Job losses, awards and break-neck speeds; this is a rollercoaster ride

Much has been made of the shocking accident on an Alton Towers’ roller-coaster ride this week. Our reflection on the week’s van industry news likewise has its ups and downs:

  1. Go skippy, a Bristol-based automobile insurance firm, is shipping 150 jobs to South Africa;
  2. Worcester CC maps an award to street information;
  3. an unlicensed, uninsured driver escaped jail after crashing the car he was driving into a Peugeot Boxer.

Van insurance firm enters “period of consultation”

BRISTOL, Monday 1st June, 2015: Staff at a Bristol-based insurance firm have been left gutted by their employers. Upon turning in for work as usual, they were called into an extraordinary meeting.

The company’s founder told the workforce there and then that Go Skippy, the vehicle insurance brand for Eldon Insurance, was trialling running their operations from Africa.

All but a few of the 150-strong workforce, built up from a base of 60 employees when the company launched two years ago, are facing a jobless summer.

Whilst the firm is in “consultation”, the founder Thornbury Arron Banks has placed his workforce on garden leave for a month and a half.

Many of the staff who’ve been with the company since its inception are amongst those in the “significantly reduce[d]” workforce.

Poor results from last year’s business were cited as the reason for the bulk shipping of the jobs to Africa.

35-yr old left with broken neck after A2 collision

CANTERBURY, 3rd June, 2015: a 40-year old has been banned from driving for a year and fined £1,000 for careless driving.

Matthew McShane, then from Gravesend, was driving his in-law’s Seat Leon in treacherous conditions when he careered into a Peugeot Boxer van, sending it into a ditch.

The weather conditions were so bad, there were no actual witnesses to the crash itself, which happened on the A2 near Canterbury in February of last year. That lack of witnesses saw McShane escape jail, the ban and fine his only punishment.

For the driver of the ill-fated Boxer, Christopher Skinner, it was a different story. He was left with multiple injuries, including a broken neck as well as fracturing two ribs and his sternum.

He’s only just returned to work, needing 15-months’ recuperation to recover from the incident. The punishment hardly fits the crime, with the guilty driver since having set up a tattoo parlour in Cornwall.

Worcestershire CC Pick Up Prestigious Gold Award

EDGBASTON, 19th May, 2015: let’s finish with some good news!
On Tuesday 19th May, Worcestershire County Council won the Gold Performance Award for the data it produces and maintains about its street-mapping.

Every van driver will know how critical taking the correct route is to getting to site on time. And it’s information collated by the councils, which it then incorporates into all sorts of subsets of other data, that make coherent maps.

At first glance, you may think keeping street data up-to-date is simple task. But when you read the DoT‘s Delivering the next generation of road mapping for England and Wales document, you’ll see that it’s anything but.

Good roads and less mileage all reduce the wear and tear and even insurance premiums for the UK’s commercial drivers. Congratulations to Worcestershire CC, and let’s hope others follow suit!

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