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Driving Forward

Welcome December Issue. Regulars 3 Chairman’s Chat

Diary Of Events 27th November.

Jan’s report.

Mike Murphy, Trams.

4 Associate Report Liz reports on the latest Associate News.

29th January 2013.

5 Membership News

Return of the famous Quiz Night with “Fish n Chips”. Please book in advance.

Who is celebrating their Birthday this month?

7 New Feature!

Social Events

Is there a car you wished you had owned? I start this new feature with arguably the best Gti of all time!

Tuesday 27th November

10 & 11 Car and IAM News Car News on why you should keep you car keys safe. IAM reports on what you should do when you encounter an emergency vehicle.

Where we meet Wirral Advanced Motorists meetings are held on the last Tuesday of the month at the Roundel Club at 8pm. This is also known as the RAFA Club. The address is: 17 Shrewsbury Road Oxton CH43 1 UU

Derek Jefferies is organising a coach to take interested members to the Bike Show in Birmingham on Tuesday 27th November. The coach is expected to cost somewhere in the region of £10 per person. Members would have to purchase entrance tickets to the show separately, which Derek believes would cost around £14 per ticket via the internet. Any members interested in joining the Wirral Advanced Motorcyclists to the Bike Show, should contact Derek direct by emailing , or by 'phoning 07957 341692

Please note that the club is entered via the car park on the corner of Alton Road. A one way system is in operation

The views, advertisements and opinions expressed in this Newsletter are those of individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect those taken by Wirral Advanced Motorists or the Institute of Advanced Motorists.


Driving Forward The Wirral Institute of Advanced Motorists Newsletter Registered Charity Number: 512232 Issue Number: 359 President: Mr Norman Jarvis M.B.E. Vice President: Mr Ian Standring. Website: (Webmaster:Kevin Irvine) email us: Chairman.

Jan Peters

Tel: 07799 118802

Vice-Chairman & Editor.

Tony Stopforth

Tel: 0151 932 0454


Angela Clarke Tel: 0151 336 1069 5 Tithebarn Drive Parkgate Neston CH64 6RG

Treasurer & Outdoor Events.

Barry Stuart

Tel: 0151 342 2923

Associate Co-ordinator.

Liz Scarff

Tel: 0151 652 2059

Area Associate Organiser.

Bob Rollo

Tel: 0151 678 5077

Senior Observer Checker.

Colin Herbert

Tel: 07533 223701

Membership Secretary.

Peter Osborne

Newsletter Distribution.

Sheila Rose

Tel: 0151 336 6428

Social Events.

Mary Beaumont

Tel: 0151 342 4132

Minutes Secretary & Shop Keeper. Dy Brown Other Committee Members.

Tel: 0151 336 7956

Tony Quaile Peter Hayward

Wirral Advanced Motorists Group and the Data Protection Act 1996. It is the group’s intention to hold details of members and associates on computer in order to assist with administration. If you do not want your details to be held on computer, please make your objections to the Group Chairman.


Hello and welcome to all our readers.

Driving Forward

There has been quite a lot of motoring related news of late covering all manner of stories from the very serious to the ridiculous. There was of course the story this week of Bradley Wiggins being knocked off his bicycle and reportedly suffering serious injury. Perhaps we'll never know exactly who was to blame, but I can't help wonder why nothing was reported about Bradley having his lights on at the time! Then last week there was the rather silly story reported in The Telegraph about the woman from Essex who failed her driving theory test no less than 105 times! A Government spokesman said, "HM Treasury should be pleased with her persistence since it represents a good source of income for the Government"! Bet it does!! There was some other encouraging news reported last week which sadly didn't get the same column inches. The latest Government figures were released showing the number of people killed on the country's roads between April and June this year was 400, an 18% drop compared to the same period in 2011. This will no doubt be a huge relief to the ministers who came under fire last year when the number of fatalities rose for the first time in 5 years, triggering criticism of the Government's cut in road safety spending. At the same time the quarterly statistics showed that there was a 6% fall in the number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads in spring and an even sharper fall (14%) of the number of children dying or being seriously hurt. The DOT admitted the figures could have been due to fewer people using the roads this year because of the wet weather. In particular, the constant rain is believed to have kept cyclists (whose casualty rates had been rising) off the road. Rain is also believed to have been responsible for a fall in average road speeds during the same period. That said, the year on year figures comparing casualties for the 12 months up to June this year, with the same period a yer earlier, were less encouraging. They showed an increase in the number of vulnerable road users (primarily pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists) being killed or seriously injured rising by 5%. Neil Greg, the IAM's Director of Policy said; " The drop in road casualties is really good news, but the DOT admits that it is likely to be linked to the year's wet weather. We shouldn't rely on a few months of dodgy weather to get cyclists and motorcyclist casualties down". So perhaps there is some merit in the great British summer being a washout after all. There is of course that other great British tradition of ours, turning back the clocks, a seemingly simple act but one that causes a significant rise in road casualties as the evenings become darker. It has been well documented that accident rates rise sharply when British summertime ceases. The IAM reported that in November 2011, the number of pedestrians killed or seriously injured was 14% higher than the monthly average. The number of cyclists in accidents involving other vehicles was 5% higher and the rate of motorcycle casualties per vehicle mile was no less than 28% higher. It has long been suggested that keeping British Standard Time (GMT + 1) should be employed all year round. In 1968 there was a 3 year experiment when this was actually tried and tested. The clocks were put forward as normal in March 1968 but not turned back until October 1971. Analysis of the data during this period showed a significant decrease in the number of road casualties with approximately 2500 fewer people killed or seriously injured during the first two winters of the experiment. Changing to a system of single/double summertime where the clocks stay one hour ahead until spring and are then put forward another hour in March would result in darker mornings but an extra hour of evening daylight throughout the year. Once the first adjustment has been made, the process of putting clocks forward and backward would carry on as normal but we would always be one one hour ahead of GMT, putting Britain into the Central European Time Zone. It is believed this would result in around 450 fewer deaths and serious injuries on our roads each year as well as bringing significant environmental, economic and health benefits. Food for thought. Drive safely, Jan


Driving Forward

Associate Report December 2012 Test Passes Norman Hiscock

From Wallasey

Observed by Neil Westbrook.

New Associates Mark Shields John Gresley

from West Kirby. from Chester.

At 10.15am on Wednesday, October 10th a party of Group members, Committee members and some friends set off on our planned walk from Banks Road car park, Lower Heswall to Parkgate. The morning was fine and dry, if a touch cool. From the top of Banks Road we set off along Wittering Lane, Davenport Road and onto the Wirral Way. Further along, we saw where the recent floods have washed away the wide steps leading down to the Wirral Way from Cottage Lane. We crossed Heswall Golf Course and made our way along the sea wall to Parkgate where we all gratefully went into the Boathouse Hotel for a hot drink. Feeling suitably refreshed; we walked the full length of Parkgate Parade, making our way up Station Road, back onto the Wirral Way. We then walked back to where we had started from and happily went into 'Sheldrakes' at the bottom of Banks Road for a very welcome lunch of delicious soup, sandwiches and coffee. The weather stayed fine and it was reckoned that we’d walked approximately six miles. We all said how much we'd enjoyed it and thanked Mary for organising it, she had it very well planned. We are now looking forward to the next time and hope that a lot more members will come and join us. Thank-you to all who have given me their used postage stamps for the Guide Dogs for the Blind. As always, I'm happy to take them into Prenton library rather than see them wasted when such an important organisation can raise money from them. I wish all our members and friends a very happy Christmas and New Year. Safe driving and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at our gatherings in 2013.

Thought for the month Perhaps the best Yuletide decoration is being wreathed in smiles. Liz Scarff. Associate Co-ordinator.


Driving Forward

Happy Birthday! Birthdays in December. Mr C R Edwards. Dr J C Goodchild. Mr B Hepplestone. Mr D T Holt. Mrs D Johnson. Mr D E Lees. Ms C Parker. Mr N S Reeves. Mr P Rowland. Mr W A Smith. Mr B Stuart. Mr N A Westbrook. Mr D Woods.

The Wirral Group has: Total number of members: 303 Number of full members: 270 Number of Associates: 14 Group Friends: 18 Honorary Member 1 Peter Osborne Liz Scarff

0151 652 2059

Many members may not be aware that an electronic copy of the Newsletter is available. You will receive the copy direct in your inbox approximately two weeks before you would receive your paper copy. As well as doing your bit for the environment your electronic copy will be in full colour. If you would like to opt out of receiving your paper copy for the electronic version please get in touch with the editor ( and I will ensure that you receive your Newsletter by email in the future. 5

