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  1. And how will they affect you? So, you’re thinking about buying or leasing a new car in the next few months? You know that it’s going to take some time for the car to be assembled how you want, but it’s still only going to be a few weeks, right? What happens if you don’t need your car until May? Is Brexit going to make that much of a difference? In all likelihood, you will have read something about how Brexit is going to affect some areas of your life. Newspapers are full of articles warning of the potential negative effects that our withdrawal from the EU will have on people’s lives. There has been mention of the possibility that you might need a visa to take your summer holiday in Spain – something that would spell the end of a last-minute European city break. There has also been speculation that the recent removal of roaming charges when using your mobile phone abroad will be reinstated. More recently, mention has been made that you’ll be unable to use your UK Netflix or Spotify account when travelling. Of course, all the headlines are just speculation. At the moment, no one knows exactly what is going to happen, and this lack of knowledge means that businesses feel they have no choice but to prepare for what could be seen as a worst-case scenario. Brexit has dominated the news for over two years and with the deadline fast approaching plans still have to be made and a deal needs to be struck. One thing that has become apparent is that no matter what decisions are made and what the deal eventually negotiated actually looks like. Theresa May has warned that it’s incredibly likely the UK will leave the single market and customs union as a part of Brexit and all this will mean that the free movement of goods across European borders could end. As not all cars are built on UK shores this may also have an effect on how long it takes for your new car to travel from the factory to your driveway. Another thing that will affect the length of time it takes for goods, like your new car, to arrive in the country is the necessity for businesses to learn a new way of working. The introduction of new customs processes will impact on every industry that relies on import and export, especially the motor industry, which relies on thousands of deliveries per day to get your car assembled and off the production line. So how will Brexit affect me buying a new car? When Europe’s carmakers gathered in Paris at the beginning of October this year there was clear disquiet. The fact that Brexit is an unpopular subject and something that the industry is dreading is no secret. Companies like Nissan, Toyota and Honda have acknowledged they are nervous about the lack of progress being made in reaching a deal. Manufacturers warned of potentially detrimental effects on the future of the car industry in the UK following a ‘no deal’ Brexit. Car companies and other industries that rely on transport of products through Europe are understandably concerned about the implications of leaving Europe without a deal in hand. They are requesting that the government make sure the topic of free trade is part of the negotiations. Why this might affect you even if your car is assembled in the UK Even if your car is assembled in the UK it is likely that some of its parts will have been transported across the channel at some point during the manufacturing process. The graphic below shows you the journey that a single bumper used in the construction of the Bentley Bentayga takes before it’s added to the luxury vehicle in Crewe. Components such as engines, transmissions and even windscreen wipers require a great deal of warehouse space, and in order to reduce this, many car manufacturers operate a ‘just in time’ or ‘JIT’ delivery system. This system relies greatly on components being delivered to factories just before they’re needed. Every day over 1,100 trucks cross the Channel with deliveries intended for car and engine plants based in the UK. Just a few hours’ extra getting through Customs will be enough to cause damaging delays in the production line. If the UK government are unable to negotiate an acceptable deal for both sides before March 29th next year, then it’s likely anything being transported from the EU would, by World Trade Organization rules, incur a 10% tariff, which could see the price of that brand new car increasing by more than £1,000. The WTO tariff wouldn’t only affect car manufacturers; pharmaceutical companies and oil producers are among the other UK-based industries concerned with the additional costs they will potentially incur following our EU divorce. It’s important to note, however, that cars and car components are the UK’s second largest export to EU and non-EU countries (such as America, Canada and China), adding up to over £41 billion in value per year. They are also the third largest import after electrical and mechanical machinery, with a value of over £54 billion in 2017. The National Audit Office recently released a report warning that despite progress having been made in preparing for a no deal exit from the EU, businesses that rely upon borders running efficiently to conduct their business will experience issues for the first time