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WELCOME TO THE SPRING EDITION OF DRIVING ITH THE CLOCKS already changed bringing along lighter evenings, it feels like spring is well and truly here. The winter, in many respects, has been kind to most of us, in terms of the temperature having not plummeted – although I keep reminding myself that snow has been a feature well into April in past years, so let’s keep our fingers crossed for a continuation of the improving weather. Rain has been the main feature of the last few months, as many have experienced the devastating effect of flooding and houses have been abandoned in search of somewhere higher and dryer. Our main feature in this issue of Driving looks at some of the extreme weather we have seen, not only this year, but sporadically over many years, and asks if it will be something we can expect more frequently in the future. And if this is the case, how can we limit the disruption it causes. We also look at some measures drivers can take to help keep themselves and their cars safer and in good condition as we move into spring. We also look back to the MCN Motorcycle Show at the Excel Centre in London, to some of the old favourites among the new machines and some of the more outrageous exhibits in the custom zone – plus a tribute to Mike Hailwood, a British legend on both two wheels and four.
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A new addition to this ezine is a breakdown of the test. Serialised over several issues, it will offer an explanation of why certain aspects are included in the DIAmond tests and assessed by the examiner. This, we hope, will give valuable information for the development of those who may be considering taking the test, or even highlight to others the need to consider if it is time to take it again. After all, we all need to ensure we continue to meet the standards that we once demonstrated. With news, reviews, more comment and features, you will see, as promised, the Driving ezine is starting to expand. We would welcome any input from anyone wanting to comment or contribute to future issues and ask that if you do have a comment on anything in this issue, or would like to add an observation or comment to the next one, please forward your thoughts to email@example.com We would also like to thank the advertisers who have been supportive of the Driving ezine, so please take a look through what they have to say.
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Driving is published by Driving Magazine Ltd Copyright © DIA (Int.) Ltd 2013 Driving Magazine, Leon House, 233 High Street, Croydon CR0 9XT The views contained may not be the views of the publishers. Publication of an advertisement does not imply approval for the goods or services offered. Reproduction by any means, electronically or otherwise, in whole or part, of any material appearing in this magazine is forbidden without the express prior permission of the publishers.
SPRING 2014 | driving
CONTENTS DRIVING Q&A Mike Frisby explains how trainers can use the DIAmond test in their promotions and what sort of customers they may be able to attract
In the first of a new series on the elements of the DIAmond test, Mike Frisby explains the required manoeuvres
WHY THE TEST INCLUDES...
POLISHING A DIAMOND What makes the DIAmond test different to other advanced driving courses – and how it’s continuing to evolve
WEATHERING THE STORMS Driving considers how the weather – especially in its most extreme incarnations – can affect our roads that we drive on
Howard Redwood explains how the transport sector must reduce emissions now – if only to help itself
The Renault Kangoo Crew Van, Seat Leon Cupra and Audi A6 3.0BiTDI tested
All the latest new products from the recent MCN London Motorcyle Show – along with some classics from the past
SPRING 2014 | driving
Applied driving Many trainers offering post test driver and rider development often ask us how they can use the DIAmond test in their promotions and what sort of customers they may be able to attract. NE ADI successfully promoting themselves, and DIAmond, is driver training specialist Graham Hooper, an advanced driving coach. Frederick W. Paine (Dignity Funeral Services), based in Kingston-Upon-Thames, had taken the decision to put a number of their drivers through a development programme with Graham, including, at the end of the training, putting them forward for the DIAmond test. Dignity Funeral Services takes customer service seriously and wants to offer the best experience in what is undoubtedly a very challenging time for their customers. By engaging in this training process, the company has also demonstrated a commitment to its drivers and, by helping them to achieve higher standards in their driving, as well as offering them the chance to be acknowledged by taking the DIAmond test, there will be
This issue’s helpdesk advisor
Mike is a walking encyclopedia, and knows all there is to know about the driver training industry
benefits to both the company and the individual drivers. The company will be able to differentiate its service from competitors in the market by promoting the higher standards of its drivers to customers. But there are also the benefits of better economy through better driving, plus lower levels of wear and tear on vehicles to factor in to the decision to train. The drivers will also promote a better company image by generally displaying higher-quality driving. Drivers will benefit from the knowledge that their employer is prepared to invest in them, giving them peace of mind that the company sees a long-term employment relationship with their drivers. Drivers can also benefit from the skills and knowledge they have acquired by using them outside of work in their personal lives while in their own vehicles, resulting in all the same cost-saving benefits.
