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Author Topic: Lorry driver crisis made worse by Covid - Shapps  (Read 3535 times)
PrestburyRoad
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« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2021, 02:29:18 pm »

Quote
Compare and contrast a Greggs at a motorway services with a stop at a Relais Routiers truck stop in France.

Exactly. I mean how could French rustic cuisine hope to compete with a steak bake & sausage roll?

To be fair, I'll put in a good word for Greggs.  On the days when I go into the office I seldom manage to resist their morning offer of coffee & bacon roll for £2.30 and I've always enjoyed with what I've had.  No gourmet food but edible, tasty and good value.
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stuving
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« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2021, 03:01:51 pm »

Of course if even 10% of road freight was transferred to rail, that would somewhat ease truck driver shortages.

And as for working conditions, it cant be that hard to provide properly equipped truck stops. Nothing elaborate is needed, secure parking, preferably with mains electricity hook ups. Basic but clean and reliable toilets and showers. And a few motel type rooms for those without sleeper cabs. Refuse bins and recycling bins. Outdoor seating. A small shop.
It would IMHO (in my humble opinion) be reasonable for the state to provide the land for free, but with the facilities built and run by private operators who could charge for use.

Yes, I was wondering if the RDG(resolve)'s words describing the "we mean green" campaign (or some successor to that) might evolve to claim coping with fewer drivers as a big selling point of rail freight. You know, those are the words no-one bothered to read as they were too busy arguing about imaginary issues of logo use or abuse.
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stuving
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« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2021, 03:45:40 pm »

I have seen TV news reports of two recent "ferroutage" roperations in France, in which needing fewer drivers for long journeys was given as an advantage. However, that could be just a journalist's or marketeer's invention, and might not be what attracts operators to use it at all.

One was about the two existing routes from Perpignan to Calais and Luxembourg, using the system that backs trailers onto wagons at an angle - the top of the wagon pivots with the trailer on it. They were claiming remarkably quick turn-round times, of well under an hour.

Then there is the recent news of the restarting of the "primeurs" train from Perpignan to Rungis market, suspended by SNCF (Societe Nationale des Chemins de fer Francais - French National Railways) last year. The reason given was that the refrigerated wagons needed to be replaced, but the declining usage of the train could not justify the capital cost. The state has provided some kind of revenue guarantee, and tendered for an operator last year, and the renewed service has just started.

Since loading wagons is transshipment it is likely to attract smaller producers who only have part loads anyway; those who can fill a lorry would need to be very close not to find it easier to drive all the way. But various things, of which the lack of willing drivers is one, might alter that. It also appears that this new service will carry containers, though it's not clear how from this report in EuroFruit:
Quote
The Rungis-Perpignan link had been suspended in part due to the dilapidated condition of the wagons. According to the ministry of transport, it represents traffic of approximately 9,000 trucks a year.

A call for expressions of interest was launched by the state in 2020 to select an operator to take responsibility for ensuring the return to service of the primeurs train and to operate it, with Rail Logistics Europe (RLE) winning the project.

RLE's offer is set to combine early-bird train and container transport on the rail motorway along the Le Boulou-Gennevilliers axis, according to the transport ministry. Consisting of 12 wagons, the Perpignan-Rungis line will run at a rate of five connections a week between November and mid-July, Le Monde reported.

In addition, I've just hit upon another rail freight operator with a Perpignan-Calais link using a different loading system (and terminals) for the trailers. This is CargoBeamer, who have terminal at Ashford too, and looks like an independent commercial enterprise (but may not be). Why, you may ask, don't their trains go a lot further up-country? Lack of government bribes, I suspect.

Stop press: this Ashford-Perpignan route only started last week, and (unsurprisingly) involves Eurotunnel as a partner. From RailFreight:
Quote
Cargobeamer connects French intermodal line to UK (United Kingdom)
Published on 17-09-2021 at 06:30


Cargobeamer and Eurotunnel have joined hands to provide a new intermodal service between Ashford in the UK and Perpignan in the south of France. The shuttle runs through the Channel Tunnel and via the new terminal of Cargobeamer in Calais. It is available for all types of trailers.

