Bristol Energy Cooperative raises £9 million

Bristol Energy Cooperative has raised £9 million funding for community projects since its launch in November last year, making it the UK’s largest generator of community energy.

The company, which began fundraising with Mongoose Energy in November 2015, signed agreements this week worth £3.95 million with Bristol City Council, Sustainable Capital and Triodos Bank to add 9.3MWp of community-owned solar generation capacity to the grid through a new solar array.

The new array, Lawrence Weston, will add to the company’s portfolio of a 4.6MWp operational ground array in Somerset and around 20 roof­top arrays on community buildings across Bristol.

Bristol Energy Cooperative co-director Andy O’Brien said: “With 9.3MWp of renewable capacity, BEC will become the UK’s largest generator of community energy. However, this is a fast-­growing and essential part of the UK’s energy mix, so we can’t wait to be overtaken as more community owned capacity is added to the national grid.”

Social and Sustainable Capital cofounder Ben Rick added: “We are delighted to support BEC in becoming the UK’s largest generator of community energy. Following recent policy changes, we have been asked to consider investing in several renewable energy schemes through our Community Investment Fund.

All of Bristol Energy Cooperative’s projects could generate 8,830MWh per year and aim to be operational by June 2016 in order to receive the higher feed-in-tariff (FiT) rate for 20 years, following government cuts to subsidies.

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The £150 million connected roads trial

Interserve JV bags £37m water treatment works job

Northumbrian Water has signed a £37m contract with an Interserve and Doosan Enpure joint venture to upgrade of Horsley water treatment works in Northumberland.


The new treatment facilities will be built alongside the current plant, which will continue to operate until the new works are complete. Much of the old works will then be demolished.

A new process stream will be built to replace the existing stream, which is now beyond its asset life.

Consultants for the scheme, MWH and Turner & Townsend, selected the joint venture, which is expectedly to start this summer on the 36-month contract.

Untreated water for the Horsley works comes from the River Tyne at Ovingham and the Whittle Dene complex of reservoirs.

The treated water supply from Horsley, which also serves the village of Horsley, together with additional water from the treatment works at Whittle Dene supplies the drinking water for Tyneside.

One In Four Happy To Sleep In Cars That Drive Themselves

More than one in four drivers (26 per cent) would feel happy sleeping in a car with autonomous technology while travelling, according to new research conducted by

The study revealed that drivers would also be comfortable chatting to fellow passengers, browsing the internet and watching television while allowing the car to pilot itself.

Around 32 per cent of the 900 respondents revealed that they felt motorway journeys would be the best type of travelling in which to have a self-driving car, while 49 per cent said they would relinquish control of their car in a traffic jam.

The prospect of autonomous cars in the UK car market has prompted much interest from drivers, but many are still concerned by their accuracy. As self-driving cars make their way onto British roads it’s important for car dealers to remember to regularly update their motor trade and road risks insurance, ensuring potential owners are covered when they take their first test drive in these futuristic automobiles.

More than half of new cars sold already have autonomic safety technology on board, but several manufacturers including Ford and BMW have now revealed they are working on completely driverless cars. Similarly, Nissan and Renault have revealed plans to have at least 10 fully autonomous cars on the road by 2020.

Commenting on the results of the study, Jim Holder, editorial director at, stated that there is clearly a way to go before the concept of autonomous cars is fully adopted by the UK public, suggesting that safety concerns were firmly in the mind of road users.

“Half the drivers we talked to would feel happiest allowing their car to take over in a traffic jam, when the risk is minimal, while hardly any of them would feel safe letting their car guide them along urban and country roads,” he added.


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Ham Baker wins eel screen framework for Anglian Water

Ham Baker Adams has been awarded a framework for the supply and installation of eel-friendly bandscreens by Anglian Water, to upgrade water intakes and outfalls for the next 4 years with possible extensions for a further 4 years.

Ham Baker Band Screen


Ham Baker Adams, Sales Director, Shyam Mallen said:

“To comply with the Eels (England & Wales) Regulations 2009 and EU Directives, we have designed a special fish-friendly screen to aid fish recovery & return (FRR)”.