Coach and mentor Graham Hooper ADI Dip DI said: “The four drivers received their award following an extensive period of training and a practical test centred around safer road use, eco-safe driving and the control of a vehicle in mixed driving conditions. The recipients now belong to a long list of proud staff from Dignity Funeral Services who have achieved a level of driving skill over and above what is normally expected, exemplifying the seriousness with which the business takes its duty of care to the public. The four are commended for
their outstanding achievement. Well done!” We would also like to offer our congratulations from DIAmond Advanced Motorists, and hope this will inspire their colleagues to want to follow suit. Congratulations (left to right) Kieran O’Donoghue, Chris Fuidge, (advanced driving coach, Graham Hooper), Richard Parkin and Mick Jelly of Frederick W. Paine Funeral Directors
LET US HELP YOU WITH YOUR DRIVING QUERIES. AVAILABLE TO ALL DIAMOND DRIVERS. CALL 020 8686 8010, MONDAY TO FRIDAY 9AM-5PM SPRING 2014 | driving
TAKE YOUR £78 RIDING AND DRIVING TO THE NEXT LEVEL
There are no gimmicky techniques to DIAmond driving, just a sound knowledge of the rules of the road and some common sense. It’s a tried and tested formula that makes for safer drivers. Passing the DIAmond Advanced Test shows you’ve got the knowledge to set you apart. And if you can pass the Special Test – the toughest driving qualification outside of the emergency services – you’ve definitely got what it takes to help others develop their driving.
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CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE, WHO HAVE RECENTLY PASSED A DIAMOND TEST
driving | SPRING 2014
DIAMOND TEST Why the test includes... IN THE FIRST OF A SERIES ON THE DIAMOND TEST, MIKE FRISBY EXPLAINS THE REQUIRED MANOEUVRES ANY PEOPLE THINK that by passing an Advanced test you become a better driver, which is simply not the case. When the required skills and criteria are demonstrated by a candidate and observed by an examiner on the day it earns you the badge. However, there is far more to driving or riding than just being able to demonstrate competence for an hour to an examiner. It is a skill that must be learned and developed over time. It takes experience and a lot of practice to get to a high standard – and the process of learning should never stop. Just passing the test isn’t, and never was, the point: although getting the correct guidance and knowing what to expect on the day is an important part of your preparation, the most important bit is being able to drive or ride safely, competently and to a high standard, all the time. Therefore, training undertaken that develops driver or rider skills – those required for good vehicle control and those that help develop the ability to make the right decisions – are what makes a good driver or rider. It isn’t simply about taking the test until you pass. So why are you required to do certain things on the test day? Every aspect of the test is equally important, as you will be assessed on your ability and competence for every aspect. Over the next few issues of Driving, I will be looking at the various elements that make up the DIAmond test, to explain what you are being assessed on and why. A good starting point is the manoeuvres. Currently all DIAmond (car) tests require you to complete two manouvres nominated on the day by the examiner. The two, which have an element of reversing, will be chosen from the following: • Turn in the road • Left reverse • Right reverse • Parking exercise (on road) • Parking exercise (car park) If you are taking a motorcycle test you will also be asked to complete some manoeuvres that will differ, unsurprisingly, to those in the car. They are as follows: • Figure of eight • U-turn • Slow riding exercise
Generally speaking, manoeuvring at low speed is not considered life threatening, so people often ask why it is still included in the test. The examiner will look for three things on the day, control, observation and accuracy. These three skills are relevant from both a safety and skills perspective, and, of course, for both car and bike tests. Having a high level of control of the vehicle is important for both driver and rider, as much of what we do when near other road users is at slow speed. By completing set manoeuvres during the test, a candidate will demonstrate to the examiner that the they have, and can retain, control of the vehicle appropriately, in a variety of environments. Manoeuvres on the test can be performed uphill, downhill or where there may be limited space, so the ability to stay composed while carrying out the manoeuvre, and being observed, will be assessed. Correct observations are essential throughout all manoeuvres. Having good awareness of one’s surroundings and being able to judge if and when to stop for other road users, as well as demonstrating an understanding of the impact you could have on traffic flow, are all important factors when manoeuvring, and are assessed by the examiner during the manoeuvres. Finally, accuracy is also an important aspect of the manoeuvre and the test is a demonstration of the high level of skill required, which is observed by the examiner. A candidate must know their vehicle well, even if they haven’t had it for long, and be able to position it showing good judgement of its proximity to kerbs, other hazards and road users while travelling in any direction. Accuracy will show a higher skill level and is assisted by having good control and observation. Failure to demonstrate the above requirements satisfactorily will result in a driving fault being marked by the examiner and, depending on the circumstances and if it has an affect on other road users, it could escalate to a serious or dangerous fault. Therefore, it is vital to be correctly prepared for this aspect of the test. All the skills demonstrated during the manoeuvres are transferrable and form a big part of many other aspects of driving/riding. As we cover other sections of the test in later issues of Driving it will become clear how each part links with others and the development of skills and knowledge in all areas will increase your experience and ability.
SPRING 2014 | driving
A precious resource for all drivers THE DIAMOND TEST IS A RESPECTED ADVANCED DRIVING BENCHMARK, BUT IT’S ALSO EVOLVING TO IMPROVE UK DRIVING STANDARDS
OST OF YOU reading this magazine, as a trainer, examiner or DIAmond motorist, have already realised what a valuable resource DIAmond is, in terms of developing better driving standards and increasing your safety as a road user. However, for those who aren’t quite as au fait with the tests, and as a refresher for those who are, we thought it would be useful to recap what makes DIAmond such a gem in the world of advanced motoring. It also gives us a chance to talk about some of the things we’re planning to do to really polish up the product and make it shine brighter, attracting more drivers and helping them develop their driving to the DIAmond standard – which is good for all road users.
