Rail Regulator Tom Winsor was expected to issue a final enforcement order on Railtrack's £5.8bn West Coast Main Line project this week. The order will require Railtrack to include 42 extra slow train paths to free up paths to high speed tilting trains by 2005. Failure to comply could force Railtrack to pay for the work.
Civil engineering work will hit an eight year peak in 2001, according to the forecasts from Construction Forecasting and Research. CFR has upgraded its infrastructure forecasts for the next two years, predicting 2% growth in 2000 and 4% in 2001. It also predicts 0.8% growth this year for the new building sector and a 1.1% decline in 2001. Total construction work is forecast to jump 2.5% in 2000 and 2.1% next year.
More than 80% of the population is concerned about 'things that might happen to the countryside', according to the Countryside Agency's annual survey. It adds that 50% would like to live the rural life. But there are problems of deprivation - many areas have no public transport. Ecological damage includes 2.2Mt annually of soil erosion. www.countryside.gov.uk