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Daily news round upBack


Petrol prices JUMP: After a 5 month fall, has the price collapse bottomed out?

Petrol prices have been tumbling since September, but this week the average price has edged up again. So is this the end for the petrol price plunge?

Pump prices have risen for the first time in five months.

The national average for unleaded edged-up from 106.39p per litre on Sunday to 106.65p a litre on Wednesday. Diesel went from 113.42p to 113.65p a litre.

The small rise is the first increase since last September – and makes it less likely petrol will fall to the symbolic £1 a litre average across the country.

The sharp fall has saved millions of motorists a packet. Find out how to track down the best deals with our 6 ways to cash in on the petrol price fall.

However, there are fears the pump price plunge has bottomed out after a recent $10 a barrel jump in the cost of oil last week.

Experts insist it is too early to predict what would happen.


HGVs without safety equipment to be banned from London

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, Transport for London (TfL) and London Councils have given the go-ahead for a London-wide ban on any lorry not fitted with safety equipment to protect cyclists and pedestrians.

In a public consultation, the proposed Safer Lorry Scheme received 90%.

Traffic orders implementing the scheme are now being published, while the installation of road signs at the London boundary, training of police officers and information campaigns with drivers and hauliers have started.

The scheme will be enforced from September 1, as soon as all of the 600 warning signs are in place.

All roads in Greater London (except motorways) will be covered by the scheme. It will require vehicles of more than 3.5 tonnes to be fitted with sideguards to protect cyclists from being dragged under the wheels in the event of a collision, along with Class V and Class VI mirrors giving the driver a better view of cyclists and pedestrians around their vehicle.

The scheme will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will be enforced by the police, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and the joint TfL and DfT-funded Industrial HGV Taskforce (IHTF).

The maximum fine for each breach of the ban will be £1000. The operator will also be referred for consideration to the relevant Traffic Commissioner, who is responsible for the licensing and regulation of HGV operators.


Minister calls for motorway service station revamp

Transport minister John Hayes has called for motorway services to be revamped to give a far more pleasing experience to customers.

The minister was delivering a lecture organised by the Campaign to Protect Rural England and the Campaign for Better Transport and began by suggesting that roads and infrastructure could and should be better designed and aesthetically pleasing.

He went on: “I want to see a similar vision for our road network and for the service areas. Service stations were once rather glamorous. Crowds flocked to the opening of the first service station at Watford Gap in November 1959, and to Newport Pagnell which opened the following year. But like the motorway system they served, the glamour faded quickly.

“They became more notable for bad food, congestion and litter than for providing a pleasant, friendly environment for motorists and their passengers to take a break. John Major made an effort to improve things when he told the 1992 Conservative Party conference that service stations needed to be reformed.

“And many were subsequently privatised. If you look at the latest service stations – at Beaconsfield and at Cobham – you can see good design beginning to creep back in, but we must do much more. From buildings that look like outstations of the South Bank Centre towards miniature Terminal 5s.

“More air and more light. I want to encourage owners and operators to go further. Providing green spaces as well as car parking spaces. Improving the quality and range of independent cafes and shops available. These places should be charming and eclectic, creating a break from the particular monotony of long distance travel, not adding to its monotony through their ubiquity.

“We’re making a big investment to install electric car charging facilities across the network. But my vision for service stations is not just to offer a place where cars can be recharged. But also where drivers can be recharged, relaxed and ready to carry on with their journey.”


Lookers share scheme pays out record profits to employees

Lookers’ employees who participated in the Company’s share save scheme have achieved record profits as a result of a strong share price performance over the past three years.

The Save as you Earn (SAYE) scheme is an HMRC approved programme under the Tax and Employee Share Schemes.

395 employees took part in the scheme which yielded an overall profit of £3,834,839. Depending on the monthly amount contributed to the scheme, the pay-out ranged from £850 for those investing £10 per month, up to a maximum of £25,200 for anyone investing £300 per month.

Chief executive of Lookers Andy Bruce said: “We’re delighted that so many of our employees are sharing in our success. We’ve consistently delivered a strong trading performance which is a result of the hard work that goes into looking after our customers’ day in, day out.

“The success of our Company is the result of the contribution of all of our team and I’d like to thank them for their efforts and their loyalty to Lookers.”


Online vehicle record trials start

The DVLA has started private testing of its free online View Vehicle Record service with 12 UK fleets, including Tusker Direct.

The online service provides alerts when vehicles need taxing in the coming month, when MoTs are due for renewal for particular vehicles, and for when a vehicle reaches a certain age.

Fleets can search through their fleet details based on individual vehicles or on a group and can be drilled down as far as the chassis number.

Once private testing is complete, the service will transition into an open public testing phase, before being launched fully in the spring, although only fleets with over 50 vehicles are eligible.

Businesses must sign up in order to use the service and submit all vehicle information from their fleet to the DVLA.

VVR gives fleet operators the ability to view details on all vehicles within their fleet via a login process.

The launch forms part of the DVLA’s move to digitise its services.


Posted by Lois Hardy on 06/02/2015