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From Monday 8th June 2015 - Paper Counterpart driving licence scrapped

From today, Monnday 8th June 2015 the paper counterpart driving licence is being abolish by the DVLA as part of the Governements drive to go digital.

Accessing Your Driving Licence Information Online

From 8th Jue 2015 you can view your driving licence information online you will need the following information to do this:

  1. your driving licence number
  2. your National Insurance number
  3. the postcode on your driving licence
This is not available for paper counterpart licences issued in Northern Ireland and there is a paper method to ontain the information but that involves a £5 fee which the online method does not.

The online record does not include historical (expired) points or information.

We tried it today and it was extremely slow and problematic and took an number of failed attempts.

Remember your driving licence number is 16 digits long (ignore the last 2 numbers after the space in pint 5. of your photo driving licence if that is where you are getting your driving licence number from.

On our first attempt we had lots of problems today accessing the service. First we had a web error "405 Not Allowed".  The next message saiad there was a page information error and the third attempt a web error meesage we had was a "500 internal server error" message.

Infact we gave up after double and triple checking the information we were entering and ofter 5 failed attempts to access the service online. Not a great start for this new online service!

No doubt some of the teething problems many observers are concerned about.  Many uers are going to find that very frustrating especially a peak times as the Government does not have a good track record with online services. 

This new system is likely to make life difficult for drivers until everyone is aware of the change and any teething problems have been overcome.

It certainly means you will have to think ahead when wanting to hire a vehicle for instance as hire companies will need a code from you that expires after 72 Hours to access your driving record online. That is a short time window so be prepared!

Your can get the "share your licence information" code by:

  • calling the DVLA on 0300 790 6801, or
  • online at share driving record then select the 4th tab "share" and use the "create a code" buttom.

The digital drive has been the tax disk being abolised during 2014 and the UK Governement says that abolishing the paper counterpart driving licence will save millions of pounds.

Video Update from DVLA About the Paperless Counterpart Driving Licence



Although the DVLA state the paper counterpart no longer has any legal status from Monday 8th June and it can be destroyed some driving agencies including the AA are urging drivers to hang on to the paperless counterpart driving licence as there are likely to be teething problems as many people are completely unaware of this latest DVLA change.

This probably seems wise.

Likely problems include travel and car hire abroad and in the UK and the fact that so few people appear to be aware of this latest change.

Car hire companies often ask for the paper counterpart driving licence which features points incurred for driving offences.

The DVLA has issued new information on the .Gov website about the driving licence changes.

IMPORTANT: Paper driving licences issued before the photocard was introduced in 1998 will remain valid and should not be destroyed. (Source .Gov website 8th June 2015).

Driving Penalty Points & Endorements


From today Monday 8 June 2015 new penalty points i.e. endorsements for driving offenses will only be recorded electronically.

Thye will no longer be printed or written on either photocard licences or paper driving licences.

From 8 June 2015 if you commit an offence you will still have to pay any applicable fine and submit your licence to the court however:-

  • For photocard licences, the court will retain the paper counterpart and only return the photocard to you.
  • For paper licences, the court will return it to you but they won’t have written or printed the offence details on it.

This means that from 8 June 2015 neither the photocard driving licence nor the paper licence will provide an accurate account of any driving endorsements you may have.

Under the new system this information will instead be held on DVLA’s driver electronic record, and can be viewed online, by phone or post.

Vehicle Hire & Other Agencies

Car Hire and other vehicle hire companies or organisations that regularly check the counterpart for entitlements or endorsements can use the Check Driving Licence Service to check the licence using the code provided by the driver. 

You can use this service to check someone’s driving licence information, eg the vehicles they can drive or any penalty points or disqualifications.

You’ll need:

    the last 8 characters of their driving licence number
    a check code from the driver

You must use the code within 72 hours. You can only use the code once after that you will have to get another code to do another check on that driver.

With the driver’s consent these companies can view the details on a driving licence, eg the vehicle categories the driver is entitled to drive and any endorsements or penalty points they currently have.

The service also gives the option to print or save a copy of the information.

To help companies or employers who use the new service there is a step by step guide.

Organisations can make a check by phone if they don’t have a check code to use with the online service. However they will need to ask the driver they are doing the check on to call DVLA on 0300 790 6801 and leave permission for the check to be done.

Thye can then call DVLA on 0906 139 3837 (calls cost 51p per minute) to check the driver’s details after they’ve given their permission.

Many companies are likely to pass this additional cost of to those hiring a vehicle for instance.

