Freight Partnership represented at Newcastle Conference Read More

The Tyne and Wear Freight Partnership was represented at a major European Freight Conference held recently in Newcastle.

Organised by Newrail, the University of Newcastle’s dedicated railway research centre, the Smart Urban Freight Conference 2014 took place on 11th and 12th June 2014.  This unique event brought together several European research projects and industry stakeholders to discuss the following common themes and topics:

Urban Logistics & Transport Operators

Low Emission Vehicle Technologies

Policy Initiatives & Business Models

Urban Logistics as a commercial opportunity

Delegates at Freight Conference

The picture above shows (left to right): Michael Page (Aecom), John Bourn (Regional Transport Team) and Tom Zunder, Manager of the Freight and Logistics Research Group at Newrail

The Partnership’s display stand attracted considerable interest and delegates were able to take away the 2014 Partnership newsletter, hot off the presses, outlining the busy work programme for the current year.  During the Conference proceedings, the Partnership was praised as an exemplar of successful collaborative working between private and public sector bodies with a joint interest in sustainable freight movement.

For more information about Smartfusion, please visit the project website.

Two new FORS Practitioners announced Read More

The Tyne and Wear Freight Partnership is pressing ahead with its successful Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS).  67 companies, operating over 3,000 vehicles in total, are now registered with the scheme.

At a workshop on 28th March, two new FORS Practitioners were recognised.  These are freight managers whose companies are bronze-accredited FORS members and who have attended the entire suite of 9 workshops.

The photograph below shows (L-R) Amanda Old of WA Old & Sons Ltd  and Alan Berry of Border Group, with John Bourn (Tyne and Wear Local Transport Plan Team).

The Tyne and Wear Freight Partnership would like to congratulate the new Practitioners.  Thanks also to Transport for London for sponsoring the workshop. 

Following in Bede’s footsteps on South Tyneside Read More

In an age before the motor car or the railway, the Venerable Bede walked many miles on his monastic travels.  So it was fitting that, on 24th October 2013, schools from across Tyne and Wear came together at Bede’s World in Jarrow to celebrate International Walk to School Month and Living Streets’ smarter crossings campaign.

Seventy children and twenty members of staff from seven schools across Tyne and Wear attended the event at Bede’s World in Jarrow. The schools attending were Hebburn Lakes Primary School, Keelman’s Way School, New York Primary School, St Cuthbert’s RC Primary School, Oakfield Infants School, Atkinson Road Primary School and Holystone Primary School.

Children walking to school

The children took part in four activities throughout the day:  A Farm Tour of Bede’s World,  A walking Treasure Hunt,  a Map-Making workshop and an Interactive Road Safety Quiz. Rachel Taylor from Hebburn Lakes Primary School said: ‘We all really enjoyed your event at Bede’s World and we plan to create a display in school with photographs and the maps we made.  The children really gained a lot from it”.  Vikki Pickup from Holystone Primary School commented: ‘Thank you for organising the recent visit to Bede’s World, the children (and teachers!) had a brilliant day!’

South Tyneside Councillors Allan Kerr and James Foreman also attended the event and were impressed with the level of enthusiasm from all the children in attendance. The event was enjoyed by all who attended, and there was even a surprise visitor at lunch time for the children, with Strider making an appearance!

Going Smarter on the Team Valley Read More

A new rebranded travel centre, Valley Links Travel Hub, has been opened on the Team Valley in Gateshead, giving workers and employers up-do-date travel information and advice on how to get around more sustainably.

Valley Links, which used to be known as teamvalleylinks.com Community Interest Company, was officially opened by Councillor Neil Weatherley,  the Deputy Mayor of Gateshead, and will offer advice to workers based on the Team Valley on everything from car sharing to bus timetables.

The Valley Links Travel Hub is partly funded through Go Smarter to Work, a regional initiative that aims to reduce traffic congestion by getting people to think about other ways of commuting to work.  Reducing congestion helps businesses by reducing delivery times and the costs of missed deadlines and meetings.

A range of support is on offer at the rebranded travel hub, including travel planning for businesses, personalised journey planning for individuals, and discounted travel tickets for public transport.

