An empty section of the M25 between Junctions 10 and 11An empty section of the M25 between Junctions 10 and 11

News Round-Up

Mar 17: M25 closure congestion; Supermarkets’ software glitches; Pause on import tariffs

  • Here are the headlines for Sunday, March 17

Time 6:42 am, March 17, 2024

M25 in Surrey sees two miles of congestion

The M25 in Surrey was hit by two miles of congestion yesterday after a section of it was shut in the motorway’s first planned daytime closure.

A five-mile stretch between junctions 10 and 11 was closed in both directions at 9pm on Friday, pictured, and will remain inaccessible until 6am tomorrow while a bridge is demolished and a new gantry installed.

National Highways South East reported two miles of tailbacks on the approach to the closure at junction 10 yesterday morning. An 11.5-mile diversion route has been created, and concerns have been raised that thousands of drivers will be stuck in gridlocked traffic over the weekend.

Tesco and Sainsbury’s hit with technical issues on same day

Supermarket chains Tesco and Sainsbury’s suffered major technical issues yesterday.

Sainsbury’s customers were unable to make contactless payments after an overnight software update and the firm couldn’t fulfil most online deliveries. Meanwhile, Tesco had to cancel some online orders that were due for delivery.

Both chains apologised to customers and later said the unrelated issues were resolved.

Import tariffs to be paused on 120-plus goods

Import tariffs on goods including flowers, fruit juices and chemicals are to be suspended for two years, the government has announced ahead of a conference for small businesses.

Business secretary Kemi Badenoch will unveil a £660m ‘northern powerhouse investment fund’ tomorrow when she hosts the gathering in Warwickshire, where Rishi Sunak and other Cabinet ministers are set to mingle with business leaders.

UK importers of more than 120 products from all countries could benefit from the temporary withdrawal of duties, due to come into force on April 11 and remain until June 2026, according to the Department for Business and Trade.

Vaughan Gething to be next first minister of Wales

Vaughan Gething has been elected as the next Welsh Labour leader and First Minister of Wales – the first black leader of any European country.

Welsh Labour members chose the 49-year-old to succeed Mark Drakeford, who has held the position since 2018. He beat his only rival, the education minister Jeremy Miles.

Gething, who achieved 51.7% of the vote versus Miles’s 48.3%, will be declared the country’s leader at the Senedd on Wednesday.

Britain urged to consider conscription to deter Russian threat

Britain should consider conscription and a ‘total defence’ model to deter Russian aggression, according to the Latvian foreign minister.

Latvia reintroduced the model last year, based on Finland’s conscription system, which means all able-bodied men are required to complete 11 months of military service.

Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph, Krisjanis Karins said Britain should consider following suit as a way of combating any threat from Russia.

Councils will have to consider residents’ support over Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

Councils will be obliged to consider whether residents support the implementation of a Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) in their area before schemes can be introduced, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced.

LTNs are areas where vehicle numbers are reduced, and prevent vehicles from using certain streets as through-roads into other destinations, quite often with temporary or permanent barriers.

The DfT has published draft statutory guidance on LTNs – to come into force this summer – saying councils must listen to residents, businesses and emergency services when considering bringing in new schemes. A review uncovered concerns over LTNs, including potential risk to life from emergency services delays and the impact on disabled residents.

Icelandic volcano erupts for fourth time in three months

A volcano in Iceland has erupted for the fourth time in three months, sending orange jets of lava into the night sky.

Iceland’s Meteorological Office said the eruption opened a fissure about two miles long between Stora-Skogfell and Hagafell mountains on the Reykjanes Peninsula.

Hundreds of people were evacuated from the Blue Lagoon thermal spa when the eruption began. No confirmed deaths have been reported from any of the eruptions but a workman is missing after falling into a fissure.

Yesterday’s headlines on Car Dealer you might have missed

Weather outlook

Eastern parts of England will see rain gradually clear today, says BBC Weather. Elsewhere in the UK, there’ll be a mix of variable cloud and scattered showers, heavy at times in the west. It’ll be a mild but breezy day.

Central and south-east England will have patchy rain on Monday morning. There’ll be plenty of sunshine elsewhere, but cloud and strong winds will move into north-western areas by the evening. Tomorrow will be snother mild day.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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