Cambridge University college that produced ‘reputation-laundering paper for Huawei’ banked £155,000


Cambridge University college that produced ‘reputation-laundering paper for Huawei’ banked £200,000 from the Chinese state and £155,000 from the telecoms giant

  • In February, Jesus College published ‘white paper’ which described Huawei favourably and also spoke of need to accept differing standards in countries 
  • Huawei was accused of ‘reputation laundering’ for bankrolling the research
  • It was today revealed that Jesus accepted £155,000 from the telecoms giant
  • In addition, the college raked in £200,000 from officials in Beijing in 2018  

A Cambridge University college that produced a paper accused of ‘reputation laundering’ for Huawei received £200,000 from the Chinese state and £155,000 from the telecoms giant.

In February, Jesus College published a ‘white paper’ on global communications reforms which caused a stir for its favourable portrayal of Huawei following a previously undisclosed contribution.

The paper by the college’s UK-China Global Issues Dialogue Centre also said that ‘transnational governance’ of the technology industry ‘needs to consider differences in the normative standards accepted by different countries.’

Under a freedom of information request submitted by The Times, Jesus confirmed that it received £155,000 from Huawei last September to ‘cover a two-year research co-operation.’

Huawei’s alleged reputation laundering appears today to be money down the drain after intelligence chiefs warned the government that the company’s 5G infrastructure in the UK could enable spying by Beijing.

Professor Peter Nolan, 71, director of the China Centre and a fellow at Jesus, meets with Chairman Xiao Yaqingm, head of Beijing’s State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, in Beijing in September 2018

The FOI request by The Times also revealed that in September 2018, the month the college’s UK-China Global Issues Dialogue Centre was created, it banked £200,000 from an agency of China’s State Council, the country’s administrative authority.

A different group, the China Centre, is also affiliated with Jesus and every year it provides a two-week training course for execs from Chinese state-owned companies.

China’s own officials select and supervise who is dispatched to Cambridge for the training.

The Times reported that the charitable trust which oversees the China Centre was sent £55,000 in November 2018 from a group linked to China’s State Council.

Professor Peter Nolan, 71, is one of the charity’s trustees, director of the China Centre and a fellow at Jesus.

He became the first ever ‘Chong Hua’ professor at Cambridge, a role founded in 2012 ‘to further the study of China.’

The professorship was backed by a £3.7 million donation made by the daughter of former Chinese prime minister Wen Jiabao, according to The Times.   

Jesus College told the paper it ‘always upholds the principle of academic freedom when entering a partnership agreement.

‘It was made very clear [in February] that the report was funded by Huawei, and we would like to reiterate that the company was in no way able to shape or veto the publication’s views, research findings or conclusions.’

A Huawei spokesman said: ‘We are proud of our partnerships with world-leading universities and researchers here in the UK.’

Prof. Nolan did not comment.

Cambridge University college that produced ‘reputation-laundering paper for Huawei’ banked £155,000


Cambridge University college that produced ‘reputation-laundering paper for Huawei’ banked £200,000 from the Chinese state and £155,000 from the telecoms giant

  • In February, Jesus College published ‘white paper’ which described Huawei favourably and also spoke of need to accept differing standards in countries 
  • Huawei was accused of ‘reputation laundering’ for bankrolling the research
  • It was today revealed that Jesus accepted £155,000 from the telecoms giant
  • In addition, the college raked in £200,000 from officials in Beijing in 2018  

A Cambridge University college that produced a paper accused of ‘reputation laundering’ for Huawei received £200,000 from the Chinese state and £155,000 from the telecoms giant.

In February, Jesus College published a ‘white paper’ on global communications reforms which caused a stir for its favourable portrayal of Huawei following a previously undisclosed contribution.

The paper by the college’s UK-China Global Issues Dialogue Centre also said that ‘transnational governance’ of the technology industry ‘needs to consider differences in the normative standards accepted by different countries.’

Under a freedom of information request submitted by The Times, Jesus confirmed that it received £155,000 from Huawei last September to ‘cover a two-year research co-operation.’

Huawei’s alleged reputation laundering appears today to be money down the drain after intelligence chiefs warned the government that the company’s 5G infrastructure in the UK could enable spying by Beijing.

Professor Peter Nolan, 71, director of the China Centre and a fellow at Jesus, meets with Chairman Xiao Yaqingm, head of Beijing’s State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, in Beijing in September 2018

The FOI request by The Times also revealed that in September 2018, the month the college’s UK-China Global Issues Dialogue Centre was created, it banked £200,000 from an agency of China’s State Council, the country’s administrative authority.

A different group, the China Centre, is also affiliated with Jesus and every year it provides a two-week training course for execs from Chinese state-owned companies.

China’s own officials select and supervise who is dispatched to Cambridge for the training.

The Times reported that the charitable trust which oversees the China Centre was sent £55,000 in November 2018 from a group linked to China’s State Council.

Professor Peter Nolan, 71, is one of the charity’s trustees, director of the China Centre and a fellow at Jesus.

He became the first ever ‘Chong Hua’ professor at Cambridge, a role founded in 2012 ‘to further the study of China.’

The professorship was backed by a £3.7 million donation made by the daughter of former Chinese prime minister Wen Jiabao, according to The Times.   

Jesus College told the paper it ‘always upholds the principle of academic freedom when entering a partnership agreement.

‘It was made very clear [in February] that the report was funded by Huawei, and we would like to reiterate that the company was in no way able to shape or veto the publication’s views, research findings or conclusions.’

A Huawei spokesman said: ‘We are proud of our partnerships with world-leading universities and researchers here in the UK.’

Prof. Nolan did not comment.

Colorblind man breaks down in tears as he sees colors for the first time


Severely colorblind man, 44, breaks down in tears as he sees a rainbow of vivid colors for the very first time while wearing special $350 glasses given to him by his sons for Father’s Day

  • Dan Brogger, from Stockton, California, has lived with colorblindness for his whole life
  • On Father’s Day, his three sons, Peter, 17, Ben, 16, and Sam, 14, presented him with a pair of special glasses that allow colorblind people to see color 
  • The glasses are available from a few brands, but the most popular are EnChroma
  • In an emotional video captured by his wife Adrianna, Dan is seen breaking down as he points to colorful balloons and identifies their shades 
  • He then moves over to flowers and points out all of the different colors 
  • ‘It was incredibly emotional for all of us to watch Dan experience color for the first time,’ Adrianna said of the heartwarming moment  

FOOTAGE captures the emotional moment a dad sees color for the first time in his life.

Dan Brogger, 44, from Stockton, California, had his world changed as he put on the pair of special EnChroma glasses gifted to him by his three sons Peter, 17, Ben, 16, and Sam, 14, for Father’s Day. 

The glasses which cost $350 allow people like Dan who are colorblind to be able to see colors vividly – with the specs giving many of those people the chance to actually view colors for the very first time. 

New day, new dawn: Colorblind father Dan Brogger broke down in tears as he saw in color for the first time thanks to a pair of special glasses

New day, new dawn: Colorblind father Dan Brogger broke down in tears as he saw in color for the first time thanks to a pair of special glasses 

Red and yellow and green and blue: The California dad couldn't hold back his emotion as he pointed to different balloons and identified their colors

Red and yellow and green and blue: The California dad couldn’t hold back his emotion as he pointed to different balloons and identified their colors 

Before trying the glasses, Dan had never been able to see or identify colors before – but remarkably in the video, he is suddenly able to list off the shades of every balloon in front of him, as well as see the beautiful flowers in his garden.  

