I am a reporter for NCE, mainly covering transport issues for the magazine - both news and features. I have covered transport stories throughout the UK for more than three years, first at Holyrood magazine in Edinburgh, where I examining issues such as a potential high speed rail line and a new crossing of the Forth for the magazine’s audience of politicians. I then covered projects such as Crossrail, rail electrification schemes and the Edinburgh tram construction at RAIL magazine, as well as investigating the wider rail industry. I continue to report on all of these, and many more things, at NCE so please get in touch with any stories. Since joining in August 2010, I have seen the country’s largest orthotropic steel bridge deck being constructed in Reading as part of the station upgrade, and was among the first reporters on site when a concrete mixer hit a train after smashing through a bridge in Oxshott in Surrey.
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Over the tracksSubscription
The project to remove a bottleneck on the East Coast Main Line at Hitchin will be used to test Network Rail’s plan to work more closely with contractors. Richard Johnstone reports.
Ministers clamp down on highway repairs Subscription
Local authorities that underperform in road maintenance could be named and shamed as part of a new efficiency drive, transport minister Norman Baker warned last week.
The winning bidder for the Forth replacement crossing was £260M cheaper than its rival, it emerged this week.
Network Rail has been given the go-ahead to build a £60M flyover to relieve a capacity bottleneck on the East Coast Main Line - the first project to be taken forward in its new contracting structure.
Costain tops HA supply leagueSubscription
Costain is in pole position to win Highways Agency work after top scoring in the Agency’s new supplier assessment process.
Two MPs have called on the government to re-examine upgrading the West Coast Main Line as a cheaper alternative to High Speed 2, saying that a new appraisal is needed “for the credibility of the project”.
Shortfall triggers road closure fearsSubscription
Local authorities could be forced to close roads due to the mounting maintenance backlog, even though the government doubled repairs cash in last week’s Budget.
Damage twice as severe as fearedSubscription
Earthquake and tsunami damage to Japan’s transport infrastructure is almost twice as severe as originally feared.
Airport operators face hefty fines for failing to keep their runways open during bad weather, under plans drawn up by ministers.
BAA backs Heathrow Express on Crossrail planSubscription
Airport operator BAA chief executive Colin Matthews this week threw his weight behind plans to run Heathrow Express services through Crossrail’s central London tunnels.
Plans to run the London Underground 24 hours a day during the 2012 Olympics are being examined by Transport for London (TfL) bosses.
Hidden tensions in the rail industry have bubbled to the surface in the last week, following the publication of the latest in a long line of reform proposals.
The announcement that shipping company Maersk Line has ordered 10 new vessels which will be the world’s largest container ships has been greeted by the freight industry as an indicator that the shipping is on the road to recovery after the economic crash.
Plans have been drawn up to devolve some of Network Rail’s responsibilities to train operating companies as part of the rail value for money review being undertaken by former Civil Aviation Authority boss Sir Roy McNulty.
The gulf between central government and London mayor Boris Johnson on aviation policy looks set to keep on widening.
The news that trams will run in Edinburgh this year could be seen as a positive sign for the project, with a 804m section between Gogarburn and the Gogar depot in the west of the city becoming the portion of track to be tested as early as the summer.