Westminster to trial diesel-based parking surcharge

Westminster City Council is set to trial emissions-based charging for diesel cars parking within Marylebone.

In a pilot programme to be introduced by the local authority from April 3, 2017, the charge for pay-to-park bays during normal parking hours will be raised specifically within F zone for diesel cars, some of the heaviest of polluting vehicles. This will apply to visitors into Marylebone, with resident permits remaining unchanged.

The surcharge will add 50% to the current rate of £4.90 per hour in F Zone. Customers are currently able to park and pay per minute up to a maximum of 240 minutes (4 hours), meaning charges will be 8p per minute in real terms and 12p per minute for diesels.

Marylebone suffers some of the highest pollution levels in London, given the area’s location, mix of land uses, building density and type, and number of vehicle trips. A “polluter pays” principle will have the aim of reducing harmful vehicle emissions in Marylebone and any money raised will be spent on initiatives to promote sustainable transport, says the council.

Cllr David Harvey, cabinet member for environment, sports and community said: “Residents and visitors tell us all the time that air quality is a key concern in central London and we have consulted with our partners and local stakeholders on this practical step in improving our health and wellbeing.

“We have had a positive impact and reduced vehicle emissions through our anti-idling campaign days and by encouraging sustainable and active travel.

“Additional charges for diesel vehicles will mean people think twice about using highly polluting cars and invest in cleaner transport that will make a real difference in the quality of air we breathe and our environment.”

The pilot measure is supported by local stakeholders and partners within the Marylebone Low Emission Neighbourhood including the three business improvement districts (BIDs).

Kay Buxton from the Marble Arch BID said: “As one of the three Business Improvement Districts in the Low Emission Neighbourhood, Marble Arch London is committed to improving air quality locally.

“We welcome Westminster’s first step to addressing air pollution through differential parking charges and hope to see a resultant behaviour change across the Neighbourhood, with people choosing not to bring diesel vehicles into the area.”

Marylebone’s location between major transport routes results in a complex urban air quality problem with levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) that exceed recommended health levels and very high levels of particulate matter (PM). This is particularly concerning given the number of young families, schools, universities, businesses and medical facilities in Marylebone, says the council.

The pilot 50% surcharge for diesel will also provide valuable insight into how the policy works practically and whether there are positive behavioural changes from it that could be replicated elsewhere.

The City of Westminster says it is responding to residents’ concerns about air quality and leading from the front to tackle it ahead of the Mayor of London’s implementation of the Ultra-Low Emissions Zones in 2019.

In 2017, Westminster will also see several green initiatives come into effect in the low emission neighbourhood which will help improve air quality. This includes freight consolidation and a new EV infrastructure with charging points upgraded and increased by up to 20 new outlets, including some rapid chargers. We are also encouraging more sustainable transport and will soon release our Walking Strategy report.

Your Comments

Ben Blogs

Ben have published more in their series of blogs on the subject of Financial Health, giving advice to employers on what they might consider if an employee finds themselves in difficulty and another on opportunities to get fit for free.

Financial Health

Ben have pointed out that everyone will go through a tough time at some point in their lives, as a result of events such as debt, bereavement or ill health. As work and personal life can often overlap, stress and worries in one area are likely to affect the other.

Whilst an employer should normally try to avoid getting involved in an employee’s personal life, it is still possible to support them whilst they get themselves back on track.

Ben reiterates that they exist to provide support for life to the people of the automotive industry and their families. To read the full blog and download a leaflet to print off CLICK HERE.

Getting Fit on a Budget

The other blog highlights the fact that at the start of each new year many people make a resolution to get fitter or lose weight, but this can fall by the wayside because of costs and so have produced a list of alternative suggestions.

To read the whole blog, CLICK HERE.

Your Comments

All lorry drivers who use satnavs should be compelled to use commercial models says LGA

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, says that while the majority of lorry drivers are reputable and responsible, a minority cut corners by using cheaper satnavs designed for cars.

