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As many cities around the world seek to tackle air pollution and congestion, but at the same time stubbornly overlook the bicycle as a solution, companies like Gogoro are presenting electric vehicle share schemes as the answer to clean and efficient mobility.

Gogoro’s electric scooters address range anxiety by using swappable battery packs that can be replaced at roadside kiosks. The scooters are already available to rent in Paris and Berlin and the company has plans to launch in Taiwan this summer.

Scooters and motorcycles are more fuel efficient than cars but in some respects they are more polluting – one of the reasons that older bikes fall foul of London’s new toxicity charge. Gogoro electric scooters are a polished product that provide a cleaner alternative for riders of powered two-wheelers. However, with a performance on a par with the 125cc class of bike and acceleration described as ‘white knuckle’, these scooters will be no less a cause of road danger as their fossil-fuelled counterparts.

The performance of the scooter is described as ‘white knuckle’ for riders so how will pedestrians be made to feel?

Much faith is being out in electric vehicles, but this week a research group warned that electrifying cars will not address the problems of traffic congestion, urban sprawl and wasted space for parking.

The Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS) report urges the government to devise policies that allow people to have a good standard of living without needing a car.

One of the authors of the report, Prof Jillian Anable, said: “Car use is a massive blind spot on government policy. For many years ministers have adopted the principle of trying to meet demand by increasing road space. They need to reduce demand instead.”

Ethical cycle insurance

On the face of it, one cycle insurance policy is much like another, but the devil is the detail. Check your small print for so-called ‘new-for-old’ replacement – many insurers use the term, but if your bicycle is more than a few years old, devalue it severely. This means you are left out of pocket when you come to replace it.

With ETA cycle insurance, however old the bike, if it’s stolen you get enough to buy a new model. Furthermore, every cycle insurance policy you buy from us helps support the work of the ETA Trust, our charity campaigning for a cleaner, safer transport future. Little wonder The Good Shopping Guide has judged us to be Britain’s most ethical insurance company.

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The post Electric scooter share schemes offer no panacea appeared first on ETA.

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Zpurs is a unique and simple way of transporting your shoes, boots or high heels however you travel.

Neatcleats have developed a simple clipping mechanism for just about every type of shoe and paired it with a good quality carabiner that allows you to clip your footwear wherever you like. For those who use cleats, they’re a great way to carry alternative shoes for your destination.

The clever system frees up space in your bag, allows shoes to breathe, helps prevent bacteria growth and stops your bag from getting dirty and smelly. You can order a set of Zpurs via Kickstarter for only £13 and we have two to give away.

To be in with a chance of winning a set of Zpurs, please leave a comment at the bottom of this page and we’ll pick two names next week.

With 11 Tour de France stage wins to his name, Andre Greipel knows a thing or two about cycling gear. Seen here with his Zpur…

Ethical cycle insurance

On the face of it, one cycle insurance policy is much like another, but the devil is the detail. Check your small print for so-called ‘new-for-old’ replacement – many insurers use the term, but if your bicycle is more than a few years old, devalue it severely. This means you are left out of pocket when you come to replace it.

With ETA cycle insurance, however old the bike, if it’s stolen you get enough to buy a new model. Furthermore, every cycle insurance policy you buy from us helps support the work of the ETA Trust, our charity campaigning for a cleaner and safer transport future. Little wonder The Good Shopping Guide has judged us to be Britain’s most ethical insurance company.

Cycle Insurance Quick Quote
Bike Value (£) Maximum value £5,000
Postcode
What's included?
£0.00 monthly
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The post Zpurs: A spur to organised footwear appeared first on ETA.

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A new police drone will take to the skies above London later this month to help collar speeding drivers – the first time such tech has been used to target dangerous motorists in Britain.

Once a dangerous driver has been spotted by the drone, which is equipped with a night-vision camera, officers in traffic cars will intercept the offender.

According to reports, one of the first roads to be targeted may be be the A10 in Enfield where more than 150 motorists have been caught speeding in the past five weeks – at speeds of up to 127mph. In common with the surveillance drones operated by the army, the police say there aircraft will operate at at high altitudes to avoid detection.

Roads in London have become raceways – one driver was recently clocked at 127mph on the A10

Detective Superintendent Andy Cox, head of the Met’s roads and traffic policing unit, said: “The focus will be on dangerous drivers who are racing and those putting their lives and other people’s at risk.”

