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Senedd gives green light to 20mph default speed limit in Wales

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Legislation to lower the default national speed limit on residential roads and busy pedestrian streets from 30mph to 20mph has been approved by the Senedd.

Wales becomes the first UK nation to make the move, which the Welsh Government say will help to save lives, develop safer communities, improve the quality of life and encourage more people to make more sustainable and active travel choices.

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The new slower speed limits are currently being trialled in eight communities across Wales and will be rolled out nationally in September 2023.

The new legislation will not apply a blanket speed limit on all roads, it will simply make the default limit 20mph, leaving local authorities, who know their area best, to engage with the local community to decide which roads should remain at 30mph.

Currently, just 2.5% of Welsh roads have a speed limit of 20mph, but from next year this is expected to increase to approximately 35%, helping to create safer roads and communities across Wales.

Speaking after the vote, Minister for Climate Change, Julie James said: “I am delighted that the move to 20mph has received cross-party support across the Welsh Parliament today.

“The evidence is clear, decreasing speeds not only reduces accidents and saves lives, but helps improve people’s quality of life – making our streets and communities a safer and more welcoming place for cyclists and pedestrians, whilst helping reduce our environmental impact.

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“We know this move won’t be easy – it’s as much about changing hearts and minds as it is about enforcement – but over time 20mph will become the norm, just like the restrictions we’ve introduced before on carrier bag charges and organ donation.

“Once again Wales is leading the way for other UK nations to follow.”

The Welsh Conservatives, while supporting 20mph zones in places such as outside schools, have called a blanket rollout “frankly ludicrous”.

Welsh Shadow Minister for Transport, Natasha Ashgar MS, said: “The Welsh Conservatives are not against introducing 20mph speed limits outside schools, playgrounds, places of worship and high streets, but a blanket roll-out is quite frankly ludicrous.

“It’s extraordinary that that the Labour Government has admitted this will have a negative cost of £4.54bn to the Welsh economy – is this appropriate at a time when the Labour Government should be focused on tackling the big issues at hand such as the cost-of-living? I don’t think it is, and I am sure residents across the country will be thinking the exact same.

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“This is yet another diktat imposed by Labour from Cardiff Bay.

“Speed limits like this should be decided by councils in their local areas, not top-down by Labour ministers. Let’s give local people the power over their communities, the very people who know their roads best.”

Stephen Edwards, Chief Executive of charity Living Streets, who have been campaigning for the blanket 20mph restrictions said: “I’m thrilled that Welsh politicians have voted in favour of this life-changing legislation. Introducing 20mph as the default speed on our streets will improve the places where we live, work and go to school – and it will also save lives. When the speed limit is reduced from 30mph to 20mph there is typically an average decline in casualties of at least 20%.

“We will continue to work with Welsh Government to ensure that our streets and pavements are safe and accessible for everyone in our communities, so that we’re likely to walk or cycle more, which is good for our health and pollution levels.”

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The top five reasonably priced cars for dog owners revealed

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Looking for a reasonably priced car that’s suitable for you and your dog?

There’s a lot to consider when choosing a car, from the size of the vehicle to the size of your budget – but if your dog will be a regular passenger, you’ll be thinking about what’s best for them too.  

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Swansea Bay News has joined forces with Compare the Market to reveal the most dog-friendly cars by looking at car features, including boot capacity and cabin noise, car prices and different dog sizes.

As well as getting the right car, drivers need to make sure pets are restrained while travelling, otherwise they could end up with a fine or even invalidate their car insurance.  

Compare the Market also have some great research and tips on how to keep your dog safe and comfortable on the road.

Audi A1 (Image: Vauxford / Wikimedia / Creative Commons 2.0)

The Audi A1 is the top reasonably priced car for smaller dogs (12 to 24 lbs) 

For Border Terriers, Dachshunds, Pugs etc.

