Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Making it easier to tackle inconsiderate and dangerous parking

English local authorities will be able to tackle inconsiderate and dangerous parking more easily.

From June, councils which carry out parking enforcement will be able to issue Penalty Charge Notices to motorists who park at dropped kerbs or double-park, without the need for these prohibitions to be indicated with specific traffic signs or road markings. This follows consultation which showed strong support for the move.

Authorities in London have successfully used this tool for a number of years to help wheelchair users and those with prams manoeuvre on and off pavements - as well as stopping inconsiderate motorists from blocking residents' driveways. It has also helped deter motorists from blocking the road when parking.

Transport Minister Paul Clark said: "Dropped kerbs are there to help wheelchair users and those with powered mobility vehicles or prams get around easily and safely. They also allow residents to access their garages and driveways.

"The Highway Code is clear that drivers should not stop or park in such places and we believe placing of traffic signs or road markings to indicate these restrictions should not be necessary - as is the case in London. The same rules will apply to double parking - a dangerous activity that causes an unnecessary obstruction of the road, putting all road users at risk.

"While we believe signs and markings are not necessary in these circumstances, we expect local authorities who want to use these powers to do so in a fair and transparent manner and publicise their plans to do so. All other restrictions will continue to require clear signs and markings."

Monday, May 11, 2009

Thousands up for grabs for WA Inventors

Western Australia's brightest thinkers from schools, universities, business and industry are being urged to take part in the State Government's inaugural WA Inventor of the Year Award.

The Inventor of the Year Award program is administered by the Department of Industry and Resources through its Innovation Centre at Technology Park, Bentley.

Premier Alan Carpenter and Science and Innovation Minister Francis Logan launched the awards last Wednesday (29 March) at an event that attracted some of WA’s best inventors.

On display were such companies as Arbortech Industries Limited with their Airboard and Allsaw, Thumtronics with their musical instrument the Thummer, VibraQ Corporation with their Blood Platelet Agitator and even a new bicycle design from UWA Professor Boris Tarasov.

Premier Carpenter said the awards were a $2million election commitment over four years and were aimed at promoting a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship across the State's public, private and education sectors.

The awards are part of the State Government's $50million InnovateWA2 policy, which focuses on the further development of science and innovation in WA.

The four award categories are:
  • industry - open to private sector businesses;
  • research organisations - open to universities, co-operative research centres, centres of excellence and private research bodies;
  • government - open to State and local government statutory authorities, TAFE Colleges and other government entities; and
  • schools - open to primary and secondary students.
There will be close to $300,000 in total prize winnings that will help entrants in the industry, research and government categories take their innovation to the next stage.

Award winners will receive significant financial assistance and in-kind support such as access to professional services and resources appropriate to their stage of development and commercialisation.

The Inventor of the Year Award program is administered by the Department of Industry and Resources through its Innovation Centre at Technology Park, Bentley.

Monday, May 04, 2009


What is TAWS?

TAWS (Transport and Works (Scotland) ) is a new order making process which avoids the need for private Bills for transport related developments such as a new railway, a canal, tram system or any other form of guided transport system in Scotland.

TAWS and the Scottish Government

Applications for TAWS orders are made to the Scottish Ministers by (or on behalf of) the applicants of the scheme.

The Scottish Ministers are seeking proposals to come forward under the TAWS Order process that can demonstrate both a very positive benefit to the economy of Scotland and bring about improvements to the country's infrastructure. Transport is one of Scotland's most vital public services, influencing our economy, our communities, our environment, our health and our quality of life and Ministers attach significant importance to inviting new projects to come forward that will enhance the benefits of living and working in Scotland.

The Scottish Ministers also value greatly the public participation measures contained within the TAWS, which invites those who have an interest in proposals to offer their views, either of support or objection, at the earliest possible opportunity. This might come from people whose property or business is affected, or who may be concerned about the effect on the local environment. The purpose of the procedure is to ensure that Scottish Ministers come to an informed view on whether it is in the public interest to make the TAWS order.

The Scottish Ministers consider each application carefully and without bias. They make decisions only after considering all the comments made, sometimes through a public local inquiry. They can make TAWS orders (with or without amendments), or they can reject them.