Electric HGV’s powered by overhead lines – Is it a possible future?

From this to electrically powered HGV’s?


The link above is to a photo together with a short write up on Flickr but it’s really worth looking at as it could just be a possible future without diesel pollution.

Thinking of the air pollution in and around Bootle due to HGV’s accessing the Port of Liverpool (and of course HGV pollution everywhere else too) this must be looked at as a serious alternative to us all being poisoned by traffic pollution.

My friend Bob, who provided the lead to this posting says – I think the point to stress is that this is still experimental and that there would be a host of road management issues to address such as how overtaking would be organised; how to integrate with existing cars and non electric trucks at motorway junctions. There is also a big debate looming about platooning HGVs using anti collision technologies. It may be that dedicated truck ways are the answer – similar to the Leigh busway- although the trough/ dolly wheel steering guidance system could probably be obsolete by then.

The big plus would be if the existing road from the docks was put into a tunnel – electric trucks would be ideal for underground operation.

Photo credit on Flickr link is to Siemens.

Bootle and indeed elsewhere – Pollution Concerns

I have posted about pollution issues/concerns a number of times previously on this blog site but it is worth remembering that such concerns go back a while. Have a look at this excellent Bootle mural.

It is on a former railway tunnel which is now a pedestrian walkway under Merseyrail’s New Strand Station. I have published photos of many of the other murals in this tunnel on this site and on my Flickr site in recent times.


Click on the photo to enlarge it.

The photo above is amongst those on my Flickr site at:-

Air pollution campaign launched – Sheffield – But what about Bootle?

A campaign has been launched warning people of the dangers of air pollution.

Air Aware in Sheffield also gives people information on what they can do to reduce it. Poor air quality has been blamed for up to 500 premature deaths a year in Sheffield and annual health costs of £160m. Councillor Jack Scott, cabinet member for environment, recycling and street scene on the city’s council, said: “Sheffield aspires to be a city where health inequalities are reduced and air is healthy for all to breathe. It would be great if everybody could use their cars a little less, and cycle or walk a little more. Even giving up the car just one day a week would make a huge difference.”

The Yorkshire Post ran this article but my interest in it goes back to the air pollution issues that I have raised before associated with the docks, Dunningsbridge Road and parts of Bootle generally. My couple of my previous postings are linked below:-



Families at risk of air pollution

The Times newspaper ran this recently:-

New figures from the Government have revealed that people in most towns and cities are being exposed to illegal air pollution. A report submitted to the European Commission showed that the EU’s limit for nitrogen dioxide pollution was exceeded in 38 out of 43 areas of the UK last year. The only five areas to comply with the NO2 limit were: Scottish Borders, Highland, Northern Ireland, Preston, and Blackpool.

A big concern in my book and one that will affect the health of huge numbers of people.

Sulphur limits for fuel used by ships in the Irish Sea

I have recently been raising the issue of pollutants from diesel engines and whilst the thrust of most concerns about such engines is associated with cars and lorries it has to be remembered that here on Merseyside we also have to consider the effects of pollutants from ships visiting the Mersey.

The Mersey - Looking from Bootle over the River to the Wirral

The Mersey – Looking from Bootle over the River to the Wirral

A local environmental campaigner of my acquaintance has been looking in detail at pollutants from ships and he took the matter up with the Government. Below is the text of a letter that details the present and future pollutant levels as they affect the Irish Sea. It makes for interesting reading and my thanks go to Peter Greener of Lydiate for digging into this sooty subject.


Pollutant emissions from ships are regulated by Annex VI to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (commonly known as MARPOL), the latest, revised version of which was adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in October 2008. The Government supports the limits in MARPOL Annex VI, which are designed to improve air quality and result in consequential benefits for public health and for the environment.

The current 1.0 per cent limit for sulphur in marine fuel in waters designated as Emission Control Areas (ECAs), will be replaced with a 0.10 per cent sulphur limit, which will apply from 1 January 2015. Within Europe, the only ECAs are the Baltic Sea and the North Sea (including the English Channel). In order to comply with the 0.10 per cent sulphur limit, ship owners can use low-sulphur fuel or an alternative compliance method, such as using an exhaust gas cleaning system or using an alternative fuel like liquefied natural gas (LNG). Outside the ECAs, the current 3.5 per cent sulphur limit for fuel will be replaced by a 0.5 per cent sulphur limit in 2020 unless the IMO’s review of fuel availability (which must be completed by 2018) indicates that sufficient compliant fuel would not be available, in which case the requirement may be deferred to 2025.

The sulphur provisions contained in MARPOL Annex VI are substantially mirrored in the EU Directive on sulphur content of marine fuels (amending Directive 2012/33/EU) which was adopted in 2012. The main differences with the European rules are that:

• The 0.5 per cent sulphur limit will apply to all ships in European waters operating outside the ECAs, including the Irish Sea, from 1 January 2020 (i.e. this limit will not be deferred until 2025);
• Since 2010, all ships at berth at a port in European waters, for more than 2 hours, have been required to use 0.1 per cent sulphur fuel (or equivalent); and
• Until 31 December 2019, passenger ships on regular services, operating in European waters outside of the ECAs, must use fuel which does not exceed 1.5 per cent sulphur. From 1 January 2020, the sulphur limit will decrease to 0.5 per cent (as it will for all ships in European waters operating outside the ECAs).
Under both MARPOL Annex VI and the EU Directive, there is a provision concerning the non-availability of compliant fuel. If a ship is found to be using non-compliant fuel and can demonstrate that no compliant fuel was available, then a State has discretion to take into account all relevant circumstances and the evidence presented to determine the appropriate action to take, including not taking control measures. In practice however, it is very unlikely that a ship operating outside an ECA will have any difficulty obtaining compliant 3.5 per cent sulphur fuel.
There is nothing to prevent a group of States applying to the IMO to have the adjoining sea to their shoreline designated as a sulphur ECA. When the UK was considering its application (along with all the other adjoining States) to have the North Sea designated as an ECA, the available evidence supported the case for adopting stricter sulphur limits in these waters. Due to the much lower traffic density and lower population density in the Irish Sea and northern UK waters, the Government considers there is less justification for designating these waters as an ECA. Submitting an application for a new ECA, or extending the existing North Sea sulphur ECA so that it encompasses all the seas around the UK would also need the support of the Irish Government.

The photo above is amongst my Flickr shots at:-