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Rishi Sunak orders review of low traffic neighbourhoods and says he’s on the side of motorists | Politics News

Rishi Sunak has ordered a review into the rollout of low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) and said he was on the side of motorists.

The prime inister announced he had ordered the Department for Transport to review LTNs policies, which aims to make residential areas cleaner and safer to walk around in, in an interview in the Sunday Telegraph.

Under LTNs, local councils attempt to limit traffic in town and city centres – with drivers often prevented from using quiet residential roads as through-routes and it also encourages the uptake of other modes of transport.

However, opponents of the scheme say it has created hotspots of traffic which means people end up spending more time in their car.

Mr Sunak told the paper: “The vast majority of people in the country use their cars to get around and are dependent on their cars. When I’m lucky enough to get home to North Yorkshire it’s more representative of how most of the country is living, where cars are important.

“I just want to make sure people know that I’m on their side in supporting them to use their cars to do all the things that matter to them.”

The pitch to motorists and car owners comes after the Conservatives’ narrow victory in the Uxbridge and Ruislip by-election earlier this month, which saw the Tory candidate tap into local concerns about the expansion of London’s ultra-low emissions zone (ULEZ).

That success has seen some Tory MPs on the right of the party urge Mr Sunak to engage in a rethink on net zero, amid hopes of attacking Labour’s green ambitions.

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ULEZ ‘landmark decision is good news’

The adoption of LTN policies has angered some Tory MPs who have criticised the measures as attacks on motorists and in recent months, it has emerged as a concern among some on the right of the Conservative Party.

Conservative MP Nick Fletcher suggested in the Commons earlier this year that traffic control plans being mooted by local councils across the UK were part of an “international socialist concept” which would take away personal liberties.

Read more:
LTNs are about ‘taking back control’ from Whitehall
Starmer told to ‘get off the fence’ and challenge Sadiq Khan on ULEZ

However, this is not the first time the prime minister has hit out at LTNs.

In last summer’s Tory leadership contest, he promised to review the policies to consider the impact on emergency services and knocked back calls to change the deadline for the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel car sales.

Ryan Reynolds revels in FA Cup magic as his non-league side Wrexham beat Championship Coventry City | UK News

Ryan Reynolds has been left “speechless” after Wrexham, the non-league team he co-owns with Rob McElhenney, dumped Coventry City out of the FA Cup.

The Welsh outfit beat the Sky Blues 4-3 at the CBS Arena in Coventry, with Sam Dalby, Elliot Lee, Thomas O’Connor and Paul Mullin all finding the back of the net during the game.

At one point, the visitors were 2-0 up against Coventry, who sit three leagues above them, causing Reynolds to write “What. The. F***. Is. Happening?” on Twitter.

Reynolds posted an update on Instagram. Pic: Instagram/VancityReynolds
Reynolds posted an update on Instagram. Pic: Instagram/VancityReynolds

Read more:
Ryan Reynolds on Wrexham football club takeover with Rob McElhenney: ‘I wouldn’t dare call it soccer. I care about my well-being too much’
Wrexham owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney honoured for ‘promoting Wales and Welsh language to the world’

Wrexham then went 4-1 up, before the home team responded with two more goals – not enough to deny Reynolds’ team their first spot in the competition’s fourth round since 2000.

After the final whistle, the actor tweeted: “I’m completely and totally speechless. What a club. What a town. What a win. Wrexham AFC forever.”

The fourth round draw will take place on Sunday, and could see Wrexham face teams such as Leicester City, Reading, and Tottenham Hotspur.

Another surprise in the FA Cup this weekend was non-league Chesterfield drawing 3-3 with Championship West Brom, which means the pair will go to a replay.

Wrexham's Elliot Lee applauds the fans at the end of the Emirates FA Cup third round match against Coventry City
Wrexham’s Elliot Lee applauds the fans at the end of the Emirates FA Cup third round match against Coventry City

Reynolds, best known for his roles in The Proposal and Deadpool, and McElhenney, who stars in the cult US sitcom It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, bought the Welsh club in February 2021, going on to make a documentary, Welcome To Wrexham, about the club.

In November, the pair welcomed King Charles to the club, as Wrexham celebrated its new city-status.

Ryan Reynolds and King Charles in conversation during the visit
Ryan Reynolds and King Charles in conversation during his visit to the Welsh club

Reynolds and McElhenney are not the only Hollywood megastar owners of a British football club – Creed and Black Panther actor Michael B Jordan was announced last month as part-owner of Bournemouth AFC in Dorset.

Cost of living: University graduates want higher starting salaries – and many would take up side hustles to earn extra cash | UK News

University graduates across the UK want to see higher starting salaries for first jobs amidst the cost of living crisis.

New research by careers platform Bright Network, shared with Sky News, reveals students expect starting salaries to be over £30,000 – 25% more than the current national average starting salary.

Due to the impact and stress because of the rising cost of living, the undergraduate students surveyed expressed “genuine concerns around the economic climate, their careers and future working life”.

The financial challenges are forcing young people to find ways to supplement their main source of income. Almost eight in 10 of the students surveyed said they’d consider taking up a personal ‘side hustle’ to bring in extra cash.

Like tens of thousands of university students Alex Johnson is back on campus for his final year and life in a working world is becoming very real for him. But with the financial future looking bleak, finding a job which pays enough is proving difficult.

He told Sky News: “A lot of them just say the salary is competitive and it’s hard to get a good grasp on what that actually means. But the ones I do see, they range between 20k to 30k, which is alright, but as a student in the cost of living crisis, I’m really looking to get more than that and get paid for what I’m worth.”

So to help him during his final year and when he enters the world of work he’s taken on a side hustle which is already bringing in additional funds. From his accommodation at the University of Leeds, Alex runs a blog about Lego. His passion for building Lego means he can use it to earn extra money which helps him now as a student and will top-up his graduate job salary.

Alex runs a blog about Lego
Alex runs a blog about Lego

He said: “It supports me and allows me to do other things. I was able to go on a holiday this summer which as a student, when money is tight, I might not have been able to do otherwise. It will just help me boost that income since unfortunately it’s a struggle to find those good salaries out there.”

Working part-time in a marketing job doesn’t provide enough money for Natasha Birk
Working part-time in a marketing job doesn’t provide enough money for Natasha Birk

Working part-time in a marketing job doesn’t provide enough money for Natasha Birk who graduated from the University of Bath. She’s back living at home with her parents as her salary doesn’t allow her to be fully independent and self-sufficient. But the success from her eco-eyelashes business, on the side, means she can get there quicker.

Speaking to Sky News, she said: “When you’re doing that job search you find jobs that really appeal to you and the criteria will be really exciting but then you look at the salary and it can be a bit deflating. You have to be realistic though and think how would I actually be able to afford to live off that wage, even though it’s a job I love doing.”

Natasha runs an eco-eyelashes business
Natasha runs an eco-eyelashes business

But for businesses, boosting salaries by thousands of pounds is not a viable option, says Alison Edgar MBE, who advises small and big businesses on how to become successful.

She told Sky News: “If you look at the national living wage people are getting out of bed for a lot less than £30,000. A degree may give you an academic background, but it doesn’t actually give you the skills that you might need in that role. So if graduates want to have a side hustle to bring in that money, that’s great, but they should not be expecting an employer to pay that salary because they’d lose out on margins.”

She added: “25% on top of current salaries doesn’t fit into the current economics. A lot of graduates are new to the workplace, so they’ll need training and understand the business side of things. If they get that increase you’d have to increase the salaries of all the employees that were and that is not going to work for businesses economically. It’s not a sustainable model.”