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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 11 June 2007

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Women and Motoring research

WHEN it comes to the environment, safety, and the car buying experience, there are clear differences between the attitudes of younger and older women motorists.

That's one of the findings in Women and Motoring, a report commissioned by SMMT based on an Ipsos MORI omnibus survey and focus group discussions.  The focus groups explored different attitudes to motoring in the under-40 and over-40 age groups. While discussions are illustrative, rather than statistically representative, they provide food for thought for car makers and dealers.

On the environment

Both older and younger women place environmental factors towards the bottom of the agenda when buying a car. However, there is more concern about the environmental impact of motoring among the under-40s. Younger women seemed more willing to consider buying vehicles with lower CO2 emitting technologies. Older buyers were dismissive of their role in limiting emissions and there was some uncertainty about how alternative technologies, like electric-hybrid cars, work.

On responsibility to deliver cleaner cars

The over-40 group felt that manufacturers are responsible, exclusively, for delivering cleaner cars onto the road. Members of the younger group however, acknowledged that consumer action also had a part to play: if people won't buy the cars, manufacturers simply won't make them.

On safety
There was a real sense, both among older and younger women, that safety comes as standard with new cars, so they don't see this as a priority when buying a new or nearly-new car. However, older drivers seem more wary about how safety systems operate, particularly airbags. More mature women also preferred larger cars, assuming that safety is synonymous with larger vehicles, but also partly for practical reasons.

On buying a car

Younger women seemed to have a more positive experience at dealerships than those in the older age group. Discussions also revealed little to suggest that women felt they were treated differently to men, despite showrooms being dominated by male staff. Younger women seemed more confident in doing a deal, bargaining hard and sorting out any issues. They were also more likely to visit a dealer alone whereas older women were more likely to take a partner.

On price/running costs/appearance and congestion

There were many areas where age seemed irrelevant to women's' views. On buying a car, whether new or used, price, appearance, style and colour topped the agenda. Running costs were also high on the radar. On congestion measures, both groups felt the finger could be firmly pointed at the school-run for causing the majority of jams. They were also suspicious of road charging schemes and there was no support for the London congestion charge.

"Our findings show nearly as many women are buying cars as men. So manufacturers and dealers ignore their views at their peril,  I'm pleased to note that younger women in particular are generally having a good experience in dealerships. However, the industry probably needs to work on explaining technological progress to more mature drivers, both in terms of safety and environmental technologies.  We also need to continue to work with government to raise 'environment' up the agenda for all car buyers." said SMMT chief executive, Christopher Macgowan.

MANCHESTER HOSTS THE LARGEST ORGANISED GAMING EVENT IN EUROPE

ON the 23 June 2007 and 24 June 2007 Manchester will host Game 07, the largest organised Gaming event in Europe. The event which is being held at New Century House will see Hobby gamers flying in to Manchester from all over Europe.  They will enjoy tournaments such as the European Dungeons and Dragons Miniatures Championships, the Dreamblade $10k, the Vs Masters Class, the first is the Yu-Gi-Oh Transatlantic Leap, this will be played by people from as far a field as Russia, Italy, Portugal, the USA and China.

Game 07 will be featuring Manchester based writers and artists such as Terie Garrison and Philip Gaveney who will be signing and discussing their work. Local dress and re-enactment groups such as the Knights of the Empire Star Wars and the Vikings re-enactment group will add to the spectacle. In addition, Game 07 hosts a fantasy film festival, a fancy dress competition and miniatures painting master classes.

Peter Scott, Game Convention Services Managing Director points out that:- "although Game 07 will host an unequalled number of top level tournaments; it isn't just for the elite. Game 07 is for anyone who enjoys playing games, whether in a tournament format, or in a casual way, with friends or new  acquaintances".

Mr. Scott goes on to explain:- "Game 07 will be a unique experience, whether you enjoy playing board games, role playing or dipping into one of the many participation games that are spread around the 27000 sq ft venue."

Many of the local hobby gaming shops, including Fanboy 3, Gaming Crypt and Roundabout Toys from Manchester, Patriot Games from Sheffield, I.D.Gaming from St. Helen's, 131 Games from Crewe, WHO Blackpool, Manchester manufacturers Amazon Miniatures and Westwind Productions and Arion Games will be exhibiting at the event.

Game 07 is sponsored by the Wizards of the Coast (Hasbro), Upperdeck Entertainment and Esdevium Games. Game 07 is run by Game Convention Services Ltd., a company specialising in hosting hobby gaming conventions.

Fancy experiencing the ghostly goings-on of Liverpool's past in an unusual location?

Wall Talks is tipped to be one of the artistic highlights of Liverpool's 800th birthday and you could win a pair of 10 tickets we have to give away.

Created by Jen Hayes and Andrew Sherlock, Wall Talks is a site specific production which challenges people's perceptions of the past and their own identities, taking place at the Heritage Market site, Stanley Dock. This performance takes you on a journey of memories, shadows, dreams and half-seen pictures. It explores Liverpool's past and identity.

To be in with a chance of winning, e-mail your name, address and daytime contact number to info@walltalks.com. Winners will be selected at random. Closing date for entries is 14 June 2007.

Meanwhile tickets can be purchased for previews running until 9 June for £7 or 12 June  2007 to 30 June 2007 for £12 and £10 for concessions.

Tickets available at Royal Court Box Office on 0870 787 1866. Performances start at 7.30pm. 

For more information visit www.liverpool08.com.

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