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NCE Live News Updates Friday 11 October: Industry output falls

Official data shows fall in construction work in August

5.15pm: A consortium of Artelia, Arcadis and BG Consulting Engineers has secured work on the Paris rail loop scheme.

The Artemis Group was awarded the contracts for client support and general operations management for the infrastructure of Lines 15, 16 and 17 of the Grand Paris Express.

These lines will form a 110km automatic rail loop around the French capital.

Work will include directing contractors and architects; in-systems design and implementation; and co-ordination with all other members of the project and client teams.


4.15pm: A road diversion has been created on farmland in Scotland to allow the construction of a bridge over a new railway line.

The four-lane temporary road has been successfully installed next to the A720 so engineers can start preparation work for a bridge to carry the existing road over the new rail track.

The £294M Borders Rail project will see seven stations and 30 miles of new railway constructed on the route of the fomer Waverley Line.

Borders Railway project director Hugh Wark said: “Completing the A720 diversion has been a critical milestone for the Borders project as it allows us to move forward into period of intense construction.”


3.15pm: A senior industry economist has described infrastructure output as “a major concern”.

Data from the Office for National Statistics today showed that civils work in August was down 0.7% from July and 5.5% from August 2012.

Construction Products Association economics director Noble Francis said the housing-driven construction recovery could only be sustained with long-term growth in infrastructure.

“Despite repeated government announcements of capital investment for the sector, infrastructure output has in fact fallen 11 per cent since the coalition came to power,” he said.


2.45pm: Cambridge City Council is looking for contractors for a civils framework.

Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation is inviting applications on the council’s behalf for places on the five-lot, two-year agreement.

The framework – worth a total of up to £5M – will be split into major civils works; minor civils works; soft landscaping; fencing and timber works; and watercourses.

Contractors have until 8 November to register their interest. More information here.


12pm: The disappointing construction output figures have been described as ‘a blip’ by an industry expert.

Office for National Statistics data showed construction work was down 0.1% in August after rising 2.8% in July.

But Steve McGuckin, UK managing director of consultancy Turner & Townsend, said: “Britain’s construction industry has been making great strides for much of this year – and August’s underwhelming figures are a blip, not a trip.

“The long-term trajectory is upward, and the industry’s 4% year-on-year increase in output shows how far it has come.”


11.30am: Civils workloads have fallen, according to official data.

The Office for National Statistics recorded £1.08bn of infrastructure output in August.

This was down 0.7% from July, and down 5.5% from August 2012.

Overall construction output dropped 0.1 per cent from July 2013, according to the ONS.


11am: An important stage in the project to improve Peterborough station will be completed by the end of the year, Network Rail has announced.

Work to install a new signalling system will take place from late on Christmas Eve to the end of 27 December, with the East Midlands station reopening on 28 December.

This will mark completion of the final key stage of the £43M project to create a bigger, brighter, better station.

So far, existing platforms have been extended; new platforms added; a footbridge and lifts built; and a new-look concourse created.


10.30am: The government has set out its proposals for implementing electricity market reform.

Interested parties have until Christmas Eve to respond to a consultation document setting out how key mechanisms of the reform will work.

These measures – including contracts for difference and a capacity market – are intended to drive investment in low-carbon power.

Energy secretary Ed Davey said: We need to attract the £110bn of private capital investment required in this decade alone to replace the old and dirty power stations that are going off line and move to cleaner low carbon energy.”  


10am: Two projects to strengthen unstable stretches of road on the Isle of Wight are set to start on site next month.

At Bouldnor Road – the main approach into Yarmouth – work will involve strengthening a 700m stretch of the highway between Viewpoint Car Park and Yarmouth Green.

Geotechnical work will be undertaken at three stretches at the Undercliff in Niton, where the underlying clay foundations have caused frequent and historic issues of movement.

Island Roads service director Paul Herbert said: “We know that the unstable nature of the highway at both of these locations has been a concern for many years. These schemes have been designed to finally bring lasting solutions to what are important parts of the Island’s highways network.”


9.30am: Thieves have stolen 30 tonnes of rail from a yard in Scotland.

British Transport Police believe a heavy goods vehicle was used to steal the track from the Kittbrewster area of Aberdeen in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Officers have been trawling CCTV footage and carrying out door-to-door enquiries to identify those responsible.

Anyone with information can contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40.

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