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Van traffic has nearly DOUBLED in Britain since 1993

van traffic

Van traffic on British roads has increased by almost 100 percent since 1993, according to latest official government figures.

It means that van traffic has reached a record high of 51 billion vehicle miles. Vans now account for 16 percent of all motor vehicle traffic, compared to just 10 percent in 1993.

For context, traffic from cars and taxis is down from 82 percent to 78 percent. The distance covered by cars and taxis has risen by a more controlled 21.4 percent, albeit still to a record high of 255 billion miles.

However, although van traffic is significantly up, the rate of growth appears to be slowing down. 2018 statistics show a 0.9 percent increase from 2017. Car traffic was up just 0.2 percent.

Going further back, van traffic is up 1,143 percent since 1949, with lorries up ‘just’ 119 percent and buses and coaches actually down eight percent.

van traffic uk

Broadly speaking, vans have a similar daily travel pattern to cars, although the afternoon peak for van traffic is between 3pm and 5pm, an hour earlier than cars.

[Insert something here about van drivers clocking off an hour earlier…]

Predictably, the proportion of vans on the road at weekends is generally lower than weekdays, even at peak periods.

Rather than van drivers covering greater distances, the government says the increased traffic is due to growth in the number of licensed vans on the road.

The number rose 88 percent between 1994 and 2018, up from 2.1 to 4.0 million. Meanwhile, the average annual mileage per van has remained stable at around 13,000 miles per year.

‘Particularly worrying’

New Ford Transit

Commenting on the figures, RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “The number of miles travelled on our roads hardly changed in 2018 compared to the previous year, but interestingly, the forms of transport used has.

“Van traffic, despite experiencing slower growth in 2018, still saw a slight increase which sets a new record high.

“Cycling miles also rose and is now 34 percent above what it was 25 years ago, but there has been a continued decline in the number of miles travelled by buses and coaches which is particularly worrying in an age when, as a society, we are trying to get people to use public transport more.”

Crashed Ford van

The most accident-prone van drivers revealed

Crashed Ford van

If you encounter a plumber or heating engineer driving a Ford van, you might want to steer clear: new research has revealed them to be the most accident-prone van drivers on our roads. 

The in-depth analysis, by Moneysupermarket, discovered that more than a quarter (27 percent) of van drivers who have previously claimed for an accident and were at fault drove a Ford.

Meanwhile, plumbing and heating engineers are the biggest culprits, with one in nine of them making a claim as a result of an accident they have caused. So if you’re a plumber with a Ford Transit, this might explain the increase in your insurance premium.

Van driver insurance warning

The research, which is based on a whopping 700,000 insurance quotes, also shows that a wide range of people are now driving vans, including vicars, professional knitters and fish fryers. Although for at least some of them, Moneysupermarket might have a nasty surprise…

Tom Flack, its editor-in-chief, said: “The number of vans on the roads has grown by more than 100,000 over the past five years, but many drivers are unaware that you need a separate van policy – even if you already have existing car insurance.

“This is particularly important if the vehicle is used for commercial purposes, which you must state in the policy. Failing to do so can actually make any claim void in the event of an accident.”

Top five van brands most likely to claim:

  1. Ford – 27 percent
  2. Vauxhall – 17 percent
  3. Volkswagen – 11 percent
  4. Citroen – 8 percent
  5. Mercedes-Benz – 8 pecent

If you’re a vicar with a love of knitting, let us know which van you drive.

Electric van range HALVES when fully-loaded

Electric van range HALVES when fully-loaded

Electric van range HALVES when fully-loaded

Research by a fleet management company has discovered that the electric range of a plug-in van could HALVE when it’s actually used to carry loads.

The study, carried out by Arval, found that a fully-loaded electric van lost more than 85% of its range over a 33.58 mile course. The same van, carrying nothing, lost just 45%.

“This is a great example of the operational factors that fleets looking at operating electric vans may have to consider,” said Arval UK’s commercial vehicle consultant, Eddie Parker.

“The loss of range is significant at almost 50% and shows that, if you were expecting a fully laden EV commercial vehicle to reach anywhere near the stated range, then you would be disappointed.”

The 35.58-mile test route was designed to represent typical van use, says the company, consisting of 16.8% urban road, 32.5% rural, 21.5% carriageway and 29.2% motorway.

The van travelled between 30 and 70mph, driven by the same driver, with the air-con and non-essential electrics turned off.