There is no word on how long the police drone will be capable of staying aloft, but whatever its autonomy, it will have its work cut out. Putting aside the question of why it’s possible to buy cars for the road that are capable of exceeding the national speed limit by 100%, neither the threat to other people’s lives nor the risk of penalties dissuades motorists from driving within the law. For example, in the 20mph zones intended to safeguard areas where people live and children go to school, 86% per cent of car drivers break the speed limit.

The figures above are based on data collected by the Department for Transport’s Automatic Traffic Counters (ATCs) and excludes locations where factors such as junctions, hills, sharp bends or speed cameras might slow drivers. In other words, the statistics provide insights into speeds at which drivers choose to travel when free to do so.

One day in the not too distant future, folk will look at today’s roads as frontiers-style motoring; speeding is endemic and motorists can drive dangerously and even kill with near impunity. However new legislation means the days of speeding traffic look numbered. The ETA started campaigning for speed limiters in cars in the early 1990s – it is only now that this simple technology looks set to be introduced into new cars.

All new cars sold in Britain and Europe are to be fitted with devices to stop drivers exceeding the speed limit under new road danger reduction measures that the EU has provisionally agreed. And although Britain may no longer be part of the EU when the rules come into effect in 2022, the British regulator, the Vehicle Certification Agency, has confirmed it will mirror safety standards for vehicles sold here.

As well as the speed limiters, new cars will have to fitted automated emergency braking, electronic data recorders (black boxes) and improved visibility built into lorries.

Environmentally friendly breakdown cover

Not all breakdown companies are the same. Established 29 years ago, and with over 5,000 recovery trucks on call 24/7, we have a proven track record of providing efficient, reliable breakdown cover. We have been voted Britain’s most ethical insurance company by the Good Shopping Guide.

Get an instant quote

We handpick only the best local mechanics and garages around Britain to send out if you break down. We believe this way of working is efficient, environmentally friendly and helps supports local communities and economies, too.

On top of this, we offset the carbon emissions of the recovery trucks that go out to assist you, reducing the impact your breakdown has on our environment. Every breakdown policy you buy helps fund the work of our charity, the ETA Trust, which campaigns for a safer, cleaner transport future.

The post Police drone to target speeding motorists appeared first on ETA.

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This one-person hammock from Quechua measures a roomy 260 x 152cm and is fabricated from comfortable soft-touch polyester. Sling it up between trees in your local park or take it further afield in place of a tent. We have one to give away.

To be in with a chance of winning a hammock, simply leave us a comment below and let us know where you’d sling it up.

An insurance provider like no other

Not only are we Britain’s most ethical insurance provider according to The Good Shopping Guide, but we campaign for sustainable transport. Sometimes that means protesting until a school gets the zebra crossing they’ve been refused or running 60 roadshows this year to encourage people out of their cars, or fixing bicycles for free. We also launched Green Transport Week and helped establish Car Free Day and Twenty’s Plenty to name just a few.

We’ve been campaigning for sustainable transport in this way for 29 years with the help of people like you. Supporting this work is easy – you simply have to take out insurance with us. Home insurancecycle insurancetravel insurance and breakdown cover and we take care of the rest. We provide an excellent level of cover while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.

The post Sleep under the stars: Hammock up for grabs appeared first on ETA.

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ETA | News by Yannick Read - 2w ago

If you’re one of the five million British motorists heading to France this year, the ETA Guide to Driving in France is a free e-book packed with information. However many times you’ve embarked on a Gallic driving holiday, with recent changes to French law it pays for even the most experienced driver to brush up on the rules to avoid pitfalls.

For example, the speed limit on French secondary roads – the two-lane highways that crisscross 400,000 km of the country – has been reduced from 90km/h to 80km/h as of last summer. The French government has imposed the new limit to reduce road deaths, which reached nearly 3,500 in 2016. The change coincides with strict enforcement of speed limits on motorways – we’ve heard of drivers receiving fines at 2km over the 130km/h limit.

Can you identify these french road signs?

Our no-nonsense guide the driving in France covers what to bring with you, the basic rules of the road (including road signs), laws on speeding and fines, toll road information and advice for motorcyclists. To download your free copy, just press here.

Emissions sticker for driving in France

All cars travelling in the cities of Paris, Lyon or Grenobles are now required to carry anti-pollution stickers which indicate the age and ‘environmental classification’ of the vehicle.

