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Civil Engineering in the papers today - Friday 28 November 2008

The London congestion charge zone will be halved after Boris Johnson, the Mayor, decided to abolish the western extension introduced last year by his predecessor, Ken Livingstone. . . .

The decision follows a bitter dispute between the mayor and senior officials in his transport authority, who accused him of ignoring the benefits of the £8 daily charge and acting on flawed public consultation - The Times

A £15 million project to build hundreds of new zero-carbon homes has fallen flat after only 15 qualified in the first year, The Times has learnt. Gordon Brown's scheme, which he championed in his last Pre-Budget Report as Chancellor, has failed because the Government's specification for a zero-carbon home is not practical, the building industry says - The Times

Wetlands in the Thames estuary will be returned to the wilderness immortalised by Charles Dickens in plans to create a new national park. The biggest man-made nature park in Europe will stretch from the site of the 2012 Olympics in Stratford to Faversham in Kent and Southend in Essex - The Daily Telegraph

Banks have been warned that Whitehall could take control of lending rates unless they begin supplying credit to small businesses again. Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, is said to be considering plans that would allow the Government to take on emergency powers to ensure that the banking system functions properly - The Daily Telegraph

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