Despite the worrying research from Arval, Parker says it shouldn’t put people off electric vans entirely.

“We undertook this test in response to requests from customers who were looking to gain an operational understanding of this kind of vehicle.

“The fact is that, in general use, few vans of this type would ever be fully laden. A typical load for most uses would be much nearer the 50% mark, where the loss of range is much less pronounced. For this reason, we believe the study shows that there is a wider application for EVs than may at first have been thought.”

The popular Nissan E-NV200 electric van has an official NEDC range of 106 miles and features a number of features to extend the range – including regenerative braking and an advanced route planner to help pick the most efficient route.

Parker added: “Of course, all vehicles lose range when fully laden. A diesel van with a full payload would typically see its range reduced by around 35%.”

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles

White van danger shock as 1 in 2 FAILS first MOT

Volkswagen Commercial VehiclesNearly half of all vans fail their first MOT, new research from Volkswagen has revealed – a staggering failure rate that has improved by just 1% over the past three years.

The damming statistic points to hard-driven light commercial vehicles being neglected by vehicle operators; and despite awareness of the problem, little seems to be done to rectify it.

VIDEO: How white van man is becoming a new man

As the MOT test is a vehicle safety and roadworthiness assessment, the one-in-two failure rate of three-year old vans also raises significant safety concerns for van drivers and other motorists alike.

There is, however, a sliver of good news in the analysis of official Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency MOT failure statistics by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles: 45% of MOT faults could be avoid through simple regular maintenance.

32% of vans failed for faulty bulbs; 5% failed because of worn tyres, 8% failed because of faulty mirrors, windscreen wipers, washer fluid or illegal number plates.

Another 40% of failures were because of excessive brake and suspension wear that regular maintenance would quickly detect.


Opinion

The fact such straightforward maintenance is not being carried out by vehicle operators, leading to relatively new vans running around with bald tyres, dodgy brakes or worn suspension, is a scandalous statistic the CV industry should be ashamed of.

That it can’t even rectify faults when nudged to by a looming MOT test shows there’s something seriously wrong with how Britain’s van network is operated.

We are all aware of the dangers of dodgy old vans on British roads, and wisely steer clear of them. But vans on a 62-plate registration standing a one-in-two chance of having worn tyres, faulty wipers or duff brakes? That’s shameful.

What’s more, the industry is aware of it yet, over the past three years, appears to have done nothing about it.

The fleet car industry surely wouldn’t put up with this, through fear of public liability or corporate responsibility issues. Why should the CV industry be so very different?

Until something is done, my advice is to give white van man a wide berth – no matter how new the van he’s driving…

Richard Aucock


Trevor Hodgson-Phillips, head of service and parts at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: “News that nearly half of all LCVs on the road are still failing their MOT tests first time round is worrying, especially as these figures have shown no change in the past three years.

“The latest result show us that UK van owners are still risking increased running bills, extended vehicle downtime periods and, potentially, a decrease in the overall resale value of their vehicle by not looking after their van properly.”

He continued: “The road-worthiness of the vehicle is also something that business owners should be thinking about. Should an accident occur and the vehicle deemed to be below standard, company owners could be left facing hefty fines or even prison terms.”

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is trying to do something about it, with a range of fixed-price MOTs and services, plus a service and MOT package costing from £150 +VAT, and also a commitment to visually check for roadworthiness every single LCV brought into a Van Centre.

It’s a start. But there seems to be plenty of more work to be done.

LDV EV80

LDV is back in Britain – with an all-electric van and Lotus-tuned MPV!

LDV EV80LDV has returned to the UK with a range of models including an all-electric green van that promises a 215-mile range, combined with city-friendly zero local emissions. There’s also a surprise all-new MPV that claims input from Lotus.

China’s first all-electric van, the LDV EV80 will launch later this year as the flagship of the reborn LDV range of vans, following its debut at the Commercial Vehicle Show currently underway in Birmingham.

Now owned by China’s SAIC Maxus, the LDV brand collapsed in Britain back in late 2008. It was the last remaining part of the once-great Leyland company, although by then the brand was owned by the Russian GAZ group.

A rescue attempt failed and SAIC acquired the dormant brand in 2010 – and has since restarted production of the familiar LDV Maxus, now called the LDV V80.

