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Why Ford’s Electric F-150 Lightning Is Bullish

Some auto investors were initially unimpressed by Ford Motor Company’s (NYSE: F)[1] reveal of its battery-electric F-150 Lightning last month. After all, if Ford is simply defending its pickup-truck turf from new entrants as the world transitions to el…

Canada’s ELD mandate now in effect — kind of – FreightWaves

Canada’s mandate for commercial vehicles to use electronic logging devices (ELDs) took effect on Saturday. But it’s missing two key pieces: meaningful enforcement and a list of approved ELDs certified for use in the country.
The result is a peculiar se…

June 12: Lockdown lifting delay likely; Delta cases double every 4.5 days; Hottest day of the year; Queen’s quip – Car Dealer Magazine

Johnson poised to delay Covid lockdown lifting to July

Boris Johnson looks set to delay the final lifting of coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England following another sharp rise in cases of the Delta variant.

Ministers are considering putting back the relaxing of controls planned for June 21 for up to four weeks as they race to roll out the vaccine to younger age groups.

A final decision is expected to be taken tomorrow ahead of a formal announcement by the Prime Minister at a news conference the following day.

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Delta variant cases doubling every 4.5 days in parts of England

Cases of the Indian variant are estimated to be doubling every four and a half days in parts of England, new data suggests.

Public Health England said that 42,323 cases of the Delta variant have been confirmed in the UK, up by 29,892 from last week.

Growth rates for Delta cases are high across all parts of the country, it added, with regional estimates for doubling time ranging from 4.5 days to 11.5 days.

Football fans to enjoy hottest day of year as temperatures approach 30C

Football fans will enjoy the hottest day of the year so far this weekend, with temperatures hitting highs of 29C (84.2F).

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The mercury will soar on Sunday afternoon, just as England take on Croatia, potentially making it the warmest June 13 on record.

Parts of the UK will be hotter than holiday destinations in Ibiza, Mykonos and even California due to a high pressure moving in from the south. 

Covid-19 vaccine pioneers celebrated in Queen’s Birthday Honours list

The life-saving work of Covid-19 vaccine design and delivery is celebrated in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, with a host of awards going to the experts who transformed the UK’s pandemic response.

Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine mastermind Professor Sarah Gilbert and the ex-chair of the UK vaccine taskforce Kate Bingham are both recognised with damehoods.

Elsewhere, Manchester City footballer Raheem Sterling is made an MBE for services to racial equality in sport amid controversy over England fans booing players taking the knee.

Road safety campaigner dedicates MBE to son who died in smart motorway accident

A road safety campaigner has dedicated her MBE to her eight-year-old son who was killed in a smart motorway collision.

Meera Naran said the first person she wanted to tell about her award was her son, Dev, who died after a lorry struck his grandfather’s Toyota Yaris on the M6 in May 2018.

Naran, from Leicester, has been awarded an MBE for her services to road safety after playing an instrumental role in the development and adoption of the government’s £500m 18-point road safety plan for smart motorways.

Former Lloyds boss knighted after turning around bank’s fortunes

The former boss of Lloyds Banking Group who steered the lending giant back into private ownership after its financial crisis bailout has received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Antonio Horta-Osorio is recognised for his services to the financial sector, as well as his voluntary work for mental healthcare and culture.

Friday’s Car Dealer headlines you may have missed

Queen’s quip puts G7 leaders at ease at evening reception

The Queen has asked the question possibly on the mind of every G7 world leader – ‘Are you supposed to be looking as if you’re enjoying yourself?’

Known for her wit, used to put nervous guests at ease, the Queen’s quip came as presidents and prime ministers smiled for the camera during a photo after an evening reception.

The Queen hosted an open-air reception at the Eden Project in Cornwall and was joined by the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Parkrun events scheduled to return in England from June 26

Parkrun events could return in England from June 26, the organisation has said.

The free 5k Saturday morning event was due to restart on Saturday June 5, however parkrun said only about 250 of the 589 venues which had previously hosted the events had given permission for them to return.

But the organisation said yesterday that more than 500 events now have ‘full landowner permission to return’ before the end of the month.

