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Thousands of drivers caught despite mobile crackdown
More than 200 drivers a day were caught using a mobile at the wheel immediately after tougher penalties for the offence came into effect, figures show. UK police caught almost 6,000 drivers using their devices while driving in the four weeks after 1 March. The numbers were obtained by the Press Association under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. In March, the penalty for using a phone while driving doubled to £200 and six penalty points.
Under the rules, new drivers caught using a phone within two years of passing their driving test will have their licence revoked altogether. The high number of people breaking the law means the “key message still isn’t sinking in”, said Steve Gooding, director of motoring research charity The RAC Foundation.
Small firms hit by rates relief delay
Thousands of small businesses in England who were promised financial help to ease the burden of hikes in business rates are still waiting. The chancellor announced a package of measures in the March Budget, including a cap for the most vulnerable firms who were facing huge hikes in their bills. Business rates are a property tax based on rental values. Changes to the rates came in in April after a revaluation of property values for England and Wales last year. Although most businesses overall have seen their bills either stay the same or decrease, the government was forced to act following reports that some small companies faced rate rises of up to 3,000%.
BMW car production disrupted due to supply problems
BMW was unable to complete the building of thousands of luxury cars this week because of production problems.
A shortage of steering systems from Bosch, the world’s largest supplier of car parts, was the cause of the disruption. Car manufacturing is complex and BMW typically relies on “just-in-time” production, meaning that it only orders parts when it needs them.
CBI plots a new start with ‘anti-business’ No 10 after election
The CBI is working on plans to reset relations with the government after the election amid concerns over an anti-business stance. Corporate leaders have become alarmed by the hostile rhetoric from Theresa May’s government, not least in the Conservatives’ manifesto, and their lack of access to ministers. Relations with the Labour Party are frostier still. To improve the situation, the CBI has set out plans to “bring together the ‘brightest and best’ from government and business in joint Brexit task forces”.
Motorists waste 29 hours every year using sat navs, study finds
Motorists waste the equivalent of 29 hours every year using sat navs, according to a new study. The time is lost when the devices send drivers either the long way or wrong way to their destinations, the report commissioned by black cab app mytaxi found. The figure is based on analysis of the proportion of journeys delayed by sat nav misdirection and the average length of the hold-ups. A poll of 2,000 drivers revealed that 27% cite confusing directions as the most annoying aspect of sat navs.
Electric cars to be cheaper than petrol ones within a decade, says study
Battery powered cars will soon be cheaper to buy than conventional gasoline ones, offering immediate savings to drivers, new research shows. Automakers from Renault SA to Tesla Inc. have long touted the cheaper fuel and running costs of electric cars that helps to displace the higher upfront prices that drivers pay when they buy the zero-emission vehicles. Bloomberg New Energy Finance sees electric cars becoming cheaper than conventional vehicles by 2030.