Taking your theory or driving test


From 8 June 2015, you won’t need to take your paper counterpart with you when you go for your theory or driving test.

You must still take your photocard, or your old-style paper licence otherwise your test will be cancelled and you’ll have to pay again if you don’t.



Cars That Do 100 MPG or More - The 100 MPG Plus Club

UK Traffic News launches the 100 MPG Plus Club!

When we founded UK Traffic News in 2009 the main reason was to try and help people avoid traffic delays and traffic jams because sitting in traffic is:

  • not environmentally friendly
  • is stressful
  • a waste of fuel which is a natural resource we need to not waste
  • a waste of precious time

So www.UKTrafficNews.co.uk was launched and 2014 is our 5th anniversary.

Over the last five years we have spent hundreds and hundreds of hours publishing and developing our website, improving it and expanding it. It is an ongoing and expanding project to make finding traffic news easy and quick for the roads you are interested in.

We also feature other motoring information as well as traffic new now.

We want to do our bit to encourage car makers to produce affordable, low CO2, high MPG cars for UK roads.

The 100 MPG Plus Club Is Born

So we are launching the "100 MPG Plus Club".

We will be adding a special section to our website for cars available in the UK that do 100 MPG or more and meet the following criteria:

  1. Normal production car actually on sale in the UK
  2. Actually do 100 MPG or more with normal road use (see below)
  3. Must be fuelled only at normal roadside garage (e.g. not plugged into the mains electricity at home) (see below)
  4. Have CO2 emissions of 100 g/km or less

All of the above criteria must be met for a car model to get into the 100 MPG Plus Club.

That is the basic criteria for a car to be featured in our 100 MPG Plus Club.

However we will award additional bonus points to cars that meet each of the following criteria:

  • Under 75 g/km CO2 - bonus point
  • Under 50 g/km CO2 - extra Bonus point
  • Manufactured in the UK - bonus point
  • Each whole 5 MPG over 100 MPG - bonus point for each 5 MPG
  • UK List price (on the road) Under £25,000 - bonus point
  • UK List price (on the road) Under £20,000 - extra bonus point 

It must be possible to fully fuel the car at a normal roadside mainstream garage, e.g ESSO, BP etc. in under 15 minutes, i.e. not have to sit a wait for batteries to charge up for extended periods of time.

MPG achieved must be based on:

  • either on what we at UK Traffic News have actually tested over 500 miles of normal road use
  • or that at least three owners of the make and model of car have certified to UK Traffic News that they are actually achieved with their car over 500 miles of normal road use.
  • NOT manufacturer claimed average MPG.

The above criteria will be used to create a league table of the most Eco friendly, high MPG (miles per gallon), affordable cars available in the UK.

We need your help reporting to us at UK Traffic News your findings if you know of cars that qualify to enter the 100 MPG Plus Club.

Let us know on Twitter.com/UKTrafficNews (@UKTrafficNews) with #100MPGPlusClub or in our motoring forum, comment on this blog post or use our contact us page.

As far as we are aware there is currently no normal production car on sale in the UK that currently meets even the basic criteria for entry in the "100 MPG Plus Club".

But we want to start featuring cars that do as soon as possible.

Mention the #100MPGPLUSCLUB on Twitter if you want to support this and encourage car makers to make affordable, practical, high MPG, low CO2 cars.

Please help in the drive this campaign for more efficient eco friendly cars in the UK.

 


64 Plate New Car Registrations in September 2014 Best For in 10 years

September 2014 has been the best September for a decade for new car sales, although March 2014 was even higher.

The new 10 year record for September new car sales comes for a number of reasons:

  • improving UK economy and confidenence
  • attraction of more fuel efficient cars
  • attraction of new cars with lower CO2 emmissions and lower road tax costs
  • good deals on new cars from key manufacturers
  • buyers fixing low finance deals now for fear of higher interest rates coming

We posted a blog update earlier this week about the strain on the .Gov road tax web page and long delays in purchasing road tax online. That is from 1 October 2014 so the trend may well be contining into October.

The SMMT predict the new car market cooling slightly going forward.

Best Selling Car Models September 2014

The best selling cars in September 2014 according to the SMMT were:


  1. Ford Fiesta - 23,266
  2. Ford Focus - 13,508
  3. Volkswagen Golf - 13,011
  4. Vauhall Corsa - 12,506
  5. Volkswagen Polo - 10,312
  6. Fiat 500 - 9,122
  7. Vauxhall Astra - 8,861
  8. Audi - A3 - 7,317
  9. Peugeot 208 - 6,968
  10. Nissan Qashqai - 6,847

The Ford Fiesta is regularly at the top of the UKs best selling car models, and there is no change in September 2014.

