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National Numbers Articles

‘Poo-Powered’ Bus Makes Big Splash

November 21, 2014
Posted in Car news — Written by National Numbers





The UK’s first waste-powered “Bio-Bus” will run between Bristol and Bath.

Biomethane gas farmed from human and food waste will fuel the eco-friendly vehicle.

Mohammed Saddiq, General Manager of GENeco, which runs the local sewage treatment plant where the gas is gathered, said: ‘Gas-powered vehicles have an important role to play in improving air quality in UK cities.’

‘The Bio-Bus goes further than that and is actually powered by people living in the local area, including quite possibly those on the bus itself.’

The bus will be used as a shuttle service, taking passengers from Bristol Airport to Bath City Centre.

One tank of gas takes about the yearly waste of five people and will allow the vehicle to travel up to 300km (186 miles).

‘The bus also clearly shows that human poo and our wasted food are valuable resources,’ said Chief Executive of the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association, Charlotte Morton.

‘Food which is unsuitable for human consumption should be separately collected and recycled through anaerobic digestion into green gas and biofertilisers, not wasted in landfill sites or incinerators.’

75 million cubic metres of sewage and 35,000 tonnes of food waste is treated at the Bristol sewage works every year. This could be converted in 17 million cubic metres of biomethane, which is enough to power 8,500 homes annually.


Man Arrested After Stealing £26 Steak

November 7, 2014
Posted in Car news — Written by National Numbers

A Potter’s Bar criminal will face conviction after stealing £26 worth of sirloin steak.

The hungry thief ran away with the meat as well as a can of gin and tonic from a BP Service Station.

George Curmy was also charged with a further six offences after he was caught.

The 43-year-old was found to be driving without a licence, insurance or tax when he was arrested. His vehicle also displayed illegal number plates.

He was also in possession of pirated DVDs and cannabis.

Curmy has been released on bail and is scheduled to appear at Watford Magistrates Court on the 18th of November.


Car Ringer Convicted After Selling £14k BMW

October 29, 2014
Posted in Car news,Number Plates — Written by National Numbers

The man who sold a BMW that was both stolen and fitted with false number plates has been sentenced.

Talat Ali from Rochdale plead guilty to handling stolen goods and fraud by false representation.

‘When Ali was interviewed, he eventually admitted he sold the stolen car under duress from a local gang so he could pay off a drugs debt,’ said Detective Constable Chris Nield.

‘He was clearly in way over his head with some local criminals and agreed to be the fall guy for them.’

The 34-year-old will serve 5 months and 10 months respectively for each crime. He was sentenced on October 20th at Minshull Street Crown Court.

The black BMW was Ali sold was stolen from the Cheshire area on January 29th, 2014. The unsuspecting buyer bid for the vehicle a month later on eBay but lost the bid, later texting Ali to re-negotiate.

Ali met with the victim on February 20th and sold the BMW to him for £14,000. The victim, however, called the police when he realised the vehicle’s identity had been changed.

Changing the number plates on a stolen vehicle and selling it is known as “car ringing”.


Congestion Beating “App” Trialled in Newcastle

October 27, 2014
Posted in Car news — Written by National Numbers

A ground-breaking in-car “app” that warns drivers of nearby congestion is to be trialled in Newcastle.

On-board units will guide the drivers away from congested areas, potentially speeding up journeys.

The app will also tell users were they can park and guide them through traffic lights.

In some cases it will even allow users to remotely change the traffic lights from red to green.

Newcastle will be one of seven cities in Europe taking part in the Compass 4D project, and the only city in the UK.

The project will see a one-year trial of 334 vehicles, including emergency vehicles, taxis, buses and private vehicles.

The vehicle app will communicate directly with the Urban Traffic Management Control (UTMC) centre at Newcastle University. UTMC will in turn relay information from units installed at roadside.

‘Most cars have on board computers which have the technology to communicate with roadside technology,’ said Ray King, Specialist at the UTMC based at the Stephenson Building in Newcastle University.

‘You need a mind which decides if some happens at X, what will be the affect at Y and Z and how can we deal with it.’

