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NCE Live News Updates Monday 23 September: Preston bus station listed

Draft plans include three-lane highway south of Newport; Preston bus station listed; Boris wants travellators for Oxford Street

5pm: English Heritage used ‘structural interest’ as a key plank of its successful bid to secure listed status for Preston bus station, it has emerged.

The application submitted by the heritage body on behalf of the 1960s Brutalist structure used this term among six key arguments.

It said: “By using techniques such as glass reinforced polyester pre-cast moulding it was possible to create a design which serves the function of the building as well as contributing to its aesthetic power.”

Culture minister Ed Vaizey today granted the demolition-threatened Preston bus station Grade II listed status.


4.15pm: Minerals firms have urged the government to slash costs and taxes they say are strangling the cement industry.

The Mineral Products Association said UK cement suppliers were vulnerable to overseas competition.

MPA Cement executive director Pal Chana said: “Industry is struggling to compete in the face of ever increasing costs; some of which are centrally imposed by government.”

The body’s Cementing the Future report calls for the government to scrap green taxes on UK suppliers and reduce the cost burden on the industry.


3:30pm: Tunnelling work on Sweden’s Hallandsås tunnel has been completed – more than 20 years after it began.

The Herrenknecht tunnel boring machine has cut through the final metres of rock, finishing the shell of the twin-bore tunnel.

A Vinci-Skanska joint venture began tunnelling work in earnest in September 2005. This came after faltering starts to the project in 1992 and 1993.

The Hallandsås Tunnel will form a vital part of the West Coast rail link between Gothenburg and Lund.


3.10pm: More travellator news: Boris wants them for Oxford Street.

Hot on the heels of Dragados’ winning use of travellators on the Bank Station Upgrade, London mayor Boris Johnson told Twitter that he’d looked into the technology for London’s busiest shopping street.

“I have been seriously thinking about airport style travelators,” he tweets, in response to a question on how to combat pedestrian congestion on Oxford Street.

3pm: Here is culture minister Ed Vaizey on his shock decision to protect Preston bus station from demolition.

“Preston bus station is a remarkably good example of integrated 1960s traffic planning that still functions as originally intended,” he said.

“It represents an important stage in the evolution of integrated design in England - pioneered by Building Design Partnership - with architecture, interior design, engineering, quantity surveying, landscaping, graphic and typographic design working to a common goal.

“The fitting out of the building survives well with original features such as floor finishes, signage and barriers making an important contribution to its aesthetic impact. I am very happy to end the uncertainty around the future of this building and accept the advice of English Heritage and give it the extra protection from demolition or redevelopment that listing provides.”


2.15pm: Culture minister Ed Vaizey has listed the demolition-threatened Preston bus station.

The 1960s structure will become Grade II listed after the third attempt by English Heritage to secure this status.

Preston City Council confirmed in December 2012 it would bulldoze the Brutalist bus station.

But council leader Peter Rankin said today: “We will have to take some time now to consider the listing decision and the options for moving forward.

“In particular, we need to look at costs and the impact on budgets and how it affects Preston taxpayers.”


12:15pm: Skanska has secured a £45M electrical connections contract in London.

The contractor will plan and install electrical connection projects in the capital for UK Power Networks.

The deal starts in October 2013 and will last for three years with a possible extension for a further two.

Skanska utilities managing director Peter Jones said: “Winning the project strengthens our commitment to the power sector.”


12pm: More than 70,000 jobs could be created in the renewables sector over the next decade, according to a report.

The study, by trade body RenewableUK, found that 18,465 people were currently employed in the wind, wave and tidal energy sectors.

This represented a 74 per cent rise in jobs since 2010, and further growth could be ahead, according to the report.

RenewableUK chief executive Maria McCaffery said: “Industry and Government need to work side by side to back this workforce and the growth they generate.”


11.30pm: Glasgow-headquartered contractor RJ McLeod has been awarded a £5.5M job at the Dunmaglass wind farm.

The firm will carry out enabling works on the scheme, which lies 25km south of Inverness, for client SSE Renewables.

Main construction works on the Dunmaglass project, which received planning consent in December 2010, are scheduled to begin next spring.

The 33-turbine wind farm will have an installed capacity of 94.059MW.


11am: Network Rail is looking for 100 university leavers for its 2014 graduate programme.

The rail infrastructure operator will be taking on graduates in a range of specialisms including project management, engineering, finance and supply chain management.

It is also offering 28 one-year work placements for those taking a year out between their second and third years at university.

Mike Bickford, head of resourcing for Network Rail, said: “Building this sort of pipeline for future leaders of the company helps us deliver a better railway for everyone.”


10am: New motorway could be built in South Wales under plans revealed this weekend.

The Welsh Government launched a consultation on a draft plan to improve the flow of traffic around Newport.

Its proposals include a new three-lane motorway between junctions 23 and 29 of the M4, running to the south of Newport.

The existing M4 running to the north of the town between those junctions would be reclassified as non-motorway.

The consultation will close on 16 December.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Preston Bus Station
    I lived in Preston, 1970 to 2007, and regularly used the bus station and car park above. Perhaps at long last Preston City Council will now be motivated to address the problems of totally inadequate pedestrian access via grim subways to this island site. There area of surplus hard-standing should be remodelled into a modern passenger-friendly bus station, next to the iconic multi-storey car park.

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