The service, which will start next week, runs four times per week. In total, the journey takes around 30 hours. This is four hours for crossing the North Sea via the Channel Tunnel, and 24 hours for the overland route through France. The latter route already existed, but is now extended with a link to the UK.
The journey

In an overview of the service, Cargobeamer explains how the journey will be done. “Trailers arrive by train to the terminal in Calais, the shunting to Ashford is done by EuroTunnel. Custom border procedures are carried out on the freight shuttle, by Cargobeamer and Eurotunnel. After arrival in Ashford, the trailers are picked up within 24 hours by the end customer.”

The unique selling point of the service is that it is available for all types of trailers, including non-cranable ones. This is thanks to the Cargobeamer technology, which enables semi-trailers of all types to be lifted on a train. Both Calais and Perpignan are part of their network. Calais is the first terminal that entirely runs on this technology, which makes the process more efficient...
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eXPassenger
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« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2021, 06:05:57 pm »

Quote
The service, which will start next week, runs four times per week. In total, the journey takes around 30 hours. This is four hours for crossing the North Sea via the Channel Tunnel, and 24 hours for the overland route through France. The latter route already existed, but is now extended with a link to the UK (United Kingdom).

Someone needs a geography lesson.
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Electric train
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« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2021, 07:03:28 am »

I have seen TV news reports of two recent "ferroutage" roperations in France, in which needing fewer drivers for long journeys was given as an advantage. However, that could be just a journalist's or marketeer's invention, and might not be what attracts operators to use it at all.

One was about the two existing routes from Perpignan to Calais and Luxembourg, using the system that backs trailers onto wagons at an angle - the top of the wagon pivots with the trailer on it. They were claiming remarkably quick turn-round times, of well under an hour.

Then there is the recent news of the restarting of the "primeurs" train from Perpignan to Rungis market, suspended by SNCF (Societe Nationale des Chemins de fer Francais - French National Railways) last year. The reason given was that the refrigerated wagons needed to be replaced, but the declining usage of the train could not justify the capital cost. The state has provided some kind of revenue guarantee, and tendered for an operator last year, and the renewed service has just started.

Since loading wagons is transshipment it is likely to attract smaller producers who only have part loads anyway; those who can fill a lorry would need to be very close not to find it easier to drive all the way. But various things, of which the lack of willing drivers is one, might alter that. It also appears that this new service will carry containers, though it's not clear how from this report in EuroFruit:
Quote
The Rungis-Perpignan link had been suspended in part due to the dilapidated condition of the wagons. According to the ministry of transport, it represents traffic of approximately 9,000 trucks a year.

A call for expressions of interest was launched by the state in 2020 to select an operator to take responsibility for ensuring the return to service of the primeurs train and to operate it, with Rail Logistics Europe (RLE) winning the project.

RLE's offer is set to combine early-bird train and container transport on the rail motorway along the Le Boulou-Gennevilliers axis, according to the transport ministry. Consisting of 12 wagons, the Perpignan-Rungis line will run at a rate of five connections a week between November and mid-July, Le Monde reported.

In addition, I've just hit upon another rail freight operator with a Perpignan-Calais link using a different loading system (and terminals) for the trailers. This is CargoBeamer, who have terminal at Ashford too, and looks like an independent commercial enterprise (but may not be). Why, you may ask, don't their trains go a lot further up-country? Lack of government bribes, I suspect.

Stop press: this Ashford-Perpignan route only started last week, and (unsurprisingly) involves Eurotunnel as a partner. From RailFreight:
Quote
Cargobeamer connects French intermodal line to UK (United Kingdom)
Published on 17-09-2021 at 06:30


Cargobeamer and Eurotunnel have joined hands to provide a new intermodal service between Ashford in the UK and Perpignan in the south of France. The shuttle runs through the Channel Tunnel and via the new terminal of Cargobeamer in Calais. It is available for all types of trailers.