Best Selling Cars 2014 January To September (Year To Date)

The best selling cars in 2014 to date are:

  1. Ford Fiesta - 106,930
  2. Ford Focus - 67,015
  3. Vauhall Corsa - 62,693
  4. Volkswagen Golf - 58,664
  5. Vauxhall Astra - 47,482
  6. Nissan Qashqai - 38,920
  7. Volkswagen Polo - 36,772
  8. Audi - A3 - 35,596
  9. Fiat 500 - 35,032
  10. BMW 3 Series - 29,655

Best Selling Cars By Manufacturer 2014 up to September 2014

The above broken down by car manaufacturer would be as follows:



This makes Ford the car manufacturer with the highest number of new cars registered in the UK for September 2014, and the start of the 64 plate registrations, with Volksgagen coming second even if you count Volkswagen and Audi together as a single manufacturer.

425,861 new cars registered in the key month of September, a rise of 5.6% and the biggest September since 2004.

New ‘64’ numberplate boosts volumes, with September marking the 31st consecutive month of growth in the new car market.
Registrations for the year-to-date reach 1,958,196 – up 9.1% on January-September 2013.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “September’s strong performance underlined the continuing robustness of the UK new car market, particularly in the context of last September’s bumper volumes.

“Demand for the new 64-plate has been boosted by intensifying confidence in the UK economy, with consumers attracted by a wide range of exciting, increasingly fuel-efficient, new cars. In the months since March – which saw an 18% jump in registrations – the growth has shown signs of levelling off as the market starts to find its natural running rate.”

The growth in new car sales in the UK has continued at such a rate setting new records for growth in the UK car market beating previous records for continous growth last set in the 1980s. 

Finding All The Latest Traffic News For Today

http://www.Twitter.com/UKTrafficNewsI wanted to write a blog post about how to use the UK Traffic News website to find all the latest traffic news for today.

You may have ended up at the blog post because you asked the question:

"Where can I find all the latest traffic news for today?"

And here you are!

Right a very quick run down for you about how you can use the UK Traffic News website to find todays latest traffic news, quickly and easily. 

We cover all the latest major motorways in the UK and other major roads. Our news is sourced from the Highways Agency which is one of the most trustworthy traffic data providers in the sector.

You can search for all the latest traffic news relevant to today for the motorways, regions or roads that you are interested very easily on our website. 

There are dedicated pages for most of the major motorways and regions.

Plus you can use our "latest traffic news updates" section and either use drop down selectors for roads or regions or simply type in the keywords you are looking for e.g. A34 for example.

If you know details about your road such as the M4 runs east west you can add other search factors such as M4 Westbound.

A bit of playing with it and experimenting and you will soon find out how to use our latest traffic news updates section to filter the traffic news that is relevant to you. 

The traffic news on UK Traffic News is updated by the minute throughout the day and night. 

We work hard to constantly improve the website and resources. 

You can follow us on Twitter.com/UKTrafficNews or like us on Facebook if you like what we are doing to make finding the latest traffic news easy. 


Abolition of the tax disc from 1st October 2014 and VED becomes non-transferrable

The Tax Disc Becomes Obsolete

If you weren’t already aware of the abolition of the road tax disc with effect from 1 October 2014 you need to be aware of this change which is one of the biggest changes in DVLA history.

History of the Vehicle Road Tax Disc

Vehicle tax was introduced in the 1888 budget and the current system of Vehicle Excise Duty became law in 1920 the funds raised by vehicle excise duty were ring fenced and used for road construction being paid directly into a special road fund between 1920 and 1937 after which it has been treated as general taxation not specifically earmarked for road development.

The road tax disc otherwise known as the vehicle tax disc has been around for 93 years since it was introduced in 1921. The first road tax discs were of a plain design of black ink on grey paper which vehicle owners had to cut out themselves. Colour was introduced to the road tax disc in 1923 and in 1938 perforations were added around the outside of the printed circle to make it easier for the circular tax disc to be extracted with display on your vehicle windscreen.

In 1942 perforations around the outer circle ceased only four years after their introduction for approximately a 10 year period after the factory containing the perforating equipment was reportedly bombed by the Germans during World War II.

The vehicle tax disc displays the vehicle excise duty paid and the month that the duty paid expires.

Before tax disc is issued valid insurance and MOT must be held for the vehicle concerned.

