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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...


Drinking for a good cause at Dundee Beer Festival

June 27 2016

The annual Dundee Beer Festival took place over the weekend at Forthill Sports Club where the money raised boosted charity. The three-day event was organised by the Dundee Round Table and offered festival-goers the chance to sample over 30 different types of beer, cider and gin. The money raised from the sale of beers and spirits went to the festival’s 2016 partners the Archie Foundation.


Tickets go on sale for Dundee Round Table Beer Festival

June 14 2016

Forthill Sports Club will host its annual festival on June 24 to 26. Organised by Dundee Round Table, all profits from the event go to local charities and this year’s main beneficiary will be the Archie Foundation. Tickets for the festival are now available online through www.thedundeebeerfestival.co.uk and tickets purchased in advance through the website are discounted. The Archie Foundation is trying to raise money for a new twin paediatric operating suite. Solicitors Blackadders are sponsoring the glasses at this year’s event. Forthill Sports Club is laying on a family day of activities on the Saturday, while live music, food and a drinks will be available throughout the weekend.


Opponents of Forthill Primary School phone mast reminded to object

February 3 2011

Opponents of plans for a 60-foot mobile phone mast near Dundee's largest primary school are urging people to lodge objections to the planning application. Mobile phone companies Vodafone and O2 are looking to share the site on the edge of the grounds of Forthill Sports Club, a short distance from 500-pupil Forthill Primary. One of those against the plans, Doreen Phillips, said, "We believe that the Stewart report, which recommended a precautionary principle where children and radiation are concerned, should apply here. "The report was in relation to mobile phones, but it could be decades before the harm from mast radiation is known, in the same way that in the past asbestos was safe, along with smoking. The worst place you can think of putting a mast is near a school." The phone companies have argued the site is the best available in the area to improve the coverage of their 3G networks. The deadline for responses to the neighbour consultation is Friday, February 4.


Anger at phone mast project near Forthill Primary School

March 18 2011

Dundee councillors are being urged by their own officials to approve the siting of a phone mast near a primary school despite dozens of objections from worried parents and residents. The planning application by Vodafone and O2 for a 60ft mast on the edge of the grounds of Forthill Sports Club in Broughty Ferry, will be considered at a meeting of the city council's development management committee next week. The site chosen is near Forthill Primary and parents have already voiced concerns about the potential health effects on pupils. They have reiterated those fears in many of the 46 letters of objection received by the council, along with protests over the design of the mast and its potential impact on the nearby Forthill conservation area and on property prices. But a report by officials states none of the objections is supported and the application, meant to improve the companies' 3G coverage in the area, meets the requirements of the city's development plan. Vodafone and O2 looked at other potential sites, but rejected them for various reasons. They want the mast built as a replica telephone pole near a group of mature trees. Council officials say this means it will not have an adverse impact on neighbouring properties and add, "The operator has identified a location that is away from as many sensitive viewpoints as possible. It is considered that the operator has demonstrated the difficulties of locating a telecommunications mast in this area and has justified the site selection and mast design process." The companies have also lodged a certificate showing the mast will comply with guidelines on exposure to radio frequency radiation. The report says, "The proposed development shall not pose a significant threat to the health of neighbouring residents, children attending Forthill Primary or members of Forthill Sports Club." The councillors must now decide whether or not to allow the mast, though if they refuse permission, the companies have the right of appeal to the Scottish Government. A deputation representing some of the objectors hopes to speak at the meeting. Doreen Phillips, one of the objectors, said, "I would say we are outraged this has been recommended for approval. "That radiation is produced from mobile phone masts is not in doubt, it is the level of radiation that's safe which is debatable. No one knows for sure what it is: it could be years before it is known for definite. "We say the precautionary principle should apply and these masts should not be erected near schools. "Children are the youngest and most vulnerable in our society, from those moving up from nursery classes to age 12, and we should be looking to protect them from, not subject them to, radiation. "These beams have been proven to penetrate walls, so goodness knows what they could do to developing skulls and cells in children. "The worst place a mast could possibly be located is beside a primary school, as the children have to be there for hours every day, day in and out they have no choice. "There were other locations considered two were acceptable to the companies (although they preferred the school site) but no explanations have been given...why they didn't pursue those instead. "The companies also said they considered an application to put the mast on the school grounds, but rejected it as it would be unacceptable to the community." Ms Phillips said the mast would be closest to the playground and infants' classrooms, adding, "We also object to this 60ft monstrosity on the grounds of the visual impact, the devaluing of nearby house prices, and the fact that it is on open, public ground. "The elected members are in their positions because we voted them there, to speak for us, the community, and for the school children. They have a duty to all of us to throw out this appalling application, and we will not forget that come next year's local government elections." Officials have recommended refusal to another application by Vodafone and O2 for a 50ft mast in Lochee United's Thompson Park, saying the design is out of character with the area and the firms had not done enough to show they had considered alternative sites.


