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Summiteers with stars: Mercedes-Benz Classic will be present at the 8th Arlberg Classic Car Rally from 29th June to 2nd July 2017 with two vehicles from its own dealership ALL TIME STARS. The 1971 280 SE 3.5 and the 1974 350 SLC will be joining the starting line of the alpine regularity rally representing the Laureus Sport for Good Charity. Mercedes-Benz is once again the 2017 automobile partner of the Arlberg Classic Car Rally, which sees the participation of more than 100 classic cars built between 1917 and 1975. The field will be led by racing driver and Brand Ambassador Dieter Glemser in a new Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Cabriolet (fuel consumption combined: 9.3-8.9 l/100 km, combined CO emissions: 218-208 g/km*). STUTTGART, 29-Jun-2017 — /EuropaWire/ — The Arlberg Classic Car Rally, which this year takes place between 29th June and 2nd July 2017, offers spectators fascinating cars against the impressive panorama of the Alps. The regularity rally for pre-1975 cars is characterised by the route through the alpine streets in the spectacular mountainous landscape and the large variety of car makes and models. This concept puts the rally at the highest level for classic cars – consistent with Arlberg, Zugspitze and other prominent alpine summits along the route. The constant nurture of the cultural heritage of classic cars from young timers to pre-war classics is also embodied by ALL TIME STARS, the Mercedes-Benz Classic dealership. Two exclusive sporty ALL TIME STARS vehicles will take part in the 8th Arlberg Classic Car Rally for the Laureus Sport for Good charity. They are likely to be a 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet (W 111) and a 1974 350 SLC (C 107). The classic cars will be driven by Countess Dr Towa-Christina of Bismark, Finance and Foundations expert, skiing legend Christa Kinshofer, Paralympic ski champion Markus Salcher and Paul Schif, Managing Director of Laureus Sport for Good Foundation Germany/Austria, . ALL TIME STARS opened in 2015. The dealership’s stock of Mercedes-Benz Classics ranges from pre-war classics through to young timers. Models from the 1960s and 1980s are particularly popular with customers. ALL TIME STARS ensures maximum transparency by thoroughly examining every vehicle based on 160 criteria, supplemented with a Classic Data assessment. The ALL TIME STARS are technically at least in condition 2, and are categorised into several editions. The Arlberg Classic Car Rally begins on Thursday (29th June 2017) with the traditional prologue through the “Lech Canyon” following a section of road between Lech and Schoppernau which is closed to the public during the rally.This is followed on Friday (30th June 2017) by the “Tyrolean Loop”. This route starts from Lech and climbs over the Hahntennjoch, through the Inn Valley and via the Fernpass. A highlight of the day is the view from the massif of the Zugspitze. On Saturday (1st July 2017) there is the “Castle and Lakes” stage. Locations along this route include Oberammergau, the royal castles in Füssen and the Bregenz Forest. All in all the regularity rally programme includes around 600 km of road with 20 special stages. Only analogue watches can be used for timekeeping in the race where every second counts. Also joining the starting line of the Arlberg Classic Car Rally 2017, in addition to the two ALL TIME STARS cars from Mercedes-Benz Classic, is a current Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Cabriolet (fuel consumption combined: 9.3-8.9 l/100 km, combined CO  emissions: 218-208 g/km). For Mercedes-Benz, this marks the 50th anniversary of its sports and performance cars arm Mercedes-AMG. The exclusive high-performance car will be the pace car in the rally and will be driven by the Mercedes-Benz Brand Ambassador and racing driver Dieter Glemser. In addition, there will be many privately owned classics of the brand with the star on the starting blocks. Since its conception in 2010, the Arlberg Classic Car Rally has been won three times by teams driving Mercedes-Benz classics. The vehicles put forward by ALL TIME STARS in the Arlberg Classic Car Rally 2017 may be subject to change at the last minute. Even when still in production, the luxury “Tail fin” Cabriolets introduced in 1961 had a strong following with their timeless, classic appearance. This is why they remained in the Mercedes-Benz product range when most of the Saloons in the W111 series were replaced by a newly designed model generation in August 1965. With the exception of the missing roof and the necessary body reinforcements, the exclusive Cabriolets match the W 111 Coupés in every detail. In the same year the model 220 Sb was joined by the 300 SE Cabriolet with the additional trim and the technology of the model 300 SE (W 112). The 250 SE followed in 1965, the 280 SE in 1968. In September 1969 the 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet made its appearance as a considerably more powerful version. It was powered by a newly developed 3.5-litre V8 engine delivering 147 kW (200 hp), which excelled with its smooth running characteristics. The ten-year production period of the “Tail fin” Cabriolets came to an end in summer 1971. During this time, Mercedes-Benz built a total of 7013 examples of the W111 and W112-series Cabriolets in Sindelfingen. The 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet from the Collectors Edition of the ALL TIME STARS, which Mercedes-Benz Classic is bringing to the Arlberg Classic Car Rally 2017, comes from a Mercedes-Benz collection. It was delivered in 1971 from the Mercedes-Benz agency in Munich and is painted in metallic blue with a leather interior. Technical specifications of the Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet Production period: 1969-1971 Cylinders: V8 Engine capacity: 3499 cc Output: 147 kW (200 hp) at 5800 rpm Top speed: 205 km/h The SLC Coupés from the C107 series continue the tradition of the S-Class Coupés from Mercedes-Benz. However, they do not have the chassis from the high-end saloons of the time, but rather from the SL sports cars of the R107 series. From these open-top vehicles, the engineers created a four-seater coupé that has a longer wheelbase extended by 360 mm to 2820 mm. The C 107 places emphasis on driving safety. This includes the collision-protected tank built over the rear axle, an extra cushioned dashboard, the new four-spoke steering wheel with impact absorber and wider bolster plate for the best possible impact protection. In addition to the numerous passive safety measures, there are special wind deflectors on the front pillar and profiled rear lights. Both improve vision and visibility. The type 350 SLC was initially introduced in 1971, coming onto the market in 1972. It was followed in the same year by the 450 SLC, then finally in 1974 by the 280 SLC with 2.8-litre injection engine. In 1977 Mercedes-Benz introduced the type 450 SLC 5.0 as the new top-of-the-line model in the C107 series. Contrary to the other SLC Coupés, this vehicle, that came on the market in 1978, did not have a counterpart in the open-top R107 series. In 1980, the SLC Coupés were updated together with the Roadsters; the 450 SLC 5.0 became the 500 SLC – with an engine capacity of 4939 cubic centimetres. At the same time, the new type 380 SLC with 3.8-litre light-alloy engine replaced the 350 SLC. In the ten-year production period some 62,888 examples of the C107-series Mercedes-Benz cars were manufactured. The 350 SLC Coupé from ALL TIME STARS, that Mercedes-Benz Classic is using in the Arlberg Classic Car Rally 2017, was first registered in 1974. The vehicle has passed its MOT, is painted in metallic beige and has a green velour interior. Technical specification of the Mercedes-Benz 350 SLC Production period: 1972 to 1980 Cylinders: V8 Engine capacity: 3499 cubic centimetres (3459 cubic centimetres according to the tax formula) Output: 147 kW (200 hp) at 5800 rpm Top speed: 210 km/h * Further information on the official fuel consumption and the official, specific CO₂ emissions for new passenger cars can be found in the publication “Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch neuer Personenkraftwagen” [“Guidelines on the fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and electricity consumption of new passenger cars”], available free of charge from all showrooms and from the Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH (www.dat.de).


