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IT’S one of the two biggest days of the year in any car dealership’s calendar – the day the registration plate number changes – and many showrooms across the UK held special midnight handover events this week.
The Peter Vardy BMW and Mini dealership in Edinburgh was among those welcoming buyers to its showroom as the clock struck 12 to mark the arrival of cars bearing the 65-plate.
Meanwhile, staff at Wessex Garages are predicting strong sales of the 65 number plate after a successful past six months.
New car sales have been running 13 per cent ahead of the same period last year at the business, which has outlets in Bristol, Cardiff, Gloucester and Newport.
And the company has reported motorists are ordering new vehicles in their droves this year and sales of September registrations are looking rosy.
Keith Brock, managing director of the company, said: ‘So far this year, we have had a great response from our customers regarding the purchase of new vehicles and predict this to continue in September with the new 65 number plate.
‘Our pre-orders for September are on track and we think new car buyers have never had it so good. There is so much choice as well as discounts and offers to be had.’
The FTA is reminding operators to make sure their vehicles comply with the Safer Lorry Scheme.
The scheme starts today and operators who do not comply with the new rules could face fines of up to £1,000 or £50 fixed penalties. The enforcement area is the entire London Low Emission Zone.
The scheme will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will require all vehicles over 3.5 tonnes to be fitted with sideguards, kerb view and front mirrors. It aims to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists by giving lorry drivers a better view around their vehicles.
Many newer vehicles already have the required mirrors and sideguards and some operators have already fitted them voluntarily.
There are exemptions to the scheme, details of the which can be found on the Transport for London website.
Natalie Chapman, head of policy for London at the FTA, said: “FTA is pleased that there are exemptions and concessions for vehicles where this equipment is either not possible or not legal.
“However, in principle we believe that this kind of blunt regulatory tool is not the best way to improve cyclist safety.
“We still think that the money and effort invested in this scheme would have been better spent on increased enforcement against the small proportion of lorries that don’t comply with existing regulations.
“There are better ways to achieve safer roads for all users.”
The scheme will be enforced by the police, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and the joint Department for Transport/Transport for London-funded Industrial HGV Taskforce.
Those who don’t comply will also be referred for investigation by the relevant traffic commissioner.
The automotive industry has launched the ‘CleanDieselTech campaign as all new cars sold from today must meet Euro 6 emissions regulation.
The purpose of the online campaign, at www.cleandieseltech.eu and using the #Cleandieseltech hashtag, is to raise awareness about clean diesel, which is made up of a three-part system that combines cleaner diesel fuel, advanced engines and effective emissions control technology.
This campaign provides simple and accessible facts, figures and infographics to inform the general public and policy makers alike about the latest generation of diesel technology.
Since 1992, the EU has introduced increasingly stricter limits on vehicle emissions through a series of ‘Euro’ standards. The latest and most stringent of these standards is Euro 6. New car models have complied with Euro 6 since September 2014, and as of today all new cars sold must meet this standard. Over the last 15 years, nitrogen oxides (NOx) limits for diesel car engines have been reduced by 84%, and particulates (PM) by 90%. Diesel cars also have 15% lower CO2 emissions per kilometre than equivalent petrol-powered vehicles.
The campaign partners – the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), the Association for Emissions Control by Catalyst (AECC), the European Council for Motor Trades and Repairs (CECRA) and the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA) – are calling for technology-neutral and results-oriented policy to ensure the uptake of the latest low-emission vehicles. With this support, they will continue to work together to ensure that modern diesel remains one of the key pillars in the portfolio of low CO2 technologies for delivering clean and affordable transport for future generations.
With the arrival of autonomous cars looming, OSV Ltd, a vehicle leasing company surveyed around 500 people in the UK to find out exactly what was concerning them most when it comes to driverless cars.
The results from the survey carried out by OSV Ltd were overwhelming! 72% of the UK population admitted that they had concerns with driverless cars and only 28% shared that they had no concerns at all.
From this survey it would seem that automakers that are building driverless cars have their work cut out in order to rid the UK population of concerns.
Interestingly, men are less concerned than women with 36% of the men questioned stating that they were not anxious at all compared to only 27% of women.
The survey results also showed that those aged over 65 were the most concerned age range, with 100% of those surveyed admitting that they were concerned with some element. On the other end of the scale, those aged between 25 and 34 are most looking forward to the arrival of autonomous cars and have the least concerns. Only 71% of this age range admitted that they have concerns with driverless cars.
Other noteworthy findings include: safety topping the concerned list. A whopping 28% of those people surveyed shared that safety was their number one concern when it comes to driverless cars.
18% cited that they were most concerned by hacking, malfunctions or dodgy updates. Many may be surprised that this figure isn’t higher due to the recent car hacking scandal.
Another 18% were concerned about accidents or crashing, again surprisingly this figure isn’t higher after Google’s driverless car recently crashed.
Lower down the list of concerns are; who will control the car’s moral compass? 7% admitted that this was the most concerning element of autonomous cars and only 5% have shared that they are most concerned with who will govern self-driving cars.
With driverless cars set to be tested on UK roads soon, the survey shows that automakers will have to work hard to gain mainstream trust and acceptance.