Category: Cheshire

Reference Library – Local Blogs – Cheshire

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Biker avoids death in M20 crash by flinging himself from his motorcycle

Motorway travellers had a miracle escape when a lorry hit a bridge and brought it crashing [1] down. A biker avoided death or even serious injury by hurling himself off his motorcycle as debris weighing hundreds of tons rained on to the busy M20. An HGV was torn to shreds by falling concrete and metal from the pedestrian footbridge, while terrified drivers had to swerve to evade disaster. Holiday traffic [2] tailbacks stretching to 15 miles built up in both directions in Kent and each three-lane carriageway was closed, leading to delays of up to six hours on Britain s busiest day on the roads. Video loading [3] Watch this video again Watch Next Click to play Tap to play The Live Event you are trying to watch is either unavailable or has not started Please refresh this page in your browser to reload this live event video Shocked motorists described the horrifying moment they saw the bridge collapse in front of them as it was struck by the arm of a huge digger being carried on the back of a lorry. Lecturer Alex Magaisa, 41, driving to Gatwick Airport [4] with his wife and two young sons, said he was overtaking the truck just as the chaos unfolded. My instinct was just to drive through and I had to manoeuvre through the debris, said Dr Magaisa, from the University of Kent. i-Images The biker flung himself from his bike It was a big shock. It s only just starting to sink in now what might have happened. “We were right in the line of fire and we could have been crushed. An air ambulance and several road ambulances raced to the scene between junctions 3 and 4 of the westbound carriageway near Maidstone along with firefighters and police [5] just after midday. Alamy Bank Holiday week end traffic seen going south bound on M5 from Gordano services The emergency crews were amazed to find that the motorcyclist was the only victim and that he had not suffered life-threatening injuries. The biker, 50, was treated for suspected broken ribs. Officers eased the growing traffic snarl-up by removing crash barriers, allowing drivers to turn around and go back in the direction they came from. Sky News The scene on the M20 motorway in Kent, United Kingdom after a bridge collapsed onto a lorry The M20 was then shut and was expected to remain closed till at least noon on Sunday. Driver Sonny Gladdish said he was a few cars behind the lorry carrying the digger and saw it travelling on the hard shoulder before it rammed the bridge. Read More He went on: I heard a loud bang and saw a motorcyclist throw himself off his bike to avoid the impact. Bridge collapses on M20 Witness Kelly Conners, of Aylesham, was in a car with her 18-month-old child at the time. She said: My partner yelled, Look at the bridge, it s falling down . We could have been under all that debris. Some motorists tried to halt the traffic on the M20 s eastbound carriageway as they feared the bridge might collapse on that carriageway too. PA The scene on the M20 after a lorry hit a motorway bridge The footbridge had been blocked off to the public for some time and was apparently undergoing repairs. Also a man leapt to his death from a bridge over the M5. The northbound slip road at junction 10 near Cheltenham, Glos, shut for hours afterwards. Read More Queues up to 50 miles long built up elsewhere on the motorway as families streamed towards the West Country beaches. Its volume of traffic was said to be double the level 12 months ago. PA The scene on the M20 after a lorry hit a motorway bridge About 13 million cars were expected on the roads for the bank holiday weekend twice a normal weekend s amount. National tourism agency VisitEngland said an estimated 5.1 million people were taking a break within the UK this weekend, generating about 1.3billion for the economy. Others streamed to a string of music festivals. They included Reading, Leeds, CarFest South in Hampshire and also Creamfields in Cheshire, where an unidentified man aged 26 from Cornwall was found dead on Friday night. His death sparked a police warning about the dangers of illegal drugs. Flynet General views of the horrific scene on the M20 in Maidstone, Kent Many drivers heading off for holidays abroad added to the huge quantities of road traffic. Travel organisation Abta estimated two million Britons would be flying out from airports across the country including extra-busy Gatwick and Heathrow between Friday and tomorrow. Experts said bank holiday road hotspots to avoid included sections of the M25, M6, M4 and M27. In addition coach operator National Express was expecting its busiest weekend of the year, with hundreds of thousands of customers. Families flee the scene of the collapse in the M20 But the company said every one of its full coaches takes a mile of traffic off the roads. On the railways, travellers faced problems from nearly 1,000 engineering projects across the network with some lines closed. Network Rail said: We carry out larger upgrades over bank holidays when there are fewer passengers travelling. A mixed bag of weather covered Britain. Downpours from a storm forced the Swindon Town v Bristol Rovers League One football game in Wiltshire to be abandoned after an hour. Video loading [6] Watch this video again Watch Next Click to play Tap to play The Live Event you are trying to watch is either unavailable or has not started Please refresh this page in your browser to reload this live event video But just 100 miles away thousands of people packed south coast beaches like Brighton amid brilliant sunshine. The Met Office said there would be a mixed bag of weekend weather, with most areas seeing plenty of sun but with the possibility of some cloud and thundery showers. It predicted scattered, light showers and sunny spells for most people across the country on bank holiday Monday. References ^ crashing (www.mirror.co.uk) ^ traffic (www.mirror.co.uk) ^ Women films horrifying scene where M20 bridge has collapsed causing serious injuries (www.mirror.co.uk) ^ Gatwick Airport (www.mirror.co.uk) ^ police (www.mirror.co.uk) ^ M20 bridge collapse: Horror as walkway comes down on top of vehicles during Bank Holiday getaway (www.mirror.co.uk)

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Hapless lorry driver DESTROYS garden fence after getting trapped in quiet cul-de-sac

