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: Wednesday 15 October

The chancellor has authorised a £95M bailout to keep building work going on the London Olympic village after private finance deals for the £1bn project collapsed because of the credit crunch...

...The cash will be used on 3,000 apartments for athletes on the Olympic park in east London while negotiations continue for the taxpayer to take on the full £1bn cost, due to have been met by developers and banks. The payment is the first time the government has been forced to dip into a £1bn contingency fund - The Guardian

Among the passengers crushed into the corridors of commuter trains, the Department for Transport’s latest solution for rail overcrowding is unlikely to provoke spontaneous applause. Officials have found a way of reducing the number of trains deemed to be overcrowded without requiring any passengers to get off and without adding a single seat. They have achieved this by changing the definition of the "acceptable loading of passengers on trains". Under the old standard, used in the West Midlands and some other parts of the country, it was considered acceptable to have ten people standing for every hundred seats. The new national standard, which will apply to all routes, has tripled the acceptable number of standing passengers to 30 per 100 seats - The Times

The government could be forced to pump more cash into the railways if slowing economic growth drives down passenger numbers, the state spending watchdog warns today. The National Audit Office (NAO) says a planned multibillion-pound cut in rail subsidies will be threatened if train operators cannot deliver the high customer numbers promised in their franchises - The Guardian

Bellway, the country's fourth-biggest housebuilder, said yesterday it was selling as few as 50 houses a week around the UK, half the level it should be, and saw no sign of an upturn. The scale of the slump was revealed as the company released annual figures showing profits had sunk by 85% to £34.7M after allowing for a major writedown in land values, and new figures showed mortgage borrowing had fallen again. -- The Guardian

Councils stepped up their war of words with the credit ratings agencies yesterday as it emerged that 116 local authorities had put £860M on deposit in Icelandic banks. The Local Government Association called for a government inquiry into agencies such as Fitch, Moody's ad Standard & Poors and whether they should have been more critical of the Reykjavik banks – The 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.