Warwickshire Police said about 80 motorists have been sent letters informing them that they faced action after they were spotted taking photographs of the blazing lorry.
The truck crashed on to its side and landed on the hard shoulder between junction 4A for the M42 and junction 4 for Coleshill on June 6.
The incident caused extensive tailbacks on both sides of the motorway. A Warwickshire Police spokesman said: “People travelling northbound were seen by police taking pictures of the fire.
“They have been sent letters saying that they had been seen taking photographs. They have been told they can either pay a £100 fine and have three penalty points put on to their licences or contest the case in court.”
A tweet from Warwickshire Police said: “Following a serious rtc (road traffic collision) on the M6 in the summer, we have secured 80 prosecutions for motorists using phones to photograph the scene.”
Missile attack on motorway bus driver
A BUS driver cheated death when a missile thrown from a bridge over a motorway smashed the windscreen of his vehicle.
Dec 15, 2014 13:22 By Rebecca Gray
The five-foot long metal pole was deliberately launched from an overhead bridge on the M8 in Glasgow.
Police said the bus was travelling along the busy motorway, near Townhead, when a missile thrown from an overhead pedestrian bridge hurtled through the bus' windscreen.
The driver was showered in glass and left badly shaken by his ordeal.
Police today branded the incident as "terrifying".
It is the latest in a spate of similar attacks over the M8 motorway in Townhead and Royston.
Police chiefs said the driver was lucky to be alive after the incident, which happened at the weekend.
Officers have stepped up patrols in a bid to catch those responsible for the horror attack.
Chief Inspector Mark Sutherland said: "This was a terrifying incident for everyone involved, and in particular, the driver of the bus who was left badly shaken
‘We’re really racist': Anti-police posters appear outside Scotland Yard
A series of anti-police and anti-consumerist posters have been spotted around London, with one even fixed behind the glass of the bus stop outside New Scotland Yard.
Dec 14, 2014 13:22 By Harry Readhead
The posters, which are footed with the logo of the Metropolitan Police next to the words ‘totally racist’ have been seen occupying advertising space on bus stops around the capital while anti-consumerist messages have also been seen on the tube.
One such poster was even spotted outside the Met’s headquarters.
‘You’re 28 times more likely to be stopped and searched in London if you don’t have white skin, because we’re still really racist,’ says the poster.
Another reads: ‘We’ve pointlessly targeted cannabis users in Lewisham, while other people legally drink their drugs.’
A third, seen in North London, says: ‘We caused the 2011 riots by shooting dead an unarmed civilian and then lying about it. And we got away with it.’
Clear Channel, who own the advertising space, told i100.co.uk that the posters were not an official campaign and would be removed.
And anarchist magazine Strike! have since taken credit for the creation of messages, but told i100.co.uk that while they designed them, they did not put them up.
Many social media users have tweeted or re-tweeted the pictures, with some using the hashtag #ACAB, an acronym standing for ‘All Coppers Are Bastards’
M25 fatal crash: 25-year-old questioned by police after being released from hospital
A second man arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving following a fatal road traffic collision on the M25 on Tuesday December 9 is now being questioned at Harlow Police Station.
Dec 13, 2014 13:22 By Piers Meyler
The 25-year-old was originally arrested along with a 33-year-old man at Princess Alexandra Hospital on the day of the crash where they were being treated for injuries sustained during the fatal collision.
A 39-year-old man from Leicester died in the collision, which happened at about 1.50am and involved a Peugeot car and four lorries - a Scania, a DAF artic, a Mercedes and a Romanian HGV.
The men had been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving in connection with the lorry pile-up that caused serious damage to the M25 between junctions 26 (Waltham Abbey) and 27 (M11).
That section will fully reopen early next week, the Highways Agency has announced.
Some 45 metres of concrete safety barrier needs to be replaced, along with 250 square metres of the road surface.
Work is under way and is being carried out during the day and overnight, when additional lane closures are in place.
How quickly the work can be completed depends on weather conditions, with temperature and rainfall both being crucial factors in how long it takes the concrete to reach full strength.
Highways Agency teams will work to keep three lanes open at all busy times. Up to date traffic information is available on the Highways Agency’s website
London councils bring in £293m profits from parking charges in just one year
London councils have been accused of "daylight robbery" after they made hundreds of millions of pounds in profits from parking charges handed out to drivers.
Dec 12, 2014 13:22 By Robin De Peyer
The RAC said London boroughs made £293m profit in a year from parking charges - almost half of the £667m total made by councils across the UK.
And eight of the 10 councils in the UK found to be running the biggest parking charge surpluses were in the capital.
Westminster council topped the list for parking profits, raising £51m for town hall coffers.
The figures were calculated by adding up income from parking charges and penalty notices, then deducting running costs.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: "These official figures show how town halls are committing daylight robbery by ripping off drivers with exorbitant parking charges and unfair parking fines.
"The recent growth in fines is coming from the industrial use of CCTV spy cars allowed under laws introduced by the last government. This is why we have introduced a law before Parliament to stop these snoopers, as part of package of measures to rein in the town hall parking bullies and protect local shops."
RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said: "Parking profits seem to be a one-way street for councils, having risen annually for the last five years.
"Yet over the same period spending on local roads has fallen about a fifth in real terms.
"The bottom line is that parking policy and charges must be about managing traffic, not raising revenue."
The data, analysed for the RAC Foundation by transport consultant David Leibling, came from the statutory annual returns that councils made to the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Heather Acton, Westminster City Council's Cabinet member for parking, said: "It is hardly surprising that we are talking about big numbers, due to the huge demand for parking in Westminster.
"Let us also make something crystal clear - every penny, by law, is spent on parking and transport-related projects."
The Local Government Association called the RAC's report "misleading".
Huge new motorway service station planned for M42 in Solihull - creating 300 jobs
The biggest motorway service station in the West Midlands is on its way to Solihull – providing a vital £65 million ‘missing link’ in the heart of the region.
Dec 4, 2014 13:22 By Jon Griffin
Plans have been unveiled for the new motorway service area (MSA) between Junctions 5 and 6 on the M42, creating 300 new jobs, in a project hailed as a huge economic and travel boost to the region.
