Motoring: We will all work together to make this a summer to remember in Torbay

The new Ford Transit Custom PHEV has been voted the International Van of the Year in 2020

The new Ford Transit Custom PHEV has been voted the International Van of the Year in 2020 - Credit: Archant

As shops reopen and the announcement that schools will stay closed until September, holiday resorts prepare for an influx of visitors who are not ready to risk travelling abroad.

By the time you read this the Prime Minister is expected to have made a number of changes including reducing the 2m distancing rule to 1m from July 4, with some mitigating circumstances.

This will enable pubs, restaurants, hotels and B&Bs to reopen for the first time in three months.

Many shops and businesses have already opened, and holiday resorts are already investing in new processes and changes to premises to meet the Government guidelines and ensure the safety of their guests.

Of course, some people are aprehensive, as there have been less cases of coronavirus in Devon and Cornwall than in the rest of the country, and they fear more cases occurring over the holiday season.

Nevertheless, we have already experienced business is ensuring its vehicles are up and running and they have joined private buyers who have come back in force to buy new and used vehicles in June.

With less than a week to go, I forecast both the new and used car markets will record strong sales as pent-up demand and dealer offers combine to bring back the buyers.

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In fact, the new commercial vehicle market has been very strong right up until lockdown, as more and more new technology, fuel efficiency and car-like comfort has been introduced to the product range.

The Ford Transit, which has been Britain's best-selling van for more than 50 years, provides such car-like sophistication and handling, is now accepted by many as the main vehicle in the household.

The new Ford Transit Custom PHEV has been voted the International Van of the Year in 2020. It shattered the competition and its nearest challenger was the Ford Transit Eco-Blue mild diesel hybrid.

The chairman of the jury said: 'The jury appreciated the direction that Ford have taken to develop a viable drivetrain alternative that meets both urban and rural requirements in a most eco-friendly fashion.

'Its Plug-in Hybrid system is zero emission capable, with no range anxiety, has no compromise on payload or low-volume and has a simple recharging regime. Basically the technology is designed to run on electric power to help improve local air quality in cities. No other manufacturer has gone down this route as yet.'

Business drivers spend roughly twice as much time at the wheel as average private motorists and demand a safe, economical and full range of options to make driving less stressful and a more enjoyable experience.

It's not just about comfort and pleasure, business owners know even more in these difficult times, reliability and economical running costs are a necessity.

They know their customers need to receive their services or products, when required. If problems occur with their vehicles they need to be repaired promptly, efficiently and at reasonable cost.

This brings me to the benefits of dealing with local companies or individuals, particularly at this time.

Due to lockdown and the restrictions imposed on businesses, survival has been the most important consideration.

This has led to businesses adapting to continue to provide a service to their customers, and many wonderful people engaging to assist and look after those less fortunate than themselves.

For all of us there are challenges still to tackle and we need to stay alert to ensure we eliminate coronavirus but also we need to join together to welcome visitors to the Torbay area and to make their holiday special. Yes, we expect them to stick to Government guidelines and behave responsibly.

The holiday industry, shops and services have invested to make their experience not only safe, but with as little change and inconvenience as necessary.

I am confident we will all work together to make this a summer to remember in Torbay for all the right reasons.

Stay alert, stay safe and please join me next week.