Tag Archives: political


News story: Boost for motorists as government proposes no MOT test for first 4 years

New cars and motorcycles could no longer require an MOT for the first 4 years on the road under plans to save motorists more than £100 million a year.

Proposals unveiled today (22 January 2017) by Transport Minister Andrew Jones would extend the period before the first MOT test is needed from the current 3 years to 4.

The government is consulting on the plans which will bring England, Scotland and Wales in line with Northern Ireland and many other European countries including France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Denmark and Norway.

In 1967 the MOT-free period was reduced from 10 to 3 years. Now, safer technology and improved manufacturing means new vehicles stay roadworthy for longer.

Andrew Jones said:

We have some of the safest roads in the world and MOT tests play an important role in ensuring the standard of vehicles on our roads.

New vehicles are much safer than they were 50 years ago and so it is only right we bring the MOT test up to date to help save motorists money where we can.

It is a legal requirement that all vehicles are roadworthy, regardless of whether they have passed an MOT test and the content of the tests will not be changed.

More than 2.2 million cars each year have to undergo their first MOT test, which costs owners a maximum of £54.85.

In the last 10 years, the number of 3 or 4-year-old cars involved in accidents where a vehicle defect was a contributory factor has fallen by almost two thirds, from 155 in 2006 to 57 in 2015.

The most common reasons for cars to fail their first tests are faulty lights, according to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

In addition, almost half of faults found during all MOT tests could be avoided by carrying out simple checks and maintenance, including replacing bulbs, checking tyres and oil as well as ensuring windscreen wipers work, and the DVSA is running an ongoing campaign to help motorists ensure their vehicles are safe at all times.

Subject to the public consultation, the changes could come into effect in 2018.

Tyre checks

The steps you need to take when checking the tyres of your car

The steps you need to take when checking the oil levels of your car

Brakes, lights, indicators and horn checks

read more

Contributions to this site

Some contributors have not responded to my appeal. I have to reduce the amount of time I am spending on moderating this site, which is now considerably more time than it takes me to write my pieces for it. As a result, from today I will not be publishing comments which are

  1. Long
  2. Part of a series of multiple comments the same day from the same person
  3. Require me to investigate a named third party site or other sources to check out allegations about named people of named institutions.

I value  all contributions from constituents, who are welcome to  make a longer comment or comments on relevant issues under a local issues story. They should include the first part of their post code as an identifier if they want to submit long or multiple postings.

read more

Discussions with the EU on departure

The EU is always quick to point out that there will  be discussions about the details of our departure, and these are different from the discussions about our future relationship. Some in the Commission fondly imagine they can make a meal of the former. There is even talk of presenting the UK with a large leaving bill! A few people write into this site to ask if we have to pay it. Of course we don’t.

There is nothing in the Treaty to provide for the calculation and presentation of a leaving bill. There is plenty in the Treaty to say the remaining member states need to have good relations with neighbouring countries in Europe. Presenting a big bill would be a violation of that part of the Treaty.

The truth is the UK has a share in a wide range of assets built up by the EU over the years we have been a member, including our small shareholding in the vast  bond portfolio of the ECB, our share of the many expensive properties the EU institutions own and occupy  and our share of the cash and other financial assets held by the EU. I doubt the EU will be totting them all up and wanting to send us our share. Our rights to those assets will be unenforceable once we leave.

Similarly, the EU has borrowed a lot of money whilst we have been members, to spend on itself and other countries in the Union. There is no enforceable claim on us for any part of that debt after we have gone. If they send us a bill we will tell them we will not be paying it. If I resign from a club which has borrowed money and has a  valuable club house, I immediately lose my stake in the property and end any responsibility for the debts.  If just after I left the club they sell the clubhouse and distribute some  cash to members I don’t get a share as a past member. The assets and the liabilities are assumed by the remaining members. When a new nation joins the EU it signs up to share in the present and future assets an liabilities for the duration of its membership.

Some in the EU seem to think we should be liable for the pensions of Euro officials who happen to live in the UK and are UK nationals. It is difficult to see the logic behind this. They acted as EU officials, as EU citizens, and swore an oath to the EU. No-one asked the UK to underwrite their pensions at the time they were accruing them. Surely the EU has to accept it incurred the debts and it needs to meet them. It is a pity it didn’t invest the money from the pension contributions at the time, because then there would be no future problem.

The UK will have to pay the pensions of all those UK civil servants who have been effectively working for the EU for many years putting in place all their regulations and directives in the UK. The UK promised to pay their pensions and we will keep that promise. I was pleased to see senior German politicians  now talking about how they will need a trade deal with us to keep their exports flowing. This is an early sign of some realism returning to the continental debate.

read more