Villages and rural communities across the country have been blighted by a recent spate of lorry smashes, it says. For example, a historic bridge in Marlow, Bucks, had to be closed for months – with £200,000 damage – after a driver reportedly drove a truck 10 times the structure’s weight limit over it.

Lorry satnavs are like normal car satnavs, but they include bridge heights, narrow roads, and roads unsuitable for trucks. In addition, they allow the driver to enter the lorry’s dimensions – height, width, weight and load – so they are only guided along suitable roads. However, they are typically slightly more expensive than ones designed for cars.

The LGA wants councils to also be able to fine lorry drivers who flout weight restrictions. Lorries of a certain weight or width are banned from many minor roads but the police do not always have the resources to enforce the restrictions.

The Government has handed powers under the Traffic Management Act (2004) to local authorities in Wales, and London (under different legislation), to take action if lorry drivers break the law.

The LGA says councils across the country must also be given the ability to enforce weight and width restrictions where there are hotspots of abuse in their communities by issuing fines.

It wants the Government to enable councils to take enforcement action where necessary. Councils up and down the country are already working with communities to tackle the issue by organising lorry watch schemes. They are also working with freight and haulage companies to ensure that lorries use the most suitable routes and roads.

The money collected from the fines could be used towards tackling the national pothole backlog – which could reach £14 billion in two years.

LGA Transport spokesman Cllr Martin Tett said: “There has been a spate of recent accidents involving lorry drivers driving irresponsibly and causing chaos. The Government must start taking this issue more seriously and give councils the legislative tools to help their communities and other motorists.

“It is common sense that all lorry drivers should use satnavs designed for trucks, but this is only going to become a reality when it is a mandatory requirement. We are talking about a very small extra cost to drivers.

“Lorry drivers who get wedged in narrow roads or under bridges not only endanger themselves, other road users and pedestrians, but also cause massive disruption. This has a significant impact on local economies, particularly in rural areas.

“Some rural communities are fed-up with lorries ignoring weight restrictions and using their streets. The additional noise, vibration and pollution make their lives miserable.

“Councils hear these concerns and are doing everything they can to help their residents, working with communities by organising lorry watch schemes. But they are trying to take action with one hand tied behind their back and urgently need tougher powers. If a community is being plagued by problems, councils should be able to respond to their concerns by issuing fines to act as a deterrent.

“We would stress that most lorry drivers are reputable and drive responsibly. These powers would be targeted at the minority who do not follow the law. This is also about protecting the drivers’ safety as well as the safety of residents and other road users.”

Your Comments

NGK sales manager, Stuart Bayne, raises more than £30,000

Charity cyclist Stuart Bayne raised more than £30,000 on his marathon ride through New Zealand.

Stuart, who is Sales Manager – North for NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, cycled 2108km (1309 miles), climbing more than 14,000 metres, during his epic journey from Bluff at the southern tip of New Zealand’s South Island to Cape Reinga, the northern-most part of the country, to raise funds for the Down’s Syndrome Association (DSA).

His journey was made more arduous as he had to alter his route after two simultaneous major earthquakes struck north of Christchurch closing a number of roads he planned to travel on.

Stuart Bayne taking a rest during his cycle ride around New Zealand

But his fund-raising efforts were rewarded with £23,661.74 being raised for the DSA in the UK and a further $11,627 NZ (£6689.70) for the DSA in New Zealand.

Stuart, a 53-year-old father-of-three, said he is extremely grateful for the level of support that he has received, not only from major sponsors NGK UK and NGK Europe and Australia, but also from many of the company’s customers in all industry sectors, from automotive to horticultural, making specific reference to Key Skills Recruitment (Wellington/Tauranga) in New Zealand and Cobra Garden Machinery for their support.

Marko Wowczyna, Automotive Director, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, said: “On behalf of everyone at NGK I would like to thank all our customers who have supported Stuart. We have been raising funds for the DSA at various events all over the country and have received fantastic backing. I would also like to pay tribute to Stuart himself for surpassing his previous incredible achievement.”

Your Comments

People News

Sad News – Steve Tranter a long career in the aftermarket

Steve Tranter, a long serving Product Manager with CES UK and The Parts Alliance, has died after losing his battle with illness.

