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News Report Page 10 of 13
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50% of UK cars must be electric by 2030 to reach new emissions goals

BORIS Johnson, the UK's PM announced recently a target to cut UK emissions by 68%, by the end of 2030, and that 50% of UK cars will need to be electric or powered by a hydrogen fuel cell in order to meet it. Sustainable Transport Editor, at Centrica, Amanda Stretton says:- "We welcome the Government's commitment to this new ambitious target, but electric vehicles will need to make up a huge 46% of the UK fleet by 2030 if we're to achieve it. This morning's SMMT figures show that the sale of battery EVs has increased by 162% this year to date. Clearly, drivers are keen to make the switch as we head towards the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel models, so now it's important to address the supporting structures needed to make the transition accessible. We support a Zero Emission Mandate for car manufacturers to ensure 2030 targets can be met, but in the interim EV purchase grants will need to continue. Charging infrastructure and energy systems will also need to be upgraded to cope with the demand. We are working with businesses to install smart charging systems which help automate charging at times which does not put pressure on the grid. This helps regulate demand and ensures customers get the best deal on electricity prices." So is electric really the only way the UK can meet emissions? The hydrogen fuel cell is a far cleaner way to for this, and less of an issue on our national electrical infrastructure, yet we hear very little about it. Hydrogen cars, or hydrogen fuel cell cars, were in fact 1st introduced by Toyota, back in 2014 and are make a very strong case for changing the way we power our automotive transport. What are your thoughts on this? Please do let us know via emailing us to:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.

Nearly 5,000 Jobs could be saved at Peacocks if a management buy out gets the go ahead

A management buy out (MBO) proposal has been submitted to the administrators of fashion retailer Peacocks and if successful has the potential to prevent UK wide store closures and save 4,908 people from redundancy. The bid from a Senior eCommerce Manager, at Peacocks Stores Ltd, in conjunction with a private investor, follows the announcement on 18 November 2020, that Peacock's parent company EWM Group had placed the company into the hands of Administrators, FRP Advisory. The MBO proposal which sets out to purchase the full company, its employees and its stores, also promises to strengthen Peacocks digital offering with a clear plan of investment into developing the eCommerce element of the business. Given the proposed new owner has a strong digital background, it follows that their aim is to deliver a true omni-channel offering within the family value sector, prioritising a clear focus on good customer service. In addition to developing its online presence, their proposal also sets out to rejuvenate the in store experience for Peacock's long established, loyal customer base. Peacocks Stores Ltd is based in Cardiff, employs 4,908 staff and has 470 stores and concessions across the UK. A representative from the MBO says that if their submission is successful, the company will keep its base of operations in the South Wales area and will continue to support the Welsh economy and employment. The MBO team is confident that with the right investment, they can drive forward innovation, bring about brand recovery and achieve a quick return to financial sustainability. With plans for short term investment coupled with longer term reinvestment, they propose injecting a fresh sense of purpose into Peacocks, safeguarding its future in spite of the on going challenges high street retailers across the UK are facing.

D'Vine appointed caterers for the Southport Flower Show 2021

A thriving Southport catering firm has been chosen to be the appointed caterers for Southport Flower Show 2021. The news is a huge boost for D'Vine, a firm which was among those in the events and Hospitality industry which have battled through this year's Covid19 Pandemic. This week's announcement of a Coronavirus vaccine and predictions of restrictions easing by Spring have raised hopes of crowds coming back in force in 2021 to enjoy big events they have missed this year. Southport Flower Show is the biggest independent flower show in the UK, attracting visitors from around the UK. This year has a 'Life In Bloom' theme and takes place, at Victoria Park, in Southport, over 4 days, running from 19 August to 22 August 2021, with special guests including:- The Hairy Bikers. D'Vine, which is based in Southport, provides catering for all occasions and boasts 20 years of experience in Hospitality.

D'Vine Events Manager Giles Gottig and Marketing Manager Caroline Douglas said:- "After a turbulent year for the wedding and events industry, we have had to survive only on the corporate bookings that were allowed to go ahead along with our home delivery service. This news couldn't have given us more to look forward to. Southport hosts such a wonderful Flower Show every year and I have always thought how great it would be for a local caterer to supply the event, especially as now more than ever supporting local is such a priority for everyone. 2021 is set to be an excellent year for Southport Flower Show with some really exciting things planned on each day. We can't wait to see everyone there!"

Southport Flower Show / Victoria Park Management General Manager Alan Adams is pleased to welcome D'Vine Catering on board. He said:- "We are delighted to award the Hospitality contract to D'vine Catering for next year's Southport Flower Show. The quality of their food and service really impressed, and it's great to be reinvesting back into a local company which wants to help us deliver the show in years to come. We have a superb range of Hospitality packages now available via our website:- SouthportFlowerShow.Co.UK. Advance ticket sales for 2021 are very encouraging and there is a lot of interest in next year's show, proving how much we have been missed this year. We would love to see more local companies getting involved in next year's show, either by taking a trade stand or via sponsorship. Please contact us at:- Info@SouthportFowerShow.Co.UK  for more information."

