West Sussex Growers back new link road A27 option

The biggest employer across the Chichester and Bognor Regis areas is backing Option 2 of the Chichester Bypass Improvement Scheme.

West Sussex Growers Association, which employs more than 8,000 full-time workers, says the most expensive option which proposes a new Stockbridge link road is the ‘only option’ which could solve the city’s long-standing traffic problems.

Many of the association’s growers are based south of the A27 and generate more than 1,000 goods vehicle movements and 400 tractor movements, almost all of which use the A27.

The group is the first major organisation to come out in support of an option since the ten-week public consultations began last week.

Its growers supply to supermarkets, garden centres and retailers all over the UK, and say the daily congestion on the bypass is causing ‘serious delays to the daily transport of fresh produce from the Chichester area’.



In a statement sent to Highways England, the project managers, as well as MP Andrew Tyrie, West Sussex County Council and Chichester District Council, John Hall from the association said: “We have considered at length the current five options that have been put forward by Highways England and have concluded the following:

“Option 2 is the only option that improves capacity, journey times, road safety and decreases congestion and environmental impacts.

“The proposed new Stockbridge link road will improve the flow of local traffic to the south of the A27 and the diversion of Vinnetrow Road onto a new roundabout on the A259 will also improve matters.”

The statement added that all the other options would ‘offer minimal improvement overall’.

Option 2 is the most expensive of the five, costing an estimates £280m. It would also be the joint longest to complete, at 41 months, the same as Option 1.

Option 2 proposes to cut off access to the A27 at both the Stockbridge and Whyke junctions, which would both get new flyovers taking the A286 and B2145 respectively over the A27 and into Chichester.

It means that all traffic accessing the A27 from the Manhood Peninsula would use the new Stockbridge link road and join the A27 at the Fishbourne Roundabout, which would be changes so the A27 would be elevated over the roundabout.

Like the Observer, Mr Hall was given an assurance by Highways England officials at yesterday’s first public exhibition, that the new link road and Fishbourne Roundabout could cope with all the traffic from the south.

But he added that he had wanted to see options for a northern bypass – which were controversially dropped in May – at the consultations.

With all of the five options now being considered focussing on upgrading the existing route, Mr Hall said the work would cause disruption for everybody while it was taking place.

Source: http://www.highwaysindustry.com/video-west-sussex-growers-back-new-link-road-a27-option/

Warning over melting roads as Britain roasts

Britain is on heatwave alert with 95F (35C) temperatures triggering a raft of health warnings to take care during “dangerous” hot weather.

Roasting heat will trigger violent thunderstorms on Tuesday unleashing torrential downpours, hail and lightning.

Roads are expected to be melting and railway lines buckle in the searing heat, with commuters told to prepare for travel chaos.

And Government officials today issued the first ‘heat health watch’ alert of summer as thermometers are set to rocket in the coming days.

The warnings – issued by the Met Office and Public Health England (PHE) come into force when temperatures hit 30C (86F) during the day without falling below 15C (59F) at night.

A level-2 ‘alert and readiness’ warning has been issued across England and Wales which will run until Thursday evening.

Experts warn the elderly and people with health problems should take extra care and avoid going out during the peak of the hot weather.

The mercury is forecast to hit 35C (95F) on Wednesday with 90 per cent humidity likely to make it feel even hotter in parts.

It will be the hottest spell of weather since last summer with Britain warming up to beat Hawaii, Los Angeles, Turkey and parts of Greece.

While the south will roast in the highest temperatures Scotland and the far north will swelter in highs nudging 30C (86F).

Extreme heat will last through Wednesday with above-average temperatures forecast into theweekend.

The scorching forecast will bring a boost of joy to thousands of sun-starved Britons after the miserable start to summer.

Last month was unusually grey and overcast with parts of the country seeing double the average rainfall for the time of year, according to official figures.

Britons headed to the great outdoors at the weekend as thermometers continue to rocket through today.

Although this week will bring the highest temperatures since last summer they will be just shy of the 36.7C (98F) recorded on July 1 last year – the hottest July temperature on record.

A shift in the jet stream has opened the floodgates to a plume of scorching air from the Continent where thermometers are soaring towards the 40C (104F) mark.

Malcolm Booth, chief executive of the National Federation of Occupational Pensioners, urged vulnerable people to avoid going outdoors during the hottest hours of the day.

He said: “Preparing for a hot spell is important and the elderly and vulnerable should follow the NHS guidelines, drinking cold drinks, avoiding going out between 11am and 3pm, wearing loose clothing and using the coolest rooms in the house. We all need to check on our relatives, friends and neighbours to ensure they are OK.