Valley Links Programme Manager Diane Ward said: “We are a helpful, forward thinking and professional company, with friendly staff and we wanted our brand to reflect this.

“Anyone is welcome to call into the Travel Hub to seek help with their travel requirements. As part of our relaunch, we will soon be selling Go North East travel tickets as well as offering a range of activities and events for the community from our central location.

“We are also working with a growing number of employers on Team Valley to roll out the Go Smarter to Work programme to benefit all those who work, learn, shop or visit Team Valley.”

Opening of Valley Links Travel Hub

Diane Ward and Councillor Weatherley opening the new hub

Councillor Weatherley said: “Valley Links provides practical advice that can help workers make cheaper and greener travel choices. They are a real asset to the Team Valley and are making a difference to the North East economy by reducing car congestion and helping businesses grow.”

You can find out more about what Valley Links can do for your business by visiting their website.

Tyne and Wear now has a Green Light to Work Read More

The Green Light to Work scheme, launched in June 2013 as part of the Go Smarter to Work programme,  now covers the whole of Tyne and Wear. 

John Bourn, from the Go Smarter Core Team, who is project managing the scheme, commented: “The scheme was originally focused on Western Gateshead, the most rural part of Tyne and Wear, and was aimed at helping people in rural communities, with no available transport, to access employment or training opportunities.  Since then, it has become clear that there is demand for the scheme elsewhere in the region, often from residents who have been offered shift work at a time when there is no public transport running.”  

Potential applicants to the scheme will have their travel needs assessed and, if there is no suitable public transport option available, they will be given the chance to hire a scooter or electric bike at low cost.  The scheme will even pay for the cost of training and safety equipment/clothing.

Launch of GLTW scheme

The picture above shows one of the scooters that are available for hire under the scheme, with (left to right) Cllr Gladys Hobson (vice-chair of ITA), John Bourn (Go Smarter Core Team), Cllr John McElroy and Liz Prudhoe (ADAPT).

Councillor John McElroy, Gateshead’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, stated that: “Gateshead Council are strong supporters of Go Smarter and of this new scheme. Helping people – especially young people – find rewarding jobs or training is good for our communities and good for our economy. Green Light to Work will provide them with the means to get there.”

Green Light to Work is delivered by ADAPT (North East), a social enterprise based in Hexham, and the scooters used on the scheme are bought locally, providing further benefits to the regional economy.  If you want to know more about the scheme, please contact Helen from ADAPT on 0845 388 0042.

Full steam ahead for railfreight group Read More

Another well-attended meeting of the Tyne and Wear Freight Partnership’s Rail Partner Group has heard positive news about local plans to promote railfreight.

During the meeting, held at the Great North Museum on 26th November, the Group were updated on the proposals to re-open the Ashington, Blyth and Tyne line to passenger services, improving links between south-east Northumberland and Tyne and Wear.  As well as providing new passenger services, the scheme could also provide scope for increased freight demand at the Port of Blyth.

 Aecom Regional Director Geoff Clarke outlined details of current developments in the railfreight market and there was a fasinating presentation by UK Coal about their current rail interests and future aspirations.

The meeting was kindly facilitated by Newrail, the University of Newcastle’s dedicated railway research centre.   Dr Marin Marinov, Newrail’s Rail Education Group Manager, explained that they are keen to collaborate with the railway industry and local authorities on relevant student research topics.

These are exciting times for railfreight so, if you want to find out more, please visit the Partnership’s website or come along to our next Rail Partner Group meeting, on 20th May 2014 (venue to be confirmed).  Before that, there is a full Partnership meeting on 4th December, at the Tyne and Wear UTMC Centre (Stephenson Building, University of Newcastle).

Railfreight meeting

Dr Marinov with Partnership Chair John Bourn

Freight drivers get on their bikes Read More

A group of freight drivers have exchanged drivers’ cabs for bicycles, as part of a Tyne and Wear Freight Partnership initiative to address the needs of vulnerable road users, such as cyclists.

Cyclists on a road

John Bourn, of the Tyne and Wear LTP Team, commented: “Accidents involving cyclists and goods vehicles have become a major source of concern in London and, as cycling levels rise in this region, it is important to avoid similar problems arising here.”