“We have already successfully supplied fish-friendly screens prior to this award to another water company and have now been awarded Sproughton near Ipswich (£290k) under the framework, with Tinwell (£190k) near Stamford also expected to commence shortly”.

To be installed along the River Gipping for Sproughton and the River Gwash for Tinwell, Ham Baker’s Bandscreens will prevent eels from accidentally being drawn into water intakes and outfalls as they journey to complete their life cycle.

The new framework is in addition to the one already held by Ham Baker Adams for the supply of inlet screens to Anglian Water.

A28 Canterbury Way to get new speed camera system after series of fatal crashes

A dangerous road in Thanet is due to get an average speed camera system after a number of serious and fatal crashes.

The A28 Canterbury Road has seen five crashes causing serious injury or death from 2008 to 2014.

Data published at the end of March by the Kent and Medway Safety Camera Partnership (KMSCP) showed that from 2008 to 2011 there were three incidents of this nature.

A speed camera was then installed but there were a further two accidents from 2011 to 2014.

KMSCP project and communications officer Colin Evans said: “These cameras are only installed after lots of speed related incidents.

“We reduced the speed limit from national speed to 50 and there still continued to be crashes.

“After installing a temporary mobile site data still showed high levels of speeding and crashes.

“We don’t want to catch people speeding, we want them to slow down.”

Even though the latest data shows incidents up to 2014 Mr Evans says there have been a number or serious incidents and fatalities on this stretch of road more recently too.

The average speed cameras will be installed later this year and will be only the second average camera system within the partnership with the other being in the Isle of Grain.

Thanet District Councillor for Thanet Villages Derek Crow-Brown (Ukip) said: “In terms of driving you can even see cars coming off straight pieces of road.

“My son had leukaemia a few years ago and I was using that road every evening to travel to a hospital in Canterbury.

“Some of the driving was just reckless and anything that reduces crashes is a good thing in my book.”

The average speed cameras will be placed about 1.2miles apart and as a car enters the average speed zone the camera will capture the number plate.

It will then measure the time the car has travelled the 1.2mile distance as it takes a picture of the number plate leaving the zone.

If the distance is covered faster than expected an offence report is sent to Kent Police via a secure mobile network line.


1.5m traffic improvement plans could bring 1,000 jobs to town

A £1.5 million road improvement scheme set to ease one of Marlow’s traffic black spots could create 1,000 jobs for the town, if it is awarded essential funding.

If approved, the project – led by Bucks & Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (BTVLEP) – would reduce the heavy traffic that plagues the A404 Westhorpe Interchange at peak times and improve access to and from Globe Business Park.

BTVLEP is waiting for the green light from Highways England after it submitted a bid for around £1.3 million to its Growth and Housing Fund – a government money pot set aside for road improvements.

The improvements would form part the partnership’s bigger plan to create 1,000 jobs for the area by making the 15,000 square meters worth of empty plots on Globe Park more attractive to businesses.

Public support is essential in making sure the project is awarded the cash in what the BTVLEP development manager Jim Sims is calling a very competitive process.

He said: “It clearly is a traffic pinch point that causes a lot of frustration but you cannot guarantee everyone feels the same.

“If residents are supportive of the scheme then we would ask them to write to their local MP or minister of transport so we can rally up support. Public support is essential in making sure we are moved to the top of the priority list.”

BTVLEP, Highways England, Bucks County Council, and Wycombe District Council have been working together to explore improving the junction for over a year due to fears the current accident levels and congestion will drive businesses away from the industrial estate.

The groups will find out if the bid has been successful within the next six months however it could take work as long as four years to start.

District and town councillor, Roger Wilson, said: “During the process of successfully establishing the business improvement district at Globe Business Park, businesses highlighted that access and egress was one of the key issues that needed addressing.

“Coupled with our plans to improve parking provision, improvements to access and egress will not only benefit businesses that are already based at the park, but will also make Globe Business Park a much more attractive proposition to businesses looking to relocate.”

Wycombe District Council will contribute £250,000 towards highway improvements, with BTVLEP allocating £63,000 towards preparation work.

Introducing the new Carrington West Office!