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Whitehall resists calls for taxpayers to back insurers over cyber attacks
Increasing numbers of underwriters, academics and consultants say potential losses from a cyber catastrophe – such as a breach that shuts down an ecommerce system or knocks out power supplies – mean the state should intervene.
Companies and Markets
BHP calls for halt to climate claims
Oil and gas groups should stop claiming to be better for the climate than coal, the head of one of the world’s biggest coal miners has demanded in a sign of a deepening rift between fossil fuel companies in the run-up to global talks on cutting carbon emissions.
Uber drives through deal with Times of India
The US-based group, valued at $40bn at its last fundraising round in December, will announce today a “strategic investment and co-operation partnership” with Times Internet, the digital arm of the group that publishes the country’s most-read newspaper.
Sovereign wealth funds start to leak oil
In the past decade, Norway’s $850bn oil fund has snapped up 1.3 per cent of the world’s equity market capitalisation and 0.9 per cent of the fixed income market.
A new class of continental-style “expressways” will be developed as part of an £11 billion roads revolution to be announced next week
The busiest A roads will be upgraded to become “mini motorways” — stripping out roundabouts and traffic lights, introducing entrance and exit slip lanes and restricting bicycles and slow-moving vehicles, such as tractors, to keep traffic moving.
Eighteen major roads are expected to be transformed initially, with a further seven projects being considered, The Times has learnt.
Drivers plead guilty online to save time in courts
People will be able to make their plea to thousands of minor offences online rather than attend court, under plans being examined by ministers. A scheme that already covers minor motoring offences such as speeding or driving without insurance will be extended nationally in the next few days.
Facelift for services to break motorway monotony
Motorway service stations will be given a radical facelift under government plans to break the monotony of long-distance travel. A new design panel is being formed by ministers to improve standards at almost 100 sites across the UK.
We need 24/7 rail services, says Stansted
Train services to Stansted should operate round the clock, or at the very least should start running very early in the morning from the City to help business travellers, London’s third airport is demanding.
Heathrow link cuts fares to foil Crossrail
Britain’s most expensive railway per mile is taking action against the expected onslaught on its business from Crossrail by deciding that from Friday accompanied under-16s will travel free, permanently.
EU exit ‘could cost UK £56bn a year in 2030’
Leaving the European Union could cost the British economy nearly £56bn a year, a report has concluded. Research by the Open Europe think-tank found UK GDP could shrink by 2.2 per cent in 2030 if Britain left the EU and failed to strike a deal to allow access to its markets.
Eurotunnel drivers spared exit checks as congestion fears grow
The exit checks that come into effect at UK borders next month have been criticised by one of Britain’s largest transport operators as it emerged that they will not be imposed on parts of the Channel Tunnel service. Eurotunnel, which runs car-carrying trains between Folkestone and Calais, revealed that most car drivers and passengers would not have their documents checked.
Conservatives enjoy biggest poll lead since 2010
The Conservatives have gained their most substantial poll lead since 2010 in the wake of the Budget, according to one poll. The latest Opinium survey for the Observer put the Tories up three points to 36 per cent, with Labour down two to 33, Ukip on 14, the Lib Dems on 7 and the Greens on 6.
Blow for Clarkson as BBC cancels Top Gear live shows
Jeremy Clarkson’s future at the BBC looked increasingly bleak last night as a series of Top Gear Live tour dates were axed. The four roadshows scheduled for Norway next weekend were scrapped, on the eve of an internal report into Clarkson’s fate.
Labour’s hedge fund backer could profit from private deals in NHS
A multi-millionaire hedge fund boss who handed £600,000 to the Labour Party stands to cash in from the privatisation of NHS services. Martin Taylor is the party’s fourth largest donor over the past three years despite Ed Miliband, who has had at least one private meeting with him, attacking the Conservatives for being ‘the party of Mayfair hedge funds’.
M4 speed trap catches 80 a day
Eighty drivers a day are falling foul of new speed trap on the M4. The cameras on a busy stretch of the motorway have caught 4,500 people speeding in two months, resulting in total fines of up to £450,000.
High-speed line across the Pennines carries hopes for new powerhouse
The Government’s plans to overhaul the North’s creaking railway infrastructure and build High Speed 3, unveiled on Friday, are at the heart of its long-term programme to create a “northern powerhouse”.
BP staff fund climate sceptic – Outspoken US senator received cash from BP political committee
One of America’s most powerful and outspoken opponents of climate change regulation received election campaign contributions that can be traced back to senior BP staff, including Chief Executive Bob Dudley.
THINK AGAIN; The Used Car Commission set out to be the car buyer’s friend, but somewhere along the road it got itself well and truly lost. So where to now?
Less than 18 months ago, the Government’s consumer affairs minister Jo Swinson launched a Used Car Commission (UCC). Led by the Trading Standards Institute and with many of the industry’s great and good involved, there was every reason to expect a positive impact on the used car trade for buyers. In June last year, the UCC released its report. Its recommendations were published in late October.
The National Franchised Dealer Association (NFDA) is also on the UCC. Director Sue Robinson told me: “We established that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work because franchised dealers are different to independents who are different again to private sellers. After the UCC recommendations were published, the NFDA sent a used car standard practice to all of our members and asked them to sign up to it, which they all did. We also sent it to Trading Standards for its backing. It hasn’t acknowledged receipt yet.”