British drivers spend up to three days a year stuck in gridlock as the UK ranks 5th in Europe for time wasted in trafficFindings are revealed today by leading in-car data company INRIXIt found worst hit by jams in the UK are drivers in Greater LondonThe capital is followed by Greater Manchester and Merseyside .' INRIX chief executive Bryan Mistele said: 'There has always been strong correlation between the state of the economy and the level of traffic congestion on our roads. 'It tells us if people are employed and driving to work, going out to eat or doing some shopping, as well as whether or not businesses are shipping products.' He added: 'Considering unemployment hit record highs in 2012 and European household wealth dropped 13.6 per cent it's hardly surprising that traffic levels have dropped significantly.' The report notes: 'The UK capital, London, has moved up the European traffic congestion ranks to become the third most congested city in Europe in 2012.' The report says: 'Drivers in London spent a full three days of 2012 sitting in traffic, that's over a day more than the UK's second most congested city Manchester, where drivers spent 45 hours in congestion.
Private school offers mortgage-style repayment scheme to cover 9,000-a-year day pupil fees Fernhill School in Glasgow is offering parents chance to spread fees over ten years, interest freePayment plan could reduce monthly payments by up to 50 per cent /13 – with the highest fees topping 21,000. The increases put pressure on parents – particularly those for whom private education is at the limits of affordability.
Chocolate, the treat we can't do without: Sales stay at same level despite recessionMarket research firm Mintel believes that low cost treats will help fuel consumer spendingChocolate is recession proof because we turn to it as a treat By Daily Mail Reporter PUBLISHED: 23:41 GMT, 14 January 2013 | UPDATED: 02:47 GMT, 15 January 2013 We may be cutting back in all sorts of ways to survive the economic downturn but it seems there is one thing we can’t do without – chocolate. Sales have held up throughout the hard times of the last few years and will continue to do so in coming years, experts say
Phone firms told to stop the rip-offs on fixed fees: Sneak rises add 90m to bills Customers to be allowed cancel their contracts without penalty if bills go upOfcom said many customers do not know bills can rise in fixed term contractNew escape clause to be available to people will fixed-price broadband too By Sean Poulter, Consumer Affairs Editor PUBLISHED: 00:59 GMT, 4 January 2013 | UPDATED: 08:57 GMT, 4 January 2013 Vodafone is one of the major networks that has raised monthly charges on fixed-price contracts in the past year Watchdogs are to stop mobile phone firms making 90million a year by imposing sneak price rises on supposedly fixed-fee contracts. Under plans unveiled by Ofcom, customers faced with unexpected increases in their monthly bill will be able to cancel their contracts without penalty. The new escape clause will be available to those with fixed-price home broadband and landline deals too
Families put big spending on hold to pay off their mortgages as debt falls by 8bn in three months Homeowners paid off more than they borrowed in the third quarter of 2012It was the 18th quarter in a row that mortgage debt has fallen . It was the 18th quarter in a row that mortgage debt has fallen, and families have now ploughed 137.5billion of equity into their homes since early 2008. The injection of equity – which increases the proportion that households own against the proportion that is mortgaged – is in stark contrast to the borrowing binge of the decade before the financial crisis struck
Stamp of approval for Doctor's 50th: Royal Mail marks anniversary year with First Class celebration | UPDATED: 09:33 GMT, 26 December 2012 The 50th anniversary of Doctor Who will be marked by a special set of stamps next year. The Royal Mail said 11 stamps will be issued on March 26, featuring each of the actors who have played the role of the Time Lord, ranging from the first Doctor, William Hartnell, to the current one, Matt Smith.
Stamp of approval for Doctor's 50th: Royal Mail marks anniversary year with First Class celebration | UPDATED: 00:11 GMT, 26 December 2012 The 50th anniversary of Doctor Who will be marked by a special set of stamps next year. The Royal Mail said 11 stamps will be issued on March 26, featuring each of the actors who have played the role of the Time Lord, ranging from the first Doctor, William Hartnell, to the current one, Matt Smith
iSeeYou: Now Google even watches what you buy offline so it can target you with more personalised ads Any collected data will be protected through safeguards allowing for the anonymity of customers | UPDATED: 18:57 GMT, 22 December 2012 Watching you: Google will now collect data on users both online and in the real world Just when you thought Google couldn't target you with more specific advertising – based on your web surfing – it's going one step further. The search giant now intends to use data uploaded by retailers about consumers' offline purchases in order to target them with even more targeted ads. In other words, it will know what you spend at the mall as well as at the keyboard
Nearly half of all Britain's smart phones owners use gadget to do their online shopping New report shows music downloads are the most popular purchase using smartphones | UPDATED: 01:59 GMT, 12 December 2012 Nearly half of smartphone owners use it to shop online Increasing numbers of Britons are switching from shopping by computer to shopping on their smartphone, a new survey has revealed. Nearly two-thirds of Britons now use a smartphone – with nearly half of them using theirs for online shopping or purchasing. Music downloads top the list of purchases made through smartphones, the report from consumer analysts Mintel found.
Energy bills to soar AGAIN: As big freeze bites, warning of more pain for every familyWith power firms reporting record profits, a 5 per cent rise in tariffs loomsConsumer groups said prices could rise by even more – possibly by 15% Average household energy bill has risen 94 or 7 per cent this year | UPDATED: 23:22 GMT, 11 December 2012 Families already struggling to make ends meet were yesterday warned they face another huge rise in power bills next year. Many pensioners and less well-off households are having to choose between heating and eating this winter after electricity and gas charges reached an all-time high. But, as the cold weather bites and power firms report record profits, customers were told there is likely to be more pain to come – with a further 5 per cent rise in tariffs.