The Spectator

Barometer | 7 December 2017

Also in Barometer: wasted food and perilous pets

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Border skirmishes

— In 1923 a Common Travel Area between the UK and what was then the Irish Free State established free movement. Passport checks began in the second world war and ended in 1952, though some customs checks continued. The first attempt to control the border came in 1970, when 51 back roads were closed with spikes. But people kept stealing the spikes. Thereafter, there was no official barrier on most of the 200 cross-border roads but patrols were in place and people were expected to cross at 20 crossing points. These were removed after the Good Friday agreement in 1998.  


Quantity of waste per year

Household waste 7.3m tonnes
Processing factories 1.7m tonnes
Catering trade 0.9m tonnes
Retailers 0.25m tonnes
Street litter 0.1m tonnes
Wholesalers 0.04m tonnes

Source: WRAP

Cash flow

— As of 2015 there were 70,270: 27 per cent attached to bank branches, 46 per cent retail outlets, 10 per cent leisure centres and 8 per cent garages or service stations.

— Of these, 52,717 (75 per cent) are free to use. These are more heavily used, so only 2 per cent of withdrawals incur a fee.

— The average machine dispenses £7,576 per day. Individual withdrawals average out at £69.

Source: Payments UK  

Perilous pets

Poisonous snakes 300
Tigers 13
Alligators 10
Pumas 9
Crocodiles 9
Leopards 8
Cheetahs 7
Lions 2

Source:Press Association