Scania delivers 730 horsepower V8 tractor unit to Wright Self Drive

Wright Self Drive director said they are involved in a variety of transport operations

Scania has delivered its first series-production of the 730 horsepower Scania V8 tractor unit to Wright Self Drive, a Welshpool, mid-Wales based transport operator.

The vehicle is an R 730 LA6x2MNA trailing-axle model equipped with the new Scania Opticruise gear-selection system and Scania Driver Support.
It is supplied by West Pennine Trucks, the Scania dealer for Powys, Shropshire, Staffordshire and Greater Manchester, and will be maintained by West Pennine Trucks' Oswestry depot.

The interior of the vehicle includes leather seats embossed with Scania V8 logo, wood-effect dashboard, piano black steering wheel, leather centre mat, microwave, fridge-freezer and coffee maker.

Wright Self Drive director Gary Wright said they are involved in a variety of transport operations, much of which is carried out on a sub-contract basis for T Alun Jones of Welshpool, and includes continental fridge work, low-loaders and forestry.

"Power, performance and traction are therefore extremely important to us, hence our decision to opt for the R 730 with a 6x2 wheelplan," Wright said.

"While we already operate a total of five Scania trucks, this is the first one we have purchased new.

"My first impressions are that it's an awesome vehicle with unbelievable power! I'm now looking forward to taking it to Austria for its inaugural run.

There will be two of us travelling together and living in the cab on that job, as my father, Haydn, who founded the business almost 20 years ago, is coming along to see how it performs!"

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Is anyone prepared to solve the NHS funding crisis?

As long as the political taboo on raising taxes endures, the service will be in financial peril. 

It has long been clear that the NHS is in financial ill-health. But today's figures, conveniently delayed until after the Conservative conference, are still stunningly bad. The service ran a deficit of £930m between April and June (greater than the £820m recorded for the whole of the 2014/15 financial year) and is on course for a shortfall of at least £2bn this year - its worst position for a generation. 

Though often described as having been shielded from austerity, owing to its ring-fenced budget, the NHS is enduring the toughest spending settlement in its history. Since 1950, health spending has grown at an average annual rate of 4 per cent, but over the last parliament it rose by just 0.5 per cent. An ageing population, rising treatment costs and the social care crisis all mean that the NHS has to run merely to stand still. The Tories have pledged to provide £10bn more for the service but this still leaves £20bn of efficiency savings required. 

Speculation is now turning to whether George Osborne will provide an emergency injection of funds in the Autumn Statement on 25 November. But the long-term question is whether anyone is prepared to offer a sustainable solution to the crisis. Health experts argue that only a rise in general taxation (income tax, VAT, national insurance), patient charges or a hypothecated "health tax" will secure the future of a universal, high-quality service. But the political taboo against increasing taxes on all but the richest means no politician has ventured into this territory. Shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander has today called for the government to "find money urgently to get through the coming winter months". But the bigger question is whether, under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour is prepared to go beyond sticking-plaster solutions. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.