Overwhelmed with emotion at seeing such incredible colors, Dan couldn’t help but shed a few tears of joy in the process.  

‘Are you crying?’ his wife Adrianna asks as Dan reels off all the different colors of the balloons she was holding up – prompting him to insist, ‘no’, while wiping away tears. 

‘Oh Dan I love you, isn’t that so cool?’ Adrianna then says. 

Speaking through his tears, Dan continues to identify all the different colors around him, pointing to balloons and then flowers as he tearfully points out every different shade around him. 

‘I guess I never knew I lived with such severe colorblindness until now,’ he then remarks. 

Speaking about the unique experience, Adrianna admitted it was an emotional moment for the whole family.

Shock: 'I guess I never knew I lived with such severe colorblindness until now,' he remarks in the video, after looking at some vibrant flowers in his yard

Shock: 'I guess I never knew I lived with such severe colorblindness until now,' he remarks in the video, after looking at some vibrant flowers in his yard

Shock: ‘I guess I never knew I lived with such severe colorblindness until now,’ he remarks in the video, after looking at some vibrant flowers in his yard

Emotional: In the video, which was recorded by his wife Adrianna, she is seen holding up balloons for her husband to look at while wearing the special $350 glasses

Emotional: In the video, which was recorded by his wife Adrianna, she is seen holding up balloons for her husband to look at while wearing the special $350 glasses 

Family: The glasses were a Father's Day gift from his three sons, Peter, 17, Ben, 16, and Sam, 14

Family: The glasses were a Father’s Day gift from his three sons, Peter, 17, Ben, 16, and Sam, 14

‘It was incredibly emotional for all of us to watch Dan experience color for the first time,’ she said.

‘Dan has been in his backyard countless times before and had planted some of the flowers that we see in the video, but to see him actually see the colors for the first time as the rest of us see them, was amazing.

‘The gift was intended for Dan but the rest of us also got a gift that day. We all felt incredibly grateful and humbled.’

And the novelty of color certainly hasn’t worn off for Dan, who has worn the glasses every day since he received them.

‘Since the video was taken Dan has discovered so much more. His normal everyday drive to work was a whole new experience with the colorblind corrective glasses on,’ added Adrianna.

‘With so much chaos going in the world right now this gift was a reminder to slow down and be grateful for the things that we do have.’

Colorblind man breaks down in tears as he sees colors for the first time


Severely colorblind man, 44, breaks down in tears as he sees a rainbow of vivid colors for the very first time while wearing special $350 glasses given to him by his sons for Father’s Day

  • Dan Brogger, from Stockton, California, has lived with colorblindness for his whole life
  • On Father’s Day, his three sons, Peter, 17, Ben, 16, and Sam, 14, presented him with a pair of special glasses that allow colorblind people to see color 
  • The glasses are available from a few brands, but the most popular are EnChroma
  • In an emotional video captured by his wife Adrianna, Dan is seen breaking down as he points to colorful balloons and identifies their shades 
  • He then moves over to flowers and points out all of the different colors 
  • ‘It was incredibly emotional for all of us to watch Dan experience color for the first time,’ Adrianna said of the heartwarming moment  

FOOTAGE captures the emotional moment a dad sees color for the first time in his life.

Dan Brogger, 44, from Stockton, California, had his world changed as he put on the pair of special EnChroma glasses gifted to him by his three sons Peter, 17, Ben, 16, and Sam, 14, for Father’s Day. 

The glasses which cost $350 allow people like Dan who are colorblind to be able to see colors vividly – with the specs giving many of those people the chance to actually view colors for the very first time. 

New day, new dawn: Colorblind father Dan Brogger broke down in tears as he saw in color for the first time thanks to a pair of special glasses

New day, new dawn: Colorblind father Dan Brogger broke down in tears as he saw in color for the first time thanks to a pair of special glasses 

Red and yellow and green and blue: The California dad couldn't hold back his emotion as he pointed to different balloons and identified their colors

Red and yellow and green and blue: The California dad couldn’t hold back his emotion as he pointed to different balloons and identified their colors 

Before trying the glasses, Dan had never been able to see or identify colors before – but remarkably in the video, he is suddenly able to list off the shades of every balloon in front of him, as well as see the beautiful flowers in his garden.  

Overwhelmed with emotion at seeing such incredible colors, Dan couldn’t help but shed a few tears of joy in the process.  

‘Are you crying?’ his wife Adrianna asks as Dan reels off all the different colors of the balloons she was holding up – prompting him to insist, ‘no’, while wiping away tears. 

‘Oh Dan I love you, isn’t that so cool?’ Adrianna then says. 

Speaking through his tears, Dan continues to identify all the different colors around him, pointing to balloons and then flowers as he tearfully points out every different shade around him. 

‘I guess I never knew I lived with such severe colorblindness until now,’ he then remarks. 

Speaking about the unique experience, Adrianna admitted it was an emotional moment for the whole family.

Shock: 'I guess I never knew I lived with such severe colorblindness until now,' he remarks in the video, after looking at some vibrant flowers in his yard

Shock: 'I guess I never knew I lived with such severe colorblindness until now,' he remarks in the video, after looking at some vibrant flowers in his yard

Shock: ‘I guess I never knew I lived with such severe colorblindness until now,’ he remarks in the video, after looking at some vibrant flowers in his yard

Emotional: In the video, which was recorded by his wife Adrianna, she is seen holding up balloons for her husband to look at while wearing the special $350 glasses

Emotional: In the video, which was recorded by his wife Adrianna, she is seen holding up balloons for her husband to look at while wearing the special $350 glasses 

Family: The glasses were a Father's Day gift from his three sons, Peter, 17, Ben, 16, and Sam, 14

Family: The glasses were a Father’s Day gift from his three sons, Peter, 17, Ben, 16, and Sam, 14

‘It was incredibly emotional for all of us to watch Dan experience color for the first time,’ she said.

‘Dan has been in his backyard countless times before and had planted some of the flowers that we see in the video, but to see him actually see the colors for the first time as the rest of us see them, was amazing.

‘The gift was intended for Dan but the rest of us also got a gift that day. We all felt incredibly grateful and humbled.’

And the novelty of color certainly hasn’t worn off for Dan, who has worn the glasses every day since he received them.

‘Since the video was taken Dan has discovered so much more. His normal everyday drive to work was a whole new experience with the colorblind corrective glasses on,’ added Adrianna.

‘With so much chaos going in the world right now this gift was a reminder to slow down and be grateful for the things that we do have.’

What happened to the host of A*mazing and Saturday Disney, James Sherry?


What happened to the host of A*mazing and Saturday Disney? James Sherry, 52, reveals his VERY surprising career change and why he’s eager to make a TV comeback

James Sherry is known for hosting the popular children’s TV shows, A*mazing and Saturday Disney, back in the nineties. 

And after stepping away from the spotlight for a few years, the 52-year-old recently resurfaced and revealed exactly what he’s up to now. 

James had a surprising career change and now works as a content producer and announcer for Cricket Australia and works on the big screens for the AFL, but has previously shared that he would be keen for a TV comeback. 

What happened to the host of A*mazing and Saturday Disney? James Sherry, 52, reveals his VERY surprising career change and why he's eager to make a TV comeback (pictured now)

What happened to the host of A*mazing and Saturday Disney? James Sherry, 52, reveals his VERY surprising career change and why he’s eager to make a TV comeback (pictured then and now)

James spoke to Vice in 2016 and said that he ‘feels old’ looking back at his time hosting the games show A*mazing from 1990 to 1994, but described it as his ‘dream job’. 

