Petrol (Gas) stations in the UK are campaigning for a ban on drivers washing their own cars in the street and want them to pay to use garage facilities instead.

Brian Madderson of the Retail Motor Industry Federation, which represents independent petrol stations, has called on the UK Government to follow the example of parts of Germany where strict laws are in force.

These laws ban drivers from washing their cars in the street because of the damage it is believed this can do to the environment with cleaning chemicals entering the water supply.

He has also called for a ban on unregulated “pop up” hand car wash businesses, which he said were not subject to the same environmental regulations as petrol stations.

Both are seen as a threat to mechanical car washes, a lucrative sideline for forecourts across the country.

Now Mr Madderson has written to David Cameron calling on the Government to crack down on the unregulated car wash businesses.

He said he wants the Government to eventually go even further and impose restrictions on car owners washing their own cars.

“Our car washes have to be inspected by the Environment Agency and we have to have a method of catching the oil, grease and dirty water so it doesn’t go into the main drainage system.

“My members are already under threat because of falling profits they make on selling fuel and now struggling because their car wash businesses, which were a good earner, are being decimated,” he added.

He warned that many forecourts are under threat because of the competition they are facing.

“We accept that this would be a difficult policy to sell to voters, but it should be examined,” he added. “However our main concern are the mushrooming of unregulated hand car wash businesses, where environmental standards are not in force which often rely on illegal migrant labour.”

The ban on car washing in the street is in force in a number of German towns and cities, such as Dresden, where restrictions are in force to keep the sewerage system clean of the detritus generated by the activity.

Other parts of the country ban street car washing on Sundays because it is seen as disturbing a day of rest.

But the suggestion that motorists should be forced to go to Government-approved car washes, rather than having the freedom to do it themselves or use one of the pop-up businesses horrified Edmund King, the AA’s president.

“It is a ritual and a fundamental right up there with the Magna Carta,” said Edmund King, the AA’s president.

“Some 63 per cent of our members wash their cars in the street and enjoy doing so. We would take a very strong view if it was banned. Many others go to ‘pop up ‘ car washes who do first class job in many cases better than a machine. With record fuel prices and chorus of complaints at the fuel price differences between towns, it doesn’t exactly win the hearts and minds of drivers when the petrol retailers tell them they can’t wash their cars in the street.”


Tagged with:

102-year-old Margaret Dunning brought her 1930 Packard 740 Roadster to an Ohio car show. She told fans that she still changes her own oil and spark plugs.

Margaret Dunning of Plymouth, Mich., said at the 18th annual Glenmoor Gathering of Significant Automobiles at Glenmoor Country Club in Canton the car was in rough shape when she bought it in 1949 but it has since been restored with four upholstery jobs and 22 coats of hand-rubbed lacquer, the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal reported Monday.

Dunning said she still often finds herself crawling under the car, which was the first vehicle to ever receive a 100-point score by the Classic Car Club of America, with a funnel and an oil pan.

“I love the old cars,” she said. “I love the smell of gasoline. It runs in my veins.”

“The lines of a Packard car are very artistic as far as I’m concerned. My family drove Packards, and I was very proud of the fact. I guess I got indoctrinated,” she said.

Dunning, who has been driving since she was 8 years old and was about 20 when her Packard rolled off the assembly line, said motoring in her everyday car, a 2003 Cadillac, sometimes gets her in trouble for speeding.

“I have lead in my feet,” she quipped. “It disturbs the policemen very badly, but it doesn’t bother me at all.”


Tagged with:

An Ottawa man says he was rescued by passersby after he drove into a deep highway sinkhole he mistook for a black tarp.

Juan Unger, 48, was driving home Tuesday afternoon in his Hyundai Accent and exited a highway at 25 mph, the Ottawa Sun reported.

Ahead on the ramp, Unger said he saw something black and assumed it was a tarpauli, rug or fresh tar.

“I see ahead on the road this black patch that actually looked like fresh pavement, … as I approached I thought ‘Well I don’t know if they’re building anything here,’” said Mr Unger.

He told the Sun he had cars on both sides of him and couldn’t swerve.

Although he slowed down, it was too late and the car plunged nose-first into the sinkhole, leaving only the tip of the rear bumper visible.

“I hear ‘Bam! Bam! Bam!’ like big loud noises and shaking, my immediate thought was I hope I don’t get killed or crushed or horribly injured,” he said.

“The car went vertical … I was hanging from the seat belt.”

Unger told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. he decided to climb out of the car with the fear of being run over or falling even further down.

Other drivers who had stopped helped hoist him out of the hole, the CBC said.

Unger suffered only scrapes, the reports said.

Maintenance workers told the CBC a rotting 12-foot sewer pipe had caused the sinkhole.

“Given what I saw and what I went through, I’m just lucky to be alive,” Unger said. “I hope it doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

Read more:

YouTube Preview Image

Tagged with:

An unfortunate driver and his passengers in Australia found themselves whitewashed when a 25-litre bucket of paint which had been resting on the backseat of their car caused a bit of a mess following a minor shunt in a car park.

Chifley LAC (Local Area Commands) police in New South Wales posted this photo on its Facebook page with a safety reminder to always put paint, or any other not secure items, in the boot and not on the back seat.

Tagged with:

Brandon Tudor of Oswego, Illinois, is hoping for a little manna from heaven after a bird decided to drop an unexpected gift onto the windscreen of his car.

Tudor, 29, says he was driving along on Wednesday afternoon with his girlfriend and daughters when the free-falling waste splattered onto the windscreen of his 1996 Cadillac Seville.

He immediately saw the resemblance to the singer. It was a likeness that became more obvious “after it hardened.”

“Everybody loves it,” he says. “There’s not one person who’s seen it that doesn’t agree it looks like Michael Jackson.”

And now he’s trying to sell the image, complete with windscreen, on eBay.

“One of two things will happen,” predicted father of three, Tudor. “It will go for an astronomical amount or I’ll get nothing.”

The starting bid, a minimum requirement for eBay, is $500.

For now, Tudor has his treasure covered in plastic to prevent it from washing away.

And for additional protection, against rain or ruthless art thieves, his car is parked in the garage.

Tagged with:

New photos released by the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office in Idaho show a sinkhole in the middle of a country road that killed a woman in mid-July. The sinkhole has been blamed on gophers.

Officials at the time said that 32-year-old Sonia Lopez was killed when her car crashed into the 15-foot-wide and 40-foot-long sinkhole on Butte Road near Melba on July 14 at about 4 a.m.

Nampa Highway District Director Casey Bequeath says irrigation water from a nearby field running through gopher tunnels likely weakened the ground beneath the street.

Bequeath says it is difficult to detect such problems ahead of time and that transportation officials had no idea the road was going to collapse.

The crash was not made public until days after it occurred, and the sinkhole had been repaired.

Source and more photo’s HERE

Tagged with: