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Longer lorries allowed on Britain’s roads despite fears over risks to pedestrians and cyclists | UK News

Longer lorries are now allowed on Britain’s roads to enable more goods to be carried on fewer journeys.

This is despite fears about the risks for pedestrians and cyclists as the vehicles have a larger tail swing – meaning their rear end covers a greater area when turning – and extended blind spots.

Lorry trailers up to 61ft (18.55m) long – some 6ft 9in (2.05m) longer than the standard size – are allowed to be used from 31 May.

The DfT has previously said the new lorries will be able to move the same volume of goods as current trailers in 8% fewer journeys.

Read more:
New laws to allow longer lorries on UK roads ‘could cost lives’ of pedestrians and cyclists

The policy is expected to generate £1.4n in economic benefits and take one standard-size trailer off the road for every 12 trips.

An 11-year trial of longer lorries has demonstrated they are safe for use on public roads, according to the DfT.

The study found they were involved in “around 61% fewer personal injury collisions than conventional lorries”, the department said.

A Government-commissioned report published in July 2021 revealed that 58 people were injured in incidents involving longer lorries between 2012 and 2020.

Roads minister Richard Holden said: “A strong, resilient supply chain is key to the Government’s efforts to grow the economy.

“That’s why we’re introducing longer semi-trailers to carry more goods in fewer journeys and ensure our shops, supermarkets and hospitals are always well stocked.”

Read more:
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Lorry left hanging off bridge after M1 crash

However, some organisations are concerned at the move – including Cycling UK.

Its campaigns manager Keir Gallagher said at the time of the government’s decision: “At a time when funding for infrastructure to keep people cycling and walking safer has been cut, it’s alarming that longer and more hazardous lorries could now be allowed to share the road with people cycling and walking.

“Before opening the floodgates to longer lorries rolling into our busy town centres and narrow rural lanes, further testing in real life scenarios should have been done to assess and address the risks.”

Better home insulation could mean people live longer, study suggests | Climate News

Making homes better insulated and using renewable energy to power them could mean people live longer.

That’s the conclusion of a new study that found net zero policies like home insulation, if successfully introduced, would “significantly” cut mortality in England and Wales by 2050.

The government’s net zero strategy, published in 2021, sets out a pathway to reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by the middle of this century.

An extra two million years of life lived would be added across the population by 2050, if the balanced pathway plan – a 60% reduction in emissions by 2035 – was implemented, said researchers.

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National Grid: Cash to reduce energy

The study looked at six net zero policies – it argued that retrofitting homes with insulation would be the most effective, resulting in an additional 836,000 life years for the population by the middle of the century.

Switching to renewable energy to power homes was the second most-effective policy, resulting in an extra 657,000 years over the same period, the modelling suggested.

Researchers said retrofitting homes, to make them more energy efficient and reduce consumption and emissions, would mean properties get warmer in the winter.

They argued that as long as there was adequate ventilation, then people would be exposed to less pollution generated indoors, like from particles and radon.

Radon is a natural radioactive gas which comes from the decay of uranium in rocks and soil, and can seep from the ground and get into homes through the floor.

The researchers stressed that without additional ventilation, the indoor generated pollution could build up inside properties, which is bad for people’s overall health.

Window installation

Retrofitting can include insulating roofs, walls and floors; replacement windows; improved ventilation design; airtightness works and more efficient heating and hot water systems.

Moving forward, those behind the study claimed it may even underestimate the health benefits of net zero policies, as they did not model all the potential health benefits of the policies’ implementation.

The peer-reviewed study was published in the journal, The Lancet Planetary Health.

Read more:
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‘It will take a lot more than willing customers to manage future electricity supply’

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Pubs, clubs and bars could open for longer to celebrate King’s coronation | UK News

Pubs, clubs and bars in England and Wales could be allowed to open for longer to celebrate the King’s coronation.

The government has said it will consult on extending licensing hours from 11pm until 1am on 5, 6, and 7 May across the Bank Holiday weekend.

The Home Office said the move will provide “an opportunity for our communities to come together and celebrate this historic moment, and support our hospitality industry”.

Laws allow the hours to be extended to mark occasions of “exceptional national significance”.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: “His Majesty the King’s coronation will be a historic moment that will see our great nation and the entire Commonwealth joined together in celebration.

“Our country, and in particular our hospitality industry, has faced many challenges in recent years and the King’s coronation is an opportunity to give a boost to our local businesses, and celebrate with our local communities.

“Over the Bank Holiday weekend we can raise a glass to our new monarch, and with our friends and families wish him a long and successful reign.”

Like his mother, the King will be crowned at Westminster Abbey, in the presence of faith leaders, peers, MPs, and foreign heads of state.

Read more:
What will King Charles’s coronation involve – and will there be a bank holiday?
Why will Camilla be crowned – and what may happen during ‘simpler ceremony’?

Timings for the coronation have not been revealed, but it is likely King Charles will travel from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey with Queen Consort Camilla in the gold state coach, which is reserved for coronations and jubilees.

The ceremony will be broadcast live on television, but the number of guests attending in person is expected to be cut from 8,000 to 2,000 and the ceremony is likely to last just over an hour

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Buckingham Palace has previously said: “The coronation will reflect the monarch’s role today and .look towards the future, while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry.”

Experts have speculated that the current cost of living crisis and the King’s desire for a slimmed down monarchy are behind the decision for a more muted ceremony.