He built his career in the aftermarket, which stretched across 40 years.

Steve Tranter

Steve spent 20 years working for CES, a Parts Alliance Group business, latterly moving to a role with The Parts Alliance in Chester for whom he was Product Manager for Emissions.

Steve was widely known for his personality, kindness and above all, his technical expertise. He was willing to share his knowledge and contributed to articles in the automotive aftermarket press.

His first job was as a replenishment officer, later moving high up the career ladder as a Managing Director and Operations Director with different businesses before joining CES.

Away from work Steve liked all things automotive and was also an avid follower of Manchester United.

Steve leaves a partner, Colette, and two children. His funeral will take place on Friday, 10 February at St Thomas’ All Saints Church, Whitby Road Ellesmere Port CH65 6UW at 10.00 a.m., with the Reception afterwards at Whitby Sports & Social Club, Dunkirk Lane (just off Chester Road)
Ellesmere Port CH65 6QF.

Your Comments

First Line adapts to innovative materials

In their pursuit to cut emissions, vehicle manufacturers (VM) are intent on reducing the weight of their vehicles, as a 10% weight saving can lead to an
impressive 6-8% reduction in fuel consumption and subsequently, emissions.

By adopting new materials, VM’s can find some of these weight reductions within steering & suspension components and as the UK’s largest supplier of replacement steering & suspension parts, First Line Ltd is naturally reflecting this original equipment (OE) movement within its range.

Innovative solutions have allowed lighter materials, such as plastics to be used in a far wider range of components. When it comes to load bearing structural elements like engine mounts, steel and aluminium structures have traditionally been used, however, engine mounts with the structural part made from plastics are appearing more regularly on mainstream production vehicles such as on the Vauxhall Astra 09> and on the Vauxhall Vectra 02>09.

In technical terms, the material used is PA66+50GF, which is polyamide reinforced with 50% fibreglass. In addition to weight saving reductions, which can be as much as 35% when compared to steel or aluminium, this material has many benefits such as better load distribution on the axles. Load reduction on the front axles has a positive effect on the driving dynamics and enhances driving safety. Two other benefits come in the form of being resistant to rust and corrosion and they exhibit the same or improved noise, vibration and harshness properties.

When it comes to steering & suspension components, such as stabiliser link bars, which are highly demanding components, new technology is also making its presence felt. In a number of VAG applications for example, carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) is used due to its immense strength to weight ratio.  Although this material is more expensive, VM’s are investing in its development, meaning that premium quality aftermarket suppliers like First Line must follow suit in order to match the OE specifications.

Managing Director of First Line Ltd, Dan Joyner, commented on the change in materials: “There is a danger that the use of plastic in these components may cause technicians to think that they are of less quality and strength, however this is not the case. The plastics used are incredibly strong and have some great advantages compared to aluminium and steel, such as weight reduction and greater comfort and control. CFRP is an expensive material, commonly used in the aerospace industry and for the production of sports cars so it’s move into mainstream automotive manufacturing must offer significant benefits.”

“First Line is renowned for high quality components and we will naturally adapt to the changing OE specifications to continue to provide our customers with the products that give them the widest choice and most suitable repair solution.”

Your Comments

Vehicle Safety Recalls : December 2016

These are the vehicles, parts or accessories recalled by manufacturers for a safety reason during December 2016.

