Britain is expected to experience a building bonanza over the next five years, placing an increasing strain on the availability of skilled labour, according to industry forecasts.
Construction output, already on a high, is predicted to grow by almost 11% cent by 2011 led by a surge in schools construction, increased spending on transport and projects for the London Olympics - The Financial Times
The rise in petrol prices following the contaminated fuel fiasco was criticised by consumer groups last night.Pump prices are said to have risen by an average of 2.5p a litre since a consignment of petrol in Essex was tainted with silicon, causing hundreds of cars to break down - The Daily Telegraph
Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Trains is close to sealing an order for new Pendolino carriages after intervention by the Department for Transport. The distinctive trains were credited with preventing a higher death toll in the Cumbria derailment after they remained relatively undamaged despite coming off the tracks at high speed. Before the incident, plans to lengthen the trains on Virgin's west coast franchise had been frozen after leasing company Angel Trains pulled out of a deal to supply 106 carriages - The Guardian
Shell has been repeatedly warned by the Health and Safety Executive about the poor state of its North Sea platforms, according to information obtained by the Guardian. The company's dismal record undermines Shell's public commitment to improve its performance after a fatal explosion on the Brent field in the North Sea in 2003 and raises further concerns about Britain's ageing oil and gas equipment - The Guardian
An independent scientific audit of the UK's climate change policies predicts that the government will fall well below its target of a 30% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2020 - which means that the country will not reach its 2020 milestone until 2050. The report condemns government forecasts on greenhouse gas emissions as 'very optimistic' and projects that the true reduction will be between 12 and 17%, making little difference to current CO2 emission levels - The Guardian
A coach company plans to lure corporate high flyers away from the first-class railway carriage with luxury inter-city coaches featuring hostesses, extra leg-room and meals. In an attempt to remove the stigma of coach travel, National Express has ordered a detailed examination of how to attract business people to its services - The Times