News & Reviews

Use your indicators or it’s autonomous cars for you!

The day when cars drive themselves – so-called autonomous driving – is a day I dread. However, autonomous cars should become mandatory for those who fail to use their indicators! You are spoiling my fun by ambling along only giving thought to you and yourself.

I love nothing more than getting behind the wheel and driving my little metal box about on a voyage of discovery.

Only last Sunday, I was coming back from a local purveyor of fine ice cream and I decided to discover where a road that I had never been down went.

It was a lovely, sunny, autumnal day and I had no particular place to go. So I simply turned the wheel and set off down a narrow country track.

Car insurers give a little back.

CAR insurance is a necessary evil and the reputation of the companies offering insurance is, as a general rule, less than positive.

We all moan about premiums and the inevitable backwards and forwards when we are unfortunate enough to have to claim.

However, I have noticed a small movement in attitude from insurers and they are beginning to give back to the motorist and the communities they serve.

First up for recognition is Churchill, who have started a brilliant campaign to fund more of what I knew as lollipop men or women, who they are calling “lollipoppers”.

Are you a wolf or a sheep?

There is nothing wrong with being a sheep.

What would our green and pleasant land be without the Scottish Blackface or the Cheviot? Let’s be honest, they are cute, keep the grass short, make fabulous jumpers and taste fantastic (apologies to the veggies).

We all need sheep.

What never fails to amaze me is how many businesses continue to operate with no understanding of the opportunity afforded to run more efficient and competitive operations. Sheep follow blindly, no matter the conditions and most meet a grizzly end. Sheepdogs, on the other hand, respond to guidance, take direction, match instinct with courage and guile. If it was a straight cerebral duel between a dog and a sheep, my last 50p would be on the sheepdog every time.

Commuting to work IS work.

THE European Court of Justice has confirmed what many of us have felt for years that travelling to work “is work”.

I speak as someone who works largely from my home these days and I haven’t commuted regularly for four years.

However, I used to live in Leicester and complete a two-hour journey on the train into central London every day.

I had a young family and missed much of their growing up just earning a living. It was brutal.

Ban cars from outside of schools!

I have recently been very exercised this week by the announcement of a “trial” traffic measure running for the next 18 months.

It will ban cars outside six Edinburgh schools for an hour at the beginning and end of each day. I’m sorry, a trial? What’s to trial?

As a father of four, I absolutely understand that my little bundles of joy need to get to school safely.

My kids have always walked to school, just as I did, and my father before me.

When I was young, I was accompanied and, when I reached the grand age of 10, I went alone. As Dad used to say to me: “It’s character building.”

However, it appears from the traffic jams outside our schools that I may be in the minority.

Do we park it or solve it?

WHEN will research and development happen that solves some of the universal problems there are with moving people and things about?

There are a few problems that we all face when setting out on our journeys yet there appear to be few answers, despite huge financial and intellectual resources being thrown at the whole area of transport.

I get a “virtual” postbag every week complaining about the cost of petrol, congestion, a lack of parking, thoughtless and dangerous driving, and a myriad of other problems, yet answers sometimes feel a little thin on the ground.

Despite us being the most connected generation ever, we still don’t seem to be able to do the simple transport things well.

Retail delivers quickly, but do we really need such speed?

As preparations for the family holidays begin and the sun shines for that one rare day in the UK, Summer is well and truly under way in the retail world and competition for your pound is fierce.

The usual “price led” offers dominate but I have noticed a strange development – the same day/next day delivery, which meets or often exceeds customers needs but is just utter and complete madness.

Retailers are so keen to get your business that they are offering shorter and shorter delivery times for products ordered online.

Government soft on climate change and the causes of climate change

COP21, otherwise known as the Paris Climate Conference, is now a distant memory yet the impact for motorists is utterly devastating.

More people will die from poor air quality, global temperatures will continue to rise and eventually we will all realise we missed a massive opportunity to make things better for our kids.

You know me, I am a bit of a green evangelist. Not for it’s own sake, you understand.

I actually believe that being sustainable is our duty and it’s relatively easy.

I would like to point out I don’t wear hair shirts or, indeed, hug trees, often.

Solar roads may brighten your drive.

IF YOUR job is filling in road potholes may I humbly suggest you make your way to the Jobcentre.

Not because the money for doing this essential work has run out but because potholes are a thing of the past. I realise at this point you may be thinking that I am on some illicit substance. Stick with me. The world of road surfacing is about to undergo a massive innovation. Solar roads.

Imagine you get up in the morning, flick on the kettle and your cuppa is powered from the energy captured by the miles of road outside your house.

You need to clean up your act over diesel.

IN MY not so humble opinion, diesel is the devil’s work.

We were told it was cheaper than petrol, took you further by miles and was the panacea for motoring ills.

OK, so your car sounded like a black cab but it was a better fuel – we could cope with that.

Then diesel became more expensive than petrol and petrol engines became more efficient, increasing the miles per gallon achieved, and questions started to be asked in some quarters about diesel’s long-term future.

Then the death knell was delivered. The World Health Organisation said diesel exhaust fumes are carcinogenic. They cause cancer.