The Audi A1 comes out as the top reasonably priced car for small dogs due to its starting price of £20,840 and low cabin noise level of just 53.1 decibels (which is equivalent to a quiet conversation, or a quiet refrigerator). With a boot capacity of 335dm3 (which is also 335L or the size of two bathtubs), it provides plenty of space for smaller dogs to get comfortable. 

The Seat Ibiza ranks as the second top affordable car for small dogs, with a slightly higher cabin noise of 56.1dB but lower starting cost of £17,755. The Seat Leon comes third, with cabin noise of 56.8dB and a starting price tag of £22,225.

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Top rated reasonably priced cars for small dogs

RankCar modelCabin noise per vehicle (decibels)Boot capacity (dm3/litres)Car width (mm)Car Price (£)(starting cost)
1Audi A153.13351740£20,840
2Seat Ibiza56.13551780£17,755
3Seat Leon56.83251799£22,225
4Vauxhall Corsa55.92881765£17,330
5Honda Jazz53.73041694£22,975
Audi A3 (Image: M 93 / Wikimedia / Creative Commons 2.0)

Top rated mid-range to luxury priced cars for small dogs

RankCar modelCabin noise per vehicle (decibels)Boot capacity (dm3/litres)Car width (mm)Car Price (£)(starting cost)
1Audi A356.83301816£26,070
2Mini Clubman56.83601800£27,015
3Mazda 356.63581795£28,175
4Audi TT56.13051832£35,415
5Toyota Prius – Plug-in Hybrid58.8 3591760£27,099
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Ford Kuga (Image: Vauxford / Wikimedia / Creative Commons 2.0)

The Ford Kuga is the top reasonably priced car for larger dogs (24 to 99 lbs)

For Poodles, Spaniels, Whippets, Boxers, Greyhounds, Labradors, etc.

The Ford Kuga is the top reasonably priced option for medium to large dogs due to its starting price of £24,538, and decent boot capacity (443dm3) and width (1883mm). The Peugeot 2008 is the second top reasonably priced car for bigger dogs, with a slightly cheaper starting cost of £22,735 and lower cabin noise level (52dB). The Ford Mondeo is third in this category, offering a cheaper starting price of £22,417 and better boot capacity of 476.5dm3.

Top rated reasonably priced cars for medium to large dogs 

RankCar modelCabin noise per vehicle (decibels)Boot capacity (dm3/litres)Car width (mm)Car Price (£)(starting cost)
1Ford Kuga54.54431883£24,538
2Peugeot 200852419.51770£22,735
3Ford Mondeo57.1476.51852£22,417
4Ford Focus54.73751825£19,358
5Nissan Juke54.53881800£20,420
Audi Q7 (Image: RL GNZLZ / Creative Commons 2.0)

Top rated mid-range to luxury priced cars for medium to large dogs 

RankCar modelCabin noise per vehicle (decibels)Boot capacity (dm3/litres)Car width (mm)Car Price (£)(starting cost)
1Audi Q751.7757.51970£58,435
2Porsche Cayenne52.1707.51983£63,700
3Toyota RAV4​50.15501855£35,350
4Land Rover Discovery Sport555411920£34,480
5Kia Sportage55.65911865£27,250
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Kia Sportage (Image: Alexander Migl / Wikimedia / Creative Commons 2.0)

Top 10 cars for dogs under a starting cost of £40,000

For those who can be a little more flexible with their budget but still want to find the top deals, here are the top 10 top dog-friendly cars, all under a starting car price of £40,000.

The Kia Sportage takes the top spot overall at a starting price of £27,250, followed by the Toyota RAV4 (£35,350) and the Ford Kuga (£24,538).

