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Motorists may face penalty for overtaking cyclists on some city roads

Road safety proposal by Department for Transport would give cyclists priority, restricting cars to 15mph with potential £100 fine
Cyclists in city

A Department for Transport proposal for ‘cycle streets’ would give bike priority over cars on some urban roads. Photograph: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

Cyclists may win priority over cars on scores of urban roads, with motorists restricted to 15mph (24km an hour) and handed three penalty points and a fixed penalty £100 fine if they overtake bikes, according to a government proposal. .

However, cars will still dominate most streets: the policy would only cover some cities and “lightly trafficked roads where cycle flows are high”.

The proposal for “cycle streets”, backed by roads minister Robert Goodwill, is one of many changes and improvements suggested in a Department for Transport consultation document on making streets safer, through measures including reformed traffic regulations and signage.

The document says the bike priority streets will be tested in cities that have made a commitment to promoting cycling – and to taking any available government cash for the purpose – including London, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle upon Tyne and Oxford.

“This is a bold initiative, which is being considered by some of the Cycle Cities and London, possibly including a ban on overtaking on lightly trafficked roads where cycle flows are high. Subject to any scheme trial, this prohibition could be accompanied by an advisory speed limit of 15mph,” it says. The consultation ends in June.

The British Cycling association has welcomed the proposed changes, but warned political determination and funding were essential to make them work.

“We still need the leadership to ensure these designs make it on to our roads, a national commitment to grow cycling levels, and it must be backed by a long-term budget line. Only then can we say that the prime minister’s ambition of creating a ‘cycling revolution’ can be achieved,” it said.

£1 coin to be swapped for 12-sided replacement

The new dodecagon design is modelled on the old three-penny piece and will be in pockets by 2017
Royal Mint
All change: The new £1 coin, which will be the most secure in circulation in the world
George Osborne is plotting to take the pound from your pocket – and replace it with a counterfeit-proof 12-sided £1 coin.
The Chancellor will say in tomorrow’s Budget the change is needed to stay one step ahead of criminals.
But the move was dismissed as a distraction from more savage cuts.
The new dodecagon design – dubbed a ‘Gideon’ at Westminster after Mr Osborne’s real name – is modelled on the old three-penny piece, or thrupenny bit.
It is of similar size but made with two different colours and special paint that is much harder to copy.
The current pound coin was introduced in 1983. There are now an estimated 45 million fakes in circulation – about one in 33 of those in use.
A Treasury source said yesterday: “The time is right to retire the current pound coin and replace it with the most secure coin in the world.
“With the pound ever more ­vulnerable to counterfeiters, it’s vital we stay ahead using cutting-edge British technology.”
The old thrupenny bit was in ­circulation from 1937 until decimalisation in 1971. The new pound coin will be introduced from 2017.
The Queen’s head will be on the coin as usual but Mr Osborne is expected to announce a public competition to find a design for the reverse.

Royal MintNew coin
Lookalike: The new £1 coin will have the same shape as the classic 12-sided ‘thrupenny bit’


The Great Petrol Station Rip Off

I am not sure if anyone else has noticed but when filling up the cab with diesel recently I have never been able to get the pump to stop at exactly £20.00, I have tried on numerous occasions with different tactics and still I cannot get the pump to stop at £20.00 or even £30.00 for that matter, the pump always seems to jump from £19.99 to £20.01.
Now I am not for one moment saying that you are not getting £20.01 worth of diesel when this happens but I personally think that the forecourts are playing a physcological game with people, for instance if the pump stopped at £20.00 you are likely to go into the shop to pay with a £20 note and probably won’t buy anything from within the shop, but as the pumps are stopping at £20.01 you need to produce more than just a single note so physcologically you think that you may as well buy something from within the shop as you need to hand over more than a single note.
So how can we stop these unscrupulous forecourts, personally I would urge everyone to stop the pump at £19.99, this would mean that they would need to keep an awful lot of pennies within their till to give out as change and if enough people do it this practice could soon be stamped out.