He said he still gets fans coming up to him and gushing about the show.   

‘What I miss most is working with young people, I just always felt inspired by their energy and enthusiasm,’ James told the publication about his time on the hit show. 

New gig: James had a surprising career change and now works as a content producer and announcer for Cricket Australia and works on the big screens for the AFL

New gig: James had a surprising career change and now works as a content producer and announcer for Cricket Australia and works on the big screens for the AFL

He also hinted that he’d be open for a return to TV and started the ‘Bring Back A*mazing’ Facebook page in 2013 to see if it would take off. 

‘We threw the line and there was a little nibble from Nintendo, but that was about it,’ James said. 

He added: ‘You know, sometimes all you can do is try.’  

James hosted Saturday Disney from 1990 to 1994 and went on to present A*mazing from 1994 to 1998.

Remember that?! James spoke to Vice in 2016 and said that he 'feels old' looking back at his time hosting the games show A*mazing from 1990 to 1994, but described it as his 'dream job'

Remember that?! James spoke to Vice in 2016 and said that he ‘feels old’ looking back at his time hosting the games show A*mazing from 1990 to 1994, but described it as his ‘dream job’

Making a comeback? He also hinted that he'd be open for a return to TV and started the 'Bring Back A*mazing' Facebook page in 2013 to see if it would take off

Making a comeback? He also hinted that he’d be open for a return to TV and started the ‘Bring Back A*mazing’ Facebook page in 2013 to see if it would take off

James has also dabbled in acting and has appeared on shows including Blue Heelers and McLeod’s Daughters. 

It comes after Daily Mail Australia revealed what happened to the ‘don’t chop the dinosaur, daddy’ girl from the 2005 Natural Confectionery ad. 

The young actress who appeared in the famous lolly ad has stepped away from the spotlight and now follows a more spiritual path.

Familiar face: James hosted Saturday Disney from 1990 to 1994 and went on to present A*mazing from 1994 to 1998. James has also dabbled in acting and has appeared on shows including Blue Heelers and McLeod's Daughters

Familiar face: James hosted Saturday Disney from 1990 to 1994 and went on to present A*mazing from 1994 to 1998. James has also dabbled in acting and has appeared on shows including Blue Heelers and McLeod’s Daughters

Remember her? It comes after Daily Mail Australia revealed what happened to the 'don't chop the dinosaur, daddy' girl from the 2005 Natural Confectionery ad (pictured)

Remember her? It comes after Daily Mail Australia revealed what happened to the 'don't chop the dinosaur, daddy' girl from the 2005 Natural Confectionery ad (pictured recently)

Remember her? It comes after Daily Mail Australia revealed what happened to the ‘don’t chop the dinosaur, daddy’ girl from the 2005 Natural Confectionery ad (pictured then and now)

Joanna Hunt-Prokhovnik, 24, from Melbourne, turned her back on fame to study integral energetics, a type of holistic therapy that reduces stress.

In the advertisement, Joanna tells her on-screen father not to cut up a dinosaur lolly, saying: ‘Don’t chop the dinosaur, daddy!’

But she soon has a change of heart and tells him: ‘Chop it!’ 

Joanna was just 10 years old when she starred in the advert, according to her IMDb profile, and went on to appear in several films including 2005’s Three Dollars.

Iconic! In the advertisement, Joanna tells her on-screen father not to cut up a dinosaur lolly, saying: 'Don't chop the dinosaur, daddy!'

Iconic! In the advertisement, Joanna tells her on-screen father not to cut up a dinosaur lolly, saying: ‘Don’t chop the dinosaur, daddy!’

Licence fee chaos as paying system is already unable to meet demand due to coronavirus staff cuts


The BBC’s plan to scrap free TV licences for the over-75s has been launched into chaos as the system used by 4.5million pensioners to pay their levy before August 1 is already unable to meet demand due to coronavirus staff cuts.  

The corporation announced this morning that more than three million households face paying the £157.50 fee next month after controversial plans to end free licences for pensioners over the age threshold were given the green light.

Pensioners will receive letters to advise them of the decision and the next step they need to take, namely phoning the TV Licensing call centre.

But a message on its website earlier said they are ‘prioritising customers in most urgent needs’ due to reduced staffing levels, adding this could lead to them being ‘unable to answer all your calls’ and a delay in responding to emails and letters.

The message now reads: ‘Covid-19 and your emails: Our team are working hard to respond to a large backlog of emails. There may be a long delay in responding to you.’

The move has sparked criticism, including from the Prime Minister, whose official spokesperson said today: ‘This is the wrong decision. We recognise the value of free TV licences for over-75s and believe that they should be funded by the BBC.’ 

The free TV licence for over-75s will be means-tested from August 1, meaning more than three million households will be asked to start paying the £157.50 fee

The BBC, based at Portland Place, London, made the announcement today but has faced a fierce backlash

The BBC, based at Portland Place, London, made the announcement today but has faced a fierce backlash

A spokesman for Boris Johnson today described the announcement as 'the wrong decision'

A spokesman for Boris Johnson today described the announcement as ‘the wrong decision’

What over-75s will need to do to secure a TV licence from August 1

I’ve not paid the TV licence before, how much is it?

A TV Licence costs £157.50 (£53 for black and white TV sets) for a year.

Do I need to act now?

TV Licensing said it will write directly to over-75s customers with guidance ‘highlighting that no-one will need to take immediate action’.

No-one will be expected to pay for a new licence until they have been contacted by letter from TV Licensing, it says.

People ‘will be given plenty of time to set up their new licence’, they say.

Will I need to leave my home to sort out my free TV licence or pay for one?

TV Licensing says that no-one will need to leave their home, to claim a free TV Licence or to pay for one.

How do I start paying for my TV licence?

Information on payment options will be sent next month.

They will include the launch of the 75+ Plan, that will allow over 75s switching from a free licence to a licence they pay for, to spread the cost in weekly, fortnightly or monthly payments.

How else do you pay?

People will have the option to able to pay in one go by cheque, debit/credit card or annual direct debit, set up a monthly direct debit or pay through the 75+ Plan which allows them to make smaller more regular payments including weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

What if I am not online?

Customers who would prefer not to pay online will have the option to use a different method including mailing a cheque, paying by card on the phone or by cash/card at their nearest PayPoint.

How do I claim a free TV licence?

Pensioners must be in receipt of Pension Credit to apply for a free licence.

Information on how to claim will be sent to customers from next month.

TV Licensing says it is operating a ‘self-verification system’ for people to ‘simply’ demonstrate that they receive Pension Credit.

Pension Credit can be in the name of the licence holder, or in their partner’s name if they are a couple and TV Licensing say it is writing to all over 75s to explain how they can demonstrate they receive the benefit.

It says 450,000 have already applied for a free licence under this scheme.

How many people will be eligible for a free TV licence?

The BBC says around 1.5 million households with residents aged over 75 will be eligible for a free TV Licence funded by the BBC if they receive Pension Credit.

What if I need extra support?

TV Licensing says it has increased the size of its customer call centre and launched a free telephone information line with recorded information on the new policy and advice to customers (0800 232 1382).

Information and frequently asked questions can also be found on the TV Licensing website, tvlicensing.co.uk/age.

