Monday, 14 January 2008

RIP The Independent's motoring section - long live The Independent's motoring coverage

Tomorrow is the first Tuesday in many years that no motoring supplement will appear with The Independent. The good news is that in future, you will still be able to read some of the regular long-running motoring features at the weekend; the Verdict will be published as part of the Save & Spend section in the Saturday paper while other favourites such as the great John Simister's road tests and launch coverage will appear in the Independent on Sunday.

What will be lost are the Indy's one-off motoring features, often on off-beat subjects, which gave the section its quirky, distinctive character. Over the years, a number of big-name writers were persuaded to write for the motoring section, including the late, great, LJK Setright, Alexei Sayle and Brian Sewell. The Independent's coverage of the motoring scene was also well regarded by our colleagues in the motoring press. These achievements are all the more remarkable when you consider that Sean O'Grady and Carl Reader, who edited the section during its four-year life, had to get by on an editorial budget that was probably only a fraction of the size of those enjoyed by rival publications.

I will be doing my best to ensure that the Verdict continues to justify its presence in the paper by, in particular, upholding the test's two greatest strengths - the wide range of vehicles tested and the enormous lengths we go to to involve readers from every corner of the country, an effort that is probably unmatched anywhere else in the overwhelmingly London-centric national press.

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