Heathrow airport restates its position as hub airport; Think tank questions alternatives for £33bn High Speed 2 spend.
12pm: The £33bn being spent on High Speed 2 could be better used on other transport investments, a report has today claimed.
The report, entitled “High Speed 2: The best we can do?” has been published by think tank New the Economics Foundation.
The report argues that investment in HS2 could be better spent on a raft of other investments such as upgrades to the East and West coast mainlines, regional rail enhancements, cycling and walking infrastructure and super-fast broadband.
“We don’t necessarily have to spend the entire £33bn currently earmarked for HS2 on one make-or-break scheme,” said the foundation in a statement. “It’s possible that spreading the capital across many diverse projects, in a way that is responsive to local as well as national needs could reap much wider economic, social and environmental dividends.”
11.30am: Contractor Hochtief has been awarded a £30M highways contract for the A57 in Manchester.
The design and build contract involves the construction of a lifting bridge over Manchester shipping canal and a rail over road bridge among other road infrastructure works.
The project is due to be completed in summer 2014.
10.30am: A new hub airport would be bad for passengers, taxpayer and businesses, research by Heathrow airport has today concluded.
The report, titled “Best placed for Britain”, claims moving away from Heathrow would increase travel times for 90% of customers, threaten the 76,600 jobs in the area and affect the 202 companies headquartered there. The report was created with consultants Aecom and Quod
“Britain already has one of the worlds most successful international hub airports in Heathrow,” said Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews. “Expanding Heathrow will put Britain ahead in the global race, connecting UK business to growth more quickly and at less cost to the taxpayer than any other option for new capacity.”
10am: The Environment agency has launched a consultation over developer Cuadrilla’s application for a mining waste permit.
The permit would allow the firm to manage waste produced during exploratory drilling for oil reserves in West Sussex.
“It is our role to ensure that the environment will be safeguarded during exploration for oil,” said Environment Agency spokesman Chris Wick. “With this in mind we must ensure all relevant information is considered before we make a final decision.”