TOPS NEWS May 2012


Simon Williams, an ex-drug addict caught having sex on a car, was cleared of possessing hard drugs because he claimed he had picked up someone else's trousers. 

A clamper continued to immobilize a van after he saw that the driver had collapsed – he did dial 999.

300 motorists may get a refund of clamping fees after a Judge in Portsmouth ruled that the new parking signs were too small.

The Ford Kuga has a boot which will open and close with a kick on the bumper provided the ‘kicker’ has the car keys.

BMW has had to recall more cars – this time 1.3m over a fire risk from a battery cover.

More garages and shops are to take over the job offered by post office counters.

Italian police have extended their purge on luxury cars owned by people paying low tax, to new yachts – finding in Bari that of 1,000 inspected, 300 owners had suspiciously low tax returns or none at all.  Italy’s black economy amounts to c €275 billion per year.

Blackpool’s new tram service was derailed by sand on the tracks one day after it reopened following a £100 million upgrade.

Hard shoulders are expected to become permanent running lanes in future motorway projects.

DVLA figures indicate that there are 1,012,99 drivers over 80 and 122 over 100 years old.

Two weeks after rail ticket fares went up by c 6%, South-eastern increased parking charges by c 28%.

A spoof song celebrating South Africa's ubiquitous, fluorescent-jacketed car guards and highlighting their chagrin at poor tips from motorists has become an internet sensation.

The water board has apologised for two burst water pipes on the A464 which caused a large pothole and trapped a Nissan Navara pickup truck, leaving the rear wheels off the ground.    

Snoozebox is due to list on AIM shortly with its novel idea of instant temporary hotels by stacking container shaped units.  Each contains a bedroom, bathroom, air-conditioning, and TV – it trialled at the British GP and is already sold out for the Silverstone Classic.


London bus lanes are to be opened to motorcyclists. 

A taxi firm in Streatham has stolen the logo of a well-known internet search engine for its 24 hour car service business - Gooogle.   

Unless you exceed 10,000 miles per year, research indicates that changing to a diesel car can be more expensive.

Rebecca Jones directed police to a gang stealing quad bikes after stealing a Kayak from her but the police refused to chase them as the gang had no crash helmets and might have an accident.

There were 35,000 applicants for 1,000 vacancies at the Range Rover factory in April.

BMW sold 68,210 minis in the first 3 months of 2012.

A 44-tonne general waste truck crashed in Lyneham Banks, Chippenham – incredibly the same truck crashed in the same place last year too.     

6.8 million parking tickets were issued in 2011 according to information from 71 city councils.  1.76 million fines were disputed and 4 in 10 were dropped (11% were dropped in Bradford but 72% in Chichester). 

H&H are to be congratulated on their new ‘upmarket’ style of catalogue – very smart!

A Harley Davidson motorbike has been washed up on the coast of British Columbia, believed to have been swept into the Pacific by the Japanese tsunami 14 months ago.

Metal thieves in the Czech Republic dismantled an entire 10-ton bridge and more than 650 ft of railway.

Jaguar Land Rover has announced record pre-tax profits of more than £1.5 bn.  It sold 314,433 vehicles last year, the most in its history.


The first Gatso site in the UK was on the westbound A316 over Twickenham bridge in Surrey 20 years ago.   Drivers were initially given a sporting chance with the camera set at 60 mph in a 40 mph zone but the trial recorded 22,939 drivers exceeding 65 mph in 22 days.  750 cameras were then used around London.

Spaghetti Junction, the famous interchange linking the M6 with the A38(M) in Birmingham, cost £9m to build and was opened in May 40 years ago.  It costs £7m p.a. to maintain

Abridged version of TOPS NEWS sent to members