DVSA ref no. Make and model Issue
R/2016/213 Toyota: Prius & RX Airbag may incorrectly deploy
R/2016/227 Infiniti: Q30 & QX30 Rear seat belt may not secure the passenger
R/2016/228 Infiniti: Q30 & QX30 Anchorage point may be incorrectly positioned and may not restrain the passenger
R/2016/241 Citroen: C4 & DS4 Bonnet may open unexpectedly
R/2016/250 Jaguar: XF (2013 to 2015 Model Year Vehicles) Fuel may leak / risk of fire
R/2016/251 Mitsubishi: L200 Airbag may release shrapnel if deployed
R/2016/256 Vauxhall: Vivaro EGR valve pipe may fail
R/2016/257 Volvo Car: S60, S60CC, V60, V60CC, XC90, XC60 & S90 Seatbelt may separate from the buckle
R/2016/259 Mercedes-Benz: Actros, Antos & Arocs Steering may be adversely affected
R/2016/261 Bentley Motor Cars: Bentayga Internal body joints/ fixings may not be torqued to specification
R/2016/262 Fiat: Tipo Steering wheel airbag may fail to deploy correctly
R/2016/265 BMW: F01 (7 Series), F02 (7 Series LWB), F03 (7 Series Security) & F07 (5 Series GT) Front airbags and seat belt tensioners may fail to deploy when needed
R/2016/266 Rolls-Royce: Ghost Front airbags and belt tensioners may not be triggered in a collision
R/2016/269 Mercedes-Benz Bus: Citaro, Connecto, Euro, Intergro, Tourismo & Travego Air may leak
R/2016/270 Mercedes-Benz: S-Class (217) Extended seat belt may malfunction and reduce effectiveness of shoulder belt
R/2016/271 Mercedes-Benz: CLA Shooting Brake (117) Rear seat backrest may collapse in a collision
R/2016/273 Nissan: Note (E12) Wheels may lock if abs is activated
R/2016/275 Mercedes-Benz: E-Class (207) Risk of fire
R/2016/276 Citroen: C4 Picasso (B78) Front suspension may fail
R/2016/277 Citroen: C4 Cactus Bonnet may open unintentionally
R/2016/278 Maserati: Ghibli and Quattroporte Possible loss of control
R/2016/279 Renault: Trafic III Rear axle may detach
R/2016/280 Jeep: Wrangler (JK) – Model Year 2016-2017 Airbag and/or pretensioner may fail to deploy in a collision
R/2016/281 Renault: Clio IV Rear wheel may detach
R/2016/282 Mercedes-Benz: Atego 967 Rear service brake may fail to activate and allow  vehicle to roll backwards
R/2016/284 Volvo Bus: B5TL Possibility of fire
R/2016/286 Porsche: 918 Spyder Loss of steering control
R/2016/287 Van Hool: EX16H, T9 (15,16,17,18), TD9 (20,21,25,27), TDX (21,25,27,29), TX (11,5,16,17,18) Loss of directional control
R/2016/290 Land Rover: Discovery Sport, Range Rover Evoque Steering control may be compromised
R/2016/293 Wrightbus: NBFL & NRM Rear door may open without warning
R/2016/296 Mercedes-Benz: Citaro Maintenance flap glass may detach
R/2016/302 Land Rover: Discovery Sport & Range Rover Evoque Short circuit may occur
R/2016/303 Land Rover: Range Rover, Range Rover Sport & Discovery Sport Seat belt pre-tensioner may not deploy
R/2016/304 Dacia: Sandero & Logan Drivers airbag may not deploy
R/2016/305 Jaguar: XJ Passenger airbag may not deploy
R/2016/307 Land Rover: Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Evoque & All New Discovery Front passenger airbag may not deploy
RCOMP/2016/013 VW: Auto Kit International waterproof seat covers Seat cover may prevent side airbag deployment
RM/2016/042 KTM: 1190S, 1190ADV, 1190R, 1290S, 1290ADV & 1290 R  – (All models up to and including model year 2016) Brakes may fail
RM/2016/045 Yamaha: MTM690 Engine may cut out or lose power
RM/2016/046 Ariel Motor Company: Ace Rear wheel may lock-up
RM/2016/048 KTM: Duke & Duke R Brakes may fail
RM/2016/049 Polaris: Indian – Chief Classic, Chief Darkhorse, Chief Vintage, Chieftain Chieftain Darkhorse, Roadmaster and Springfield Fuel may leak
RSPV/2016/015 Knaus Tabbert GmbH – Boxter & Boxlife Seatbelt may not retract
RSPV/2016/016 Knaus Tabbert GmbH – Skywave, Sky TI, Sun I & Sun TI Window may detach
RSPV/2016/017 Can-Am: Maverick X3 side-by-side vehicles (MY 2017) Steering may lock
RSPV/2016/018 Can-Am: Defender (Side by Side) Gearbox  position display may be incorrect and may lead to roll away

You can check for vehicle, part or accessory recalls or find out more about vehicle recalls and faults by CLICKING HERE.

