Motoring in South Wiltshire & North Dorset

Humble beginnings to heady heights

By Dominic Parkes From humble beginnings manufacturing bicycle parts, Kia reached the heady heights of selling nearly three million units a year, and the South Korean brand seems to be powering ever forward. The 2017 Rio model is in the Clio and Polo super-mini pool... read more

A car you buy with your emotion

Pictures and words copyright Dominic Parkes 2017 I think the Fiat media co-ordinator was on the verge of changing her number and email address such was my dogged pursuit of reviewing the Fiat Spider. Almost weekly, I could be heard whining and pleading to secure the... read more

Fresh and very stylish Toyota

Pictures and words copyright Dominic Parkes ‘Inspired by the multifaceted precision of a diamond with a sculptured look and powerfully expressive lines’ reads the hyperbole in the sales brochure. For a moment, I thought I was reading one of those stuttering, confused... read more

Caravans stolen

Caravans have been stolen from the White Hill Farm site in Pitton. Overnight on Sunday, February 19, two caravans, an Olympus 2012 model 620/6, and a Bailey Barcelona, were stolen, and five other caravans broken into. Enquiries are ongoing to itemise what property was... read more

Biking through India

Sixteen regulars of Wilton’s community pub, The Bear Inn, left on Friday, February 17, to tour India by motorbike. Led by Nick Rowe, who has spent a lot of time in the area, the group picked up their Royal Enfield bikes in New Dehli and plan to tour Shimla and other... read more

Equipment and styling refreshed

By Dominic Parkes If you live up a rutted country lane and occasionally need the traction of a four-wheel drive but don’t wish to face the opprobrium of owning a Chelsea Tractor, maybe the Peugeot 2008 is for you. The recent facelift of the Peugeot 2008 is just that.... read more

Rollestone roundabout stays as it is

Highways England and Wiltshire Council have no plans to realign Rollestone crossroads, and have apologised for suggesting a rat-run through to avoid the A303. In correspondence to Ian West, Wiltshire councillor for the area, Cllr Fleur de Rhé-Philipe, Cabinet Member... read more

A lot can change in nine months

By Dominic Parkes Such was my eagerness to review another Kia product I forgot it had only been about nine months since I’d previously caressed a Kia steering wheel. A lot can change in nine months, as we all know. But not here. Another chance to witness the enormous... read more

Christmas campaign launched to catch drink and drug drivers

If you drink and drive, you will be caught, say Wiltshire Police as the annual Christmas anti-drink and drug driving campaign is launched this week. Wiltshire Police officers and Tri Force Roads Policing Unit will have high profile roadside checks at all times of the... read more

Banish memories of previous incarnation

By Dominic Parkes I have to admit that I was kind of hoping that Westover Fiat would have had to do some major work to the review Fiat Tipo, and have no option but to replace it with the Fiat Spider instead. But no such luck. The two-seater sports car was not coming... read more

Car wreckers go on rampage

Police are calling for witnesses and more information about vandals who went on the rampage wrecking car windows around roads to the west of Salisbury. During the days of the wide-ranging rampage, vehicles were damaged in Bemerton Heath and Woodford, but police... read more

Bongs are no drawback for Megane

By Dominic Parkes The Americans started it, as they often do. Cars are increasingly becoming four-wheeled versions of the nanny state. Should you have the temerity to do any of the following, the car will nag you. Door open? BONG. Too close to the car behind when... read more

No-nonsense Hilux won’t disappoint

By Dominic Parkes ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. This has clearly been the view held in Toyota City, Japan, as the 2016 model Toyota Hilux is the first proper update they have sanctioned in 12 years. The Hilux can surely lay claim to being the best pickup truck of... read more

A30 improvements in Salisbury

Work to improve safety at the A30 London Road/Barrington Road junction in Salisbury is due to start on October 17. Several collisions during the past 10 years bring changes to the signal phasing, and a right turn lane from the A30 into Barrington Road will be... read more

The world’s first hybrid-powered sports coupe

By Dominic Parkes “Probably best if you don’t turn off the traction control,” said the chap from Lexus. To which, the forked devil on my shoulder just chuckled. With so many buttons and switches in the cockpit of the Lexus RC 300h, I probably wouldn’t have worked out... read more

Renegade triumphs over competition

By Dominic Parkes Back in the dark days of the 1970s, when I was still in short trousers, my absolute favourite toy was a shoe-box-sized metal car called a Tonka toy. I always marvelled at the way I could stand on it, hurl it down the garden, or even tie it to the dog... read more

Quantum leaps for Kia

By Dominic Parkes So there we were, my daughter and I, sat in the car waiting for the rain to stop, when her voice piped up: “Ugh, look at that ugly car…” She was right, it was truly hideous. It was a 2009 Kia and through the rain I think it was called a ‘Soporific’,... read more

Main road closed

Wiltshire Council has issued a notice of a temporary closure to all traffic of part of the A345 Salisbury Road to Amesbury, from its junction with Mill Road to its junction with C350 Salisbury Street. It is anticipated that the closure will be required for one evening... read more

Bus cuts consultation

Dorset County Council wants residents’ views on a more flexible transport network to meet local needs and reduce costs. The council’s budget for public and school transport is around £10million, but the council says it must reduce its transport budget by... read more

Stop and stare at the gorgeous Lexus

By Dominic Parkes Not since driving the Range Rover Evoque through Salisbury, just after the launch, have I had so many people stop and stare at my wheels. Maybe it was because I was in full stealth mode (silent on electric power), or maybe because, from certain... read more

Sales surge for Rav4

By Dominic Parkes The Toyota Rav4 Hybrid is going to be a garage-only vehicle should it ever break down – which is unlikely, as it is a Toyota after all. The high level of complexity is both its friend and foe. By this I mean, while it bristles with new technology... read more

Family business is in the fast lane

Wessex Raceway, on the Wiltshire-Hampshire border, is racing ahead of its competitors as a leading member of the National Karting Association. The large raceway is also home to a massive daylight Laser Combat Centre – Virtual Warfare. “Visitors can spend a whole... read more

James May proves a real fan pleaser

By Karl Plaskett Huge Crowds turned out see former BBC Top Gear presenter James May turn on the Christmas Lights on December 4, for Shaftesbury’s ‘Friday night Late Night Shopping Spectacular’. Businesses opened late for the event, organised by Shaftesbury... read more

New car parking charges

New car parking charges start on October 26 set on a car park by car park basis to reflect local circumstances, rather than the previous countywide system, according to Wiltshire Council. Many parking permit costs are reduced, and the council is to start trials on new... read more

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