TOPS NEWS January 2013

Fred Gilroy, 68, was punched and kicked by a group of teenagers while on the upper deck of a bus in Bradford.  The driver, who watched it, said he was not allowed to leave his cab.


Police broke an international fraud scam advertising cars on auction websites but when buyers sent payment the cars vanished. The 8 culprits used 20 identities and 5 false companies, laundering cash through a Kentucky bank and then overseas.  5 were arrested and 3 are ‘on the run’.


The government provided £3 billion to councils over the past 4 years for road maintenance and an extra £200 million last year because of the severe winter weather but think councils are spending the money on other things.


Bob Adams, Donington Park circuit manager, says the circuit has its busiest ever racing schedule in 2013 and work continues to renovate the infield.  New spectator banks are being built using 250,000 tons of material with top-soil and grass lawns across 24 acres.  The aspect of the Fogarty Esses and Roberts chicane will be improved.


The Charade circuit has been saved from closure – usual problem, ‘new locals’ didn’t like the noise near their recently bought houses.  The circuit may run 3 main events next year including a truck Grand Prix.  15 TOPS members were invited to ‘open’ the re-designed circuit in October 1995. 


The ‘Office of Budget responsibility’ warned that the trend towards more fuel efficient cars could lead to the Government’s tax take from drivers being £600 million less in 2014 than previously anticipated.   Therefore motorists may face road tolling by the end of the decade to pay for Britain’s creaking road network.    


It has been estimated that 40,000 deer die on the roads every year and 450 people are injured after a collision with animals.  Also that 11,500 vehicles are damaged costing £16 million in repairs. 


Income raised by safety camera partnerships which offer courses instead of fines for driving offences rose to £24 million last year.


Parking spaces in St. Ives have sold for £50K & 56K each.


France’s car sales dropped 10% last month.  The car industry employs 400,000 people but output fell from 3.5m vehicles in 2005 to under 2m in 2012.


Traffic wardens put tickets on cars stranded in the floods in Tewkesbury.


Alex Moulton, designer of the lightweight bicycle and mini rubber suspension died in December.  John Marks of Type 51 Bugatti fame and chairman of Trebor mints has also died.


Chinese car group Zhejiang Geely, owners of Volvo, has submitted a bid for an 80% stake in London taxi maker Manganese.


Manchester University scientists claim that car fuel could soon be made by manipulating hydrocarbons from a compound found in ice cream, soap and shampoo.


Jaguar has cancelled its £1 million C-X75 supercar due to ‘the economic climate’.


Indian women riding pillion on a scooter in Delhi had been allowed an exemption from crash helmets because it might ruin their hair style but this has now been challenged.   

The EU have banned car insurance companies from using gender in their premium calculations which used to allow women lower premiums due to their better safety record.


Jaguar Land Rover is to open a car factory in Saudi Arabia. It already operates in China and India.


The number of cars and vans in the UK rose by 3.4 million in 2011 and there was an average of 12 cars per 10 households. In 2012 British car exports hit an all-time high with 1.2 m exported out of 1.58 m made.  


It took 3 fire engines, 2 ladders, and 6 trained firefighters to recover a grey squirrel when it became stranded in a pond in the middle of Watford town.


The world's oldest underground rail network – the London's 'tube' - is 150 years old. The Victorian artery of the British capital, which enabled the city to boom, served as a bomb shelter during World War II. 


A 13-year-old boy from Italy took his father's automatic Mercedes and drove 800 km to Poland.  He was stopped by police after 24 hours driving on the motorway near Leipzigg.


Tolls could be introduced on the Blackwall Tunnel to help fund 2 new crossings of the Thames.


40 ‘Crash for Cash’ gangs are currently under investigation across the UK.  The fraud is costing honest policyholders c £400 million p.a. according to the Insurance Fraud Bureau.  1 in 7 personal injury claims are linked to the scams.



 Abridged version of News sent to TOPS members