Tuesday, 31 August 2010
The BVRLA has rejected suggestions that contingent and ancillary charges – such as those for administration, fuel and excess mileage – should be assessed for unfairness. In its response to a call for evidence from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the association called for the government to clarify what the objectives of changing existing legal principles would be and how this would improve consumer protection.
BIS believes that a case may exist for it to regulate charges which, from the consumer's perspective, do not form part of the 'essential bargain' between trader and consumer. The department believes these charges are not actively considered by consumers when entering into a contract and are therefore not subject to normal competitive pressures.
The BVRLA contends that charges for administration, fuel and excess mileage do not need to be regulated by the government as these are intended to recoup losses or costs incurred by members and are therefore driven by cost recovery.
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Tuesday, 24 August 2010
A massive traffic jam in China has slowed vehicles to a crawl for nine days near Beijing, local media say.
Vehicles, mostly lorries bound for Beijing, are in a queue for about 100km (62 miles) because of heavy traffic, road works and breakdowns. The drivers have complained that locals were over-charging them for food and drink while they were stuck. The situation has now "basically returned to normal," state television said on Monday.
There has been a boom in road building in China in recent years but vehicle use has soared at the same time. The stalled traffic stretched between Jining in Inner Mongolia and Huai'an in Hebei province, north-west of Beijing, said the Global Times. The road works which were obstructing traffic are necessary to repair damage caused by an increase in cargo lorries using the highway, the state-run newspaper said. They are not expected to be finished until mid-September.
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Thursday, 12 August 2010
Insurance, the more staid financial cousin of the "I'll get my coat" banking sector, continues its recovery.
Standard Life took up yesterday where rivals Aviva and Legal & General left off earlier this month with a decent set of interims, including a 10 per cent rise in profits. Prudential is expected to continue the trend when it reports today.
by Martin Flanagan, for The Scotsman
source: BBC News link to The Scotsman website
Insurance group Prudential has announced that the cost of failing to buy Asian business AIA was less than it first estimated.
The Prudential had initially said it would lose £450m on the failed deal, but now puts the final figure at £377m.
The update came as the firm reported a 19% rise in underlying operating profits for the first half of 2010.
Tuesday, 3 August 2010
Doctors say the law should be changed to force people who use road legal quad bikes to wear helmets.
Accident and emergency medics say lives are put at risk because riders do not have to wear protective gear - despite the fact the bikes can reach 90mph.
Road Safety Minister Mike Penning said there are no plans to make helmets compulsory but added that he will keep the matter under review. However the government says it does strongly advise riders to wear helmets.
The DVLA does not keep specific figures on the number of road legal quads but the main UK suppliers say that since 2005 they have gone from selling a few hundred each year to thousands.
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The European Commission has announced a target of halving road deaths in the European Union by 2020. A total of 35,000 people died in 2009 as a result of accidents on European roads. The UK has the lowest annual road fatality rate in the EU – 38 per million inhabitants.
Towards a European Road Safety Area: policy orientations on road safety 2011-2020, sets out seven strategic objectives: improved safety measures for trucks and cars; building safer roads; developing intelligent vehicles; strengthening licensing and training; better enforcement; targeting injuries; and a new focus on motorcyclists.
The Commission has concerns over the 'vehicles of tomorrow', including electric vehicles, as some of these are radically different from traditional vehicles in ways that might affect safety. It has said that, amongst other things, it will encourage progress on the active and passive safety features of motorcycles and electric vehicles. The Commission previously set out an action plan to halve annual EU road deaths from 50,000 to 25,000 between 2001 and 2010. The Commission's latest figures show that although substantial progress has been made this goal is unlikely to be achieved.
Further information can be found on the European Commission Road Safety website...