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Some slightly concerning news if you drive to work as you may start being charged to park there. Meanwhile, being old and holding a driving licence is now even more frowned upon, particularly if you do happen to be the Duke of Edinburgh. Don’t worry though, because you can still have loads of fun hiring fast cars and then powering them around a racetrack.
Workplace Parking Levy
Something rather sinister called the ‘workplace parking levy’ now exists in Nottingham and means that motorists could be forced to pay up to £1000 a year to park at work.
Edinburgh and Glasgow councils confirmed they plan to implement the charges, while the plan is under consultation in Oxford, Bristol, Cambridge, Reading and a number of London boroughs. It's all part of a Government plan to reduce congestion and local pollution, but at the same time raising finances, with the ultimate goal being to improve public transport.
Nottingham city council has claimed that, since the charges were introduced, it has become the only large city in England to see traffic reductions on A-roads during the morning rush-hour. The trouble is that the costs are inevitably passed onto workers and may make it difficult for many to get to work,especially at times when there is no public transport like for those on late night/early morning shifts.
Prince Philip's On A Race Track?
I don’t know if you saw a news article about the HRH Prince Philip’s crash recently. He's since given up his licence but there have been some calls for mandatory testing to come into force.
The Duke of Edinburgh is now 97 years old but, Nick Lloyd, acting head of road safety for RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), had some very reasonable views on the incident. “We were very distressed to hear of the incident involving our former President, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, and two other people, and we are extremely pleased and relieved to hear that everyone involved was not seriously injured.
“In the wake of the incident, we have inevitably heard calls for mandatory testing of people of a certain age. This is a red herring – age is a completely arbitrary and unreliable measure for assessing someone’s ability to drive. Statistically, older drivers have fewer accidents than other age groups.
“If we were to restrict drivers based on any relationship between age and accident rates, we would need to take a fresh look at inexperienced, younger drivers aged 17 to 24. Although this younger age group accounts for just seven per cent of the driving population, they are involved in around 22 per cent of fatal or serious road traffic incidents.
"In contrast, experience developed by older drivers over a lifetime of driving helps them anticipate and cope with hazardous situations. They often choose to use familiar routes and plan their journeys to make use of daylight and avoid congested rush hour traffic.”
He said a lot more sensible things and was right to suggest that older drivers should be encouraged to have health checks and possibly a driver assessment.
There's help out there if you're unsure, websites like www.olderdrivers.org.uk, are chock full of information, but perhaps the best thing over 65s should consider doing is booking a proper supercar or classic driving experience on a circuit. TrackDays.co.uk – is reporting a surge in bookings from older customers.
They've seen a huge increase of 29% in bookings from the elderly compared to the same period the previous year, with them heading out on some of the UK’s top race circuits, including Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Snetterton and Donington Park. They're choosing to drive Aston Martins, Lamborghinis, Ferraris and McLarens. Go go Gran and Grandad.
Maybe the motoring news isn’t so depressing after all!
Editor, Free Car Mag and Author, Bangernomics
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