WHAT MAKES DIAMOND DIFFERENT? Whether you’re a DIAmond motorist settling an argument down the pub about which test is best, or a trainer looking for some key reasons why your customers should chose DIAmond for their advanced driving or rider development, here are a few key USPs:
DIAmond is based on the DVSA’s own Cardington marking system
driving | SPRING 2014
DIAMOND TEST DIAmond is the only advanced driver training and testing product wholly provided by approved instructors, licenced and regulated by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and, ultimately, the secretary for state, to carry out professional driver and rider training. The two other main brands in this space do use ADIs, but they are in the mix with retired police and other emergency service driver trainers, who may never have been a registered Approved Driving or Riding Instructor (or even hold a recognised qualification to teach civilian drivers). In addition some ‘observers’ are used who have never even held a professional training qualification, nor had the level of training in order to deliver driver or rider training at even learner level – nevermind post-test advanced driver and rider development. Indeed, as a customer, with some observers you may even find yourself being advised on how to develop your driving by someone with as much qualified driver training knowledge as you have. As DIAmond is part of a wider driver education body, focused on promoting the importance of professional driver training at all stages of driver development, we are seriously concerned that non-professional driver trainers are involved in developing any driver to an ‘advanced’ standard. This is also a key differentiator in the quality of DIAmond Advanced assessments. All our trainers and examiners are ADIs: and not only do they possess the appropriate professional qualification to train drivers, they are also regulated professionals who undergo regular reassessments from DIAmond and, crucially, the DVSA, ensuring their knowledge and skills are up to date and meet the National Standards for Driver and Rider Training.
DIAmond is the only advanced driving assessment of the three available based on the DVSA’s own Cardington marking system. Everyone who has taken a driving test has proved a satisfactory level of competence on that day and the one thing they all have in common is the system they learned and used – the Cardington system. We believe that most drivers would benefit from developing their skills and knowledge, but why would they throw out the skills they already have? It is better to develop those skills and make them work for you in a better way. When we learned to drive we were taught a system designed to help keep us safe drivers for life. Had all drivers maintained their skill level (or, better still, further developed it) they would indeed be safe drivers for life. DIAmond focuses on developing and refreshing the existing skills of a driver, who may have become rusty or lazy.
Most drivers who undertake further training want two key things from driving: they want to save money (fuel costs) and be safer. DIAmond was the first of the advanced motoring assessments to focus on eco-driving and still has a much greater focus on this in the training and testing element than the other assessments.
DIAmond is an objective assessment, based on multiple criteria, whereas the other two advanced driving assessments are subjectively marked. This means that DIAmond candidates are expected to satisfy a much more rigorous criteria and the final judgement is made on those objective criteria, not on the subjective view of an examiner on the day.
As ADIs, DIAmond examiners and trainers are expected to take a client-centred approach to driver training, as recommended in the National Standards for Driver and Rider Trainers, the blueprint for how driver training is delivered. A client-centred learning approach with each individual driver has proven more successful in developing better driving standards and is more suited to post-test drivers who may be resistant to traditional ‘instructional’ techniques. Many DIAmond trainers have additionally taken a coaching qualification. Overall, this enables DIAmond motorists to benefit from a development programme based on their individual needs, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach to training. We develop drivers where they need the development and are not purely focused on the skills required to pass our test. We focus on coaching candidates to bring out the best in every driver, and to encourage self-reflection and self-remedy of key driving issues, so you can be your own internal coach in the car, every time you drive.
The DVSA continues to reassess our tests regularly Professional driver trainers often refer to DIAmond as the toughest civilian driving test. It’s a nice compliment but we don’t rest on our laurels in terms of maintaining and developing the DIAmond standard. To raise the bar even further, from this year we will be introducing compulsory retests for all DIAmond motorists every three years. Examiners and trainers are already undergoing regular reassessments. The DVSA continues to reassess our tests regularly for accreditation and, following our last accreditation visit, we received glowing feedback: “I really enjoyed the sessions. You should be very pleased with the professionalism and customer-focused delivery your team displayed.” Later this year we will also introduce further improvements to the training programme, the tests and the training of both examiners and trainers to keep the edge to DIAmond. We’re also developing partnerships with major motoring and leisure brands to add value to DIAmond Advanced Motorists membership (in terms of a wider range of membership benefits, discounts and deals), but equally to increase the audience for the assessments themselves. This is an attempt to increase the profile for DIAmond, to help trainers generate more candidates for the tests. Watch this space for more news on how we’ll make DIAmond shine brighter. However, we’re always happy to hear from our DIAmond members, so send us your ideas too as to how we can polish up DIAmond.
