Wide area 20 mph zones are a waste of money?
22 August 2012
The Association of British Drivers (ABD) deplores the call by some Liberal Democrats to impose a 20-mph speed limit in all residential areas, effectively replacing the 30 limit by 20.
The ABD suggests there is no evidence that this will have any benefit in reducing injuries and deaths from road traffic accidents, while it will impose very substantial costs to both implement this change and in on-going costs imposed on drivers because of the increased travel times that would result.
ABD chairman Brian Gregory had this to say: "As with most pet road safety ideas proposed by amateur enthusiasts - speed humps, speed cameras, etc, - there is little attempt to collect scientifically sound evidence of the benefit of such ideas. No proper controlled, "double-blind" trials are undertaken. The enthusiasts rely on the strength of their rhetoric and the use of selective data to make their case. Don't be fooled by these methods but look at the facts. And remember that all road safety schemes should be cost justified because if there are better things to spend the money on, then that is where the limited funds should be spent".
The ABD suggests that instead of wasting money on this idea, any cash available would be better spent on other road safety projects because it is likely to result in much better returns on the investment.
TfL praised for Games transport
16 August 2012
An efficient logistic network is key to the success of an event of any size but, with the eyes of the world focussing on the London for two weeks, thorough planning and preparation resulted in little disruption to freight services across the capital, reports the Road Haulage Association (RHA).
"This, without doubt, was down to the hard work of Transport for London," said RHA chief executive Geoff Dunning. "Whether by public transport or use of the Olympic Route Network, they certainly fulfilled their task of keeping London moving and it's good to know that based on the past two weeks, the Paralympics will run equally smoothly.
The RHA also congratulated all the transport operators, transport managers and the HGV drivers involved in delivering the 2012 Olympics; their contribution made the whole two weeks of games and events possible.
"It is inevitable that any large occasion will have its logistical pitfalls. However, I am absolutely thrilled that an event of this magnitude was delivered on time and without any discernible problem,” added Dunning. "Trucks played such a massive, if silent part in the success of 2012 that it was with immense pride we saw their contribution recognised at the beginning of last night's closing ceremony. London 2012 has proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt that UK hauliers really do deliver. Without them, and the help and assistance from TfL, this massive success for Great Britain would not have been half as great.”
Motor industry gears-up for September plate-change
16 August 2012
Industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) expects around 330,000 new cars to be registered during September, with motorists spending in the region of £4.95 billion on the latest new vehicles.
September is the second biggest month for dealers across the UK and accounts for almost a fifth of the year's trade, with the other plate-change month of March traditionally the busiest. More than 300 fuel-efficient, technology-packed models are currently on the market, representing one of the biggest ever choices for UK motorists.
"September is a significant month for the UK motor industry and the wider economy. A strong month for new vehicle registrations will help put both on the right track," said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. "Franchised dealers have a fantastic range of exciting new models on offer, each with enhanced levels of fuel efficiency, safety, comfort and affordable finance. These advantages make it a great time to buy a new car and motorists should visit their local dealer to secure a new 62-plate in September."
•Fuel efficiency - average new car CO2 emissions are now 138g/km with official miles per gallon figures typically exceeding 50mpg.
•Safety - 77% of new cars tested by Euro NCAP in 2011 achieved five stars and in the last 10 years road fatalities have fallen almost 50%.
•Security - theft of vehicles has fallen almost 70% over the past 10 years, while theft from vehicles has also dropped significantly, down over 50%.
•Colour - based on this year's buying trends, black and white cars are expected to make-up the lion's share of September registrations, while red and brown car registrations look set to grow compared with last year.
•Size/type - so far this year, the Supermini segment has proven to be the most popular, accounting for 36.6% of the total market, while Dual Purpose vehicles have enjoyed the largest growth in market share.
•Alternative fuels - market share of alternatively-fuelled vehicles is growing steadily with more hybrid, pure electric and biofuel models available than ever before.
•New technology - digital radio is rapidly becoming the ‘must-have' option for new car buyers. Over a quarter of new cars have digital radio fitted as standard, as consumers look ahead to the planned 2015 switchover.