Information from the UTMC will warn the on-board device of congestion, accidents and even reckless drivers approaching, allowing the driver to avoid these. The result of which should be reduced traffic, faster journeys and lower overall omissions.

When approaching traffic lights the app will tell the driver what speed to travel it in order to avoid red lights, and if the driver does meet a red light the app will tell them how long it will take to turn to green.

UTMC estimates that 1.2millions cars per day are clocked by cameras in Newcastle, including 70,000 bus movements every day.


Police Target “Unfit” Drivers with Controversial Proposal

October 23, 2014
Posted in Car news,DVLA — Written by National Numbers

Police in Scotland have suggested that “unfit” drivers should have their licences taken away.

‘A lot of people killed on our roads are down to driver error or unfitness to drive. This may be down to medical issues,’ explained Chief Inspector Elaine Logue.

‘We need a new, innovative way to deal with this and we are working on this at a command level.’

The proposals would mean drivers with conditions such as diabetes and glaucoma would be asked to give up their driving licence.

Controversially many of the conditions detailed are mostly associated with the elderly.

A spokesperson for Age Concern said: ‘Caricatures of bad older drivers mean there is an ongoing debate about road safety and people in later life, but this is not reflected in road safety statistics.’

Research by the RAC found that despite making up 6% of licence-holders, drivers over 75 only account 4.3% of deaths and serious injuries, much less than that of drivers aged 16 to 20 who make up 2.5% of licence-holders.

Motorists with similar or other conditions, such as epilepsy or sleep apnoea, must already surrender their licence if doctors decide it is unsafe for them to drive.

Logue’s proposal, backed by road safety charity Brake, would include working with the NHS to identify drivers who might be deemed “unfit” for the roads.

Brake has already urged the government to bring in mandatory eye tests after a survey found 1.5 million drivers in the UK have never had their eyesight checked.

Speaking for Brake, James McLoughlin said: ‘We would urge anyone who suspects they have an impairing condition to refrain from driving and seek advice from their doctor and the DVLA.’


Mobility Scooter Users Might Be Breaking the Law

October 18, 2014
Posted in Car news — Written by National Numbers

Illegal Mobility Scooter

Elderly and disabled users of large mobility scooters may be unknowingly breaking the law, a study has found.

Scooters weighing over 113kg (class 3 mobility scooters) have to be registered with the DVLA, like you would a car or motorbike.

The report, conducted by Research Institute for Consumer Affairs (RICA) and commissioned by the Department for Transport, found that suppliers, including those associated with the NHS, often failed to inform their customers of the laws.

It is said that this could be because of unclear regulations with both police and councils being unfamiliar with the legal requirements.

‘The legislation is ambiguous and compliance and policing patch,’ the study warned.

‘Not all suppliers of class 3 mobility scooters inform buyers of their responsibility to register them with DVLA.

‘This includes NHS wheelchair services.’

Class 3 mobility scooters should be used on the road, though they are usually only capable of speeds up to 8mph.

Meanwhile the study found that around one in four of smaller mobility scooter users drive on the road despite this being illegal.

The study found that one in five of scooter users have been involved in an accident of some description and may feel safer on the road for this reason.

The most common accident detailed involved mobility scooters tipping over due to steep slopes, uneven pavements and rough ground.

There is estimated to be 350,000 people in the UK who rely on mobility scooters to get around. More than half of these are under the age of 65.


Paper Driving Licenses Will No Longer Be Issued

October 7, 2014
Posted in Car news,DVLA — Written by National Numbers

The Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency have announced plans to cease issuing paper licenses as of January 2015.

Motorists who currently hold a paper driving license can continue as normal but will receive a photocard when they next change details.

It is part of a continued effort by DLVA to abolish paper services, giving way for a digital platform in order to “deliver better services and save money for the taxpayer.”

As of October 1st the DVLA will no longer issue paper tax disc following 93 years of use.

Paper driving licenses have been in use since 1903, well before photocards came into use. They will continue to be valid up until they are changed.

“The next time you need to update your name, address or renew your licence, you will be issued with a photocard only,” a DVLA spokesperson said.

Drivers changing details on their licence (e.g. change of address) will receive their new photocard licence completely free.