SPRING 2014 | driving
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** C ompared to the average braking distance of four leading competitors (braking on high μ very wet surface at 80–20 km/h). Tested by TÜV SÜD Automotive in September 2012 by order of Goodyear Dunlop. Tyre size: 205/55 R16 91V; test car: VW Golf; test locations: Mireval (FR), Papenburg (D) and Garching (D); report no. 76249743
TRANSPORT AND THE WEATHER DRIVING CONSIDERS HOW THE WEATHER – ESPECIALLY IN ITS MOST EXTREME INCARNATIONS – CAN AFFECT OUR ROADS
Climate change is projected to concentrate rainfall into more intense storms
SPRING 2014 | driving
HERE IS NO such thing as inappropriate weather, it’s inappropriate clothing that is the problem – at least that’s how the advertising slogan went in the 80s. That’s all well and good in the minutae of daily life, but in the bigger picture of moving millions of tonnes of goods around the country, you can hardly suspend a large raincoat over the motorway. We have recently witnessed another once-in-a-hundred-years freak event – although we also said that in 1987 and again in 1989, less than 30 years ago, so perhaps we should start looking at the actual frequency of these events, putting interventions in place to help keep everything moving. These irregular occurrences have shown us how fortunate we are to have not witnessed such forces of nature on a more regular basis. We cannot control it, but we can prepare for it. The flooding of Chichester in the 90s, was a wake-up call. The River Lavant – which had been diverted from its natural course to accommodate a housing development, along with higherthan-average rainfall over three days – burst its banks north of Chichester and followed its original course. Every fire appliance in West Sussex (and many from Hampshire) were mobilised, as well as the Civil Defence Green Goddesses from Uttoxeter. Fire appliances from East Sussex, Surrey and Kent were being used to stand in at West Sussex fire stations, and London was protecting Surrey. The recently experienced floods were due to the sheer volume of rain that fell over a three-week period, significantly raising the level of water in the aquifers (underground strata layers of permeable
rock) which came to the surface. This was caused by strong, warm winds, travelling across the Atlantic, picking up large amounts of moisture, which dropped as soon as there was a change in atmospheric pressure, unsettling the humidity. The result of this was the devastation we all witnessed in the media. COBRA, the Government Emergency Strategy Committee was convened to appraise the situation on a regular basis, and move resources to help in the worst areas affected. The damage was colossal, paralysing many areas of the country and cutting others off completely. When these situations happen, we get an over-emphasis placed on stretched facilities. For example, the railway ‘permanent way’ at Dawlish was totally washed out to sea, leaving the track suspended, meaning passengers were stranded at various points along the route. The only means of movement was by road, which was also becoming unusable due to fallen trees and telegraph poles, as well as severe flooding. Roads were getting flooded where rivers didn’t even exist, either through topography or the raising of underground water levels causing ‘water run-off’ from the fields, especially where clay belts exist. So, as drivers, what can we learn form the experience of these disasters? Primarily, that we should never become complacent about the forces of nature. We read about the ‘emergency kit’ that we are advised to carry in our vehicle, but tend to be dismissive, thinking that we don’t really need it. On 99% of journeys you probably wouldn’t use any of it, but in the scenarios we have witnessed there were many who will testify that they owed their lives to it. For the transport sector there are a lot of disadvantages to this type of protracted
We can’t control nature, but we can prepare for it
driving | SPRING 2014
Salt on roads and corrosion of vehicles Winter 2013 didn’t see the snow that we have had from previous years. Instead, we had to endure endless weeks of torrential rain. However, there were parts of the UK that did see the road gritters out in force, keeping the roads free of ice forming. Winter doesn’t really inspire car and bike owners to be out washing and polishing their vehicles – this is much more a summer pastime – but by the summer, or even in spring, a lot of salt deposits would have built up, which lead to corrosion and potential damage to the underside of our cars and paintwork. This needs to be removed so it doesn’t cause long-term damage. Salt will attract water, which helps speed up the process of corrosion. Any mud that is stuck to the underside of your vehicle – and especially wheel arches – will give something extra for the salt to stick to, again accelerating the corrosion. So if you don’t feel like getting the hosepipe out on a cold and windy Sunday afternoon, then at least make sure you take your car somewhere that will clean it for you, paying particular attention to wheel arches and places where deposits of salt and mud will naturally build up.
FEATURE situation. Contaminated fuel (through flooding) could knock out a refrigerated unit and cause the goods to defrost or perish and leave vehicles (and drivers) stranded. Smaller vehicles, such as vans, could be flooded, with damaged engines and damaged stock or tools. This all costs industry a small fortune, and while mostly insured, there are certainly some uninsured losses that the company has to bear. One thing that we were thankful for was the fact that only 10 days earlier, this rain was falling as snow in the US. The North Atlantic, through the Gulf Stream, warmed the wind and turned it to rain, bringing with it rather mild temperatures for the time of year. For every inch of rain there would have been 12 inches of snow. It is not just the recent conditions that cause problems to road transport. Climate change is projected to concentrate rainfall into more intense storms. Heavy rains may result in flooding, which could disrupt traffic, delay construction activities, and weaken or wash out the soil and culverts that support roads, tunnels, and bridges. With the climate getting warmer, there could possibly be less de-icing and gritting activity, but vehicles could also be made to work harder in warmer temperatures. Refuelling will cost more in the hotter weather too. The Department for Transport issued advice last year about refilling tanks in the early part of the day when the underground fuel storage tanks were cooler. They cited that when the temperature rose during the day, the liquid petroleum expanded, producing a higher percentage of vapours in the fill, so the capacity of the vehicleâ€™s fuel tank diminished by up to 2%.
