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The end of the road gets closer



THIS TUESDAY (Feb 4) the UK Government announced the ban on selling petrol, diesel, and hybrid cars in the UK would be brought forward from 2040 to 2035.
Once the ban is in place, only electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles will be available for purchase.
are subject to consultation, also include hybrid vehicles. U.K. authorities had previously said the sale of new petrol and diesel vans and cars would end in 2040.
Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said the government’s £1.5 billion plan to “make owning an electric vehicle as easy as possible” was working.
Mr Shapps also claimed that in 2019 a “fully electric car was sold every 15 minutes.”
“We want to go further than ever before,” Grant Shapps added. “That’s why we are bringing forward our already ambitious target to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars to tackle climate change and reduce emissions.”
In practice, ending the sale of petrol, diesel or hybrid cars or vans would leave consumers with a choice between electric and hydrogen vehicles.
“Drivers support measures to clean up air quality and reduce CO2 emissions but these stretched targets are incredibly challenging,” AA president Edmund King said in a statement issued in response to the government’s new target.
“We must question whether we will have a sufficient supply of a full cross-section of zero-emissions vehicles in less than fifteen years.”
Road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist has welcomed the announcement. GEM road safety officer Neil Worth commented: “GEM welcomes this measure, which we see as an important step in tackling the climate emergency the planet is facing.
“In recent years we have witnessed significant steps in the development of alternative fuel vehicles, and we believe that any remaining concerns about range anxiety and inadequate infrastructure will be dispelled if we all work together to embrace the opportunities of a sustainable future on the roads.
“We believe that for this to succeed, we must have strong leadership and clear information so that road users understand what will happen and when it will happen, as we make ready for the ban in 2035.”
Friends of the Earth’s head of policy Mike Childs said: “The government is right to accelerate the phase-out of petrol and diesel cars to curb air pollution and address the climate emergency, but the ban should start in 2030 – not 2035.
Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders was aghast.
“It’s extremely concerning that the government has seemingly moved the goalposts for consumers and industry on such a critical issue,” said Mr Hawes.
“Manufacturers are fully invested in a zero-emissions future, with some 60 plug-in models now on the market and 34 more coming in 2020. However, with current demand for this still expensive technology still just a fraction of sales, it’s clear that accelerating an already very challenging ambition will take more than industry investment.
“This is about market transformation, yet we still don’t have clarity on the future of the plug-in car grant – the most significant driver of EV uptake – which ends in just 60 days, while the UK’s charging network is still woefully inadequate.”
Mike Hawes continued: “If the UK is to lead the global zero emissions agenda, we need a competitive marketplace and a competitive business environment to encourage manufacturers to sell and build here. A date without a plan will merely destroy value today. We, therefore, need to hear how government plans to fulfil its ambitions sustainably, one that safeguards industry and jobs, allows people from all income groups and regions to adapt and benefit, and, crucially, does not undermine sales of today’s low emission technologies, including popular hybrids, all of which are essential to delivering air quality and climate change goals now.”

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Gritter strike: Carmarthenshire Council playing ‘russian roulette’ with residents’ safety says GMB



COUNCIL should tell residents to avoid travel over treacherous roads – rather than briefing the press that resident’s safety will be ‘ensured’, says GMB Union

GMB union has accused Carmarthenshire Council is playing ‘Russian roulette’ with residents’ safety over a gritter strike.

The Union has criticised the authority’s ‘reckless behaviour’ after residents were told yesterday (Jan 5) arrangements were in place to ‘ensure the safety of travelling residents’.

Gritters in Carmarthenshire are on strike today, January 5, after the council failed to adhere to a collective agreement signed with gritting staff back in 2020. 

Unions have agreed with the Council to undertake emergency cover, which means the overwhelming majority of Carmarthenshire’s Road network will remain ungritted. 

Council staff picketed last night at depots across Carmarthen, with further picket lines due to take place this evening. 

According to the council the county is heading for colder weather over the next few weeks, with a real risk of icy conditions, sleet and snow, meaning there is a real risk to the safety of residents undertaking travel on all but major roads.  

Peter Hill GMB organiser said: “Right now the council is playing Russian Roulette with the safety of Carmarthenshire residents. 

“Large chunks of the road network were not gritted last night, and it will remain the case for the next 48 hours.  

“Our members are also Carmarthenshire residents and we’re advising our families and friends to avoid the roads over the next 48 hours as many will not be gritted.  