The service, which will start next week, runs four times per week. In total, the journey takes around 30 hours. This is four hours for crossing the North Sea via the Channel Tunnel, and 24 hours for the overland route through France. The latter route already existed, but is now extended with a link to the UK.
The journey

In an overview of the service, Cargobeamer explains how the journey will be done. “Trailers arrive by train to the terminal in Calais, the shunting to Ashford is done by EuroTunnel. Custom border procedures are carried out on the freight shuttle, by Cargobeamer and Eurotunnel. After arrival in Ashford, the trailers are picked up within 24 hours by the end customer.”

The unique selling point of the service is that it is available for all types of trailers, including non-cranable ones. This is thanks to the Cargobeamer technology, which enables semi-trailers of all types to be lifted on a train. Both Calais and Perpignan are part of their network. Calais is the first terminal that entirely runs on this technology, which makes the process more efficient...

There are advanced plans for Dollands Moor International Freight Yard to accommodate RoRo for HGV trailers, ie no HGV tractor (cab) unit and driver required to travel through the tunnel.

Brexit and then Covid have slowed in the implementation of this scheme.
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JayMac
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« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2021, 08:37:31 am »

So, today we've got a Govt. Minister saying the reserve tanker fleet is being utilised, with civilian drivers. Where exactly are the drivers being magic-ed up from?  Doesn't Mr Kwarteng know there's a driver shortage?

BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page) News - Petrol supply: Reserve fuel tankers on the road to help boost deliveries
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-58729653
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http://www.templecombevillage.uk/station.html

There is a rumour going around that I have found God. I think this is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist. - Sir Terry Pratchett
TaplowGreen
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« Reply #21 on: September 30, 2021, 09:55:11 am »

There are an estimated 54,000 licenses sitting with DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) awaiting processing.

That's potentially a lot more vehicles on the road if the Civil service could get their act together.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #22 on: September 30, 2021, 09:59:18 am »

Industrial action ingoing at the DVLC
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JayMac
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« Reply #23 on: September 30, 2021, 02:15:37 pm »

Industrial action ongoing at the DVLA

FTFY.  Tongue

I found them unbelievably efficient recently. Sold my car recently. Notified DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) online. Got my car tax refund cheque in 5 working days.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2021, 05:05:27 pm by bignosemac » Logged

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stuving
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« Reply #24 on: September 30, 2021, 04:54:49 pm »

It's not just the French doing it - Tesco are also finding every little extra train helps. From the StokeonTrentLive:
Quote
Tesco beats HGV driver shortage by importing fresh produce from Spain by train
UK (United Kingdom)'s biggest retailer has started using a chilled rail service to bring fruit and vegetables into the country from Spain

Supermarket chain Tesco plans to transport goods and produce from Spain by train in a bid to avoid a shortage of HGV drivers.

Chief executive Ken Murphy said the UK's biggest retailer has started using a chilled rail service to bring fruit and vegetables into the country from Spain, helping to cut the number of trucks it has on roads and guarantee deliveries.

Rail services are regularly used to transport goods across Europe by Tesco has stepped up moves to import goods by train. From 65,000 containers a year on rail, Tesco plans to increase that to 90,000 containers by November or December to make sure its shelves are fully-stocked.
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eXPassenger
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« Reply #25 on: September 30, 2021, 05:46:16 pm »

Industrial action ongoing at the DVLA

FTFY.  Tongue

I found them unbelievably efficient recently. Sold my car recently. Notified DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) online. Got my car tax refund cheque in 5 working days.

I think it depends in the degree of automation required.  Mrs XP has just renewed her driving licence and it came back in a week.  I need an eye test and applied last September.  2 weeks ago I received the documentation to book the eye test; I have been without a licence and driving on the strength of a letter from the DVLA for over 12 months and I do not lnow how long they will be after I have had the eye test.
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JayMac
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« Reply #26 on: September 30, 2021, 07:53:59 pm »

... driving on the strength of a letter from the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) for over 12 months...

Wouldn't spectacles be better?
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JayMac
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« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2021, 10:49:33 pm »

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TonyK
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« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2021, 04:24:54 pm »

It's been a while since I last had coke.
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Now, please!
JayMac
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« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2021, 04:30:10 pm »

It's been a while since I last had coke.

Just say no. <sniff>
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