Refill fuel tanks early in the day, when underground storage tanks are cooler
Cutting back In some areas, new foliage on trees and hedgerows cover important road signs giving orders of a change in speed limit, warnings of pedestrians crossing ahead or essential directions. These instructions can easily be missed if branches are not cut back enough. Local authorities are also out and about at this time of year trimming overgrown grass verges. When out on the road, look out for grass cuttings in the kerb and also the smell of freshly cut grass. These clues seem trivial on the face of it but, if recognised, could prevent motorists from finding themselves unexpectedly face-to-face with roadside
workers and alow them to reduce their speed in good time, significantly reducing the risk of a crash. On sunny days there is also something called the dapple effect. This happens when driving along a tree-lined road under a canopy of branches, when the sunlight is peeking through the gaps in the branches. This strobing effect â€˜flickersâ€™ on the windscreen and affects vision. There is not much that can be done to avoid this, but the effects can be reduced if sunglasses are used and by reducing speed to minimise the effect.
SPRING 2014 | driving
When planning a journey, there are always important things to think about at any time of year, with regards to car checks and route planning. In the spring, there can be more specific items to check, such as if you have had winter tyres fitted. Drivers fit winter tyres because they are generally quite safety conscious and perhaps live in remote areas where fitting them is more justifiable. There is a significant cost associated with having a set of winter tyres (on average of £500 per car*). Then there is the question of storing the set of tyres you are not using. You should have changed back to summer tyres by now, as winter tyres have a high silica content and tread pattern that are designed to remain flexible in cold weather (winter tyres are designed to be most effective in temperatures below +7C*). They also provide improved grip on snow and ice as well as wet conditions in cold weather. (* Source: AA)
If the recent disruption becomes more common, will companies have to look at their Business Continuity Plan (BCP)? They have to survive: they can’t just suspend contracts or service provisions. Customers need the goods and services for their survival, so there will be a serious knock-on effect that would look bad in terms of customer service. It is like when the snow falls: the first day or two everyone decides to stay at home, but as the snow continues to fall over the following days, everyone realises that they will have to venture out to work some time or other, and eventually relent. Customers will get weary of the service interruption too, especially as the country starts to cope with the conditions and service to them does not resume.
driving | SPRING 2014
Summer tyres will give a much better performance and are clearly better suited for the warm conditions. On-going checks – such as tyre pressures according to the manufacturers handbook – need to be carried out anyway, but especially if changing back from winter tyres, as they would have been stored over winter and will still deflate, even if not used. Check tyres over for any damage and legal minimum tread depth of 1.6mm across the central ¾ of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference. Some organisations recommend the tread not going below 2mm in summer and 3mm in snow. Not only would this cause safety and handling problems, but illegal tyres can also carry penalty points on your licence and a fine. So get checking.
Customers will get weary of any service interruption Micro climates If you are setting out on your journey early in the morning, you still need to be aware of the odd frosty morning during spring, which is when drivers and riders alike can get caught out. Areas to watch out for in particular are bridges, where cold air passes underneath making the road surface more prone to frost and ice. Other areas where you may encounter microclimates are tree-shaded roads where the sun cannot shine directly on the road surface. Road surfaces can be lower in temperature and not dry out as quickly in these areas, which in turn will affect stopping distances. When you travel away from towns and built-up areas, temperatures are generally lower in these areas as well. Travelling on these roads doesn’t have to be a problem, as long as drivers and riders are aware of the hidden dangers and apply a common-sense approach to the road conditions.
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Cleaner, greener business HOWARD REDWOOD EXPLAINS HOW THE TRANSPORT SECTOR MUST REDUCE EMISSIONS NOW â€“ IF ONLY TO HELP ITSELF
RECENT TRANSPORT study commissioned by the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) and the International Union of Railways (UIC) has been considering the potential levels of modal shift to rail, and in particular, the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction savings that could result. The report, Potential of Modal Shift to Rail Transport â€“ Study on the Projected
driving | SPRING 2014
Effects on GHG Emissions and Transport Volumes, undertaken by CE Delft (Netherlands) and TRT (Italy), highlighted that by using existing infrastructure alone, a 30-40% growth in train kilometres by 2020 could be accommodated, and if appropriated equally would generate an increase of 83% for freight traffic and 23% for passenger. The particular scope is for rail to move international freight containers, but since the Beeching closures of the 50s and 60s,
does the UK have enough railway hubs to accommodate distribution by road to areas that the railways do not serve? The government has a crisis: the Climate Change Act (2008) set a long-term, legally binding framework for greenhouse gas reduction in the UK. The Act requires the UK government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 34% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 from 1990 levels in the UK. The government has set out its plan of action
FLEET for greenhouse gas reduction in the Carbon Plan (December 2011). The plan identifies that transport has a critical role in meeting the Climate Change Act (2008) obligations. But even if the containers are put on the rails, class one and two vehicles are still required in the process of this part of the transit cycle. Where would the hubs go? If they are placed on existing, currently unused, railway land we are going to have to have access roads, storage areas, loading and unloading facilities and this will also cause an impact on the local area – areas where the air quality is having to be audited to prevent health issues. Vehicle manufacturers are doing their bit by reducing the CO2 emissions through the technology of slave cylinder and stop/ start etc, and the use of lighter, more
for business to business decisions. These could be in the form of driver training programmes, combined with alternative fuels. There are also some more elective measures that can be made to show green credentials, such as rainwater utilisation for exterior vehicle washing. Whatever a fleet company does to save energy it shouldn’t be afraid to proclaim it: some surveys suggest that 53% of all business-to-business transactions are clinched by the supplier’s green credentials. This way, the customer is able to declare that it is doing all it can to reduce the carbon footprint through piggy-backing on the supplier’s carbon reduction policy. Reducing fuel use would help in this regard: drivers driving in more fuel-efficient and vehicle-sympathetic
The railhead would act as a regional hub – a natural location for a transport company to distribute the goods from, using an assortment of vehicles. This will probably pose an initial challenge for some who will have to invest in software to monitor a number of vehicles of multiple sizes, which the staff will have to be inducted on and familiarised with. The benefits of this outweighs the cost. With efficient vehicle use, fuel use and driver education, a company should be able to utilise the benefits in their marketing campaign. It shows responsibility to the outside world, and attracts a better quality of employee, better employee retention, all of which enhance the brand and help the company become the ‘go to’ guys.
