Structures COVID memorial for London's transport workers Transport for London has released designs for a new permanent memorial to London's transport workers who have died from coronavirus. TfL deal: Crossrail 2 shelved and driverless trains on the table Plans for Crossrail 2 have been shelved as part of the Government's latest financial deal with Transport for London. TfL structures cash review could lead to road closures The condition of Transport for London’s major structures could be at risk as the cash-strapped authority considers the future of its Surface Transport Asset Renewals Programme. Three on Stonehenge tunnel shortlist Highways England has shortlisted three ‘international joint ventures’ to go through to the next stage of the procurement process for the £1.7bn Stonehenge Tunnel, with only one British firm in the running. Construction sector working together during crisis Two of the largest construction sector bodies have released a joint statement and initial action plan in response to COVID-19, suggesting it is likely that 'business critical' construction projects will be closed soon. Budget 2020: £1bn Building Safety Fund to remove unsafe cladding A new £1bn fund to remove unsafe cladding from high-rise buildings has been unveiled today by the chancellor. £1bn Silvertown PFI contract signed Transport for London (TfL) has ‘completed’ the £1bn contract for the controversial Silvertown Tunnel under the Thames in east London, despite an ongoing legal challenge. Liverpool takes 'hyper-sensitive' approach to flyover destruction Work to demolish the Churchill Way flyovers in Liverpool will get underway this week using what the council called an ‘innovative methodology’. Prime minister and TfL accused of climate 'censorship' on Silvertown Transport for London (TfL) has been accused of burying climate change and pollution issues during the Silvertown Tunnel approval process, in breach of promises made by prime minister Boris Johnson. Extreme weather 'will be a threat to older dams' The owner of the Toddbrook Reservoir in Derbyshire has said it is still too early to say how the reservoir came close to collapse and pledged that a full investigation will follow the emergency response. Consortium to build £1bn Silvertown Tunnel under private finance deal Transport for London has named the Riverlinx consortium as the preferred bidder to build a new tunnel under the Thames in East London. From disaster and damage, through trauma to recovery A recently released report assesses Cumbria’s long-term recovery from the trauma of Storm Desmond in December 2015, providing lessons for the future but praise for the way communities came together to support each other practically and emotionally. National Infrastructure Commission calls for insights into UK's resilience The National Infrastructure Commission has launched a consultation calling for views on the UK’s infrastructure resilience. Liverpool flyovers to come down Liverpool's Churchill Way flyovers are to be demolished at a cost of £6m after inspectors found significant defects and said they cannot be strengthened. Council bosses say need for bridge funding is now ‘desperate’ A council covering one of Britain’s wettest areas has said it needs a ‘miracle’ to solve its highways structural maintenance problem. Backlog on local British bridge repairs jumps by £1bn There are now nearly 3,500 substandard council-maintained road bridges in Great Britain, with only one in 10 likely to be repaired in the next five years. Silvertown Tunnel hit with second ministerial delay Ministers have delayed a ruling on the Silvertown Tunnel planning application for a further six months. Save the Iron Bridge! Charity launches crowdfunding campaign English Heritage has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £25,000 towards its £3.6m project to repair the world famous Iron Bridge across the river Severn in Shropshire. 'Iconic' £600m Mersey Bridge puts Halton on the map The new £600m Mersey Gateway Bridge opened at the weekend, ‘on time and under budget’. 'Boot on other foot' for Khan as Govt delays Silvertown ruling The Government has delayed its decision on the Silvertown Tunnel project’s planning application amid concerns over its impact on air pollution. Hyperloop plans could see London to Edinburgh cut to 50 mins Three UK routes are on a shortlist of candidates to host the world’s first hyperloop, including a ‘North-South Connector’ that could bring journey times from London to Edinburgh of 50 minutes. City Airport's remote control tower will transform air traffic control London City Airport plans to become the first in the UK to operate a digital air traffic control tower – with controllers 80 miles away - marking the start of a ‘technological revolution in UK airport air traffic management’. Green light and preferred route for Lower Thames Crossing Transport secretary Chris Grayling has confirmed his backing for a Lower Thames Crossing and announced the preferred route for the scheme, which could cost up to £6bn. Khan gives green light to three new Thames river crossings London mayor Sadiq Khan has backed plans for a new road tunnel at Silvertown, East London, including a user charge that he once said could be seen as ‘a tax on East and South East Londoners’. SICE commits to Humber Bridge toll maintenance Spanish tolling integrator SICE has confirmed a four-year contract with the Humber Bridge Board for the maintenance of the hybrid tolling system that it recently installed on the key east