PEAK-TIME UTILITY ROADWORKS IN LONDON DOWN 50 PER CENT

PEAK-TIME UTILITY ROADWORKS IN LONDON DOWN 50 PER CENT / BUYING A USED CAR PRIVATELY IS LIKE ‘MOTORING ROULETTE’ SAY RAC  / PETROL THEFTS IN UPPER NORWOOD / ‘TOO MANY DRIVERS STILL NOT WEARING SEATBELTS’ – IAM

PEAK-TIME UTILITY ROADWORKS IN LONDON DOWN 50 PER CENT

PEAK-TIME utility roadworks in London have fallen by more than 50 per cent since the reduction of a ‘lane rental’ scheme in July 2012, say TfL.

Since April 2013, firms undertaking work anywhere in London have had to apply for a permit before they can begin digging up the roads as part of the London permit scheme.

London’s Lane Rental Scheme, launched by the Mayor of London and TfL on 11 June 2012, reduces road delays by encouraging utility companies to avoid digging up the busiest roads at peak traffic times.

Since then, there has been a more than 50% reduction in peak-time utility roadworks at traffic hotspots.

TfL say they are leading the way among those carrying out roadworks in London, including utility companies, by scheduling around 99 per cent of works at lane rental locations outside of peak traffic times.

For more information about the wider work TfL is carrying out to keep London moving, please visit http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roads

The London Permit Scheme also enables TfL to monitor the number of roadworks taking place on its roads at any one time and ensure that they don’t exceed the agreed limit.

In 2010, the cap was put in place to reduce the maximum number of works taking place by 20pc; the limit has since been further revised to reduce the maximum number of works by a further 10pc.

Traffic police community support officers (TPCSOs) are also used to clamp down on roadworks that are outside of their permit.

Londoners can report disruptive or badly managed roadworks, as well as road defects such as potholes and damaged footpaths, by visiting https://reportit.tfl.gov.uk.

Any enquiries received will be sent directly to the relevant highway authority (TfL or a London borough) responsible, ensuring that direct and fast action can be taken, add TfL  (Source: Transport for London press release.)

BUYING A USED CAR PRIVATELY IS LIKE ‘MOTORING ROULETTE’ SAY RAC

Nearly half of motorists (45 per cent) who have ever bought a used car privately believe they were deceived in some way by the person who sold it to them – highlighting a worrying lack of trust in the used car buying process.

Of the drivers who feel they have been misled, more than two thirds (67pc) think they were sold a faulty car and more than a fifth (21pc) think they paid too much for what they ended up driving away, according to a study of more than 2,300 motorists conducted by the RAC.

With two in five used cars being sold privately, the process of buying a second-hand car can clearly be daunting with consumers confronted with a range of fears including buying a car that may be prone to breaking down, has outstanding finance on it or may have significant unknown costs just around the corner.

Half of those surveyed (50pc) said they buy privately to get the best value for money, but the research carried out for the launch of RAC Car Passport revealed that for many it actually proves to be a financial gamble, say the RAC.

With some 2.7m cars bought and sold privately out of the 6.7m used cars that change hands in the UK each year, it appears ‘being economic with the truth’ is commonplace and confidence in making such an important purchase is being undermined.

Drivers’ top three concerns when it comes to private sales are buying a car that already has a mechanical fault (29pc), purchasing a stolen vehicle (24pc), and choosing a car that has been written off (13pc).

Other common worries include acquiring a car that is still being paid for on finance by someone else, costs more in maintenance than expected, or is worth less than the buyer ends up paying.

But future buyers ARE putting in the legwork when it comes to purchasing their next motor – nearly half (43pc) spend upwards of 10 hours researching their purchase, and a third (34pc) invite a friend or family member to help them inspect the vehicle.

When it comes to whether or not to buy, more than one in three people (35pc) rely on a friend with motoring knowledge to help make the final decision for them.

Robert Diamond, managing director at RAC Car Passport, said: “Buying a car privately can work out cheaper than going through a dealer and is therefore a popular choice in the UK.

“But clearly many drivers don’t have a lot of trust either in the person they’re buying from, or in the car they end up driving away with.

“Sadly, motorists are telling us that buying a car privately appears to resemble something akin to motoring roulette.

“What’s more, buying privately doesn’t afford the same levels of consumer protection as buying through a dealership – putting more pressure on making the right purchase of a vehicle.

“Happily, this doesn’t need to be the case and there are now a range of services available to help ensure that private buyers needn’t spend hours researching their next car only to be let down at the very end.

“While there are many good vehicles out there for sale, there is always the fear of buying a dud,” said Diamond.

“Motorists don’t want nasty surprises. “With our new car passport buyers can get peace of mind about what they are looking to purchase. “Armed with the best possible insight, it allows them make a better, smarter purchasing decision.”

For added peace of mind when buying a new vehicle, the RAC also offers a vehicle inspection service that includes both a visual check-up and road test.

For more information about the RAC Car Passport, visitwww.rac.co.uk/carpassport.

For more information about RAC Vehicle Inspections, visitwww.rac.co.uk/buying-a-car/vehicle-inspections.

PETROL THEFTS IN UPPER NORWOOD

Roads bordering the Upper Norwood recreation ground which stands between Eversleigh and Chevening Roads saw a spate of petrol thefts in December.

The thefts are thought to have occurred overnight, say police.

A simple knock against the side of your tank will give an indication of how much fuel is in your vehicle.

Police suggest considering taking these simple steps to help prevent you  from becoming a victim:

 Always use a locking fuel filler cap.

 Park your vehicle in a well-lit, public area or a secure car park. Thieves don’t like to be disturbed, so the busier the area, the better.

 Ask yourself do you have to fill up before you leave the vehicle overnight? Leave the vehicle with little fuel in the tank and fill up the next day when you set off again.

 Report any thefts or suspicious sightings to your local SNT (Safer Neighbourhood Team). “The more we know the greater the chance we have of being in the right place at the right time” say police.

‘TOO MANY DRIVERS STILL NOT WEARING SEATBELTS’ – IAM

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is warning that despite 50 years of seat belt laws, far too many drivers and passengers are still putting themselves and others in great danger by not wearing seat belts.

The first seat belt law came into force in January 1965, which saw all new cars in the UK required to have seat belt anchorage points on the outer front seats – and paved the way for far-reaching compulsory seat belt wearing laws in the decades after.

Statistics from the Department of Transport show that of the 232 car occupants killed in 2013 (for which seatbelt data was recorded), 45 were not wearing a seat belt – a shocking 19 per cent.

According to Safer Roads, 2,000 people a year are saved by wearing seat belts. They say in the event of an accident if unrestrained, you will hit the windscreen, or the front seat in the case of a rear seat passenger at a force of 30 to 60 times your own body weight .

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