Skip to main content


John Paul Morgan

-v- Transport for London ("the Authority")

Tuesday, 19th June, 2007 at 12.00pm

DRIVERS BEWARE.... A Penalty charge notice issued by Transport for London (Contravention code 31, Entering and stopping in a box junction when prohibited) contains two pictures which allegedly show a vehicle stopped in the box - mine. In the 12 seconds it was allegedly there, the light from its headlights could have been to the moon and back nine times - but it was afternoon and they were off.

So could this be why TfL has variously demanded fines somewhere between £50-£150?

With little memory of events, I decided to revisit the scene. This time, just to make certain, I went on foot. After a few minutes I realised that I was not the only driver being legally mugged (no other word for it really) but one of many caught by a Transport for London's 'scam-cam'.

Did you know that 95% of foreign vehicles are not pursued for a traffic offence? (The reason why many of them happily sit in a yellow junction box I suppose.)

And, contrary to why the yellow box junction was sited there in the first place, traffic has slowed?

A Transport for London (TfL) study has revealed, far from easing congestion, camera-regulated yellow boxes are reducing the flow of traffic - severely. Since their inception in 2004, 100,000 drivers have been fined £100 each. The camera box junctions were intended to reduce congestion. However, the penalty for crossing the line without a way out has made many drivers too cautious. The average number of cars passing through camera junctions every hour fell by 150, or four per cent. Cars blocking traffic fell by 23 per cent. Jeroen Weimar of TfL told the Times. "We are concerned by the results because the justification for the cameras was that they would improve traffic flow." TfL said that it would continue monitoring and attempt to improve traffic flow, removing cameras if necessary.

It remains to be seen if this has any baring on the camera-covered yellow box junction at Goldsmith's College.

Watch this space....


Popular posts from this blog

Professor Joan Ginther: Do the numbers add up?

A Texan aged 63 has won at scratch-off card games every two years since 2006. In 1993 she also won a lottery bringing her total winnings to over $20m. Which is amazingly coincidental. But what if a seemingly ordinary person somehow managed to narrow the odds and beat the system, goddamnit? An American newspaper might say slim pickin's. TheBigRetort says...

Joan Rae Ginther’s luck began in 1993, when she won $5.4 million dollars on a game known as “Lotto Texas“.

Another win thirteen years later in 2006 netted her $2m.

Curiously, every two years since that date, she has won at scratch off games, two cards having been bought at her local store.

In 1993 she won $5.4 million; the odds: 1 in 15.8 million; in 2006 she won $2 million in a scratch off game; the odds: 1 in 1,028,338; in 2008 she won $3 million in a scratch off; odds: 1 in 909,000.

Her latest win in 2010, also a scratch off, was for $10 million; odds of winning: 1 in 1,200,000.

In fact experts contend that the odds of winning four…

Linda Ann Weston shock: escaped prison first time round

Police in Philadelphia recently discovered four abused and vulnerable adults shackled together in a dank cellar where they were being held captive, with dogs for cell mates. Officers also discovered a teenage girl. Three people have been arrested. It has been widely claimed that one of the captors, Linda Ann Weston, 51, served time in prison for a similar crime. TheBigRetort… but she didn’t.

In November 1981, Bernado Ramos was reported missing by his mother.

His body was found in a closet two weeks later.

Linda Weston, 23, and Venus Weston, 21 his lover, were later charged and convicted with his captivity and murder.

Apparently Bernado had been the father of Venus’s child but refused to support it. It was his last mistake.

The Weston sisters had beat him with a broomstick and eventually starved him to death in the cupboard.

A remarkably similar modus operandi when compared with the current charges.

However, Linda Weston, now charged with abduction and enslavement in the more recen…

Harry Bensley: The Great Iron Mask Hoax

[Engraving, Copyright (c) Jim Westergard. Used with his kind permission.]
On the 1st January 1908, following a remarkable wager, a man wearing an iron mask set off on an astonishing 30,000 mile journey around the world - then disappeared. TheBigRetort... The Great Iron Mask HoaxIn previous posts I detailed the extraordinary saga of 33-year-old Harry Bensley, who accepted a bet made between an American philanthropist and an English nobleman: to push a pram around the world, with his face encased inside an iron mask, for a purse of $100,000.
Many sighting were recorded of "The Mask” at that time but then... he inexplicably vanished. TheBigRetort: where in the world did The Mask go?Almost one year after the wager made between Harry Bensley aka The Man in the Iron Mask, a publication known as “ Answers” (December 19th, 1908, pi63) received a response to this same question; it has remained buried until now.

The respondent – who remained anonymous - had a very interesting tale to tell:…