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NCE Live News Updates Friday 31 January: Boris to ban dangerous lorries from London

Mayor works with Transport for London and London Councils to make safety equipment mandatory on capital’s streets

5pm: The UK and French Governments have issued a joint statement declaring their commitment to developing safe nuclear energy.

Energy secretary Ed Davey and French energy minister Phillipe Martin met at a Franco-British Summit being held in Oxfordshire.

Davey said: “Our partnership on nuclear power has already borne fruit, with this government’s agreement with EDF on key commercial terms for an investment contract that would enable Britain’s first new nuclear power station in a generation to be built at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

“The declaration we have signed today will further enhance this relationship, allowing us to explore further commercial opportunities to develop nuclear power, and to enhance our expertise and skills in this sector.”


2pm: Network Rail’s Infrastructure Projects commercial boss David McLoughlin has revealed he is leaving the railway operator to become chief executive of contractor Spencer’s rail business.

McLoughlin’s role as finance and commercial director, which he has held for three years, has largely been focused on transforming the business’s relations with its supply chain.

In July he will join as boss of Spencer Rail, which will be forming a new rail infrastructure business to be led by managing director Raj Sinha.

“He brings with him decades of invaluable experience, providing first-hand expertise of the wide range of issues facing Network Rail, other infrastructure managers and train operators as the industry works together to deliver a better railway for passengers and freight operators,” said Spencer Group chief executive Charlie Spencer.

“I will be placing a huge emphasis on the need to improve safety in our industry,” said McLoughlin. “While the UK has one of Europe’s safest railways, we can and must do more to make the railway safer still, especially for our workforce. At the end of every shift we need to ensure that everyone gets home safe, every day. We must not stop until we reach that goal and this requires a continued focus on further improving the safety culture at all levels of our business.”

McLoughlin is currently division boss Simon Kirby’s key commercial adviser. Kirby, it was revealed earlier this month, is also leaving to join the High Speed 2 mega-project.


11.30am: A formal document for the expansion of Anfield has been published for consideration by Liverpool City Council.

The draft Anfield Spatial Regeneration Framework will go to public consultation if approved by the council’s cabinet on 7 February.

It outlines a number of proposals to regenerate the north of the city and increase the capacity of the football stadium.

Liverpool Football Club managing director Ian Ayre said: “The publication of the draft SRF document is another important milestone in the regeneration project as we continue this exciting journey to transform the Anfield area.”


10.30am: Sellafield power station has asked non-essential staff to stay home after finding high levels of radioactivity on the Cumbrian site.

The company insisted the plant was operating normally and there was no risk to the workforce or public.  

It said levels of radioactivity detected were higher than normal but below that requiring action.

“The site is at normal status and employees and operational plants are continuing to operate as investigations continue,” Sellafield said in a statement.

“We have taken this decision to focus on investigation and avoid disruption on and off the site.”


10am: The Cabinet Office is advertising for a deputy director of construction for its Major Projects Authority.

The role, worth up to £117,000 per year, will support the chief construction adviser in the delivery of the Government Construction Strategy.

It will also require close work with the director-general of the Major Projects Authority in delivering efficiency targets.

The deadline for applications is 9 February. More information on the job advert.


9.30am: Lorries without sideguards and extra mirrors will be banned from London by the end of this year.

Mayor Boris Johnson said he had agreed with Transport for London (TfL) and umbrella body London Councils to bring in the regulation to protect cyclists and pedestrians.  

A legal process is underway to bring the rule into force by the final quarter of this year for all vehicles over 3.5t. TfL proposes to make a Traffic Regulation Order to ban HGVs without cyclist safety equipment on its roads, which are the busiest main roads and carry about 45% of all HGV traffic in London.

Subject to a formal consultation and legal procedures, the process could be completed as early as September, but will be in place by the end of the year at the latest.

Johnson said: “In my Cycling Vision, I said that no lorry should be allowed in London unless it is fitted with equipment to protect cyclists. Neither I nor the boroughs have the power to ban lorries without safety equipment on our own. It was for that reason that I proposed to use a power I do have, to levy a hefty charge on lorries without such equipment.

“But I am pleased to say that after negotiations with London Councils, we can now combine our powers to propose a simple and comprehensive ban.”

The Mayor’s Office said the proposal was a “simpler, quicker and more complete solution than either body could achieve on its own”.

London’s transport commissioner Peter Hendy said: “London has long led the way in working with the freight industry to drive up standards, especially in terms of greater road safety, better driver training and reduced vehicle emissions. TfL will work with the London boroughs to deliver this proposed Safer Lorry Scheme and further demonstrate our commitment to safer roads for all.”

Of 16 cyclist deaths in London in 2011, nine involved HGVs and seven of these were construction lorries.

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