Audi RS3 NurburgringAudi RS3 Nurburgring

News Round-Up

Jun 23: Heat health alert; RS 3 Nurburgring record; 1.9m driving tests; Octopus repay £3bn

  • Here are the headlines for Sunday, June 23

Time 6:03 am, June 23, 2024

Heat health alert issued for most of England

A yellow heat health alert has been issued for most of England, as temperatures look likely to soar to 30C in parts of the country.

The alert has been issued for all but one region, with some areas being warned of the potential for “significant impacts” on the health and social care sector.

The alert from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and Met Office will come into force from Monday morning and remain in place until Thursday afternoon.

New Audi RS 3 sets lap record at the Nürburgring

Audi has just set a new lap record around the Nürburgring in a pre-production version of its updated RS 3.

The latest iteration achieved a lap time of 7 minutes and 33.1 seconds, beating the previous record of 7 minutes and 44.8 seconds, set by Nestor Girolami driving a Honda Civic Type R.

The hot hatchback will be available in five-door Sportback or four-door saloon variants.

Driving tests hit record levels

The number of driving tests being taken has reached record levels following efforts to reduce a backlog created during the coronavirus pandemic, figures show.

Some 1.9m practical tests were taken in the year to the end of March, according to Department for Transport (DfT) figures.

That is the most in records dating back to 2007/08 and is up from 1.7m during the previous 12 months.

Octopus Energy to repay government £3bn

Octopus Energy will pay the government nearly £3bn to reimburse the public money it received to take over collapsed energy supplier Bulb.

The repayment will see the next government get an early windfall, with the payment promised by September, and it means almost all of the costs of temporarily nationalising Bulb in 2021 will have been recovered by the public purse.

Bulb collapsed in 2021 after wholesale prices surged above the price cap set by regulator Ofgem, meaning suppliers were forced to sell energy at a loss.

Tory data chief takes leave of absence

The Conservative Party’s chief data officer has taken a leave of absence amid claims he placed bets on the timing of the General Election.

The PA news agency reports that Nick Mason has taken a leave of absence after becoming the latest Tory to be investigated by the Gambling Commission for allegedly betting on the timing of the election before the date had been announced.

The latest allegations were published by The Sunday Times, which claimed dozens of bets had been placed with potential winnings worth thousands of pounds.

Retail sales rebound in May

A rebound in the number of shoppers flocking to fashion and furniture stores helped boost retail sales last month, after wet weather dampened spending in April, according to new official figures.

The quantity of items bought rose by 2.9% in May, following a fall of 1.8% in April, the Office for National Statistics said. April’s data has been revised up from a previous estimate of a 2.3% decrease.

The figure has beaten forecasts, with some economists expecting sales to rise by a softer 1.6% last month.

Dame Emma Thompson leads nature march

Dame Emma Thompson told politicians is to ‘listen up’ as she led thousands of people on a nature march in London.

More than 350 charities, businesses and direct action groups were taking part in the Restore Nature Now march on Saturday, along with Dame Emma, businessman Dale Vince and naturalists Chris Packham and Steve Backshall.

An estimated 60,000 protesters marched from Hyde Park to the Houses of Parliament, urging politicians to act to protect the environment.

Dry and warm for many

In most parts of England today it will be fine, dry and feeling rather warm but a band of cloud will linger over Wales, the Midlands and parts of southern England.

The cloud will continue across parts of the south tonight, while the southwest will experience some showers over the hills.

On the south coast there may be some fog patches but elsewhere it will be clear and rather mild.

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.

More stories...

Heycar Advert
Server 108