22m revamp of key Liverpool road enters new phase

WORK on a radical redesign of 1 of Liverpool's most famous roads is to enter a new phase this week; with festive shoppers being asked to make allowances in their journey. The Strand; which runs past the historic Royal Albert Docks, Liverpool 1 and Three Graces and hosted the finale to Liverpool FC's Champions League homecoming last June; is undergoing a ₤22m eco-friendly upgrade to improve safety and air quality.  Work began at the end of June and from Wednesday, 2 December 2020, the current 1 lane filter on the Southbound carriageway will be extended to allow contractors to install a new kerb line, footpath and to plant 13 new trees. The 1 lane filter, which currently runs from the Leeds Street and Great Howard Street junctions to Water Street, will now continue to the next junction at Brunswick Street. 2 lanes will remain from there until the James Street junction, opposite Mann Island. The phasing of the 1 lane filter coincides with Liverpool entering Tier 2 status after the 2nd National Lockdown to control Covid19.  Traffic is expected to increase due to the easing of restrictions on the retail and Hospitality industry. And with public transport still limited due to Covid19, motorists arriving into the City Centre from the North to do Christmas shopping are advised to expect queues and allow for additional time for their journey. This current phase is due to end in March 2021 with further lane restrictions continuing from Chapel Street to James Street through to Spring 2021. Untouched in its design layout since the 1950's, the 2 kilometre long, 4 lane dual carriageway is often gridlocked at peak times and has become a hotspot for road accidents with four fatalities in the past 2 years. 

Councillor Sharon Connor, Cabinet Member for Highways, said:- "We're pleased with the progress so far on The Strand but this week is the 1st time we'll see a return to what you could call "normal traffic" and unfortunately this is going to mean queues and delays. The move out of lockdown into Tier 2 in the run up to Christmas is hugely welcome for our shops, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues, but this also means extra traffic on The Strand at a time when its capacity has been reduced to enable the revamp. We're working with the contractors to ensure disruption is kept to an absolute minimum, but a road scheme of this scale in the heart of the City Centre is both complex and intrusive; and with a festive period like no other the impact is completely unavoidable. I would encourage people coming in from the North of the city to plan their journey's accordingly over this festive period; and take full advantage of the extended shopping hours available to them. Clearly public transport is not operating the way it would because of Covid, so the additional pressure on the roads means we need people to plan ahead. We have cameras in place to monitor traffic and our engineers will be able to programme the traffic signals to reflect demand and ease congestion where possible."

The redesign of The Strand aims to make the City's World Heritage listed waterfront, with its docks, museums, venues and cruise terminal, more accessible for pedestrians with both the removal of a traffic lane in each direction and the closure of traffic junctions at:- Water Street and Mann Island with Goree. Another key element is to create a permanent segregated cycle lane to connect the South of Liverpool to the North, allowing cyclists to eventually ride the full length of the Mersey from Otterspool to Southport. Plans are also being developed to ensure the City's new 65 mile pop up cycle lane network is connected.  Councillor Connor also added that The Strand's safety record was appalling and needed to be adressed. She continued:- "4 fatalities in the past 2 years in unacceptable and shows what a hazard it is to pedestrians. By significantly redesigning how the junctions work we can take a lane out and the traffic will still flow better. As a result we can widen the pavements for pedestrians to ensure a safer experience and install a segregated cycle lane. We know people have been sceptical as the idea of 1 less lane equals smoother traffic flow sounds counter intuitive. But the fewer junctions are the key. Also people need to bear in mind that how buses use the City Centre is about to change as well, which will become clearer when the new timetables are introduced later this year. It's important not to look at the changes to The Strand in isolation. All of these new and planned changes to our City Centre roads are inter connected and that's how this scheme should be seen; not 1 at a time but as whole, fitting together. Of course, these changes are being introduced to reflect how the City Centre has evolved and how people use it. That will continue as the City Centre continues to develop; especially in the wake of Covid19 and the renewed emphasis on active travel and cycling."

New trees and public spaces are also being installed as part of a wider strategy to attract and promote walking in the City Centre. The project is critical to the ₤47m Liverpool City Centre Connectivity (LCCC) scheme which has already led to changes to:- Victoria Street, Dale Street, Brownlow Hill, City Bus Hub and the removal of the Churchill Way Flyover, and will also include a revamp of Lime Street and a new coach park. Based on computer modelling, it is estimated car journeys at peak times along The Strand; from the end of Leeds Street in the North to Upper Parliament Street in the South; will be reduced by more than a minute in both directions. The significant redesigning of how key junctions are used, including the banning of turns cutting across The Strand, will also ensure traffic flow is more fluid meaning less air pollution, as cars are not stopping starting so frequently. The newly planted trees take the form of a tree Sustainable Urban Drainage system (SUDs) and will make use of any excess surface water on the carriageway, which will be diverted into the tree pit and tree watering system. This will both reduce the need for excess water to go into the drainage system and help to reduce the flooding pressure on the grids and gullies during periods of heavy rainfall. The SUDs approach is being used across the City Centre in partnership with the Mersey Forest and the Urban Green UP project. The LCCC is receiving ₤40.1m from the Local Growth Fund with local match funding of ₤7m and is a major part of Liverpool City Council's Better Roads programme. Local Growth Funding is awarded to the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and invested through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority through its Strategic Investment Fund.

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