LDV V80

It’s the V80 that’s been converted to a full EV, packing a lithium-ion phosphate battery capacity of up to 75 KWh, plus a choice of short- and long-wheelbase panel van configurations and a custom-built chassis cab option.

LDV says the EV80 can be fully recharged in around two hours – faster than rivals such as the Nissan e-NV200 – while other technical specifications are among the most advanced of any commercial vehicle in the world.

Mark Barrett, general manager of LDV UK & Ireland, said: I think it’s safe to say that LDV has demonstrated just how obtainable the future is for a commercial EV vehicle, following today’s EV80 reveal.”

The LDV MPV

LDV also revealed the new G10 panel van, powered by a 2.0-litre turbodiesel offered in both manual and automatic guises.

LDV G10

It’s this panel van that’s given windows and other luxuries to create the new LDV G10 MPV. This is powered by a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine (curiously rated at only 105hp, says the firm) that’s mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox.

LDV G10 MPV

Seating five, seven or nine people, the G10 MPV is well equipped with touchscreen infotainment, rear-view camera, cruise control and Bluetooth. It’s only quoted as having two airbags but LDV says prices will be competitive when they’re released later this year.

LDV G10 MPV

The most fascinating aspect? No less than Lotus has been involved in calibrating the chassis. Whether this means it will handle like no van-derived people carrier before it remains to be seen…

LDV back in the UK

LDV’s return has generated a “phenomenal” response, said Barrett.

“We are well ahead of our forecasts with almost 40 dealers on board, 11 of whom are in the UK with many more signings imminent in the UK and Ireland.

“I think this is indicative of the strength of the new LDV range and spec and the confidence and trust that the market has in the future of the brand, particularly given SAIC’s investment in LDV, which is set to top $2.9bn by 2020.”

The firm is even offering a carrot to those unsure about rediscovering the LDV brand – a five-year warranty, offering coverage up to 160,000 miles, with five years’ free roadside assistance thrown in for good measure.

Ford Transit 2009

Ford Transit van is most-stolen vehicle in the UK

Ford Transit 2009Ford Transit van owners are being warned their vehicles are potentially at increased risk as stolen vehicle recovery firm Tracker reveals the Ford best-seller is the most-stolen vehicle in the UK.

What’s more, only 1 in 3 stolen Transit vans is ever recovered, compared to a national average of more than 1 in 2 cars.

Another van came in second for Britain’s most-stolen vehicles: the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter came in at number two.

Tracker says that many vehicles are not recovered because thieves break them down for spare parts to be individually sold on.

“Whilst Ford Transit vans are the sixth most popular vehicle on the road, they are the most commonly stolen,” said Tracker’s head of Police liaison Andy Barrs.

“This means that the number of Transits stolen is disproportionate to the number of vehicles on the road, which is bad news for sole traders and small businesses who rely on their vehicle for work.”

Tracker figures show 11,000 recorded Ford vehicle thefts in 2015 – and half of these were Transit vans. 10% of them happened in the West Midlands alone, while in West Yorkshire, the total value of stolen Ford Transits was more than £7.5 million.

As for the age of models, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter built between 2013-2015 are particularly at risk, while it’s older Transits built between 2006-2011 that thieves are targeting.

White van

Britain’s white vans top 4 million for the first time

White vanA boom in British new van sales has seen the total number on UK roads top the 4 million mark for the first time, thanks to a combination of business confidence and internet shopping.

There are now 4,007,331 vans in use on British roads, more than 4% more than this time last year – and further new vans sales growth of 1.2% to date this year means 2015’s total of 370,000 new van sales continues to grow in 2016.

In the past four years alone, the total number of vans on British roads has grown by around 400,000.

It’s very good news for the British economy, said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes, as “commercial vehicles have never been more important”.

SMMT Vans on the road 2016

CVs, the SMMT revealed as the 2016 Commercial Vehicle Show opens its doors at Birmingham’s NEC, cover 61 billion miles a year in the UK – and vans account for 45 billion of that (that’s 75%).

Around 3,000 tonnes of goods are transported by road every minute, three times more than rail and water combined.

As the surge in online deliveries continues, so too is the boom in new van sales expected to continue. Luckily, then, there’s a record number of new vans and pickups being launched at this year’s CV show, including models from Citroen, Fiat Professional, Isuzu, Peugeot, Renault and Toyota.