Your Comments

IAAF member features in New Year’s Honours List

Mukesh Shah, who runs IAAF member Motor Parts Direct, was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List in recognition of his charitable and community service.

Mukesh Shah with HRH The Prince of Wales

Mukesh started from very modest beginnings. Through hard work and with the help of his family, very close friends who have always stuck by him and in business – his staff and business associates, he has made a great success of himself.

In 1989, Mukesh Shah was the victim of a brutal attack by thieves (on his way to deposit business takings to Barclays bank) whereby his leg was severely broken and he was hospitalised for well over 3 months. Fortunately, he recovered but he has had several operations over the years and his injury still plagues him to this day.

In spite of his injury, Mukesh has successfully accomplished three London marathons, completed a one-hundred-mile bike ride, led two trekking expeditions to the Himalayas and encouraged many others to take up these activities to enrich their health and well-being.

He is a devout Jain by religion and a strong believer in the well-being of other less fortunate than him. He has remarkable philanthropic qualities and has for many years helped several thousand blind people in remote parts of India and Kenya to regain their eyesight. Through his family run Charitable Trust (MZ & KZ Shah Foundation) he has helped many unfortunate people suffering from poverty, ill health, old age and severe disability in remote areas of India and Kenya as well as in England.

The Pioneering American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie once set the standard for giving back: “No man can become rich without himself enriching others,” he said. “The man who dies rich dies disgraced.” Mukesh strongly believes in this philosophy.

Within a short period of his trekking expedition to the Everest Base Camp, the entire region suffered a natural calamity in April 2015 bring a lot of suffering to the Nepalese peoples. All the people involved in the trekking expeditions had Nepalese guides and everyone developed a strong affinity towards these hard working people.

Mukesh was deeply touched with this tragedy and he together with the help of his friends set out to collect funds from donors outside of his family so that collectively a substantial fund was built up in an effort to provide long term relief to many of the displaced people of Nepal. This project is ongoing.
Since 1997, the Foundation has contributed to name a few, the following major causes:

  • Supporting eye camp project in Thika, Kenya
  • Funding the acquisition of Opthalmic digital imaging equipment and Yag laser units to various eye hospitals in India
  • Supporting the Amara charitable Trust whose main objective is for the education of children in semi-arid areas of Kenya with an emphasis on building structures providing a long term conducive learning environment
  • Supporting various organisations in India for the advancement of education and the welfare of blind, poor and disabled people in India.
  • Very recently donated for the refurbishment of the assembly halls at the Oshwal Centre in Potters Bar, primarily to support the use of these facilities for the advancement of Jain religion as well as for recreational purposes.

In addition to what the Foundation contributes, Mukesh and his family also directly contribute towards the following projects:

• Funding a school in Songad, Gujarat – this project has been going on for the nearly 7 years.
• Contributions to some poor families both in Kenya and India
• Feeding over 1,500 children every day in India and Kenya

Mukesh now focuses a lot of his time on philanthropy and outdoor activities.

Your Comments

The UK’s biggest aftermarket event set to be even bigger

Automechanika Birmingham has made some new and exciting changes for 2017 and is set to deliver the UK’s biggest automotive event once again from 6th-8th June 2017, NEC Birmingham.

Growing to be 70% bigger than the 2016 event, hosting over 750 quality exhibitors located in a new hall format and offering a packed seminar programme of talks from industry experts on tomorrow’s technologies and aftermarket business challenges, Automechanika Birmingham has confirmed itself as the must attend event of the year.

What’s new for 2017?

