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News stand

What the papers say

The Guardian

Four of the new fleet of 130 supposedly safer ''bendy buses' have burst into flames since December last year. Manufacturer EvoBus said the fires had different causes and were puzzled over their frequency. They have introduced nightly checks and fire extinguishers on buses and are in talks with Transport for London.

Trains on the Midland Main Line should soon be running on time aided by a radical old technology, the Acme Thunderer whistle. The ear-piercing sound warns passengers they have a minute to board the train and is already improving punctuality.

European aircraft manufacturer Airbus is in urgent talks with environment watchdogs and port officials in north Wales over plans to dredge the River Dee. The work is needed to enable wings for the new A380 superjumbo to be shipped from a factory in Broughton to Toulouse in France, where the 80m-span wings will be fitted to the new aircraft. The Environment Agency is concerned that dredging poses a threat to wildlife.


Campaigners have threatened Meath County Council and the National Roads Authority with legal action to save the archaeologically rich TaraSkryne valley from plans to build the M3 motorway. They claim proposed works would be illegal under the National Monuments Acts.

The European Parliament and European Commission praised Ireland's presidency of the Council of Ministers last week after an agreement obliging national railways to open their markets to freight services from 2006 was reached. The aim is to shift freight transport from motorways to trains.


Speed cameras catch a driver every four seconds, a survey said last week, with over 2M fines issued last year. A third of motorists believe the cameras' function is to raise revenue.


The RMT transport union is to strike ballot 3,000 members employed by Jarvis over fears of job and wage cuts when rail maintenance workers transfer to Network Rail at the end of the month. Network Rail hopes to save £300M by bringing maintenance work in house.

Many allegations of bribery and corruption by British firms and individuals overseas have escaped investigation. This is despite claims being made to government agencies since February 2002.

Babcock International executive chairman Gordon Campbell is expected to replace Hugh Collum as chairman of government-owned British Nuclear Fuels within the next two weeks. The company has been troubled recently by nuclear decommissioning liabilities, falling electricity prices and legal action from the Irish government over discharges from the Sellafield plant.


Network Rail directors will lose a third of their £1M bonuses after failing to hit this year's performance targets. Although the delays total was 13.7M minutes, 1M minutes less than in 2003, it still exceeded this year's target of 13.25M minutes.

Wales is to become an international centre for wave power generation using new Danish technology. A sea-based power plant is to be built near Milford Haven by Danish company Wave Dragon using European Union funds.

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