TV Licensing says it worked with the Alzheimer’s Society and other groups working with older people to ensure that needs of vulnerable older people have been taken into consideration. 

Asked if the government would intervene, the PM’s spokesperson added: ‘It is the BBC which is responsible for the administration of the over-75s concession but we are clear that this is the wrong decision and that we believe the value of free TV licences for over-75s should be funded by the BBC.’ 

Speaking on systems being unable to meet demand, Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee chairman Julian Knight told The Daily Telegraph: ‘This is very concerning indeed and I am not convinced that they are ready for this.’

He added: ‘It will be an own goal of epic proportions to start hauling people over 75 in front of the courts. There needs to be common sense here.’

Culture minister Matt Warman also challenged the corporation in the Commons today, arguing it has had ‘a generous licence fee settlement’, that it was ‘deeply disappointing’ to see the change being made, and adding: ‘I would hope that there is yet time to reconsider.’

However leading age charities and Labour’s shadow culture secretary have rounded on the Government, accusing ministers of ‘passing the buck’ and calling a refusal to fund the service a ‘betrayal’.

The free TV licence was introduced in 2000, but the BBC took on responsibility for funding the scheme as part of the charter agreement hammered out with the Government in 2015.  

Corporation bosses argue it was the Government which took the decision to stop funding for free licences five years ago and that Parliament – through legislation – gave the responsibility to the BBC Board to make the decision on the future of the concession.  

Britain’s elderly population has seen free access to live television and the BBC iPlayer service as an invaluable lifeline during lockdown but many are now facing another bill to deal with. 

An estimated 1.5 million households could still be exempt from paying to watch live television or use the BBC iPlayer service, however, if someone over the age of 75 receives pension credits.

Age UK, which inspired more than 630,000 people to sign a petition against the proposals when they were first announced last year, described the announcement as ‘a kick in the teeth for millions of over 75s who have had a torrid time during this crisis’. 

The change was originally due to be made on June 1, but the move was put on hold back in March, with bosses claiming the coronavirus pandemic had created ‘exceptional circumstances’ and that ‘now is not the right time’. 

Delaying the move has cost the corporation some £35million a month, and, with an ageing population, the total cost to the BBC could have reached £1bn a year, bosses insist.   

There have previously been warnings that allowing the licence to continue being free for all over 75 would lead to ‘unprecedented closures’ of services.   

The broadcaster, which faces increased competition from streaming giants, has said it cannot afford to take on the financial burden from the Government.

Continuing with the Government scheme would have cost the corporation £745 million, the BBC said, meaning the closures of BBC Two, BBC Four, the BBC News Channel, the BBC Scotland channel, Radio 5 Live, and a number of local radio stations, as well as other cuts and reductions.

But the move provoked a swathe of criticism, with the likes of Dame Helen Mirren calling the end of the universal entitlement ‘heartbreaking’, and former prime minister Gordon Brown saying ‘costs should be covered by the Government’.

The decision comes as the Government is set to announce its response to a consultation on decriminalising licence fee evasion.

The Government launched an eight-week consultation in February which received more than 100,00 responses.

A report in May suggested that hundreds of people had opted to cancel their TV licence each day over the past five months.

Meanwhile, the broadcaster has launched a programme of voluntary redundancy as it attempts to make £125 million in savings this year – on top of the previous £800 million savings target – due to the pandemic.

It has also announced job cuts in TV news and local radio in England and said it was axing more than 150 roles in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It also plans to cut around 450 jobs in BBC News, to take place at a later date.  

The broadcaster said safety would be at the ‘heart’ of the scheme’, as ‘no-one needs to take any immediate action, or leave their home, to claim for a free TV licence or pay for one’.

BBC Chairman, Sir David Clementi, said: ‘The decision to commence the new scheme in August has not been easy, but implementation of the new scheme will be Covid-19 safe. 

‘The BBC could not continue delaying the scheme without impacting on programmes and services.

‘Around 1.5 million households could get free TV licences if someone is over 75 and receives Pension Credit, and 450,000 of them have already applied.  

The proposals sparked outrage when they were announced last year, with more than 630,000 people signing a petition set up by the charity Age UK, calling for action to be taken

The proposals sparked outrage when they were announced last year, with more than 630,000 people signing a petition set up by the charity Age UK, calling for action to be taken

The move provoked a swathe of criticism, with the likes of Dame Helen Mirren calling the end of the universal entitlement 'heartbreaking'

The move provoked a swathe of criticism, with the likes of Dame Helen Mirren calling the end of the universal entitlement ‘heartbreaking’

Culture minister Matt Warman, pictured in the House of Commons, said the move was 'deeply frustrating'

Culture minister Matt Warman, pictured in the House of Commons, said the move was ‘deeply frustrating’

The government has provided free TV licences for the over-75s since 2000, but responsibility for the provision now rests with the BBC.

The government has provided free TV licences for the over-75s since 2000, but responsibility for the provision now rests with the BBC.

A look at the history of the TV licence

In the 1920s, the Government took the decision not to allow the fledgling BBC to fund itself using commercial advertising and instead required people to buy a licence in order to receive their broadcasts.

The first wireless licence was issued in November 1923 for 10 shillings (50p), and by the end of that year 200,000 had been issued.

The number of active licences continued to rise dramatically, with 2.5 million issued in 1928.

The first combined radio and television licence was issued in 1946 for £2.

A supplementary licence for colour TVs was introduced in 1968.

Black and white TV licences still remain available, and as of the end of September 2019, 6,586 were being used.

In 1971, radio-only licences were abolished, along with the requirement to have a licence for car radios.

The BBC was made responsible for administration of the licence fee as a result of the Broadcasting Act 1990, and the corporation now sub-contracts the work.

In 2015, the Government and BBC reached a settlement which meant the broadcaster had to find savings of £800 million by 2021/22.

It also saw the corporation commit to taking on responsibility for the funding of free licences for the over-75s.

The corporation subsequently announced that the free licence benefit would be restricted to those in the age bracket who claim pension credit, because the financial burden of providing it to all those eligible was too great.

The policy change was due to being in June, but was delayed because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, with many over-75s forced to stay at home and shield.

Anyone who watches or records programmes on a TV, computer or other device must buy a TV licence – along with those who watch or downloads shows on BBC iPlayer.

There were 25,752,560 TV licences in force in the UK in 2018/19, according to TV Licensing, a decrease on the 25,836,495 in 2017/2018.

In April, a Government consultation on decriminalising licence fee evasion closed after receiving more than 100,000 responses.

‘And critically it is not the BBC making that judgement about poverty. It is the Government who sets and controls that measure.

‘Like most organisations the BBC is under severe financial pressure due to the pandemic, yet we have continued to put the public first in all our decisions. 

‘I believe continuing to fund some free TV licences is the fairest decision for the public, as we will be supporting the poorest oldest pensioners without impacting the programmes and services that all audiences love.’

Mr Knight described the decision as a ‘body blow to millions of British pensioners’, saying he had hoped the Government and the BBC would thrash out ‘a fresh deal’.

The Conservative MP said: ‘This mess is a result of a poor decision struck by the outgoing director-general and now Britain’s pensioners are having to pick up the cost.’

Fellow Tory Andrew Rosindell, MP for Romford, tweeted: ‘Considering the substantial salaries of some BBC presenters, the scrapping of the over-75s free TV license is absolutely unacceptable!

‘This decision rubs salt in the wounds of the generation hardest hit by the coronavirus! Maybe it’s time to scrap the license fee altogether!’ 