The round stickers correspond to six different vehicle classes defined according to air pollutant emissions. In certain French cities the correct sticker must be displayed by every  road vehicle, including all cars, motorcycles, commercial vehicles, buses and coaches.

This law was introduced in France in early 2017 and also applies to foreign vehicles.

How do I apply for the emissions stickers?

You can apply for a sticker through the French Air Quality Certification Service online here. Be sure to apply in good time as the stickers can take around 30 days to arrive. They only cost a few pounds and will save you the risk of being hit with an on-the-spot fine of €68.

Driving in France this summer?

For short-term driving trips in France, European breakdown cover from the ETA offers the best value for money on the market. With English-speaking helplines and assistance available 24/7 you can rest assured that help is at hand should you break down abroad.

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The post Driving in France 2019 appeared first on ETA.

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Whatever size of motorcycle you ride, continental Europe promises drier, smoother and emptier roads than those here in Britain.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you need a big multi-cylinder machine to explore the roads of Europe. Just make certain you have European motorcycle breakdown cover and off you go.

After all, in the 1960s scooter riders thought nothing of crossing the channel to tour on small-capacity, single-cylinder two-strokes. And while Ewan McGregor’s adventure rides have done wonders for sales of the mighty BMW GS range, it’s worth remembering that in 1980 two riders completed the gruelling Paris Dakar having ridden their Vespa scooters across seven countries and 10,000km of brutal terrain.

Renting a motorbike for European riding

There are many reasons why renting a motorcycle for a touring in Europe can make sense. Over the last decade, a host of motorbike dealers and specialist hire companies have started to offer rental bikes. And where once the choice was limited, it is now possible to rent everything from a Honda CB500 or Harley Davidson 883, to a Ducati Panigale or BMW S1000RR.

The bikes are one or two years old, well serviced, insured, include European motorcycle breakdown cover and, most importantly, offer the chance to ride something much more focussed (and expensive) than you need for the daily commute.

Based on one week’s rental in 2019, prices range from around £400 for a Honda NC700X, or £560 for a  Triumph Bonneville T100 to £670 for a superbike like the Ducati 959 Panigale.

Triumph Bonneville T100 – Yours for the week for £500

Ferry routes

The cheapest and most popular option is to cross the channel by ferry or tunnel, but the route from Plymouth or Portsmouth to Bilbao or Santander is a civilised way to get straight to the incredible roads of northern Spain. Alternatively, you can put your bike on a train to Italy. A Dusseldorf to Verona Motorail train operates from July to August. Düsseldorf is less than four hours from Calais, or less than 3 hours from Hoek van Holland, Rotterdam or IJmuiden (serves by ferries from Harwich, Hull and Newcastle).

What do I need to take?

Whether you’ve got a full set of hard luggage, throw over bags or are braving it with a sports bag and cargo netted, pack smart – decide on what you think you need and then take only half that amount. At the first set of twisty roads, you will curse yourself if you have overloaded the bike.

European motorcycle breakdown

Euro breakdown cover from the ETA is available for motorbikes (and cars) up to 20 years old.

The cover includes motorcycle hire for up to 14 days (maximum £60 per day). If your bike cannot be repaired within 72 hours the ETA arranges for you, your pillion and your motorcycle to be repatriated.

The policy covers travel to Austria, Belgium, Britain, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican City. Cover for travel through any of the countries listed above is charged at the same rate. Get an instant quote

The post Get European motorcycle breakdown cover …and go appeared first on ETA.

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The world’s lightest folding bicycle has been built by a talented engineer who wanted to take his mind off a his health problems. It’s no overstatement to describe Derek Cranage as a guru where folding bicycles are concerned. Not content with modifying a Brompton so that it weighs only 7.1kg, Derek has built his own aluminium, carbon fibre and titanium tribute to the iconic British folder which tips the scales at a featherlight 5.9kg. For reference, Brompton’s range-topping S1E-X is a claimed 9.3 kg.

Derek’s hyper-light bike looks like a Brompton and folds like a Brompton…it doesn’t weigh anything like one

The world’s lightest folding bicycle

Carbon fibre is 40 per cent lighter than aluminium and many times stronger, but due to the main frame hinge assembly and the mounting of it, which had to be in aluminium (a one off in carbon fibre would have been prohibitively expensive), Derek plumped for a bespoke frame in aircraft spec aluminium pair with a carbon rear frame and forks. Every single item in the bike’s construction has been reduced or purposely made to the last fraction of a gram.

