Championship football club eyes 40,000-seater arena in regeneration zone
5pm: Mobile concrete batchers have pledged to make their vehicles more cyclist friendly.
Trade body the Batched on Site Association announced a new policy requiring all its members’ mobile batching plant vehicles to fit under-run bars.
These are designed to protect cyclists and other road users from coming into contact with vehicle wheels in the event of an accident.
BSA chairman Chris Smith said the policy was designed “to bring the sector’s safety guidance up to date in light of the increasing number of cyclists on our roads, who need to be protected”.
4.45pm: A 60-day safety probe is to be carried out into the line in New York on which a passenger train derailed on 1 December.
The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration said the comprehensive probe would be made into Metro-North Commuter Railroad.
Operation Deep Dive will begin on Monday and exhaustively review the line’s compliance with federal regulations; its procedures and practices; and its safety culture.
Transportation secretary Anthony Foxx said: “Safety is our top priority, and this in-depth investigation will help ensure that Metro-North is doing everything possible to improve its safety record.
“Together with our other recent efforts, Operation Deep Dive will give travelers the peace of mind they deserve when traveling throughout the railroad’s region.”
4pm: Mouchel has set its sights on hiring 600 engineers over the next 12 months.
The engineering giant said it would be bringing the staff – including technicians, graduates and apprentices – into its infrastructure services business to meet future workloads.
It came as the company revealed it had a £2bn order book at its year end on 30 September – equalling its highest ever pipeline of secured work.
Mouchel posted turnover of £555M for the year to 30 September 2013 and pre-tax profit of £16.6M
3.30pm: The contractor transforming Scotland’s national stadium into a world class venue for the 2014 Commonwealth Games has become a sponsor of the event.
Malcolm Construction, which this month started work on Hampden Park in Glasgow, was named as the 2014 Games’ official construction provider
The contractor will raise the playing surface at the venue by more than 1.8m on a grid of structural steel stilts.
For Games-time the arena will be transformed into a 44,000-seater stadium, before returning to its current 52,000 capacity.
Martin Kiely, managing director of Malcolm Construction, said: “We are delighted to be named a sponsor for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games in our home city.”
3pm: Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing has granted planning consent for a power station near Spean Bridge in North-west Scotland.
The hydroelectric pumped storage generating station at Coire Glas will be developed by Scottish and Southern Energy.
It will consist of a dam and reservoir at Loch a ‘Choire Ghlais; an underground cavern power station and underground tunnel system; and an outlet area on the shore of Loch Lochy.
The station will have a generating capacity of up to 600MW, with an energy storage capacity of up to 30GWh.
Mr Ewing said: “The construction programme for the Coire Glas development is expected to last five to six years and during this time it is estimated 150 jobs will be created.”
12.30pm: Plans for a £500M overhaul of The Crystal Palace in south London have moved a step closer to being realised.
Developer the ZhongRong Group called for expressions of interest from architects in designing the high profile scheme.
The new culture-led exhibition and employment space at the top of Crystal Palace Park will incorporate the listed Italian-style terraces and other Victorian heritage in the park.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “The key to the success of this exciting regeneration project, which is set to generate a significant number of jobs in London, is high quality design working in harmony with the rich heritage of this historic site.”
The Crystal Palace was designed by Joseph Paxton for the 1851 Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, and was expanded and relocated to South London in 1854.
12pm: A panel of MPs has urged the government to ‘look seriously’ at the case for starting construction of High Speed 2 from its northern tip as well as from its southern end.
The cross-party Transport Committee today published its latest report into the proposed £42bn rapid rail link.
Sir David Higgins, who will become chairman of HS2 Ltd in January, told the committee in October that the project promoter “should certainly look at” building from the north.
Committee chair Louise Ellman said today: “HS2 can play a major role in promoting economic growth in the UK’s major city regions.
“We welcome the assurance given to us recently by Sir David Higgins, incoming chair of HS2, that he will re-examine the case for building the line from north-to-south, as well as from London northwards.”
She added that the committee “remained confident” that a new high speed line was the only way to deliver the capacity needed on the West Coast Main Line.
11am: Balfour Beatty has completed the sale of its UK facilities management business.
The contractor informed the City it had sold the business to GDF Suez Energy Services in a deal worth about £155M.
Balfour said the cash would be used to reduce borrowings and, over time, to fund investments consistent with its strategy.
Chief executive Andrew McNaughton said: “I am very pleased with the successful execution of this transaction. Not only have we found a good home for the business, but we have also achieved good value for our shareholders.”
10.30am: A council in the North East is looking for contractors to maintain and improve its roads.
North East Lincolnshire Council called for expressions of interest in its highways works framework.
It intends to appoint seven contractors to a four-year framework worth up to £7.4M.
Interested parties have until 4pm on 21 January 2014 to request to participate. More information on the OJEU notice.
10am: Queens Park Rangers Football Club has announced plans to build a 40,000-seater stadium in west London.
The Championship team said it aimed to start developing the facility in Old Oak Common in 2015.
Chairman Tony Fernandes said: “Loftus Road is - and always will be - a special place for the club and our supporters, but we need more than an 18,000 capacity.
“With no option of expanding here, we have to look elsewhere and we welcome the Mayor’s and Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s commitment to regenerate the area, which includes an option to develop a new stadium at Old Oak as a key catalyst to bring forward redevelopment, cementing our future in this part of West London.”
Fernandes said the wider regeneration scheme would include new transport infrastructure as well as more than 20,000 homes.