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UK workforce sees biggest fall in two years
The number of people in work in the UK has seen its biggest fall in the past two years, but unemployment also fell. There were 32 million workers in the three months to September, down 14,000 from the last quarter, Office for National Statistics data shows. At the same time, the number of jobless – those people not in work but seeking a job – fell 59,000 to 1.42 million. Workers’ earnings, including bonuses, rose 2.2% compared with a year ago, which still lags inflation of 3%.
Brexit no-deal could stop Aston Martin production
Aston Martin has said it may have to halt production if the UK fails to strike a Brexit deal with the EU. All new cars in the UK must have Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) approval, which is valid in the EU. Without a UK-EU deal, that validity would cease for new cars from March 2019. Mark Wilson, Aston Martin’s finance chief, said it would have the “semi-catastrophic effect of having to stop production”. “We’re a British company. We produce our cars exclusively in Britain and will continue to do so,” he said.
Supreme Court backs Scottish minimum alcohol pricing
The UK Supreme Court has ruled that Scotland can set a minimum price for alcohol, rejecting a challenge by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA). Legislation was approved by the Scottish Parliament five years ago but has been tied up in court challenges. In a unanimous judgment, seven Supreme Court judges said the legislation did not breach European Union law. The judges ruled the measure was a “proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”. Ministers said a 50p-per-unit minimum would help tackle Scotland’s “unhealthy relationship with drink” by raising the price of cheap, high-strength alcohol.
China’s electric car push set to trigger ‘war of attrition’
New Chinese rules mandating a boost in electric vehicle production are raising fears of a glut of battery-powered cars that carmakers will be hard pressed to sell. Regulations adopted in September require EVs to account for up to 8 per cent of sales by 2020. But this far exceeds current demand in China, where electric vehicles accounted for just over 1 per cent of sales last year. Now industry experts are voicing concerns that this will hit profits — and that some carmakers may not survive.
‘Hard Brexit would drive carmakers over a cliff’
A cliff-edge Brexit or an unsatisfactory deal to leave the European Union could mean British motor plants having to stop production and carmaking could becoming commercially unviable in the UK, MPs were warned yesterday. They were told by industry leaders that motorists would see a 10 per cent increase in the price of their cars because of import tariffs — £1,500 on the £15,000 price tag of the average car — and much less choice as overseas manufacturers declined to certify their vehicles for the British market. One executive — Mark Wilson, finance director of Aston Martin — told MPs on the business select committee that a bad Brexit would be “semi-catastrophic” for his company, a maker of British sports cars.
Driving instructors protest against ‘dangerous’ new test manoeuvre
A “dangerous” manoeuvre that is prohibited under the Highway Code is to be included in the new driving test despite opposition from instructors, it has emerged. Under changes being introduced to the new ‘L’ test, which comes into force in December, learner drivers will be required to perform a series of new manoeuvres. But one element of the revamped assessment has been with opposition among driving instructors, who claim that it is a “dangerous exercise” which may imperil inexperienced drivers. The manoeuvre responsible for the uproar requires learners to pull up on the opposite side of the road, reverse two car lengths, and then rejoin traffic. Introduced by the DVSA as one of three reversing manoeuvres – which include parallel parking and driving into a parking bay – it will replace former requirements such as a three-point turn and reversing around a corner. In response, driving instructor Antony Cove has launched a petition online demanding that it be removed from the test.
Lampposts to be transformed into electric car chargers as more people make the switch
Lamposts in London UK will be transformed into electric car chargers in the UK to ease drivers transition to electric cars. In a bid to ease the transition of UK drivers switching to electric cars, a number of lampposts will be converted into charging points. By 2040, the UK Government want to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in a ploy to reduce dangerous levels of pollution. It was recently revealed that every Londoner is exposed to illegal levels of PM2.5 pollution produced by cars which can cause strokes heart attacks and asthma. Currently however the infrastructure to support every Brit owning an electric car is not currently in place.
Flying cars could be in the air in 2018 as Volvo parent buys ‘street plane’ start-up
It’s a science fiction vision of the future – where commuters step into a flying car before whirring through the air to work. But it could become reality as soon as 2019, after Volvo’s parent company Geely bought flying car start-up Terrafugia, which aims to sell its first cars in 2019. The Terrafugia TF-X is partially electric-powered, has helicopter-style rotors, and predicted to cost around the price of a luxury car once it is in full production. The ‘street legal plane’ will carry two travellers and has a range of 400 miles, and a ceiling of 10,000 feet. It takes off using helicopter-style rotors built into the wings. The vehicle is a hybrid, which relies on electric motors on the ground, and to assist during take-off.
Petrol and diesel prices could soar by up to 12p a litre before Christmas, motorists warned
Petrol could soar by up to 8p a litre in weeks, motorists were warned yesterday. Diesel drivers face an even worse clobbering at the pumps with hikes of up to 12p.The alert by a top economist follows a surge in the price of Brent crude — up a fifth since summer. Petrol, now 119p a litre on average, could rocket to 127p before Christmas, according to George Buckley, of investment bank Nomura. That would add £150 a year to a typical motorist’s fuel bill if they use 35 litres a week.
Self-driving cars to STOP terrorists attacks like London Bridge or Westminster, experts claim
Driverless cars could stop “vehicle-ramming” terror attacks, experts have claimed. Self-driving tech would help “de-weaponise” cars so they couldn’t be used by terrorists to drive at crowds on pavements. It follows a series of attacks around the world – including Westminster, Finsbury Park, London Bridge as well as more recently in New York. And boffins believe autonomous cars could stop tragedies like these with computer software designed to veer away from people. Dr Junfeng Jiao, director of the Urban Information Lab at the University of Texas, told Inverse: “With the development of the technology, these tragedies may be taken into account by the makers such as Tesla and Google. “This is a huge opportunity for the next generation to de-weaponise cars.”