Tag Archives: HM Government


Press release: Leeds Festival advice for drivers

Drivers are advised that motorways and major A roads leading to the Leeds Festival site at Bramham Park are likely to be busy later this week (24 – 26 August) as music fans make their way to the site.

It is expected that the busiest day for festival traffic will be Thursday 24 August.

Emergency planning manager for Highways England in Yorkshire, Hayley Robson said:

Highways England will be doing all we can to alleviate congestion on the major routes to the event to keep traffic flowing, even so it will be busier than normal in this area over the festival weekend.

We have a lot of experience of handling events like this and have tried and tested systems in place. We work with our emergency service colleagues and the event organisers to ensure those heading for the events get there with minimum fuss and delays.

Drivers are advised to plan and check their travel routes in advance, and to keep up-to-date with the latest road conditions.

Traffic travelling northbound will access the festival site on the A1 for Leeds at junction 45, southbound traffic will be directed to use junction 44.

Increased levels of traffic are also expected on Monday 28 August as people leave the festival.

The A64 will be closed from 9pm on Sunday 27 August at the Bramham Interchange and the Fox and Grapes pub until mid-afternoon on Monday 28 August.

It will be completely closed eastbound at the Fox and Grapes pub and signed as closed westbound at Bramham Interchange.

Incoming traffic for pick up will use junction 44 of the A1(M) turning left onto the A64 towards Leeds. Non-festival traffic is advised to consider alternative routes or allow more time for their journey.

Highways England will use its electronic message signs on approaching motorways to give drivers information about any diversions and delays, and provide up-to-the minute traffic information via local radio and our website.

All routes to the festival will be well signed and information can be found on the Leeds Festival 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.

News story: New ePassport gates opened at Edinburgh Airport

The 10 new ePassport gates at International Arrivals 2 were officially opened by Border Force Chief Operating Officer Emma Moore and Edinburgh Airport Chief Executive Gordon Dewar on Friday 18 August.

They are in addition to the existing 5 ePassport gates at International Arrivals 1.

The new ePassport gates provide EEA nationals, aged 18 and over, and who are travelling using a biometric or ‘chipped’ passport, an automated route through the UK Border. Those aged 12 to 18 years old, and who are accompanied by an adult, are also able to use them.

The gates use facial recognition technology to provide identity and security checks in a matter of seconds. The passenger’s face is compared to the digital image recorded in their passport. Once complete the gate opens automatically to allow cleared passengers through the border. Border Force officers monitor the system and any travellers rejected by the gates are directed to the normal clearance desks to be seen by an officer.

Automated technology, such as ePassport gates, gives Border Force the ability to process a higher number of low risk passengers more quickly and using less resource. ePassport gates provide a faster route through the border while freeing up Border Force Officers to focus on other priority work such as cracking down on the smuggling of dangerous goods and identifying potential victims of trafficking.

Emma Moore, Chief Operating Officer of Border Force, said:

Increasing the use of digital technology at the border is part of Border Force’s commitment to improve the passenger experience.

We must protect our borders, but we also want to encourage people who boost our economy through tourism and business to travel to the UK.

This means ensuring their arrival in the UK is dealt with as swiftly and efficiently as possible while maintaining the integrity and security of the UK’s border.

Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport Gordon Dewar said:

Edinburgh Airport is one of the most innovative in the UK and we are keen to use digital technology where we can to improve the passenger journey through our terminal.

We are Scotland’s busiest airport handling more than 1.4 million passengers in July alone, and the introduction of these ePassport gates will mean visitors and returning passengers will enter into Scotland’s capital safely and quickly.

ePassport gates not only benefit British and EEA travellers. Nationals from the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan who have successfully been accepted onto the Registered Traveller programme can now also use them.

Registered Traveller allows regular travellers fast-tracked entry into the UK. For a small fee, applicants undergo security checks in advance of travel meaning that, on arrival in the UK, they are able to use the EEA queues and eGates, bypassing queues for non-EEA passengers.

Airport staff are available to assist passengers using the new ePassport gates, while those without electronic passports and those from outside the EU will be able to proceed through manual desks as normal.

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Press release: Latest large-scale government fire safety test result published

These large scale tests will allow experts to better understand how different types of cladding panels behave with different types of insulation in a fire. The results of the first 5 tests have already been published.

This additional test was of a wall cladding system consisting of Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding with a fire retardant polyethylene filler (category 2 in screening tests) with phenolic foam insulation.

The government’s expert panel advises that the results show that the combination of materials used in the test does not meet current Building Regulations guidance.

Initial screening tests have identified 22 buildings over 18 metres tall in England known to have a combination of ACM with a fire retardant polyethylene filler with phenolic foam insulation. Cladding samples from each of these buildings had already failed earlier combustibility tests conducted by BRE and their owners were sent government advice detailing the immediate interim safety measures that needed to be completed. Appropriate measures have been put in place for all 22 of these buildings.

Government has also provided these building owners with additional detailed advice setting out the actions they need to take to ensure the safety of residents going forward. Government is working closely with these building owners to ensure this advice is being followed.

The series of large-scale tests initially included 6 combinations of cladding systems. On 8 August 2017, the government announced that on the advice of the expert panel it would undertake a further large-scale test of ACM with fire retardant polyethylene filler (category 2 in screening tests) with phenolic foam insulation. This is to further build the evidence available for experts and building owners so they can make informed safety decisions.

Results of the final large-scale test (ACM with a limited combustibility filler with mineral wool insulation) – and consolidated advice to landlords based on all the 7 tests – will be published shortly.

The government announced an independent review of building regulations and fire safety on 28 July 2017. This forward looking review will examine the regulatory system around the design, construction and on-going management of buildings in relation to fire safety as well as related compliance and enforcement issues.

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