Our work as specialist trailer hire providers means we come across numerous important new stories.

We’ve brought together some of the most important transport and haulage stories from 2019 in this article.

Transport News


New trailers available for hire


The Leeds Trailers team has seen a busy year.

Our growth plans include adding new curtainsiders to the Leeds Trailers hire fleet.

Highlights include the Montracon curtainsiders and Boally curtain trailers. Since both of these hire options are proving popular, we recommend clients call our team on 01924 420 646 to enquire in advance.


Congestion Charges across the UK


At the time of writing, London, Leeds, Glasgow, Birmingham and Bristol all have CAZ plans in place. Other cities—including Derby, Nottingham and Southampton—have opted for alternative measures, such as traffic management.

You can learn more about congestion charges by reading our article on congestion charges in Leeds and across the UK.

However, since then there have been a number of key developments.

Bristol has decided to ban diesel vehicles from inner-city areas. That said, though the government has received the plans, the ban will not come into force until 2021 and may see minor amendments.

Leeds taxi drivers are concerned about the city’s CAZ plans. While over 2,000 drivers applied for help to buy CAZ-exempt vehicles, only 30 received the necessary loans. £23 million have been earmarked to help businesses adapt, with new vehicles covered by this money.


FTA launches jargon-free HGV brake testing guide


To help drivers cut through engineering jargon, the FTA has launched a new guide for brake testing. The FTA has said the new guide will help readers understand how to calculate brake performance, and anything else they should look out for.

Phil Lloyd, the FTA’s head of engineering and vehicle standards policy, said that “Transport managers without an engineering background should understand that even though a report says ‘pass’ there may still be issues that need to be considered.”

Aerospace News


Bombardier in Belfast


Bombardier has submitted plans for a major expansion of its Belfast factory.

The vehicle manufacturer employs over 3,600 people in Northern Ireland. Their proposed expansion would increase the factory’s capacity by approximately 60%.

According to Bombardier, the expansion will cover 333,000 square feet and increase the capacity of its A220 wing manufacturing programme. It will also sustain 1,000 jobs in Belfast, and a further 2,000 across the UK’s supply chain.


United Airlines order boosts Airbus 


United Airlines has ordered 50 Airbus A321XLR aircraft in a £5.4 billion deal. The UK manufactures wings for these aircraft, with Airbus employing over 13,000 people to manufacture them. There are also 110,000 Airbus employees working in the UK industry supply chain.

United Airlines plans to take delivery of the first A321XLR in 2024. The aircraft will begin international service in 2025, and is the next evolutionary step in its family.

It meets a market need for aircraft that can fly longer and carry more weight, and enables commercially viable services on longer routes than any similar model.

Construction News


Modular Housing


Earlier this year, we took a closer look at the impact of modular housing on domestic construction projects. Since then, we’ve seen further developments in the prefab construction industry.

UK insurer Legal & General has joined forces with 14 housing associations to build 3,000 affordable homes each year. It aims to achieve this target across the UK by 2022.

Legal & General has become a major force in the UK housebuilding sector over the last few years. It has seen particular success in build-to-rent as renting becomes more commonplace.


British Steel

In our autumn steel news roundup, we reported on the latest buy-out news from British Steel. Business secretary Andrea Leadsom has reassured the steel industry that back-up buyers are available, should the deal with Chinese film Jingye falls through.

 The Insolvency Service confirmed Jingye would buy British Steel’s plant in Scunthorpe. The Chinese company also bought British Steel’s assets in Teeside and France, for a total cost of £50 million.

Jingye said they would invest £1.2 billion in the company in an effort to improve its environmental credentials.

It is hoped that the purchase will save 4,000 UK jobs.


Public Sector


Construction company Willmott Dixon has been awarded a £19 million contract for a new secondary academy school in Birmingham.

The company has extensive experience with education projects in Birmingham.

The new school has been designed by architecture film CPMG Architects, and features a wide range of facilities. These include a sports hall, two full-size football pitches and a pupil drop-off area.

The school will accommodate 900 pupils, as well as 250 sixth-form students.


£300 million coming to Leeds 


Leeds has seen a key ceremony to commemorate construction on a £300 million redevelopment scheme. The New York Square development will turn the Quarry Hill car park into a multipurpose neighbourhood with housing, public spaces and other amenities.

The scheme has been designed by award-winning firm DLG Architects.

A total of 515 build-to-rent apartments will be constructed across two blocks, which will be named after local Leeds figures.

Supply Chain and Logistics News


National Manufacturing Institute plans submitted


A planning application has been submitted for National Manufacturing Institute Scotland. Also known as the NMIS, it will act as an international hub of manufacturing expertise.

The institute is a joint partnership between the Scottish government, the University of Strathclyde and Renfrewshire Council.

Its premises will include the Lightweight Manufacturing Centre (LMC) and Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC).

The design team is being led by Glasgow-based HLM Architects, and includes Waterman civil and structural engineers, Davie & McCulloch building services engineers, and Robinson Low Francis LLP cost managers.


Wind farm set for expansion


A wind farm worth £1 billion and situated off the Sussex coast—which has been dormant for several weeks—could be expanded in the near future. Known as the Rampion project, the farm has been dormant since the 26th of October 2019 due to an electrical fault.

The wind farm is currently situated between Brighton and Worthing, and provides power for about 350,000 homes. If the farm expands, it may reach as far as Bognor Regis.

The government has announced a new £100 million fund for companies, which we discussed in our Supply Chain News Roundup.


Eddie Stobart future uncertain but not done yet


Eddie Stobart Logistics has seen a reprieve from its former owners after shareholders voted for a cash injection. DouglasBay Capital has provided a £55 million loan in exchange for a 51% stake in the company.

The injection follows a precarious time for Eddie Stobart after it reported losses of £12 million.


The future is electric and automatic


 The UK could make one billion tons of emissions savings, if suppliers to 125 of the world’s largest companies increase their use of renewable energy by 20 percentage points.

● A survey by CDP Global—an international non-profit organisation—found that on average, renewable energy makes up 11% of the energy needs for large corporate buyers.

To avoid falling behind competition, UK manufacturers must focus on automation in 2020.

The UK is the only G7 country with a robot density below the world’s average—reportedly, we have just 74 units per 10,000 workers.

Tom Bouchier—UK managing director of robotics group FANUC—argues that while automation is seen as too expensive, Germany’s productivity (30% more productive per hour than the UK) suggests not automating is worse.


Aston Martin Lagonda opens new factory 


Aston Martin Lagonda has opened a new manufacturing facility at St Athan in Wales.

Full production will begin in the second quarter of 2020, with 750 jobs at peak production.

The new Welsh workforce began working with Aston Martin at its headquarters in Gaydon, where they built D11s. Now, the core group of experts in this workforce are training St Athan employees.

The new manufacturing facility will produce DBX SUVs from the second quarter of 2020. It joins other manufacturing facilities in Wellesborne and Newport Pagnell.

Saying goodbye to 2019


We’d like to wish all of our customers a happy holiday season and a Happy New Year. We hope you have a good start to 2020. 

If you have any specialist trailer needs, remember that Leeds Trailers has specialist HGV trailers. We cater for and support specialist clients working in a variety of industries including construction, aerospace, haulage and supply chain. View our complete selection of hire trailers (including box trailers, flats, curtainsiders and extendable trailer hire) on our Trailer Hire page.

If you have any other questions or enquiries, you can ring us on 01924 420 646 or fill in our online contact form here.