TOPS NEWS September 2015

Flavio Briatore (F1) was found by an Italian criminal court to have used his luxury yacht Force Blue only for recreational purposes whilst claiming tax benefits for charters.  He was sentenced to 23 months probation.


Commuters in the UK in 2014 spent an average 66 more hours stuck in traffic than they did in 2013, says the TomTom firm.   


Police were called to rescue 30 people “held prisoner” when their vehicles were locked in a council run car park in Newham where the time of closure had been changed by an hour.


A study by the RAC has concluded that women whose cars need fixing are charged an average of 8% more than men.


Boris Johnson has told retailers he is willing to consider banning buses and cars from parts of Oxford Street but ruled out full pedestrianisation.


Passengers using contactless bank cards have been penalised by almost £8 million in 8 months after failing to touch out at tube ticket barriers. 


Police in the Isles of Scilly have run out of traffic cones and declared an amnesty for their return.


Harold Guretzky decided to store his Cessna aircraft on his driveway in the New York area but has received a $2,500 fine.  He wants to know why it is OK to store a boat but not a plane. 


A study has concluded that switching off street lights will not increase road accidents.


Sam Cook (18) was jailed for 2 years after conning friends out of £110,000 by claiming to have made £21 million from a £2,000 loan.  He was discovered when his Ferrari was found to be a kit car.


A driver who threw a £60 parking ticket out of his window was promptly fined another £75 for littering in Ammanford car park, South Wales.


Wrong turns and a refusal to take advice mean that the average man travels an extra 1 ½ miles per month more than a woman who will look at a map or ask directions, according to TrekAce who make GPS.


Foreign drivers owe Westminster City Council £1m in parking fines, the highest are France £318,389, Belgium £81,47, Germany £68,462, Qatar £65,83 and Romania £48,910. 


Pedestrians who dangerously cross roads in Shenzhen are made to pay £2 or wear a green hat and direct traffic for 30 minutes.   


Brompton bikes hope to produce 100,000 “pedelec” electric bicycles for next year. 


It has been stated that driving 2 miles out of your way for cheaper fuel is not worthwhile unless it is a reduction of 5p a litre.


A woman has been fined £500 for taking a photo of a police car which was illegally parked in a disabled bay in Spain and then putting it on Facebook. Officers tracked her down within 48 hours and fined her under a controversial new gagging law banning photographs of police which might “jeopardise their or their family’s safety or that of protected facilities or police operations”. 



Apparently wireless technology is now so good that trials are being run to see if electric and hybrid engine vehicles can be charged by equipment built beneath the road surface while travelling.  Might be an expensive development for just 35,000 electric cars so far registered in the UK.


Magistrates in Brighton, East Sussex, ordered Julian King to pay £8,000 after he was traced as the owner of a Porsche, Bentley, Range Rover, Mercedes, Audi and BMW involved in a scam using false car number plates so that he could park on double yellow lines.


Learner drivers, according to the AA, are facing a wait of more than four months to take their tests because of a rush of applicants who couldn’t afford lessons during the credit-crunch years.


London has been named as Europe’s most congested city, with motorists spending the quivalent of 4 whole days stuck in traffic each year.  The UK’s population grew by 491,100 last year and London’s population also increased by 122,100 people.


The Alfa Romeo museum at Arese has been revamped and finally reopened.


The DVLA has sent letters to some owners of ‘historic’ vehicles asking them to confirm that they have the right to their age related registration and that the vehicle is ‘original’ and not in any way a reproduction. Whilst the matter is under investigation the car may not be transferred to another owner. 

Tourists in Benidorm have been hiring mobility scooters as they are cheaper than cars.  The council is to consider speeding and drink-driving fines and a law that mobility scooters can only be used by the elderly or disabled.

Abridged version of TOPS NEWS sent to members