It is currently a legal requirement to clearly display the vehicle tax disc however from 1 October 2014 there is no requirement to display paper tax disc as the VED records will become fully computerised and managed via the vehicle registration procedures.

In fact the DVLA are advising vehicle owners to remove the tax disc from the windscreen and destroy it from 1 October 2014.

As you will no longer have a visual reminder clearly on your car it might be a wise move to opt for the direct debit option for payment to DVLA in order to avoid unwittingly failing to renew your VED on time. DVLA will still send you a renewal reminder but the direct debit payment option could make things a lot easier for many road users.

Road Tax (VED No Longer Transferrable from 1 October 2014

Another important change to be aware of from 1 October 2014 is that VED or road tax paid is non-transferable when a vehicle changes ownership.

When the DVLA receive the V5C from the seller any whole remaining months of VED paid will be refunded to the seller.

The purchaser will be required to purchase their own road tax (VED) or declare a SORN with effect from the date of purchase before they can use the vehicle, so plan ahead of your vehicle purchase to avoid problems.

End of an error as part of the government’s changes in order to reduce administration costs.

The times of a note in your windscreen saying “tax in the post” are over.

How To Pay Your Road Tax

From 1 October 2014 (5 October if setting up at a Post Office®), Direct Debit will be offered as an additional way to pay for vehicle tax. This will be available for customers who need to tax their vehicle from 1 November 2014:
•annually
•6 monthly
•monthly (12 months tax paid for on a monthly basis)

Provided an MOT remains valid, the payments will continue automatically until you tell DVLA to stop taking them or you cancel the Direct Debit with your bank. Valid insurance should also be in place for vehicles registered in Northern Ireland.

The Direct Debit will be cancelled and payments automatically stopped when you tell DVLA that you no longer have the vehicle, or the vehicle has been taken off the road and a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) has been made.


UK's Top 10 Busiest Roads

There are different ways of measuring traffic levels.

Annual Average Daily Flow or AADF for short is one and Traffic Volume is a second way.

Annual Average Daily Flow (AADF) is the daily vehicle average over the course of a year on a particular stretch of road.

Traffic Volume is the total volume of traffic on a stretch of road for the whole year and is calculated by multiplying AADF x  length of road x 365 (or 366 in a leap year).

Graph of the UK's Top 10 Busiest Roads During 2013




The graph shows the top 10 UK business roads reading the colour coded descriptions from left to right and downwards.

This above graph actually refers to the top 10 busiest sections of UK roads, highlighting the traffic hotspots.

So the M25 around Junctions 14 and 15 where to two busiest stretches of UK road during 2013.

In fact the M25 between junctions 11 and 16 are the top 5 busiest strectchs of road in the UK with annual average daily flow of all vehicles from 187,116 vehicles at M25 Junction 11 and 12 up to 227,585 vehicles on the Junction 14 to 15 stretch.

As you can see on a map of the M25 junctions these stretches of the M25 motorway run up and down the western side of the M25 around the Heathrow area.

Around 72.3 Million passengers arrived at or departed from Heathrow during 2013, which was Heathrow's busiest year on record, of which 26 million or 37% never left the airport taking connecting flights. That still leaves just over 46 million passengers exiting Heathrow airport into the local area during 2013 of which are fair proportion would travel by road. The busiest day on record at Heathrow was 30 June 2013 with 238,949 passengers that day. The average 63% leaving the airport would have meant that around 150,000 exited or aarrived at Heathrow that day, some on public transport into London and others entering the road network locally.

On top of the passangers travelling in and out of Heathrow are the people employed at Heathrow. There are approximately 77,000 people working within the Heathrow Airport boundaries and many more in the local area making the western side of the M25 motorway a very busy stretch of motorway.

The M1 Junctions 7 and 8 (Hatfield and Hemel Hempstead) was the 6th busiest stretch of UK road.

The M60 motorway around Manchester at Junctions 12 and 13 was the 7th busiest stretch of UK road where it connects to the M62 motoway to Liverpool.

The remaining top three of the top 10 busiest stretches of UK roads are on on the western side of the M25 motorway.

Cars and taxi cabs far outnumbering other vehicle types.

List of Top 10 Busiest Roads


A list of roads that have the busiest traffic at some part of that road the list of the top 10 busiest roads would be as follows:

  1. M25 (various junctions)
  2. M1 (junctions 7 and 8 and other junctions)
  3. M60 (junctions 12 and 13 and other junctions)
  4. M8 (junctions 4 to 6)
  5. M4 (junctions 4 and 4B and other junctions)
  6. M6 (junctions 20 and 21 and other junctions)
  7. M56 (junctions 3 and 4)
  8. M61 (junctions 2 and 3)
  9. A406 (Redbridge and Waltham Forest)
  10. M42 (junctions 6 to 7A)
But as some of these individual roads stretch a long way with quieter and busier sections a list of this type does not really accurately pin point the traffic hot spots in the same way.