after March 29th. Sir Aymas Morse, head of the NAO said, “The government has openly accepted the border will be sub-optimal if there is no deal with the EU on 29 March 2019. […] But what is clear is that businesses and individuals who are reliant on the border running smoothly will pay the price.” There would also be additional delays for the goods travelling into the country. This is what is giving car manufacturers who rely on a smooth border crossing of cars and components into and out of the UK on a daily basis a great deal of concern. A sudden change like this will have serious implications for British industry as a whole. One concern, post-Brexit, for companies that only trade with countries in the EU is the introduction of customs declaration forms. This new requirement will not only increase the amount of preparatory work a business needs to carry out prior to sending a shipment overseas, but it will also increase the volume of paperwork that HMRC has to process, potentially up to 260 million declarations in a year (a rise of over 200 million). This will further complicate and delay deliveries until an efficient system is in place, both at HMRC and the individual businesses. Even if you’ve placed an order before Brexit, if it hasn’t arrived in the country before March 29th there will be delays when crossing the border and there may even be an increase in costs for you as the customer. What are carmakers’ feelings about Brexit? At this year’s Paris Motor Show a number of carmakers were not shy in sharing their concerns on the state of Brexit negotiations. They also took the opportunity the motor show presented to announce any plans they have already made to prepare their UK-based factories for multiple possible exit scenarios. In some cases companies are looking to pre-empt potential delays with deliveries from the EU by either closing their UK factories temporarily or, where they have warehouse space available, stocking up on necessary car parts in order to ensure they aren’t 100% reliant on deliveries coming into the country that could be delayed at the border. Some UK manufacturers are also trying to encourage major suppliers of components to open plants in the country to minimise future risk to their supply chain. The UK is BMW’s fourth-largest market and annually they sell over 250,000 cars to British motorists, so the company is rightfully concerned about how they currently see the negotiations for Brexit progressing. The business acknowledges that they will need to carefully examine the impact of any changes introduced once a deal has been finalised and look at how the new rules and regulations will affect how they run their factories across the country. BMW aren’t the only carmaker finding the lack of information surrounding a potential Brexit deal to be unsettling. Japanese carmaker Nissan, who employ almost 7,000 workers at their Sunderland plant, are warning of serious implications to the car industry should Britain prove unable to forge a trade deal with the EU prior to March 29th. They are apprehensive, feeling that leaving the EU will see a loss of seamless trade. Their concern is valid, at the present time they only store enough components in Sunderland for half a day of work on the production line. The Honda plant based in Swindon use the JIT system to reduce the amount of warehouse space needed to store components for their cars. As the plant only maintains a stock of parts to hand that would keep their production line running for an hour they rely on the prompt arrival of 350 trucks a day from Europe to provide them with everything they need to assemble cars on site. They, like many other carmakers who operate the JIT method for their production line, know that a 2-minute problem at the border can cause hours of delays due to traffic build-up on both sides of the border. Toyota, who export over 90% of the cars made at their Derbyshire plant to Europe, joined their fellow carmakers in warning of uncertainty in the light of the current status of Brexit negotiations. Vauxhall: Change and Investment in the UK While Toyota, BMW and Nissan are talking about what they are planning for a post-Brexit car industry, PSA Group, who purchased Vauxhall-Opel in 2017, pre-empted any Brexit issues and axed 650 jobs at the Ellesmere-based plant at the beginning of the year. At the Geneva Motor Show in March this year, Carlos Tavares, the CEO of PSA Group acknowledged that the loss of freedom of movement would have an impact on production and affect the sustainability of their two manufacturing plants in the UK, in Luton and Ellesmere Port. He also said that PSA Group could not “invest in a world of uncertainty”. A month later, in April, Tavares visited their Luton plant where he announced PSA Group’s plans to increase output to 100,000 vehicles per year at their Luton plant, this announcement also included plans for the new Vivaro van to be built in the UK from 2019. Despite the positive announcement about investment in the UK from Tavares in April this year, at the Paris Motor Show, Maxime Picat, the European Operational Director of PSA Group said that there were limits to what they are able to do post-Brexit, fear over the additional cost implications that switching