VAL SHAWCROSS SLAMS LONDON BRIDGE ‘TRAVEL CHAOS’ / MOTORISTS SWAPPING PENALTY POINTS
VAL SHAWCROSS SLAMS LONDON BRIDGE ‘TRAVEL CHAOS’
VAL SHAWCROSS, London Assembly member for Lambeth and Southwark has slammed Tuesday night’s “travel chaos” at London Bridge station.
“Last night we returned to the disastrous days of chaos we experienced earlier this year” said
London Assembly Labour group’s transport spokeswoman yesterday (Wednesday).
“We were promised these scenes of total disorder were behind us, but last night’s meltdown shows serious problems remain.
“It is simply not acceptable for the government to sit idly by whilst commuters, some paying thousands of pounds each year in ticket costs, are left stranded on dangerously crowded platforms, unable to get home.
“Why is the Secretary of State not here talking to passengers, talking to staff, and putting some support in place for Network Rail and Southern Rail who are clearly struggling to cope?
“There needs to be a very frank discussion with rail bosses about why the rail service has been consistently underperforming while passengers are charged extortionate amounts for the privilege of using a poor service.
“We also need swift action from the Government to deliver the reliable rail network that was promised earlier this year and that we’ve yet to see.”
(Source: GLA Labour party press release).
MOTORISTS SWAPPING PENALTY POINTS
One in 16 motorists (six per cent) have asked a friend or relative to take penalty points for them, with a shocking one in twenty (five pc) motorists admitting to having actually paid someone to take their penalty points for them.
Of those who admit to falsely swapping penalty points, more than half have done so three times or more (59pc), suggesting that many motorists are adopting a cavalier attitude to the practise, say the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists.
The most common reason cited by motorists for asking someone to take their points is to keep a clean licence (48pc), while a quarter (25pc) admit they asked someone else to take their points because they were facing a driving ban.
New Freedom of Information data obtained by Confused.com reveals nearly three million motorists currently have penalty points on their licence, with 70,158 currently holding nine points – just three points off a potential ban. Should 12 points be accumulated by a driver then they are usually disqualified from driving altogether.
And according to additional research commissioned by the price comparison website, it’s clear that some drivers are willing to go to extreme lengths to rid themselves of the penalties and dodge a potential ban.
Although it has been nearly two years since former cabinet minister Chris Huhne and his ex-wife Vicky Pryce were sentenced to prison terms for perverting the course of justice after they lied about swapping speeding points more than one in 10 motorists (11pc) are still unaware that it is illegal to take penalty for a friend or relative.
“Nearly three quarters (72pc) of those who said they would take someone else’s points admitting that they would do so for their partner. “They would also be willing to take points for their children (37pc), parents (3pc) and siblings (2pc).”
More than a third of those who have taken points for someone else (37pc) said that they did so because the driver in question could have lost their job.
But it’s not always a self-less act say IAM. A similar number of people (36pc) said they took someone else’s points because they were paid to do so.
And it would seem that some professions are more inclined to swap points, with motorists in the hospitality industry topping the list (26pc) followed by those who work in the property (17pc) and research industries (11pc).
“Upon further analysis of the FOI data obtained, it emerges there is currently a motorist still on the road, despite having 45 points on their licence (nine for speeding offences and 36 for failing to disclose the identity of the vehicle driver)” say IAM.
“This is a result of a loophole within the current point system which states that an MS90 offence (failing to disclose the identity of the vehicle driver) is not something that a driver can be disqualified for.
“It is therefore perhaps understandable why many people may be calling the current points system in to question.”
Gemma Stanbury, head of motor insurance at Confused.com said: “Motorists should remember that the police have direct access to DVLA data where they can look at anyone’s driving record to compare photos.
“It can be easy for the police to match photos using DVLA information, and to ascertain whether the person taking points is the vehicle’s driver.”
“Incurring multiple sets of penalty points can result in motoring fines, increased insurance premiums, and even disqualification from driving, so motorists should always drive safely and responsibly when on the roads.” (Source: IAM press release.)