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NCE Live News Updates Wednesday 11 December 2013: Skanska bags £128.5M highways job; Committee rules against downgrading climate change ambitions

Skanska is to carry out major works to remodel junction 19 of the major motorway near Rugby. Meanwhile, an influential committee on climate change has ruled there is no justification for lowering climate change requirements.

11.30am: Skanska has won a £128.5M contract from the Highways Agency for work on the M1 at junction 19

Full construction works are due to start in early January 2014 with target completion in autumn/winter 2016/17.

The announcement marks another major milestone for the overall project to remodel the M1 Junction 19, following the completion of the £18M replacement of Catthorpe Viaduct in June 2012.

Currently, junction 19 suffers from congestion and delays, especially at peak periods. The project will lead to improved safety and journey reliability, separating local traffic from long-distance traffic.

The scope of works includes the construction of direct free-flow links easing traffic movements at the intersections linking the M1, M6 and A14.

The junction will be built on three levels, to a height similar to that of the existing junction. The scheme also includes refurbishment works to local roads.


11.25am: The Committee on Climate Change has ruled that there is no basis to change the fourth carbon budget

The committee said that there has been no change in the circumstances upon which the fourth carbon budget (2023-2027) was originally set in 2011 that would justify a lowering of ambition.

Therefore, it said, the budget should not and cannot be changed under the terms of the Climate Change Act. If anything, changed circumstances point towards a tightening of the budget, it continued, but added that it had decided it would be premature to do so until uncertainties at the EU level have been resolved.

The CCC’s advice comes as part of an agreement with the Government that the budget would be reviewed in 2014. The Climate Change Act (2008) sets out the basis for the review: it must be based on advice from the CCC and only if there has been significant change in circumstances, demonstrated by evidence and analysis, can the budget be changed.

The report compares a strategy of reducing emissions through the 2020s with one where action is delayed until the 2030s. It shows that there are significant savings associated with early action (for example over £100bn in present value terms under assumptions that the gas price remains at the current level, with much higher savings in a world with a high gas price). The only situation where early action would be more costly is if there were to be a combination of a low carbon price and low fossil fuel prices, it said.

Read more here.


From late yesterday: Balfour Beatty is to sell its Scandinavian Rail business to Strukton Rail for £4M as part of its strategy to divest its mainland Europe rail businesses, revealed in its results in March.

The firm is in discussion with a number of potential buyers for the sale of its German business and has begun discussion over its Italian business too.


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