to the World Trade Organisation terms is a huge concern, “If we suddenly have to start manufacturing for the UK in the UK, and Europe in Europe, there will necessarily be an impact on production”. Carmakers like Toyota, Nissan and BMW that trade regularly with the EU and UK need free trade to stay in place. The introduction of the WTO 10% levy on goods would be devastating to some businesses and cause others to seriously consider their position within the UK. While, for the most part, the focus remains on issues that the UK will experience once we leave the EU, car manufacturers acknowledge that both sides of the negotiations will experience complications when shipping goods if the UK loses free trade. What plans are car manufacturers making for a post-Brexit market? In addition to voicing their concern about the lack of progress with the Brexit deal, BMW announced a change to their summer maintenance shutdown. Every summer the BMW MINI factory in Oxford, like many others around the world, is closed for several weeks to allow for essential maintenance to be carried out. Any closure has an effect on the availability of newly manufactured cars and BMW usually prepares well in advance for their annual shutdown. With the date for Brexit fast approaching, BMW decided that they will bring the 2019 maintenance closure forward and plan to shut down for at least a month immediately following March 29th in order to give themselves time to prepare for any new processes introduced in a post-Brexit UK. BMW also warned that they might also consider moving all manufacture of the quintessentially British MINI from the UK to The Netherlands if no deal is made, something they currently believe has a 50-50 chance of happening. The CEO of Toyota Europe, Johan Van Zyl, told attendees at the Paris Motor Show that their plant in Derbyshire will have to close temporarily following March 29th, and the future for the estimated 2,600 employees who work there is uncertain. Van Zyl’s concern is that the impact additional cost would have on their competitiveness: “In the longer term, if we were to change the logistics it would add more cost and impact on our competitiveness, and of course the future of our operation.” The possibility of being unable to sell their vehicles duty-free in the EU market would harm future plans for their UK sites. Why will this affect my new car? In 2017, over 2.5million cars were purchased in the UK, out of these, an estimated 360,000 (1 in 7) were also built here. As mentioned earlier in the article, many components of a car are transported here from somewhere in the EU, US or Asia. Even a car that is 100% British can contain small parts that were driven across the border in a lorry. Some cars arrive at the docks ready to be driven off the lot, having travelled thousands of miles by land and sea before reaching your driveway. The video below will give you an idea of the sort of journey many cars after they’ve been assembled. What’s being done to help car manufacturers prepare for Brexit? The UK government is still in negotiations with the EU to come to a deal which will benefit everyone involved. While it’s not an ideal situation to be in with the deadline for the UK’s exit moving ever closer, there is little which can be done, except for trying to pre-empt the decision yet to be made and prepare for every possible scenario. Carmakers are currently preparing for a hard Brexit (no deal), with temporary shutdowns and stock-piling components a large portion of their planning. But all the time no final deal has been made there is hope that Theresa May and her government will be able to arrange an exit package that includes free trade. In an effort to minimise any issues that a so-called hard Brexit would have on the large number of SMEs (small or medium enterprises) that form the backbone of the automotive industry in the UK, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have launched a Brexit Readiness Programme. This programme aims to help prepare the SMEs for possible changes in trade conditions between the UK and EU countries following our withdrawal from the European Union. What can I do to prepare for Brexit? With the path ahead still unclear, and deals still to be made, the recommendation is to order your car in enough time that it will be parked in your driveway, or at the dealership, before March 29th. Some carmakers have already announced they are preparing for a hard Brexit and they have already confirmed temporary shutdowns of their UK factories, which means production will come to a halt. Changes in border requirements are the most likely scenario, which means that delays in goods, including cars, arriving in the UK is inevitable. Original Author: Rachel Richardson Published on 1st November 2018
  2. The Motorists Guide

    Ford GT vs Ford Fiesta ST