coast road link. M20 reopens after demolition of crash footbridge The M20 in Kent reopened fully on Sunday afternoon, ahead of schedule, following a successful operation to remove a section of footbridge damaged the previous weekend. Police investigating M20 bridge crash Kent police are investigating the incident that caused a footbridge over the M20 motorway to collapse over the weekend, causing huge bank holiday weekend traffic jams. No guarantees on 'vital' EU flood cash Flood damaged communities across Britain could lose out on scores of millions of pounds after the Government refused to guarantee cash from the EU solidarity fund, paid out to support communities affected by natural disasters. MPs launch national shared space inquiry The Women and Equalities Committee has launched an inquiry into the accessibility of the built environment, including controversial shared space highways schemes. Middlesbrough plans £9m new bridge Middlesbrough Council has announced that plans for a £9m new road bridge at Middlehaven Dock - one of the region's key regeneration sites - have been submitted this week. Ministers failing on flood risk, MPs say The Government’s ‘reactive’ approach to flooding is failing at risk communities, MPs have said. Top 5: Holes in the ground Tunnels, canals and other holes in the ground play an important but often forgotten part in transport. Well no more, here are the top five holes in the ground that are well worth...looking into. Big bang cures Devon bridge of concrete cancer Highways England has spectacularly demolished the old Merafield Bridge at Plympton, near Plymouth, beginning the final stage of a £6.3m maintenance project on the A38. New concrete strength test 'trialled successfully' A new way of testing the strength of sprayed concrete, which could provide a ‘significant step forward for health and safety’, has been successfully tested. Lambeth still backing controversial Garden Bridge London’s controversial Garden Bridge has moved a step closer after Lambeth Council judged that two remaining planning conditions have been met. Government in troubled water over flood defences...again Ministers must be transparent about flood spending decisions, Labour has said in response to a minister’s suggestion that £700m of flood defence funding could be used in ‘ in a more imaginative way’. Exclusive: Sadiq Khan pours cold water on Silvertown Tunnel plans London mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan has criticised Transport for London’s (TfL) plans for a road tunnel under the Thames at Silvertown, saying proposed tolls could be seen as ‘a tax on East and South East Londoners’. 'Spin' accusation as support for Silvertown Tunnel falls Support for the proposed Silvertown Tunnel under the Thames has fallen significantly, although Transport for London has failed to publish the full response to its consultation last Autumn. Forth bridge closure 'the result of funding cuts but not foreseeable' The defect that caused the closure of the Forth Road Bridge in early December could not have been foreseen, a Scottish parliamentary committee has said. Fresh controversy over Garden Bridge lobbying Transport for London has denied inappropriately pressurising Lambeth Council to give planning consent for the controversial Garden Bridge across the Thames Go Forth! Forth Road Bridge to fully re-open The Forth Road Bridge will fully re-open tomorrow morning, Scottish transport minister Derek Mackay has confirmed. The Big Interview: Skanska's Greg Craig puts people first Recently promoted to the executive management team of Skanska UK, Greg Craig is an able ambassador for the infrastructure giant. He is living proof of the culture of leadership and development the company wishes to project. Government to name and shame 'bad' flood authorities Lead local flood authorities face being named and shamed for poor performance after Defra committed to providing MPs with a list of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ councils. Plans for new Thames road tunnel unveiled Highways England has revealed plans for a new road tunnel under the Thames between Essex and Kent. Vulnerable areas at risk of more flooding after US Storm Jonas Many areas that bore the brunt of December’s storms could be at risk of flooding again this week as the extreme weather that brought chaos to the US at the weekend hits Britain. Scottish councils get wrap on the knuckles over major projects Councils in Scotland need to improve the way they manage major projects including road schemes, schools, housing and flood protection, according to auditors. Flood insurance scheme enough to cover £1.3bn costs The final bill for flood damage caused by this winter’s storms to homes, businesses and vehicles is likely to reach £1.3bn, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI). Cumbria flood recovery: Treacherous conditions, challenging landscapes An eye witness report on flood recovery work in Cumbria. Leeds unveils £20m new station entrance A new £20m entrance to Leeds city station has been unveiled today by transport minister Andrew Jones. Top tips for councils on the Japanese knotweed problem Will Sillar – managing director of National Knotweed Survey - takes us through the essential points councils need to know when it comes to this Gordian knot of a plant. Forth Road Bridge to reopen The Forth Road Bridge is to reopen from tomorrow (Wednesday), two weeks ahead of the initial schedule, however large lorries are still banned. Forth Road Bridge inquiry launched A Scottish Parliament inquiry will probe whether the highly disruptive closure of the Forth Road Bridge could have been avoided. HS2's East Midlands hub to cut back on road access Car access to the proposed East Midlands HS2 station should be via one road only, a study of design principles has recommended. 