The Treasury: "Infrastructure investment pipeline data"

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"The National Infrastructure Plan 2011 confirms that the Government has published, for the first time, detailed data on the infrastructure investment and government construction pipelines pipeline. This fulfils the commitments made in the Plan for Growth.

"This data covers over 500 infrastructure investment projects and programmes across both the public and private sectors, with the government construction pipeline covering a further 300 non-infrastructure projects. Resulting in a total of over 800 projects and programmes for which there is data.

"The pipeline estimates are indicative and reflect the information held within Government on investment combined with other public sources of information. Data about purely private investment is subject to greater uncertainty than that for public sector or regulated investment. To enable analysis, some observations have been estimated to provide annual breakdowns of totals and to fill gaps in the information available.

"For infrastructure, projects under £50 million are generally excluded to focus on significant investment. In addition no information on local infrastructure projects that are not funded directly by central Government is available. Where stated funding for projects beyond 2015 is in general not confirmed. Economically regulated investment in energy and water networks is also not generally confirmed beyond currently determined regulatory periods. Generally the pipeline data are designed to provide a sense of the scale of investment and forward work that is expected but should not be taken as a commitment in each and every case.

"The data has been released in spreadsheet format and includes information on project / programme name, location, ownership, funding and costs. For the Government construction pipeline additional information is included on likely procurement routes.

"For convenience the infrastructure and construction pipeline data have been released as single file. Where this overlaps with the infrastructure investment pipeline consistent estimates have been used.

"The infrastructure investment pipeline data will be refreshed annually, and the government construction pipeline will be updated quarterly."


Evening Standard: "Better roads, rail travel and new river crossings, in spending boost for London"

Link to Evening Standard

"Boris Johnson today praised the Chancellor's announcement of backing for new crossings for the Thames, improvements on the M25 and an expansion of the Oyster card system to 'keep the capital moving in the downturn'.

"Speaking today on his way to Harrow for a Safer Parks awards event, Mr Johnson told the Standard: "This is a fantastic settlement for London.
"We had to fight for several elements of this package. But the Chancellor understands the vital importance of investing in London and the London economy."
"The Treasury will continue to finance the £14.9 billion Crossrail project, and the huge Thameslink programme. Mr Osborne also said he will press ahead with the High Speed 2 project, which will link the capital to the Midlands."


BBC: "Viewpoint: Could people learn to love tower blocks?"

Link to BBC web site

"Once, tower blocks were the answer to a housing crisis but many people came to hate them. With Sheffield's Park Hill estate being refurbished for its 50th birthday, can people learn to love them again, asks architect and broadcaster Maxwell Hutchinson. 

"But there is nothing intrinsically flawed with the idea of high-rise living. Sustainability, good maintenance, careful management and a sense of ownership can make things work. 

"If the lift works, towers are particularly suitable for the elderly - great views, peace and quiet, neighbours who can still remember the post-war devastation. 

"Towers also work for the young - they are convenient, give a good leg-up on the housing market, and, with good neighbours, great fun. There is plenty of time to have children and move into a predictable estate on the outside of town. In the meantime, one can enjoy life with one's head in the clouds."


Transport for London: Problems of success for London Overground

Link to TfL report

"London Overground growth has been consistently higher than that on other services, but a step change took place in 2010/11. Passenger volumes are two and a half times the level when TfL took over services. Excluding the East London Line, demand has increased by over 80 per cent."

BBC: "Will the government back a £50bn airport for London?"

Link to BBC web site

"London Mayor Boris Johnson has set out the economic reasons why he believes a £50bn airport needs to be built in the south-east of England.

"Simon Walker, from the Institute of Directors, said the transport network was a 'complete disaster' and the country was falling behind European competitors.

"BBC London's Tom Edwards questioned Boris Johnson on whether the government was likely to back such an expensive project."


Mail on Sunday: "Thames Estuary airport gets backing of Downing Street to ease pressure on air space"

Link to Mail Online

"Plans for a new airport in the Thames estuary have won political backing from senior figures close to David Cameron.

"Steve Hilton, the Prime Minister’s strategy chief, and Chancellor George Osborne are said to have swung behind the scheme as the best way of tackling a crisis in airport capacity."


Crossrail Royal Oak tunnel portal (towards Farringdon): the official photo

And as it will be...

BBC: "Why the City of London Corporation supported Crossrail"

Link to BBC London

"Details of a £250m deal between the City of London Corporation and the Labour government for the Crossrail project have been discovered by the BBC.

"... This means the corporation could end up recouping much, if not all, of the money it is contributing to Crossrail.

"The chairman of the Corporation Policy Committee Stuart Fraser conceded things need to change. 'I think it's fair to say we've got to look at this,' he told the BBC, but defended the corporation's lack of transparency."


Shepherd's Bush blog: "H&F Council to 'muzzle' Hammersmith & Fulham's planning committee"

Link to Shepherds Bush blog

"Our Council stand accused of planning to muzzle the infamous planning committee ...

"... I think their agenda is one more of impatience to transform the borough, in ways that they think are in the best interests of stimulating growth, as Council Leader Greenhalgh outlined to a debate I attended at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester earlier this year. At that meeting, it was clear he felt frustrated at not being able to do more, and faster, rather than the other way around! Those are not inherently bad intentions.

"But the criticism I do think is very valid of changes like this, being pushed through without any publicity either from them or the local media, is that it will fundamentally restrict the visibility of their decisions. In future they may well be able to simply ignore questions, about why there are not more plans to build affordable local housing, by using some 'commercial confidentiality' clause, instead of laying the figures out for all to see."


Financial Times: "Thames transport hub project unveiled"

Link to FT web site

"The 'Thames Hub' proposals unveiled on Wednesday could lead to the most radical overhaul of Britain’s transport, logistics and communication network since the building of the railways.

"The ideas presented by the architects Foster & Partners and engineers Halcrow, on their own initiative, would see a new London orbital railway linking in to fast lines to the north and Europe, and a new airport on the Isle of Grain in the Thames estuary.

"Also included are a new flood defence barrier and Thames crossing, a freight port and logistical hub and the laying of extensive cabling, utilities and communications infrastructure, in what the report refers to as 'The Spine'."

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