    Both are handsome but only one will turn heads For sheer breadth of product, few can outdo Ford Performance. We find out if the value king Fiesta ST and GT supercar share any family traits. The sheer elasticity of Ford Performance is a remarkable thing. Within the space of a year, the Blue Oval’s fast car division knocked out one of the most intoxicating supercars of its generation, then quickly followed it up with the best affordable performance car money can buy. In the same way that a coastline seems to get longer the more accurately you measure it, the gulf that divides the GT and the Fiesta ST becomes more and more preposterous the closer you look. Consider this: while the ST counts Toyotas, Vauxhalls, Volkswagens and Suzukis among its rivals, the GT costs about the same as a mid-range McLaren, plus a mid-range Ferrari. And if you were to take every penny you had set aside for a GT of your own and spend it instead on Fiesta STs, the 22 hatchbacks that you’d become the proud owner of would weigh the same as four fully grown African elephants. You get the picture. The Ford GT is a lot more expensive than the Fiesta ST, although at £420,000 it is also a lot more expensive than most other supercars. And it isn’t even as though Ford Performance is blagging its way through building two such disparate cars. No, it’s pulling it off in some style, neither one feeling like a leap too far or a token effort. Somehow, the GT and the ST both exist in the Ford Performance heartland. It was only a matter of weeks ago that we crowned the Fiesta ST the finest sub-£30,000 performance car of 2018. A fortnight before that, we awarded it a four-and-a-half-star road test rating, which rather makes the four stars we deemed the GT worthy of 12 months previously seem a touch humiliating. Is the GT really shown up by the ST? We’ll come to that. With the two cars parked alongside each other, the stark reality is that the GT is so otherworldly looking, so malevolent, that in its company the ST almost looks pathetic, like a parasitic remora fish clinging to the flank of a great white shark. Actually, it looks as though somebody has turned up to our photoshoot uninvited and parked right in the way. Of course, the other stark reality is that the supercar was designed and developed in North America while the hot hatch hails from Ford’s R&D centre at Lommel in Belgium, so it is very possible that the personnel overlap between the two projects was precisely none at all. But they are still siblings, or first cousins at the very least, and when you drive the two back-to-back, you do pick up on a number of similarities. Mostly, though, you notice the differences. In the Fiesta you sit upright and have good visibility all around you, but in the GT you are in repose and can only really see directly ahead of you through a narrow slit of windscreen. And while the ST feels dinky out on the road, the GT feels simply enormous. Everything about the GT screams motorsport, which is no surprise at all given it was designed to monster the opposition at Le Mans, and only then made vaguely civilised for road use. And it is motorsport, of course, that justifies this car’s existence at all, because if Ford hadn’t won the world’s greatest endurance race four times in a row half a century ago, the Blue Oval simply wouldn’t have the brand cachet to pull off such a fantastically expensive supercar. If in some parallel universe Ford had gone ahead and built the GT without having won at La Sarthe all those years ago, nobody with even a flicker of sense would have spent the better part of half a million nicker on the damn thing. So the GT isn’t just derived from motorsport, it owes its entire existence to racing. That’s why it seems so appropriate that while Ferrari and McLaren busy themselves with making their supercars more and more usable every day, Ford has charged off in the opposite direction and built something so raw and uncompromising, you’d have to be a masochist to use it daily. The way I see it, a supercar should be used occasionally and be so unlike your daily transport that you never forget how special that supercar is. When the GT slaps heavily over cats eyes, therefore, and when stones ping noisily into the wheel arches and when the boost from the V6 engine’s pair of turbochargers builds extravagantly and then is dumped with a loud hiss, I can’t help but add another layer to that hectic soundscape by whooping in delight. This stripped-back, immersive kind of driving experience has become far too rare. The big rear spoiler drops so quickly from view as you slow down to urban speeds, and with such a loud thwack, that you swear every time it has just fallen off. You sit so close to the centre of the car’s cabin that, with a passenger alongside you, your shoulders are in constant contact. You also have to remind yourself that over your other shoulder there is at least another foot of bodywork. The seat itself is fixed so you tug the pedal box towards you or kick it away with your feet, adjusting the steering column for reach to get your driving position just so. The floating upper section of the dashboard brilliantly mimics the exterior aero tunnels that are this car’s signature design feature, adding to the very real impression that air doesn’t flow over the top of this car or underneath it, but that it passes directly through it. The engine is industrial-sounding, all tuneless turbocharged blare, uncultured thrashing and assorted whistles and whooshes. It isn’t in the least bit musical, but you will not happen upon a more purposeful or to-the-point soundtrack away from a racing paddock. With 647bhp on tap and less than 