- TOPS NEWS September 2006
- A government commission has recommended that parking fees be charged at shopping centres to try and encourage shoppers back to the High Streets.
- Fuel duty will not be increased in the September budget due to instability in oil-producing parts of the world.
- The Richard Burns Foundation raised £50,000 during the July Goodwood Festival of Speed.
- The July Scottish Festival at Knockhill which included a 50s sports car race which many TOPS members entered, attracted a crowd of 8,000.
- Ron Cox blew up his house in Scunthorpe as he washed his kitchen floor with a cleaning fluid mixed with petrol. The fumes were ignited by the boiler in his living room.
- Porsche has announced that the Panamera four-door sports coupe will be built in Leipzig. They will invest €120m and create 2,000 jobs. Porsche is setting up a new import sales and service subsidiary in Switzerland and is also building a Museum at their HQ in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. They are expected to increase their stake in VW to 25.1% a.s.a.p. VW meanwhile continues to be under investigation for accepting kick-backs from the French automotive parts supplier Faurecia whose majority shareholder is PSA, (Peugeot and Citroën).
- Under proposals from the DVLA, drivers aged 75 and over could soon be forced to sit cognitive tests every five years to prove they are fit to drive.
- Austrian police are testing a Porsche 911 as a traffic control car to help prevent motorists from speeding. A spokesman said the £65,000 sports car, which can do 177mph, had been a major success and they plan to buy more……..
- The redesigned Segway scooter allows the rider to steer by leaning to the right or left. It has a wireless electric key and alarm system. A gyroscope provides balance, making it fairly easy to remain in the upright position. However the UK government has declared that the Segway may not be used in any public place. It is accepted in France, Spain, Italy and USA with Austria and Netherlands allowing it on cycle paths. Speed limit 3.7 mph.
- Francesca Cisneros received 70 speeding tickets in the last 5 months. She had thrown away her tickets because she thought nothing could happen to her if she didn't pay them.
- There have been 858 accidents during driving tests and 386 near misses with 348 verbal and 33 physical assaults on examiners. (DOT- no time period given)
- Alan Joyce, from Dorset has had a £75 fine for flicking his cigarette ash out of his car window.
- BMW is to fit its cars with cameras which can read speed limit signs.
- A parking warden has been criticised for writing out a ticket for a VW Golf which had just been involved in a crash. The stranded car was given another ticket the next day by the same warden.
- The London congestion charge is to be replaced from 2009 with ‘intelligent tolls’ which will vary according to time and emission.
- A number plate which shatters when removed from the car is being introduced to try to reduce number plate theft – now 33,000 p.a.
- A driver doing 102 mph escaped a ban by complaining he had been intimidated by an unmarked police car.
- In many parts of Britain the number of speed cameras is now greater than the number of police traffic patrol cars.
- The JCB team set a new diesel land speed record at Bonneville Salt Flats. W/Cdr Green completed a first run with a speed of 365.779 mph and returned at 335.695 mph. The previous record was 236 mph set in August 1973.
- Aston Martin has also been put up for sale by Ford. The company has been controlled by the Detroit giant since 1987. Aston Martin has been profitable for the last couple of years and thus is more attractive to buyers than the struggling Jaguar.
- Restoration and re-painting work progresses well at the Reims circuit.
- From next January, car manufacturers have a legal responsibility to provide a “free take back” service to the last owners of life-expired cars. There are now only 1200 officially sanctioned dismantler’s sites compared with 3000 in 2003.
- The Metropolitan Police has ordered 117 Civic Hybrids for its community support scheme.
- Nottingham C. C. spent £9,000 on 100 signs over a ¾ mile road and another £800 taking them down after complaints.
- There are now 4978 sets of traffic lights in London.
- The BRDC are seeking a new Secretary after Roger Lane Nott stepped down.
- The driver of a tram in Melbourne has been given an on-the-spot fine for doing 75 kmh in a 40 kmh zone after he was caught speeding by a traffic policeman with a laser radar gun.
- Do you crack-test your stub axles and hubs?
- Thousands of driving tests were cancelled when examiners went on strike over job cuts.
- Both the helmets of Adrian Newey and Dario Franchitti were crushed at the back in their accidents at Goodwood. This appears to have been exacerbated by the lack of padding on their roll-over bars. Both drivers suffered concussion.
- A taxi driver drove two teenage girls 85 miles in the wrong direction after keying the wrong name into his Sat. Nav.
- TOPS NEWS will remain as A4 rather than reducing to A5 which would have kept the postage down.
- A 28-year-old Croatian who posted a photograph on the Web of himself speeding on a motorbike was tracked down and fined by the police.
- The FJ Lurani Trophy series is in doubt for next year as are some of the Duncan Rabagliati organised Formula Junior races, due to FIA interference and their new interpretation of Appendix K. Letters of protest are winging their way to the FIA.
- H&H have reduced their vendor’s commission to 2.5% - a move which will concern their competitors.
This is an abridged version of the TOPS newsletter sent to members