Driving Forward

Cars you wished for: VW Golf GTI Those three little letters represent so much especially stuck on the boot of the infamous VW Golf. This is my favourite Golf and one I wish I had brought when I saw a second hand one available at the local VW agent down the road from me. The GTI MK1 gained the reputation to be a very quick small family sized hot hatch. Therefore to uphold the cars reputation and to show the world that Volkswagen still produced the finest GTI engineers worked on improving the aerodynamics of the car. By rounding the edges of the vehicle drag was reduced from 0.42 to 0.34 cd. The 1.8 ltr unit found in the MK1 was originally designed for the MK2 however Volkswagen chose to fit the engine into the MK1 in order to wet people’s appetites for the forthcoming successor. The unchanged 1.8 ltr engine produced 112bhp @ 5800 rpm. The MK2 would reach 119 mph and would reach 60 in 8.3 seconds. The metal fuel tank was re-designed using a blow moulded plastic fuel tank and the capacity increased. The car offered exceptional range covering 436 miles before requiring a fuel stop. The extra weight of the MK2 resulted in the car being fitted with disc brakes all round. The GTI standard list was comprehensive including alloys and sunroof. These features in February 1985 were discarded as standard equipment on the 3 door version and were found as standard on the 5 door version. The GTI’s could be easily identified by the twin headlights. However for the North America market the Golf adopted square headlights. The MK2 GTI in the first year’s sales sold 6161 GTI vehicles compared with 5972 of the MK1 GTI sold in their last full production year. 1986 saw the release of what many to believe to be the most iconic Golf GTI of all time. It was of course the GTI 16v. The engine produced 139 bhp and featured a twin overhead camshaft 4 valve per cylinder arrangement. Cubic capacity remained at 1781cc. Power over the 8v unit was increased by 24% and torque rose by 18%. Engineers realised that the suspension and braking system needed to be revised. The car sat marginally lower than the standard GTI with increased front and rear spring rates. Larger discs were fitted along with larger air cooling ducts. Exterior changes were minimal. 16v badges were fitted around the car and green tinted glass was added. Additionally central locking was fitted to the car as standard. Volkswagen now had two engine options for the MK2 Golf GTI. The high revving nature of the 16v unit made for a car that liked the open road and enjoyed being pushed hard while the 8v unit renowned for low down torque made for a much easier car to drive around town. Volkswagen it seems covered all the bases with the MK2 Golf. Customers wishing to purchase the cheaper more civilised GTI could buy the 8v unit while those wishing for that little bit extra could purchase the 16v model.


Driving Forward 1987 saw ABS introduced as an optional extra. The entire range received a new front grille and a centre VW badge adorned the boot. Additional cosmetic alterations included redesigned driver’s and passenger’s windows. The quarter light windows were discarded in favour of a one piece window. The wing mirrors were moved forward accordingly. Interior modifications included adjustable seatbelts. The 8 valve 1.8 ltr unit benefited from the Digifant engine management system. To celebrate Volkswagen reaching 10 million Golf sales in 1988 numerous GTI models were fitted with seven spoke alloy wheels, central door locking, revised interior seat trim and tinted rear light clusters. These special editions were only available in Oak Green, Helios Blue and metallic black. With special thanks to Email me your car you wished you had owned!

Quiz Night: 29th January 2013, free fish n chips! It’s that time of the year again for our annual quiz night. If you have not previously attended then shame on you! It’s a fun night with a free fish and chip supper. So what are you waiting for? You will need to pre– book as we need to tell the local chip shop the exact numbers. To book please email me: (preferred option) and tell me how many are attending and whether you require fish and chips or those without email facilities then you can call me on (0151) 932 0454. If you could let me know your attendance by the 20th January 2013 this would be very helpful. Tony. As this is the December Newsletter may I wish all our readers a very Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Driving Forward

Wirral News and Events Here are a couple of photographs from the last two social events of 2012. They were the Tunnel tour provided by our friends at Merseytravel, and the walking tour from Lower Heswall to Parkgate (details of which can be found in Liz’s report and below).

On 10th of October only nine members turned up for the walk which was a bit disappointing. We started the walk along the Wirral Way across the golf course to the River Dee. The weather was a bit cool and misty so you coudn't see the Welsh hills. We stopped at the Boat House for coffee and a chat.

After coffee we walked along Parkgate Parade and returned to Heswall via the Wirral Way for lunch at Sheldrakes Restaurant for hot soup and sandwiches which was arranged by Mary Beaumont. Barry Stuart estimated that we had walked six miles. All in all we had a very enjoyable day so why don't you dust off your walking boots and join us next time.


Driving Forward A new feature in this Newsletter, with kind permission of Ken Rose who kindly supplied the photograph, is “Guess where?” Answers to editor@wirraliam. Last months answer was Irby Village, which a number of our readers correctly answered. I reckon this is a bit harder!