1500kg to punt along, the GT does feel furiously quick, but it doesn’t deliver quite the panic-inducing, unrelenting acceleration of the admittedly more powerful McLaren 720S. The GT’s steering is detailed and incredibly direct, and there is so much body control even on a cresting, yumping road that it seems daft to mention it at all. Body control is to the Ford GT driver what sand is to the Bedouin. On top of that, the car has enormous grip and freakish agility, but while the springs are very firm and there’s only a modest amount of wheel travel, the quality of the damping in that very short stroke means the ride is actually mature and sophisticated. In fact, it is the Fiesta ST that feels busier when flung across our chosen stretch of Cambridgeshire B-road, boinging up and down in its trademark way where the GT is a little more settled. The ST’s 1.5-litre, three-cylinder turbo motor is more or less half the engine the GT’s 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 is, but rated at 197bhp it delivers not even a third of the power. Aside from their industrial soundtracks, the two engines have very little in common – the ST’s three-pot feeling as though it’s done its best work by 5500rpm, whereas the GT’s V6 wants to keep on going. Both cars have frantically responsive steering, to the point where you have to calm your steering inputs to avoid making either car feel nervous or flighty. If there really is any shared DNA between them, however, it’s this: while both cars are enjoyable to drive at medium speeds, they really come together and start working as a cohesive whole rather than a series of interconnected components when you start pressing on. They both want to be flogged near enough to death, and in both cases the engineers have compromised some level of everyday agreeableness – a little in the case of the ST, a lot for the GT–to make it that way. What about those star ratings: is the ST really half a star better than the GT? Only in the vaguest, most meaningless sense, because while the ST is by some margin the best car in its class, the GT is much more expensive than a number of its rivals, it’s not necessarily more exciting to drive and it is actually less adept at the day-to-day stuff. So it’s all relative. The elasticity of Ford Performance is a unique thing and something to be celebrated. That is true for the time being, at least, because when Mercedes-AMG’s Project One hypercar finally comes on line, the title of stretchiest performance sub-division will transfer from Dearborn, Michigan, to Affalterbach, Baden-Württemberg. After all, alongside building £2 million hypercars with Formula 1 powerunits, AMG will also sell the recently announced A35 hatchback at something like £35,000. As the Ford GT drives away at the end of our photoshoot, I realise that in all likelihood I will never drive one again, let alone own one myself. At least in the Fiesta ST, there is a Ford Performance product that is also enormously good fun to drive, and rather more affordable too. Used fast Fords that won’t cost you £400k: ESCORT RS COSWORTH, 1992-1996, Pay £40,000: The RS Cosworth was so popular among car thieves that in certain parts of the country it became uninsurable. With four-wheel drive and a 224bhp four-pot, it had a level of performance we’d rarely seen in a hatchback before. MK1 FOCUS RS, 2002-2003, Pay £12,000: Arguably the original super-hatch, the first Focus RS was laden with go-faster hardware but some reckoned its pronounced torque steer made it a liability. Most agreed it was a real looker, though. GT, 2004-2006, Pay £250,000: What the previous Ford GT lacked in outright performance compared with the newer model, it made up for through sheer force of character. With a walloping V8 and a manual gearbox, it was rewarding to drive too. MK2 FOCUS ST, 2005-2008, Pay £4000: It may not have been universally adored but, with a characterful 225bhp five-cylinder turbo engine, the second-gen Focus ST did at least have a USP. The good news is that since going off sale, it has dropped into bargain basement territory. MK6 FIESTA ST, 2013-2017, Pay £9000: Like its successor, the Mk6-based Fiesta ST was one of the most cohesive performance cars you could buy at any price point. The engineering was reminiscent of a purpose-built sports car, but what mattered more was how much fun it was. View the full article - original article courtesy of Autocar
  3. The City of London is plotting a congestion charge, zero emission zone and 15mph speed limit New transport strategy for London's business district plans to cut vehicle use by half, and introduce 15mph speed limit The City of London is aiming to reduce motor traffic by half within the next 25 years and make the capital's financial centre Britain’s first large-scale zero emission zone. The city and county, which is known as the Square Mile and contains the heart of London's business district, has developed its first long-term transport strategy as a plan for future investment following a public consultation process. Chris Hayward, the City’s planning and transportation chief, said that the plan would “future-proof this world-class, growing business and culture centre.” More than 500,000 people work in the area, and Hayward said that 93% commute in via public transport. The strategy therefore will put a priority on pedestrians, including the introduction of a City-wide 15mph speed limit, subject to the approval of the Department for Transport. The plan is also intended to substantially reduce motor traffic, with the target of cutting traffic by 25% by 2030 and 50% by 2044. To do that, the City will introduce a range of measures, including a “congestion charge that’s fit for purpose”. The City's aim to develop Britain’s first large-scale zero emission zone will begin with smaller-scale zero emission zones covering the Eastern City Cluster, and Barbican and Golden Lane areas. No specifics on how either the congestion charge or the zero emission zone would work have been given yet. They would be separate from the current London Congestion Charge and Ultra-Low Emission Zone that are enforced by the London Assembly. There are also plans to reduce the number of delivery vehicles in the area, through the introduction of timed access and loading restrictions, and the introduction of off-site consolidation areas, where deliveries are grouped together so they can be made in fewer trips. Hayward said: “Once finalised, this Transport Strategy will be transformative in ensuring that the Square Mile remains a healthy, accessible and safe commercial and cultural centre and a great place to live, work, and visit in the years to come.” The Strategy is still being finalised before a last consultation process begins. It could be approaved in early 2019. The City of London is governed by the City of London Corporation, and the strategy will only apply within its 1.12 square mile area. It is one of the 33 districts that form Greater London, which is overseen by the Mayor of London and London Assembly. Read more Variable pay-per-mile charge for London under consideration Mayor of London: electric cars should get free or discounted parking Deputy London mayor: 'we are targetting diesel' London's Ultra-Low Emission Zone to be expanded View the full article
  4. UK licences may no longer be valid on their own when it comes to driving on the continent if no deal is reached with Brussels British drivers could face the "extra burden" of applying for a permit to drive in the European Union in the event of a "no-deal" Brexit, the government has warned. In the latest batch of papers outlining how a failure to reach a deal could impact on British life, ministers revealed UK driving licences may no longer be valid on their own for driving on the continent. This is because the EU might not agree to recognise UK licences, a development which would require drivers to apply for International Driving Permits (IDP). These cost £5.50 and motorists would be able to apply for them at 2,500 Post Office branches across the UK in the event they become a necessity. If they fail to obtain the permit, British drivers face being turned away at borders or being hit with enforcement action. In an extra layer of bureaucracy that could hit drivers, there are two different types of IDP. This is because different EU nations have recognised different conventions on road traffic. So some journeys would potentially require both permits, for example, if you wanted to drive into France and then Spain. AA president Edmund King said: "This will be an extra burden for UK drivers wanting to take a holiday abroad. "We envisage quite a rush on post offices next year for the £5.50 IDPs if no deal is reached. "Hopefully an agreement can be reached to prevent further red tape and expense for drivers." The Department for Transport said it thinks up to seven million permits could be requested in the first 12 months after a "no-deal" divorce. A total of 28 "no-deal" technical notices were published on the government website on Thursday, following the release of 24 last month. As well as driving licences, the latest batch covers topics like roaming charges for mobile phones and the potential impact on passport rules. The papers warn that UK citizens could be prevented from entering EU countries even if they have a valid passport. Britons currently do not need to have a minimum or maximum amount of time left on their passports to travel to the continent, but this could change if there is no deal. Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has called on phone companies not to impose roaming charges on customers under "no-deal". Such charges were abolished in June 2017, but a failure to reach a deal would mean surcharge-free travel to the continent could no longer be guaranteed. However, the government has said it would introduce a cap on charges if there is no EU agreement. Ministers would set a £45 a month limit and force companies to send alerts to customers when 80% of that had been reached. Vodafone, Three, EE and O2, which cover more than 85% of the market, say they have no plans to change their approach to mobile roaming post-Brexit. But while the chances of British customers being stung by sky-high charges appears remote, those living near the Northern Ireland border could face higher bills. The government has warned consumers and businesses to be aware of the potential for "inadvertent" data roaming, where a stronger signal from the Republic kicks in.