Judy Murray and team will serve up free tennis training at Forthill

April 29 2015

Judy Murray is to visit Forthill Sports Club. Tennis star Andy will not be in attendance but his mother Judy will be coming to Games Club on Saturday May 9. Judy and her team will aim to give parents, coaches, teachers and volunteers the tools they need to get children active and further develop tennis in Scotland. A spokesman for the club said: “Games Club Tennis has pulled off a major coup with Judy Murray and her team coming to serve up a coaching session. “And the good news is, this is a completely free event open to all.” Forthill Sports Club hosts men’s, women’s and junior teams competing in local leagues, as well as junior and adult coaching sessions. “We are always looking for new players so if you are interested in trying out, please, get in touch,” the spokesman added. The event is free and open to all but places are limited. Those who are interested in attending can email tennisontheroad@img.com or call 020 823 37820 to register.


Victory for parents who campaigned against mobile phone mast near Forthill Primary School

August 19 2011

Campaigners against a proposed mobile phone mast near a Dundee primary school are celebrating victory. A Scottish Government planning official has decided the 17.5m mast would be an "aggressive element" in the area and has refused planning permission. The ruling means phone companies Vodafone and O2, which had been intending to share the site close to Forthill Primary School in Broughty Ferry, will now have to rethink the plans. The announcement will be welcomed by nearby residents and parents of pupils, many of whom were strongly opposed to the plans and sent in petitions and letters of objection. Several pupils drew up a petition too, voicing fears about the possible health effects of transmissions. Doreen Phillips, a member of the school's parent council, said: "'Relief' is not the word." She added that she was grateful to everyone who had supported the campaign. The phone companies had wanted to put up the mast in a corner of the grounds of Forthill Sports Club, a short distance from the school playground. They appealed after the city council refused permission. However, planning appeals reporter Jill Moody has decided the development cannot be allowed to go ahead and she acknowledged the impact of the protests. She said the site was not designated as particularly sensitive in the local plan. "However, the content of the significant number of objections bears out the view that because of the inherent character of the surrounding area and the proximity to the primary school, a higher sensitivity threshold should be applied," she reports. The height of the mast meant it would rise well above nearby trees and would be visible from many windows in the school and in flats overlooking the site. Ms Moody said: "Despite the best efforts at disguise, the mast would become an aggressive element that would look out of place in this otherwise attractive and low-key residential setting."

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

Motoring news

Form an orderly Q for Audi SUV

August 10 2016

First there was the Q7. Then the Q5 and Q3. All have been a phenomenal success for Audi. I’d be surprised if that script changes when the Q2 arrives in November. Audi’s baby SUV is available to order now with prices starting at £22,380. Can’t quite stretch to that? Don’t worry, an entry level three-cylinder 1.0 litre version will be available later this year with a cover tag of £20,230. From launch, there are three trim levels available for the Q2 called SE, Sport and S Line. The range-topping Edition #1 model will be available to order from next month priced from £31,170. While the entry-level 113bhp 1.0-litre unit isn’t available right away, engines you can order now include a 113bhp 1.6-litre diesel and 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol unit, both with manual or S tronic automatic transmissions. Also joining the Q2 line-up from September is the 2.0-litre TDI diesel with 148bhp or 187bhp. This unit comes with optional Quattro all-wheel drive. A 2.0 litre petrol with Quattro and S tronic joins the range next year. Standard equipment for the new Audi Q2 includes a multimedia infotainment system with rotary/push-button controls, supported with sat-nav. Audi’s smartphone-friendly interface, 16in alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity and heated and electric mirrors are all also standard for the Audi. Along with the optional Audi virtual cockpit and the head-up display, the driver assistance systems for the Audi Q2 also come from the larger Audi models – including the Audi pre sense front with pedestrian recognition that is standard. The system recognises critical situations with other vehicles as well as pedestrians crossing in front of the vehicle, and if necessary it can initiate hard braking – to a standstill at low speeds. Other systems in the line-up include adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function, traffic jam assist, the lane-departure warning system Audi side assist, the lane-keeping assistant Audi active lane assist, traffic sign recognition and rear cross-traffic assist.


New Sevilla FC exhibition explains why 1890 Dundee Courier made for ‘fantastic news in Spain’

March 18 2015

A Courier cutting from 1890 has taken pride of place in a permanent exhibition at top Spanish football club Sevilla FC’s stadium, to mark the 125th anniversary of Spain’s oldest club. The article documented the founding of the club by British residents in Seville and how they won the first football match ever played on Spanish soil. The story was written by a Seville correspondent and sent to The Courier shortly afterwards and Tuesday was exactly 125 years since it was published on March 17 1890. Spanish researcher Javier Terenti said the story began when Sevilla FC’s history department found an article two years ago in the British Newspaper Archive. It had explained how the club was formed and how the first match was won. He contacted The Courier at the time and told how the cutting had confirmed Sevilla’s little-believed claims of being the oldest club in Spain. Javier said: “That old article was fantastic news in Spain, changing the history of Spanish football. “Thanks to The Courier Sevilla FC is now celebrating the 125th anniversary of the club’s origins. “A few days ago, as part of a series of events to commemorate this anniversary, Sevilla FC inaugurated a permanent exhibition at the club’s stadium, where the Dundee Courier edition of March 17 1890 plays a pivotal role. “As you see, discovering that old Courier’s article was very lucky for the club as Sevilla FC are now the current Uefa Europa League winners.”1890 article reproduced below courtesy of the British Newspaper Archive: