TOPS NEWS September 2016 - followed by July News

Morgan EV3 electric 3-wheeler, 90 mph, limited series linked with Selfridges as both companies started in the same year. 19 cars to be built - £52,500. EV3 search on Amazon indicates a robot toy!

The American firm Uber, has teamed up with Volvo to pioneer driverless taxis which are to be tested in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The £228 million project will see Swedish car maker Volvo build the taxis and Uber fit them with its new driver-free technology.

Nissan has predicted that by 2020 there will be 4,100 charging points for electric cars but only 7,870 petrol stations. In 1970 there were 38,000 petrol stations, now reduced to 8,500. In the London congestion zone there are apparently only 4 petrol stations.

Police officers following a car driven at 55 mph in the middle lane of the M60, flashed him to move over but he called 999 to complain about what they were doing. The response was ‘Sir, this poster is just for you and we’ll tell the officer in question to keep up the good work.’ He could now face a fine of £100 and three penalty points.

Plans to convert the M4 hard shoulder into a fourth lane of traffic have been criticised by campaigners as being dangerous. The proposals would see a 32-mile stretch widened from three to four lanes from Hayes in west London to Theale and be subject to variable speed limits.

The underground stations in London which had the most pick-pocketing offences last year were Kings Cross, Oxford Circus, Victoria and Liverpool.

Former McLaren F1 driver Kevin Magnussen wasn't able to get a 650 S company car during his time at McLaren, a traditional perk for team members, because he was too young to be insured affordably. To add to the insult, by the time McLaren was finally able to get the insurance sorted, Magnussen was fired.

More than 1/3 of the 54,445 vehicle fires in Britain in the last 3 years were started deliberately according to Auto Express. West Yorkshire had the highest number at 1,967.

Last year leaves on railway lines caused over 5,800 hours of delay. The Rail safety board is now investigating zapping tracks with a device 100 times as powerful as a kitchen microwave to dry the tracks instantly.

6 Bentleys, 11 Ferraris and 6 Lamborghinis are among the 3,700 luxury cars to have been seized in 2016 due to their drivers not having insurance or a valid licence. Forces have raised more than £1.4 million from the sales of these cars, the highest price for 1 car was £22,100.

A self-styled ‘teenage billionaire’ Hamza Skeikh whose gold-plated Maserati Gran Cabrio with L plates was impounded by police for having no insurance said: “I’ll just learn to drive in a Rolls Royce then”.

The length of time motorists keep a car has dropped from 5 years to 2 or less ‘it has been revealed’.

Mobile cameras in Scotland have caught 2,500 motorists in the last 3 years.

Over 6.3 million cars suffered damage from hitting potholes in the last year – estimated damage £684 million. The government has said it will add £50 million to the existing £250 million fund to help remove 934,000 potholes from local roads.

Toyota has recalled 340,000 Priuses due to a parking brake problem.

BMW has released a self-balancing motorcycle.

Residents of Loose in Kent can, for a trial period, have their Domino’s pizza delivered by a man in a canoe.

The suspension bridge over the Thames in Marlow, built in 1862, has been damaged by a lorry driver following his GPS and ignoring warning signs.

Councils are making millions from motorists who get stuck in yellow box junctions during poor traffic flow. Fulham £2.4 million, Waltham Forest £1.7 million, Kingston £447,892.

Heavy pollution makes people drive more dangerously according to research by the L.S.E.

Uber now allows customers to book cars (taxis) up to a month in advance.

A new 1,410 ft glass bridge spans the Zhangjiajie Canyon in China and can take 8,000 visitors a day but 80,000 arrived and the bridge had to be closed. The bridge is 1,000 ft above the canyon.

Is anyone interested in old records? We have over 200 available—78s—mainly 1930s popular also some 45s from the 50/60s.

We recently saw someone using a Trekinetic GTE wheelchair. It was very impressive and worth checking if you have the need—about £10K for the powered option. Apparently designed by an ex F1 engineer.

July 2016

Metropolitan Police officers seized a Lamborghini and tried out its paces before returning it to the station. The joy ride is being investigated.

In France each radar gun rakes in at least €164,000 per year and in 2015 they earned €789 million.

The length of British roads which are monitored by average speed cameras has doubled in three years to 256 miles and the new cameras are grey instead of yellow.

Halfords has bought Tredz and Wheelies Direct which sell upmarket bicycles and accessories on line.