robust materials in the light commercial sector, but the biggest catalyst in emission reduction is the driver. Going back to the report, if this type of thinking goes ahead, how are the road transport and distribution companies going to compete and survive? There may be some thinking outside the box to do and it is going to be in the area of unique selling propositions (USP). Customer service is an obvious one, but having or adopting ‘green credentials’ could be an advantage
ways must be a bonus to the reduction in carbon. The design of vehicles has reduced emissions greatly over the last 10 years, but there are still further savings to be made, even if it means dangling a metaphorical automotive carrot in front of the drivers and incentivising them. Even the bigger transport companies will put small bonuses in wage packets as an appreciation. It keeps motivation and morale high – and also helps reduce staff absenteeism.
Van and carmakers are doing their bit by reducing CO2 emissions SPRING 2014 | driving
Can-do Kangoo HOWARD REDWOOD GETS HIS VAN ON TO TEST RENAULT’S MID-SIZED CREW CAB HE KANGOO Maxi (LL21) dCi 110 Crew Van Sport: it’s a long name, but this is a van that is short on drawbacks for the small business fleet user. Walking up to it you notice that is well proportioned with a very appealing looking front end, the grille extending the width of the nose as far as the headlights. It looks well proportioned, sturdy and capable, and the near and offside sliding cargo doors also contribute to making it highly versatile. The rear doors are a two-thirds/one-third split design and can be specified as either panelled or glazed (as can the panels all around the vehicle). First impressions of the interior are favourable: the design is tidy, with a futuristic-looking parking brake that looks like it has come from the Shuttle programme, but is in fact an ergonomic design. Indeed, a lot of thought has gone into the cab: the gear lever is fitted into the dashboard; the steering wheel is comfortable and is ably accompanied by the easy-to-access indicator and wiper stalks on each side. The wipers have various intermittent speed settings, which come in very useful for different driving conditions. The driving position was good, the seat being comfortable. There was also plenty of shoulder room, which is normally lacking in this type of vehicle. The A-pillars were not so big as to hamper visibility when emerging or approaching junctions: in fact, all-round
driving | SPRING 2013
visibility was good, aided as it was by the good sized, electrically folding wing mirrors, that tucked themselves in when parked. The optional 13-litre overhead parcel shelf is easy to access and is ideal for stowing a road atlas, documents or a bag. There are also plenty of storage options around the cabin, such as the generous four-litre door bins that can also take an array of documents along with a 1.5-litre bottle. A compartment for mobile phones is also located next to the centre console for ease of reach. Naturally, there is also a drinks holder. A range of infotainment options are also available, which can transform the Kangoo into a travelling office or workplace. For example, A4 documents or an invoice pad can be easily stored in the dashboard, which also provides a pen-holder. The nine-litre lidded glovebox can also take a notebook computer, as well as documents and/or items that are best kept away from prying eyes. It is certainly geared up for a working environment. The crew van variant also has an additional row of three seats that split-fold 60:40, offering excellent versatility in the balance between passenger accommodation and load space. They’re situated behind the front seats, protected by a sturdy fixed-grill bulkhead. With all the seats in place, the load volume is 1,100 litres (up to seat height) and the load length is 1.3m: the load length increases to 2.2m when the rear bench folded. The Crew Van’s maximum payload is 740kg and, like the standard Kangoo van,
it has space to carry that all-important Euro pallet (a basic requirement for a van). The cargo area is a very useful space, with a large number of cargo anchoring points in the floor and the side bulkhead, with rear doors that open out to 180 degrees. The only slight niggle was the lack of access to the rear seats through the side doors. On the plus side, however, there was more than ample leg room here, a feature often lacking in crew cabs. The vehicle drove very responsively, with a pleasantly surprising pull from the accelerator when on Eco mode. The official manufacturer figures boast an urban fuel consumption of 54.3 mpg and we managed 47.5mpg without any special effort, in an area that had suffered from heavy rain, resulting in a lot of standing water. The ride was smooth, with surprisingly little vibration/rumble from the cargo area and bulkhead. A speed limiter is fitted that can be programmed to 56, 62 or 68mph. This 1.4 Direct turbo common rail diesel, mated to a six-speed gearbox, is well balanced for the tasks it was to perform. Service intervals at 25,000 miles/2 years should give grounds for a tradesman or a company wanting a small versatile van on its fleet to give this serious consideration. Renault has built a decent van: it’s not only a good-looking vehicle, but the French company has clearly spent a lot of time and effort in making the vehicle functional and user friendly for the working environment.