RankCar ModelCabin noise per vehicleBoot capacity (dm3)Car width
(mm)
Car Price (£)
(starting cost)
1Kia Sportage55.65911865£27,250
2Toyota RAV450.15501855£35,350
3Ford Kuga54.54431883£24,538
4Land Rover Discovery Sport555411920£34,480
5Audi Q250.64051794£25,655
6Ford Mondeo57.1476.51852£22,417
7Ford Focus54.73751825£19,358
8Ford Galaxy54.65001916£33,667
9Peugeot 200852419.51770£22,735
10Mercedes b class534501796£25,321

Julie Daniels, motor insurance expert at Compare the Market says: “As well as choosing the right car, drivers need to be aware of rules around travelling with animals. Driving with unrestrained dogs could result in a maximum fine of £5,000 and nine penalty points depending on the severity of the situation. It could also invalidate your car insurance. Suitable restraints include seat belt harnesses, pet carriers and dog cages”. 

You can find the full research with more information on the top cars for dogs here: https://www.comparethemarket.com/car-insurance/content/best-cars-for-dogs/

(Lead image: Wald-Burger8 / Wikimedia / Creative Commons 2.0)

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Almost two thirds of drivers won’t go electric until they ‘absolutely have to’

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As the cost-of-living rockets, a new survey asked consumers how they really feel about electric versus fossil fuel cars (petrol/diesel) and which they found most cost effective. 

The research, by price comparison experts Quotezone.co.uk, reveals that 59.3% of petrol/diesel drivers will only consider buying an electric or hybrid vehicle ‘when I absolutely have to’. 

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26.2% said they would buy ‘within the next 5 years’, 10.3% said they would ‘buy now / as soon as is feasibly possible’ and only 4.3% said they’d buy ‘just before the deadline’ – 2030, when the government plan on banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.  

The research also found that the main barrier that is stopping people from buying an electric car is the price, with 35.7% of drivers saying they are too expensive, followed by 20% of people who said range anxiety was a major concern, while worries about the availability of public charging points were cited as an issue by 19.3% of respondents. 

Interestingly though, 57.8% of those with electric cars said they were saving over £100 per month compared to their previous fossil fuel vehicle – with 36.6% saving under £100 per month.  Only 5.6% didn’t believe they were making savings.  

When electric vehicle owners were asked what they didn’t like about their cars, 24.8% said there weren’t enough readily available charging points, followed by range anxiety (20%), broken charging points (19%) and rising energy costs (18%).  

The data, compiled by Quotezone.co.uk, was taken from a survey of 500 electric and petrol / diesel car insurance policyholders, completed in August 2022.  

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Quotezone.co.uk’s Founder, Greg Wilson, comments: “It’s really interesting to see what’s holding people back from going electric and again, lack of infrastructure and car price, appear to be the top offenders that are making it impractical for many to make the switch.   

“The hike in car prices is most likely due to the new car shortage, brought about by lack of materials and logistical issues across Europe, causing a spike in shoppers choosing ‘nearly new’ second-hand petrol cars.  

“One positive point to bear in mind for those worried about costs is that electric car insurance is now more readily available as the majority of insurance providers have added electric cars to their offering – making it easier for consumers to shop around and get a competitive premium.”   

Currently only 2% of cars are hybrid and 3% are electric in the UK.  Data from Quotezone.co.uk shows a small increase in customers with electric or hybrid cars of 0.2% from June 2021 compared to June 2022 – with the average cost of those electric vehicles increasing by £5k from £34,000 to £39,000. 

The government has been increasing investment in charging points, including grants for motorists, as well as tax relief to help make electric vehicles more affordable.   

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Revealed: The cars that will soon be extinct on UK roads

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New research reveals which cars the UK can expect to see for years to come, and which ones will soon disappear forever.

While 1.6 million new cars were registered in 2020 and 2021, this number is still 800,000 lower than the 2.3 million new cars registered in 2019.

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In contrast, the secondhand car market continues to grow, with the number of cars over 13 years old on Britain’s roads growing from 1.3 million in 1994 to more than 6.5 million in 2020 – an increase of 393%.

So, which cars will continue to grow old on UK roads and which ones will disappear never to be seen again? To find out, Van Monster has conducted research to predict which cars are on their way to extinction and which ones will be around for years to come. 