NEWARK, Del., June 26, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Artesian Resources Corporation (NASDAQ:ARTNA), a leading provider of water, wastewater services and related services on the Delmarva Peninsula, announces its principal subsidiary, Artesian Water Company, Inc. has achieved full regionalization of drinking water throughout its growing southern New Castle County service area. In June 2017, Artesian’s transmission and distribution teams completed several critical service connections with new water assets acquired in the Town of Odessa that fully integrate Artesian’s existing water mains into a single regionalized system delivering high-quality water to the Towns of Middletown, Odessa, Townsend and their surrounding communities (known as the MOT area of New Castle County, Delaware). Expanding drinking water service to the Town of Odessa through Artesian’s integrated system realizes an effort over the last three decades to make public water available to all residents in Artesian’s MOT franchise area. “We are pleased to be able to offer our reliable, high-quality water and superior service to this economically vibrant and developing area of southern New Castle County and look forward to meeting future demands through our integrated regional system. The success of our now fully-integrated system in this area of southern New Castle County is a direct result of the strong relationships and valued partnerships we have committed to building with our local leaders, businesses and communities,” said Dian C. Taylor, Chair, President and CEO. Artesian has long maintained a forward-looking focus on strengthening public-private partnerships and integrating its water systems to most reliably serve its customers. “We are pleased to be able to realize the potential that we believe has existed for decades for leveraging public-private partnerships to deliver solutions that ensure high-quality supply, superior service and reliability to our customers and we insist on continuing to lead by example across the Delmarva Peninsula,” said Taylor. About Artesian Resources Artesian Resources Corporation operates as a holding company of wholly-owned subsidiaries offering water, wastewater services and related services on the Delmarva Peninsula.  Artesian Water Company, Inc., the principal subsidiary, is the oldest and largest regulated water utility on the Delmarva Peninsula and has been providing water service since 1905.  Artesian supplies 7.6 billion gallons of water per year through 1,260 miles of water main to approximately 301,000 people.