The new station will be the first to be opened in the West Midlands since Hopwood, near Bromsgrove in 1999 – and will be the largest motorway facility of its kind across the region’s road network.
Planners say the Solihull Motorway Service Area, located to the west of the M42 and south of Solihull Road, close to Birmingham Airport, will complete the development jigsaw centred around the growth of the NEC, Birmingham Airport and Solihull.
Andrew Long, chief executive of motorway service station operators Extra MSA Group, said: “This will be the busiest motorway service area in the West Midlands by a significant margin and is much needed.
“We would expect this to be in the top three or four busiest locations of its kind in the UK. It very much puts Solihull on the map.
“Subject to planning consent, we could be on site by 2016 and we are looking to open by the third or fourth quarter of 2017. This will create 300 permanent full-time jobs.
“You have got the NEC, the Airport, HS2 – it is already a very busy location and it will become busier and it is important that you have the facilities to support these developments.”
Plans for a service station in the area date back to a previous plan on the site which had been recognised to be of benefit, but the scheme was turned down by the Government in 2009 amid concerns over an impact on a Highways Agency Smart Motorways pilot on the M42.
Sue Manns from planning consultants Pegasus Group, said: “Back in 1999, there was a need identified for a motorway service area for this location off the M42. This will be the missing link.
2015 National Traffic calendar
John Child does it yet again with all new material for 2015
Oct 13, 2014 13:22 >> Download 500k NT calendar
Just download the calendar to your computer and PRINT!
heeeey download the official forums calendar (500k) and print it out, just click on the image to the left to download the calendar, thank you JOHN CHILD!!
Every month has a Traffic Officer themed cartoon
Perfect for the office
Bonus Superhero month
Help promote the site by pinning it up
Woman arrested at interview for driving wrong way down motorway is hit with motoring ban
Carole Anderson, 30, drove several miles down the wrong side of the M90 to get to a job interview and was arrested in the car park - she didn't get the job, either.
Dec 10, 2014 13:22 By Harriet Hernando
a woman who was arrested at a job interview after driving down the wrong side of the motorway to get there has been banned from driving.
Carole Anderson, 30, was driving to Dobbie's Garden Centre in Perth, Scotland, when she turned north onto the southbound carriageway of the M90.
Officers caught up with her and arrested her in the centre's car park.
Perth Sheriff Court heard Ms Anderson asked a friend how to get there, then took her directions "quite literally" by turning right onto the motorway at the Crook of Devon junction on May 26.
Four-year-old who lost her favourite teddy on motorway is reunited with it thanks to road workers who spent a WEEK looking for it
Her mother Nicola emailed the Highways Agency with a desperate plea. Eventually, a road worker spotted the tiny teddy and it was returned.
Dec 11, 2014 13:22 By Khalida Rahman
A four-year-old who lost her favourite teddy on the motorway has been reunited with the bear after road workers spent a week looking for it.
Daisy Jewkes was distraught when 'Old Teddy' flew out of the window of her parents' car as they drove down the M6 near Cannock, Staffordshire.
But after her mother Nicola Jewkes, 36, emailed the Highways Agency, the tiny bear was eventually tracked down by one eagle-eyed worker and returned to a delighted Daisy.
Mrs Jewkes said: 'We really thought that he was gone forever.
'It was the kindest thing of him to get Old Teddy back to Daisy - she couldn't have been happier.'
Daisy was in the car with her parents and brothers William, eight, and Ben, six, when she accidentally dropped her toy from the window.
After Daisy cried all the way home, her mother promised to try and find him when they got back to their home in Brierly Hill, West Midlands, after a journey from Scotland
Female enforcement officer who chased down four suspects as they mugged pensioner commended
A litter enforcement officer who chased and tackled four suspects after they tried to mug an old lady has won an award for courage.
Dec 12, 2014 13:22 By Justin Davenport
Jenna White, 26, single handedly took on the four - two men and two women - as they tried to grab the pensioner’s handbag in Edmonton Green shopping centre.
Ms White called police on her radio as she ran after the group and she grabbed two of the suspects while police officers tackled the remaining two.
Employed as a litter enforcement officer for Enfield Council she said : “Instinct took over and I just took off after them. I shouted at them to stop and they all ran off together.
“I caught up with two of them and grabbed them and brought them back. It was a natural reaction but a bit out of the ordinary.
“I normally get to stop people dropping their chicken boxes on the floor.”
Ms White won the ‘courage award’ at the London Leadership and Peace awards held to celebrate Londoners judged to be “community champions.”
Backed by Boris Johnson and hosted by singer Sinitta and Tory peer Baroness Berridge, the awards included six winners from dozens of people and groups nominated by Londoners.
Other winners included Joshua Bopu, 18, who won the “Turn Around” honour after rejecting a criminal lifestyle which saw him jailed for 18 months for a serious gang- related offence.
Joshua, now in college and working as a part-time model, said: “I was doing bad things but I was immature then and I looked at my life and decided to change. I learned from my mistakes and I have paid my debt.”
London Citizens, a group which organises 600 ‘safe havens’ in local shops and businesses in London for bullied youngsters, won a “corporate leadership” award and a “corporate peace” prize at the City Hall event.
City entrepreneur Prem Goyal was awarded the ‘community spirit’ award for helping “London’s most
Soccer star Nile Ranger has been criticised for his “ridiculous” driving after a motorist claims he almost crashed into the back of the Blackpool striker as he crawled along the M55
The witness, who asked not to be named, says the Pool star was driving slowly along the M55 towards Preston in a silver Mercedes car.
Dec 9, 2014 13:22 By The Gazette
He reportedly had the window down and was arguing with a woman in the next lane who was driving an Audi.
And around 100 yards before the slip road for the Broughton roundabout, the motorist alleges Mr Ranger, 23, came to a halt on the motorway, almost sending a car behind careering into the back of him. The driver managed to get the player to pull on to the hard shoulder and police were called.
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said officers were called at 8.10pm on Friday night to reports “a vehicle was stopped on the main carriageway of the M55”.
Police said the witness appeared to see a man in the car arguing with a woman.
Two police officers attended and spoke with Mr Ranger. No further action was taken.
But the motorist who says he almost went into the back of Mr Ranger’s car today said he could have caused an accident.
