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BBC News

Sir Arnold Clark ‘first billionaire car dealer’

Sir Arnold Clark has become Britain’s first billionaire car dealer, according to the Sunday Times Rich List 2016. The newspaper has estimated the 88-year-old and his family’s fortune at just over £1bn, putting them at 114th in the list.

It said profits at Glasgow-based Arnold Clark Automobiles reached a record £107.2m in 2014, on sales of £3.2bn. The business is estimated to be worth £1bn. Other assets include the yacht Drum, once owned by Simon Le Bon. Sir Arnold started his business in 1954. He was knighted in 2004.

Independence poll ‘highly likely’ if UK leaves EU

There would “almost certainly” be a second independence referendum if the UK votes to leave the EU and Scotland does not, Nicola Sturgeon has said. The SNP leader said she hoped the situation did not arise, but said there would be “overwhelming” support for a second poll in the event of a Brexit. The power to call a referendum is reserved, so any new vote would need permission from Westminster. Opposition parties said Scotland should “move on” from the issue.


Sky News

Using Phone Behind The Wheel ‘Unacceptable’

Almost two-thirds of motorists saw at least one driver using a mobile phone while driving during their last hour on the road, a RAC survey has found. The research, which questioned 2,120 motorists, suggests the problem of using phones illegally while driving has grown worse. Some 6% of those polled reported seeing between five and seven drivers breaking the law. Only 26% of people polled reported seeing no wrongdoing.


The Daily Telegraph

Diesel emissions scandal: British Government agency that tests diesel engines could be ‘compromised’ by cuts, MPs and campaigners warn

The work of the Government agency in charge of testing diesel cars could be “compromised” because Treasury cuts are making more reliant on cash from car makers, MPs will warn today. Whitehall civil servants and ministers will put under scrutiny for their response to the diesel engine scandal on Monday which has affected millions of drivers of diesel cars.

The furore was reignited late last week after “real world” tests commissioned by the Government found manufacturers were deliberately reducing emissions controls on their engines when it is cold to reduce damage to engines.

Now it has emerged that the Vehicle Certification Agency – which carried out the tests – has agreed £420,000 of efficiency savings by increasing its “revenues for services provided” in its 2016/17 business plan.


The Financial Times

Oil price impact lasts longer at offshore groups

If US shale fails to pick up as market recovers it will take a long time for the non-onshore sector to fill the production gap. Amrita Sen of Energy Aspects says, “The problem is not just that the oil is at $45, it’s that you just can’t be certain of anything”. The big difference between offshore and onshore is inflexibility, if you commit to a big offshore project you are pretty well stuck with it.

Rolls-Royce deal in Germany fuels UK fears

Rolls-Royce has struck a deal with German employees not to impose compulsory redundancies before 2020 in return for concessions on working hours in a deal that could raise concerns over the future of its UK workforce.  These moves follow nearly two years of rationalisation as Rolls-Royce battles to recover from five profit warnings since 2014.


The Times

Fables bikes set record

A collection of eight vintage motorbikes fetched £752,625 at auction yesterday after rusting in a barn in Cornwall for 50 years. One of them a 1938 BS4 twin rear wheel set a reco4rd selling for £331,900.

Car wash slaves prompt calls for drivers’ boycott

As stated by the anti-slavery commissioner Kevin Hyland, drivers have been asked to watch out for signs of forced labour and indications of exploitation when using cheap car washes or valeting service and avoid them that seem suspicious.  The police have recently found few locations where workers were operating in unacceptable conditions.

  1. coli blights motorway food chains

Few motorways service stations with outlets have failed food hygiene inspections.  These are Cobham Services in Surrey, Baldock in Hertfordshire and Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire operated by Extra MSA, South Mimms in Hertfordshire and Fleet in Hampshire operated by Welcome Break.

Brothers with a singular vision of success

The first road-legal single-seater is being built over the road from an old Triumph factory. It is called BAC (Briggs Automotive Company) mono.


The Guardian

UK expected to show slowing growth in first-quarter figures

The pressure on the UK economy from the EU referendum jitters and a downturn in global trade will be revealed this week with the publication of official figures due on Wednesday.  Economists expect GDP growth rate to be cut from 0.6% to 0.4%.


The Daily Telegraph

In gear

Toyota previews its FCV Plus fuel-cell concept car at the Beijing Motor Show which opens today.

Banks mull debt sell-off as more oil explorers fear insolvencies

Banks are seeking to offload risky loans made to the North Sea oil explorers and back away from the industry.


Daily Mail

Cameron’s care cap betrayal will cost pensioners £22,000

Cameron’s decision to delay a cap on social care costs for four years (it will not be introduced until 2020) will leave pensioner’s an average of £22,000 worse off by the end of the decade according to official figures.


Daily Express

How Britons will be £40 a week better off if we go it alone

In an upbeat assessment of Britain’s financial prospects outside the EU this was claimed, leaving the EU would save the average person £40 a week by cutting the price of goods such as food or cars.  The panel of experts for Brexit will be formally launched on Thursday.

Posted by Lois Hardy on 25/04/2016