Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Noel's Red-Tape Wrangle; Noel Edmonds Says His Tiny QPOD Cars Could Help Unclog London's Traffic. but TfL Won't Play Ball

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Noel's Red-Tape Wrangle; Noel Edmonds Says His Tiny QPOD Cars Could Help Unclog London's Traffic. but TfL Won't Play Ball

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID WILLIAMS

IT'S tiny, it's fun, it's environmentally friendly - and it's Noel Edmonds's latest venture. A cross between a motorbike, a motorised shopping trolley and a farm buggy, the cheekily styled QPOD is being hailed as the ideal second car for congestion-bound Londoners.

It has a super-tight turning circle, nippy performance and all-weather protection.

You could squeeze two into a standard London parking bay and have room left over for a motorbike. Easing one into your front garden would be child's play - you could probably scramble it over the wall. Heck, you even get windscreen wipers, which isn't bad for [pounds sterling]3,145.

Noel might be needing them soon, because there's a big, dark cloud over Blobbyland. The TV and radio presenter isn't happy, and Ken Livingstone seems to be the cause.

Edmonds, whose Unique Motor Company firm imports the vehicle to his estate in Honiton, Devon, believes the QPOD is the perfect answer to the capital's congestion problem and that if only more of us considered similar "alternative" approaches to getting about, there'd be a lot fewer jams.

But Transport for London doesn't see things that way. It's refusing to make the knobbly-tyred vehicle exempt from the daily [pounds sterling]8 congestion charge.

The organisation - known for its rigid interpretation of the rules - says the tiny vehicle does not meet the regulations for exemption.

Edmonds is apoplectic. "We've been talking to TfL for ages about this," he told the Standard. "But we just don't seem to be able to get through the bureaucracy. If TfL cares about the reality of congestion, there is a clear case for QPOD, which takes up roughly one fifth of the space of a conventional family car and is far safer than mopeds and motorbikes."

Mr Edmonds has engaged in a whirlwind letter-writing campaign and is now turning up the pressure by urging Mr Livingstone to amend the regulations "not just for our benefit but to encourage other manufacturers to produce small, fuel-efficient and safe vehicles".

Powered by a 340cc engine, the rear-wheel-drive machine has a top speed of more than 30mph and will do over 60mpg; ideal with fuel nudging [pounds sterling]1 a litre. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.