Thursday 27 October 2011

Road - Keep on Truckin'

Well, there I was, standing talking to Quentin Wilson, the well-known TV motoring pundit. We were both at the Goodyear Truck Tyre test day at MIRA. He was there in his latest role as a Fuel Advisor, and I was there to assess Goodyear winter truck tyres.

Over the past year or so, Quentin has been fronting the FairFuel Campaign, but Government continues to frustrate his efforts and those of the people who support him including all the major motoring organisations plus the Freight Transport Association and the Road Haulage Association.

Earlier this year and prior to the budget they achieved considerable success in helping to dissuade the Government from applying a 4p per litre fuel price increase. Mr Osborne even offered to cut the fuel duty by 1p, but before we saw the benefit of that, the oil companies had jacked up the prices again.

Now with the Government proposing to apply a 5p per litre increase next year, the FairFuel Campaign is again trying to dissuade them. The organisation forced a re-think last year because their campaign attracted more than the required 100,000 signatures on a petition but the Government has told them if they want to raise the issue again, they must produce another petition with more than 100,000 signatures.

And while Quentin was at today’s event he got a call from his team informing him that the Government would not have time to debate the issue before the end of the current session.

If they can’t get you one way, they’ll get you another, eh? Still he hasn’t given up so if you want to support the campaign, drop into the FairFuel UK website for the latest info.

As for the Goodyear tyres, I was impressed. We had a wet weather braking test on a skid pan while it was raining! We were using Volvo FH440 tractors for the test although they weren’t pulling trailers. And you know what, if you stand on the brakes at 50 mph, these 6.5 tonne monsters will pull up to a dead halt within 36 metres – the best achieved was 32 metres! The g-forces nearly knocked my bunnet off!

There’s quite a few cars and car drivers out there who couldn’t manage that. 

I don't have any pics of the test because we weren't allowed cameras inside the MIRA facility but Goodyear had a lassie with a digital camera (as opposed to a professional photographer!) and we've been promised some pics tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

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