“The unusually cool and wet summer can easily make us forget how dangerous a sudden hot spell can be for the elderly and others with health issues, it’s important we take the same care as we would in winter to check that they are coping.”

The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for thunderstorms across much of England, Wales and Scotland from evening.

Forecaster Alex Burkill said: “Tuesday is likely to trump Monday’s temperatures and will be the hottest day of the year so far.

“There will be a lot of sunshine and blue skies across the country with highs of 35C in the south with even the north in the high 20Cs or even touching 30C.

“Tuesday afternoon will see warm air allowing thunder to develop and we are expecting heavy downpours, lightning and some hail which will bring associated hazards.

Source: http://www.highwaysindustry.com/warning-over-melting-roads-as-britain-roasts/

Amazing drone footage of car park demolition

A huge bang was heard for miles around as the controlled explosion took just seconds to reduce the Oldham car park to rubble

This incredible footage shows the moment Hobson Street car park in Oldham town is demolished by a controlled explosion.

Drone footage taken from the skies above the ‘eyesore’ car park shows its roof falling in and a huge cloud of dust erupting into the air as the structure collapses.

Temporary fencing which had been placed around the building is also captured being blown into the air as the dust spreads around the surrounding area.

And as the cloud of debris clears, all that is left on the site where the car park once stood is a wasteland of broken bricks and blasted wood.

The car park came crashing to the ground during a demolition just after 7am on Sunday, with AB Jetting capturing the amazing video as it was levelled.

A huge bang was heard for miles around as the controlled explosion, triggered by a dummy plunger, took just seconds to reduce the car park to rubble.

Spectators who had gathered to watch the historic moment let out gasps as the enormous bang marked the end of the derelict five-storey building with the boom setting off car alarms.

Residents living nearby were told of the demolition in advance but the operation wasn’t widely publicised to prevent masses of spectators.

Many confused residents across the borough took to social media to comment on the earth-quaking explosion.

The car park was closed in 2014 after an inspection found serious structural damage.

Surveys later confirmed the 1960s building was beyond economic repair.

Oldham council leader Jean Stretton triggered the demolition of the car park, which was built in 1969 for £241,000 and underwent a number of refits and improvement works before its closure.

It is not yet known what the land will be used for.



Source: http://www.highwaysindustry.com/amazing-drone-footage-of-car-park-demolition-2/


New £7bn roads framework announced

Highways England will launch a new framework for £7bn of road improvement contracts in spring 2017, the government-owned operator of roads in England has said. According to reports in Construction News, the HE’s head of procurement Sharon Cuff announced the new framework at a highways industry event last week.

The HE’s Collaborative Delivery Framework currently provides for the procurement of major and medium sized road improvement contracts and professional services, but its £5bn scope was identified as inadequate to cover the full scope of the HE’s five-year, £15bn investment programme, soon after the CDF was launched.

The new framework is expected to cover both professional services and a range of contract sizes, but with a reduction in secondary tendering, according to Construction News. Bidding for places on the CDF has been recognised as highly demanding on time and cost for contractors and consultants, many of whom have not yet seen much reward for their efforts. Many of the contracts subsequently let through the CDF have also demanded lengthy secondary tendering, which has become a principal complaint of the HE’s current system of contract procurement.

A process of consulting with industry on the development of the new framework is expected to start through the HE’s Route to Market initiative in the autumn of this year.

Source: http://www.highwaysindustry.com/new-7bn-roads-framework-announced/

Calling All Planners

Motorist puts road worker in hospital

A highways contractor had to be treated in hospital for leg injuries after an angry motorist attempted to drive through a coned off site on the A56 in Lancashire last week.

The worker was taken to hospital last week after being struck by the car at Rising Bridge roundabout near Haslingden where a £4.5m road improvement scheme is taking place.

The roundabout had just been closed for the night when the motorist arrived on the scene and attempted to drive through by removing cones.

When one of the road workers intervened to make the driver aware that the road was closed, the driver shouted abuse at him and sped through the roadworks, striking the worker’s leg.

The car was then driven further into the roadworks towards machinery and other road workers. The driver swerved onto a grass verge to get through and collided with a contractor’s flatbed truck before driving off.

The car registration was reported to Lancashire Police which is now investigating the incident.

Alan Shepherd, Highways England’s Regional Director in the North West, said: “Our workers routinely face verbal abuse from drivers as they do their job and shockingly this led to one of them being injured earlier this week.

