NCE looks back on the year the banking world imploded, Heathrow Terminal 5 opened in chaos and Crossrail – described by former transport secretary Ruth Kelly as the biggest infrastructure project in the northern hemisphere – finally gained political approval and funding... May
May was the month when natural disasters wreaked havoc.
A magnitude eight earthquake ripped through China’s mountainous Sichuan province, killing nearly 70,000 and leaving many hundreds of thousands homeless. Tragically, many schools were the first buildings to collapse, which many put down to corruption and cost cutting during construction.
The effectiveness of the relief effort in China was in sharp contrast to that in Burma following the worst natural disaster in its recorded history. It is estimated that cyclone Nargis killed at least 146,000, and more died because aid was restricted by the military government.
London was in the papers again with the election of blonde bombshell Boris Johnson as Mayor, pipping incumbent Ken Livingstone to the post by 6% of the vote. Since coming to power, Johnson has ditched £3.5bn worth of public transport schemes including the Croydon tram extension, a cross river tram and an extension of the Docklands Light Railway. But he did start a feasibility study for a new airport in the Thames Gateway, leaving many wondering what his vision of a sustainable transport system is.