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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...

Dundee

Tay Road Bridge ramp is delayed

December 21 2013

The construction of part of a Tay Road Bridge ramp has been delayed by a month. The “design issues” were raised in a report by city engineer Fergus Wilson to the Tay Road Bridge Joint Board. Mr Wilson’s report said: “Demolition of the original southbound on-ramp at Custom House is now complete with all materials being recycled. “Construction of the eastern side of the new approach ramps and new South Marketgait Bridge is well under way. “This element of work was programmed for completion by December 2013 thus completing the works to the Tay Road Bridge approach ramps. “However, a number of design issues have arisen during the construction of the new South Marketgait Bridge which have caused a delay to completion of the works. “An extension of time has been granted to the contractor and the works are now programmed for completion by the end of January.” Dundee City Council awarded the £8.2 million contract for the removal and reconstruction of bridge ramps in August 2011.

Dundee

Tay bridge could need £4 million of resurfacing work

September 17 2013

The Tay Road Bridge could need almost £4 million spent on resurfacing its carriageway. Councillors on the bridge board heard that tests of the asphalt using ground-penetrating radar have been completed and the results are being analysed. Core samples will be taken this month to help work out how much of the current 47-year-old surface needs to be replaced. The expansion joints at the end of each span of the bridge have reached the end of their design life and they will also have to be renewed. Bridge engineer Fergus Wilson said he hoped to bring a full report to the next board meeting in December. At this stage there is no indication of the likely timetable for the work, or what it might mean for drivers in terms of restrictions or lane closures. Most of the asphalt on the carriageway dates back to 1966 when the bridge opened, although a surface dressing was applied to it about 20 years ago. The radar survey will provide a 3D picture of the carriageway, showing any cracks or other signs of deterioration. Mr Wilson said: “What we will be doing now is core testing of the asphalt overnight this month to verify the radar survey.” The board has set aside £3.95 million in the bridge’s capital spending plan for the current financial year and 2014/15 to carry out the resurfacing works and fit new expansion joints. Separate works costing £113,000 are already under way to repair the concrete deck, road surface and expansion joints on a section of the bridge’s northern approach viaduct. This includes protective coatings and waterproofing. Mr Wilson told the board that the removal and reconstruction of the bridge ramps as part of the Dundee central waterfront regeneration has been going well, with demolition materials being recycled. “Construction of the eastern side of the new approach ramps and new South Marketgait bridge is due to start shortly. This element of work is programmed for completion by December,” he said.

Angus & The Mearns

Dundee woman banned for drink-driving

August 21 2013

A 51-year-old Dundee woman caught drink-driving has been banned for 12 months and fined £300. Mildred Elizabeth Wilson, of the city’s Balerno Street, appeared before Sheriff Lindsay Wood at Arbroath Sheriff Court and represented herself in the dock. She previously admitted driving a vehicle after consuming excess alcohol (95 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood) in South Street, Monifieth, on February 24. The legal limit is 80 milligrammes. Depute fiscal Jill Drummond said Wilson’s vehicle was spotted by police moving across the road. She was travelling in the car with a male and Ms Drummond said Wilson smelled strongly of alcohol. She failed a breath test before a sample of blood was also taken for analysis. Speaking from the dock, Wilson told the sheriff that a man in the pub had given her friend “cheek” and when they left he had been headbutted by the man in the car park. Wilson said she got in the car and “drove in panic to get away”. She apologised for her actions. Imposing the sentence, the sheriff offered a reduction of a third if Wilson completes a drink drive rehabilitation course.

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.

Perth & Kinross

Second anniversary of missing academic marked by family in Blairgowrie

September 12 2016

The Perthshire family of a missing academic are marking two years since his disappearance. Fergus McInnes was last seen at Geneva airport, in Switzerland, on September 9 2014 after flying out to attend a conference. It is assumed he boarded a train to Martingny but the Edinburgh university researcher failed to join colleagues later that evening His family, who live in Blairgowrie, were notified of his disappearance three days later, on September 12. They believe he may have gone walking and had an accident in the Alps, but there is no evidence to support the theory. Fergus’s sister Lorna McInnes said she and her parents, Bennet and Elizabeth, was still struggling to come to terms with the situation. She said: “It’s hard to live with the uncertainty of what happened to Fergus nearly two years ago and painful to revisit all the possible scenarios. “He remains very much in our thoughts, although as more time passes it gets harder to believe we’ll ever find out what became of him in September 2014. “I think we’ll always be hoping that one day we might get some answers, but in the meantime we try to be patient as we continue to look after his affairs to the best of our ability.” Mr McInnes, 51, was caught by CCTV buying a return train ticket to the Alpine town of Martigny, where he was due to attend a conference at Idiap Research Institute in Martigny starting the next day. However, he failed to join colleagues for an evening meal or check into his hotel. He did not turn up at the conference and he did not catch his return flight on 11 September. Concerned colleagues reported him missing the following day. Police in Switzerland mounted a search but were unable to find any trace of him. Constable Yocksan Bell, Police Scotland’s Edinburgh division co-ordinator for missing people, said: “We continue to maintain links with police officers in Switzerland, who have led the search to find Fergus. We are also continuing to support Fergus’s family through a family liaison officer. “We would encourage anyone with information about Fergus’s whereabouts to come forward. They can report this to Police Scotland or to Swiss police.”