RENAULT KANGOO MAXI CREW VAN SPORT PRICE £17,000 + VAT
TOP SPEED 105.6mph
0-62MPH 12.3 secs
ENGINE TYPE, CC Common rail turbodiesel,1,461cc
POWER 110 hp
177lb-ft @ 1,750 rpm
GEARBOX Six-speed manual
Verdict 8/10 SPRING 2014 | driving
UDI’S CURRENT A6 saloon is a highly accomplished cruiser, its smooth, comfortable character making it a good choice as a fleet car. However, what many Audi owners have been hankering for is a diesel with a bit more performance to go with the huge improvements in economy that the company has made in recent years. So say hello to the Audi A6 3.0 BiTDI Quattro, a four-wheel-drive saloon that has a 3.0-litre, twinturbocharged diesel engine under
driving | SPRING 2014
FIT A TWIN-TURBO DIESEL IN AUDI’S A6 SALOON AND YOU HAVE AN ACCOMPLISHED, POWERFUL CRUISER
the bonnet that does indeed meet the demands of drivers who want a little pace at their disposal, but without having to visit the filling station too often. The unit produces 309bhp and 479lb-ft of torque, which ensures quite a kick when the throttle is squeezed, especially once the car gets going: overtaking and in-gear acceleration are conducted smoothly and at a whisper, with a minimum of drama. The engine is incredibly refined, with the satisfying muted roar only tangible when the kickdown is engaged and the car starts accelerating rapidly – which
it does when expediting a 0-62mph sprint in just 5.1 seconds (the same as a Porsche Boxster S). However, despite its performance, this Biturbo version of the 1,790kg A6 still manages to return 44.8mpg on the combined cycle, although CO2 emissions of 166g/km mean that you will have to sacrifice some cash (in the form of VED payments) to enjoy those performance levels. It’s not perhaps as dynamically involving as the BMW 535d, but as a motorway cruiser, this version of the A6 is mightily impressive.
AUDI A6 3.0 BITDI PRICE ££44.670TOP SPEED 155mph
0-62MPH 5.1 seconds
ENGINE TYPE, CC 2,967cc diesel
GEARBOX Eight-speed tiptronic
SEAT’S LATEST VERSION OF ITS LEON CUPRA HOT HATCH IS WORTHY ADDITION TO THE CLASS
SEAT LEON CUPRA PRICE £25,690 - £28,525
TOP SPEED 155mph
0-62MPH 5.7 seconds
RITAIN IS ONE of the biggest markets for hot hatchbacks anywhere in the world: a nation of boy racers, we can’t get enough of the small, nippy little cars. Spanish carmaker Seat knows this better than most manufacturers, having sold nearly 16,000 Leon Cupras (the name coming from a combination of ‘cup’ and ‘racer’) over the course of two generations of the car. The latest generation will enhance the model’s kudos even
further, as it makes a serious attempt at tackling the likes of the Ford Focus ST, Volkswagen Golf GTI and Vauxhall Astra VXR at their own game. Because this is a car that generates 277bhp from its 2.0-litre petrol engine (there’s also a 262bhp variant, but Seat reckons 90% of buyers will go for the fullfat version), which enables it to hit 62mph from a standing start in 5.7 seconds when fitted with the DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox (5.8 seconds with the manual). This is a quick car for a family hatchback. And it’s not only the performance
that impresses: it can also manage a 42.8mpg fuel consumption figure (44.1mpg with DSG) and CO2 emissions of just 154g/km – a reduction of 41g/km compared to the last generation. These will contribute to impressive running costs for a car of this type. As it’s based on the accomplished, stylish Seat Leon, the Cupra also has plenty going for it in terms of design and practicality, making it worthy of serious consideration for anyone in the market for a hot hatch.
ENGINE TYPE, CC 1,984cc petrol engine
GEARBOX Six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG automatic
Verdict 8/10 SPRING 2014 | driving
Show time MIKE FRISBY VISITS THE MCN LONDON MOTORCYCLE SHOW TO TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT’S NEWS TO THE MARKET – AND SOME BLASTS FROM THE PAST HE MCN LONDON Motorcycle Show took place in February at east London’s Excel Centre. It was the usual round-up of bikes, clothing, exhibitions and displays, with plenty of stars from the world of motorcycle racing on public stages to help attract the crowds. That was certainly the case on the Saturday as a very packed crowd maneuvered around the show that brought together a great mix of the old and the new both in the form of bikes and riders. In contrast to the NEC show in Birmingham, the MCN show is only three days and a lot smaller. That said, there was a lot packed in, with many manufacturers displaying their latest bikes, alongside existing models. The show brought together a mix of elements that bikers are interested in, different zones covering classic, custom, adventure, sports and performance.