'Gravimeter' could save billions on roadworks, scientists say British scientists are hoping to develop a portable ‘gravimeter’, which would allow councils to test for utilities under streets before major works begin. Bus stations should be 'national assets' Bus stations in Wales should be managed as ‘national assets’ by the Welsh Government, a watchdog has said. Aggregate sector hit back at warnings of 'hundreds of new quarries' Aggregate producers have reacted angrily to claims that in order to meet government commitments to build a million homes in England by 2020, councils would have to give planning approval for hundreds of new quarries. CBI: Majority of businesses 'open to road charging' Almost three quarters (72%) of businesses are ‘open to the idea of road charging’ and 70% of infrastructure firms are prepared to pay higher fees for quicker planning decisions, a major new survey from the CBI has revealed. Sir John Armitt: 'You can't take politics out of infrastructure' The original author of the independent National Infrastructure Commission, which was launched by the Government this month, believes ‘there is no way to take politics out of infrastructure’. UK's first 'smart pavement' goes live The UK’s first ‘smart pavement’ has been switched on today in Chesham high street, Buckinghamshire, providing a free wireless broadband connection to some 21,000 local residents. Hull's new £11.5m Princes Quay bridge on target for 2017 Hull City Council has given planning permission for work on the new £11.5m Princes Quay bridge near the city’s marina, but first an archaeological dig will inspect the area to try and find medieval defences against the Scottish. Self-heal concrete and electric transport plans up for Welsh awards Costain and the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) are through to the final round of the first-ever Welsh sustainability awards, being announced on 19 November by national environmental charity Sustain Wales. The infrastructure sector reacts to Osborne's big plans While the infrastructure sector appears mostly positive about the devolution of business rates and the creation of a National Infrastructure Commission, key figures have warned of the risks attached. Osborne to raise £5bn for infrastructure investment Chancellor George Osborne has announced plans to boost infrastructure investment by £5bn through selling off national assets. Consultation launched on Silvertown Tunnel Plans for the £1bn Silvertown Tunnel, a new road-based Thames crossing linking the Greenwich Peninsula with the Royal Docks, have been unveiled today. Plans for major revamp of Elephant and Castle unveiled A major redevelopment is planned for the Elephant and Castle area of south London, including cultural and community space, a new elevated and publicly accessible park and the reinstatement of a lost street. HS2 contracts worth £12bn up for grabs The Government has kicked off the bidding process for some £11.8bn of contracts for phase 1 of the £50bn HS2 programme. London councils get new powers over street clutter London streets could be emptied of ‘clutter’ under new guidelines freeing boroughs from needing to gain permission for putting up signs and lights on private property. Giant sinkhole in Manchester will take days to fix A sinkhole thought to be 40ft deep on Manchester’s Mancunian Way will take at least 10 days to repair, as engineers work to tackle the huge crater. Design chosen for £13m Preston Bus Station redevelopment A winning design has been chosen for the £13m redevelopment of Preston Bus Station, as plans progress on making a 'destination' out of the 40-year old transport hub. London urged to ‘get creative’ with private infrastructure investment Construction in London could be sped up under a US-style investment model that shares investment risk between public and private partners, a report claims. Exclusive: New highways code of practice plans revealed Transport Network has seen a draft copy of the new code of practice covering all aspects of highways engineering and maintenance. Pension scheme infrastructure investment 'requires more risk support' The chancellor’s plan to boost infrastructure investment using pension funds appears to have floundered with industry leaders suggesting more must be done to mitigate the risks. Forth Bridge wins world heritage status Scotland’s Forth Bridge has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, joining locations such as Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the Athens Acropolis and China’s Great Wall. Hull in line for new cruise terminal Hull City Council has confirmed it plans to build a cruise terminal and riverside berth, it has emerged. Winning bidder named for £150m Cardiff interchange design Architects Foster and Partners is set to win a design contract for a new £150m Cardiff city-centre complex which will incorporate a modern bus station and transport interchange. PM hails ‘engineering triumph’ as Crossrail tunnelling completed The prime minister David Cameron has hailed the completion of the 26 miles of tunnelling work for London's Crossrail scheme as an ‘engineering triumph’. Inquiry launched into how built