In the April 2014 budget the coalition government reinstated the rolling tax exemption for classic cars, now set at 40 years It was also announced that from 1 April it will be possible to pay for VED monthly, rather than in blocks of 6 or 12 months. Paper tax discs are to be scrapped and any existing tax must be removed from a vehicle prior to its sale.

The Mayor of Paris intends to ban Classic cars, motorcycles and lorries from the capital within two years. Eco-taxes will be also imposed for use of the périphérique, with heavy vehicles tracked via satellite or number plate recognition. More 30 kph zones are to be installed and the ring road speed will be reduced to 70 kph later this year.

Paris banned cars from the city for two days in March due to air pollution. The cars were allowed in on alternative days according to their registration numbers and public transport was made free of charge. British official figures showed air pollution in London hit dangerous levels on 8 days last year.

The EU has commenced legal proceedings against the UK for its failure to bring down nitrogen dioxide levels to EU limit values.

Bertone has ceased trading and entered bankruptcy proceedings – seems sad as it was widely believed that (thanks to China) the design house was over the worst of its financial troubles.

“Intelligent” pedestrian crossings are to be introduced on London’s streets. Traffic lights will be re-phased by using video cameras to detect quantities of pedestrians at busy junctions and give them priority over the other road

German tuning specialist Carlsson showed a gold leaf covered Mercedes S-class at the Geneva Motor Show. Only 25 will be made and, unsurprisingly, the target is buyers in Asia and the Middle East. About half of the car's exterior is covered in pure gold with plenty more inside the car. The seats are Nappa leather and the carpet is soft sheepskin

A mountain bike was created by The House of Solid Gold, California. It is covered almost entirely with 24-carat gold, has a customized seat cover crafted from brown alligator hide. £600,000.

The current European law on lorry dimensions, forces cabins to be shaped like a brick but the European parliament’s transport committee has voted in favour of compulsory changes to a rounder front and rear flaps.

Maserati has launched the Alfieri 2+2 coupé to celebrate its centenary.

A new company named ‘David Brown Automotive’ is producing a classically styled, contemporarily engineered, GT car, remarkably like Sir David Brown’s Aston Martin.

The District Council in Sevenoaks is considering increasing the width of car parking spaces in planning applications from 2.4 metres width to 2.5 meters to allow for 4x4s.

Westminster Council has installed 3,000 parking bay sensors to help drivers find spaces by using a free mobile phone App.

Peugeot Citroën is to shrink manufacture back to 25 models.

The Roads Minister has said that repeated speed limit signs and other ‘unnecessary clutter’ will be removed from roadsides next year. Road signs doubled from 2 million in 1993 to 4.6 million today. Parking bay signs could be replaced with road markings.

Councils are continuing to use CCTV to issue parking fines and raise millions. 36 authorities are using static cameras and 58 cameras mounted on cars

Cornwall Council is apparently making over £300,000 p.a. because its parking machines do not give change.

TfL has installed the UK’s first low-level traffic signals at eye level of cyclists in east London. They give cyclists a head start over other traffic entering roundabouts.

A police driver has been disciplined after a prisoner he was transporting reported him for driving at 140 mph in Leeds.

MI5 and MI6 officers (spies) are to be given speed exemptions for “the protection of life and limb or national security”. They must take a high-speed driving course.

In a 6 week crack-down in London police issued 1500 fines to cyclists who had no lights at night.

The government plans to grant special privileges to drivers of electric cars, such as free parking, bus lane driving, exemption from road tax and Congestion charge. A grant of £5,000 is still available towards purchase. All Motorway services should have a charging point by December 2014.

Abridged version of TOPS NEWS sent to members

Trisha Pilkington