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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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