“Rather than brandishing an agreement to deal with essential emergency work, they should be advising residents to avoid travelling unless utterly necessary.”

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Try eco driving to cut Carmarthenshire’s carbon footprint



PEOPLE in Carmarthenshire are being encouraged to drive more efficiently and cut their carbon emissions in a bid to tackle climate change.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s road safety team say eco driving not only improves road safety, but also reduces fuel use and emissions.

The council has recently launched a Prosiect Zero Sir Gâr campaign to raise awareness about what it is doing to tackle climate change and its efforts to become a net carbon zero authority.

The council was one of the first local authorities to declare a climate emergency and was the first local authority in Wales to publish a net zero carbon action plan.

Encouraging people to drive more eco-friendly is just one of the many ways it hopes to help the fight against climate change.

Driving more eco-efficient vehicles, including electric or hybrid vehicles is the best way to cut emissions, however drivers of other vehicles can also make a difference.

The council’s road safety team say drivers can cut their carbon footprint by planning their journeys to minimise mileage and taking simple actions like applying the parking brake and switching the engine off if the vehicle is stationary for more than a couple of minutes.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Hazel Evans, said sustainable travel also plays a big part in tackling climate change.

She said: “The first thing that you should consider is if you could reduce the number of journeys you make in your car – could you walk, cycle or take public transport instead, for example? If this is not possible and you need to use your vehicle then please bear in mind that small changes can make a huge difference to our carbon footprint. We all need to play our part.”

Here are the road safety team’s handy tips for safe eco-driving:

  • Plan your journey to avoid road works, congestion or losing your way and avoid busy travel times
  • Check tyres regularly and ensure they are inflated to the correct pressures
  • Remove roof boxes or racks when not needed to reduce air resistance
  • Don’t use your boot as a permanent storage space. Clear your vehicle of anything you don’t need to reduce the weight
  • Keep a safe distance from the car in front as this will help you to plan ahead
  • Stay within speed limits
  • Accelerate and brake gently. Avoid late braking
  • When conditions allow, use the highest gear possible without making the engine struggle
  • Use cruise control where appropriate
  • Use air conditioning sparingly
  • Check your fuel use regularly to make sure you are getting the most from your vehicle
  • When parking, always try to reverse into a parking space so you can drive out of it as manoeuvring whilst the engine is cold uses a lot of fuel
  • When you start the engine, don’t keep it idling to heat up the engine – this wastes fuel and should not be necessary if you drive off gently and smoothly. Scrape ice in the winter rather than leave your car idling to warm up
  • If your vehicle is stationary and is likely to remain so for more than a couple of minutes, you should apply the parking brake and switch off the engine to reduce emissions and noise pollution.
  • Many vehicles have stop/start technology – make sure it’s turned on to reduce fuel consumption and emissions
  • Keeping your vehicle well maintained will also reduce fuel use
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On The Road

Kia Niro is top used car



THE KIA NIRO has been named ‘Used Car of the Year’ and ‘Used SUV of the Year’ at the Car Dealer Used Car of the Year Awards 2019.
The judges commended the Niro on delivering the high efficiency and low running costs of a petrol-electric car with the style, practicality and desirability of a compact crossover. As well as easy maintenance and clever packaging, the Niro like all Kia models comes with the industry-leading seven-year warranty.
James Baggott, the founder of Car Dealer Magazine, said: ‘Kia is a brand that likes to innovate, whether that’s by the introduction of exciting new models or the launch of attention-grabbing marketing initiatives such as its famous seven-year warranty. It has really hit the sweet spot with the Niro which is performing exceptionally well in the used car market. Very well done to Kia and its efficient and spacious Niro.’
John Hargreaves, General Manager for Fleet and Remarketing at Kia Motors UK (Ltd) commented on the awards: ‘We are delighted the Niro has been won not only its category but also the overall Used Car of the Year title. The Niro offers a compelling option to customers in the used car market thanks to its practicality and low running costs.’
In addition, Kia was also highly commended within the category ‘Manufacturer Used Car Scheme of the Year’. Having won the award three times previously at the Car Dealer Used Car Awards, Kia’s Approved Used car scheme is widely recognised across the industry as one of the best. It includes a warranty that is topped back to the full seven years, one year’s free roadside assistance, a guaranteed a full service history and a 60-day exchange policy.

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