Sunday 11 May 2008

The news

Fewer children are cycling:

Parents' fears about road safety are turning children into a lost generation of cyclists, says a government-backed agency that promotes cycling. Four out of five children are banned from cycling to school by their parents, a poll of 1,079 parents for Cycling England suggests.

Car dependency continues to increase:

New figures show that the number of cars owned by British households has increased by five million to 27.8 million in the past decade. In the past two years alone, there has been a 3 per cent increase in distance travelled by car to 5,900 miles per person per year.

In Suffolk

More than 260 motorists a day were caught speeding in a week-long campaign co-ordinated by Suffolk Police. An average of 264 motorists were caught speeding each day - a 94% rise on last year when 954 were caught. Sgt Steve Knight said a "significant" number of motorists have "failed to grasp the concept" that speed kills. "Motorists really have no excuse," he said. "The campaign was well-publicised and there still seems to be a significant number of drivers who have failed to grasp the concept that speed kills.

It’s not grasped by some cops, either:

Four years ago officers in Derbyshire agreed to take down a fixed speed camera found to be hidden just two yards behind a 30mph sign on a bend on the A6 near the village of Ambergate. Police, who claimed it had never been turned on, removed it after accepting it was "inappropriate" and didn't give motorists "a fighting chance".

And in London a celebrity actor chuckles as he boasts how he got his driver off a speeding charge:

Glenister, who admitted his driver - Darren - had been doing 35mph in a 30mph zone, explained: "This copper is questioning Darren about his speed so I wound the window down and just turned into Gene Hunt and said, 'Is there a problem, officer?'

"I was sat in the back having a glass of wine and reading the paper and I'd had a 12-hour day on set. "This policeman, bless him, just did a double take and went, 'Oh it's you.' "I said, 'Yes, I'm the one on the booze, not him' and just had this whole thing of being Gene Hunt. And I said, 'Go and catch some proper criminals.'

"Then he just came over and said, 'I'm terribly sorry about this sir, I'll let you off this time if you don't mind.'"

Glenister, who recounted the latest episode in Gene Hunt's colourful career to Christian O'Connell on the Virgin Radio Breakfast Show, ended up saving his driver three points on his licence as well as a £60 fine.


The death of a pedestrian run down and killed by a police van is not going to be investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). It will be investigated internally by West Mercia Police.


England cricketer Andrew Flintoff avoided a speeding conviction today after his lawyer pointed out the police had posted his prosecution notice two days too late. Flintoff was represented by Nick Freeman, the solicitor known as Mr Loophole, who has successfully defended many high-profile people who had been charged with motoring offences including Sir Alex Ferguson, David Beckham, Ronnie O'Sullivan and the model Caprice. Flintoff, 30, of Altrincham, Cheshire, appeared this afternoon before Liverpool magistrates. He was recorded by a speed camera on the M62 on July 1 last year, and was alleged to have been driving at 87mph in a temporary 50mph zone.

There’s warfare on the trains:

The bicycle. It's the model of green transport and sales of folding ones that fit on trains are stepping up a gear. But as they multiply, so does rush-hour resentment, as commuters and cyclists come to blows.

Apparently some of Boris’s chums aren’t too keen to take over the job of running Transport for London. It’s the low wage, you see:

Peter Hendy was lobbying hard to keep his £320,000-a-year job. Since the election, "Hendy has been bending over backwards to help us", said one Johnson aide. "He has studied our pledges and came in to his meeting with a document on how they could be achieved." Hendy is expected to be kept for the next few months, partly because some of his potential replacements are asking to be paid too much.