Daily Brief 3 September 2013

Last updated 20:30 BST.

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NEWS: Brits in Norway fines scam – XK150 in Istanbul – Quick fuel special: Turkey/Germany/Ukraine – Jenson P1.

roundup: Gibraltar queues – Croatia Cyrillic sign arrests – Parking jail sentence – A23 crash mishap.

See below for the latest Traffic/Travel/Weather.

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Prague. Another satnav directed trip through a major city centre tobreak up a long journey, in this case Bratislava-

Random pic, Prague. Another satnav-directed trip through a major city centre to break up a long journey, in this case Bratislava-Cologne. It is a bit superficial to just drive through, and of zero benefit to the inhabitants since we didn’t even stop for fuel or food. The total sum of our knowledge gained – apart from that green building being the National Museum – is, like virtually every other capital city, Prague is one-way on the major thoroughfares and hence easy to get around. There’s certainly no reason to be particularly concerned about driving there.

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Channel delays: P&O Dover-Calais: ‘Due to the further delays of the C/D 20h35 passengers will be accommodated on the C/D 21h45. This was due to a medical emergency earlier.’

Weather alerts: Amber alert high winds west Bulgaria.

Weather: very warm in the west; cooler in the east and north. Rain central/east.

Traffic: see @DE_Traffic from 09:00BST.

See Travel/Traffic/Weather for more.

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NEWS:

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A 1950 Jaguar XK150 Drophead Coupe outside the British Consulate-General in Istanbul today, via @LeighTurnerFCO.

A 1950 Jaguar XK150 Drophead Coupe outside the British Consulate-General in Istanbul today, via @LeighTurnerFCO. No further information supplied!

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Norway – British visitors to Norway owe over £1.2m in unpaid fines according to the national collections agency, Statens innkrevingssentral. As thelocal.no points out that’s more than the Irish, French, Italians, Spanish and Dutch combined. It’s also 50% more than the Germans.

Dig further and the picture gets even worse. According to Norway Tourism, Germans account for 20% of foreign visitors while Brits make up 7%.

While the Germans commit more offences – 1,628 to our 1,560 – conversely of course that means ours are generally more serious.

The outstanding money includes all fines, not just traffic offences. But it should also be noted that Norwegian local authorities already have agreements in place with Euro Parking Collections to track money for trivial offences back in the UK (but they don’t with their German counterparts).

What is it exactly that we get up to over there?!

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A late pic from McLaren's 50th birthday celebrations at its Woking factory yesterday. Jenson Button driving the increasingly gorgeous P1.

A late pic from McLaren’s 50th birthday celebrations at its Woking factory yesterday. Jenson Button driving the increasingly gorgeous P1.

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roundupGibraltar. Another bad day at the border. Four hour queues into Spain at 20:30 local time. Croatia. Police made several arrests in Vukovar today after yesterday’s ‘riot’ when officials tried to replace signs with bilingual translations. There have also been protests in other parts of the country. Germany. A woman involved in a car crash on the A23 in northern Germany was taken to the mortuary only for medics to later discover she was still alive. Tragically, other members of her family were killed. The woman’s 18 year old grandchild was reportedly at the wheel. Ireland. Irish Times columnist John Waters served a two hour prison sentence today after refusing to pay a €40 parking fine he considered unfair. He reportedly returned to his car a minute over the 15 minute grace period. The reaction on Twitter has not been entirely complimentary.

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A Quick Fuel Special.

Turkey – after recent hikes took Turkish petrol to among the most expensive in the world, the price has finally fallen slightly. Unleaded 95 now retails for 4.57TRY per litre, about £1.43, just down from its all-time high says Today’s Zaman.

Germany – interrupting the flow of almost non-stop good news for electric cars recently German tech giant Siemens says it will stop making public charging points. It will however continue to make domestic units. Only 4,157 EVs were sold in Germany last year says Deutsche Welle making the business unviable. At the same time, in something of a contradiction, Gazprom Germania has bought twelve natural gas filling stations in Bavaria, southern Germany, taking its national network to 23. With over 100,000 vehicles on the road (and 4,300 registered this year) low emission natural gas power is considered a viable alternative to EVs in Germany with major companies like VW investing heavily in the technology.

Ukraine – meanwhile, Azerbaijan state oil company SOCAR, already in the process of rebranding the thirty odd filling stations it recently bought from Shell in Switzerland, will nearly triple its Ukraine network to over 100 outlets by the end of the year says Interfax. SOCAR, along with Gazprom which is building a substantial network in the Balkans, is looking to expand operations in Europe.

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