News Article | June 20, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

UK Automotive Aftermarket, Forecast to 2023, recent research from Frost & Sullivan's Automotive & Transportation Growth Partnership Subscription, provides an overview of the UK automotive aftermarket, including market size and structure. Key trends, growth prospects, and developments are assessed including vehicles in operation (VIO), vehicle ownership, e-retailing, and service providers. New business models and profiles of major aftermarket players such as Euro Car Parts, Parts Alliance, Kwik Fit, and The Rapid Group are covered. To learn more about the UK Automotive Aftermarket and to connect with Frost & Sullivan, please click here: http://frost.ly/1o7. High percentage of old car sales requiring ongoing maintaining to pass yearly ministry of transportation (MOT) requirements; Dominance of IAM caused by a rise in average vehicle age and relatively old VIO; Increased growth in replacement and requirement frequency of parts like tyres, lights, brakes, suspension, parking aids, wipers, and wheel hubs due to age of vehicle, and user interest in new technologies; Demand for PCP finance owing to low monthly repayments, discounts on fleets, and guaranteed future resale of vehicle if conditions of contract are maintained; High penetration of e-retail for automotive parts and services; Service aggregators playing a major role in customer choice of service center because of a price sensitive market; and Rise in original equipment manufacturer e-stores attributed to strong penetration of internet, smart phone usage, and discounted available on online retail. "While independent repairs still represent a large majority of sales and service points within the IAM, growing complexities in vehicle functionality and a lack of available skill set are a key market challenge," noted Monga. "Investing in innovative training methods, tools, equipment, and assistive technologies will be critical to long-term business sustainability." Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today's market participants. For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector and the investment community. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-business-models-and-aging-car-market-boost-uk-automotive-aftermarket-300476446.html


