News From Around The World – 1 March 2016

Steady Growth Predicted For Construction Industry

The construction industry can look forward to three years of steady 4% growth in construction output, the Construction Products Association has forecast. The Association represents manufacturers and distributors of construction products and materials in the UK.

Construction work at Tottenham Court Road station

Professor Noble Francis, economics director, said: “The key fundamentals for the sector are generally positive and construction growth is set to be more balanced.”

Slowing growth in the UK economy has meant that economists have ticked down construction growth forecasts for this year from 3.8% to 3.6%.

Major projects, however, like Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, HS2, and the London super sewer are expected to drive the industry along after that with an expected 4% average annual growth level.


Hinkley Point C Delay

A final investment decision on the long-awaited Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in Somerset could be delayed by another year, it has been claimed.

Hinkley Point A Power Station
Hinkley Point A power station

The comments come from Lord David Howell who was Energy Secretary under Mrs Thatcher. In the early years of the Coalition Government, Lord Howell was also a Foreign Office Minister.

Lord Howell believes the likelihood of EDF, which is French state-owned, giving final approval to the project is “very iffy indeed”.

Last month EDF said that they were in the final steps to enable the full construction phase to be launched very soon.

Hinkley Point C will be the first in a new generation of eight nuclear reactors.


Railway Cable Thefts Decrease

Railway cable thefts over the last five years have decreased by 93%, according to new figures released by Network Rail.

Data in the organisation’s latest report, National Performance Affecting Cable Theft Impact Summary, shows that total delays caused by cable theft decreased by 88% from 344,685 minutes in 2011-12 to 41,865 so far this year.

Following a spike in cable theft five years ago, a number of preventative measures were put in place. This included British Transport Police using the Network Rail helicopter, CCTV, trembler alarms, forensic marking, and better security at depots and lineside.


Crossrail Named

The railway running beneath London – Crossrail – has been named as Elizabeth Line in honour of the Queen.

Crossrail Naming
The Queen viewing part of the tunnel

London mayor – Boris Johnson – with the monarch visited Bond Street station recently where the line’s name was revealed.

Given the Queen’s long association with UK transport, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, who was also at the event, said the name was “very fitting”.

The Queen also viewed part of the tunnel and met construction apprentices at the construction site which is 28m (92ft) below ground.







Images from Tottenham Court Road and Queen Elizabeth Line (Rick Crowley) by permission of TFL London. Image of Hinkley C Nuclear Point (David Rogers) under the Creative Commons Licence.