A lorry driver found herself in a tight spot when she tried to manoeuvre her HGV out of a tiny cul-de-sac – with disastrous results. Video footage taken by a passer-by shows the articulated lorry [1] crushing a woman’s garden fence as the shocked resident looks on in anguish. With half the fence already destroyed, the driver continues to reverse back into the perimeter, taking out a road sign in the process. Read More The distraught resident whose fence is being demolished shouts to the man filming: “You got photographs of this? “Look at the damage she’s doing!” Mercury Press The lorry reverses backwards into the garden fence The man who filmed the incident said the driver even got out of her cab to assess the damage – before jumping back in and continuing to ruin the street scene in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, on Monday. The witness, who did not want to give their name, said: “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Read More “There’s an industrial estate further down the road I think the sat navs are sending drivers down here, but we’ve never had anything that big down here before. Mercury Press The driver also takes out a street sign in the process “I tried talking to her when she got out of the cab but she didn’t seem to speak English and just got back in and kept going. “After trying to help guide her I recorded it so the woman had proof of what happened.” Read More After becoming firmly wedged in the fence, police were called and the red-faced driver’s lorry was cut free by a workman. A Cheshire Police [2] spokesman said: “The officer arrived but had very little involvement in helping free the lorry, it was more of a community effort. Mercury Press The owner of the fence watched in horror as the driver demolished her garden perimeter “One of the residents was also an HGV driver themselves he helped get the driver out after cutting away some of the fencing on the damaged property to allow more room for manoeuvring.” A spokesperson for lorry firm Waberer’s International said: “Our driver intermediately informed the coordinator about this unfortunate accident, and the right steps were taken, regarding to this case. Read More “We would also like to highlight the fact, that Waberer’s International provides educational occasions in every year for all the employed drivers, where they can refresh their driving-knowledge. Mercury Press It is believed the driver may have been looking for a nearby industrial estate Mercury Press One witness said lorries are occasionally misdirected to the cul-de-sac by their sat navs “We take driving risks very seriously, therefore we also provide opportunity to improve their driving skills in so called ‘Driving technique safety centres’, where they can experience and learn the techniques required for driving in harsh weather or in low visibility, and in other dangerous conditions. “Several hundreds of our drivers already participated in such training, and collected many invaluable experiences. “Waberer’s International has a total of more than 3.400 own asset trucks, and we are present in the United Kingdom with an average of 1,400 loadings weekly, and most of these are executed without any problem.” References ^ articulated lorry (www.mirror.co.uk) ^ Cheshire Police (www.mirror.co.uk)

Mercedes-Benz Actros wins Boughey Distribution’s four-way shootout 0

Mercedes-Benz Actros wins Boughey Distribution’s four-way shootout

A comprehensive three-month trial of trucks by four manufacturers ended with a decision by Cheshire-based Boughey Distribution [1] to replace its fleet of tractor units with 100 new Mercedes-Benz Actros. The order went to Dealer Roanza Truck & Van, which has already supplied the first 25 trucks. All are Actros 2545 models with BigSpace cabs. Their 330 kW (449 hp) engines are from the second-generation 12.8-litre, six-cylinder OM471 range which features a raft of improvements designed to boost economy, including updated turbochargers and revised injection systems. They drive through smooth, efficient Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated transmissions. The evaluation involved a fuel-efficiency comparison but, as Group Fleet Engineer Paul Brimelow affirmed, this was only part of the story. The most economical truck in the world is no good if the manufacturer s network cannot support it, he said. So while the Actros returned the best fuel figures we had to be sure the back-up will be there when we need it too. Roanza and Mercedes-Benz displayed a highly professional and flexible approach, putting together a package that meets our needs perfectly. I have every faith they ll keep our business moving. The initial fuel trial was carried out to exacting standards, with each manufacturer supplying a vehicle equipped with telematics, and a driver-trainer. The trucks were then sent out on a predetermined route from the operator s headquarters near Nantwich, with four identical and equally-loaded trailers, first with the expert at the wheel and a Boughey driver observing, and then with the roles reversed. But the process did not end there. For the next 12 weeks the trucks were put to work, with the four drivers taking turns in each vehicle. Results were then compared, both between the four trucks and with the operator s established fleet. The Actros delivered the best overall fuel performance, and by a margin, recalled Mr Brimelow. Not only was it the most economical of the contenders, but it was also the most consistent, with smaller variations between the different drivers. When we crunched the numbers it was a clear winner in terms of whole-life cost. We looked at other factors too, he continued. Our drivers had very good things to say about the Actros and the trucks certainly look smart in our livery, while the support package gives us everything we need. Boughey Distribution maintains its fleet in-house but Roanza has supplied training and diagnostic equipment for the operator s technicians, as well as installing an imprest parts stock which is managed on site by one of its qualified partsmen. The Dealer has been very willing to work with us and we re delighted with this arrangement, which will help to keep our workshop flowing smoothly, added Mr Brimelow. The whole approach from Roanza has been very impressive sales executive Dawn Wilson-Smith worked very hard to put this package together and the input from driver-trainers Chris Cooper and James Green is helping to deliver fuel returns which are still improving. Among the Boughey Distribution drivers to be handed the keys to a new Actros is Gareth Bell, who is also a prolific user of social media. Using the Twitter handle @RhosneigrGaz he has posted photographs of his Mercedes-Benz FleetBoard telematics results showing an average of over 12 mpg while running at 31 tonnes gcw, and 15.6 mpg empty. I can honestly say I love this machine, he tweeted. Makes my working day a lot easier! Boughey Distribution has a diverse client base but has built a reputation for excellence in the ambient grocery sector, working for some of the UK s largest retailers. It is also a member of the Palletline network. In addition to its tractor fleet, the company operates more than 200 trailers and 900,000 sq ft of warehousing. References ^ Boughey Distribution (www.boughey.co.uk)