69,353 illegal drivers have been given points even though they do not have a licence.

Several motorists in Tunbridge Wells reported severed brake pipes on their cars and police began an investigation for a gang of vandals – which turned out to be foxes. Drivers have been advised to spray a strong animal repellent on the underside of their cars.

27,524 people received a Penalty Charge Notice of £130 for driving in bus lanes in Enfield last year. If they were all paid the Council received £3,578,120.

The Community Roadwatch scheme in Hackney provides residents with radar speed guns and hi-vis jackets. They are trained by police volunteers to measure the speed of drivers but participants are not allowed to use the radar guns on their own streets to ensure impartiality. Drivers caught breaking the speed limit are sent warning letters, but those travelling at high speeds could face immediate action by the police.

Kyle Rance has been jailed for 2½ years after he drove through the wall of a house in Lincoln, and propelled a woman out of her bath. She is still in hospital recovering from shock.

Auto Trader revenues have risen over 10% in its first year as a listed company.

The number of new car registrations in the UK in the year to March 2016 was 2,670,000.

Starting in 2017, most cars will no longer be welcome in central Barcelona. The city plans to create "super blocks" that combine 12 city blocks together into pedestrian-friendly mini grids. Car traffic will be exiled from up to 120 intersections, with drivers forced to go around the outside.

A new USA survey from AAA auto club says that tests on non-brand gasoline do not have enough detergents and therefore cause engine carbon deposits, reduced mileage and increased emissions.
It is thought that many cut-price offers, including those from supermarkets are of a lower grade. The AAA recommends changing back to a recognised brand for a few thousand miles.

Tesla motors is to produce 2 slightly cheaper models of its electric car - from £45,600.

Ecotricity who run Electric Highway, has been supplying free electric power points but they now intend to charge £6 for 30 minutes electricity at their 300 power points, claiming that each charger cost them £50,000 and they need to get some money back. They have a monopoly on the motorway network. There are 11,000 chargers in the UK but most take several hours to charge a car, rapid chargers take 20-30 minutes.

Four Parking networks which arrange for drivers to park in house owners driveways have now been joined by a new company, Spacehopper, which launched in July with 5,000 spaces available in the London area. Rentals bring in c £70 p.m. but are higher near railway stations, football stadiums and in Westminster can be £250.

Highways England claim that 1 in 20 breakdowns on major roads is fuel related. 2,531 drivers ran out of fuel on motorways in 2015. With the removal of some hard shoulders in order to ease congestion, motorists are urged to make sure they have enough fuel and consider carrying a spare can (full!).

Whilst knowingly selling a clocked car is fraudulent, it is still legal to alter the number of miles (how daft is that?). There are 70+ companies offering mileage correction services for £70 - £120. The Local Government Association advise buyers to check previous MOTs with the DVLA.

Charles Traynor sold 3 dinky toys on ebay for £16 but did not send them when the buyer withheld the £6 postage. He was arrested for online fraud and jailed until the prosecutors dropped the case.

Questions have been raised over the accuracy of speed cameras after a driver doing 29 mph was clocked at 85 mph. 14,000 drivers were issued with court proceedings for speeding in the last year.

£93 million less vehicle tax was paid in the first year after the abolition of the paper tax disc indicating an increase in vehicle tax evasion.

Newcastle-under-Lyme council spent £2.4 million on a fleet of new vehicles for waste collection but they are too wide for some streets.

Vauxhall has not yet finished recalling its Zafiras which are known to have the possibility of bursting into flames. The first fire was 7 years ago and recall has been staggered and slow. The London Fire Brigade has been called to 14 Zafira fires this year and 120 since 2013.

A tractor driver was fined £190 for causing a queue of 50 cars behind him by driving at 25 mph.

Self driving delivery robots are due to come to the UK at the same time as delivery drones.

The most expensive motorways in France are the A14 Paris – Orgeval at .53 cents per kilometre, the A65 Langon – Pau at 16.6 and the A19 Sens – Artenay at 15.3.

It is illegal to sell a bike without a bell but it is not illegal to remove it after purchase if you have an audible warning.

Paris has introduced a Low Emission Zone which this means that although diesel and petrol lorries and buses made before 1997 have already been banned in Paris, from July 2016, petrol and diesel cars registered before 1997 will also be banned from 8 am to 8 pm on weekdays. By 2020, only vehicles made in or after 2011 will be allowed but classic cars registered 30 years or more ago will be allowed to drive.