MELVILLE, N.Y., June 20, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Park Electrochemical Corp. (NYSE:PKE) announced the introduction of M-Ply™, a prepreg designed specifically for Radio Frequency (“RF”)/digital hybrid bonding.  M-ply is the newest member of the Meteorwave® Family of materials, as well as the newest addition to Park’s line of Very Low Loss and Ultra Low Loss electronic materials. M-Ply is available globally in multiple fiberglass styles and resin contents. M-Ply is designed to perform very well in Multi-layer RF, Multifunction Antennae, 5G Antennae and Multi-layer PTFE applications. M-Ply prepreg is very well suited for hybrid RF/digital constructions, including bonding PTFE to PTFE and PTFE to digital substrates. It enables combinations of RF circuitry and high speed digital circuitry on the same circuit board. M-Ply provides excellent bonding to PTFE substrates, has a T300 of greater than 120 minutes and offers very tight thickness control. M-Ply also meets NASA outgassing requirements. M-Ply is a member of the UL-designated Meteorwave Family of materials.  It has a UL 94V-0 designation and a 130°C MOT Rating. M-Ply meets IPC-4101/91 and /102 specifications, and is RoHS compliant. For information regarding M-Ply in North and South America, please contact Neltec, Inc. at +1-480-967-5600; for information in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, please contact Neltec SA at +33-562-985290; and for information in Asia and Australia, please contact Nelco Products Pte. Ltd. at +65-686-17117. Certain portions of this news release may be deemed to constitute forward looking statements that are subject to various factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from Park’s expectations. Such factors include, but are not limited to, general conditions in the electronics and aerospace industries, Park’s competitive position, the status of Park’s relationships with its customers, economic conditions in international markets, the cost and availability of raw materials, transportation and utilities, and the various factors set forth in Item 1A “Risk Factors” and under the caption “Factors That May Affect Future Results” after Item 7 of Park’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 26, 2017. Park Electrochemical Corp. is a global advanced materials company which develops and manufactures advanced composite materials, primary and secondary structures and assemblies and low-volume tooling for the aerospace markets and high-technology digital and RF/microwave printed circuit materials principally for the telecommunications and internet infrastructure, enterprise and military markets. The Company’s manufacturing facilities are located in Kansas, Singapore, France, Arizona and California. The Company also maintains R & D facilities in Arizona, Kansas and Singapore. Additional corporation information is available on the Company’s web site at www.parkelectro.com.


News Article | June 20, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.co.uk

"In a fiercely competitive evolving ecosystem, independent aftermarket (IAM) players and franchises must harness available opportunities such as developing mutually beneficial partnerships and tie ups with PCP agencies, tyre companies, telematics and connected car manufacturers to offer better discounts, customer value, and ensure availability of parts on time," said Frost & Sullivan Mobility Program Manager Anuj Monga. UK Automotive Aftermarket, Forecast to 2023, recent research from Frost & Sullivan's Automotive & Transportation Growth Partnership Subscription, provides an overview of the UK automotive aftermarket, including market size and structure. Key trends, growth prospects, and developments are assessed including vehicles in operation (VIO), vehicle ownership, e-retailing, and service providers. New business models and profiles of major aftermarket players such as Euro Car Parts, Parts Alliance, Kwik Fit, and The Rapid Group are covered. To learn more about the UK Automotive Aftermarket and to connect with Frost & Sullivan, please click here: http://frost.ly/1o7. High percentage of old car sales requiring ongoing maintaining to pass yearly ministry of transportation (MOT) requirements; Dominance of IAM caused by a rise in average vehicle age and relatively old VIO; Increased growth in replacement and requirement frequency of parts like tyres, lights, brakes, suspension, parking aids, wipers, and wheel hubs due to age of vehicle, and user interest in new technologies; Demand for PCP finance owing to low monthly repayments, discounts on fleets, and guaranteed future resale of vehicle if conditions of contract are maintained; High penetration of e-retail for automotive parts and services; Service aggregators playing a major role in customer choice of service center because of a price sensitive market; and Rise in original equipment manufacturer e-stores attributed to strong penetration of internet, smart phone usage, and discounted available on online retail. "While independent repairs still represent a large majority of sales and service points within the IAM, growing complexities in vehicle functionality and a lack of available skill set are a key market challenge," noted Monga. "Investing in innovative training methods, tools, equipment, and assistive technologies will be critical to long-term business sustainability." Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today's market participants. For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector and the investment community.


