JourneyPlan Utility Help Page

Copyright Sollerta 2011

Setting the Units

On navigating to the journeyplan utility, the page opens with the units set to Miles and the currency set to GBP (£). The average speed is set to 43.48 mph which is equivalent to 70 kph.

The average speed can be set to other values by means of the drop down list, which it should be noted gives values in kph. On changing this drop down list, the average speed in mph is changed to the equivalent value

Radio buttons enable the units to be set to kph and the currency to euros, or combinations. There is a drop down list to set the exchange rate GBP to Euro should this be required.

Changes to these units cannot be made at after the truck costs are set, unless either the truck data is cleared, or a new session is started (see below)

Choosing a Vehicle

To choose the vehicle to run, first choose the vehicle type, either rigid or articulated. This enables a second drop down box which allows choice of tonnage. Once this is done, radio buttons are enabled to allow the user to choose between Road Haulage Association (RHA) data and owner source data.

If RHA data is used the costs are automatically calculated in GBP or Euros and Miles or Kilometers, according to the choices made earlier

If owner data is used, clicking the radio button will reveal two input boxes to allow the owner to enter the distance cost or the time cost. These reflect the costs of fuel prices (distance cost) or cost of ownership of the vehicle (time cost)

Distance cost is expressed in GB pence or Eurocents (per mile or per kilometer) and the time cost in GBP or Euros per day

Number of Axles

Whether the RHA or Owner Data option is chosen, the result will also show the number of axles. This is in anticipation of the French eco-taxe which is due to be implemented soon. There will be an extra charge per km depending on the number of axles. This is not yet taken into account in JourneyPlan and we await further information

Verification of Data

If owner data has been entered it is necessary to verify it before proceeding, to ensure that numerical data only has been entered. On verification of the data, the 'Route' button will be made available and the user can proceed to choose the route

If RHA data is chosen, this is automatically verified

Fuel Cost and Driver's Daily Subsistence Cost

Changing the fuel cost will change the the fuel cost parameter and this will change the distance cost. Changing the exchange rate will change the values in Eurocents or Euros appropriately

At this point, there is the option of changing the driver's daily subsistence rate for food, showers etc. In accordance with UK treasury guidelines, it is initially set at £20 per day

Fuel cost, and driver's daily subsistence cost can all be changed at any time before the route is analysed.

Setting the Exit Port and entrance Ports

After the truck parameters have been set, a drop down list is enabled allowing choice of route. There are 6 options

Choosing the route will reveal a set of options in the form of drop down boxes, by which the user can set the exit port and the entrance port(s). some routes allow two sea crossings. For example a route from Dublin to Madrid could be via Cork and Roscoff or Rosslare - Pembroke - Dover - Calais.

Note: A change to the exit port will disable the 'Show Route' button until an entry port is selected.

Setting the Freight Ferry Fare

The utility offers some estimates of freight ferry fare based on spot rates obtained from web sites or by contacting the ferry company. However ferry companies advise that better rates can be obtain by negotiation. If the user has negotiated a fare, this can be entered in the input box by clicking the radio button

Choosing Start Point and Destination

The start and end points to be travelled are entered in the appropriate boxes. When the 'Show Route' button is pressed, the distances to be travelled are calculated by google maps.

It is essential that the point entered in the Start Point Input box is a geographical place recognised by Google Maps. There can be some instances where google maps confuses an European place with its US counterpart and google maps will signal an error. This can be easily rectified by adding the state to the start or end name. For example google often confuses Toledo in Spain with Toledo in the US. So the user needs to enter Toledo, ES which will solve the problem. The utility attempts to guess which state is relevant to the place name. This works best for Great Britain where all place names are UK. But in Ireland Belfast for example is in the UK not the Irish Republic. So a start point or end point Northern Ireland needs the addition ',UK' after it

Once a valid route has be calculated, which is shown on the map, the 'Show distance' button is enabled. Pressing this button reveals the distances and times on the route.

Analysis of the Route

Clicking the 'Show Distances' button then analyses the route and shows the elapsed times and true costs. These are displayed along the side of the map

The route data, including the elapsed time are calculated and displayed in a table. Elapsed time may be different to driving time because the EU driving directive allows only up to 4.5 hours driving after which a rest break of 45 minutes must be taken. After a second spell of 4.5 hours driving, (making 9 hours in toto) a rest period of 11 hours must be taken. If the sea voyage is long enough the time spent at sea can be counted towards the 11 hour rest period.

A visual representation is given of the journey, broken down into drive periods, break periods, rest periods, and the period at sea. This is shown schematically below, where white indicates drive times; grey indicates break times; green, the rest period; blue the sea voyage.



A drive time of perhaps 30 hours and a sea crossing of 1.5 hours can lead to an elapsed time of over 65 hours, once the statutory breaks and rest times are taken into account.

A summary table is displayed at the bottom of the map showing relevant route data and costs

Different routes and start an end dates can be explored and compared, and changes to various parameters can be made. All this constitutes a 'Session'. all sessions have common currency and distance units. If these are to be changed, a new session needs to be invoked by clicking the 'Clear this Session' button at the bottom of the table.

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