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The UK’s manufacturing sector surged in September, growing at its fastest level since June 2014, a closely watched survey has indicated. The Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the sector rose to 55.4 in September from 53.4 in August. A figure above 50 indicates expansion. The weakening of the pound following the Brexit vote had continued to boost exports, the survey found. But the weak pound had pushed up firms’ costs “at a double-digit annual rate
The haulage industry has a shortage of drivers, so the government is urging companies to encourage more women to get behind the wheel. But what’s life on the road like for a female trucker? Haulage associations estimate there’s a current shortfall of 45,000-60,000 drivers, with another 40,000 due to leave the industry by 2017. MPs on the Commons Transport Select Committee have urged companies to expand their female workforce, which currently makes up just 8% of the 400,000 qualified drivers. They also want the industry to come up with plans to attract more people from ethnic minority backgrounds.
Nissan is to install driver-monitoring technology in its vans across Europe, as it aims to capitalise on the region’s booming deliveries market and seeks to close the gap on larger rivals. The Japanese carmaker will on Tuesday announce a deal with Telogis, a telematics provider owned by Verizon Communications of the US, to install software that tracks vehicles’ performance and location in real time. Nissan is hoping its use of the technology will help increase van sales and boost its share of the EU light commercial vehicles market, where it trails behind the likes of Ford.
The pound has fallen to a three-year low against the euro after the Prime Minister announced when the UK will start the process of leaving the European Union. There was better news on the FTSE 100 Index, which climbed to a 16-month high following Theresa May’s announcementon Sunday. The Prime Minister told the Tory conference she will begin the formal process of exiting the EU by triggering Article 50 at the end of March next year. The process, which will take two years, means the UK is expected to leave the bloc by the middle of 2019. Sterling was down by almost 1% against the euro to €1.1433.
Hungary referendum: 98 per cent of voters say ‘no’ to EU migrant quotas
Hungary has voted emphatically against accepting EU migrant quotas, exit polls suggest, in a cry of defiance against Brussels that is likely to cement the country’s status as the leader of a “counter-revolution” against the bloc’s central powers. As many as 95 per cent of voters voted “No” to the quotas in Sunday’s referendum, though there were fears on Sunday night that the result could be declared invalid due to a low turnout.
Air pollution could be responsible for hundreds of car accidents a year, according to the London School of Economics. A study looking a five years of data showed that when levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) rise just one microgramme per cubic metre, the number of collisions rises by two per cent.
Although it might seem that effect could be explained by more traffic on the roads, and therefore more pollution and more accidents, the researchers found that the increase remained even when adjusting for the extra traffic. Instead, they believe that the toxic air impairs driver fitness, while watery eyes and an itchy nose could also be distracting for motorists.
A recent study found that air pollution inside a car can be more than double that on the outside because the NO2 builds up in a small space. Lead researcher Lutz Sager of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the LSE said: “Although it has already been shown that air pollution adversely affects human health and the ability to carry out mental tasks, this is the first published study that assesses the impact on road safety.
Oil prices climbed to their highest level since August supported by the global market renewed optimism that Opec’s production deal reached last week would bring an end to sub-$50 a barrel oil. The December contract for global benchmark Brent was up 0.96 per cent at $50.66 a barrel on Monday, its highest level since 19 August when it touched $51.22, while November deliveries of West Texas Intermediate gained 0.95 per cent at $48.70.The steadying of Brent is supported by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) announcement last week that it would cut production for the first time in eight years.
Almost half of young people have put their lives at risk by playing with their mobile phone on Britain’s level crossings and roads. According to Network Rail, almost three in ten (29 per cent) of under 25 year olds admit to using their phone on a level crossing. Just under two thirds (63 per cent) admitted they use their mobile while crossing the road, while 66 per cent report using their phone when catching or getting off a train or tube.
Europeans have been boycotting British cars since the Brexit vote, according to the boss of the nation’s biggest auto firm, Jaguar Land Rover. Dr Ralf Speth, chief executive of JLR, also joined senior figures at rival firms in warning that a hard Brexit would damage the car industry, which supports around 800,000 jobs.
Speaking at the Paris Motor Show, Speth said JLR’s European sales team have reported customers turning their noses up at British cars after the vote to leave the EU. “They have the very first customers in their showrooms [who] clearly highlight that they don’t want to buy British products any more,” he said. But he warned that the car industry would feel the pinch much more in the event of a hard Brexit that results in tariffs being slapped on to goods traded with the EU. He said carmakers would face a double whammy as import tariffs force up the cost of the parts they buy from Europeans and higher export tariffs make JLR vehicles less affordable for Europeans.