A cross-party group of MPs with bus manufacturing sites within their constituencies have written to the Prime Minister to demand the £3 billion he committed in February to fund investment in “at least 4,000 new zero emissions buses” is brought forward as soon as possible.
TPMS sensor manufacturer Sensata Technologies is cutting 160 jobs in the town of Antrim, Northern Ireland. The news follows Sensata’s decision to close its Carrickfergus, County Antrim operation in January 2020. And this was part of a downward trend that saw the company cut 125 jobs in Carrickfergus in 2018.
Following reports at the end of June that the UK government is consulting on current and forthcoming tyre legislation, it is worth taking a closer look and clarifying exactly what rules are passing through the labyrinths of legislative bureaucracy. In short, there are three strands of UK tyre legislation on the table at the moment: minimum standards legislation; current tyre labelling legislation; and forthcoming tyre labelling legislation. Taken together they will likely bring with them the largely unannounced consequence of having both old and new tyre labels in the market at the same time, for a while at least.
Kerr’s Tyres & Auto, one of Northern Ireland’s leading suppliers of tyres and automotive services, has secured a half-million pound loan from Ulster Bank to support it through the coronavirus crisis. It has been delivered through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
A farmer in Northern Ireland has become the first person in Northern Ireland to put Michelin’s X Tweel SSL airless tyre and wheel combination into operation. Michelin has offered its range of Tweel products for grass mowing, agricultural and industrial applications in North America for several years, but its fitment for skid-steer loaders is the first Tweel product to arrive this side of the Atlantic.
Drivers in Northern Ireland whose MOTs are due during the pandemic shutdown will enjoy a one-year exemption, a Stormont minister said. It would not be possible to accommodate the backlog as well as conduct normal business at testing centres, infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon said. Drivers will instead apply for MOTs as normal next year. The announcement caps a year of turmoil for MOT testers in the region. In January, all tests were suspended due to faults with vehicle lifts used in MOT centres. Anti-Coronavirus lockdown measures had already led to further extensions for the MOT exemption.
In addition to the news that the Maha Duo+1 scissor lift if the model behind the Northern Ireland MOT crisis, GEA chief executive Julian Woods has pointed out that these Irish lifts are different to UK equivalents: “Vehicle lifts used for performing MOT tests in Ireland are of a different design/specification to those required in the UK MOT market and as such we cannot compare the situations.”
Maha Ireland has confirmed that its Maha DUO+1 scissor lift is behind the Northern Ireland MOT crisis. The lift, which has been supplied to DVA centres across Northern Ireland and is also believed to have been supplied to NCT centres in the Republic of Ireland, suffering from cracking which resulted in the suspension of all car MOTS in Northern Ireland on 27 January 2020.
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon announced reviews into the MOT fiasco during a visit to DVA’s Boucher Road test centre on 28 January.
Speaking from the test centre, Minister Mallon said: “I have just been in speaking with staff here at the Boucher Road DVA centre. Staff are working tirelessly on the frontline to process priority customers and to communicate with the public. However, I have acted decisively to minimise disruption.”
24 hours after all passenger car and light vehicle MOTs were halted in Northern Ireland (NI), it has emerged that replacement of the fault lifts at the centre of the crisis could take months and cost millions of pounds. Indeed, if all 55 vehicle lifts across Northern Ireland need to be replaced, with new lifts costing between £30,000 and £40,000 each (according DVA chief executive Paul Duffy quoted in multiple sources), the total cost will be between £1.65 million to £2.2 million.
Northern Ireland’s Kerr’s Tyres & Auto is investing£2.5 million in a new company HQ, featuring a distribution centre and retail centres. According to the company, the expansion project will create 20 jobs, bringing the total number of employees in the company to over 100.