DfT gives green light to longer semi trailer trial

The Department for Transport (DfT) has given the go-ahead for a ten-year trial of 900 semi-trailers at an increased length of 2.05 metres, as well as 900 trailers at an increase of 1 metre.

Following its recent industry consultation into the use of longer semi-trailers, the DfT says it will not permit any increase in the current maximum gross vehicle weight of 44 tonnes.

Roads minister Mike Penning says the longer vehicles provide up to 13% more loading space - allowing fewer journeys to transport the same amount of goods without compromising safety - and the trial will provide a £33m boost to the haulage industry.

He adds: "Independent research showed the potential environmental, safety and congestion benefits of longer trailers and this voluntary trial will give industry the opportunity to demonstrate how this works in practice.

"The trial will be subject to rigorous annual assessments and will be closely and independently monitored throughout so that any concerns are addressed quickly."

For more details - including reaction from the industry - see Commercial Motor on Thursday 13 October.

Nightline UK on track for 60,000 parcels per week

Nightline says it is on track to deliver 60,000 parcels per week to Ireland from its Altham, Lancashire hub in the coming months just one year after launching its UK operation.

The Dublin-based parcels carrier decided to set up a UK base in July last year following demand from customers wanting a mainland UK presence. Following a £1.1m investment, the 15,000 ft2 Lancashire site opened, with an initial target of 40,000 parcels per week.

Nightline  says recent contract wins with Aurora Group, which handles  fashion brands Coast, Oasis and Warehouse, as well a deal with educational supplier Findel Education, have significantly boosted volumes and justified its strategy to launch a UK division.

Geremy Ruffin, MD, Nightline UK, says: “Our first year in Lancashire has exceeded our expectations. We have been surprised by the number of companies looking for an efficient, specialist alternative carrier to handle their Irish shipments.”

Nightline has also reported strong volumes via its partnership with UK Pallets, for which it handles the pallet network’s Irish shipments, totalling some 400-500 pallets per week out of mainland UK.

Graeme Wilson, commercial director, UK Pallets, says: “By having a one-stop-shop for all Irish deliveries, communication and service levels are greatly enhanced and the guarantee of a two- to three-day service across the whole of the island is a terrific benefit to the entire network.”