He added: “I was driving from Blackpool to Manchester and just before the Broughton roundabout on the M55 the woman was in lane one and he was in lane two.
“They have stopped dead and I nearly crashed into them. They both had the windows down and they were shouting from one car to another. They set off again and then stopped again and that is when a taxi nearly went into them.
“I was lucky I didn’t crash into them. We didn’t know whether it was a bash for cash scam or they had broken down.It was just ridiculous.
“I rang the police and they were just arguing all the time.
“It must have taken 20 minutes for the police to get there. He could have caused a big crash. I nearly went into the back of him and then the taxi did.”
Blackpool FC did not wish to comment officially on the incident.
But Mr Ranger himself has hit out at coverage of the incident on Twitter.
He said: “Next thing I know I’m gonna spill some milk for my cornflakes. And be in the media for that.”
Mother who encouraged her young children to fight jihad jailed for five years
An “extremist” mother-of-six children, who took pictures of her toddler son with a toy gun and daydreamed about sending her eight-year-old brother to fight jihad, has been jailed for five years
by Ian Johnston Thursday 11 December 2014
Runa Khan revealed her radical views on Facebook, calling on fellow Muslim women to urge their male relatives to fight, and posted picture of a suicide vest.
She praised an article, entitled “Raising Mujahid Children”, that gave tips on how to prepare young children for jihad. Judge Peter Birts said the article was essentially “a manual in encouraging women to carry out jihad”.
Khan, 35, repeatedly spoke of her desperation to travel to Syria on WhatsApp messages, and unwittingly passed a route to the country to an undercover police officer. She also appeared to glorify the murder of Lee Rigby.
In a post on Facebook, Khan wrote: “Sisters, if you love your sons, husbands and brothers, prove it by sending them to fight for Allah. Don’t you want them to enter Jannah? Don’t you want them to prepare for you a palace…?”
When arrested, police found a photo of her two-year-old son with a toy rifle and a jihadist book on her phone, as well as images of her and her older children with a sword, Kingston Crown Court heard.
She also wrote on an extremist website about the day when she would send one of her sons off to fight. “I pictured the future while I was zipping up his jacket, in sha Allah I’ll be tying the shahada bandana round his forehead and hand him his rifle and send him out to play the big boys game,” she said.
Khan, from Luton, admitted four charges of disseminating terrorist publications between July and September 2013.
She told BBC Newsnight: “I was posting up my belief.”
Stretch of M1 closed with long delays after lorry transporting cheese bursts into flames
About 18 firefighters attended the incident. There were no reports of any injuries.
Dec 9, 2014 13:22 By Alexandra Rucki
A lorry carrying cheese burst into flames causing explosions and traffic delays on the M1.
The motorway remains shut following the fire which took place on junction 18, near Crick, Northamptonshire, at 7.30pm last night.
About 18 firefighters attended the incident. There were no reports of any injuries.
A spokesman for the Highways Agency said the motorway is expected to stay closed until 4pm tonight, causing delays of up to 90 minutes.
He told the BBC: “I could see something on fire in the distance but cars were still getting by - then a couple of lorries stopped to hold the traffic back as they could tell it might get a whole lot worse, which it did.”
Fury as West Midlands Police civilian crime investigators earn same as Pcs
New police civilian investigators are earning as much as front-line bobbies after being recruited to probe crimes, the Mail can reveal.
by Jeanette Oldham
The West Midlands force had taken on 33 current employees, including front counter staff, to work in roles attached to CID.
They do not have the power of arrest but are paid between £18,909 and £25,704 while a fully trained police constable receives £27,747 after two years training.
Yet the civilian investigators would also be entitled to a 15 per cent shift allowance bonus and an additional higher weekend pay rate, taking their annual income up to the levels of the Pcs.
The scheme has been running six months and it is understood it had originally been designed to SAVE money as the force tries to complete £126 million of cuts.
A source said: “Warwickshire and other forces have already, over time, employed lots of civilian investigators, recruiting them from private companies.
“West Midlands Police has been trying to rebrand roles for existing civilian staff, while at the same time trying to reduce the overall number.
“This kind of blunder is just poor management at a time when the force is trying to save money. They’re not looking at using resources wisely or the best value for money.’’
Recruiting such raw recruits with little or no experience of police work had also raised eyebrows with some.
The source added: “They took members of police staff who haven’t been involved in the evidence chain previously, many would have been detention officers, front office staff, property officers, maybe crime scene examiners, and are trying to turn them into detectives.
“But they need to give them training to bring them up to the standard of a police officer who would have undergone two years training.
“They need training in interviewing, investigating, taking statements and preparation of files. And a lot of them will probably need to go on driving courses so they can drive police vehicles.
“That will all add costs on.
“The force could have gone to outside companies which offer fully trained civilian investigators for several pounds less an hour than
Complete guide to Dartford Crossing toll changes and Dart Charge
The toll booths at the Dartford Crossing have been removed and the fees increased. Here's all you need to know about the new system.
2 DEC 2014 by Stuart Milne
The toll booths have been removed at the Dartford Crossing, meaning motorists travelling between Kent and Essex must use Dart Charge to pay remotely online, over the phone or at a retail outlet with a Payzone terminal.
The move is an attempt to reduce heavy congestion on both sides of the crossing, which allows drivers on the M25 to cross the River Thames between Dartford, Kent and Thurrock, Essex through the Dartford Tunnel or over the Dartford Bridge.
But although the standard fees having increased, there are ways to save money on your Dartford crossings.
New Dartford crossing fees
The fees for the Dartford tunnel and bridge increased on 30th November 2014. The cost varies depending on the type of vehicle using the crossing:
Cars - £2.50 Two-axle goods vehicles - £3.00
Multi-axle goods vehicles - £6.00 Motorcycles – Free
The crossings will continue to be free to use between 10pm and 6am.
How to pay the Dartford Crossing
Dartford Crossing payment is run in a similar fashion to the London Congestion Charge. That means motorists will need to pay using one of the following methods:
Over the phone by calling 0300 300 0120
At a retail outlet with a Payzone terminal. Visit payzone.co.uk to find your nearest.
By post in advance at: Dart Charge Customer Services, PO Box 842, Leeds LS1 9QF
Saving money on the Dartford Crossing
Motorists can save up to a third on each crossing by setting up a Dart Charge pre-pay account. You can do this online with Gov.uk.
