direct sales team, covering the LDV parts business, the Vanfit all-makes van parts programme and the recently won Diesel Technic all-makes truck parts franchise.
More from David Rowlands on +44 (0)2 074 948 050 or drowlands@automotivepr.com

iPhone vehicle tracking app from Masternaut

Masternaut has launched what it says is the world’s first “feature-rich” web-based vehicle tracking service for the Apple iPhone and iPad.  This is the first in a series of free apps for Apple products from the Yorkshire-based telematics firm.  The Masternaut Rapide app for iPhone gives the main of the live Masternaut service to managers on the move.  It gives a real-time link to important operational information whenever they are away from the office.
More from Martin Port on +44 (0)1 132 814 000 or martin.port@masternaut.co.uk

Atlas Maschinen buys Terex Atlas UK

Following a deal where Atlas Maschinen GmbH bought Terex Atlas UK, the firm will now use the old Atlas identity and trade as Atlas Cranes UK Ltd.  “Only the name will change,” said Jim Smith, commercial and special projects director for the firm.  Manufacturing stays in Delmenhorst, Germany, and UK sales, service and support stays in Bradford, England.  “The same Atlas team will deliver exactly the same level of personal service as before.”
More from Jim Smith, on +44 (0)7 771 654 986 or jim.smith@atlasgmbh.com

Optare hybrids sail through certification tests

Optare says that diesel-electric hybrid versions of its Solo and Versa models have passed certification trials to satisfy the Low Carbon Emission Bus rules under the Green Bus Grant scheme.  The certification, independently done at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire applies to all production Solo and Versa hybrids.  Millbrook’s test cycle replicates London’s route 159, the standard test for hybrid buses.  Glenn Saint commercial director at Optare says this means that these two models meet the standards for first Green Bus Fund scheme and the two that have followed more recently in England and Scotland.
More from David Rowlands on +44 (0)2 074 948 050 or drowlands@automotivepr.com

New boss for Volvo East Anglia

Darren Wymer is the new manager for Volvo Truck and Bus Centre East Anglia’s Bardon depot, near Coalville, Leicestershire.  The depot opened in February 2009, a near to the M1’s junction two.  Its workshop has three drive-through bays and a vehicle lift big enough for a complete artic and is open six days a week, between 0600 and 2200.  The business employs around 300 people.

More from Darren Wymer on +44 (0)1 530 277 277 or dwymer@volvosouth.co.uk

And finally

New Scientist’s Feedback column reports that while using the Scirus.com online search, reader Guy Cox was exhorted to “Get African diseases now!”  He passed and carried on looking for the African Journal of Infectious Diseases.
More from www.newscentist.com

More growth for vans and some for trucks

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders just published UK vehicle registration data for July.

These show 20,069 vans and trucks registered in July; down 4.4% to 236,629 for the rolling year. There were 2,760 trucks registered in the month, down 25.8% to 32,115 for the rolling year. For vans the total for the month was 17,309. This means a 0.1% rise to 204,514 for the rolling year.

Truck registrations for the month were up 9.1% against last July’s near record low. “The recovery in van registrations continues with truck figures also up,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive. “Whilst the forecast for 2011 is more positive, the prospects for the rest of the year are gloomy and we expect a near record low for trucks.”

More from Robin Dickeson on +44 (0)2 073 449 222 or rdickeson@smmt.co.uk

Industry bodies unite on truck testing

The Road Haulage Association, the Freight Transport Association, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association have joined forces to urge the UK government to fully privatise truck, trailer, bus and coach annual MoT testing.

In a letter to Phillip Hammond, transport minister they say the DfT should drop the “flawed policy” of the previous government for the future of MoT testing.

It should follow the model for cars and vans, with tests done by industry. “This system is now well-proven for lighter vehicles.” The trade bodies say that the old plan for part privatisation “will add unnecessary cost and complexity.” Industry observers say that privatising testing might also release urgently needed Vosa staff to work on enforcement, particularly for foreign trucks.

More from Kate Gibbs on +44 (0)1 932 838 917 or kate.gibbs@rha.uk.net