“No-one should have to suffer this kind of abuse just for doing their job, and I hope drivers who have been abusive to road workers or attempted to drive into roadworks in the past will reconsider their attitudes as a result of this incident.”

Source: http://www.highwaysindustry.com/motorist-puts-road-worker-in-hospital/

Wet wipes turn nasty if you flush them

400% rise in wipes on beaches is putting marine life at risk – and pushing up your bills


We all love a wet wipe! Wipe the baby’s bum, get rid of the make-up and cleanse, slap on the fake tan –our bathrooms are full of them. But instead of ending up in the bin when they’re finished with – millions are being popped down the pan because of consumer confusion.

That’s because some are labelled flushable, some biodegradable and some need you to read every bit of the small print which most of us can’t be bothered to do. But the truth is, even those labelled flushable are failing to meet the water industry standard, just adding to the nightmare.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has today launched a campaign to persuade retailers and manufacturers to clearly label their wet wipe products with a ‘DON’T FLUSH’ message on their packaging so they go in the bin, not down the loo.

“Our sewerage systems weren’t built to cope with wet wipes. When flushed they don’t disintegrate like toilet paper, and they typically contain plastic so once they reach the sea, they last for a very long time. They can cause blockages in our sewers, and then, everything else that has been flushed down the loo can either back up into people’s homes, or overflow into rivers and seas,” says MCS Head of Pollution, Dr Laura Foster.

Flushed wet wipes are a nightmare. It only takes a few to clog up your drains and when they team up with fats and oils they create massive fatbergs in the public sewers –which can be as big as a bus!

The MCS ‘Wet Wipes Turn Nasty When You Flush Them’ campaign highlights the monster issue that flushing unflushables is becoming and urges the public to get behind the charity’s call for better wet wipe labelling.

The average cost to sorting out a wet wipe blockage is around £66. Water companies say there are over 366,000 sewer blockages throughout the UK every year, of which between 50% and 80% are caused by fats, oils and grease, wipes, sanitary waste and other unflushable items. Those figures have resulted in about £88 million being spent annually on sorting out the blockages – costs that will be paid for through higher customer bills.

In 2015, during the MCS Great British Beach Clean, volunteers found nearly 4,000 wet wipes around the UK coastline – that’s roughly 50 for every kilometre cleaned – a 30% rise on the previous year and a 400% rise in a decade.

But wet wipes also pose a massive threat to marine life. Containing plastic, these squares never go away – they just get slowly broken down and become microplastics which are then ingested. Organisms negatively impacted by ingesting microplastic range from the small zooplankton to larger marine animals such as fin whales and they’ve been  found in mussels heading for human consumption.

“This source of microplastic is easy to prevent and we want any product which is being designed to be washed or flushed down the drain to be free from plastics,” says Dr Foster. “Retailers have already recognised the issue of microplastics in face scrubs- designing a product that is guaranteed to pollute the environment isn’t smart. We want to see them changing the labeling so consumers get rid of wipes in the right way and help stop tiny bits of plastic getting into our seas.”


Source : https://www.mcsuk.org/press/view/686

Highways suppliers invited to put their best foot forward

Highways England reveals favoured consultant line-up


Well what a week in the Planning Department at Carrington West, topped off with a fantastic day at the RTPI Planning Convention on Tuesday.

Jobs filled, new jobs in, candidates registered and a brilliant day on Tuesday thanks to the RTPI! Myself and my colleague Simon Gardiner have had a busy old week on the Town Planning desk and the highlight for us was a brilliant day on Tuesday at the 2016 RTPI Planning Convention in London. We met some fantastic people, heard from truly inspirational speakers including Dr Alfonso Vegara (Founder and Honorary President, Fundacion Metropoli, Madrid) and Paul Barnard (Assistant Director of Strategic Planning and Infrastructure at Plymouth City Council) and came away brimming with knowledge about the future of UK Planning.


With subjects ranging from “Better Planning Solutions”, “How Well Have We Done in Accommodating Growth” and “The Infrastructure Challenge” the day flew by and a resolute message from key speakers was the need for unity post Brexit.

Several breakout sessions in the afternoon were followed by interesting addresses by Andrew Jones MP (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport) and RTPI President Phil Williams amongst others.

This was an invaluable day for me and I am already looking forward to next year!

If you would like any advice on how the market is changing, are interested in knowing the availability of candidates in your area or you are interested in a discreet chat about your own future options, please do not hesitate to call me on 02393 876016 or email me on [email protected]


Paul Ballett – Senior Recruitment Consultant