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Civil Engineering in the papers today - Thursday 9 October 2008

Local authorities are paying more to settle pothole compensation claims from aggrieved motorists than they are spending on fixing cracks in the road, council leaders admitted yesterday...

The Local Government Association blamed no-win, no-fee lawyers for creating a "compensation culture", encouraging motorists to make spurious claims for damage to vehicles - The Guardian

Up to 20 councils across the country stand to lose tens of millions of pounds after the government refused to guarantee wholesale deposits which were deemed worthless after the collapse of Icelandic banks. The Local Government Association (LGA) has written to Alistair Darling to ask for councils to be treated in the same way as individual savers given a government guarantee yesterday that they would be compensated - The Guardian

The government is close to backing the expansion of Britain's third largest airport, Stansted, as it prepares to defy environmental critics and sanction thousands more flights per year. An announcement could come as early as today, following a lengthy public inquiry - The Guardian

Comprehensive insurance will ensure that the company that operates the Channel Tunnel suffers only minimal losses from last month's devastating fire, its executive chairman said yesterday, negating some of the €22M ($30M) of revenue lost from service disruptions. Jacques Gounon said Groupe Eurotunnel's insurance would cover all but a €10M excess of the lost revenues and rebuilding costs following the September 11 fire, which gutted trucks on a shuttle and damaged a kilometre of the undersea tunnel – The Financial Times

Clusters of speed cameras that will monitor drivers' average speed on all routes across a wide area are to be deployed on hundreds of roads next year. Police trials of the new cameras - known as Specs3 - have concluded successfully in London and a second set of trials will finish this week in Northern Ireland. The Home Office is expected to approve the technology in January and the first fines are likely to be issued by next summer - The Times

Taxpayers may have to fund the full cost of the £1bn Olympic village in 2012 as the credit crunch deters private investors, Games chiefs admitted. ODA chairman John Armitt also conceded that the £400M broadcasting centre would have to be scaled down and temporary venues moved out of the Olympic Park to stay within the £9.3bn budget - The Times

Dozens of local councils risk losing hundreds of millions of pounds held in Iceland's stricken banks. Town Halls across the country may have to raise council tax and cut services - The Times

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