TOPS NEWS May 2013  


A 10ft elephant seal neatly blocked a pedestrian crossing for 1½ hours in Brazil’s beach city of Balneario Camboriu before returning to the sea.

The first Russian G.P. scheduled for next year is in doubt as the race organiser has gone bankrupt, however the Sochi Mayor Pakhomoy said “The Krasnodar region administration does not have the right for any kind of failure in this project as the country's prestige is at stake.”

60 people have been convicted for a ‘cash for crash’ scam. The group claimed c £3 million.

Instead of traffic lights in North Korea, traffic girls stand in the middle of intersections in a small circle. They are only allowed to turn counter-clockwise, directing traffic with forceful, halting, robotic movements.

In Moscow, police have been alerted to the use of ambulances fitted with luxury interiors for VIPs. They are rented at £120+ p.h. to try and beat the city’s appalling traffic jams. (TOPS reported this in 2008!)

In Cyprus, Anna Lazova hires Maseratis, Aston Martins and Ferrari F430 Spiders to Russian playboys who spend €1800 p.d. for the privilege. About 50,000 Russians have moved into Cyprus where they are guaranteed EU residency if purchasing a €300,000 property.

A Sutton branch of anti-CCTV has been set up to warn drivers they are being watched. The camera cars have taken over £1m from drivers in parking tickets in two years.

Convicted drink drivers are to be forced to have a medical before being allowed to drive again.

A parking warden has been sacked for promising to help offenders if they posed for a picture with him and the parking ticket he had issued.

More Th>n car insurer has found that 2 million men have had a car crash in the last year whilst admiring themselves in the mirror. 14% look at themselves between 5 and 10 times during a 30-minute trip. A spokesman said ‘these motor-sexual men are most likely to live in the North West.’

Aspect, a property maintenance firm, is hiring “van-sitters” at £8 avoid its vehicles getting a ticket when visiting clients in London. But Westminster council warned that drivers would still be ticketed if they are double-parked, even with someone inside the vehicle.

The March Press day arranged for the Donington Festival was cancelled due to the terrible weather. However as so many cars were already there it was decided they could go ahead BUT the circuit had been salted…….

All 304 fixed speed cameras have been turned off in the West Midlands due to operating costs. Mobile devices will be used instead.

Norfolk police have made over £400,000 from speed awareness courses and c £1 million from the camera partnership.

Dubai's police force has added a Lamborghini Aventador, (217 mph) and a Ferrari FF (208 mph) specially modified patrol cars to its fleet which already had a Lamborghini Gallardo. It is suggested that the Arab state’s female police officers will use it (?!). 15% of traffic fines issued in Dubai every day are for driving over 130mph. Last year, Dubai police issued 67,000 traffic fines in one month, 2,000 of which were for reversing on motorways.

Gwynedd Council will fine any driver £70 if they park their car more than 20” from the edge of the road.

Up to 350,000 parking fines may have been illegally issued to London motorists due to incorrect signage.

In London 49.9% of people now commute to work on public transport.

A speed camera was set on fire on the main east coast road linking Scotland and England. On the A68 a camera housing was stolen and a saw used to damage cameras near Earlston.

400,000 cars were sold in Britain in March with the number 13 on the plates. Ford’s Fiesta sold 22,748 models, Vauxhall’s Corsa 16,169 and Ford’s Focus 15,434.

Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda have had to recall over 3 million cars worldwide because of concern over faulty airbags.

A Ronseal survey has found that 70% of men will not ask for directions when lost, for fear of undermining their masculinity.

Porsche is facing an anti-trust case over their VW bid and is being sued for £1.75 billion by investors who claim it sought to manipulate the markets.

Lloyds Banking Group has sold its 25.3% stake in the Marussia F1 team following its poor performance on track.

Marcel van Cleemput, chief designer for Corgi Toys has died.

Transport for London chief Sir Peter Hendy has claimed £175 on expenses for buying toy buses for Boris Johnson to give away as promotional items.

Pirelli are planning to sell off a 2011 HRT F1 car in a charity auction on eBay because nobody in the Italian tyre company wants to use it for promotional purposes.

Andrew Mitchinson, 37, crashed a 205mph 6.2 litre Murcielago - owned by millionaire Stephen Leahy - leaving it damaged beyond repair. He was only fined £280, ordered to pay court costs of £350, pay a victim surcharge of £30 to Mr Leahy and given 6 penalty points.

Westminster council is to start an £8.3 million scheme to narrow Lower Regent Street and Haymarket to create wider pavements for pedestrians following the conversion of Piccadilly and Pall Mall from a one-way to a two-way system. This is objected to by Cyclists in the City.

A gang of 8 men who stole 27 luxury cars as well as jewelry, phones and laptops in a five month spree of burglaries were caught after one of them put his picture on Facebook posing on a stolen car. They were jailed for 4½ years. Car theft dropped by 48% in North Kensington.

EFG, sponsors of historic racing, have been fined £4.2m for poor money laundering controls.

Despite Woodfield Primary being demolished in 2008, workmen from Chester Council painted zig-zags and ‘School’ outside the entrance of what is now a field.

Traffic-light jumpers and speeding motorists are to be dealt with in special traffic courts in a bid to free up time for more serious cases.

The EU is threatening huge fines unless cities like London reduce the levels of nitrogen dioxide. They also suggest that old cars be banned from city centres.

New York has launched a Boris-type bike-sharing scheme but residents have brought a £1.9m law suit against the scheme which will cost New Yorkers no public money to run but will use up some parking spaces.

Drivers who stop in bicycle boxes at traffic lights face fines of £60 and three penalty points on their licences as City Hall plans a crackdown.

Lotus F1 has recorded losses of £56.8m, the highest ever recorded by any F1 team.

The familiar red Routemaster bus which was withdrawn in 2005 is being re-introduced. 600 new Routemaster buses will be on the roads by 2016 built by Wrightbus from Northern Ireland. 27 buses will operate on London’s route 24 from 22 June.

Police warn that thieves are targeting old Land Rovers with 23 stolen in the South East this year. Most have been the Defender, made from 1990 – 2005.

Jaguar Land Rover is to invest £2.75bn in the UK business due to demand from China.

McLaren Electronic Systems has won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise – the company produces control and data systems.

No tickets will be available at the gate for the Silverstone Classic meeting in July. Advance tickets only.


Abridged version of newslsetter sent to TOPS members edited by Tisha Pilkington