TOPS NEWS November 2008


The Government is considering doubling fines to £60 for not wearing seat-belts in the back seats of cars.

Autoline Industries (via its subsidiary Koderat Investments) has acquired a 49% stake in Zagato. Zagato will work on projects under its ‘Art to Part Solutions’ division in India and the United States.

The EU has decreed that all new car models must have automatic daytime running lights from 2011.

Land Rover, Jaguar, Ford, Nissan and Bentley all reduced car production to a 3-day week in October and Toyota stopped its Derby factory night shift. Falls in UK car sales in August compared with a year ago: Jaguar 41%, Land Rover 58%, Toyota 26%.

Stanford University has been testing a 4 ft autonomous helicopter which can perform flips, rolls, pirouettes, stall-turns, knife-edges, and hover over a field. The students claim it taught itself to fly by watching the aerobatics of a radio-controlled helicopter flown by a human. The helicopter costs $4,000 and is fitted with an accelerometer, gyroscope, a magnetometer and a GPS or 2 ground-based cameras to determine its location.

Nottingham City Council is intending to impose an annual tax of £185 per car park space provided by businesses.

Lexus described its RX 400h hybrid as “perfect for today’s climate” but has had to change the wording to “perfect for today’s economic climate” as the Advertising Standards Authority thought it could imply that it had lower emissions than other cars.

30 districts in Rome are thought to have been tampering with their traffic lights to cause the amber signal to switch swiftly to red, allowing hidden cameras to catch motorists halfway through junctions.

£7m has been paid in compensation to people injured in crashes with police cars in the past year.

British citizens Ariyakunathasa Pirathesan and his two associates Sivanesan Mayilvaganam and Somabalu Jeyaganesh were jailed for 3 years for cloning credit cards used at UK petrol stations.

Mercedes plans to launch an electric version of the A-class Smart car powered by a 120-volt lithium-ion battery.

Motor Sport magazine has moved from Chelsea to Canary Wharf and celebrated its 1000th issue with a bumper December publication.

Tata motors is having to move its £200m factory due to a land dispute in West Bengal, India. It is to build the £1,200 Nano, the world’s cheapest car.

Mr. Wong, owner of Singapore Escort Services, said the F1 GP had boosted trade by 20%. His main clients were foreign bosses in the gas and banking industries who wish to be escorted by good looking girls from good families and who had a university degree. Sexual services was not part of the deal. Prostitution is legal in Singapore but soliciting is not.

Two armed robbers who hijacked a security van in Kuala Lumpur had to leave £400,000 behind because their getaway vehicle was too small and the bags quite big. “Their planning was very stupid and shortsighted," said policeman Shakaruddin. However they did escape.

A man stole money bags from a security guard outside a bank in Seattle then jumped into the nearby Skykomish rive and floated away on an inner-tube.

Hospitals in England made £103m from car park charges last year.

Rome has been named as Europe’s most dangerous city to drive in.

The Government is to look at having a toll lane on motorways maybe using the hard shoulder.

Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd has submitted plans for the first phase of the re-development of Donington Park. If all goes to plan they hope to complete the circuit early next year. The work is expected to cost £100m - there is no official indication as to where this money will come from.

The Dartford crossing toll on the M25 is to be increased by 50p despite having been completely paid for in 2002 by tolls and made a profit ever since.

Porsche has created a new subsidiary based in Prague.They sold 3.200 vehicles in this region in 2007, up 6% on 2006. Porsche was awarded its legal fees of £400,000 (from the GLA) after winning its challenge to the proposed London £25 congestion charge.

The FFSA has stopped supporting the French GP and it has therefore been cancelled for 2009.

The Canadians are also having a problem finding the necessary finance (c $20m p.a.) and their GP slot has been allocated to Turkey however talks of rescue continue with Ecclestone.

The Association of British Insurers says there were 24,000 false claims last year, worth £260m.

Drivers on the A338 around Bournemouth were stopped to ask if they would take part in a traffic survey, resulting in 6-mile queues and a delay of up to 2 hours. There are plans for further sessions.

London parking fines for last year were £216m.

Lorry drivers are getting their revenge on Jeremy Clarkson by running him over in a new computer game ‘Run Clarkson Run’.


Edited by Trisha Pilkington