Traffic statistics are based on Department for Transport figures and Heathrow figures are based on Heathrow Airports public facts and figures.


The Number of Fatal Accidents on UK Roads Has Fallen Over the Last 20 years

Every death on UK roads is a tragegy and so many could have been avoided with more care by drivers and other road users.

The number of fatal accidents has dropped over the last 20 years quite substantially which is good progess but we can do better.



In 1992 the number of fatal accidents on UK roads was 4,992.

In 2012 the number of fatal accidents had fallen to 1,754 which is a drop of 35% in 20 years.

Drive carefully, stay alert and be considerate to other road users and hopefully we can all see the number of fatalities keep falling over the next 20 years.

New Motoring Forum on UK Traffic News

We have this month launched our motoring discussion forum for UK Traffic News users.

Online motoring forums are a great place to ask motoring related questions and find answers to motoring issues.

Our new discussion forum can be found at www.uktrafficnews.co.uk/forum

There are forum categories for most motoring issues, motor insurance, service and repairs, user submitted car reviews and recommendations and a host of other useful motoring categories.

That's take a for instance?

Google Maps as Talking Sat Nav on your mobile phone?

The Google Maps app for your mobile phone is free to download and install on your mobile for your app store.

We have been trying it out and found it pretty useful as a free talking sat nav free app.

You can see our comments and let us know if you think the Google Maps talking sat nav app is any good here in the forum.

Online discussion forums are a very handy place to ask questions of other users and find answers.

Sharing information to help other people find answers to their motoring questions and finding answers to yours.

Get posting and try out our brand new motoring forum.



 

 

What is the Ratio of Different Types of Vehicles on UK Roads?

OK so we have previously posted in our blog that as of 2013 cars made up around 83% of the 35 Million vehicles registered and licensed for use on UK roads according to DVLA statistics.

But what is the ratio between different types of vehicles?

Cars actually made up 83.2% of vehicles on UK roads in 2013.

HGV's just 1.3% although it might not feel like it at times!

Bus and coaches 0.5%

Vans 9.6% (otherwise known a tailgaters)

Motorcycles 3.5%

Since 1994 cars have increased by 37%, vans (and light goods vehicles) have increased by 57% and motorcycles by 69%

There was a higher rate of increase in motorcycles up to 2010 but the % motorcycles to overall vehicles has declined slightly since 2010, the same applies to HGVs and buses with only cars and vans increasing year on year since 1994.

Since approximately the year 2000 vans as a % of overall vehicles have increased at a faster rate than other vehicle types.

Adaptive Cruise Control how does it work?

Following Google's announcement and our blog post yesterday about Google's plan to expand their self driving cars technology we thought we'd add a post about another relatively recent automated driving development - "adaptive cruise control" or ACC for short.

Volkswagen has been one of the leading car manufacturers to add adaptive cruise control as an option for many of its models.

Adaptive cruise control uses radar controlled front assist traffic monitoring systems to monitor the distance from the car or vehicle in front.

The older technology of ordinary cruise control simply keeps the car or vehicle at a steady speed.

However adaptive cruise control as it monitors the distance to the vehicle in front and reduces or increases the speed of your vehicle to maintain a steady distance from the car in front to help avoid collisions.

For drivers who regularly undertake long journeys adaptive cruise control can make those journeys more comfortable avoiding that right leg ache you can get maintaining the accelerator pedal in a fairly steady position.

How does adaptive cruise control work?

The ACC radar in Volkswagen's at least has a range of up to 200 metres and the angle of the radar beam is 12 degrees.

The radar sensor is located in the front of the car and calculates the distance to the vehicle in front and your cars relative speed to it. The ACC system also calculates the location of your car on multilane roads.

Adaptive cruise control does not however mean that a driver does not need to be fully aware of what's going on around him or her.

However many ACC systems do not detect crash barriers or stationary vehicles or objects in front, so if there is a queue of stationary cars in front the driver still needs to be alert and break manually when needed. It is not quite yet fully automated driving more driving assistance.

However adaptive cruise control is no doubt safer than non-adaptive cruise control.

It isn't likely to be that long before adaptive cruise control combines with other technologies to monitor stationary objects and vehicles or pedestrians to assist the driver even further.