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NCE Live News Updates 8 July 2013: Farrell signed up to bolster Gatwick’s case to Airports Commission

Terry Farrell has been appointed to advise Gatwick Airport on its runway capacity plans; meanwhile a think tank moots plans to turn two runways into four at Heathrow

3.20pm: Canadian authorities are still assessing damages after a train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded on Saturday night, killing at least five people

The 72-wagon train exploded in the town of Lac-Mégantic, destroying a number of buildings and damaging around 40 in total, according to a notice released by authorities in Quebec.

Around 2,000 people have been evacuated and many are still missing. It is not clear yet the total damage to the rail lines or anticipated cost of the clean-up and repair.


2.38pm: Contractor Kier completes May Gurney acquisition

Kier Group has inked the deal on its £221M takeover of road maintenance provider May Gurney.

The acquisition will create a 16,000-strong super group with a combined turnover of £2.8bn and a services division capable of scooping up millions in local authority contracts.

The takeover, announced in April, trumped a £178M offer tabled by rival contractor Costain.


2.12pm: Peter Brett Associates snaps up engineering firm

Engineering firm Hannah, Reed and Associates (HRA) has merged with infrastructure consultancy Peter Brett Associates (PBA).

Around 85 staff in Hannah-Reed offices in Oxford, Cambridge and Doncaster will become PBA employees, among them HRA director Henry Martin who has been appointed as a PBA partner.

The integration of HRA, which was administrator on the 2012 Stirling Prize-winning Sainsbury Laboratory in Cambridge, will boost PBA staff numbers to around 500.

The firm has a £40M turnover.


12.11pm: Farrell signed up to bolster Gatwick’s case to Airports Commission

Achitect Terry Farrell has been appointed to advise Gatwick Airport on its runway capacity plans.

Farrell and his London-based practice will help the airport firm-up its proposal to the Airports Commission for additional runway capacity and for its vision for a “constellation of three London Airports with two runways each” at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.

Farrell said: “The ‘constellation approach’ of keeping Heathrow open, whilst building an additional runway at Gatwick and then in time at Stansted transforms the debate away from the over-engineered and unnecessary idea of a mega hub at Heathrow or to the East of London”.


11.37am: Consultant Parsons Brinckerhoff to manage overhaul of Holy City’s transport system.

The firm has bagged a £61M contract to oversee the Makkah Public Transport Program (MPTP) in Saudi Arabia.

Awarded by the Development Commission of Makkah and Mashaaer (DCOMM), the 60-month contract will involve a complete overhaul of the Holy City’s transport system.

The MPTP includes four metro lines with 114km of track and 62 stations and a new comprehensive bus network for the city.

Parsons Brinckerhoff chief executive George Pierson said the MPTP would “fundamentally change the travelling experience of millions of national and international visitors, as well as for the local population.” 


11.35am: Crossrail has today submitted planning proposals for a station at Abbey Wood, southeast London.

If permission is granted, The two-level station will be built above two Crossrail tracks and tracks used by North Kent Services. Work will be carried out by Network Rail and the station will open in 2017.

The existing station would be demolished and replaced with a temporary station by summer 2014. Two Crossrail tracks will be installed next to existing North Kent lines. A number of bridges will also be raised and legthened to accomodate overhead electric wires.


11am: Renewable energy firm Tidal Energy has now completed the supply chain for its DeltaStream prototype, Wales’ first full-scale tidal turbine.

The completion of the final three contracts allows the firm to begin the fbrication and testing process ahead of deployment.

“With more than 90% of the companies involved in out project headquartered in the UK, we are seeing the emergence of a comprehensive 360-degree, domestic supply chain,” said Tidal Energy managing director Martin Murphy. “As Wales’ first full scale tidal project we believe that we can act as a catalyst for marine energy here, bringing world-leading technical capabilities and experience to work in partnership with local businesses.”


10.55am: The rail line between Hatfield and Stainforth, Yorkshire has reopened after a landslip forced its closure in February this year.

More on this story here.


10.20am: Work has been completed in a £48M programme to increase train frequency and reliability in South West Wales.

Work included the removal of a bottleneck at Loughor viaduct, as well as a new platform and upgraded facilities at Gowerton station.

“Investment in rail has proven to be a catalyst for economic growth and we see huge untapped opportunities in Wales,” said Network Rail Wales route managing director Mark Langman. “And this is made possible owing to a shared vision and a strong partnership, which we want to emulate in other parts of Wales.”


10am: Expanding Heathrow into an integrated air and rail hub is “the only realistic solution to UK airport congestion,” according to a paper released today by the centre for policy studies.

The paper, entitled Pointmaker: double up on Heathrow proposed extending Heathrow’s two existing runways to lengths of around 7,000m, allowing them to be used for simultaneous takeoffs and landings.

A new terminal would also be built north of Terminal 5 and connected directly to the M25 motorway, Crossrail, the Great Western Main Line and an alternative High Speed 2 route.


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