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News Round-Up

Feb 24: End to petrol ‘N’; Roads maintenance five-year low; Plymouth bomb detonated

  • Here are the headlines for Saturday, February 24

Time 5:45 am, February 24, 2024

Hyundai ends petrol ‘N’ production in Europe

Hyundai has announced that it will no longer be producing its petrol-powered N models in Europe and will instead be focusing on electric performance cars.

Both the i30 and i20 N have proven to be a big hit with buyers, with each model delivering a comprehensively sporty experience thanks to a range of mechanical upgrades over the standard versions.

In a statement, the Korean brand said: ‘Production of the ICE N models has ceased for the European market starting from February, in line with our commitment to offering a zero-tailpipe-emission line-up to our customers by 2035 and to operating 100 per cent carbon neutrally by 2045.’

Council road maintenance ‘sinks to five-year low’

Council road maintenance has fallen to its lowest level in five years, according to research.

Just 4,144 miles of roads received any kind of treatment by local authorities in the 2022/23 financial year, RAC analysis found.

That is down 45% from the total of 7,510 miles five years earlier.

The research found that the total length of A roads maintained fell by 37%, with a 46% drop for minor roads.

MoD confirms 500kg bomb detonated at sea

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed a Second World War bomb that forced thousands to evacuate in Plymouth has been detonated at sea.

An MoD spokeswoman told the Press Association the bomb had been ‘detonated successfully at 9.51pm’.

The 500kg explosive was discovered in a back garden on Tuesday, which prompted ‘one of the largest UK peacetime evacuation operations’ according to the MoD.

Around 30 of the armed forces’ most experienced bomb disposal specialists had worked around the clock since Tuesday to assess the condition of the device since it was discovered in St Michael Avenue in the Keyham area of Plymouth.

British Airways ranked among worst airlines

British Airways has been ranked among the worst airlines in a UK passenger satisfaction survey.

The airline’s customer score for long-haul flights was the joint third lowest out of 17 carriers analysed by consumer group Which?, at 59%.

It received just two stars out of five for boarding experience and value for money, and achieved three stars for the other six categories assessed.

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Former Post Office boss forfeits CBE

Former Post Office boss Paula Vennells has forfeited her CBE for ‘bringing the honours system into disrepute’ following her handling of the Horizon crisis.

Ms Vennells was named on Friday in a list published on the Cabinet Office website as an individual whose honour had been revoked by the King.

Issuing an apology last month, Ms Vennells announced that she planned to hand back her CBE ‘with immediate effect’ following a fresh fallout over the Horizon IT scandal, which led to the wrongful prosecution of hundreds of subpostmasters.

Santander to offer 95% mortgages on new-build homes

Santander will offer 5% deposit mortgages on new-build homes from Tuesday.

Currently, the lender requires at least a 15% deposit for new-build houses and 20% for new-build flats.

The new lower 5% deposit requirement will apply to both new-build houses and flats.

Customers buying a new-build home with a 5% deposit will be able to select from the bank’s current range of five-year fixed-rate products.

Market movements

The UK’s FTSE 100 index staged late afternoon gains on Friday while international peers topped record highs on the back of an artificial intelligence-fuelled rally.

The London-based index moved 21.79 points higher, or 0.28%, to close at 7,706.28, helped by a jump in the share price of Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered.

Chipmaker Nvidia sparked a market rally in the US on Thursday after reporting bumper earnings, with its biggest index, the S&P 500, surpassing recent record highs.

It caused a ripple effect to other markets with France’s Cac 40 and Japan’s Nikkei 225 among those also topping previous peaks.

Weather outlook

Today, once the fog and frost lifts, many parts of the UK will be left with dry and sunny spells, according to the Met Office.

However, in the west and south coast of England there will be showers throughout the day while it will be breezy in the southwest.

In the early evening, most of those showers will die out though leaving for a dry night with clear spells although some fog and frost will return.

Rebecca Chaplin's avatar

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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