Caroline Abrahams, Age UK charity director, added: ‘We’re bitterly disappointed by this decision on behalf of the millions of over 75s who have had a torrid time over the last few months and for whom this must feel like another kick in the teeth, during a terrible year.

‘Many older people on low incomes have told us that if they have to find £150 plus a year to pay for a licence then they will have to forego some other essential, or try to survive without TV at all. 

‘We genuinely worry about the mental health of older people living on their own in this situation if they have to give up their cherished TV – for some it really is all they have and their main way of alleviating their chronic loneliness.

‘Everyone needs to understand that under the BBC’s scheme many hundreds of thousands of the poorest pensioners will be facing a bill they will simply be unable to afford to pay. 

‘That’s due to its flawed design – you only get a free licence if you are receiving Pension Credit but as many as two in five of all the pensioners on the lowest incomes do not receive this benefit, even though they are entitled to it.

‘We know from talking to older people that many are feeling anxious and depressed, and frightened about the future – they are being told to be cautious because we are not yet ‘out of the woods’. 

‘Everyone in this age group has more than enough to worry about already , particularly those who are alone, for whom their TV is more of a lifeline than ever. 

‘We regularly hear from older people who are still too afraid to go out much, if at all, and so the TV really is their window on the world.

‘The BBC has taken this decision today but in reality the principal responsibility lies with the Government.

‘Until a previous administration transferred these free licences to the corporation under a tapering funding arrangement they had taken the form of a welfare benefit for a generation, and to have done that without any consultation left a really bad taste in the mouth. 

Caroline Abrahams, chief executive of Age UK, described the announcement as 'a kick in the teeth for millions of over 75s who have had a torrid time during this crisis'

Caroline Abrahams, chief executive of Age UK, described the announcement as ‘a kick in the teeth for millions of over 75s who have had a torrid time during this crisis’

‘The Government cannot absolve itself of responsibility for the upset and distress being caused to many of our over-75s today, the poorest and most isolated above all. And the sadness is that these older people have already endured so much over the last few months.

‘The Government needs to sit down with the BBC urgently to keep these TV licences for over-75s free.’

Broadcasting union Bectu also argued that the Government should pay for the entitlement.

Its head Philippa Childs said: ‘This BBC has been put in an impossible position by the Government on free licences… It should never have had to choose between charging over-75s and losing essential revenue.

‘The BBC’s role is to inform educate and entertain the nation, not make welfare or benefit decisions. That is the role of government and it is the Government who should be administering and funding this benefit.’

Jo Stevens, Labour’s Shadow Culture Secretary, said: ‘The refusal of the Government to fund this vital service after promising to do so is nothing short of betrayal.

‘Many over-75s have spent months at home with TV providing an invaluable source of company during the pandemic. 

‘For the Government to blame the BBC who are having to contend with huge cuts is simply passing the buck.’

Before the announcement was made, shadow minister Christian Matheson told the Commons this morning that the proposals meant many pensioners could be ‘forced to choose between eating and watching TV’.

He added: ‘The BBC is cutting jobs and content to pay for the cost of the licence dumped on them by the government.’

Culture minister Matt Warman replied: ‘The fact is that the BBC has had a generous licence fee settlement and it is deeply disappointing that they have chosen to go down the path that they apparently are going down.

‘I would hope that there is time to reconsider that because [Mr Matheson] is right to say that television has been a vital comfort for many people in the last few months and it’s a vital part of our national economy as well.’

TV Licensing, which runs its collection activities, will write to those affected and give them ‘clear guidance’. Telephone contact centres have also been set up to assist. 

Licence fee chaos as paying system is already unable to meet demand due to coronavirus staff cuts


The BBC’s plan to scrap free TV licences for the over-75s has been launched into chaos as the system used by 4.5million pensioners to pay their levy before August 1 is already unable to meet demand due to coronavirus staff cuts.  

The corporation announced this morning that more than three million households face paying the £157.50 fee next month after controversial plans to end free licences for pensioners over the age threshold were given the green light.

Pensioners will receive letters to advise them of the decision and the next step they need to take, namely phoning the TV Licensing call centre.

But a message on its website earlier said they are ‘prioritising customers in most urgent needs’ due to reduced staffing levels, adding this could lead to them being ‘unable to answer all your calls’ and a delay in responding to emails and letters.

The message now reads: ‘Covid-19 and your emails: Our team are working hard to respond to a large backlog of emails. There may be a long delay in responding to you.’

The move has sparked criticism, including from the Prime Minister, whose official spokesperson said today: ‘This is the wrong decision. We recognise the value of free TV licences for over-75s and believe that they should be funded by the BBC.’ 

The free TV licence for over-75s will be means-tested from August 1, meaning more than three million households will be asked to start paying the £157.50 fee

The BBC, based at Portland Place, London, made the announcement today but has faced a fierce backlash

The BBC, based at Portland Place, London, made the announcement today but has faced a fierce backlash

A spokesman for Boris Johnson today described the announcement as 'the wrong decision'

A spokesman for Boris Johnson today described the announcement as ‘the wrong decision’

What over-75s will need to do to secure a TV licence from August 1

I’ve not paid the TV licence before, how much is it?

A TV Licence costs £157.50 (£53 for black and white TV sets) for a year.

Do I need to act now?

TV Licensing said it will write directly to over-75s customers with guidance ‘highlighting that no-one will need to take immediate action’.

No-one will be expected to pay for a new licence until they have been contacted by letter from TV Licensing, it says.

People ‘will be given plenty of time to set up their new licence’, they say.

Will I need to leave my home to sort out my free TV licence or pay for one?

TV Licensing says that no-one will need to leave their home, to claim a free TV Licence or to pay for one.

How do I start paying for my TV licence?

Information on payment options will be sent next month.

They will include the launch of the 75+ Plan, that will allow over 75s switching from a free licence to a licence they pay for, to spread the cost in weekly, fortnightly or monthly payments.

How else do you pay?

People will have the option to able to pay in one go by cheque, debit/credit card or annual direct debit, set up a monthly direct debit or pay through the 75+ Plan which allows them to make smaller more regular payments including weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

What if I am not online?

Customers who would prefer not to pay online will have the option to use a different method including mailing a cheque, paying by card on the phone or by cash/card at their nearest PayPoint.

How do I claim a free TV licence?

Pensioners must be in receipt of Pension Credit to apply for a free licence.

Information on how to claim will be sent to customers from next month.

TV Licensing says it is operating a ‘self-verification system’ for people to ‘simply’ demonstrate that they receive Pension Credit.

Pension Credit can be in the name of the licence holder, or in their partner’s name if they are a couple and TV Licensing say it is writing to all over 75s to explain how they can demonstrate they receive the benefit.

It says 450,000 have already applied for a free licence under this scheme.

How many people will be eligible for a free TV licence?

The BBC says around 1.5 million households with residents aged over 75 will be eligible for a free TV Licence funded by the BBC if they receive Pension Credit.

What if I need extra support?

TV Licensing says it has increased the size of its customer call centre and launched a free telephone information line with recorded information on the new policy and advice to customers (0800 232 1382).

Information and frequently asked questions can also be found on the TV Licensing website, tvlicensing.co.uk/age.

TV Licensing says it worked with the Alzheimer’s Society and other groups working with older people to ensure that needs of vulnerable older people have been taken into consideration. 

Asked if the government would intervene, the PM’s spokesperson added: ‘It is the BBC which is responsible for the administration of the over-75s concession but we are clear that this is the wrong decision and that we believe the value of free TV licences for over-75s should be funded by the BBC.’ 