You’ll need the registration number of the vehicles you want to register, a credit or debit card to make an initial £10 payment, and your bank account details if you want the account to automatically top up.
Commercial accounts are also available, for which you'll need to provide your company name and number.
By using a Dart Charge pre-pay account, the costs of using the Dartford Crossing fall to:
Cars - £1.67 Two-axle goods vehicles - £2.63
Multi-axle goods vehicles - £5.19
New police specials boss hopes for more recruits
The new boss of more than 350 volunteer cops has vowed to shake up the service after taking charge of officers in the West Midlands.
11 DEC 2014 by Nick McCarthy
The head of the Special Constabulary, Mike Rogers, first volunteered more than 20 years ago.
Now he wants to extend the roles of volunteer officers after 50 new recruits were taken on in April.
The Chief Officer said he hoped even more could be recruited next year in the wake of a three-and-a-half year gap that mirrored the freeze on recruiting regular officers.
All new officers complete an intensive 21-week training scheme and give up four hours a week before being assigned to local policing units for the first 12 months.
Experienced volunteer officers have recently been assigned to specialist areas like airport policing and the Central Motorway Police Group for the first time.
And it’s a model Mr Rogers plans to roll out across other specialist departments, including CID, gang units and support for firearms officers.
He said former regular officers, including a detective chief superintendent who joined up the day after retiring, were also swelling the ranks.
Mr Rogers, a lawyer by trade, said: “When I signed-up the Specials operated pretty much as a separate force.
“We’ve come a long way since then and now the Special Constabulary works side-by-side with regular officers.
“The fact former senior officers are volunteering is evidence that the regular and volunteer officers are coming closer together.
“The Specials are not a replacement. They are there to support and to add value.
“During the 2011 riots we had more than 200 Specials turn out within 24 hours to help quell the violence. Anyone who thinks life as a Special is ‘policing lite’ should speak to one of these brave volunteers.”
Explaining why he first joined up he said: “I felt I wanted to give something back to the system.
“It had been very good to me and I think most
M25 crash at Waltham Abbey involving four lorries leaves one dead and causes traffic chaos.
One person has been killed and a section of the M25 closed following a major accident involving multiple lorries crashing through the central reservation.
9 DEC 2014 by Adam Withnall
Essex Police confirmed there had been one fatality following the incident near Waltham Abbey at 1.50am this morning. Three others have been taken to hospital after it was reported that “a number of people” had been trapped in their vehicles.
Four lorries and a Peugeot car were involved in the accident, police said, while some of the road required resurfacing after a lorry carrying cheese caught fire.
The Highways Agency said the motorway had been closed between junctions 23 and 27 clockwise and junctions 25 and 27 anti-clockwise, causing delays of at least one hour to drivers in the morning rush-hour.
It said the section of the ring-road would remain closed until the afternoon.
Images from CCTV traffic cameras at junction 26 showed a lorry with its front end pushing through the central reservation from the anti-clockwise to the clockwise side of the road. A large number of emergency vehicles remained on the scene.
A spokesperson for Essex Police said: “The M25 currently remains shut between junctions 25 and 27 while clean-up and repair work continue. Police have now released the scene to the Highways Agency.”
Mersey Tunnel toll increase in 2015 would be 'justified' by economic growth: Merseytravel report
Report warns that 'improving economic growth is such that a further increase in cash toll is justified' on the Mersey Tunnel which is used by 25 million motorists each year.
9 DEC 2014 by Liam Murphy
Economic growth could be used to justify a rise in tunnel tolls next April – which would be the third consecutive increase in three years.
A report by finance chiefs at Merseytravel says “improving economic growth is such that a further increase in cash toll is justified”.
However, a spokesman for Merseytravel said today that no decision has been made and “it is far too early to speculate over any potential changes”.
The same report, due to considered when Merseytravel committee meets on Thursday, also recommends an increase in fares for Mersey Ferries and 15% of bus routes supported by Merseytravel - which oversees transport in the region.
The move is part of a bid to reduce Merseytravel’s dependence on support from Merseyside councils.
Last February, Merseytravel pushed the price for car drivers using the Mersey tunnels up by 10p to £1.70, which took effect from April 1.
Under the 2004 Tunnels Act, the tolls should automatically rise in line with inflation, but there is the option a lesser rise or freeze of the tolls based on “economic or social” pressures.
Since April, the tunnels have become assets of the newly created Liverpool City Region Combined Authority – which will have the final say on tolls – although the tunnels are still operated on a day to day basis by Merseytravel.
The Kingsway (Wallasey) and Queensway (Birkenhead) tunnels have approximately 25 million vehicles travelling through them each year.
According to the report to the Merseytravel committee, the £339 million budget for 2014/15 was funded by a rail grant of £102m, Mersey Tunnels tolls and other income of £42m, pre-paid travel income £27m, and a balance of £41m from fees and charges - £212 million, or 63% of the total.
The remaining 37% came from local councils.
Under the possible ferry price increases, commuters will see an increase of 20p for all daily single and return tickets, with increases for weekly and monthly tickets of around 3-6% meaning a weekly saver increases by 50p, with its monthly equivalent rising by £3.
The moves are part of “an innovative 2015/16 pricing model” which would also see discounts for some tickets for River Explorer cruises bought online and raise and extra £132,000 a year.
Among the other possible increases there could be rises for fares on Merseytravel supported bus services.
These include routes that would not make a profit but where there is a “significant social need”, such as to and from areas of deprivation or to key locations such as hospitals, and affects around 15% of bus services in Merseyside
Two people killed on M56 near Frodsham
Police confirm two fatalities following pile-up on the motorway near junction 12.
9 OCT 2014 by David Holmes
Police have confirmed two people from separate vehicles have been killed following a motorway pile-up near Frodsham.
Initial reports suggested there had been a collision between two HGVs, a car and a bus with no passengers, but police later confirmed it was an empty coach, not a bus, that was involved.
Fire crews attended and cut two people out of two of the vehicles, who were pronounced dead at the scene.
Police confirmed the two people who died were a man and woman from two different vehicles.
