Overwhelming backing for project to link South-west and North-east London
5pm: A West London council is trialling an image recognition system that can help lorry drivers spot cyclists.
Ealing Council has fitted the Cycle Safety Shield System to a ten-plate grab lorry operated by its highway repairs contractor Murrills Construction.
The system is designed to detect cyclists and pedestrians 360 degrees around the vehicle while filtering out inanimate objects. An alarm sounds to the driver if a cyclists or pedestrian comes too close.
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz said: “This trial is the next step in the council’s plans to transform Ealing into a safer and friendlier cycling borough, and builds on the cycling awareness training we have already provided for more than 150 of our lorry drivers.
“If successful, we hope to roll the system out across our contractors’ entire fleet.”
10.30am: The government has awarded oil and gas extraction licences to a further 52 companies.
This takes the total number of licences handed out in the latest round to an all-time high of 219.
Ministers are keen to maximise resources from the North Sea to boost energy security, revenue and jobs.
Energy minister Michael Fallon said: “The level of interest in this round demonstrates the continuing attractiveness of the UK’s oil and resources and licensing system.”
10am: A report commissioned by the Scottish government has found that deep geothermal energy could play a significant role in the country’s future.
The Aecom study found that the most promising prospect was heat energy accessible via abandoned mine workings across Scotland’s Central Belt.
Aecom energy practice director Ian Gillies said: “Our study has demonstrated that geothermal energy could provide a sustainable source of heat for homes, buildings and industry with the location of the resources corresponding well with the most densely populated areas of Scotland.
“Successful commercialisation of this sector will require a strong partnership between private sector developers, the Scottish Government, government agencies and other stakeholders to gradually increase confidence, reduce costs and encourage investment.”
9am: Plans for a second Crossrail project in London have been strongly backed by the public.
Results published by Transport for London and Network Rail show that 95% of almost 14,000 respondents to a consultation on Crossrail 2 supported the scheme.
Crossrail 2 would link South-west and North-east London in a bid to cope with London’s forecast population growth.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “This consultation reveals that there’s a very clear stamp of approval for Crossrail 2 from Londoners and from business.
“People can clearly see the immense value of a project that will relieve pressure on suburban rail routes and on the Underground, as well as helping to spur economic growth in a key quadrant of the capital.
“In addition, if HS2 goes ahead, Crossrail 2 would provide a vital interchange at Euston, which would be under significant strain from greater passenger numbers. The key question now is not whether Crossrail 2 should happen, but how quickly can we get it built.”