Tag Archives: GB

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Press release: Industrial Strategy will help unlock Northern Ireland’s potential

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire, today hailed the launch of a modern Industrial Strategy which will build on the UK’s strengths and tackle its underlying weaknesses to secure a future as a competitive, global nation.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said:

The Industrial Strategy is a vital part of the plan set out by the Prime Minister last week to drive growth across the whole United Kingdom and create more high skilled, high paid jobs and opportunities.

New Sector Deals and investment in research and development will support the industries of the future where the UK – and Northern Ireland in particular – has the potential to lead the world, from electric vehicles to biotech and quantum technologies.

My engagement with the Northern Ireland business community over the last six months has left me in no doubt about the opportunities that Northern Ireland can unlock. Today’s Strategy Green Paper offers Northern Ireland businesses a valuable opportunity to address sector-specific challenges and work with government on solutions that can help.

I will continue to engage with all relevant stakeholders in Northern Ireland to explore how to maximise the positive impact that this Strategy can have in Northern Ireland, particularly in exploring Sector Deals, removing barriers to innovation and growth and developing new trade and investment deals to increase exports.

I will also be making the case for political stability as a fundamental basis for industrial success. Securing strong, stable devolved institutions in Northern Ireland that will provide leadership, support innovation and boost skills will be vital to delivering on Northern Ireland’s potential as a place to invest and do business.

There is a pedigree of achievement in Northern Ireland to build upon with 54,000 more people in work than in 2010. Now is the time to build on that success and look ahead to future opportunities, as the government steps forward to help build a United Kingdom that works for everyone.

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Press release: Planned road works in the North West: summary for Monday 23 to Sunday 29 January 2017

The following summary of planned new and ongoing road improvements over the coming week is correct as of Friday 20 January and could be subject to change due to weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances. All our improvement work is carried out with the aim of causing as little disruption as possible. Drivers looking for roadworks information (such as overnight carriageway closures) for individual schemes should now visit Traffic England.

Some of our larger schemes have project pages giving other information. These can now be accessed from a dedicated regional page.

M6 junctions 16 to 19: Cheshire smart motorway

Work is underway to upgrade the M6 to a smart motorway between Crewe and Knutsford, converting the hard shoulder to an extra lane and introducing new variable speed limits. The project is due to be completed in spring 2018. The northbound carriageway is due to be closed overnight (10pm to 6am) between junctions 18 and 19 on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 January. A diversion will be in place.

The closures are as follows:

  • Wednesday 25th January, full closure M6 south bound J19 to J18 10pm-6am.
  • Thursday 26th January, full closure M6 northbound J18 to J19 10pm-6am.
  • Friday 27th January, full closure M6 northbound J18 to J19 10pm-6am.

M6 junction 22 Newton-le-Willows

Essential bridge maintenance work is underway to replace 40 corroded bearings on the M6 junction 22 bridges. Average speed cameras and a 50mph speed limit are in place. The work, between junctions 21a and 23, is due to be completed in the spring.

M6 junction 34 Lancaster

Lancashire County Council’s new link road between junction 34 of the M6 and Heysham has now opened but finishing work will require lane and hard shoulder closures along the M6 through junction 34 to continue for the time being.

More information is available on the scheme website.

M6 North of Tebay services

20 January to 5 March. Night time single lane running will be in place southbound between 8pm and 6am with 2 lanes open daytime. A 50mph speed limit will be in force. Tebay services exit slip closure is required for 1 night only for resurfacing works.

M60 junction 8 Sale to junction 20 Rochdale

A major smart motorway scheme is taking place to cut congestion and improve journey times on parts of the M60 and the M62 in Greater Manchester. The scheme involves overnight slip road and carriageway closures, with narrow lanes and a temporary 50mph speed limit in place for the safety of drivers and road workers.

Details on overnight closures are available on our Facebook page.

M61 junctions 4 Atherton to junction 5 Westhoughton

A scheme is taking place overnight to replace the central reservation barrier between junctions 4 and 5 on the M61. The work is being carried out between 9pm and 5am, Monday to Friday, and is due to be completed by February. Temporary lane closures will be in place.

M61 to A580 Kearsley

The southbound link road from junction 2 of the M61 near Kearsley to the eastbound A580 East Lancashire Road is closed overnight for resurfacing. The work will take place between 8pm and 5am, Monday to Friday, and until 7am at weekends. The scheme is due to be completed by early February.

M6/M62 Croft Interchange

Work has begun to install smart motorway technology on the link road between the two motorways.

