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East London river tunnel crossing proposals unveiled

Detailed plans for an east London river crossing have been unveiled as part of a public consultation.

Residents are being asked their views on the proposed Silvertown Tunnel, which would connect the Greenwich Peninsula with the Royal Docks.

Transport for London (TfL) said it hoped the tunnel beneath the Thames, which will cost an estimated £750m, would reduce congestion.

But the No to Silvertown group said it would “increase air pollution”.

The London mayor Boris Johnson said the crossing would be a “vital new link”.

‘Growth potential’

“The Silvertown Tunnel would provide a vital new link beneath the Thames from two of our city’s great opportunity areas for new homes and jobs – Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks,” said Mr Johnson.

“Unless new river crossings are provided, the huge growth potential of east London will not be realised.”

The consultation includes proposals to charge users of the Silvertown and Blackwall Tunnels to help fund the construction of the new crossing, however the charges would be introduced after the tunnel opened.

Proposed junction layout on the north side of Silvertown tunnel
The public consultation on the Silvertown Tunnel will run until 19 December
Graphic of Silvertown tunnel alignment
If the proposed tunnel is approved construction could start in 2017

The Silvertown Tunnel was designated a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project by the government and TfL plan to apply for approval to build the tunnel in 2015.

If approved, construction could start in 2017 and take up to four years to complete.

But Darryl Chamberlain, from the No to Silvertown campaign group, said the plans would not benefit locals and could increase air pollution.

“This is the traffic equivalent of moving the deckchairs on the Titanic. Transport for London is deluded if it thinks the Silvertown Tunnel will cure congestion,” he said.

“There’s nothing in this for locals – it’ll just encourage Kent car commuters to drive to Canary Wharf.”

The public consultation on the Silvertown Tunnel will start from 15 October and will run until 19 December and the findings will be presented to the Mayor of London in 2015.

Original Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-29610463

Laing O’Rourke worker killed at Heathrow Airport

A Laing O’Rourke worker has been killed at a Heathrow Airport construction site.

The fatality occurred this morning at O’Rourke’s T2 multi-storey car park site where the worker was hit by a dumper truck.

The Enquirer understands that the victim was part of the night shift.

It is believed a mobile hoist broke down on the site and a colleague was using a dumper truck to try and shift it when the truck came into collision with the victim.

A Met Police spokesperson said: “Police were called by London Ambulance Service at 04:46hrs on Thursday, 2 October to Cayley Road, close to the Ground Floor Car Park at Terminal 2, Heathrow Airport, following reports of a road traffic collision.

“Officers attended and found a man in his thirties suffering serious injuries following a collision with a truck.

“The man died at the scene a short while later at 05:45hrs.

“Next of kin have been informed but we await formal identification.

“A post-mortem examination will be held in due course.

“The driver of the truck stopped at the scene. It is not believed that any other vehicles were involved.

“The Health and Safety Executive has been informed and enquiries are under way into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

“No arrests have been made. Enquiries are ongoing.”

It is understood the £77m car park job is just weeks away from completion and hand over.

Original Source: http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2014/10/02/laing-orourke-worker-killed-at-heathrow/

180,000 drivers caught not wearing seat belts as number of given fixed penalties rises 17% in five years

180,000 drivers caught not wearing seat belts as number given fixed penalties rises 17% in five years

The number of drivers being pulled over for not wearing seatbelts has soared.

Nearly 180,000 fixed penalty notices were issued for seatbelt offences last year – a 17 per cent increase on the figure for 2009.

More than 80,000 drivers have been penalised so far this year for not wearing a belt and have been charged £8.2 million in fines, according to LV car insurance from 28 of the 45 police forces in England, Wales and Scotland.

In a survey also from LV, 47 per cent of motorists were unaware they could be fined for not wearing a seat belt.

Of 1,578 drivers polled, 6 per cent of drivers admitted they did not wear a seat belt and one in ten said they don’t wear one when they are a front-seat passenger.

Almost a quarter of those surveyed said they do not always wear a seat belt when sitting in the back, and 42 per cent said they don’t wear one when travelling by taxi.

Among those not wearing belts, older drivers said they were too restricting while younger motorists said they sometimes did not comply on short journeys.

A third of drivers aged 65 or more who did not wear seat belts said they were afraid of getting stuck in the car if they had an accident.

LV said government figures showed that 19 per cent of people killed in car accidents last year were not wearing seatbelts. It added that of these, safety experts estimated that half would have survived if they had been restrained.

LV managing director John O’Roarke said: ‘Wearing a seat belt can drastically improve your chances of survival in an accident, even if it’s just for a short journey.

