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Rubber Soul Roundup: February 22 to 28

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TyresOnTheDrive takes a look at some of the more interesting tyre and motoring news stories from the week just gone and rounds them up for you in one place. All part of our mission to save you time! This week’s highlights include London without the traffic jams and one local council banning cars on the school run.

The name’s Bond, James Bond

James Bond has always had a reputation for owning (and often destroying) spectacular cars, but now a keen bidder can make the same claim, having paid £2.4m for an Aston Martin DB10 made specifically for last year’s James Bond instalment Spectre. One slight catch: as it’s not a production model, the car can’t actually be driven on the roads, so its new owner will have to take the top speed of 190mph as written. It has been signed by Daniel Craig though, which might make up for it!

Speedy Gonzalez

It seems an alarming number of people are indulging their inner boy racer, with figures obtained by the BBC showing that more than 2,000 people were stopped for doing over 100mph in the 2014–15 financial year – that’s five a day! The fastest speed recorded during the period was a BMW driver caught doing 156mph in Cambridge (true to the stereotypes, this one was a footballer), while a Mercedes C200 was stopped doing 155mph and a Jaguar 144mph. Perhaps they’d left the gas on…

The school run’s about to get harder!

Any parents out there will know the horrors of getting kids ready for school (the phrase “herding cats” springs to mind), and the frantic rush to beat the morning bell can mean a less than calm trip to the school gates. One local council has got so sick of parents abandoning cars on corners, grass verges and in front of residents’ driveways that it’s going to start a two-year trial banning cars on the school run. Solihull Council is implementing parking exclusion zones around three local schools in the morning and afternoon, and any parent caught ignoring the scheme could be fined £70. Ouch!

The Desert in London

In scenes eerily reminiscent of horror film 28 Days Later, French freelance photographer Genaro Bardy has created a series of shots called Desert in London. Those of you who can’t imagine the Big Smoke without its hordes of traffic should take a look at these spectacular images, taken between 11.30pm on December 25 and 6.00am on December 26, 2015 while most people were sleeping off their turkey and mince pie hangovers. The capital’s streets look remarkably different without the usual hustle and bustle of cars and people.

Desert in London - Christmas 2015 - Genaro Bardy -10

© Genaro Bardy

Robots not taking over our jobs just yet…

Cars are becoming increasingly tech-heavy, and the era of self-driving vehicles is getting ever closer, but Mercedes-Benz seems to be going against the grain, announcing that it is replacing robots with humans on the assembly line at its Sindelfingen plant in Germany. Apparently the vast number of options on the S-Class saloon is proving too complicated for the robots, so humans are being brought back in to deal with the customisation options. Markus Schaefer, head of production at the auto giant, said: “This is best left to humans as they are flexible and have dexterity”. Perhaps the machines won’t be taking over just yet!

In other news…

Bloomberg New Energy Analysts are predicting that electric cars will be cheaper to run than conventional vehicles by 2022 as the prices of the batteries continue to fall. Meanwhile, This is Money has revealed that 80% of best-selling UK car models charge at least £250 more for the car to come in white, taking advantage of the recent motorist preference for this colour (it had previously been assumed that the car colour is popular because manufacturers offer the option for free).

Any interesting developments you’d like to add?

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