The ambulance service confirmed two other people suffered minor injuries in the crash and were taken by ambulance to Warrington General hospital as a precaution to be checked over.
No more details are currently available about the deceased who were involved in a multi-vehicle collision on the Manchester-bound carriageway near junction 12 around midday today, Thursday, October 9.
A police spokesman said: “Sadly, police can now confirm that the collision resulted in two fatalities. There is no further information in relation the deceased at this time and more information will become available in due course.”
The air ambulance attended earlier but left the scene with no casualties on board.
The motorway is now open westbound following an initial full closure and police are hoping to open one carriageway eastbound. Scene examination and vehicle removal is underway.
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service sent two engines from Chester and one from Runcorn. North West Ambulance Service sent its Hazard Area Response Team (HART), two ambulances, two rapid response vehicles, senior managers and an advanced paramedic.
The crash caused widespread traffic chaos throughout the afternoon and evening as motorists were warned to avoid the M56 leading to huge queues on roads throughout the Chester area and at both the Wallasey and Birkenhead tunnels.
At one stage the tailbacks heading into Liverpool reached as far back as junction 3 on the M53.
Scotland Yard building sold for £370m to property developers who plan luxury flats block
New Scotland Yard, the HQ of the Met police, has been sold to a Middle East developer for £370 million in one of the biggest ever property deals in central London.
9 DEC 2014 by Justin Davenport
The Abu Dhabi Financial Group paid £120 million more than the asking price for the 1960s block and and plans a development of luxury flats on the site overlooking Westminster Abbey.
Boris Johnson and policing chiefs today pledged that the cash windfall would be pumped into modernising front line policing - equipping cops on the beat with tablets, smartphones and body cameras.
The mayor is also planning to use some money to establish a public museum for crime artefacts and policing memorabilia currently stored in the Met’s infamous “black museum.”
Details of what could be on show have not been decided but the Crime Museum, which is closed to the public, includes an array of macabre items including a letter said to be from Jack the Ripper, the umbrella and ricin pellet used to assassinate Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov and the pots and stove serial killer Dennis Nilsen used to boil the flesh of his victims.
The mayor said the proceeds from the sale would be re-invested in technology allowing officers to spend more time on the streets.
Mr Johnson said: “The sale of this under-used and outdated building means we can now not only protect that rich heritage, but also fund the new HQ and kit out bobbies with the latest mobile technology to secure the future of the force.
“This landmark deal allows us to preserve the past whilst giving today’s Met a vital cash boost so our officers can go on keeping London safe.” The Met is moving to a slimmed down HQ on the Victoria Embankment but will retain the iconic revolving sign. Police say the £58 million move will save £6 million a year in running costs.
The sale of New Scotland Yard is part of a radical overhaul of the Met’s estate which has raised £215 million through the sale of 52 buildings and police stations.
Once the strategy is completed in 2016, police chiefs say it will save the force over £60m in annual running costs - enough to fund 1,000 officers.
Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Stephen Greenhalgh said the sale justified the Mayor’s controversial strategy to sell off police buidlings, including dozens of Victorian police stations.
He said : “This is a win for everyone - police officers get the investment in technology they need, Londoners get the modern, efficient police service they deserve, and the public purse gets a huge windfall from stamp duty, helping to fund our schools and hospitals.”
The Victoria Street site is projected to yield up to £100m in stamp duty receipts once the luxury flats are sold.
Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said: “We now expect to need to making savings of up to £1.4bn by the end of the next spending review, including some £600m which we will have delivered by 2015/16. This is equivalent to a third of the Met’s original budget so this money is absolutely vital to us
Desperate illegal immigrant CALLS 999 to be rescued from freezing in refrigerated lorry
The 12 men were ferried in police cars to nearby Hilton Park Services, Staffordshire, where paramedics checked their condition before they were taken into custody.
8 OCT 2014 by Martin Fricker
Stunned cops found 12 illegal immigrants shivering in the back of a refrigerated lorry on the M6 after receiving a panicked 999 call from one of them.
Police launched a major operation and closed the busy motorway during rush-hour when the distressed man begged to be rescued from the freezing vehicle.
Officers traced the call to a lorry travelling northbound on the motorway and it was stopped near to junction 10a shortly before 9am.
When they opened the back of the vehicle, which had arrived from the continent overnight, they found the 12 terrified male immigrants inside.
The men were ferried in police cars to nearby Hilton Park Services where paramedics checked their condition before they were taken into custody.
Eyewitnesses Angela Fox, 45, who was at the service station when police arrived, said: “It was like a Hollywood movie. One minute I was in the car park making a business call in my car and the next the place was swarming with police.
“There were sirens and lights going on everywhere.
“At first I thought it was one of those practice scenarios for the emergency services but when police started handcuffing people I realised it was serious.
“An officer came over to tell drivers the motorway was being closed and advised us to either get back into our cars or go for a coffee in the services.”
A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “Just before 9am a distressed call was received from a man travelling in the back of a refrigerated lorry on the M6 northbound.
“He was requesting urgent assistance for himself and his companions.
“As a result of the information received officers from the Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG) co-ordinated a regional response.
“This included officers from Staffordshire Police, West Midlands Police and Highways Agency colleagues.
“CMPG officers were able to successfully stop the lorry between Hilton services and J10a.
“We will now be working with our colleagues in immigration and border control to establish the exact circumstances of how these individuals came to be in the back of the lorry.”
Home-made toll road to avoid 14-mile diversion clocks 100,000th vehicle
Roadworks are the family gathering of the road user: Nobody enjoys them, but there is little you can do except sit there and try to get through it without going insane.
8 OCT 2014 by Oliver Wheaton
That is why entrepreneurial grandfather Mike Watts decided to build his own toll road diversion on the A431 between Bath and Bristol near his home to help people avoid the near constant council works that took place on the road.
While people may have laughed at his scheme when it started, the 62-year-old just welcomed his 100,000th vehicle across his road.
The construction cost of the road added up to £300,000, however Mike charges £2 for cars and vans and £1 for a motorcycle, meaning he needs 150,000 vehicles to use the road by Christmas to cover his costs.
Mike is on track to hit that number by November, making the endeavour a success.
Already hailed as a local hero providing travellers with an alternative route since the A431 was closed in February following a land-slide, several local businesses owe thanks to Mike after the lack of customers was having a negative affect on them.