Speaking on systems being unable to meet demand, Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee chairman Julian Knight told The Daily Telegraph: ‘This is very concerning indeed and I am not convinced that they are ready for this.’

He added: ‘It will be an own goal of epic proportions to start hauling people over 75 in front of the courts. There needs to be common sense here.’

Culture minister Matt Warman also challenged the corporation in the Commons today, arguing it has had ‘a generous licence fee settlement’, that it was ‘deeply disappointing’ to see the change being made, and adding: ‘I would hope that there is yet time to reconsider.’

However leading age charities and Labour’s shadow culture secretary have rounded on the Government, accusing ministers of ‘passing the buck’ and calling a refusal to fund the service a ‘betrayal’.

The free TV licence was introduced in 2000, but the BBC took on responsibility for funding the scheme as part of the charter agreement hammered out with the Government in 2015.  

Corporation bosses argue it was the Government which took the decision to stop funding for free licences five years ago and that Parliament – through legislation – gave the responsibility to the BBC Board to make the decision on the future of the concession.  

Britain’s elderly population has seen free access to live television and the BBC iPlayer service as an invaluable lifeline during lockdown but many are now facing another bill to deal with. 

An estimated 1.5 million households could still be exempt from paying to watch live television or use the BBC iPlayer service, however, if someone over the age of 75 receives pension credits.

Age UK, which inspired more than 630,000 people to sign a petition against the proposals when they were first announced last year, described the announcement as ‘a kick in the teeth for millions of over 75s who have had a torrid time during this crisis’. 

The change was originally due to be made on June 1, but the move was put on hold back in March, with bosses claiming the coronavirus pandemic had created ‘exceptional circumstances’ and that ‘now is not the right time’. 

Delaying the move has cost the corporation some £35million a month, and, with an ageing population, the total cost to the BBC could have reached £1bn a year, bosses insist.   

There have previously been warnings that allowing the licence to continue being free for all over 75 would lead to ‘unprecedented closures’ of services.   

The broadcaster, which faces increased competition from streaming giants, has said it cannot afford to take on the financial burden from the Government.

Continuing with the Government scheme would have cost the corporation £745 million, the BBC said, meaning the closures of BBC Two, BBC Four, the BBC News Channel, the BBC Scotland channel, Radio 5 Live, and a number of local radio stations, as well as other cuts and reductions.

But the move provoked a swathe of criticism, with the likes of Dame Helen Mirren calling the end of the universal entitlement ‘heartbreaking’, and former prime minister Gordon Brown saying ‘costs should be covered by the Government’.

The decision comes as the Government is set to announce its response to a consultation on decriminalising licence fee evasion.

The Government launched an eight-week consultation in February which received more than 100,00 responses.

A report in May suggested that hundreds of people had opted to cancel their TV licence each day over the past five months.

Meanwhile, the broadcaster has launched a programme of voluntary redundancy as it attempts to make £125 million in savings this year – on top of the previous £800 million savings target – due to the pandemic.

It has also announced job cuts in TV news and local radio in England and said it was axing more than 150 roles in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It also plans to cut around 450 jobs in BBC News, to take place at a later date.  

The broadcaster said safety would be at the ‘heart’ of the scheme’, as ‘no-one needs to take any immediate action, or leave their home, to claim for a free TV licence or pay for one’.

BBC Chairman, Sir David Clementi, said: ‘The decision to commence the new scheme in August has not been easy, but implementation of the new scheme will be Covid-19 safe. 

‘The BBC could not continue delaying the scheme without impacting on programmes and services.

‘Around 1.5 million households could get free TV licences if someone is over 75 and receives Pension Credit, and 450,000 of them have already applied.  

The proposals sparked outrage when they were announced last year, with more than 630,000 people signing a petition set up by the charity Age UK, calling for action to be taken

The proposals sparked outrage when they were announced last year, with more than 630,000 people signing a petition set up by the charity Age UK, calling for action to be taken

The move provoked a swathe of criticism, with the likes of Dame Helen Mirren calling the end of the universal entitlement 'heartbreaking'

The move provoked a swathe of criticism, with the likes of Dame Helen Mirren calling the end of the universal entitlement ‘heartbreaking’

Culture minister Matt Warman, pictured in the House of Commons, said the move was 'deeply frustrating'

Culture minister Matt Warman, pictured in the House of Commons, said the move was ‘deeply frustrating’

The government has provided free TV licences for the over-75s since 2000, but responsibility for the provision now rests with the BBC.

The government has provided free TV licences for the over-75s since 2000, but responsibility for the provision now rests with the BBC.

A look at the history of the TV licence

In the 1920s, the Government took the decision not to allow the fledgling BBC to fund itself using commercial advertising and instead required people to buy a licence in order to receive their broadcasts.

The first wireless licence was issued in November 1923 for 10 shillings (50p), and by the end of that year 200,000 had been issued.

The number of active licences continued to rise dramatically, with 2.5 million issued in 1928.

The first combined radio and television licence was issued in 1946 for £2.

A supplementary licence for colour TVs was introduced in 1968.

Black and white TV licences still remain available, and as of the end of September 2019, 6,586 were being used.

In 1971, radio-only licences were abolished, along with the requirement to have a licence for car radios.

The BBC was made responsible for administration of the licence fee as a result of the Broadcasting Act 1990, and the corporation now sub-contracts the work.

In 2015, the Government and BBC reached a settlement which meant the broadcaster had to find savings of £800 million by 2021/22.

It also saw the corporation commit to taking on responsibility for the funding of free licences for the over-75s.

The corporation subsequently announced that the free licence benefit would be restricted to those in the age bracket who claim pension credit, because the financial burden of providing it to all those eligible was too great.

The policy change was due to being in June, but was delayed because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, with many over-75s forced to stay at home and shield.

Anyone who watches or records programmes on a TV, computer or other device must buy a TV licence – along with those who watch or downloads shows on BBC iPlayer.

There were 25,752,560 TV licences in force in the UK in 2018/19, according to TV Licensing, a decrease on the 25,836,495 in 2017/2018.

In April, a Government consultation on decriminalising licence fee evasion closed after receiving more than 100,000 responses.

‘And critically it is not the BBC making that judgement about poverty. It is the Government who sets and controls that measure.

‘Like most organisations the BBC is under severe financial pressure due to the pandemic, yet we have continued to put the public first in all our decisions. 

‘I believe continuing to fund some free TV licences is the fairest decision for the public, as we will be supporting the poorest oldest pensioners without impacting the programmes and services that all audiences love.’

Mr Knight described the decision as a ‘body blow to millions of British pensioners’, saying he had hoped the Government and the BBC would thrash out ‘a fresh deal’.

The Conservative MP said: ‘This mess is a result of a poor decision struck by the outgoing director-general and now Britain’s pensioners are having to pick up the cost.’

Fellow Tory Andrew Rosindell, MP for Romford, tweeted: ‘Considering the substantial salaries of some BBC presenters, the scrapping of the over-75s free TV license is absolutely unacceptable!

‘This decision rubs salt in the wounds of the generation hardest hit by the coronavirus! Maybe it’s time to scrap the license fee altogether!’ 

Caroline Abrahams, Age UK charity director, added: ‘We’re bitterly disappointed by this decision on behalf of the millions of over 75s who have had a torrid time over the last few months and for whom this must feel like another kick in the teeth, during a terrible year.

