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In the papers today - 16 October

Companies will be fined up to £2,500 a day for missing deadlines in filling in holes dug in the road under proposals to tackle congestion caused by such works.
Gas, water, electricity and telecoms firms will have to apply for permits and work together to minimise disruption. They will have to give three months' notice of a proposed excavation and meet strict deadlines. Local authorities will be able to prescribe work hours and ban other companies from digging the same road within a specified period - The Times Human error at the rail traffic control centre in Battembourg Luxembourg, was responsible for last week's train crash at Zoufften, just inside France, rail authorities for both countries said. Six people were killed and 16 injured in the collision - The Times The Shadow Transport Secretary has given warning that the rail franchise system has become unworkable amid speculation that Stagecoach paid twice as much as the next-highest bidder to secure the South West Trains franchise for £1.2 billion. Calculations suggest that South West Trains will have to give more than a third of its revenues to the Treasury by the final year of its ten-year franchise, even though the franchise actually receives a subsidy at present - The Times Plans to turn two cooling towers in Sheffield into Britain's largest artwork for Channel 4's £2 million Big Art Project seem likely to fail. Eon, the site's owner, says that the 230ft concrete structures are deteriorating and must be demolished within months - The Times The price of gas in the UK is expected to come under further sustained pressure when testing begins within weeks on a new pipeline linking Britain and the Netherlands. Signals that pressure-testing of the Balgzand-Bacton pipeline (BBL) might start as early as the end of this month caused a dip in forward gas prices for November and December last Thursday - The Times Ferrovial, the Spanish construction group, is understood to have made the shortlist for the £5 billion widening of the M25. The group, which recently acquired Britain's biggest airports, is believed to have teamed up with Amey, one of its UK subsidiaries, and the construction group Laing O'Rourke, to table a bid. Three consortiums are thought to have been shortlisted for the job by the Highways Agency - The TimesDouble-decker trains could be introduced on some of the busiest commuter routes in an attempt to ease overcrowding. The Department for Transport is investigating the possibility of building double-deckers, shorter than the squattest two-tier trains now operating in Europe. They run out of Amsterdam and measure 4.3 metres - The Daily Telegraph A strong earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale hot Hawaii yesterday, causing airports to be closed and leading to an island-wide blackout on Oahu, where the capital, Honolulu, is situated. Wide spread damage led to a hospital evacuation. No Tsunami warning was issued - The Daily Telegraph The company, which transports much of London's rubbish in barges along the Thames to landfill sites in Essex, has been put up for sale with an estimated price tag of £500m. If Cory Environmental was sold for that amount it would provide a stunning return for Montagu Private Equity, which bought the 110-year-old company last year for just £205m from logistics group Exel - The Daily TelegraphUnions have threatened to paralyse Airbus operations across Germany if work on the A380 superjumbo in Hamburg is halted, or if any German plants are singled out for heavy sacrifices. Rüdiger Lütjen, the head of the Airbus works council, said staff would resort to 'well-timed strikes' in key choke points, for year after year if necessary. 'If there are unbalanced cuts in any one plant, we'll open the floodgates of solidarity across all German plants,' he said - The Daily Telegraph The inevitable head-on collision between Britain's climate change and aviation policies moves a step closer today with figures showing the total distanceflown by the Government's own ministers and senior officials last year alone is equivalent to 14 return trips to the Moon. Tony Blair, his cabinet colleagues and their officials clocked up 6.5 million air miles, according to the Cabinet Office's list of flights during the 2005-2006 financial year - and in doing so pumped almost 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, analysis shows - The Independent The gulf state of Qatar is thought to be in pole position to buy Thames Water after tabling a bid worth about £8bn over the weekend. The deadline for bids to Goldman Sachs, which is running the auction on behalf of RWE, closed on Saturday morning - The Independent Sea Containers, the parent company of the inter-city rail operator GNER, will today file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after failing to pay back a $115m loan which fell due yesterday - The Independent Big energy suppliers could be forced to hold emergency reserves as gas to meet winter surges in industrial demand, says a government paper to be published today. Ministers are considering whether to impose tougher legal obligations on energy companies to ensure supplies for business and commercial users - The Financial Times Richard Rogers Partnership won the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Stirling Prize for the gargantuan £1.2bn Barajas airport in Madrid. After two victories by his architectural peer, Norman Foster, Lord Rogers accepted the award with a gracious speech acknowledging the quality of the shortlist - The Financial Times Disruption at airports linked to the August terror alert helped Eurostar, the cross-Channel train operator, to carry record numbers of passengers between June and September, the company will announce today. The 2.15m passengers who used the services from London to France and Belgium in the third quarter of the year represented a rise of just under 10 per cent on the previous year, when journey numbers were depressed by the July 2005 London bombings - The Financial TimesAbout a fifth of Britain's gas needs could be met by a much-anticipated new pipeline - officially unveiled today - bringing gas to Britain from Norway, according to the chief executive of the company that built it. Some analysts and industry figures had warned that the existence of the Langeled pipeline would not necessarily relieve the problem of gas shortages in Britain because there was no guarantee that gas would flow through it - The Financial Times About 200 people were admittde to hospital with severe breathnig problems after an unknown gas, leaked from an industrial plant near Bhopal in central India. The accident occurred on Saturday, where more than 3,500 people died in 1984 after gas leaked from a Union Carbide pesticide plant into the city's atmosphere - The Guardian

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