‘The research shows that too many people are still taking unnecessary risks when driving or travelling as a passenger. There is only so much you can do to prevent being in a car accident but wearing a seat belt costs nothing and it may save your life one day.’

Original Source: http://dailym.ai/1E4izqJ

Revamped lorry designs could avoid hundreds of cycling deaths, says new study

Revamping lorry designs to overhaul blind spots in current models could save the lives of hundreds of cyclists and pedestrians every year, according to a new report by Loughborough University.

Lorries are responsible for over half of all cyclist deaths in London, a third across the UK as a whole, 43% of cycling fatalities in Belgium and 38% in the Netherlands.

In all, about 1,000 people die annually in Europe’s road traffic accidents, but a ‘direct vision’ design concept could slash those figures by increasing the field of vision for drivers in front – and to the sides – of their lorries, the paper claims.

“Blind spots can be a significant factor in fatal accidents with lorries,” said Dr Steve Summerskill, one of the report’s co-authors. “The study shows that the size of these blind spots can be minimised through improved cab design, the reduction of cab height and the addition of extra windows.”

The proposed new lorry model would have an 80cm longer cab with a rounded nose, smaller dashboard, expanded glazed areas and a slightly lower driver position, panoramically expanding the range of sight from behind a lorry cab’s wheel.

Driver blind spots on existing lorry designs

Driver blind spots on existing lorry designs. Photograph: Loughborough University


By contrast, truck drivers today sit in a position high above their engines in brick-shaped lorry cabs that leave them unable to see much of the movement around their vehicles.

The paper analysed 704 accidents involving heavy goods vehicles and found that 31% of road fatalities were caused by drivers pulling away, 19% were caused by left turns, 7% by right turns, and 25% from drivers reversing.

Surprisingly, vehicles changing lanes were responsible for half of all accidents, but no fatalities.

The analysis indicates that “critical blind spots” in current models cannot be compensated for by the use of lorry driver’s mirrors, because of the time lapse between checking them, making observations through the window, and then pulling away from a junction.

“If this time period is four seconds, this is enough time for a cyclist to undertake the HGV, with the driver being unaware of his or her presence,” the paper says.

Such weaknesses have been highlighted in other research but European rules have still tended to prioritise drivers’ ‘indirect vision’ – or the line of sight they get from mirrors – over their blind spots.

The EU’s existing law on lorry weights and dimensions compounds this by forcing a design with particularly large blind spots, according to Transport and Environment (T&E), a green think tank which co-funded the report.

“Not only drivers, but politicians too need vision,” said William Todts, a senior policy officer for T&E. “It’s incomprehensible that we allow huge 36 tonne mammoths on our roads without making sure the people behind the wheel actually see what’s going on. After decades of tinkering with mirrors, we now have an opportunity to make direct vision compulsory in new lorry designs and save hundreds of lives.”

The research was also funded by Transport for London, as a way of improving the safety and efficiency of freight transit.

Original Source: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/23/revamped-lorry-designs-could-avoid-hundreds-of-cycling-deaths-study-claims

Recycled cooking oil powers Finnair flight from Helsinki to New York

Finnair will operate its flight from Helsinki to New York on 23 September with an Airbus A330 using environmentally sustainable biofuel, coinciding with the UN Climate Summit taking place in New York on the same day. As a leader in the sustainable development of commercial aviation, the airline believes strongly in proactive measures to manage environmental performance.

Most of an airline’s environmental impact arises from aircraft emissions during flight, and switching to a more sustainable fuel source can reduce net CO2 emissions by between 50 and 80 per cent. The biofuel mixture powering the flight to New York, provided by SkyNRG Nordic – a joint venture between SkyNRG and Statoil Aviation – is partly manufactured from cooking oil recycled from restaurants, an example of a biofuel alternative to ordinary jet fuel that significantly reduces net greenhouse gas emissions while also being sustainable in its own right. Finnair and its partners insist on the cultivation of biofuel sources that neither compete with food production nor damage biodiversity.

Aviation biofuel is a proven and exhaustively tested technology – Finnair first flew with biofuel in 2011 – but at more than twice the price of conventionally produced jet fuel, it is not yet economically viable for any airline to operate with exclusively. This demonstration flight is made possible thanks in part to cooperation with Airbus and SkyNRG Nordic.

“The UN Climate Summit is an important gathering to fight climate change, and we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight the climate benefits of more widespread adoption of environmentally sustainable biofuels in aviation,” says Finnair’s Vice President of Sustainable Development Kati Ihamäki. “Finnair is committed to working further with industry partners and government bodies alike to help develop the biofuel supply chain and bring down the cost of sustainable biofuel for everyday use.”