Van Monster has analysed DVLA data from How Many Left to discover the number of cars registered for 52 different models since 1994. The research then calculated the rate of increase and decrease of registrations over the years to predict how many of these cars will be on British roads from 2025 to 2050.

Cars Facing Extinction

Alfa Romeo 90

(Image: Charles01 / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Sunbeam Vogue

(Image: Charles01 / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Hyundai Pony

(Image: Charles01 / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

BMW 1500

(Image: nakhon100  / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Fiat 1300

 (Image: Aconcagua/ Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Skoda Estelle

 (Image: Asterion  / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Seat Marbella

(Image: Rudolf Stricker / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Kia Pride

(Image: Stahlkocher / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Fiat 133

(Image: Radek Weigel / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Lancia Trevi

(Image: Tony Harrison / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

By calculating the rate of decline, the research predicts when some of the nation’s most loved cars will be wiped from UK roads completely. Cars such as the Honda Concerto, Kia Pride, SEAT Marbella and Nissan Bluebird are not expected to make it through to the next decade alone.

It’s an even bleaker future when predicting which cars will no longer be seen driving around the UK by 2050. At their rate of decline, both the popular models of the Peugeot 205 and Ford Escort will no longer be driving around on British roads.

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Some are expected to even say their goodbye before then, with the Vauxhall Nova expected to be extinct by 2045. Although half a million of these cars were sold in Britain, now only 900 remain and this number is only expected to get even smaller.

Some vehicles are already clinging onto the road by the skin of their engines. According to the data, there are only three Lancia Trevis driving around on UK soil, two Fiat 133s and Fiat 1300s, and only one BMW 1500.

Cars Defying Extinction

Vauxhall Vectra

(Image: Vauxford / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Vauxhall Viva

(Image: SG2012 / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Ford Fiesta

(Image: Rudolf Stricker / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Ford Focus

(Image: Vauxford / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Fiat Panda

(Image: Rudolf Stricker / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Ford Mondeo

(Image: Vauxford / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Triumph Dolomite

(Image: Tim Green / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Ford Anglia

(Image: Alf van Beem / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Triumph Herald

(Image: Charles01 / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Fiat 124

(Image: Ermell / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

By analysing the rate of registrations cars since 1994, Van Monster has been able to calculate which cars are currently defying extinction and will continue to do so in the future.

The research reveals there are currently 463% more Vauxhall Vivas on UK roads than there was in 1994 and the Viva isn’t the only car still going strong. While production of the widely popular Ford Fiesta started in the 1970s, by 1994 there were over 1.6 million registered in the UK and there’s still a similar number in circulation today (1.5 million). In fact, the research predicts this number will increase by 1% every five years until the fleet returns to its original 1.6 million in 2045.

Likewise, there are currently more than a quarter of a million Ford Mondeos driving around today. While the research predicts this model will not see less than 100,000 cars until 2040 (85,182), production has now ceased with the last Ford Mondeo rolling off the production line in April 2022 – could this speed up the end for this popular family car?

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While some cars will continue to line the streets in their thousands, others are predicted to slowly make a comeback. While there are currently 136 Hillman Hunters on British roads, by 2040 this is expected to be 210. Likewise, The Rover 2000 has declined at a slower than average rate and so 235 will be driving around in 2050, compared to the 742 today.

Gary Sullivan, Managing Director at Van Monster, says, “Everyone has at least one fond car memory– whether it’s from a holiday, or the first car we owned, there’s at least one that we look back on with nostalgia. Even those from our favourite TV shows can be sentimental, just like the Reliant Robin, which has been the joke of many comedies, now only has just over 1,000 left on our roads today.

“With so many new cars being released each year, it’s interesting to see when we may no longer get to see these cars from our past driving around on our streets. “

Van Monster has created an interactive graph so users can compare the extinction rate of some of their favourite cars here: https://www.vanmonster.com/en-gb/favourite-cars-facing-extinction-in-the-uk

Lead image: Peugeot 205 (Image: Vauxford / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

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