Sadly, the diversion won’t be a permanent fixture.
‘This is a little piece of history here. As soon as the A431 opens we have to pull up the road and it will be returned to two fields. No-one will know what has been here,’ Mike said.
Edward W Buckley · M.D. at Ed4Heights, Piller
Waste of time? He'll have 6 weeks of pure profit. Some people.....
· October 8 at 4:14pm
Stewart Rockett · Top Commenter · High Wycombe College of Art & Technology
He has recouped 1/3 of his outlay in about 8 weeks & has 11 weeks before the roadworks are complete & he has to pull up the road surface & return it to fields. He needs another 50,000 vehicles to break even. At the present rate he will get 135,750 customers, 875,500 more than he needs. This will make him a profit of £175,000. Not so much a 'waste of time', imho. (note - edited to correct my poor maths).
· October 8 at 4:51pm
Matt Edwards · Bristol, United Kingdom
The road won't be fixed until the middle of next year. Took the council 6 months to even start work. Bloke is a legend. Bath City council needs to take a long look at it's self. Instead of wasting money on 20mph signs when they aren't needed and bus zones. Just get on and fix the roads in future
· October 8 at 8:00pm
Sholto Pridgeon · London, United Kingdom
"14-miled diversion " - haha
· October 8 at 7:57pm
Val Gorst ·
brilliant ..... good on you xx
· October 8 at 4:57pm
Noel Symonds · Reigate Sixth Form College
What a shame people knock an entrepreneur and shame it's not his choice whether to keep the road or not afterwards. Also I hope he don't have to pay tax till after it's made a profit - i.e. costs hopefully are deductible.
· October 10 at 6:22am
Chris Lowe · Part Time Blogger at The onion bag
just a thought.... won't he be taxed on all these earnings at 40% thus requiring around 250,000 cars to break even?
· October 9 at 10:29am
William Bates ·
Not if is a limited company, then he pays a much lower tax .
· October 11 at 10:55am
Carl J. Nicholson ·
What a waste of time, lol.
· October 8 at 3:40pm
Jeremy Clarkson 'stoned' as Top Gear crew abandon cars and flee Argentina
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May flee Argentina under police escort after locals stone cars and Top Gear crew in a row over a Porsche number plate.
3 OCT 2014 by Camilla Turner
Jeremy Clarkson and his Top Gear team were forced to flee Argentina and abandon three high-powered cars after they were pelted with stones by locals angered by the presenter’s number plate apparently referencing the Falklands War.
The crew of the BBC Two show had earlier been given an ultimatum by Argentine veterans of the war to leave the country or “face the consequences”.
They had provoked anger by using a 1991 Porsche 928GT coupé with the registration number H982 FKL, which politicians and army veterans suggested could be seen to refer to the Falklands conflict.
Mr Clarkson's Porsche was abandoned by the side of the road along with the Lotus and Ford Mustang used by his co-presenters after they came under attack from locals.
Initially, the cars were thought to have been left behind in storage after Clarkson and his Top Gear team were warned to leave Tierra del Fuego.
However, it emerged on Friday that the production crew abandoned the damaged vehicles at a police checkpoint on route to Chile after locals stoned them near the town of Tolhuin.
Film crew reportedly told officers at the first checkpoint they reached after passing through Tolhuin: "We're leaving the cars, we don't want more problems. Burn them if you want but we're getting out of here."
An Argentinian technician hired for the Top Gear shoot is said to have been injured after a stone thrown by one of the demonstrators hit him in the face.
The BBC confirmed that the cast and crew had left the country, but Top Gear producers insisted the plate had not been chosen deliberately and was a pure coincidence.
Local councillor Juan Manuel Romano said the digits 269 on the number plate of the Ford Mustang Mustang Richard Hammond was driving were close to the 255 Britons killed during the 1982 war.
He added that the numbers 646 on James May's Lotus could be taken as a reference to the 649 Argentinian casualties.
Local war veteran association member Osvaldo Hilliar, referring to the Falklands by their Spanish name, said: "Our position from the outset was to demand the withdrawal of the TV team from our province, which includes the Malvinas, by 8pm on Thursday, with the warning we'd organise a demonstration to reject their provocation if not.
"What they did was an offence that through no coincidence was committed in the capital of the Malvinas, without any regard to local feeling about this cause.
"They said they didn't want to upset anyone but we know the British have lied for the last 200 years. We told them we couldn't guarantee their security if they didn't leave."
The Top Gear cast and crew are understood to have left Argentina following a meeting at Hotel Arakur in Ushuaia, where they were staying.
Mariano Plecity, a regional government minister, who attended the meeting as a mediator, said afterwards: "The British group agreed to leave Tierra del Fuego voluntarily before the deadline was up, with some leaving by air and others by road."
He later tweeted a link to an article in a local paper which said: "Government expels the English Top Gear producers from the province."
The paper reported: "It provided two police cars to escort them to the border with Chile and abandon Tierra del Fuego."
Merseyside Police crackdown that saw dangerous dogs rounded up from owners' homes and put down ruled unlawful
High Court judges say Merseyside Police had no authority to seize dogs which were killed within a matter of hours.
9 DEC 2014 by John Siddle
A police crackdown that saw dangerous dogs rounded up and destroyed was “unlawful”, top judges today ruled.
Twenty-two banned-breed dogs were seized in March after an operation against owners who failed to comply with court orders exempting them from the law.
Warrants were executed across Merseyside to seize the pets which were then put down within a matter of hours.
Detectives said the strong action was taken to protect residents against irresponsible owners who had failed to ensure that mandatory third-party insurance was in place.
But High Court judges in Manchester today ruled that Merseyside Police acted unlawfully and had no authority to kill them.
A judicial review - a type of court proceeding in which a judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body - was launched by Merseyside solicitors Parry Welsh Lacey.
The firm argued that the police had no legal power to put down the dogs without court permission.
The ruling means that the force may have to pay out compensation to the pets’ owners.
The raids were ordered after Liverpool was identified as an area with a large number of uninsured “exempt” dogs.
Under the Dangerous Dogs Act, animals which are prohibited but have not caused harm can go through a process to be spared destruction.