MELVILLE, N.Y., June 22, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Park Electrochemical Corp. (NYSE:PKE) announced the introduction of Meteorwave®3350.  Meteorwave 3350 is a copper-clad laminate designed specifically for Radio Frequency (“RF”) applications requiring a tightly controlled 3.5 Dk. Meteorwave 3350 exhibits the same thermal robustness, ease of processing and CAF resistance as all of the Meteorwave Family of materials, and is compatible with all Meteorwave prepreg styles. In addition, Meteorwave 3350 exhibits very stable Dk and Df over a wide range of frequencies and environmental conditions. Meteorwave 3350 is available globally in multiple laminate thicknesses from 0.002” and up. Meteorwave 3350 performs very well in cellular base station, automotive radar, power amplifier and microwave link applications. Meteorwave 3350 is a member of the UL designated Meteorwave Family of materials.  It has a UL 94V-0 designation and a 130°C MOT Rating.  Meteorwave 3350 meets IPC-4101/91 and /102 specifications and NASA outgassing requirements, and is RoHS compliant. For information regarding Meteorwave 3350, in North and South America, contact Neltec, Inc. at +1-480-967-5600; for information in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, please contact Neltec SA at +33-562-985290; and for information in Asia and Australia, please contact Nelco Products Pte. Ltd. at +65-686-17117. Certain portions of this news release may be deemed to constitute forward looking statements that are subject to various factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from Park’s expectations. Such factors include, but are not limited to, general conditions in the electronics and aerospace industries, Park’s competitive position, the status of Park’s relationships with its customers, economic conditions in international markets, the cost and availability of raw materials, transportation and utilities, and the various factors set forth in Item 1A “Risk Factors” and under the caption “Factors That May Affect Future Results” after Item 7 of Park’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 26, 2017. Park Electrochemical Corp. is a global advanced materials company which develops and manufactures advanced composite materials, primary and secondary structures and assemblies and low-volume tooling for the aerospace markets and high-technology digital and RF/microwave printed circuit materials principally for the telecommunications and internet infrastructure, enterprise and military markets. The Company’s manufacturing facilities are located in Kansas, Singapore, France, Arizona and California. The Company also maintains R & D facilities in Arizona, Kansas and Singapore. Additional corporation information is available on the Company’s web site at www.parkelectro.com.


Kwik Fit has more than 600 centres across the UK offering services including tyres, brakes, exhausts, batteries, MOT testing, car servicing and air conditioning, and also offers a convenient mobile tyre fitting service. “We’re delighted to be working with the UK’s leading fast-fit specialist. Our dedicated organic search teams have a proven ability to deliver tangible results and, with our solid background within the automotive sector, we’re looking forward to a successful collaboration over 2017 and beyond. “We look forward to implementing a winning formula and working together to achieve Kwik Fit’s online objectives.” Located in North West England, Click Consult is a multi award-winning search marketing agency with a focus on organic (SEO) and paid search (PPC), with over 70 professionals employed and with a portfolio of over 60 clients from across the UK, Europe, Americas and Australia. The agency also provides a range of other services, including content marketing, outreach, social media marketing and conversion rate optimisation (CRO), as well as international and multilingual search marketing. Click Consult is a Google AdWords and Microsoft adExcellence certified company, has Google Premier Partner status, and is in the Recommended Agency Register (RAR). As well as winning an FSB Award, Drum Search Award and a Northern eCommerce Award in 2016, Click Consult ranks within both RAR’s and Econsultancy's 'Top 100 Digital Agencies' and Prolific North's 'Top 50 Digital Agencies'.