‘Many older people on low incomes have told us that if they have to find £150 plus a year to pay for a licence then they will have to forego some other essential, or try to survive without TV at all. 

‘We genuinely worry about the mental health of older people living on their own in this situation if they have to give up their cherished TV – for some it really is all they have and their main way of alleviating their chronic loneliness.

‘Everyone needs to understand that under the BBC’s scheme many hundreds of thousands of the poorest pensioners will be facing a bill they will simply be unable to afford to pay. 

‘That’s due to its flawed design – you only get a free licence if you are receiving Pension Credit but as many as two in five of all the pensioners on the lowest incomes do not receive this benefit, even though they are entitled to it.

‘We know from talking to older people that many are feeling anxious and depressed, and frightened about the future – they are being told to be cautious because we are not yet ‘out of the woods’. 

‘Everyone in this age group has more than enough to worry about already , particularly those who are alone, for whom their TV is more of a lifeline than ever. 

‘We regularly hear from older people who are still too afraid to go out much, if at all, and so the TV really is their window on the world.

‘The BBC has taken this decision today but in reality the principal responsibility lies with the Government.

‘Until a previous administration transferred these free licences to the corporation under a tapering funding arrangement they had taken the form of a welfare benefit for a generation, and to have done that without any consultation left a really bad taste in the mouth. 

Caroline Abrahams, chief executive of Age UK, described the announcement as 'a kick in the teeth for millions of over 75s who have had a torrid time during this crisis'

Caroline Abrahams, chief executive of Age UK, described the announcement as ‘a kick in the teeth for millions of over 75s who have had a torrid time during this crisis’

‘The Government cannot absolve itself of responsibility for the upset and distress being caused to many of our over-75s today, the poorest and most isolated above all. And the sadness is that these older people have already endured so much over the last few months.

‘The Government needs to sit down with the BBC urgently to keep these TV licences for over-75s free.’

Broadcasting union Bectu also argued that the Government should pay for the entitlement.

Its head Philippa Childs said: ‘This BBC has been put in an impossible position by the Government on free licences… It should never have had to choose between charging over-75s and losing essential revenue.

‘The BBC’s role is to inform educate and entertain the nation, not make welfare or benefit decisions. That is the role of government and it is the Government who should be administering and funding this benefit.’

Jo Stevens, Labour’s Shadow Culture Secretary, said: ‘The refusal of the Government to fund this vital service after promising to do so is nothing short of betrayal.

‘Many over-75s have spent months at home with TV providing an invaluable source of company during the pandemic. 

‘For the Government to blame the BBC who are having to contend with huge cuts is simply passing the buck.’

Before the announcement was made, shadow minister Christian Matheson told the Commons this morning that the proposals meant many pensioners could be ‘forced to choose between eating and watching TV’.

He added: ‘The BBC is cutting jobs and content to pay for the cost of the licence dumped on them by the government.’

Culture minister Matt Warman replied: ‘The fact is that the BBC has had a generous licence fee settlement and it is deeply disappointing that they have chosen to go down the path that they apparently are going down.

‘I would hope that there is time to reconsider that because [Mr Matheson] is right to say that television has been a vital comfort for many people in the last few months and it’s a vital part of our national economy as well.’

TV Licensing, which runs its collection activities, will write to those affected and give them ‘clear guidance’. Telephone contact centres have also been set up to assist. 

UK’s first ‘CYCLOPS’ junction which is designed to keep cyclists safe comes into use


UK’s first ‘CYCLOPS’ junction which is designed to keep cyclists safe while making a right turn comes into use

  • First ‘Cycle Optimised Protected Signals’ junction opened in Hulme, Manchester
  • Involves a ‘cycle track’ on the outside of the junction to separate bikes and traffic
  • Dependent on signals, cyclists can make right turn away from traffic in one go

The UK’s first ‘CYCLOPS’ junction – designed to keep cyclists safe while making a right turn – has come in to use for the first time.

The ‘Cycle Optimised Protected Signals’ (CYCLOPS) junction at Royce Road, in Hulme, south Manchester, separates bikes from cars, vans and lorries by creating a ‘cycle-track’ around the outside of the junction.

Instead of turning right, creating a risk with ongoing and sometimes oncoming traffic, cyclists will be encouraged to go around the outside of the junction using the green-coloured cycle track.

The track will have its own traffic signals, which will allow cyclists to complete a right turn in one movement, dependent on signal timings, traffic chiefs at Manchester City Council say.

The ‘Cycle Optimised Protected Signals’ (CYCLOPS) junction at Royce Road, in Hulme, south Manchester, separates bikes from cars, vans and lorries by creating a ‘cycle-track’ around the outside of the junction

Instead of turning right, creating a risk with ongoing and sometimes oncoming traffic, cyclists will be encouraged to go around the outside of the junction using the green-coloured cycle track

Instead of turning right, creating a risk with ongoing and sometimes oncoming traffic, cyclists will be encouraged to go around the outside of the junction using the green-coloured cycle track

The track will have its own traffic signals, which will allow cyclists to complete a right turn in one movement, dependent on signal timings, traffic chiefs at Manchester City Council say

The track will have its own traffic signals, which will allow cyclists to complete a right turn in one movement, dependent on signal timings, traffic chiefs at Manchester City Council say

In addition, segregated cycle lanes have been created on Chorlton Road, running from Chester Road to Stretford Road.

The junction marks the first part of a £13.4m cycling and walking route connecting Manchester to the suburb of Chorlton.

Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport said the feature would make travelling more efficient.  

Manchester City Council's Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport Councillor Angeliki Stogia said the feature would make travelling more efficient

Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport Councillor Angeliki Stogia said the feature would make travelling more efficient

‘The CYCLOPS junction maximises opportunities for safer cycling and walking in this area, while making the performance of the junction more efficient for all road users,’ Councillor Angeliki Stogia said.

‘As we gradually welcome Mancunians back to their city centre, we’re really looking forward to seeing this trailblazing feature becoming a landmark part of what is a well-used commuter route.’

When complete, the 5km cycle route will run along Barlow Moor Road, Manchester Road, Upper Chorlton Road and Chorlton Road.

Work on the route will next take place on Chorlton Road between Moss Lane East and Stretford Road.

‘This UK-first junction is a symbol of our desire to create permanent, high-quality cycling and walking infrastructure, which will support the long-term shift to active travel that we want to see right across the city,’ Cllr Stogia added.

‘And it is only the latest milestone in our ambitious plans to invest in a network of safe routes for people travelling on foot or by bike.

The junction marks the first part of a £13.4m cycling and walking route connecting Manchester to the suburb of Chorlton

The junction marks the first part of a £13.4m cycling and walking route connecting Manchester to the suburb of Chorlton

‘We’re continuing to move forward with our £79m pipeline of projects, which will enable more people across the city to make the switch to walking and cycling for their everyday journeys.’

Chris Boardman, cycling and walking commissioner for Greater Manchester, said he hoped the ‘genius’ project will encourage more people to cycle.

‘Crossing busy junctions on foot or by bike can be a complicated and scary experience and is often a huge barrier for people travelling by foot or bike,’ Chris said.

‘This junction design will make journeys easier and smoother for those doing their bit by cycling or walking, without impacting negatively on any other modes.

‘The design is simply genius and I’m not surprised to see other places already adopting the approach.’