A condition of exemption is that owners have third-party insurance for their pets, which costs around £25 a year.
Bootle grandmother Debbie Gogarty, 45, previously told the ECHO how she begged officers not to take away her family pit bull Ruben after she forgot to renew the insurance.
She said: “The police came in and took Ruben straight away. They wouldn’t even let us say goodbye. It was just a mistake. Everyone has things going on in their lives and can make an oversight. Every year Ruben was insured, this was the one time he wasn’t. He didn’t deserve to die for the sake of £25.”
Following the conclusion of the Judicial Review at Manchester
Roads funding: £15bn to be spent on schemes for England
A tunnel on the A303 at Stonehenge is among dozens of new road plans to be announced by the government, as part of a £15bn "roads revolution" for England.
1 DEC 2014 by BBC NEWS
The money - initially announced in 2013 - will involve 100 road improvement schemes and add 1,300 new miles of extra lanes to motorways and A roads.
The projects include the tunnel to tackle a bottleneck at Stonehenge on the A303 and improved M25 junctions.
Labour said the coalition's record was one of "all talk and no delivery".
'Biggest and boldest'
The tunnel near the historic Stonehenge site in Wiltshire is among the 84 new projects announced, with the government saying the £15bn would be spent over the next five years.
The plans are part of the chancellor's Autumn Statement to be announced in full on Wednesday.
The road plans include improvements designed to tackle congestion on the A27 along the south coast and better links into Port of Liverpool. There will also be more money to upgrade the A1 in the North East
Announcing the plan, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said roads were "key to our nation's prosperity" and had suffered from under-investment for too long.
"Today I am setting out the biggest, boldest and most far-reaching roads programme for decades. It will dramatically improve our road network and unlock Britain's economic potential," he said.
Chancellor George Osborne said it would "transform some of the country's most important strategic routes".
This is a large amount of money and a large number of schemes. The big question now, from many I've spoken to in the industry, is will they see it through?
Governments have a habit of announcing big plans for the roads, only to shelve them later on when the money gets tight.
It happened in the late 1980s when Margaret Thatcher promised the largest road building programme since the Romans.
The last Labour government was also going to build a tunnel under Stonehenge, until the costs got silly.
Even this coalition started life by announcing road maintenance budget cuts and cancelling projects.
Upcoming changes to the Highways Agency, giving it a guaranteed budget every five years, are meant to put an end to all that uncertainty
Parents in 'slow walk' protest at scrapping of school lollipop patrol
Crossing patrols at Seymour Park Community Primary in Stretford are under threat as part of unprecedented £24m cuts in the borough next year.
8 DEC 2014 by Todd Fitzgerald
Parents and children at a primary school put on a ‘slow walk’ across a busy road in protest at plans to scrap their lollipop lady.
Crossing patrols at Seymour Park Community Primary in Stretford are under threat as part of unprecedented £24m cuts in the borough next year.
One-in-three lollipop patrols are facing the axe in Trafford. Around a third of 97 school crossing patrols will be targeted if the plan is passed.
Hundreds of children at schools across the borough could be left to cross the road unsupervised, with crossing points near them potentially going unmanned.
Some crossing points serve one school. But many more serve two, three or even four. The councils says 17 will see staff removed, while 14 will be ‘disestablished’ as crossing points.
Ultimately, it means the same thing at all 31 sites - they will no longer have a school crossing patrol.
Parents protested outside Seymour Park on Northumberland Road, in a bid to stop their lollipop lady, Trish Lunney, being moved elsewhere, or being left jobless.
Scores of children and their parents joined the protest, causing delays along the busy road, with rush-hour traffic soon building up. Anne Duffield, chair of governors and Labour councillor, said scrapping patrols could lead to a child being killed.
She said: “The likelihood of losing school crossing patrols fills us with genuine dread - the potential for increased outside school fracas, injuries and death loom.
“Our school crossing patrols not only keep the children safe on the crossings, but also develop a positive relationship with the school community and regular drivers who recognise their work and take notice of them when driving.”
Seymour Park headteacher Anthony Rea said: “We understand that cuts need to be made, but the concern we have is that 660 children come to school through these gates every morning.
“Trish's role is absolutely vital. We've had accidents here in the past, because drivers just don't stop and think. People just see it as they've got to get to work. This isn't about money, it's about people's lives.
Why my family pulled the plug on owning an electric vehicle
I’d made my husband a guinea pig in my experiment to see whether an all-electric vehicle could fit our suburban family lifestyle as a replacement for his old car.
11 DEC 2014 by Dianne Nice
One chilly fall morning, my husband called to say he’d arrived at work with freezing cold hands.
It was his first time driving an electric car, a 2015 Leaf I’d borrowed from Nissan, and he was so worried about running out of battery range, he’d made the 42-kilometre trip with no heat. I sighed. Over the next few weeks, we would test out the Leaf, the Ford Focus and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. I had apparently failed to set out the ground rules, however. “Just drive like you normally would,” I instructed. And thus began our foray into the world of EVs.
What I failed to realize, however, was that driving an electric vehicle was not like normal driving: It required thinking ahead about charging options, the distances we’d be travelling, and the cold, which can greatly reduce the battery’s range.
Driving the Leaf to my office for the first time required some special preparations. The parking garage doesn’t have many outlets, and the maintenance crew wanted to measure how much current the car would draw from the aging electrical grid. At my husband’s work, the only exterior plug was in a loading dock that had to be opened from inside. He then had to drive around the building and use an extension cord.
Distracted by work one morning, he forgot to plug in the Focus until halfway through the day. The drive home, with the heat, seat warmer, radio and headlights on, ate up 53 per cent of the battery’s charge and left him questioning the practicality of commuting by EV in winter.
Lincolnshire Police chief says force will go out of business in letter to the Home Secretary
The Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police has said the force will go out of business if the current unsustainable funding arrangements continue.
8 DEC 2014 by Lincolnshire Echo
Neil Rhodes, the head of Lincolnshire Police, has sent a letter to the Home Secretary, Teresa May.
In the letter he said the proposed budget for the next few years would leave a £10.4m shortfall which would force him to axe a fifth of his frontline officers.
It is also claimed he said that bobbies on the beat would be a thing of the past across the county and it would take longer to respond to 999 calls.
