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The first images of Volkswagen's new Crafter have been revealed.

Due to be launched this autumn the Crafter is a completely new vehicle. Albert-Johann Kirzinger, Head of Design at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has commented  on the new vehicle saying, "In the commercial vehicle sector especially, design has got to work for lots of different customer groups."

New Volkswagen Crafter

Kirzinger also stated, "Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles' T-series, the 'Bulli', is effectively being given a 'big brother' through the introduction of the new Crafter. With the Crafter, a level of surface quality, robustness and at the same time high qualitative value are achieved that have  never before been available in this commercial vehicle class."

A press release from Volkswagen reveals that 'Experts at Volkswagen Commercial vehicles have worked closely with current customers, frequently accompanying them during their daily routines, to explore their needs and find out their visions of what they wanted the new Crafter to be, allowing them to help shape the new generation.'

Volkswagen Crafter 2016

'At 0.33, the new Crafter has a best in class drag coefficient; and inside it combines great everyday practicality with optimum cargo space. The new design language shown on the Crafter will continue across all new commercial vehicle derivatives and models.'

London's Tower Bridge is due to be closed for three months this October while essential maintenance is carried out.

London Tower Bridge

The iconic landmark, which allows some 21,000 vehicles to cross the river Thames everyday, originally opened in 1894 after 8 years of construction. According to a spokesman for Transport for London one of the main objectives will be to redo the waterproofing of the archways at the approach to the bridge - this has not been done since they were originally built at the back-end of the 19th Century.

Leon Daniels, TfL’s managing director of surface transport commented on the repairs saying, "We've been working closely with the City of London to minimise the impact of the vital refurbishment of Tower Bridge and to ensure that Londoners have the travel advice they need."

Chris Hayward, chairman of the planning and transport committee of City of London Corporation also commented on the works due to be performed saying, "This decision to close Tower Bridge to vehicles has not been taken lightly, and this course of action has been taken after extensive consultation and planning in conjunction with numerous stakeholders."

Hayward also added, "We will use this time to repair, refurbish and upgrade London's most iconic bridge, which has gone without significant engineering works for more than 35 years."

It is advisable for motorists to check their route prior to travelling and to allow extra time to get to their destination. The bridge will remain open to pedestrians for all but three weekends while the repairs are preformed.

Independent tyre wholesaler Micheldever Tyres have boosted their fleet of commercial vehicles with 100 additional Renault Master vans.

Renault's van sales grew by 21% in the UK during the first quarter of 2016, a total of 6,618 vehicles according to figures from the SMMT.

Micheldever Tyre & Auto Services will be using these new fleet vehicles as their go-to vehicles in their wholesale tyre distribution operation as well as their mobile tyre fitting service. The new Master vans now account for a third of Micheldever's entire LCV fleet. These new vehicles will also contribute towards the delivery of tyres to the 8,000 nationwide retailers that Micheldever Tyre & Auto Services contribute to from it's network of 15 distribution sites across the UK.

As the parent company to the Protyre fast-fit retail network, Micheldever Tyres have arranged for the new vehicles to be fitted out in the Protyre livery and come equipped ready to provide a comprehensive mobile tyre fitting service for emergency tyre replacement and puncture repair for nearly every van, car, truck and agricultural vehicle on the road.

Protyre Renault Master van

The new Renault Master vehicles have been ordered in long-wheelbase, high-roof specification. Powered by an efficient dCi 125 2.3-litre turbodiesel engine , these front-wheel drive vehicles are capable of producing 125 hp and returning over 35 mpg (NEDC Combined).

Commenting on the new vehicles purchased, Micheldever Tyre & Auto Services group fleet manager Malcolm Turnbull has said, "Against the other LCVs we considered, the Renault Master was unrivalled when it came to its combination of price and payload."

"The vans we have taken delivery of have arrived with us on schedule and, now that they are starting to be operative in the field, are exceeding our expectations and generating some good feedback from our drivers."

Nick Tame, sales director of Groupe Renault UK has also commented on the new purchase, "We’re very pleased that such a successful business has chosen to rely on the Master for two vitally important roles in its growing operation."

"The significant size of the order underlines their confidence in the Master and our commitment to provide customers with a level of service throughout their ownership experience that is second-to-none."

The FTA have announced that vans and their drivers are vital to the UK economy.

According to the FTA Logistics Report 2016 there are more than four million vans on UK roads. This shows the way that the public have effected e-commerce deliveries, back in 2015 retailers predicted more than 860 million parcels would be delivered to UK homes.

The FTA's latest figures have been echoed by the latest Department for Transport (DfT) Road Traffic Estimates which shows that van traffic grew at an even faster rate than any other vehicle type within the UK.

Delivery van

image CC 28704869

Mark Cartwright, FTA head of vans has commented on the increase saying, "It’s been recognised for a while that there is a clear correlation between UK GDP and van ‘traffic’ but we’re now seeing the growth in ‘van traffic’ outstrip economic performance, primarily due to internet shopping and entrepreneurial activity."

Cartwright also commented, "It is important for van operators to take safety and compliance seriously if they want to continue enjoying the operational flexibility vans provide. Self-regulation is the key to stopping moves to impose ‘truck-like’ legislation across van fleets. Van Excellence provides a very straightforward route for operators to adopt industry best practice and become an Accredited Operator."

Popular commercial vehicle manufacturer Mercedes-Benz have introduced a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic into their Citan range.

Available to order from June 2016, Mercdes-Benz Citan 112 variants will be available with the new 6G-DCT dual-clutch automatic transmission. Citan and Tourer models with the 112 petrol engine will be able to benefit from the new transmission which delivers a combined mpg figure of 44.1 and co2 emissions of 144 g/km.

Mercedes-Benz Citan

The new automatic transmission consists of two sub-transmissions, each with it's own clutch. While one transmission provides drive to the wheels, the second has already pre-selected the next gear - which allows for seamless gear changes which reduces loosing tractive power.

When available in June prices will start from £15,820 excluding VAT for the 112 panel van long 6G-DCT, and £17,900 for the Tourer long variant.