News Article | October 28, 2016
Site: www.prfire.com

Unlike a new vehicle, fresh from the factory and unloaded off the transporter complete with a manufacturer’s warranty, a used commercial vehicle will usually have travelled tens of thousands of miles humping, carrying and grafting for its previous owners. So regardless of the type of vehicle you are considering purchasing, you can increase your chance of netting a reliable workmate through taking note of the below considerations. Inspect the Bodywork Arguably the most important element to check for when purchasing any used vehicle, is the presence of rust. Although most obvious on wings, doors and bumpers – ensure you also check the wheel arches and at the corners of the windscreen. It’s important to also check not only the vehicle, but the vehicle’s body. This may include tipping bodies, cages and traffic management bodies. During this inspection, you should also consider the following: • Are the panels consistent? • Is there any recorded evidence of an accident? • Does the colour match across all panels? • Is the exhaust in good condition? • Are the tyres legal? • Does the condition of the vehicle match up with the vehicles recorded mileage? Inspect the Suspension Walk around the vehicle and confirm that it is standing level. Press down on each corner of the vehicle, if the shock absorbers are in place then the vehicle will bounce back without a problem. If you have any reservations about the performance of the suspension, view the previous MOT and take the vehicle on a thorough test drive. Inspect the Engine You don’t have to be a mechanic to carry out some simple checks which will confirm the overall condition of the engine and its associated parts. Carry out the following checks: • Search for oil leaks around the engine block • Look for worn, damaged and frayed belts and hoses • Check the oil levels, look for a smooth consistency. Gritty, lumpy or foamy oil could signal underlying problems • When the vehicle is cold, inspect the water levels. A tinge of anti-freeze is fine but keep an eye out for oily traces and low water levels. Learn the History Failing to check three key elements of your new vehicles history is an unnecessary risk, which may cost you in both the long and short term. The three main elements you need to consider are: Clocking In layman’s terms, a vehicle has been clocked if it has had its displayed mileage turned back to increase both its saleability and value. It’s estimated that almost 600,000 vehicles in the UK have been ‘clocked back’ the below information gives you some tips on how to spot this increasingly common problem. • Check MOT Certificates and Service History – The correct mileage is recorded on every single MOT, so review these and ensure there are no odd gaps or periods when the mileage is lower than the previous year. If there aren’t any old MOT’s you can check the details online using the V5c. It is also well worth matching the recorded MOT mileage to the vehicle’s service history documents. • Commercial vehicle interiors are generally built pretty tough, so look out for clear indicators that the mileage and usage may be higher than is claimed. Focus on worn out interior items including steering wheels, seats, pedals and switches. With regards to the exterior, listen out for clunks and bangs which may indicate prematurely worn out bearings and parts. • Test drive some similar models. Through test driving similar models, you can get a real sense of how the vehicle should both drive and perform. Outstanding Finance It could be that the vehicle you are considering purchasing has outstanding finance on it, making it the legal property of the finance company. If this is the case, you can easily come to an agreement with the finance company, and still end up owning the vehicle. Do not however, rely on the seller’s word that they will settle the outstanding balance. Insurance Write Off A history check may reveal that that the vehicle you are viewing has been written off or categorised as a total loss by an insurance company due to damage or theft. Although this doesn’t necessarily mean you should walk away from the vehicle, tell your insurance company about the classification, it won’t affect the yearly premium you pay, however it may affect what your vehicle is worth in the event of a pay-out. Note that you may have some difficulty in re selling a written off vehicle, any potential buyer will share the same reservations you had at the point of purchase. It is also possible that the vehicle will no longer be marketable as part exchange at dealerships. Remember to have a full mechanical inspection carried out to ensure that the repairs have been carried out to a good standard. Never pay full book price for a written off vehicle. CPD Bodies Ltd of Stockton on Tees, North East England, are leaders in Commercial Vehicle Bodybuilding and repairs, specialising in hand built premium quality Truck and Van Bodies. Based in Stockton on Tees in the North East of England, we are accessible to all areas of the UK, offering a pickup and delivery option for our commercial bodybuilder services in dedicated towns and cities across the country. We pride ourselves on fast turnaround times and quality of workmanship regarding traffic management and repairs alike.