He is quoted as saying: "In 2016-17, Lincolnshire Police will be, on the basis of current financial projections, on the edge of viability. In the following year it will be unsustainable.
“To cut officer numbers by the amount needed would mean service degradation to a level that would be unacceptable to our communities and compromise both public safety and officer safety.
“In my 28-years in policing I have always been a moderniser and have sought to find ways to be efficient and save money, but in this case I'm afraid we have hit the buffers.”
He is now appealing for a meeting with Mrs May in order to discuss the looming crisis
Clegg call over 'criminal' bankers
The public is "seething with anger" at the banks and people should be brought to book for their actions, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said
By Press Association, 13 November 2014 7.03pm
Five banks which employed traders who clubbed together to rig foreign exchange (forex) rates were fined more than £2 billion yesterday.
Mr Clegg said it had not yet been decided what the Government would do with the £1.1 billion of fines levied by the UK regulator.
Regulators discovered that some of the manipulation of the £3 trillion-a-day forex market was taking place even as the banks were being probed over a previous scandal over interbank lending rate Libor.
Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase and UBS were handed the £1.1 billion penalty by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority and fines totalling 1.5 billion US dollars (£927 million) by US authorities.
Mr Clegg told LBC Radio that the Serious Fraud Office was also investigating and he hoped that anyone involved in criminal activity would face justice.
He said: "The Serious Fraud Office ... need to look at this. And they are. And I hope they will bring people to book and I hope people will be brought to justice."
He added: "People are seething with anger that they're having to endure cuts and savings for year after year after year because of not only irresponsible, in some cases ... possibly criminal behaviour by bankers."
Asked what would be done with the fines, Mr Clegg said: "I think the figure is just over a billion pounds that comes to the Treasury because of these fines related to the foreign exchange scandal. And we will make a decision as a Government what to do with that money."
How did she survive this? Driver escapes with minor injuries after VW is crushed by lorry
A driver was pulled alive from the wreckage of her car after it was crushed underneath an articulated lorry
10 DEC 2014 By Lizzie Edmonds
The unnamed 27-year-old woman was shunted by a skip lorry behind her as she was driving along the A120 in Little Tey, Colchester, Essex. Her VW Golf was hit with such a force that it became wedged below the lorry driving ahead.
The driver was flown to the Royal London Hospital. Essex police have said early indications suggest she may have escaped without life threatening or life changing injuries. It is thought, however, that she may have suffered a fractured arm and had a minor cut to her head.
Police added a 51-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving, causing a serious injury collision and on suspicion of being under the influence of drink and drugs. He has been bailed pending further enquiries until February, police said this morning.
Eyewitnesses of the event, which took place yesterday afternoon, described the scene. Stuart Hunt said: “A car braked and the lorry did not stop. There was screeching and a lorry hit a lorry. We did not know there was a car in the middle until we went and had a look. It was destroyed - I thought the driver was a gonner.”
The crash happened metres from the entrance to Red Lion pub near Little Tey. John Murray, its landlord, said: “I heard a monumental thud. I came outside and saw the devastation. A skip lorry had hit the back of another lorry and there was car, obliterated, in between. It had taken the top off and you could barely see the car.”
Sgt Damon Bainbridge, senior investigating officer, said: “It would appear the skip lorry has collided with the car, pushing it underneath the HGV, before continuing to collide with the lorry in front.
“Two other vehicles, a Toyota Hilux and Seat Ibiza, were in front of the second lorry and were also damaged.”
Four injured as car trapped beneath HGV in motorway crash
The crash happened on the M6 southbound carriageway between Keele Services and junction 15 for Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, at around 3.10pm.
29 OCT 2014 By ITV NEWS
Emergency services arrived to find the car pinned against the central reservation of the motorway, partly under the lorry.
The male driver had suffered chest injuries in the smash, while the female passenger had suffered pelvic, arm and chest injuries. Both were aged in their late 30s or early 40s.
The two young girls, aged between eight and 10, were treated for facial injuries and multiple minor injuries.
All four had managed to get out of the car before paramedics arrived, and were taken to the University Hospital North Staffordshire for further emergency treatment.
a West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said "Considering the damage to the vehicle they are extremely fortunate not to have suffered more severe or even fatal injuries."
The lorry driver was not hurt.
Ex-police questioned over £1.9million paid by motorists on speed awareness courses: Crime watchdogs order firms to open their books as they investigate a 'murky' deal struck by forces
Private firms run by former police officers are to be placed under investigation after accumulating millions of pounds from motorists attending speed awareness courses.
6 DEC 2014 By Martin Beckfor
The companies, run by a scandal-hit former chief constable and an ex-traffic policeman, amassed a surplus of more than £1.9 million from the fees – money which is due to be spent on road safety.
Crime tsars have now ordered an urgent review of the arrangements amid ‘serious concerns’ that private firms may also be profiting from speeding motorists – and that the ex-policemen could have a conflict of interest.
Police and Crime Commissioners are demanding that the firms open their books and reveal what happened to money paid by motorists who opt to attend courses rather than take points on their licences when caught speeding.
The elected officials also want the firms to hand over their database of every driver who has ever gone on a driving course.
Christopher Salmon, Tory Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed-Powys, said the surplus was the result of ‘a murky deal from the days when police forces were not scrutinised properly’. He added: ‘Many PCCs, including me, want a thorough investigation into how so much money from speeding motorists ends up in private hands.’
At the centre of the controversy is Meredydd ‘Med’ Hughes, Chief Constable of South Yorkshire from 2004 until 2011, when the sexual abuse of girls by Asian gangs in Rotherham was at its worst.
According to an unpublished review obtained by The Mail on Sunday, in December 2006 Mr Hughes suggested to the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) that a private firm should be set up to manage the fines generated by speed cameras
Road Safety Support Ltd was established three months later – with Mr Hughes as a director, alongside former traffic policeman Trevor Hall and businessman Bill Howes.
It was set up as a not-for-profit operation, as was another company the trio later established, called NDORS Ltd, after the name of the speed awareness courses: the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme.
They also set up profit-making firm RST&C Ltd offering expertise in road safety, but Mr Hughes had to stand down after he was warned it could be seen as a conflict of interest. He rejoined the firm as soon as he retired from policing in 2011.