Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Civil engineering in the news today - Friday 9 January

Network Rail was under pressure yesterday to explain why the newly upgraded west coast main line has been beset by a week of overhead power line failures that have brought chaos to tens of thousands of commuters and cost businesses an estimated £50M...

...A spokesman denied that the £9bn overhaul had left the route susceptible to problems. He added that the Watford incident had been caused by metal fatigue in a screw, the Bletchley problems by a snapped electrical wire, and the Wembley failure by an incorrectly installed glass fibre rod - The Guardian

A subdivision of Taylor Wimpey, the troubled housebuilder, has told its subcontractors that they must cut costs on all existing orders by 20%. The demand is the most extreme example of how the scramble to cut costs by housebuilders is squeezing companies futher down the supply chain - Financial Times

Being clobbered with a £60 fine for failing to pay the London congestion charge just before Christmas is no joke. But the news that the self-described "victim" was none other than Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, raised a few smiles yesterday. The mayor said he forgot his own "wretched" congestion charge when he jumped into his car to drive to Trafalgar Square to light the Hanukah menorah three days before Christmas - The Guardian

A first giant tanker carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) is expected to dock next month at a port that may soon handle a quarter of Britain's supply. The ship's arrival at Milford Haven, west Wales, will take forward the government's efforts to compensate for dwindling North Sea resources and to reduce UK reliance on less secure supplies - The Guardian

The construction workforce for the 2012 Olympics in London is to double to 6,000 in the next 12 months in a move that ministers hope will offset widespread redundancies in the building industry - The Guardian

Energy firms must be investigated for refusing to pass on price cuts to consumers the Conservatives said yesterday. Despite a sharp drop in the wholesale cost of energy since the summer, suppliers have not reduced what they charge customers, prompting accusations of profiteering – The Daily Telegraph

The apparently mysterious wrecking of a wind turbine in Lincolnshire was probably caused by mechanical failure induced by this week's cold snap - and not aliens, as had been suggested - said Fraser McLachlan, chief executive of GCube, which insures wind farms. UFO groups said that they had been inundated with calls reporting strange lights in the sky at the time the turbine was damaged - The Times

Russia plunged Europe into an unprecedented energy crisis last night as it refused to turn gas supplies back on. Severe shortages caused by its decision to cut the pipeline running through Ukraine meant a number of countries were forced to close down industry, schools, and hospitals – The Daily Telegraph

Russia has agreed to the deployment of European Union monitors in Ukraine to oversee gas supplies to the EU, clearing the way for a possible deal on the resumption of gas supplies, the Czech EU presidency said - Financial Times

Foreign buyers, taking advantage of price falls and the weak pound, are flooding the London property market. House prices have fallen by about 15% for the average domestic buyer since the market reached its peak 18 months ago, according to Savills, the property consultancy - Financial Times

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.