News Article | March 2, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

The use of self-employed drivers and pressure to make on-time deliveries are risks to road safety, warn cycling and road safety campaigners. The growth in online shopping and home delivery helped push van traffic in the UK to a new peak in 2016. However, vehicles most used by online delivery drivers, those under 3.5 tonnes, are not subject to the operator licence regulations that apply to larger vehicles, and anyone with a standard driving licence can drive them. Giving evidence to MPs on Tuesday, Siwan Hayward, deputy director of enforcement and on-street operations at Transport for London, admitted that for anyone who drives non HGVs for work, there are not sufficient standards for vehicle safety and driving hours. Campaigners say reported issues involving the delivery companies FedEx and CitySprint illustrate their road safety concerns. Last August, a FedEx driver was implicated in a road traffic incident with a cyclist. After the cyclist contacted the company, a FedEx director accidentally forwarded an internal email in which staff decided not to answer any of his safety procedure questions because he wasn’t considered “high engagement” enough. The safety incident was the second in a week. It came after a FedEx driver was filmed driving on the wrong side of the road, apparently asleep at the wheel. In its corporate brochure FedEx states its support for the road safety initiative Safe Kids Worldwide, yet in the email conversation staff discuss how to tackle what Trevor Hoyle, senior vice president of northern Europe operations, describes as “social media incidents”, rather than safety breaches. The company did not respond to the cyclist’s specific questions, including what driver training was provided. On request, it sent a statement to the Guardian saying the driver had been dismissed following an internal investigation, which identified him as a subcontractor engaged by FedEx. “Road safety is a critical public concern which FedEx takes extremely seriously,” it added in the statement. “FedEx has zero tolerance for such unacceptable conduct and we expect anyone who works for the company to comply fully with all traffic laws and regulations to ensure our roadways are safe.” Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s road safety and legal campaigns officer, said the concern was not about staff being disciplined but whether they were trained to help avoid future safety breaches. “Just dismissing such concerns and hoping they will simply ‘go away’ is to disregard corporate responsibility,” he said. When asked what it was doing, beyond disciplining staff, to avoid a repeat of the two incidents, FedEx directed the Guardian to a page on its website, which referred to “proactive, safety-focused workplace education” and investment in safety equipment and safety standards. Dollimore believes employers who operate and manage vans should adopt an approach similar to heavy goods vehicles operators, who are subject to operator licence regulations, as well as voluntary schemes like FORS (Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme). One self-employed CitySprint driver, who spoke to the Guardian anonymously, says he doesn’t make enough to pay for regular servicing and maintenance of his vehicle, while the CitySprint livery on his van means he can’t get work for other companies. A company is not obliged to train drivers classed as self-employed and, if it does, it risks reclassification by HMRC as an employer, and liability for holiday and sickness pay. “The thing about safety, it’s not about your ability to handle a vehicle, not if we are talking about a van,” said David Davies, executive director of the charity PACTS, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety. “It’s more about your state of mind, the pressure you are under, your professional attitude and those are things that are quite difficult to train; they are part of the company culture. I think it’s more important that companies actively manage the safety of their drivers,” he added. Jay Parmar of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, which leases and maintains around one in six vans on UK roads, says many operators use the MOT as a diagnostic tool, do the minimum to pass and undertake little to no maintenance for the next year even though a working van can travel 20,000 miles in that time. CitySprint says it offers automated MOT checks for fleet vehicles, online and at 41 service centres. If completed online by their self-employed couriers, at least one of these each year must be completed in a service centre. It also says it runs service vehicle checks every three months, examining roadworthiness and fuel efficiency. Campaigners argue the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) needs to start investigating and prosecuting cases of employer negligence. But the HSE denies it has any responsibility for incidents on public roads and says the police or Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, since renamed the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), are responsible. Davies said: “[Police] won’t think: was this guy tired, was he under unrealistic pressures to make delivery slots? If the police refer it to the HSE, they might investigate but they are very unlikely to investigate in a proactive way.” Dollimore says the DVSA deals mainly with tachograph offences. There is, he says, a gaping hole in tackling corporate road safety failures. CitySprint said all its couriers are self-employed, can work as little or often as they like, and are free to turn down work. It says it pays some of the best rates in the industry and tries to maximise driver earnings using smart technology. Sign up to be a Guardian Sustainable Business member and get more stories like this direct to your inbox every week. You can also follow us on Twitter.


News Article | November 18, 2016
Site: www.prnewswire.com

DETROIT, Nov. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Wayne S. Brown, CEO and President of Michigan Opera Theatre, today announced the appointment of Maestro Stephen Lord as Principal Conductor, a newly created position at MOT.  The appointment is effective immediately and will continue through the 2018-...

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