To help address these concerns, on September 3rd the Partnership organised an event attended by 14 drivers, involving a mixture of classroom-based learning and cycling proficiency training, helping drivers of goods vehicles to understand the perspective of cyclists.

Michael Page of Aecom, who co-ordinated the event, commented: ”The overall consensus was that the course was very enjoyable and very informative. One of the drivers said he had not ridden a bike in 50 years but thoroughly enjoyed the tutoring.”

As well as events such as this, an online pack  for use by operators is available on the Partnership’s website.

The Partnership would like to thank AG Barr plc for hosting the event.

First three FORS Practitioners are recognised Read More

The Tyne and Wear Freight Partnership is pressing ahead with its successful Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS).  47 companies, operating over 3,000 vehicles in total, are now registered with the scheme.

At a workshop on 5th September, the first three FORS Practitioners were recognised.  These are freight managers whose companies are bronze-accredited FORS members and who have attended the entire suite of 9 workshops.

The photograph below shows (L-R) Stuart Smiles (Director, Alex Smiles Limited), Kevin Cobb (Transport Manager, Alex Smiles Limited) and Brendan Green (BAM Nuttall Limited) with their certificates, presented by John Bourn (Tyne and Wear Local Transport Plan Team).

Picture from C-LIEGE Round Table

Tyne and Wear’s FORS scheme is being supported by Transport for London and also forms part of C-LIEGE, an Intelligent Energy Europe project promoting clean and energy efficient freight transport in European cities.

The sole responsibility for the content of this news item lies with the authors. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union. Neither the EACI nor the European Commission are responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.

Rail Newcastle summer school is on right lines Read More

NewRail, a dedicated railway research centre based at the University of Newcastle, has just finished its intensive summer school on rail and logistics.  The feedback collected from the students, professors and guests who participated is excellent.  For 20 full days NewRail scholars worked with 68 students and 20 professors from 3 continents, 19 institutions and 14 nationalities. 13 research groups were formed to develop 13 different rail related research short term projects which were then presented back to the entire summer school.

Topics such as Railway Capacity, Sustainability, Reliability, Typical Rail Vehicles, Unconventional Rail Systems, Safety and Security, Intermodal Transport and ITS, Crashworthiness and ICTs were discussed and scrutinised in detail. Group working and presentation skills were a key component to the success of the Summer School. 

John Bourn from the Tyne and Wear Local Transport Plan Team and Michael Page from Aecom, who helps to manage the Tyne and Wear Freight Partnership, were amongst the panel of experts who quizzed the presenters about their proposals.

Picture of students attending the course

A combination of learning methods, including Lectures, Project-based learning and Technical Visits, as well as Thematic Seminars, have been employed to arm undergraduates with the skills necessary to pursue an employment in rail and logistics. For further information, please contact: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/newrail/education/railnewcastle.htm

The RailNewcastle Summer School, first trialed very successfully in 2012, will be run again in 2014.

Signal is at “go” for Railfreight group Read More

A well-attended meeting of the Tyne and Wear Freight Partnership’s Rail Partner Group heard positive news about local plans to promote railfreight.

The meeting, held at Newcastle Civic Centre on 24th June, was informed that Northumberland County Council are progressing with ambitious plans to re-open the Ashington, Blyth and Tyne line to passenger services, improving links between south-east Northumberland and Tyne and Wear.

The Council has commissioned Network Rail to examine the best options for the scheme which, as well as providing new passenger services, will provide scope for increased freight demand at the Port of Blyth.

Presentation to rail meeting

Aecom Regional Director Geoff Clarke outlines details of current developments in the railfreight market

The Partnership’s Chair John Bourn, from the Tyne and Wear LTP Team, enthused: “There was a real feeling of excitement about the meeting as we heard of the various measures under way to develop the local railfreight market, helping the economy and improving the environment.”

The Rail Partner Group has been set up with the support of the C-LIEGE project, an Intelligent Energy Europe programme aimed at promoting energy efficient Urban Freight Transport.C-LIEGEIEE logo

The sole responsibility for the content of this news item lies with the authors. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union. Neither the EACI nor the European Commission are responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.