UK’s first ‘CYCLOPS’ junction which is designed to keep cyclists safe comes into use


UK’s first ‘CYCLOPS’ junction which is designed to keep cyclists safe while making a right turn comes into use

  • First ‘Cycle Optimised Protected Signals’ junction opened in Hulme, Manchester
  • Involves a ‘cycle track’ on the outside of the junction to separate bikes and traffic
  • Dependent on signals, cyclists can make right turn away from traffic in one go

The UK’s first ‘CYCLOPS’ junction – designed to keep cyclists safe while making a right turn – has come in to use for the first time.

The ‘Cycle Optimised Protected Signals’ (CYCLOPS) junction at Royce Road, in Hulme, south Manchester, separates bikes from cars, vans and lorries by creating a ‘cycle-track’ around the outside of the junction.

Instead of turning right, creating a risk with ongoing and sometimes oncoming traffic, cyclists will be encouraged to go around the outside of the junction using the green-coloured cycle track.

The track will have its own traffic signals, which will allow cyclists to complete a right turn in one movement, dependent on signal timings, traffic chiefs at Manchester City Council say.

The ‘Cycle Optimised Protected Signals’ (CYCLOPS) junction at Royce Road, in Hulme, south Manchester, separates bikes from cars, vans and lorries by creating a ‘cycle-track’ around the outside of the junction

Instead of turning right, creating a risk with ongoing and sometimes oncoming traffic, cyclists will be encouraged to go around the outside of the junction using the green-coloured cycle track

Instead of turning right, creating a risk with ongoing and sometimes oncoming traffic, cyclists will be encouraged to go around the outside of the junction using the green-coloured cycle track

The track will have its own traffic signals, which will allow cyclists to complete a right turn in one movement, dependent on signal timings, traffic chiefs at Manchester City Council say

The track will have its own traffic signals, which will allow cyclists to complete a right turn in one movement, dependent on signal timings, traffic chiefs at Manchester City Council say

In addition, segregated cycle lanes have been created on Chorlton Road, running from Chester Road to Stretford Road.

The junction marks the first part of a £13.4m cycling and walking route connecting Manchester to the suburb of Chorlton.

Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport said the feature would make travelling more efficient.  

Manchester City Council's Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport Councillor Angeliki Stogia said the feature would make travelling more efficient

Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport Councillor Angeliki Stogia said the feature would make travelling more efficient

‘The CYCLOPS junction maximises opportunities for safer cycling and walking in this area, while making the performance of the junction more efficient for all road users,’ Councillor Angeliki Stogia said.

‘As we gradually welcome Mancunians back to their city centre, we’re really looking forward to seeing this trailblazing feature becoming a landmark part of what is a well-used commuter route.’

When complete, the 5km cycle route will run along Barlow Moor Road, Manchester Road, Upper Chorlton Road and Chorlton Road.

Work on the route will next take place on Chorlton Road between Moss Lane East and Stretford Road.

‘This UK-first junction is a symbol of our desire to create permanent, high-quality cycling and walking infrastructure, which will support the long-term shift to active travel that we want to see right across the city,’ Cllr Stogia added.

‘And it is only the latest milestone in our ambitious plans to invest in a network of safe routes for people travelling on foot or by bike.

The junction marks the first part of a £13.4m cycling and walking route connecting Manchester to the suburb of Chorlton

The junction marks the first part of a £13.4m cycling and walking route connecting Manchester to the suburb of Chorlton

‘We’re continuing to move forward with our £79m pipeline of projects, which will enable more people across the city to make the switch to walking and cycling for their everyday journeys.’

Chris Boardman, cycling and walking commissioner for Greater Manchester, said he hoped the ‘genius’ project will encourage more people to cycle.

‘Crossing busy junctions on foot or by bike can be a complicated and scary experience and is often a huge barrier for people travelling by foot or bike,’ Chris said.

‘This junction design will make journeys easier and smoother for those doing their bit by cycling or walking, without impacting negatively on any other modes.

‘The design is simply genius and I’m not surprised to see other places already adopting the approach.’

Former public school teacher, 62, is on the brink of death on day 40 of hunger strike


A former public school teacher is on the brink of death on day 40 of hunger strike over an unresolved complaint against Marriott Hotels.  

John Shepherd, 62, who is on day 40 of the hunger strike, has been battling Mariott Hotels since 2008 after a car park was built next to his flat in Thailand.    

The 62-year-old, who previously worked for Harrow International School in Bangkok, was so outraged by the sewage and the unplanned parking area, he began to write to local newspapers in 2012 to complain.  

After the articles were published, Thai police arrested the former teacher on charges of defamation. He was later released.  

John Shepherd, 62, who is on day 40 of the hunger strike, has been fighting Mariott Hotels since 2008 after a car park was built next to his flat in Bangkok

The 62-year-old, who previously worked for Harrow International School in Bangkok, was so outraged by the sewage and the unplanned parking area, he began to write to local newspapers in 2012 to complain

The 62-year-old, who previously worked for Harrow International School in Bangkok, was so outraged by the sewage and the unplanned parking area, he began to write to local newspapers in 2012 to complain

After the arrest, while abroad, a friend told him that there was a warrant out for his arrest in the country. 

Shepherd lost his flat in Bangkok because he decided not to return, fearing the police would action the warrant, he claims.   

The former teacher believes the incidence are part of a targetted campaign of harassment against him. 

Marriot hotels refute Shepherd’s accusations, claiming that the hotel is run by the chain, but has different owners. 

Minor International was the company who started construction of the St Regis Hotel in Bangkok in 2008. 

Control of the operation was handed over to Starwood, a hotel operator that later merged with Marriott.

Pictured: The St Regis Hotel in Bangkok

Pictured: The St Regis Hotel in Bangkok 

Arne Sorenson, Marriott's chief executive (pictured in April last year), met with Shepherd during a previous strike, where he asked for a resolution 'fair to both sides'

Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s chief executive (pictured in April last year), met with Shepherd during a previous strike, where he asked for a resolution ‘fair to both sides’

However, Shepherd firmly believes the fault lies with Mariott, and says they are targetting him in an alleged campaign of harassment. 

Three days ago, on day 37 of his hunger strike, Shepherd said: ‘If I do pass away, possibly the first ever hunger strike death in protest at corporate wrongdoing, Marriott will have knowingly and callously watched and allowed me to die without stepping in.’ 

The 62-year-old is demanding £3million in damages.   

Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s chief executive, met with Shepherd during a previous strike, where he asked for a resolution ‘fair to both sides’. 

Shepherd stopped starving himself during negotiations but Marriott decided the chain was not at fault so would not hand over the damages.   

A Marriott spokesman told the Times and denied they had started a police investigation into him. 

‘We have given Mr Shepherd numerous opportunities to substantiate his claims against us — which he hasn’t been able to do,’ they said. 

The spokesman stressed that Minor Hotels, not the Mariott, were responsible for the construction on the St Regis Hotel – and that all complaints should be addressed by them.     

Shepgerd’s case has caught the attention of the Bishop of London, the Right Rev Dame Sarah Mullally, who has urged compassion on the part of the hotel chain

The case of Shepherd, who is on hunger strike at his home in East London, has caught the attention of the Bishop of London, the Right Rev Dame Sarah Mullally, who has urged compassion on the part of the hotel chain.    

‘Given his current situation and fragility I’m writing to urge you to consider reaching out once again to John,’ Dame Sarah wrote. ‘It would surely be tragic if he ended his life because he saw no other solution.’ 

Shepherd said in his most recent video: ‘I have very little if any body fat remaining and this is likely to be my final, fond farewell.’