The following closures will be in place:

  • night-time full closures of the M62 East-bound on Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday (23/24/25 Jan) for establishment of the narrow lane
  • night-time full closures of the M62 West-bound on Thursday (26 Jan) for establishment of the narrow lanes

M66 Junction 2 Bury to Junction 4 at M60/M62

Resurfacing work started on Monday 16 January between junctions 2 and 4 of the M66. Some bridge repairs and electrical work will also take place. The work will be carried out between 8pm and 6am and will require some lane or full carriageway closures. A temporary 50mph speed limit will also be in place, and the scheme is due to be completed by March.

A556 Knutsford to Bowdon

A £192 million project is being delivered to build a new dual carriageway linking the M56 to the M6 in Cheshire. The A56 Lymm Road will be closed at the junction with Bowdon roundabout between 6am and 6pm on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 January.

A585 West Drive to Fleetwood Cycleway

Work is taking place on a new shared footpath and cycleway between West Drive and Fleetwood. Narrow lanes and a temporary 30mph speed limit are being used along the route to help provide a safe space for workers constructing the new shared paths. Work will take place between 7am and 7pm each day with occasional overnight work. The project is due to be completed by the end of March.

A585 Esprick

20 to 24 January. Daytime traffic signals are in place to replace an existing damaged fire hydrant frame and cover 9.30am to 3.30pm.

A590 Lindal in Furness

Work is being carried out to tackle flooding between Pennington Lane and Bank End Cottages. Narrow lanes and a temporary 30mph speed limit will be in place until completion at the end of March.

A590 Quebec Street

Daytime traffic signals will be in place 9.30am to 3.30pm for 1 day on 23 January. They be re-erected on 26 January for 7 days between the same times. Quebec Street and Swan street will be closed and diversions in place from 23 Jan for 2 weeks for removing the existing tarmac and replacing it with a new asphalt surface and new road markings.

A595 Egremont

Repairs are taking place to the safety barriers adjacent to Wyndham Place on the A595 and are due to be completed by the end of February. A contraflow system is in place on the southern approach to the Main Street/East Road roundabout.

A55 Junction 40 Nantwich

The southbound entry slip road at junction 40 of the A55, where it meets the A51, will be closed overnight for resurfacing and electrical work for two nights from Saturday 21 January. The slip road will be closed between 8pm and 7am, with a diversion in place.

A66 Brough

Resurfacing work started on Monday 14 November and will continue until the end of January. Overnight lane closures will be in place, between 8pm and 6am, with traffic led through the roadworks by a contractor’s vehicle.

A66 Embleton

Work is taking place to install new signs and paint white lines at the Embleton junction. Temporary night time traffic lights will be in place 23 to 26 January traffic lights are in place, and the scheme is due to be completed later this month.

A66 Bassenthwaite Lake

A contraflow system is in place while work is carried out on the embankment in the central reservation next to Bass Lake. The scheme is due to be completed in the spring.

A66 Thornthwaite (Osprey Site)

Construction work is being carried out to protect the A66 from flooding, at the Osprey Site near Thornthwaite, by raising the height of the carriageway. Temporary traffic lights are in place along with a 40mph speed limit. The scheme is due to be completed in the spring.

A66 Marron Bridge

Maintenance work begins on 27 January on Marron Bridge, between Broughton Cross and Bridgefoot on the A66. Temporary traffic lights will be in place, mainly during off-peak hours, for the first phase of the scheme. A 30mph speed limit will be in place. Night time closures will take effect from 27 January. The project is due to be completed by March.

A665 Bury Old Road

A scheme is taking place to upgrade the safety barriers on the A665 bridge on Bury Old Road over the M60 near junction 17. The work will be carried out between 8.30am and 11pm, Monday to Friday, with temporary traffic lights and lane closures in place from 6.30pm. Some overnight and weekend working may also be required. The Kenilworth Avenue junction with Bury Old Road will be closed throughout the scheme, with a diversion in place. The project is due to be completed by March.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

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Press release: Find out more about updated plans to improve the A63 in Hull

Motorists, hauliers and local residents are invited to find out more about proposals to improve almost a mile of the A63 in Hull, reducing congestion, and improving the city’s east to west links.

Two public consultation exhibitions are taking place at the Mercure Royal Station Hotel later this week. Highways England is seeking views on the A63 proposals and there will be an opportunity to speak to the project team.

The exhibitions will take place on:

  • Friday 27 January 12.30pm – 8pm
  • Saturday 28 January 10am – 4pm

Highways England’s plans to upgrade a major route running through the city of Hull, went on show to the public last week. The Statutory consultation period launched on Monday 16 January and runs until Monday 13 February.

The section between Ropery Street and the Market Place/Queen Street junction carries around 45,000 vehicles per day and as a result, the road suffers from congestion, particularly at peak times.

