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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."

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."

Construction and civil engineering company BAN Nuttall are using their sizeable fleet of highway vans to help attract more women into the construction industry.

BAM Nuttall are using their commercial vehicle's rear doors to show a picture of Kat Woodall, a BAM Nuttall trainee quantity surveyor and a small girl playing with building bricks, under this is written BAM Nuttall's advertorial slogan "Building your future career".

Sharon Wells, HR manager at BAM Nuttall has commented on the new advertising saying, "We think that this is a great way of encouraging people to consider working for us,"

"Construction is an important and diverse industry with a multitude of roles and opportunities. It’s well documented that there is a skills shortage in the industry and that it needs to attract more women so we hope that this initiative helps."

BAM Nuttall logo

Kat Woodall also commented on the new scheme saying, "It’s quite strange to have a picture of yourself on a van and a number of people on my course have commented on it. Hopefully, however, it will help encourage women to consider construction as a career. I’m really enjoying the challenge and particularly like the fact that I get to put into practice on site what we learn at college."

The new image is due to stay on BAM Nuttall's vans for the next year and has been estimated that it could be worth up to £100,000 if featured on other outdoor media.

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.

The Riversimple hydrogen van concept has been revealed.
Riverside hydrogen concept van

Riversimple's new concept uses the same hydrogen powered fuel cell as the recently announced Riversimple Rasa hydrogen car, the benefit of this is that the only emission that the vehicle makes is water from it's tailpipe.

The new commercial vehicle is ideal for those who regularly drive in urban environments, and areas where air quality restrictions may be in place.

Recent reports state that as many as 40,000 people die each year due to air pollution with a majority of the blame being directed towards diesel engines which could in future lead to restrictions on diesel run vehicles making deliveries in urban areas.

Riversimple's ownership model will be based on a leasing subscription wihich will cover a flat charge on mileage, fuel, insurance and maintenance costs. Up to 20 Riversimple hydrogen vans are to be leased to 20 delivery firms around a hydrogen outlet.

Both the new hydrogen van and Rasa hydrogen car were designed by Chris Reitz, who designed the popular Fiat 500 town car. The new vehicles will be built in mid-Wales and will feature aerodynamic carbon fibre panels produced in Norfolk.