UK Traffic News | Blog

Our Blog on the UK Traffic News Website

M25Traffic.co.uk - August 2016 Stats - Update

We are very happy to report that our popular www.M25Traffic.co.uk website continues to grow in popularity.
Our July 2016 blog post confirmed a significant increase in users and visitors year on year.

The good news continues into August 2016 which saw increase in visitors to 71,419 compared to 54,399 in August 2015.

That's an increase of 17,020 visitors which is a 31.3% increase.




Even more important is the fact that, not only are overall visitor and user numbers up of our M25 Traffic website, but the number of return visitors is also up by over 31%. Many of the return or repeat users are coming back regularly and multiple times.

This is a good sign that our users find our site easy to use, useful and informative.

We are making further improvements to the site to keep trying to improve how useful and easy to use the website is so we hope to see even more users as those improvements are implemented.

Thank you to all our users...

M25Traffic.co.uk - Now One of Our Most Popular Traffic Websites

We are very pleased to announce that our M25 Motorway dedicated website www.M25Traffic.co.uk has seen a large increase in users over the last year.

M25 Traffic is now one of our most popular websites with over 52,000 visitors and users of the site in June 2015 compared to approximately 12,000 last June.

That equates to an increase of 40,000 monthly visitors year on year or a rise of 433% comparing June 2015 to June 2014.


M25Traffic.co.uk features the latest M25 Traffic News plus Twitter posts by various #M25 Twitter posters making the M25 traffic website a great collection of M25 traffic news and traffic updates for our M25 users and searchers.

You can search for the latest M25 traffic news by Junction at the M25 traffic search facility. 

If you are an M25 motorway user we hope you will find our dedicated M25 website useful and helpful for finding the latest M25 traffic updates and news.


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.



Car Design Competition - Ideas On How To Get Better MPG From A Car?

Here are UK Traffic News we are keen on Eco friendly car design as let's face it we only have one planet we can live on!

In the spirit of Eco car design we are putting it out there to our users to suggest to car companies ideas for better MPG.

What is MPG? It's Miles Per Gallon, i.e the number of miles your car can do for each gallon of fuel you put in it.

We think our users, as they are interested in motoring, avoiding traffic jams, roadworks and other delays like accidents would love to get better MPG from the cars they drive for the following reasons:

  • Oil is a shrinking resource
  • Better MPG often means lower CO2 emissions
  • Lower CO2 means lower road tax
  • Lower CO2 is better for climate change
  • More MPG means low cost of fuelling your car

These are all excellent reasons for car design that achieves better MPG.

2014 Competition Ideas To Get More MPGs

Anyone can participate in our competition to find the best ideas for getting more MPG's out of a cars design.

Ideas can be simple, complex, fun or serious.

We have thought of one to get the ball rolling.

Mini wind turbines

Mini wind turbines that use the air and wind passing over or through the car to charge a battery that powers dual power cars that are partly powered by petrol or diesel engines with a secondary battery power unit which is recharged by wind passing through mini wind turbines in the front grill or on the roof of the car.

The battery power unit is charged by mini turbines driven by wind and air passing over, through, or past the moving car.

Then when say cruising or breaking the battery power unit can take over powering the car (or other vehicle).

The wind turbines could also be used to assist in breaking while at the same time absorbing power from the air instead of the engine assisting in breaking, reducing engine wear as well.

We have added a post about our mini wind turbine in cars idea to our motoring forum in the section "Ideas for More Fuel Efficient Cars".

How To Enter Your "Better MPG" Ideas?

It's really easy to enter your ideas.

At UK Traffic News we want to use Twitter is a constructive useful way not just for news, marketing or self-promotion.

So here is how you enter.

  1. Think up your ideas about how to get cars doing better MPG
  2. Post your idea in our motoring forum "Ideas for More Fuel Efficient Cars" section (see link above) by starting your on topic in that section. Give your forum post a short title that includes the gist of your idea and post the detail in the main part of your post.
  3. Tweet your idea on Twitter giving it a # tag such as we could use for our idea #carwindcharging and link to your better MPG design idea in your Twitter post(s).
  4. Also in your Twitter posts use the # tag #MPGCompetition so you can also see other peoples ideas
  5. This is about using Twitter for #SocialMediaBrainPower so mention that # tag in some of your posts too

Your ideas can be very serious or more on the fun side.

With millions of people on Twitter we think that there are Twitter users out there that have some amazing ideas about how to get better MPG from car design, that would help not only the car companies but benefit the planet and all of us.

Good luck and we look forward to seeing your entries.

Other Ways To Get Involved

Even if you really cannot come up with your own idea you can still play an important part in the competition!

We need you to:

  • Comment, constructively, on other peoples ideas in the motoring forum
  • Retweet what you think are the best ideas in the #MPGCompetition
  • Help people submitting entries tweak their design suggestion for better MPGs for maximum impact

Car Companies Interested In Better MPG?

We are asking car companies that are interested in better MPG to get involved too.

UK Traffic News is approaching car companies to come up with some innovative prizes for the best ideas entered in the competition.

So watch this space about prizes!

Make a difference! Help design cars that do better MPG!

I had a moped 32 years ago that easily did 125 MPG. Surely after over 30 years we can get cars doing over 100 MPG!?


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. 

Today 1 October 2014 Marks The End Of The Tax Disc

Today, 1 October 2014 was the day that the UK tax disc in the front of your vehicle came to an end.

The Road Tax Disc has been abolished.

The link above is to our previous blog post on the abolishion of the tax disc and some of the things to watch out for.

DVLA .Gov Website Bombarded


The BBC and others reported people trying to get road tax online today taking up to 13 hours!

The first day of online only applications, although actually you can still go to the post office still at present to renew your road tax licence, was bound to be a busy one.

But just maybe .Gov were not prepared.

As the Government of the UK, whatever the political party in power, seem to force people to do more and more online it is worrying that we then have to rely on Government to have the infrastructure in place to cope with demand.

No dount it will get better and the .Gov website will adapt to cope, lets hope so.

As the .Gov website is becoming central for all or most things Government based, for instance much of the HMRC website is moving to .Gov now, the strain on .Gov is only likely to get more and more.

So when .Gov breaks, the inconvenience to citizens (and government) is only going to be made all the worse.

The joys of too much centralisation, although it makes sense to save costs which is the governements aim.

Time will tell.


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.


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.



 

 

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.