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Training for older drivers to reduce accidents in Kent

Credit: ITV

Older drivers in Kent will now be offered training to help them drive more safely and reduce accidents.

Motorists over the age of 60 are involved in fewer crashes than other age groups. But if the over 70s have an accident, then they're three times more likely to be killed.

So Kent County Council now plans to offer older drivers advice about how to cope with failing eyesight and slower reaction times.

You can watch Abigail Bracken's full report below.

Interviewees are: Harry Standley, driver Paddy Hopkirk, former rally driver Steve Horton, Kent County Council Road Safety Team

Racing champ Paddy backs refreshers for older drivers

He won at Monte Carlo - now former racing driver Paddy Hopkirk is advising his peers to do refresher driving courses

Older drivers have come under the spotlight in Buckinghamshire, with new figures showing a dramatic increase in the number of people over the age of 65 being involved in accidents.

Now the local council has enlisted the support of one of the World's top rally drivers to help keep senior citizens in the fast lane.

During his racing career Paddy Hopkirk, won the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally and numerous World titles. Now 82 years old, he's backing a scheme that encourages mature motorists to get their driving checked by the professionals. Penny Silvester reports.

The interviewees are: Paddy Hopkirk, 1964 Monte Carlo rally winner; Cllr Mark Shaw, Buckinghamshire County Council; and June Howlett, Buckinghamshire County Council road safety officer.

There is helpful information for older drivers at the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Older Drivers Forum.


Manston Airport won't be reopened 'any time soon'

The future of the former airport site is uncertain

Is it the end for hopes of reopening Manston Airport? Last night, councillors from Thanet District Council - elected earlier this year on a promise to get planes flying again, admitted that any reopening of the airport was not going to happen any time soon.

Specifically, a Compulsory Purchase Order, or plans to use a compulsory purchase of the airfield, were scrapped. The same councillors told us today, that they had not abandoned their vision - but were exploring new options.

Meanwhile, 18 months after the place was mothballed, airport developers say the council's wasting time and money. Derek Johnson has our report.

The interviewees are: Cllr Chris Wells, Leader, Thanet District Council, UKIP; Niall Lawlor from RiverOak Investments; Ray Mallon, spokesman for Stone Hill Park owners Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave.

Investment firm spokesman: "Our clear ambition is to reopen Manston Airport, and start making money"

Manston Airport closed in 2014 - campaigners have fought to see it reopened

The investment firm that had been in negotiations with Thanet District Council over a Compulsory Purchase Order of the Manston Airport site, has expressed its disappointment that the plan has been shelved.

Last night councillors from Thanet District Council met. They said they had postponed plans to buy and reopen the former airport in Kent. They added that the decision followed legal advice that their proposals were not financially sound.

Niall Lawlor from RiverOak Investment Corp. said the firm is going to carry on pushing for the project to go ahead.

Meanwhile the current owners of the airport say they will press ahead with plans for a housing and business development.

'Happy' road signs for drivers stuck in works removed

The signs include slogans such as 'Let's all get home safely'

It is three months after Highways England began a trial of new, more 'friendly' road signs at major roadworks in the south east - the signs are now being removed.

The transport bosses said they thought that the signs would make drivers happier, or at least less frustrated, if they were stuck in roadworks. The slogans were meant to show a more 'customer friendly' approach.

However, as our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse reports - not everyone was convinced.

The interviewee is Simon Jones, Southern Director for Highways England.

Council drops plans to buy & re-open Manston Airport

Manston Airport was closed down last year

Thanet District Council has postponed plans to buy and re-open the former Manston Airport site in Kent.

Councillors met last night having had legal advice that their proposals were not financially sound. But executives from RiverOak, a US investment corporation which backs the reopening of the airport, say they're determined to carry on with their plans.


Highways England denies sending bailiffs to 150,000 who haven't paid for using Dartford Crossing

It is almost a year since the Dart Charge was introduced at the Dartford Crossing Credit: Highways England

Highways England today denied reports it was sending in the bailiffs to 150,000 drivers who have failed to pay tolls at the Dartford Crossing.

Officials say no such proceedings have been started, but admit the measure could be used if motorists persistently refuse to pay to cross.

They say warning letters are sent out in the first instance and court action would be a last resort but say that is some way off.

Highways England say it is only fair that all drivers pay the tolls but they want to encourage drivers to use the proper method before using the legal process.

The Dart Charge was introduced last year - it involves payment being made in an electronic way rather than at the time of crossing. The barriers were removed earlier this year.

Drivers must pay for using the Dartford Crossing between 6am and 10pm. The fee, which can be up to £6 a time, must be paid by midnight on the day after crossing.

The penalty charge is £70 and must be paid within 28 days. It’s reduced to £35 if you pay within 14 days and increased to £105 if you don’t pay.

What next for Eurostar? Passengers up, revenue down

Eurostar train in a terminal - the firm's trains travel between the UK and the continent

The boss of Eurostar today condemned angry protests over recent weekends at St Pancras - in support of the Calais migrants - which are aimed at disrupting services.

Protesters at St Pancras railway station in London last week

Eurostar's Chief Executive, Nicolas Petrovic, says the protestors intimidated rail passengers - and it was wrong to target the company. Speaking to ITV Meridian, Mr Petrovic apologised for the recent disruption, and said the French and British Governments must work together to find a solution to secure the tracks.

The company said revenue is down - even though passenger numbers are up. Here's our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse.

No end in sight for £2.8 billion rail project that promised faster trains and more seats

Thousands of passengers in the Thames Valley have been told they will have to wait much longer for the faster rail service - and extra seats - that they have been promised.

The ambitious project of electrifying the Great Western Main Line was due to have been completed by 2018. But the Department for Transport now admits it does not know when it will be finished.

On top of this, the cost of the project has almost tripled from £874 million pounds to £2.8 billion.

Rachel Hepworth has been to Goring-on-Thames, in Oxfordshire - one area being developed as part of the project. She spoke to Ian Haslam from the Goring Gap Railway Action Group.

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