Coeval could save the UK taxpayers more than £23mn a year
The Birmingham-based technology manufacturer, Coeval, is to introduce its Intelligent Warning Systems to British tunnels, bridges, and overhead cables.
In doing so, the company could annually save taxpayers £23mn (US$32mn), as well as enforcing a safer system that could save lives.
The system aims to reduce the likelihood of over-height vehicles colliding with railway bridges and tunnels, through the use of sensors and LED signs.
There were a reported 1,700 cases of these collisions in 2017, according to Network Rail.
“So-called ‘bridge strikes’ continue to cost rail operators, passengers and road users significant time, money and inconvenience with some even proving fatal,” commented Gary Higins, Managing Director of Coeval.
“Even in the last few weeks, there has been four railway bridges hit by overheight vehicles, with each one estimated to cost £14,000 and take roughly 2 hours to clear up.
“Despite several failed attempts to stop the problem, the real answer has been in front of our eyes for over 30 years.”
“Our Overheight Vehicle Detection System doesn’t try to change driver behavior, we prefer to focus on preventing collisions before they happen by taking human error out of the equation.”
“We’ve fitted these systems to the Dartford Tunnel, a number of high profile roads in Edinburgh and in cities in Brazil, Hong Kong, Singapore and Greece. It’s the only solution that works.”
IMF: Variants Can Still Hurt Manufacturing Recovery
After a year of on-and-off manufacturing in the US, UK, and the eurozone, demand for goods surged early last week. Factories set growth records in April and May, suppliers started to recover, and US crude hit its highest price point since pre-COVID. As vaccination efforts immunise much of the US and UK populations, manufacturers are now able to fully ramp up their supply chains. In fact, GDP growth could approach double-digits by 2022.
Now, the ISM productivity measure has surpassed the 50-point mark that separates industry expansion from contraction. Since U.S. president Biden passed his US$1.9tn stimulus package and the UK purchasing managers index (PMI) increased to 65.6, both sides of the Atlantic are facing a much-welcomed manufacturing recovery.
Lingering Concerns Over COVID
Even as Spain, France, Italy, and Germany race to catch up, and mining companies pushed the FTSE 100 index of list shares to a monthly high of 7,129, some say that UK and US markets still suffer from a lack of confidence in raw material supplies. Yes, the Dow Jones has made up its 19,173-point crash of March 2020, and MSCI’s global stock index is at an all-time high.
Yet manufacturers around the world realise that these wins will be short-lived until pandemic supply chain bottlenecks are solved. If we keep the status quo, consumers will pay the price. In April, inflation in Germany reached 2.4%, and across the EU’s 19 member countries, overall prices have increased at an unusual pace. Some ask: Is this true recovery?
IMF: Current Boom Could Falter
Even as Elon Musk tweeted about chip shortages forcing Tesla to raise its prices, UK mining demand skyrocketed; housing markets lifted; and the pound sterling gained value. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), however, cautioned that manufacturing recovery won’t last long if COVID mutates into forms our vaccinations can’t touch. Kristalina Georgieva, Washington’s IMF director, noted that fewer than 1% of African citizens have been vaccinated: “Worldwide access to vaccines offers the best hope for stopping the coronavirus pandemic, saving lives, and securing a broad-based economic recovery”.
Across the globe, manufacturing companies are keeping a watchful eye on new developments in the spread of COVID. Though US FDA officials don’t think we’ll have to “start at square one” with new vaccines, the March 2021 World Economic Outlook states that “high uncertainty” surrounds the projected 6% global growth. Continued manufacturing success will in large part depend on “the path of the pandemic, the effectiveness of policy support, and the evolution of financial conditions”.
Mathias Cormann, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) concurred—without global immunisation, the estimated economic boom expected by 2025 could go kaput. “We need to...pursue an all-out effort to reach the entire world population”, Australia’s finance minister added. US$50bn to end COVID across the world, they imply, is a small investment to restart our economies.