As the rather dramatic picture above shows, road trains are a reality in many places across the globe. While the long and lonely highways in Western Australia may seem a million miles away from the high population density of an island nation such as the UK, we would like to think there are practical takeaways for the start of trials of such vehicles in the UK.
There are many emotional reasons to object to such a trial. The broad business case and environmental case are sound and highlight many positives. While road trains hustle and bustle round the outer perimeter of Australia in inconspicuous manner, they also operate safely in Australia’s major urban areas (Melbourne and Sydney). Our LHV, the Eco-Link, is designed to be more agile than these vehicles and was designed and built for the urbanised landscape of 21st century Britain. Having thought long and hard about the design, we’ve taken and modified many traits from road trains to provide greater safety to British road users.
While the initial feeling of such vehicles may lead to thoughts of intimidating heavy machines, there is no reason to worry. It should be noted that trials of the Eco-Link have been successfully delivered in the Netherlands. Now our vehicle is licensed and working in that country. Holland is a decent comparison as it is a country facing similar problems of congestion and transports many of the same sort of goods as a developed European country (increasingly, our roads are transporting light and bulky items such as toilet roll and other fast moving consumer goods, FMCGs, for supermarkets). Therefore by increasing the length of trailers on the road, less trucks will be needed to move the same cargo. Therefore we hope to reduce carbon emissions by 16% on such loads. Congestion and overcrowded conditions on the road can be easily solved by the introduction of LHVs.
Denby Transport, as the developers of such equipment, would benefit from changes to British law regarding LHVs. However our ideas from the very beginnings of our research are backed up by academic studies on the potential effects of a vehicle in the UK, and, as this study concludes, they more than outweigh the negatives. Moreover, successful trials in continental Europe have shown that the Eco-Link would be a great benefit to the UK.
A trial would allow for such a move to occur. In times where British enterprises should be encouraged to create innovative products and services in a fast changing global landscape the lack of government movement on such a subject is somewhat counter-intuitive.
Let’s start the trial - let reason and practical experience out weigh emotional gesticulation.
More information on the Eco-Link including a Wikipedia article, video on our own website and other entries on our blog can be accessed for further reading. Or please take a minute to read the academic literature!