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News Round-Up

July 30: Labour demands August 7 for end of isolation; New Highway Code; Spike in RNLI donations; Peugeot 308 SW reservations open

  • Here are the headlines on Friday, July 30

Time 2 months ago

Labour’s Keir Starmer demands August 7 end to England’s isolation rule

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has challenged the government to match Wales by bringing forward the date on which fully vaccinated people in England can avoid isolation.

Wales’s Labour first minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed August 7 as the day when double jabbed adults can escape isolation, and Scotland is also expected to follow suit. But PM Boris Johnson has insisted England is ‘nailed on’ to make the same move from August 16.

Sir Keir, however, has questioned why England should have a later timeline, saying this risks creating more pain for families and businesses.

Number of empty shops continues to rise across UK after Covid hit

The number of empty shops in high streets, retail parks and shopping centres has increased in the past three months, according to new data.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Local Data Company (LDC) found that fashion retailers had been hardest hit with the continued surge in online business in the sector and the closure of high street institutions including Debenhams and Topshop.

Shopping centres were the hardest hit, with nearly one in five units sitting empty followed by high streets with a vacancy rate of 14.5 per cent and retail parks at 11.5 per cent in the second quarter of the year compared with the first three months of 2021. Overall vacancy rates were 14.5 per cent in Britain, up from 14.1 per cent in the first quarter of the year.

Highway Code changes ‘will put pedestrians at top of road user hierarchy’

New changes to the Highway Code, including putting pedestrians at the top of a new ‘road user hierarchy’, have been announced by the transport secretary.

The proposed changes, which are due to receive parliamentary approval in the autumn, will also give pedestrians priority at zebra crossings and junctions as well as raising further awareness about the dangers of speeding.

It comes as part of a £338m package to boost cycling and walking across the country from the Department for Transport (DfT). The increased funding aims to encourage the public to make ‘sustainable travel choices’ to make ‘air cleaner and cities greener’.

RNLI’s defence of ‘humanitarian’ role in migrant crisis sees spike in donations

Donations to the RNLI have rocketed after the charity’s chief executive this week described its role in rescuing people crossing the English Channel as ‘humanitarian work’.

Figures provided to the PA news agency show online donations to the RNLI passed the £200,000 mark in the last 24 hours, up from around £7,000 on a typical day. There was also a near four-fold increase in people viewing volunteering opportunities on the sea charity’s website.

A ‘small number’ of others, however, contacted the RNLI to withdraw financial support following boss Mark Dowie’s decision to speak out and praise volunteers’ work during the migrant crisis.

Thursday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Demand for US-UK flights soars after quarantine-free travel announced

Demand for flights from the US to the UK has surged since the Government announced the scrapping of the quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated travellers.

Virgin Atlantic said it received more than three times as many bookings for flights from New York to London compared with a week earlier, while total bookings across all its US to UK routes more than doubled.

The time period analysed is from when the new policy was announced on Wednesday afternoon until 9am on Thursday, and the same period last week.

Reservations open for roomier Peugeot 308

Peugeot has opened reservations on its new 308 SW estate car.

Arriving in Peugeot dealers in early 2022, the small estate comes with choice of petrol and diesel engines, and also two plug-in hybrid versions capable of travelling up to 39 miles on electric.

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The 1.2 petrol Active Premium kicks off the range at £25,200 which gets Peugeot’s I-Cockpit and front and rear LED lights. Prices top out at £40,000 for the Hybrid 225 GT Premium.

Windy and wet

Rain will clear eastwards today leaving thundery showers for England and Wales, reports BBC Weather. Meanwhile, Scotland and Northern Ireland will see cloud and a few showers. The south of England will be very windy.

Tonight, most of the country will see a shower or two, and winds will lessen.

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer.

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