Truss to tell United Nations Britain will no longer be dependent on those who ‘seek to weaponise the global economy’ | UK News

Prime Minister Liz Truss is expected to tell the United Nations that Britain will no longer be “strategically dependent on those who seek to weaponise the global economy” as she calls for the free world to “push back against authoritarian aggression”.

Ms Truss will address the UN General Assembly later on Wednesday as it gathers for the first time under the shadow of a large-scale war in Europe.

She will tell the representatives how she plans to make sure the British economy is free from malign interference, including increasing energy independence and safeguarding the security of supply chains.

In her speech, the prime minister is expected to say: “We are reforming our economy to get Britain moving forward once again.

“The free world needs this economic strength and resilience to push back against authoritarian aggression and win this new era of strategic competition.

“We will no longer be strategically dependent on those who seek to weaponise the global economy.”

Mr Truss will also tell the General Assembly that the G7 and other like-minded partners must act as an “economic NATO”, collectively defending our prosperity and coming to the aid of any partner targeted by an aggressive regime.

She will reiterate a commitment to protecting the UK and its allies, including increasing defence spending to 3% of GDP by 2030.

Read more:
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Spending more on military aid to Ukraine will cut energy bills, minister says

The prime minister is expected to say: “Just as we are building a plan for growth at home, we are also developing a new blueprint for our engagement with the world.

“We will build resilience and collective security – because they are vital for freedom and democracy. We will be a reliable, trustworthy and dynamic partner.”

She will add: “This is a decisive moment in British history, in the history of this organisation, and in the history of freedom.

“The story of 2022 could have been that of an authoritarian state rolling its tanks over the border of a peaceful neighbour and subjugating its people.

“Instead, it is the story of freedom fighting back… But this must not be a one off….

“…Britain’s commitment to this is total.

“Together with our friends and allies around the world, we will continue to champion freedom, sovereign and democracy.

“And we will define this new era as one of hope and progress.”

On Tuesday, Ms Truss told Sky News she was prepared to be unpopular over her plan to cut taxes while also promising billions of pounds to help consumers pay rising energy bills.

She insisted that the tax cut plan would ultimately benefit the British economy.

‘Major’ cyberattack may mean it takes longer for NHS 111 calls to be answered this weekend | UK News

People seeking medical help via the NHS 111 service are being warned there could be delays after a cyberattack led to a “major” computer system outage.

The security issue was identified at 7am on Thursday morning, and it has affected the system used to dispatch ambulances, book out-of-hours appointments and issue emergency prescriptions.

There are fears that these technical difficulties may not be fully resolved until next week.

The Welsh Ambulance Service says the outage is significant and far-reaching – and affects all four nations in the UK.

Although it has “developed and deployed plans so services can continue to operate”, this weekend is set to be busier than usual for 111 in Wales – and it may take longer for calls to be answered.

NHS England says 111 services are still available and there is “currently minimal disruption”, with “tried-and-tested contingency plans in place”.

A Scottish government spokesman said it is aware of reported disruption to a system used by one of NHS Scotland’s suppliers – adding that it’s working with other health boards and the National Cyber Security Centre “to fully understand potential impact”.

Northern Ireland’s Department of Health is also working to keep disruption to a minimum, and steps have been taken to avoid a risk of other critical systems and services being hit.

Advanced, the software and services provider affected by the cyberattack, said the issue was contained to “a small number of servers” representing 2% of its health and care infrastructure.

Chief operating officer Simon Short added: “We continue to work with the NHS and health and care bodies as well as our technology and security partners, focused on recovery of all systems over the weekend and during the early part of next week.”

Monkeypox: Close contacts of sufferers no longer need to self-isolate | UK News

Anyone who has been in close proximity to a monkeypox sufferer no longer needs to isolate – providing they have no symptoms, health officials have said.

The new advice comes as the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said it had got 100,000 more vaccines as monkeypox cases continue to rise.

As of 18 July, there were 2,137 confirmed cases in the UK.

Of these, 2,050 are in England, with a large proportion of the cases found in London.

New information shows that only a relatively small number of close contacts have gone on to develop monkeypox themselves.

While anyone can get the virus, the majority of cases in the UK continue to be in gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men.

Vaccination experts have recommended some gay and bisexual men at higher risk of exposure to monkeypox should be offered the smallpox vaccine Imvanex.

The UKHSA said the jab had been shown to be effective against monkeypox.

Dr Merav Kliner, deputy incident director at UKHSA, said: “While our advice on isolation is changing, monkeypox is still a serious public health challenge, and we urge contacts to take a break from any activities or events involving skin to skin contact, including sex, hugging and kissing to reduce the risk of the virus being passed on unknowingly.

“Stay alert to symptoms and call a sexual health clinic if you become unwell.

“Thank you to all contacts who have isolated already in response to this outbreak. We understand that isolation can be difficult but this was a necessary precaution whilst our knowledge of the outbreak was limited.”

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Ashish Joshi talks to a man who suffered one of the most ‘extreme cases’ of monkeypox the UK has seen.

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay added: “Monkeypox is a rare and usually mild disease that does not spread easily between people, but we are taking action to help further manage the outbreak in the UK by procuring over 100,000 additional doses of vaccine.

“The NHS is already contacting those eligible for the vaccine, and I would urge people to take up the offer as soon as they are contacted.”