“As air traffic contributes 2 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions, it is very important to have this trial with the use of biofuels,” says Finland’s Minister for International Development Pekka Haavisto. “If the price of oil rises and biofuels become cheaper, there will hopefully be a day when we’ll be able to replace at least some of the fossil fuels with fuels made of renewable and waste material. I’m happy that Finnair is showing leadership in this development.”

“Finnair is a long-standing Airbus customer of almost 30 years and I am particularly proud to be collaborating with the airline for this commercial flight,” says Andrea Debbané, Airbus Vice President of Environmental Affairs. “ Airbus and Finnair share the aviation industry’s ambitions to reach carbon neutral growth by combining the most modern and fuel-efficient aircraft with optimised Air Traffic Management and operational procedures, while also pushing for the commercial use of affordable sustainable jet fuels.”

“This flight is a warm up for a large offensive from our side with our partners Statoil Aviation, Neste Oil and many others to accelerate the local supply and production of sustainable and affordable jet fuel for the Nordic countries,” says SkyNRG CEO Dirk Kronemeijer. “With common effort – including crucial support from governments – and united purpose, we can realize a sustainable and long term future for aviation.”

Along with its partners Finnair is also currently investigating the possibility of establishing a biofuel hub at Helsinki Airport. Finnair is active as well in the Nordic Initiative for Sustainable Aviation, a group of airlines, airport operators, manufacturers and government ministries working to accelerate the development of sustainable biofuel for aviation in the Nordic countries.

Original Source: http://www.finnairgroup.com/mediaen/mediaen_7.html?Id=xml_1702153.html

‘Major incident’ after Translink school bus and car crash in Co Tyrone: 53 people injured

A ‘major incident’ has been declared after 53 people were injured as a Translink school bus collided with a car in Co Tyrone.The smash happened on the Omagh Road in Drumquin at around 8.20am on Monday morning.

It’s understood the Translink bus – which had been ferrying children to secondary schools in Omagh – crashed through a hedge and into a field before turning on its side.

It had been travelling from Castlederg when the accident happened.

A spokesman for the ambulance service said round 50 secondary school children were treated at the scene for injuries not believed to be serious.

It’s understood around 20 were hospitalised – some suffering broken bones.

The spokesman said some of the minor injuries included children banging their heads off bus windows.

Six people suffered injuries “more than minor injuries”.

Many of those injured were taken to Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry, and the South West Acute Hospital in Fermanagh.

Sinn Fein councillor Frankie Donnelly – who visited the scene – said those involved in the crash were lucky not to have been seriously injured.

“The bus and car both ended up in a field, and thankfully, it appears there were no serious injuries on the face of it,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.

“The bus was on its side, and although not in great shape, it was still intact.”

He said the experience would have been “extremely traumatic” for the young children involved.

“I would commend the response from everyone involved – dealing with these young people caught up in this accident.

“The other school buses were still in the area this morning, and I can imagine it would have been traumatic for those students as well.”

“The crash happened on a very straight part of the road. I live just a short distance away – it was a very bright sunny morning and that can often make it very difficult for driving.”

Education Minister John O’Dowd expressed his shock upon hearing about the crash.

“I am thankful that no one was seriously injured during this terrible incident and my thoughts go out to the parents and families of all those involved, including the occupants of the car,” he said.

“I wish to thank the emergency services for their prompt response and for ensuring that everyone involved in the accident were triaged and if required promptly transported to local hospitals for appropriate treatment

“My department will be engaging with all schools involved to ascertain if we can be of further assistance and ensure that any help that can be provided will be provided.”

A spokeswoman for Translink said:

“We can confirm that an incident has occurred involving an Ulsterbus carrying school pupils and a car on the Drumquin Road, County Tyrone, at approximately 8.20am.

“Emergency services were called to the scene and an investigation in underway.”

The company also supplied two vehicles to transport some of the injured children to hospital.

The road has been closed the Segully Road and Drumrawn Road junctions.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said he was “relieved to hear there are no serious injuries” to children involved in the crash.

SDLP councillor Dr Josephine Deehan said the incident was “of great concern”.

“Thankfully, it appears no-one was seriously injured and that will bring great relief to the loved ones of those involved,” she said.

“However, this must be an extremely traumatic ordeal for everyone involved, and it will have left everyone very badly shaken.

“The incident is of great concern, and it highlights how the safety of our children is of paramount importance. We will await the outcome of the investigation to determine exactly what happened.”

Original Source: http://bit.ly/1ocRXd0

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