There’s even a blast from the past at the NEC this year – LDV is back in Birmingham, with an Irish importer set to unveil a new V80 van from the now Chinese-owned firm. Even if it does look rather like the old Maxus that used to be sold here…

White van

Britain's white vans top 4 million for the first time

White vanA boom in British new van sales has seen the total number on UK roads top the 4 million mark for the first time, thanks to a combination of business confidence and internet shopping.

There are now 4,007,331 vans in use on British roads, more than 4% more than this time last year – and further new vans sales growth of 1.2% to date this year means 2015’s total of 370,000 new van sales continues to grow in 2016.

In the past four years alone, the total number of vans on British roads has grown by around 400,000.

It’s very good news for the British economy, said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes, as “commercial vehicles have never been more important”.

SMMT Vans on the road 2016

CVs, the SMMT revealed as the 2016 Commercial Vehicle Show opens its doors at Birmingham’s NEC, cover 61 billion miles a year in the UK – and vans account for 45 billion of that (that’s 75%).

Around 3,000 tonnes of goods are transported by road every minute, three times more than rail and water combined.

As the surge in online deliveries continues, so too is the boom in new van sales expected to continue. Luckily, then, there’s a record number of new vans and pickups being launched at this year’s CV show, including models from Citroen, Fiat Professional, Isuzu, Peugeot, Renault and Toyota.

There’s even a blast from the past at the NEC this year – LDV is back in Birmingham, with an Irish importer set to unveil a new V80 van from the now Chinese-owned firm. Even if it does look rather like the old Maxus that used to be sold here…

Manheim celebrates 50 years of the Ford Transit

Manheim celebrates 50 years of the Ford Transit

Manheim celebrates 50 years of the Ford Transit

Auction company Manheim is celebrating 50 years of the Ford Transit, having sold more than 500,000 used examples of the iconic van since its launch in 1965.

The commercial vehicle specialist is running a ‘backbone of Britain’ tour, taking specially-branded Transits around its auctions as part of the van’s anniversary celebrations.

Since records began in 2007, Manheim has sold 84,000 Transits, with a total sales value of more than £425 million. The company estimates that total sales of Transit vans sold at its auctions exceed half a million.

The oldest Ford Transit sold by Manheim since 2007 was a 25-year-old model sporting an E-registration. With only one former owner on the V5, it had covered just 48,000 miles and was snapped up by Manheim’s director of commercial vehicles, James Davis.

Davis said: “The Ford Transit is Britain’s undisputed bestselling van, so we felt it appropriate as the UK’s undisputed number one commercial vehicle auction business to support its 50th birthday celebrations. Whether they are young or old, low-mileage or have been around the clock, demand for the iconic van remains high and we are proud to sell thousands of them to buyers across the UK every year.”

The highest mileage Transit on record to go through Manheim’s auction is a 10-year-old minibus showing 594,499 miles on the clock.

To celebrate the Ford Transit’s 50th birthday, Manheim is holding a fortnight of birthday sale events starting on 3rd August. For each Transit sold, it will donate £10 to charity. The proceeds will be divided between Macmillan Cancer Support and the Manheim foundation.

Ford Transit 2015 Golden Convoy

Online shopping drives growing van sales reveals Ford

Ford Transit 2015 Golden ConvoyVan-dependent businesses contributed £120 billion to the UK economy in 2014 – a rise of 16% on 2010 and a similar amount to the entire Swiss economy.

It’s the growth in online shopping that’s a key driver in the expansion of businesses dependent on vans, says Ford.

The firm commissioned a study from the Centre for Economics and Business Research for the Transit’s 50th year, to find out the economic impact of the van sector it helped create in 1965.

This reports that van-dependent businesses inject more than the UK national deficit into the economy annually, leading Ford of Europe COO Barb Samardzich to comment that people don’t realise just how important vans are for the overall economy.

More so than ever, she believes. “As our economy changes and evolves – with shifts to online shopping for example – demand for Transit is only rising.”

Indeed, the on-going growth in online shopping means Ford van sales are up 27% on a year ago: every 1 in 4 CVs sold in Britain wears a Ford Transit badge (and, with 2.5 million registered in the UK, it’s been the best-selling van every year since its introduction).

In the CEBR also found economic benefits from van usage extends to the tax contribution to public finances.

British van drivers drove 64 billion miles last year, for example, a rise of 20% on 2008.

Fuel duty contribution to the UK economy? A cool £5 billion…

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