God is in the details – Every single item in the bike’s construction has been reduced or purposely made to the last fraction of a gram

For example, Derek made his own headset expansion nut that he bonded into the forks tube. This came out at under half the weight of the lightest one he could find for carbon forks. Forgoing a standard Brompton rubber for the rear suspension, Derek opted for a lightweight titanium version that he fitted with a titanium bolt and carbon fibre washers.

A standard seat tube clamp proved too heavy so a titanium bolt with an aluminium quick release does the job of keeping the seat stem in place.

The frame weight when painted (powered coated) and complete with the carbon fibre down tubes and their fixing bolts with all the folding hinge assembly comes out at 1.20kg – over 42 p er cent lighter than the Brompton.

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Derek has form when it comes to beating Brompton at their own game. When we covered news of the Tern Elektron and eagerly awaited Brompton electric folding bicycles, he wrote to us about two bikes he had recently built.

To my mind, Tern have lost out; both ours fold considerably smaller than the Elektron.

One is a highly modified Brompton, which folds in the same way as the standard version but is 1 cm wider. It has v brakes and an eight-speed hub gear. It weighs 14.9 kg and the battery takes it 25 miles with an output about twice that of the Tern Elektron.

The second bike  is another eight-speed hub gear with v brakes, the same electric drive and battery as our Brompton, and a folded size of 73 x 56 x 34 cm; a bit larger than the Brompton, but considerably smaller than the Tern.  It weighs a more at 17.3 kg, but considering the eight-speed hub gear, it is light.

Both bikes have the motor in the front wheel, the battery goes in a Brompton bag at the front, and with a small amount of pedalling will go 25 miles.

Watch this space. We’re confident we haven’t heard the last from Derek and that not content with building the world’s lightest folding bicycle (with 16″ wheels), he’s already working on another hyperlight tribute to Brompton.

Ethical cycle insurance

On the face of it, one cycle insurance policy is much like another, but the devil is the detail. Check your small print for so-called ‘new-for-old’ replacement – many insurers use the term, but if your bicycle is more than a few years old, devalue it severely. This means you are left out of pocket when you come to replace it.

With ETA cycle insurance, however old the bike, if it’s stolen you get enough to buy a new model. Furthermore, every cycle insurance policy you buy from us helps support the work of the ETA Trust, our charity campaigning for a cleaner, safer transport future. Little wonder The Good Shopping Guide has judged us to be Britain’s most ethical insurance company.

Cycle Insurance Quick Quote
Bike Value (£) Maximum value £5,000
Postcode
What's included?
£0.00 monthly
Next

The post Brompton beater: The world’s lightest folding bicycle weighs under 6kg appeared first on ETA.

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With temperatures expected to soar this weekend, we are giving away a bottle shower – a rose attachment that twists into place on all narrow neck plastic bottles. When the bottle is upturned, the device delivers a constant flow of water without any need for squeezing. A two-litre bottle holds enough water for a shower lasting almost two-and-a-half minutes and water left in a plastic bottle in the sun can become surprisingly hot.

As well as a camp shower, we think it would be great for rinsing hands and feet on the beach or washing dog paws after a muddy walk.

If you have to buy a plastic bottle of water, the best thing to do with it is re-use it.

Win a bottle shower

We have a Bottleshower to give away. Leave a message at the bottom of the page letting us know how you’d use one and we’ll pick a winner next week.

  • Shower head that fits most water bottles
  • 2 litre bottle delivers a 2-minute, 24-second shower
  • Comes complete with a hanging cord
  • Includes a Loc-Top bag for storage
Why it’s important to reduce, reuse and recycle

If you include power plant cooling water, it takes seven litres of water simply to manufacture a one-litre bottle. To that environmental cost you can add the 162g of oil required to make the plastic, all the associated CO2 emissions and the millions of tons of land fill or ocean waste to which the bottled water industry contributes.

Ethical insurance

The ETA was established in 1990 as an ethical provider of green, reliable travel services. Twenty nine years on, we continue to offer home insurancecycle insurancetravel insurance and breakdown cover  while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.

The post Heatwave hacks: The bottle shower appeared first on ETA.

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Walking and cycling commissioner of Greater Manchester Chris Boardman’s plans to paint zebra crossings on 20,000 of Manchester’s side streets to make pedestrian journeys safer have been stopped in their tracks by the Department for Transport.