The registration plate changed in 1999 from alphabetical to the twice-yearly March and September system that uses the year as an identifier. The new system uses two letters at the start of the plate to identify the region a vehicle is registered in, the following two digits refer to the year (ie in 2012 the March plate changed to ‘12', and in September it will be ‘62'). The final three letters are randomly allocated to new car dealerships across the country.
Motor Codes operates a government-backed Code of Practice for new cars that covers over 99% of all new cars sold in the UK.
New Range Rover unveiled
16 August 2012
Land Rover is claiming improved efficiency, more space and better refinement in the fourth-generation Range Rover which will go on sale next year.
The car will make its public debut at the Paris Motor Show in September, when order books will open and prices and specifications revealed before deliveries commence early in 2013.
New all-aluminium construction has resulted in a 420kg weight saving compared with the outgoing model, which, combined with new suspension, should mean more responsive and composed behaviour on road, while improvements in engine efficiency will mean better fuel consumption and CO2 emissions than achieved by the current model (253g/km and 30.1mpg on the combined cycle in the 4.4-litre TDV8).
Spec boost and CO2 cut in C-Class revamp
30 July 2012
Changes to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class range are expected to result in lower running costs and reduced tax liability thanks to extra standard equipment and lower CO2 emissions.
The enhancements help to lower running costs and can reduce BIK for business drivers by up to four tax bands, while CAPhas announced a five percentage point (£450) increase in values for the entry-level trim grade at three years/60,000 miles. Executive SE is the new entry point to the revised range for the C180, C200 CDI and C220 CDI saloon and estate, which includes a sports grille, new 16-inch alloy wheels, Artico upholstery and LED daytime running lights at a price increase of £35 over the previous SE grade.
A new Luxury Package is available for Executive SE models to replace the Elegance equipment grade. Carrying a £2,000 premium, it includes the three louver grille with bonnet-mounted star, 17-inch alloy wheels, automatically dimming rear view mirror and folding exterior door mirrors, chrome trim on the side, rear and shoulder line, a storage package and brown Ash wood trim with a matt finish. The Sport trim makes way in the 2013 C-Class for two new variants –AMG Sport and AMG Sport Plus. The AMG Sport Saloon and Estate cost £960 less than the previous Sport models, and feature 17-inch AMG wheels and halogen headlights.
In addition, there is a tax saving on the new AMG Sport, thanks to a reduction in CO2 over the previous model. For example, the previous C 220 CDI Sport saloon with manual transmission offered 133g CO2/km and BIK 2012/13 of 20%, giving a total BIK over 36 months of £7,865, based on an income tax bracket of 40%. By comparison, the new C220 CDI AMG Sport saloon with manual transmission gives 123g CO2/km and BIK 2012/13 of 18%. Therefore the total BIK over 36 months is £6,897, giving a total saving of £968. The AMG Sport Plus, priced £1,000 above AMG Sport and £35 over the previous Sport line, includes 18-inch bi-colour AMG alloys, bi-xenon front lights with Intelligent Light System and Adaptive High Beam Assist, AMG sports seats, Black Artico/Dinamica upholstery with contrast red stitching, red seat belts, AMG floor mats with red edging and silver gearshift paddles (auto).
In the C-Class Coupé, the pricing and specification of the AMG Sport are unchanged, but an AMG Sport Plus version is now available for an additional £1,000. The C180 BlueEFFICIENCY is powered by a new ultra-efficient 1.6-litre direct-injection turbocharged petrol engine and is accompanied by electric power steering to further bolster economy. With an output of 154bhp, the new engine is almost as powerful as its predecessor while developing an identical 184lb-ft of torque across a wider rev range – 1,250 to 4,000 rpm.
There are also new interior and exterior features, including revised colour options, repositioned cruise control and indicator stalks and easier-to-read silver graphics for the telematics screen. The telematics system in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz Comand now includes eCall to report the car’s position to a call centre via GPS in the event of an emergency.