TOPS NEWS September 2010


The scorching heatwave in early July caused road accidents to soar because male drivers were distracted by womens' skimpy outfits, according to insurance claim figures. 

These two modest vehicles belonging to Qatar’s ruling Al-Thani family who recently bought Harrods for £1.5 billion were clamped while parked outside.   Harrods does have a valet parking service at £8 p.h.   The Koenigsegg CCXR  (£1.2 million, only 6 built, does 0-60 in 2.9 sec, with 1,064bhp) and the Lamborghini LP670-4 (£350K, 350 built, top speed 213 mph and  0-60 in 3.2 secs) are painted in the Royal family’s colour of  baby blue.

Volvo is suing Pilkington glass for “significant” damages claiming price-fixing by a cartel with Asahi and Saint-Gobain who together control about 90% of Europe’s €2 billion car glass market   In 2008 the EU Commission found that the glass producers had held clandestine meetings between 1999 and 2003 and fined them €1.4 billion.  The current High Court action is a ‘follow-on’ claim.

A spokesman for, an online market research giant said millions of men find themselves pushing their feet down into the footwell because their wife brakes late.   "Most feel they are better drivers than women because they concentrate a lot better, read road situations more quickly and clearly and have better reactions”.  No women were questioned in the survey!

A black bear attracted by the smell of a peanut butter sandwich managed to open the door of a Toyota parked near Denver, climb in and get stuck, knocking the gear lever into neutral and sending the car rolling down a slope into trees where it was trapped for 2 hours.

Motorists stuck in a traffic jam for 2 hours after a Spanish melon lorry lost its load, helped themselves to the fruits that were splattered along the A3 Swiss motorway.

When William O'Driscoll saw his car being lifted on to a tow truck in Birmingham city centre, he jumped into the car and refused to move.  The police were called but were unable to convince Mr O'Driscoll to move, so the tow company eventually conceded and released the car.  No arrests were made.

Tony Fuller, 77 who has waged a bizarre protest against traffic in his village has now re-written his will so he can go on campaigning from beyond the grave by stating that his funeral cortege must crawl up and down the main road in Chideock, Dorset, once for every year of his life. The village group agreed to temporarily suspend their protest after Dorset police agreed that the residents could conduct a 'speed watch' through the village.

Residents in Consett, Co Durham,  frustrated in recent months over the reckless actions of speeding motorists have now joined forces with police to help catch them.  Locals will chose which roads to check and will volunteer to stand with new roadside speed equipment and monitor traffic flow, they have no law enforcement powers but are given training by police. If found speeding the car’s model and number plate will then be given to police who have the ability to send out warning letters to drivers.  The council has provided more than £5,000 to the scheme.

Fiat’s chief executive said that Italy was the only part of the world where they are not making a profit and sales have dropped 36% so far in 2010.  However Germany’s BMW sales rose 13.1% mainly with the success of the Mini.

A pilot scheme involving over 115 miles of tracks in Beijing will begin before 2011 for this Chinese bus which straddles two lanes of traffic, allowing cars to drive underneath while it carries up to 1,200 passengers.  Elevated bus stops will be erected to allow passengers to embark, or where there's no room for those, the bus will have ladders. The emergency exits will be inflatable slides.  This may be very welcome.  A huge traffic jam stretching at least    75 miles has reappeared in Beijing with thousands of cargo trucks stuck in a bottleneck.

GENeco in Bristol, a recycling company, has modified a Volkswagen Beetle to run on human waste. Called the Bio-Bug, it's powered by methane gas generated during sewage treatment. It can do 10,000 miles from the toilet waste of 70 homes. 


Council bosses in South Wales have been criticised for spending £190,000 building 3 bridges between Pontypridd and Talbot Green in the Rhondda - for dormice .

Twenty grannies have spent two months knitting nearly 70lbs of wool into a trendy tea cosy for a Smart car. The giant car cover depicts a lace-up trainer and exposes the car's wheels, making it into a giant roller skate.

The Government has ordered councils to stop cluttering roadsides with signs.  On the B3006 in the South Downs National Park there are 45 signs per mile and a car park in Salisbury had 53 spaces and 63 bollards.

As the police force  in South Yorkshire spends an average of £60,000 a year mending cars damaged during parking manoeuvres, every new car will be fitted with a beeping reversing sensor.    Meanwhile, figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that in the year to April 2010 Merseyside Police spent £205,403.07 on collision damage.

1,248 Ferrari 458s have been recalled by Maranello due to the glue overheating which secured the wheel arch lining to the chassis and caused a fire.  Six burned out completely.

Wiltshire and Swindon Partnerhip have removed their fixed speed cameras, Swindon switched theirs off last year and Oxford council has now reduced theirs.

A pensioner (76) fined £70 for pulling into a loading bay for 17 secs while waiting for another car to move has won his appeal.

Boris Johnson launched a bicycle hire scheme in London in August – 6,000 bright blue bikes and a team of 30 police officers on standby to prevent theft.

Police are helping bailiffs to enforce unpaid parking fines by setting up roadblocks to stop motorists before handing them over to the debt collectors.  A joint operation between the Metropolitan Police and Westminster city council netted £41,000 in outstanding parking fines recently. 

Two police officers have been suspended from driving duties after they stopped a suspected drink driver then wrote-off his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution by crashing through a garden wall in Hale, Cheshire.  Both officers, who are under investigation, were found inside the vehicle.


Russell Stuart, 51, was asleep in his home in Dymchurch, Kent, when he heard his Peugeot 405 being started up in his driveway in the early hours of the morning.  He leapt out of bed naked, and raced out, opening the passenger door and getting in alongside the would-be thief who leapt out and ran away.   


Extracts from TOPS NEWS edited by Trisha Pilkington