Highways England project manager Jimmy Holmes said:

We are committed to improving the A63 through Hull and would really like people to get involved in the consultation event and give us their feedback, particularly on the new information which is now available.

The A63 Castle Street scheme will improve access to the Port of Hull by widening some sections of the road, upgrading the Mytongate junction and a bridge over the A63.

I understand people may have felt they have already done this but things have changed and it is vital we have the most up to date views available.

Highways England last consulted on the scheme in 2013, since that time we have been developing the scheme further and completing additional environmental and traffic assessments.

Councillor Martin Mancey, Portfolio Holder for Transport at Hull City Council, said:

This is another key step in Hull’s changing fortunes, and the upgrade of this arterial route will enhance the city’s connectivity to key routes such as the M62, which is crucial for the city’s position as a key player in the Northern Powerhouse.

Once completed, I anticipate it will also contribute to a significant reduction in traffic congestion elsewhere in the city, caused by traffic currently queuing to join Castle Street from the City Centre and by those using alternative routes to avoid the congestion on Castle Street.

We’ve had significant private sector investment in the city and have welcomed global businesses like Siemens to Hull, creating well paid jobs for local people, and making Hull one of the fastest growing economies in the North. Coupled with the capital investment in our cultural and visitor infrastructure, perceptions of the city are changing and both public and business confidence and aspiration are at an all-time high.

We want to continue this momentum, and this can only be made possible by developing a transport network that is fit-for-purpose.

Copies of the consultation are available at various venues including Hull City Council, Guildhall, Hull. Leaflets have been delivered to interested parties and they are also available to view on the scheme website.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

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Press release: Have your say on plans to widen A12 in Essex

The project, which will see the widening of the A12 between junction 19 (Boreham interchange) and junction 25 (Marks Tey interchange) in Essex, will reduce congestion, improve safety and boost the economy. It is part of the government’s record £15 billion investment in England’s motorways and major A roads.

A Highways England consultation seeking public views on the proposals starts today and will run until Friday 3 March 2017.

Four options were shortlisted to be put forward to consultation:

  • Option 1 – widening the existing A12 corridor (the online option)
  • Option 2 – widening the existing A12 corridor between junctions 19 to 22 and 23 to 24 and two new bypasses between junctions 22 and 23 (Rivenhall) and between junctions 24 and 25 (Marks Tey)
  • Option 3 – a variation of option 2 with only one new bypass between junctions 22 and 23 (Rivenhall)
  • Option 4 – a variation of option 2 with only one new bypass between junctions 24 and 25 (Marks Tey)
Map showing the different options up for consultation on the A12 between junctions 19 and 25

Highways England programme leader Richard Hofton said:

Deciding how best to plan and carry out improvements along the A12 is vitally important and we’ve been working hard to identify a range of possible solutions to take forward.

There are important choices to be made and we are keen to get as many views as we can, so I encourage anyone who would like to find out more to check out the consultation materials online or come and see us at one of our public exhibitions.

People are invited to attend one of the seven public exhibitions, held at venues along the A12 route between Chelmsford and Colchester, to find out more and take part. A consultation into plans for proposed improvements on the A120, which is being organised by Essex County Council is also being run at the same time and some of the events will be run jointly.

All responses to the A12 consultation will help Highways England take the best possible improvements forward. For more information about our proposals and the public exhibitions, and to provide your views, please visit the scheme website.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

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Greens call on Defra to improve air pollution alerts

23 January 2017

Jenny Jones, Green member of the House of Lords, has responded to the latest air pollution episode which saw some areas of the country hit Defra’s highest warning level [1].

The London Mayor issued a health warning to millions of Londoners – but the government continues to do nothing to alert people except tweet from its specialist @DefraUKAir account. 

The official Defra alert page says that there are no alerts at this time, despite pollution being high or very high in the south and east of the country.

Jenny Jones said:

“The Mayor of London clearly cares about the health impacts of bad air on people living and working in the capital, but this government is letting everyone else suffer without any warning whats so ever. When air pollution episodes are capable of triggering an extra 300 deaths as well as hundreds of emergency admissions to hospitals around the country, I think that we have to consider emergency measures to discourage driving, encourage a switch away from diesel and promote less polluting alternatives.

“The government’s sole aim is to downplay the whole thing. No press release. It doesn’t even make the main DEFRA twitter feed, or use the NHS to reach out to vulnerable people. They want to tick the smallest of boxes by putting out the minimum of information. It is then up to those who are vulnerable to respiratory diseases and heart conditions to find that information. It is criminal neglect by a government that has lost two court cases over its inadequate plans.”

Notes:

1. https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/latest/

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