TOPS NEWS March 2012


Women police officers in the UK have been instructed not to wear under-wired bras - because the metal could cause extra harm if they are shot.  The same applies to female racing drivers because of fire risk - some scrutineers have offered to check!

China granted 22.69 million driving licenses in 2011, bringing the total number of licensed drivers in the country to 236 million.  

Only 892 people applied for a government grant of  £5000 purchase towards an electric car.

Shell is experimenting with adding business lounges to its motorway petrol forecourts throughout Europe.

Residents in a street in E. Grinstead have recorded 134 potholes in a stretch of road less than 1000 ft long.  The County Council promises to resurface later in the year.

Two Welsh motorists are refusing to pay parking fines because the tickets issued by a private contractor were only in English.  Council-issued tickets in Wales are bilingual.

More than 1,000 bus services have been cut over the past year in England, 

BMW is recalling 235,000 Mini vehicles worldwide - 29,868 in the UK - because of a fault with an electric water pump.  

Four fire engines costing £2.7m were found ‘unfit for purpose’ after the high-rise platforms were found to be too heavy and had fluid leaks and power failures.  The manufacturer has gone out of business.   

The documentary film ‘Senna’ received 2 BAFTA awards.

A small business owner has resorted to installing his own CCTV camera in his shop to watch out for a roaming traffic warden.

A 2011 report has revealed that the Phoenix Four who bought MG Rover for a token £10, paid themselves £42m during their 5-year ownership of the company and left it with more than £1bn debt.  Its adviser Deloitte is under investigation.

An Edinburgh man contacted Direct Line insurance in November to tell them he was going to fit winter tyres.  They said he would not be covered as winter tyres should not be fitted until January – despite the amount of snow in Edinburgh.  Winter tyres should be fitted on all 4 wheels or the car may want to swap ends. 

Foreign lorry drivers will be charged £10 a day to use British roads under Government plans for Britain's first national road pricing scheme.

A concrete Quick Moveable Barrier, intended for use during ‘Operation Stack’ on the M20,  cost £3.5m to build in addition to £627,849 p.a. to lease.  It has only been used three times since 2008.

Plans to reduce the frequency of the MoT test have been dropped.

Yellow second hand cars are the most likely to have hidden defects according to a community website called Kaggle.

Scarborough’s mayor is to keep his £20,000 p.a. chauffeur because of fears that his £30,000 gold chain might be stolen if he drove himself.

A colony of otters have been given a lollipop man to help them cross the busy A438 road in Herefordshire.

Stuart Murdoch made a tank from 5,016 egg boxes to promote an egg-and-spoon race to raise money for Help for Heroes.

There were 395 reported incidents of stones and other objects being thrown at motorists last year.

Surrey county council has replaced 16 stolen aluminium road signs with plastic versions.  The council spent £16,000 replacing street names, turn signs and manhole and drain covers in 2010.  900 manhole covers have been stolen in Birmingham and are being replaced with plastic ones.

More than a million drivers on Britain’s roads are aged over 80.

Rural motorists are charged 4p a litre more for diesel than urban drivers claim the Countryside Alliance.

Liverpool council is to move its disabled motorists assessment centre as it is on the 13th floor with a broken lift!

Jaguar Land Rover revenues soared by 41% to £3.75 bn in the last quarter of 2011, with strong growth in sales in China and Russia.

Sir Stirling Moss has replaced Richard Attwood as  president of the HGPCA.  Robert Ellis has joined the Masters team.  Bonhams has replaced H&H as sponsors of the VSCC (again!) and Coys is to sponsor ‘our’ Vernasca hill climb.

5 people from the Midland Parking Contracts company in Redditch have been jailed for ‘milking’ the public of£500,000 by car clamping.

The DoT have issued guidelines to owners of mobility scooters suggesting that they do not drive if they are blind or have been drinking.

Motorists who let a passenger throw rubbish out of their car face a £100 fine even if not driving at the time.


Abridged version of TOPS NEWS sent to members, edited by Trisha Pilkington