TOPS NEWS July 2013

The British Army has taken delivery of its most advanced engineering vehicle - a remote controlled armoured 30-tonne digger—the Terrier, able to transport 5,000 kg of material, it does 50 mph, has a range of equipment including a forklift and rock hammer, a 7.62 millimetre machine gun and smoke grenade launchers, 5 cameras and thermal imaging technology.

Westminster council will spend £1.5m fitting sensors to 10,000 bays in the Borough raising concerns that motorists may be hit with new peak tariffs and electronic fines.

Drivers who hog the middle lane or tailgate other cars risk on-the-spot fines of £100 and three points on their licence under new
government plans.

Zoe Wilson and Chris Webb who live in a double-decker bus and grow their own food have won a six-year battle to keep up their "Good Life" after the village of Lambourn rallied round and begged councillors to let them stay.

11 spectators were injured when Jonathan Howarth crashed during the Isle of Man Senior TT. 240 riders have been killed since 1907.

Operation Cubo, (targeting uninsured drivers) operated by the Met police, has so far taken place on 20 separate days, with 656 vehicles seized on a single day in June. A total of 10,318 vehicles have been seized since October 2011.

The RAC claim that road tolling is inevitable.

Drivers without the right change for parking, waste over £1.3 billion p.a. (Direct Line study).

Ian Pemble, was fined for pulling his car into a bus lane - having moved over to let two fire engines past.

July saw the first of 4 traffic-free Sundays on Regent Street.

A man who crashed a car on average every three days for almost three years and made 334 insurance claims in a Chinese insurance scam has been arrested. Last year police broke up a $2 million insurance scam involving 95 suspects who were said to have faked car accidents.

Passengers on the new Routemaster-style “Boris buses” have been enduring sweltering conditions caused by technical problems with the multi-million pound vehicles.

Pope Francis has said it pained him to see priests driving flashy cars, and told them to pick something more "humble".

The MSA represents 30,000 licence holders, 10,000 volunteer marshals and officials, more than 750 member clubs and issues permits for 5,000 motor sport events every year.

More than £112,000 in compensation has been paid to people claiming injury or property damage against London’s Boris Bikes.

Britain now has c 5.9 million CCTV cameras or 1 for every 11 people.

Five London councils raised almost £125 million in parking charges and fines last year. The top revenue earners were all in central London. Westminster topped the unofficial table by making £37.1 million.

It seems likely that London will adopt widespread 20mph zones fairly soon.

Richmond council closed a road to all traffic in March to allow toads to cross safely to breed in a nearby pond but admitted they didn’t know the breeding season dates. Somerset council also closed a road for 6 weeks while toads were crossing.

Cycling campaigners are calling for a new law in Scotland to make motorists automatically at fault in an accident. It could also mean that cyclists would be automatically responsible for accidents involving pedestrians.

Traffic on the £900 million M6 toll road has dropped by 40% in 7 years and has not relieved congestion around Birmingham. In 2003 cost £2 to use it - now £5.50.

Manchester City Council is to use £500,000 of its public health budget to implement 20mph speed limits on residential streets. Manchester already has 140 miles of 20mph roads.

Cambridge shoppers find it cheaper to park illegally in the city center and pay a fine than to use an official car park.

Ashby de la Zouch, has 8 different speed limits in just over a mile of road. The AA think this might confuse motorists.

Plans to replace the Hammersmith Flyover with a tunnel have been welcomed by the public.

London’s Newham Council has refused to refund drivers for 6840 illegally issued tickets amounting to £350,000. The Council was using an unauthorised camera.

On the Westbourne Estate in Holloway, 60 disused garages, which were the haunt of fly-tippers and drug dealers, have become 15 one-bedroom flats, a four-bedroom house and a five-bedroom house, at a £3.3 million cost to Islington council.

The Red Bull Soapbox Race took place in July at Alexandra Palace, London after a 9-year absence. 70 entrants and 20,000 spectators watched the motorless vehicles powered only by gravity.

The number of cars on Britain’s roads is expected to increase from 28 million in 2010 to 38 million by 2040 and delays increase by 114%. The Government has announced a £28 billion investment to help widen major roads and tackle congestion hot spots.

Jerimiah Hartline, accused of stealing an articulated lorry, says he was being chased by zombies when he lost control and crashed, injuring seven people.

More than 1,500 Romanian women in colourful skirts and high heels cycled through the country's main cities to promote urban biking as a "stylish and fun" way of transport.

VW has sued Birmingham University to stop it revealing how to hack anti-theft systems on luxury cars like Porsche, Audi, Bentley and Lamborghini. The University will ‘defer publication’ of its paper.

London councils have stated that people who rent their driveways for parking must have planning permission or face a £20K fine.