Sunday, 31 August 2008

The news

James Daley gets his bike back:

Producing a list of bike-bomb incidents dating to the 1930s, he said the police's mandate to protect the public gives it the right to remove bikes if they are deemed to be a threat.

Walking and cycling in decline, car use up and up and up:

SCOTS are using their cars more than ever before, despite massive efforts aimed at getting motorists on to public transport. The total number of vehicles on Scotland's roads reached its highest level ever last year, latest government figures have shown, while traffic volumes also hit record highs. The total number of vehicles on Scotland's roads rose by 2 per cent, to 2.65 million, in 2007 – the highest ever recorded. The Scottish Government's compendium of transport statistics shows traffic volumes rose by 1 per cent to 27.5 billion vehicle miles, also a record high and a 15 per cent increase on only a decade ago.

Nothing to do with things like this, then:

Chris Hoy has accused Edinburgh City Council of lacking foresight in their plans to demolish the city's velodrome. Hoy, a triple Olympic gold medallist in Beijing, began his track cycling career as a teenager at Meadowbank's facility."I would not be sitting here with three gold medals, or any gold medals around my neck if there hadn't been a facility in Edinburgh," said Hoy. "It's very short-sighted.”

Or this:

A BMW driver was clocked at 122mph in a 60mph zone during a weekend campaign targeting Scotland's rural roads. He was one of six drivers caught travelling at 100mph or more on the A702 in the Scottish Borders. Supt Alan Duncan of Lothian and Borders Police said it was "disappointing" to find so many people driving at such dangerous speeds. (Then why aren’t the police raiding all car manufacturers who make cars deliberately designed to break the speed limit?)

Plain-clothes enforcement:

More than 1,600 civilians ranging from shop security guards, park wardens, housing officers, charity workers, dog wardens and football match stewards have been made part of the "extended police family" under the legislation. Powers extend from issuing fines for truancy, cycling on a footpath, dog fouling and dropping litter to being able to direct traffic and dealing with cases of harassment and trespassing. The accredited workers, who do not wear a uniform except for a small badge, can also demand names and addresses, but do not have the power to detain a suspect.

More feeble crap about driver distraction:

A police helicopter targeting speeding motorists at a cost of £1,000 an hour has been attacked by campaign groups as dangerous and expensive. More than 20 signs are being put up in high-risk accident areas across Essex warning drivers that officers are watching them from the sky.AA president Edmund King said the move could distract drivers, saying: "Putting these signs up could be counter-productive and could lead to more collisions because people are looking at the sky."

Climate catastrophe:

Sea levels rose by just 2cm in the 18th century, 6cm in the 19th century and 19cm in the 20th century. But the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates a rise of between 18cm and 59cm during this century. Other scientists have put the figure much higher based on differing estimates of the effects of melting ice sheets in the Antarctic. Last week the British-based Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory forecast a sea level rise of up to 1.5 metres by 2100. Ten of Britain's most iconic coastal landmarks face being lost forever after conservationists admitted defeat in the battle against rising sea levels.