The custom zone was a stunning display of workmanship, with some serious paint jobs Each of the zones had something to interest onlookers. The custom zone was a stunning display of workmanship, with some serious paint jobs and many outrageous bikes that looked unrideable, certainly around town, plus versions of bikes that bore no resemblance to the name that was stamped on the tank, or engine. Hours of time and dedication have been put into creating these masterpieces and the detailed paintwork, engine casings and everything in between was incredible. Many will probably never see the light of day, though – at least in the UK, where the first sight of a cloud will have the owner running for the covers. I couldn’t resist the trip down memory lane and a look at the bikes in the classic zone. There were many that took me back to my teens – including a Yamaha FS1E in yellow, complete with pedals. I got the feeling I was back there, looking at it as a 16-year-old (LCD 252P was mine: I remember it well). This
driving | SPRING 2014
one, of course, was pristine: mine was nice when I bought it and, having ridden and cared for it for a year (and pushed it a bit when it conked out), it was still in good condition when I sold it, but nothing like this. I didn’t like to ask what it was worth but I’m sure it was more than the £200 I paid for mine. Other than the FS1E, there were many other bikes that I had either bought, ridden or that my mates had owned. It was a nostalgic walk around and a reminder of how things have changed: bikes then were big, solid and comfortable, none of them had a fairing or looked like those you paid to go and watch race around the track. Out the other end of this wander down memory lane was a stage, where TV commentator Jack Burnicle was in the middle of an interview with David Hailwood, son of one of the great motorcycle racers, Mike Hailwood. The bike show was hosting a tribute to Mike, celebrating an outstanding career on two wheels and four. Having started racing in 1957 at the age of 17, a career spanning 22 years included nine world championships on motorcycles between 1961 and 1967 before moving into cars where he achieved a European Formula 2 title and then moved into Formula 1. Unfortunately, his career in that competition was cut short after suffering a bad injury at the Nurburgring in 1974, just two years before Nicki Lauda had a life-threatening crash at the same circuit. However, four years later Mike made an amazing return to motorcycles, competing and achieving race wins at the Isle of Man and Mallory Park. The following year, after winning the Isle of Man TT, he retired from motorsport and just two years later he was tragically killed after being involved in a car crash when returning from the chip shop with his two children in the car. His nine-year-old daughter was also killed in the crash. Maybe this is just another reminder that even the most talented riders who are very capable on the track can still be as vulnerable as the rest of us on the road. Meanwhile, back in the real world of motorcycles, there were many eye-catching models displayed by the manufacturers. There was, as always, the draw of the superbike, with many spectators admiring them. However, there was also a feeling that they were a convenient place to leave the children to play while parents were looking more closely at the sport tourers and street bikes. It seems, perhaps inevitably, that the era of the superbike is certainly declining (if it hasn’t gone already), in favour of bikes that are less
It seems that the era of the superbike is certainly declining inclined to draw so much attention and are a more realistic and fun experience on road. The Yamaha MT models, in particular, seemed to be getting lots of attention. They are stylish and a bit different, which is what drew me to them and, having got there, I had to check I had not misread the price. The 700cc MT-07has a power output of 55Kw, while the MT-09 is an 850cc machine producing 85Kw, which is more than enough for a good day out. The prices are an amazingly low £5,199 and £6,949, respectively. Well worth another look and I’m hoping to get a test ride soon to be able to do another feature. Very different, but also worth a look, was the new Yamaha FJR1300AE, which in Magnetic Bronze is probably a real ‘Marmite’ bike. I liked it, largely because it is different, but there will SPRING 2014 | driving
understandably be those that don’t get it. It is the new version of the FJR1300A (also available in magnetic bronze) with additional features including electronically adjustable suspension, which enables the rider to make adjustments to suit road and load requirements. At £14,499, this is certainly not a budget bike, but for the dedicated tourer it would have to be a consideration. The BMW stand, as always, looked well arranged and also drew much attention. All their models are well equipped, as you would expect, and look very business-like. Every bike looks well organised, with executive styling and an appearance of being unlikely to fail. I like that and would feel comfortable to buy one on that basis: but for the more gritty bikers they are probably a little too perfect, and pricing is still at the top of the market.
Kawasaki appears to be benefitting from superbike track success The widest range still appears to be Honda – it has something for everyone and most engine variations too. Its models have always felt to me like the ‘family’ stand at shows. Kawasaki definitely appears to be benefitting from superbike success on the track. Not too long ago they looked a little like the poor relation at the show, but now have an attractive range that attracts the crowds. It appeared to me that more females were happy to sit on the bikes on this stand, perhaps a testament to the relaxed atmosphere and attentiveness of the staff on the stand. I also noticed more interaction with the customer here and a noticeable lack of ‘loose children’ running about. The clothing and accessories stands were generally busy, with lots of people walking round carrying bags of purchases, which hopefully indicates a positive market for motorcycling – or at least that those who already have bikes are raring to go when spring finally arrives.
driving | SPRING 2014
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