The who’s who of the aftermarket & hundreds of new names
Over 550 quality aftermarket exhibitors will present the latest in parts, components, accessories, tools and diagnostic and garage equipment. The list of confirmed exhibitors includes almost all of the major players from the aftermarket: Schaeffler, ZF, JHM Butt, Delphi, Denso, NGK Spark Plugs, Draper Tools, HELLA, Mahle, TEXA, Osram, Mann + Hummel, Bilstein, Yokohama Tyres and many more. Amongst 250 companies exhibiting for the first time at the show are Liqui Moly, Euro Repar Car Service, Yuasa, Devilbiss, Hofmann Megaplan, Milwaukee Tools, Crypton and Comline.

Amongst the companies already confirmed, Bilstein will be promoting first class products from brands Febi, SWAG and Blue Print specialising in products for cars and trucks. Whilst presenting special show offers on their stand, and meeting with new and existing customers, the UK sales team will also be announcing the grand opening of their latest state of the art distribution centre.

Taking a 60% larger stand in 2017, MANN+HUMMEL plan to raise their profile at Automechanika Birmingham 2017 and build on their success from 2016. Helen Nixon, Marketing & Media Coordinator from MANN+HUMMEL says “The MANN-FILTER stand will demonstrate the absolute parity between original equipment filtration supplied by parent company MANN+HUMMEL and its premium MANN-FILTER brand products, so popular in the UK Aftermarket”

Looking forward to the event in 2017, Andy Swann UK and Eire Country Director from Delphi said “Time flies when you’re having fun. And it certainly did at the first-ever Automechanika Birmingham, back in June last year. It was a great show for Delphi! And we can’t wait to go back for more.”

New halls and new layout
Re-locating to halls 6 and 17-20 and following feedback from 2016, the show will adopt an improved hall layout where exhibitors are grouped into dedicated Aftermarket and Supply Chain Zones. The change in format will allow visitors to easily find new and existing suppliers, with 70% from the UK and 30% from abroad, all under one roof.
Enhanced aftermarket seminar programme and new Workshop Training Zone
The large-scale event offers beneficial opportunities to enhance visitors’ industry knowledge, including a packed seminar programme. Over 40 aftermarket sessions and talks from industry experts covering topics such as industry trends, advanced IT and connectivity, business management, skills training and future drives will be presented. New for 2017, a Workshop Training Zone will host Technical Talks and Ask the Expert sessions, presenting the latest in Diagnostics & Connectivity, Battery Technology, Diesel Engines, ADAS, Tyres, and Hybrid & Electric Vehicles.

Visitor registrations open and ahead
Visitor registration opened in early January and was welcomed by a huge number of people registering in the first week.

Simon Albert, Event Director of Automechanika Birmingham, said “Visitor registration has opened and we are already ahead of where we were this time last year. The market speaks for itself, with significantly more exhibitors booked for 2017 and higher visitor registrations; we’re set for a brilliant event in June. ”

Watch the new video here.

Visitors are encouraged to register early to receive fast track entry and to receive the regular show updates and news to help plan their visit. To register free, head to the registration page online: reg.buzz/amb-prj

Your Comments

Valeo announces the successful completion of the Ichikoh takeover bid

Valeo has announced that 32,383,612 Ichikoh shares have been tendered to its offer, which ran from November 24, 2016 to January 12, 2017, at price of JPY 408 per share. As the offer was oversubscribed, the financial intermediaries will reduce the shares to be acquired by Valeo on a prorated basis, by approximately 30.26%.

On settlement of the transaction, scheduled for January 20, 2017, Valeo will hold 55.08% of Ichikoh’s capital and will thus take control of Japan’s leading automotive lighting company, which will remain listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Ichikoh will be fully consolidated by Valeo as from February 1, 2017.

Valeo announced on December 12, 2016 that it had obtained the necessary approvals from the relevant anti-trust authorities to proceed with the transaction.
Valeo and Ichikoh are delighted with the offer’s success and would like to thank the contributing shareholders.

Jacques Aschenbroich, Valeo’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said:
“I am proud to welcome Ichikoh’s 5,300 employees to the Valeo family. Thanks to the takeover of Ichikoh, Valeo is strengthening its relationship with Japanese customers and continuing to expand in Asia – particularly in Japan and Southeast Asia – which will account for nearly a third of Group sales.”

Your Comments