Renewing your photocard licence will cost £20. Anyone over the age of 70 will need to renew their licence every three years, updating it with any medical conditions.

Motorists with an invalid licence face a fine of up to £1,000.


“Eyesore” car removed after six years

May 13, 2014
Posted in Car news — Written by National Numbers

Residents in a Berkshire cul-de-sac are celebrating after “eyesore” car is finally removed.

The rotting purple Rover has been parking in the small estate for over six years.

A campaigne to remove the vehicle was started by the residents but the vehicle could not be touched due to being parked on private land.

Slough Borough Council eventually removed the vehicle at the beginning of May following a complaint by a local estate agent.

‘One of my neighbours said to their letting agent that they are not going to sign a new lease unless [the council] remove the car’ said Tony Beauchamp, who moved into the road a few months before the car was abandoned. ‘… within 24 hours there is a 15 day removal notice on it.

‘I am pleased that it is gone but we tried the DVLA, the council, the police and civil courts and when someone said that they are going to lose some money, they get something done about it.’

An enforcement noticed telling the owner to move the car was issued on April 10th, but the condition it had been left in meant the council had to intervene, said a spokesperson of Slough Borough Council.

‘This car was a total eyesore, had been the subject of anti-social behaviour and was left in an area inconsiderate to local residents,’ said Ian Blake, part of the neighbourhood enforcement team.

‘It had been the subject of many complaints to both us and the police from people who had to look at it out their windows, manoeuvre round it and deal with the consequences of broken windows, flapping plastic coverings and mechanical disintegration.’


Court dispute leads to legal fees six times the value of the number plate

March 31, 2014


The number plate JM 2 has been returned to its owner after and a long and costly court battle.

Sir John Madejski, chairman of Reading Football Club, mounted legal fees of £300,000 to get his private registration back.

The number plate, which was originally released in December 1931, has been independently valued at £50,000.

Dispute over the cherished registration started in 2010 when Sir John Madejski sold a Jaguar XJ220 – which displayed the registration – in an auction. He insists that the registration mark was not included in his deal with the auctions, Coys of Kensington.

Car enthusiast, Malcolm Harrison, paid £130,000 at auction for the Jaguar. Malcolm and his son, Jack, claim they increased their maximum bid by £30,000 believing the registration was included.

In the eyes of the DVLA it is the registered keeper of the vehicle that has control over the attached number plate. By becoming the registered owner before the number was retained, Malcolm became the legal owner. It was at this point that Mr Harrison retained the number plate in his own name.

The case was ruled on last year when Judge Donald Hamilton of Reading County Court ruled that: ‘No reasonable buyer could have concluded that the mark was included in the sale’.

Sir John was to be paid £30,000 in damages for the value of the registration less the £20,000 Mr Harrison had spent on the vehicle’s MOT.

Harrison did appeal the decision but this was dismissed as neither the auction brochure or website suggested the JM 2 reg mark was included with the vehicle.


eBay sells one car every minute

March 5, 2014
Posted in Car news — Written by National Numbers

One car is sold per minute in the UK by Internet retailer, eBay, according to eBay Advertising.

“As consumers become more comfortable buying big ticket items online, we’ve seen our motors market continue to grow,” said Phuong Nguyen, the UK Head of eBay Advertising.

The findings show the increasing importance of online retailers in the UK, as well as the newfound significance to the automotive market.

Purchasing vehicles online is most common amongst those aged 30-34.

March has also showed as the busiest month, likely due to new car registrations being issued on March 1st – such as the current 14 number plates.

“It’s not just about being able to buy online,” Phuong Nguyen continued. “Consumers are also looking to research, browse and be inspired on their desktops, tablets and mobiles before arriving at their local dealership.”

“Smart car brands understand this and are offering customers the opportunity to engage with them at a time and place which suits them, confident that a strong digital presence will help drive sales on and offline.”

Other trends found include the purchasing for styling kits during the summer months with a part sold every 20 seconds to boy-racers pimping their ride. Tires and lighting accessories become more popular in the Winter months to prepare for the ice and snow.

Range Rover, Land Rover, Mini, BMW and Mercedes are shown to be the most popular brands search for by eBay customers.