The DfT says British law demands zebra crossings have zigzag markings, which can push the cost to well over £30,000. Boardman’s simple approach, which is used throughout Europe, costs only £300 for each crossing.

Boardman has also faced opposition from campaigners who suggest that ‘informal’ zebra crossings risk creating a ghetto for those on foot – reinforcing the mistaken belief that drivers have to give way to pedestrians only when there’s a side-street zebra. It’s a valid concern, but ever the pragmatist, Boardman as follows:

Boardman is proving himself to be a tenacious advocate for walking and cycling. Round one may have gone to the DfT, but watch this space – the battle is not over.

Pop-up zebra crossings

We are great fans of ‘informal’ zebra crossings. When we were approached by a group of parents in London whose request for a zebra crossing at a road traffic collision black spot outside their local infant school had been turned down on grounds of cost, we went about building one ourselves as cheaply as possible.

The result was a pop-up zebra crossing that could be erected in less than two minutes. And with no need to consider drainage, the excavation of existing pavement, disposal of material, new kerbing and paving, anti-skid surfacing, road markings, traffic signs, electrical connections and pillars, the total cost came to a fraction of the £114,000 quoted by the Highways Agency.

Faced with coverage of the campaign in the Sunday Times, Daily Mail, Evening Standard and Metro newspapers and on numerous radio stations, the local authority quickly installed the much-needed real zebra crossing.

Supporting campaigns like the pop-up zebra is easy

Not only are we rated as Britain’s most ethical insurance company, we campaign for sustainable transport. Sometimes that means protesting until a school gets the zebra crossing they’ve been refused, or hosting 60 roadshows this year to encourage people out of their cars, or fixing bicycles for free. Supporting this work is easy – you simply have to take out our home insurancecycle insurancetravel insurance and breakdown cover.

Cycle Insurance Quick Quote
Bike Value (£) Maximum value £5,000
Postcode
What's included?
£0.00 monthly
Next

The post Zebra crossing battle: Boardman vs DfT appeared first on ETA.

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A pedestrian who was looking at her mobile phone while crossing a road has won a little over £4,000 in damages from the cyclist who knocked her over. The judge accepted that the traffic light was green for Robert Hazeldean as he cycled through a busy junction near London Bridge and that Gemma Brushett was looking at her phone, but ruled that Hazeldean was liable to pay damages and court costs of the two-day trial –  currently standing at £100,000.

Judge Shanti Mauger said the two were equally to blame for the incident, but only Brushett was entitled to compensation because she had put in a claim and Hazeldean had not.

Hazeldean has said that he now realises he should have put in a counter-claim at the start of case, but was reluctant to do so because he objected to the ‘claim culture’.

How did this cyclist find himself liable to pay £100,000 court costs?

When Hazeldean was sued by Brushett, he did not seek legal representation. Had he done so, his counsel would most likely have counter-sued – after all, when the case went to court, the judge ruled that the two parties were equally to blame. In other words, had Hazeldean followed legal advice, it’s highly unlikely the case would have ended up in court or that he would have been liable for damages. This case highlights the risks to a defendant that is not insured and when both parties are partly responsible, but only one has claimed damages.

Cycle Insurance Quick Quote
Bike Value (£) Maximum value £5,000
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Next How would cycle insurance have helped in this case?

Yes, cycle insurance not only protects against theft and accidental damage – most policies include third party cover too. For example, cycle insurance from the ETA includes £5m cover against damage caused to property or person. Had Hazeldean had cycle insurance, the whole affair would have been dealt with on his behalf. It’s extremely unlikely that the case would have ended in court, but had it done so, his liabilities would have been covered by the insurance.

Ethical cycle insurance

On the face of it, one cycle insurance policy is much like another, but the devil is the detail. Check your small print for so-called ‘new-for-old’ replacement – many insurers use the term, but if your bicycle is more than a few years old, devalue it severely. This means you are left out of pocket when you come to replace it.

With ETA cycle insurance, however old the bike, if it’s stolen you get enough to buy a new model. Furthermore, every cycle insurance policy you buy from us helps support the work of the ETA Trust, our charity campaigning for a cleaner, safer transport future. Little wonder The Good Shopping Guide has voted us Britain’s most ethical insurance company.

The post Cyclists: How to avoid paying £100K court costs appeared first on ETA.

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