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Soaring petrol prices and household bills are encouraging more people to buy fuel-efficient cars, according to new figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Letter: Cut road speed limit

Sir: The European Commission's proposal to require all new vehicles to be fitted with a device warning drivers when legal pollution limits are being exceeded (20 June) seems an expensive way of achieving its objective, now that emissions are checked in the annual MOT test.

And for his next trick ...

Since the trauma of the 1992 election, the Labour Party has sweated hard to rid itself of its high tax image. But if the party won't raise taxes, how will it fund any programme to improve the lot of the unemployed, the schoolchildren and the patients? In the past, Labour has said that the key was to bring down unemployment and release some of the billions of pounds currently paid to them in benefits. How the magic reduction in unemployment was to take place remained unclear, especially if there was to be no extra spending in the short term to get people into jobs.

Drivers get the blues

BLUE has overtaken red as the first choice of car drivers, while 'tranquil' green cars are becoming more popular, says a survey of car colours by PHH Vehicle Management. Psychologists say the move away from red shows drivers are becoming more conscientious.

Bunhill: Irritant tax

POOR Ken Clarke. The Chancellor is scratching his head to find ways of narrowing the Government's pounds 50bn a year deficit. Bunhill has a suggestion. Why not tax some of the numerous irritants of 20th century life?

Letter: The 'green car' already exists

ALAN RIDGE'S attempt to build a green car is entirely laudable but misconceived ('And the ghost said to Alan: 'Now build me a green car' ', 18 April). The car may be 'miserly with petrol', and boast 'lower component costs', but will continue to use petrol and will still require several hundred kilograms of steel and plastic components.

Letter: Re-cycling: green cars and old bikes

Sir: I greatly enjoyed your description (29 July) of Chris Boardman's bicycle, which he used to win a gold medal for Britain yesterday. This wonderful bike is another example of British inventiveness, and it must have contributed something to Boardman's victory.

Motorists promised quieter road surfaces

ROAD surfaces which drastically reduce noise are to be introduced, Kenneth Carlisle, the Roads Minister, said yesterday.
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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album