Dear Movers and Storers,
I’m sure you are as relieved as we are that the heavy rain and flooding are finally receding, and it feels like Spring is just around the corner. In last month’s newsletter we asked you guys to send us pictures of your flooding experiences. However, DSD Removals got in touch with a picture of their vehicles battling the snow, not stuck in the floods! It’s at the bottom of this e-mail – thanks DSD. This month we have updates for you on road network improvement plans, business grants that may help you, and changes to driving licenses and tachograph cards among other stories. We hope you find it useful.
MASSIVE INVESTMENT IN ROAD NETWORK COMING
The Roads Minister has announced the biggest investment in the road network since the 1970’s. More than £24 billion will be spent on roads over the next eight years. This revised government spending will total £3 billion annually, three times the current level of funding. At this point the Roads Minister Robert Goodwill is encouraging the UK’s construction firms to gear up for what will be a major increase in work load, which is expected to create 30,000 new jobs across the construction sector. The government will also be investing around £10.7 billion in huge improvements on roads between 2015-2021, along with another investment of £6.1 billion to target potholes. About time, eh?
CHANGES TO DRIVING LICENSES AND DIGITAL TACHOGRAPH CARDS
As of December 2013 digital tachograph cards will no longer show a driver’s address – this is a new change designed to save drivers’ money and time. Existing digital tachographs won’t need to be replaced straight away though – they can still be used until their expiry dates. The DVSA has also introduced a new style of the photo card driving license to enhance its security features. The card has been improved with a new security holograph, a raised surface pattern and an Optical Variable Ink to target against fraud. Organisations which check the validity of driving licenses are encouraged to be aware of the recent changes to the card design. As if that wasn’t enough, the DVSA is also planning to remove the counterpart to the driving license by January 2015. Ministers have said this will save people money on their car insurance as all driving records would be based online.
Latest figures show that the number of people buying homes with Help to Buy mortgages has trebled, and as a result Barclays and Santander have announced new Help to Buy mortgage products. They join the likes of Lloyds, RBS, HSBC, Virgin Money and Aldermore, giving first time buyers with small deposits more options than ever before. House building is also flourishing, growing at its fastest rate since 2008. This is great news for movers, but we can only hope that this scheme won’t create another house price bubble, leaving the market stagnant and thousands of people with negative equity.
DVSA ANNOUNCE NEW QUALIFICATION FOR VEHICLE INSPECTORS
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is putting its vehicle inspectors through a new training and assessment programme which is quality assured by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI). Successful achievement of the programme will see vehicle inspectors receive the industry recognised irtec Licence and IMI Awards QAA certification. DVSA Chief Executive Alastair Peoples said “As we continue to expand our network of Authorised Testing Facilities, our inspectors will be more highly skilled than ever before and well-equipped to meet the needs of a demanding industry.”
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PRIME MINISTER PROMOTES SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
The Prime Minister is encouraging the UK’s small businesses to accept support from the government that could save them up to £10,000 annually. David Cameron has recently outlined areas where the government can support smaller companies, which include a £1.1 billion package of business rates measures (including 100% rate relief for the smallest firms), a Growth Vouchers programme which allows companies to receive up to £2000 for specialist support in areas such as digital technology, a £2000 Employment Allowance to reduce companies’ National Insurance bills, and broadband vouchers worth up to £3000 for small firms in ten key UK cities to improve their connectivity online. Make sure you apply for these benefits asap!
NEW SUPPORT ANNOUNCED FOR FLOOD-DAMAGED ROADS
We’re probably all aware of the damage that our roads have sustained this winter, but people who regularly use the M2 may have noticed something a little more serious – a 15ft deep sinkhole which has opened up between the carriageways! However, the government has promised an extra £30 million in funding to local councils for repairs to roads damaged by the bad weather. In a rare example of governmental joined-up thinking, the Highways Agency have also been instructed to lift road works on key routes experiencing greater traffic due to the rail disruption in the south west.
ANGLO PACIFIC ANNOUNCES NEW ONLINE PLATFORM ‘TRADE MOVE’
Anglo Pacific has recently announced a new online platform for its trade customers called Trade Move. This means trade clients need never pick up the phone again – unless they want to. “Until now, all trade quotes have been handled over the phone or via email and Trade Move has been implemented to streamline this process,” says Martin Perry, Anglo Pacific’s IT Director. “Two years in planning, and representing a considerable investment for both our, and our customers’, long-term benefit, this Trade Move system will enhance internal efficiency and provide a seamless trade shipping management tool for our customers.” In a nutshell, Trade Move allows customers to request and receive a quote at a time that suits them. They can then book online, advise when they intend to drop-off to one of Anglo Pacific’s three depots in London, Manchester and Glasgow, confirm the number of items and also delivery details at destination. Once the consignment has been dropped off with Anglo Pacific, trade clients can track their shipment and monitor their account for paid or outstanding freight invoices, so they know exactly where they stand.
ANYONE FOR SOME MÜLLER DIESEL?
We all know how important it is to reduce our environmental footprint, especially since over a fifth of UK carbon emissions come from transport. Now, aeroplanes are probably the biggest offenders, but some new companies are researching low-carbon advanced fuels that will make trucking greener than ever before. Ideas being developed include making diesel from yoghurt pots, and jet fuel from domestic rubbish. We can’t wait to see what the boffins will invent next. Terry’s Chocolate Orange screenwash? Recycled trifle brake fluid? Awesome.
DSD REMOVALS BATTLE THROUGH THE SNOW IN YORKSHIRE
Whilst the rest of us have had wet feet all winter, DSD Removals have been more worried about frostbite! Here’s a great picture of their vans enroute from Whitby to Harrogate – thanks guys.
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