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LowCVP Urban Mobility Challenge Winner: Hugh Frost Designs Ltd

Meet LowCVP winner WeatherVelo at the Sustainable Urban Mobility Seminar - 10 December 2012

To-You and the Freight*Bus concept are based on the premise that there is sufficient overlap between passenger and freight systems to build on and integrate the infrastructures of both - significantly reducing the numbers of both HGVs and parcel vans required on the final leg of a delivery.

The To-You Freight*Bus - Carries freight on existing passenger systems, offering scope to significantly reduce both HGVs and parcel vans on the final leg of a delivery.

Freight*Lift and Cool*Run - Technologies to replace the pallet and transport multi-temperature products. Being developed with RDA and university funding.

Urban Consolidation Centres - Combine with medium and small hubs.

Co-operative franchising - HFD plans to utilise co-operative franchising principles to roll out the system.

Investment opportunities - Are envisaged for independent consortia, franchisees and local government.

Demonstrator development - HFD is searching for an angel investor and collaborative partners to work on a demonstrator project that will be supported by substantial grant aide.

Hugh Frost Designs (HFD) has developed supply chain and logistics concepts based on the premise that there is sufficient overlap between passenger and freight systems to build on and integrate the respective infrastructures of both.

To-You - incorporating Freight*Bus

The company argues that its To-You  system can eliminate the need for HGVs on the final leg of a delivery and can consolidate both inbound and outbound freight. To-You will – in due course – incorporate concepts including Freight*Lift, which replaces the function of the pallet, and Cool*Run, which is incorporated into Freight*Lift to transport multi-temperature products in a vehicle without the need for traditional chillers or an insulated body. Freight*Lift and Cool*Run are early stage, patent-pending technologies, for which funding is being sought to build a full working demonstrator. HFD has received £30,000 in match funding from the RDA and university sources to develop them.

Core to the To-You system is the Freight*Bus concept, which makes use of surplus capacity in a bus during off peak times (10am–2pm and 7pm onwards) for the transport of freight. HFD believes this could make it possible, in conjunction with other technologies, to decrease city road freight vehicles by 20% – and cars by 40% – thereby reducing traffic congestion. The system is also applicable to suburban and rural areas, which suffer from high environmental costs for parcel deliveries – growing at 23% annually.

Freight*Bus will require the development of consolidation centres and cross-docks for freight movement and hubs for passenger and freight delivery/collections – typically linked into existing infrastructure – and better integration of the national rail system with buses. The proposed service offers scope for central and local government to redirect bus subsidy funds to other carbon reduction programmes.

The first Freight*Bus will be a demonstrator, built by converting an existing bus.  However, HFD see a commercial opportunity for a major bus manufacturer to develop a unique product.

Initially there will be outlying Urban Consolidation Centres (UCCs) on the outskirts of cities located on trunk and orbital roads, rail routes, rivers and at airports, with temporary and permanent cross-docks and large hubs located at key intersections of these and other routes. Medium hubs will be based in town centres, bus and rail stations, industrial estates, university campuses, hospitals, etc. Finally, small hubs will be based at retail centres, major bus stops, petrol stations and drive-through locations.

HFD plans to roll out the system utilising co-operative franchising principles and coalitions of indirect bodies and stakeholders to provide rolling stock and traffic. These will include infrastructure organisations in the road, rail, air, tram and river transport sectors, national and local government, and major bus and rail franchisees.

Investment opportunities are envisaged in the form of independent consortia, franchisees, local government/authorities who might invest in infrastructure, operator franchisees, or individual community hubs – as well as landowners who can provide land for consolidation centres, cross-docks and hubs.

Searching for angel investor

A first step will be to undertake a full demonstrator for a twelve month period in a small city with a population of around 200,000. HFD is searching for an early stage angel investor to fund the demonstration stage and – in due course – venture capital equity investors to roll out a fully operational version of the system.



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