An elderly driver has been stopped on the Motorway for driving too slow. Waiting on the Motorway flyover on the Golden Valley bypass, to catch speeding drivers, a police officer sees a car – a Bugatti Veyron no less – pottering along at 5MPH. Says he to himself: "This driver is just as dangerous as a speeder.” So he turns on his lights and pulls the driver over. Approaching the car, he notices that there are two old ladies in it and the passenger is wide eyed and white as a ghost. The driver, obviously confused, says to him: “Officer, I don't understand, I was doing exactly the speed limit. What seems to be the problem?” “Madam,” the officer replies: “you weren't speeding, but you should know that driving slower than the speed limit can also be a danger to other drivers.” “Slower than the speed limit? No sir, I was doing the speed limit exactly...five miles an hour,” the old woman says a bit proudly. The Police officer, trying to contain a chuckle explains to her that M5 is the road number, not the speed limit. A bit embarrassed, the woman grins and thanks the officer for pointing out her error. “But before I let you go, Madam, I have to your friend OK, she seems awfully shaken, and she hasn’t made a sound the whole time,” the officer asks. “Oh, she’ll be all right in a minute officer. We've just come off the A417.”


Driving Forward

Car News A study claims poorer families are at greater risk of injury on our roads Road safety campaigns should target poor families, as they are most at risk, according to a new investigation. A study by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) claims socioeconomic factors – like lack of gardens and poor street design – mean children from cash-strapped families are more likely to be killed or injured. Poor children have to cross 50 per cent more roads than those from the highest income bracket and are more likely to play in streets. The number of road fatalities per 100,000 children whose parents were unemployed or had never worked was 21 times higher for pedestrians, 5.5 times higher for car occupants and 27.5 times higher for cyclists compared to the children of professionals.

Research shows only one in 50 cars are stolen by hot wiring the ignition Hot wiring cars is a thing of the past, according to research from insurer LV who have found that it accounts for just one in 50 vehicle thefts.

This type of crime is officially known as ‘forced ignition theft’, and has been on the decline for years. But as recently as five years ago, it was the way in which almost a fifth of all stolen cars were taken. Car key theft is now by far the most common method, accounting for two thirds of the 150,000 cars stolen each year. And in 40 per cent of car thefts, the keys are taken from the owner’s house during a burglary. The switch in methods has had a dramatic impact on the average time it takes to steal a car, too, plummeting from 60 seconds to just 10. LV car insurance managing director Jonh O’Roarke said: “Improvements in car security mean that criminals now place a greater emphasis on stealing the keys rather than forcing the ignition.” Thanks to


Driving Forward

Motorists want rule change for emergency vehicles Almost half of motorists believe that traffic stopped at an incident should keep a lane space free for emergency service vehicles, according to the latest poll by the IAM. They also agree that those who fail to get out of the way of an emergency vehicle should be fined. This approach is being trialled in Europe. 35% of respondents admit that they don’t know the current rules on how to deal with an approaching emergency service vehicle. This is reflected in the results with a quarter of people saying they would go through a red light to let an emergency vehicle through which is illegal, and almost a third have entered a bus lane to allow access to an emergency vehicle which often results in fines. 45% of motorists believe that it is unfair to prosecute someone who crosses a red light to let an emergency services vehicle through. A further 31% of people feel that this should be made legal. But, overall the largest group of respondents (41%) believe that the law should not be changed with regard to crossing red lights for emergency vehicles. It is illegal to enter a bus lane during its active hours of operation to let an emergency vehicle past, and you can be fined if you do. 86% of motorists believe that this is unfair.

• • •

Other results show: 74 % of people will pull over where possible when they see an emergency vehicle approaching. Half of motorists would not drive through a red light if an emergency vehicle approached them from behind. 82% of people are aware that it is illegal to cross a red light to let an emergency services vehicle past.

Findings reveal that, while most people are aware of the laws surrounding emergency vehicles, around half are willing to flout them to let the emergency services through. IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “Fining people for pulling into empty bus lanes so that life-saving services can get through is just plain wrong. “Most drivers quite rightly want to get out of the way. Simply catching and penalising drivers who break the rules to let emergency vehicles pass will not serve to educate them – people must understand the rules to abide by them. “Road users must be on the look-out for emergency service vehicles and move out of the way where possible but laws have been put in place for the safety of all road users. Our survey shows clear support for more clarity and new ways of ensuring police, fire and ambulance personnel get to incidents with maximum speed and minimum risk to themselves and others.”

Thanks to The IAM-As a charity the Institute of Advanced Motorists (the IAM) supports the raising of driving and riding standards and campaigns for increased on-road skills. We support and represent motorists, motorcyclists and are developing programmes for cyclists too. We offer practical driving and riding programmes and urge all road users to act more responsibly.


Driving Forward

Visit: View:

The New Heritage Collection by Redrow is not just a dream at one development, it’s a standard we have set at over sixty locations across the UK. Visit to view an unrivalled choice of homes, built with such pride, that they’re a joy to live in.

Traditional homes, built the way you remember





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December 2012  

Wirral IAM Newsletter

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