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Sajid Javid seeks to raise the minimum age for marriage to 18

The legal minimum age to get married in England and Wales could be raised to 18 under backbench legislation being tabled by former chancellor Sajid Javid.

Javid said he will be introducing a private member’s Bill next week to protect vulnerable teenagers from religious and cultural pressures to marry too young.

Currently 16-year-olds may marry if they have the consent of their parents.

Holiday prices slashed in amber destinations

Holidaymakers can make huge savings if they choose a destination on the government’s amber list, new figures show.

Average prices for breaks in Portugal in July or August fell by 64 per cent in the week after the government moved the country from green to amber.

Seven-night family package breaks during the school holidays are available from as little as £180 per person. People returning to the UK from amber destinations must self-isolate at home for 10 days and shouldn’t be travelling there for holidays.

Lockdown easing sees economy grow

The easing of lockdown restrictions in April helped the UK economy grow at its fastest rate since July 2020.

The Office for National Statistics said gross domestic product was up 2.3 per cent in April although it remains below pre-pandemic levels. In July last year the economy grew 7.3 per cent.

Non-essential retailers, including car dealers, drove much of the growth as they welcomed customers back into stores from April 12 in England, with clothes stores seeing a boost of 69.4 per cent.

Heathrow passenger numbers 90 per cent below pre-pandemic levels

Heathrow’s passenger numbers are languishing at 90 per cent below pre-pandemic levels, the UK’s busiest airport said.

Just 675,000 people travelled through the west London airport last month, compared with 6,769,000 in May 2019.

Naked wines’ sales fizz as alcohol home deliveries soar

With pubs shut for much of the year, online drink orders from Naked Wines have soared, the company has announced.

Bosses at the home delivery business said sales in the 12 months to March 29 jumped 68 per cent to £340.2m.

But despite the boost in sales, losses widened as the company focused on expansion to tap into the growing market. Pre-tax losses hit £10.7m compared to £5.4m a year earlier.

Halfords set to see profits almost double as public transport ditched for bikes

Halfords’ profits are set to almost double for the past year after people shunned public transport in favour of bikes and cars during the pandemic.

The cycling and motoring specialist is set for another bumper trading announcement when it updates company shareholders on Thursday.

It is expected to reveal a pre-tax profit between £90m and £100m for the year to the end of April. The bumper profit, which will also take into account the £10.7m it is repaying in furlough, compares with a £52.6m profit for the previous year.

FTSE climbs to month high after rebound in UK GDP

London’s markets made a strong finish to the week as the FTSE 100 floated to a month high after traders welcomed evidence that the economy rebounded in April.

The FTSE 100 closed 45.88 points higher, or 0.65 per cent, at 7,134.06 yesterday.

The German Dax increased by 0.78 per cent and the French Cac moved 0.83 per cent higher.

McLaren Racing set to enter Extreme E in 2022

McLaren Racing has announced that it will be fielding a car in next year’s Extreme E event.

The electric off-road series ‘aims to use racing to promote sustainability and diversity’ while highlighting the effects of climate change on some of the world’s most remote environments.

McLaren’s decision to enter the series ties in with the firm’s own sustainability plans, which have seen it commit to reducing its carbon emissions.

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Sizzling summer weekend 

Today, England and Wales will have plenty of sunshine, says the BBC. Eastern Scotland will be partly cloudy and dry. Elsewhere, it will remain mostly cloudy with the chance of the odd spot of rain.

Tonight, cloud is expected to thicken across the Northern Isles and north-western areas, with patchy drizzle in western Scotland and rain in Shetland. Elsewhere will continue dry with clear spells.

Tomorrow, it will be dry and sunny for most, but a band of rain will push into far northwestern areas. Very warm and humid across much of England and Wales.

Mersey produce supplier warns of HGV driver crisis – Liverpool Business News

Last updated Jun 11, 2021

A Merseyside supplier of fruit and vegetables says produce is going to waste because of a UK-wide shortage of lorry drivers. Andrew Brown reports

Lorry, truck, HGV, transport, logistics, driver
There is a national shortage of HGV drivers, says Tim O’Malley

A produce company based in Southport is warning that fruit and vegetables are rotting in cold stores because of a major shortage of HGV drivers in the UK.

Tim O’Malley, managing director of Nationwide Produce PLC, which is based in Lord Street, says the issue is “a crisis of national importance”.  And he is urging all suppliers in the industry to work with hauliers and customers to get everyone through the situation.

Blogging on the Nationwide Produce PLC website, he said: “The acute shortage of HGV drivers is now the direct cause of perfectly good, graded and packed fresh produce being dumped or rotting in cold stores, waiting for wheels to go under it.

“Supermarket shelves and restaurant plates are going empty – this is a crisis of national importance. In all my years in fresh produce I’ve never seen anything like this.

“Example – we supply one of the largest restaurant chains in the UK. It goes without saying how much they’ve suffered throughout the pandemic. However, business is booming for them at the moment.

“On Sunday, our guy who handles their account received a call from our haulier at 1pm to say that due to a shortage of lorry drivers, they cannot deliver anything to any of the depots for our restaurant customer that evening.

“We reminded them that all the goods were graded and packed and ready to go. They said they simply could not deliver due to a lack of drivers. After hours of begging and pleading we managed to get them to deliver to one of the eight depots.

Nationwide Produce PLC
Nationwide Produce PLC is based in Southport

“And we were one of a number of suppliers to the restaurant chain that the haulier was breaking the same bad news to. The restaurant chain went drastically short of fresh produce this weekend. And this is by no means an isolated incident. It’s happening throughout the industry, every day and across all sectors.

“I heard of one major supermarket chain which had 22 full loads of produce not delivered this weekend due to the shortage of drivers. Goods are being produced… but not delivered.”

Nationwide Produce PLC is one of the biggest companies supplying fruit and vegetables to supermarkets and restaurants across Britain.  The firm does  just about everything in fresh produce – growing, grading, packing, trading, importing and exporting. Group turnover for financial year 2018-19 was £144m

Established in 1975, Nationwide started life as a local produce merchant based in Southport. Mr O’Malley added: “Our haulier I refer to above has been one of our main hauliers for many years. And yet despite this I hold no grudge. Quite the opposite, I feel for them and have urged our guys to work with them to sort through such issues as it wasn’t the first and won’t be the last.

“In fairness to them, they’ve been warning us about this for a long time but we’re now starting to feel the painful reality of this long-predicted shortage of drivers.”

Mr O’Malley says some problems have arisen since Brexit, with many foreign HGV drivers returning to the EU in recent months.  He is also calling for LGV drivers to be added to the skilled labour list, removing any barriers to entry for any new drivers from  the EU.

A lack of tests for new drivers over the last 12 months has led to a shortage which is the equivalent of 20,000 new drivers, while there is an ageing UK driver force – 13% of the industry’s UK drivers are over 60, compared to only 1% under 25.

“So how can we deal with this crisis?” he asked. “There’s no quick fix. For example, when schools/universities break up for summer soon we should see a much-needed boost in staff availability, particularly for the hospitality sector. But while it may take a matter of hours to train a waiter, it takes a lot more time and money to train a lorry driver.

“The quickest fix would be government intervention to change the tax rules, add drivers to the migrant skilled labour list etc. I would urge all suppliers in the industry to work with hauliers and customers to get us through this crisis.”

This article first appeared in Stand Up For Southport[1]

References

  1. ^ Stand Up For Southport (dev.standupforsouthport.com)

Road safety campaigner dedicates MBE to son who died in smart motorway accident

A road safety campaigner has dedicated her MBE to her eight-year-old son who was killed in a smart motorway collision.

Meera Naran told the PA news agency the first person she wanted to tell about her award was her son, Dev, who died after a lorry struck his grandfather’s Toyota Yaris on the M6 in May 2018.

Ms Naran, from Leicester, has been awarded an MBE for her services to road safety after playing an instrumental role in the development and adoption of the Government’s £500 million 18-point road safety plan for smart motorways.

The 37-year-old also helped with the inclusion of vital updates to the Highway Code around motorway driving and successfully campaigned for the Government’s £5 million road education drive.

Speaking to PA about her MBE, Ms Naran said her campaigning is her “purpose and it keeps me going”.

She said: “I’m just so honoured and truly humbled to be recognised for my work in road safety in this way.

“I’m accepting this in the memory of my son, Dev, and for me it’s about continuing to focus on my campaign, which is safer drivers on safer roads.

“You never expect to outlive your child. It’s unimaginable grief that can be all-consuming.

“But I’ve chosen to use my grief to change it into something positive and save the lives of others.

“It’s my purpose and it keeps me going.”

The honour comes just months after Highways England had to accelerate an action plan amid growing concern over all lane running (ALR) smart motorways – which involve the hard shoulder being converted into a running lane – following several fatal accidents involving stationary vehicles being hit from behind.

The Government-owned company, which has described smart motorways as “the safest roads in the country” with a lower number of fatalities per distance than conventional motorways, now aims to complete retrofitting the Stopped Vehicle Detection (SVD) radar system six months earlier than planned.

It said 15 people were killed on motorways without a permanent hard shoulder in 2019, up from 11 in 2018.

But Labour’s shadow transport secretary, Jim McMahon, told MPs in April that a stocktake found 63 people had lost their lives in the last five years and the radar technology does not spot broken-down vehicles 35% of the time.

Coronavirus – Mon Dec 21, 2020Coronavirus – Mon Dec 21, 2020

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says that smart motorways have a better safety record than regular motorways (Tolga Akmen/PA)

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, pointed out: “In the period 2015 to 2019 there were 39 fatalities on smart motorways but there were also 368 fatalities on regular motorways.”

Outlining her plans for the future, Ms Naran continued: “The next phase of my campaign has already begun and it will focus around further education and collaboration with other stakeholders – such as the police and road safety organisations.

“For far too long we’ve accepted five people dying every day and approximately 60 people seriously injured (every day) on our roads in the UK.

“Road deaths are preventable and we really need to change our mindset and culture that this is acceptable and that road deaths are inevitable.

“Safety comes first and we all need to work together to mitigate those risks from both our roads and from unsafe driving.

“It’s everyone’s responsibility, not just the Government.

“This year, I am working on pulling together all leaders in road safety to make this happen.

“Safer drivers on safer roads is exactly what we need to focus on.”

Ms Naran expressed her sadness that she could not tell Dev about her award.

She told PA: “The first person I actually wanted to tell was Dev and it was so hard because he’s not here.

“We were always each other’s cheerleaders – it’s really hard.

“I can’t wait to tell Neel (Dev’s brother) though.”

Lorry driver praised for parking under motorway bridge to stop man jumping off it

A lorry driver has been praised after parking beneath a motorway bridge[1] which it was feared a man would jump off.

A photograph shared on social media show a man sat on the edge of a bridge flanked by what appears to be two police officers.

Cheshire Police said it was called to a bridge over the M62[2] by Warrington[3] on Tuesday afternoon due to safety concerns.

Vulnerable Citizen Support Leeds, a community interest company providing welfare services for those in need, shared a photograph of the incident on their Facebook page to raise awareness of mental health issues.

The non-profit organisation said it was sharing the image to show “it’s okay not be ok”.

The group, who also deliver food to the homeless, praised the lorry driver for taking action.

“What a trucker,” the post said. “Stopping on the hard shoulder and leaving his truck there – to ensure when he did jump it wasn’t a longer distance to the floor.”

It added: “What people don’t understand is that to jump on the other side of any bridge – indicates something drastically wrong with [their] mental health. But whats next?”

Social media users were united in praise for the lorry driver, with one user commenting: “Trucker is a good human and deserves the utmost respect.”

Another wrote: “God bless the trucker and I hope and pray the man who was suicidal gets the help he needs and deserves.”

Highways England confirmed to The Independent that the M62 was closed at Junction 9 by Warrington on Tuesday due to a police incident.

A Cheshire Police spokesperson told Sky News reports of safety concerns for a man on an M62 bridge by Warrington came through on Tuesday afternoon.

She said: “A full closure was put in place while officers and specialist negotiators attended to the scene to engage with the man who was brought to safety and handed into the care of paramedics.”

If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, The Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email [email protected], or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.

References

  1. ^ motorway bridge (www.independent.co.uk)
  2. ^ M62 (www.independent.co.uk)
  3. ^ Warrington (www.independent.co.uk)