  5. The Motorists Guide

    £20 fine for leaving your engine idling

    Latest air quality measure means you could be hit with a £20 fine for leaving your engine running while parked A new measure to prevent drivers from leaving their engines idling while parked is gaining traction in multiple areas of the country. Councils in Nottingham, Norwich, Reading and London have all adopted the on-the-spot fines, and the Times reports that 30 further areas are planning to introduce them, in a bid to improve air quality in the UK’s urban areas. The fines are aimed partly at parents picking up and dropping off their children at school; this contributes to spikes in pollution in those areas. A new study carried out by King’s College London highlighted the dangers of car pollution for those living in affected areas, claiming a seven-week life expectancy increase for those born after air quality legislation was introduced. The RAC's head of roads policy, Nicholas Lyes, said: “With the spotlight firmly on reducing pollution in urban areas, we welcome a focus on reducing unnecessary engine idling. The correct procedure should be for an enforcement officer to ask the driver to switch their engine off, and if they refuse, they will be issued a penalty. Idling engines can produce up to twice the amount of emissions of an engine in motion, and for drivers it can mean higher fuel bills." It’s the latest charge in the name of air quality, with the T-Charge costing London drivers £10 daily if they’re at the wheel of the pre-Euro 4 car, petrol or diesel. Other parties have suggested alternative measures, though. A health group previously suggested the removal of traffic calming measures in residential areas, to prevent the pollution caused by the on-off braking and accelerating associated with them. Read the full article: View the full article
  6. FLIP flops are becoming part of Brits’ daily wardrobe as temperatures continue to soar. But those who choose to drive in their summery shoes could find themselves in hot water if they are involved in an accident While driving in flip-flops isn't illegal in itself, wearing them could lead to a careless driving charge if they impede your ability to drive safely. Under Rule 97 of the Highway Code, drivers are advised they must have “footwear and clothing which does not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner”. Flip flops could slip off, become wedged under pedals and prevent you from pressing the pedals with enough force to brake quickly, which could cause you to drive erratically or even lead to a collision. If you are stopped by police while driving in a potentially dangerous manner or your footwear is a reason for an accident, you could be charged with driving without due care and attention (careless driving). In the most serious cases, careless driving can attract a hefty £5,000 fine, up to nine penalty points and even a court-imposed driving ban. A recent study by insurance brand, ingenie, found that a whopping 27 per cent of drivers could be risking this penalty as they ditch their shoes in favour of flip flops while driving. Despite the large number of Brits taking the risk, around one in three actually thought it was illegal to drive in loose fitting footwear. RAC's guidelines for suitable driving footwear According to the RAC there are some guidelines for what footwear is suitable when driving: Have a sole no thicker than 10mm, but the sole should not be too thin or soft. Provide enough grip to stop your foot slipping off the pedals. Not be too heavy. Not limit ankle movement. Be narrow enough to avoid accidentally depressing two pedals at once. Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart Director of Policy and Research, told Sun Motors: “Before setting off. You should ensure that clothing and footwear do not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner. “If flip flops stopped you being in control you could be prosecuted, as you are breaking Highway Code Rule 97. “Careless driving is mostly judged on the impact your driving has on others around you, so if you are spotted swerving or braking erratically and then stopped and found to have inadequate footwear, you could be prosecuted. “If you do cause a crash, then it could also be an aggravating factor against you in court and lead to a slightly higher fine or longer ban.” THE ROAD LAWS YOU NEED TO KNOW REGULATED ROADS- Is the Highway Code law and can you actually be penalised for breaking it? LAW AND DISORDER- The eight laws you had NO idea you were breaking Selim Cavanagh, Chief Executive at ingenie said: “It’s promising that almost a third of drivers assume driving in flip flops is illegal, because it’s really dangerous. “They slip off, slide under the pedals, get caught between your feet and the pedals and if your feet are wet, they’ll affect your ability to brake if you need to. “Aside from the actual rules though, driving in flip flops can create a dangerous driving environment, and put you, your passengers, and other road users at risk. “So, if you’re heading to the beach this weekend, make sure you’ve packed some sensible driving shoes to get you there and back safely, as well as your flip flops to wear while you’re there.”