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Motorists who leave their engines idling in central London could face a fine of £20 under plans to improve air quality.
Traffic marshals from Westminster City Council will patrol the streets of the West End, approaching motorists who sit in stationary cars with the engine running.
The penalty charge, which will go up to £40 if not paid within 28 days, will be a “last resort” if drivers refuse to turn off their vehicles on request.
High levels of pollution from vehicle emissions are linked to the deaths of thousands of Londoners each year.
Green campaigners welcomed the policy, which comes into force on May 1, saying it would help raise awareness of the pollution produced by idling.
But motoring groups warned it would be seen as a money-raising exercise unless it was properly enforced. Several councils, including Wandsworth and Camden, already have policed no-idling zones and information campaigns.
Boris Johnson brought in a number of no-idling zones in 2011, with traffic marshals targeting “hot spots” including taxi ranks outside major stations and coaches on Park Lane.
UK councils are spending more than a quarter of a billion pounds a year keeping hundreds of thousands of grey fleet drivers on the road.
Local authorities in England foot three-quarters (76.3%) of the annual bill, reimbursing £209 million to more than 267,000 employees who drive their own car in the course of their work.
In Scotland, some 43,000 grey fleet drivers cost council coffers £32m, which was slightly more than the £28.9m paid out by Welsh local authorities to their 30,000-plus grey fleet drivers. Northern Irish councils have 3,106 grey fleet drivers – 1.4% of the UK total – costing £3.9m.
The figures, revealed as part of a Fleet News investigation, provide a unique insight into both the scale and cost of grey fleets operated by councils across the UK.
MG is to launch an updated MG6 model in the UK next month.
The original MG6 was launched in 2011, and the company says the 2015 update offers improvements across the board.
The 1.9-litre DTi-TECH diesel engine has been updated to offer lower CO2 levels and improved mpg figures. Exact figures will be revealed at the car’s launch.
Updates have been made to the body styling of the car, with interior upgrades and enhanced equipment levels.
The company claims the infotainment and navigation system rival others in the class.
US safety regulators are investigating complaints that two Nissan recalls didn’t go far enough to fix a problem with front-seat airbag seat sensors, the Associated Press has reported.
The probe covers nearly 990,000 vehicles in the US that were recalled in 2013 and last year because computer software may not detect an adult in the passenger seat.
The recall affects the Altima midsize car, Leaf electric car, Pathfinder SUV and Sentra compact models from the 2013 and 2014 model years, as well as the NV200 Taxi van and Infiniti JX35 SUV from 2013. Also covered are the Infiniti QX60 and Q50 SUVs from 2014.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has stated that 124 people have complained about the problem happening after repairs were made. Nissan maintains the fixes took care of the problem.
A £3.9 million package to boost environmentally-friendly transport and improve accessibility for disabled people has been unveiled by transport minister Baroness Kramer today.
The money will be invested in improving journeys from ‘door to door’, including support for car clubs, an electrically-powered-cycle scheme pilot, and a campaign to increase the number of children walking to school.
12 mobility centres will also be revamped to provide support for disabled or elderly drivers.
Transport minister Baroness Kramer said, ‘This government is making journeys greener, easier and safer. Today’s announcement will help children enjoy healthier journeys to school, provide a greater variety of sustainable transport and will give a helping hand to improve mobility for elderly or disabled people. There is something here for everyone.
These schemes will improve the lives of hardworking people across the country and are further demonstration of our commitment to improving access for all.
Motorists with diesel vehicles are being ‘taken for a ride’ by retailers who are charging too much, the RAC has said.
The motorists’ organisation said that even though the wholesale price of diesel has gone down over the last month, the price at the pump has risen.
The RAC is now calling for a price cut on diesel of 4 pence a litre.
However petrol retailers said the RAC was wrong – and that profit margins on diesel sales were mostly tiny.
Over the last month, the gap between wholesale petrol and diesel prices – in other words what the retailers pay – has narrowed to 0.97p.
Yet motorists are still paying 6p a litre more for diesel than they are for petrol, according to the RAC.
The RAC said that companies – which tend to rely more on diesel vehicles – were being charged too much.
“It’s hard not to think that business is being taken for a ride by the fuel retailers,” said Simon Williams, the RAC’s fuel spokesman.
“Retailers have maintained a higher margin on diesel, perhaps to subsidise petrol sales,” he said.
But the industry said that the RAC had misunderstood how profits are made.
“We are extremely disappointed that the RAC made a number of assumptions that are palpably erroneous,” said Brian Madderson, chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association, which represents independent forecourts.
He said that most business users who buy diesel use discount cards.
That results in profit margins for retailers of between just 0.8p and 1.3p a litre, less than they need to stay in business.
“We have to bear in mind that 900 independent sites closed between 2009 and 2013,” he told the BBC.
He said that margins on petrol sales had also collapsed “by 50%” in the last two months.
When it comes to car maintenance, there’s a common assumption: Londoners pay more than anyone else.
It stands to reason: higher rents, higher wages.
Surely all of that’s reflected in the bill presented to the customer?
Meanwhile, Londoners – and all city dwellers for that matter – must ponder whether they should have their car looked at the next time they pay a trip to see those in-laws in Norfolk or North Devon.
Well, what if I told you that London service/repair prices were almost exactly equal to the national average, while the UK’s extremities saw some of the highest pricing of all?
Twenty eight councils across England will receive a share of £275 million for major local roads maintenance, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced today (Tuesday, March 24, 2015).
The ‘challenge fund’ will be used for one-off major infrastructure schemes by local authorities to improve life for local residents and businesses.
Patrick McLoughlin said: “Good quality local roads are essential for people to get on with their daily business and today’s announcement will provide extra capacity where it is needed most. This
Government has put record funding in place for local roads as part of our long-term economic plan to improve journeys, create jobs and drive economic growth.”
Ford Motor Co. said on Wednesday it is recalling more than 220,000 vehicles in North America for potential issues with door handles, vacuum pump relays and sensors. The No. 2 U.S. automaker said it is recalling 212,911 Ford Explorer SUVs and Ford Police Interceptor utility vehicles from model years 2011 to 2013 because a spring that controls the interior door handle may become loose and cause the door to become unlatched in a side-impact crash, increasing the risk of injury.