Angus & The Mearns

Grieving dad backs drive to save lives

March 15 2014

The dad of a tragic Laurencekirk woman has given his backing to a campaign to equip the town with more defibrillators. However, David Wilson believes the lifesaving machines must be publicly accessible or heart attack victims may not get the chance to be saved. Mum-of-two Amy Wilson, 31, collapsed and died at a coffee morning in the town last November when she was just weeks away from giving birth to her son, Harry. It is understood Ms Wilson’s death may have been caused by a rare heart condition and two of her friends have since started Stars in the Sky to raise funds for at least one publicly accessible defibrillator. Mr Wilson told The Courier: “We are told that nothing could have saved the life of my daughter or her baby but my worry is that they never got the chance to be saved. “The Laurencekirk After School Club is a very hard working asset to the community. “I think the Stars in the Sky fundraising idea is a credit to all concerned but they need to know their efforts will be of benefit to any future need.” Mr Wilson said he hopes the publicity generated by his daughter’s plight will, in turn, help raise funds for what will be “a worthy and needed cause.” Although it is not certain a defibrillator would have saved Ms Wilson, her friends and family believe having such kit available 24-hours-a-day could make a difference to someone else. Laurencekirk has eight community first responders, who offer emergency medical support until paramedics arrive. Stewart Wight, team leader of the Laurencekirk First Response Team, said he was backing the charity campaign by the local community. He said the responders all have other work and simply cannot cover every period of each day but added it was unlikely Ms Wilson would have been saved. Mr Wight said the buying and distribution of community defibrillators is to be welcomed by all and is likely to have a major impact on the rapid treatment of cardiac arrests. He added: “I am, however, concerned about the figures suggested in relation to the cost of these machines. “Recent articles have suggested it requires several thousand pounds to acquire and install this equipment. “Having recently installed two defibrillators on a popular north-east golf course for less than £2,000, I would hope any community or organisation thinking of purchasing this equipment will not be put off by the prices that have been publicised. “It is also worth mentioning these machines in isolation can have a limited value without the CPR which accompanies their application, so encouraging community training can be equally as important as community fundraising.”

UK & World

Paedophile has sentence increased

August 13 2013

A paedophile who walked free from court after his 13-year-old victim was branded “predatory” by a prosecutor has had his sentence increased due to a technicality. Neil Wilson was handed an eight-month suspended sentence after admitting engaging in sexual activity with the girl, as well as separate counts of making indecent images, at Snaresbrook Crown Court in east London last week. News that prosecutor Robert Colover had labelled the young victim “predatory” and “sexually experienced” caused outrage and led to his suspension from prosecuting sexual offence cases pending a review by the Crown Prosecution Service. Judge Nigel Peters QC is also being investigated by the Office for Judicial Complaints for remarking that his sentence took into account how the girl looked and behaved. Judge Peters altered Wilson’s sentence yesterday, at a brief hearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court, after admitting it needed correction. The judge altered Wilson’s total sentence to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, but kept the sentence for sexual activity with a child the same, at eight months suspended for two years. He said he was revoking a community order and imposing additional suspended jail terms for two counts involving indecent photographs, and another indictment involving five counts of possessing extreme pornographic images.

UK & World

Court to review paedophile sentence

August 27 2013

A paedophile who was allowed to walk free after his 13-year-old victim was branded "predatory" is to have his sentence reviewed by the Court of Appeal. Neil Wilson, 41, was handed a 12-month jail sentence suspended for two years after he admitted engaging in sexual activity with the child, as well as offences of making indecent images of a child and offences of possession of an extreme pornographic image. A row broke out shortly after the case was heard when it emerged that prosecuting barrister Robert Colover had labelled the young girl "predatory" and "sexually experienced". The Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC, has decided to refer Wilson's sentence to the Court of Appeal, where three judges will decide whether or not it is unduly lenient and whether they should increase it. A statement from the Attorney General’s Office said: “Having carefullyreviewed this case, the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC MP, has decided torefer the sentence of Neil Wilson to the Court of Appeal for review. “The case will in due course be heard by three Court of Appeal judges who will decide whether or not the sentence is unduly lenient and whether they should increase it.” In addition to Mr Colover’s comments, Judge Nigel Peters QC said he accounted for the way the Wilson’s victim looked and behaved when he sentenced her attacker. Mr Colover has been suspended from prosecuting sexual offence cases pending a review by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), while Judge Peters’ comments are to be investigated by the Office for Judicial Complaints. As well as receiving a number of complaints, the CPS was confronted by a petition, which now has more than 50,000 signatures, demanding Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer investigate the language used by Mr Colover.

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