environment shapes behaviour A major eight-month investigation has been launched into how good design in public spaces can encourage people to behave better. BBC security could affect Cardiff trains The proximity of BBC Wales’ planned new headquarters to Wales’ busiest railway station could result in security threats disrupting public transport, said police. Materials giant bridges cracks in skills not just concrete Skills gaps in local government have seen the private sector fill the breach to help protect dangerously old car park stock, according to renowned materials manufacturer Sika. Humber bridge's largest repair job completed Engineering firm Spencer Group has completed the largest repair job on the Humber Bridge since it opened in 1981. Mersey Gateway project wins two international infrastructure awards Funding arrangements behind the £1.86bn Mersey Gateway bridge project, which saw Halton BC appoint the Merseylink consortium as the project company, have scooped two international awards. Shortlist for UK spaceport unveiled The Government has unveiled a shortlist of eight possible locations that could host a UK spaceport capable of launching commercial sub-orbital space flights from 2018. Analysis: Open access with automated bridge inspections As part of our build up to the 2015 Bridges conference, Transport Network takes a look at how an automated system was used to carry out a visual inspection of the cables on a highway bridge in Switzerland. Cardiff unveils plans for public realm manual Cardiff CC has produced a draft public realm manual to assist the creation of sustainable neighbourhoods as the authority aims to become ‘the most liveable capital city in Europe’. Bridging the gap on lower Thames river crossings Debate rages in local government over any potential new lower Thames crossings. Dominic Browne gives a round up from a recent transport select committee hearing that demonstrated just why this project has proven so tricky. Balfour Beatty appointed sole contractor to £1.5bn framework Balfour Beatty has been appointed to the sole contractor to a new £1.5bn UK-wide civil engineering framework – covering public works including road repairs and major road projects, new bridges coastal defences to light rail schemes. Infrastructure quality worsening, business polls find A pair of damning polls has found businesses fear the quality of UK infrastructure is worsening while progress on improvement is being hampered by political uncertainty. Flooding resilience forecast to improve with £97m supercomputer National resilience to high impact weather such as flooding is expected to improve following the introduction of a new £97m Met Office supercomputer. Space weather forecasting centre opened to protect UK infrastructure Science and universities minister, Greg Clark, has opened the UK's only dedicated space weather forecast centre, designed to protect the UK economy and infrastructure from the ‘real threat of severe space weather events’. Lib Dems vow to scrap Severn tolls The Liberal Democrats would scrap tolls on the Severn crossings if they won power at the next election, in a move designed to save the average commuter around £1,500 a year. Hamilton Square Station to close for six months in £4m upgrade Hamilton Square station in Birkenhead is to be closed for around six months while it undergoes a £4m revamp. Friday Thought: Love will tear us apart (and break a bridge) Dublin's Ha’penny bridge will lose its ‘love locks’ as the structure grows sick of love. Mayor's questions: Boris wants 'plethora' of new river crossings Mayor of London Boris Johnson has called for a ‘plethora’ of new river crossings in London following Transport for London’s (TfL) recently launched plans for new Thames crossings. Heathrow City designs unveiled Redevelopment of Heathrow Airport could create homes for 190,000 people and add £7.5bn to the UK economy, under new plans put forward today. TfL unveils latest Thames crossing plans Latest plans for a new river crossing in east London have met with calls of concern from transport campaigners and local councils. EXCLUSIVE: Council directors back new 'traffic specs' body Council directors are set to help ‘fill the void’ left by the Department for Transport (DfT) when it ends its management of the national specifications for traffic systems and equipment in 2015, Transport Network can reveal. New specification for utilities detection released Highways workers will benefit from the easier and more accurate detection of active or abandoned underground utilities through a new publicly available specification (PAS) issued this week by the British Standards Institution. Crossrail's new tunnel under the Thames complete Chancellor George Osborne has hailed the end of construction on London’s newest tunnel under the Thames as part of the £14.8bn Crossrail project. Government confronts engineering ‘gender gap’ with £30m boost Ministers have announced a multi-million pound package to raise the number of female engineers and boost the wider sector workforce. Rise in interest in engineering careers among young Interest in a career in engineering among young people has seen a rise of 6% since the Government attempted to promote the industry, it has been claimed. Environment Agency defends handling of floods The Environment Agency has defended its response to recent flooding in the wake of criticism that it has not done enough to dredge dangerous rivers. Scotland channels £1m into canals Nearly £1m is to be ploughed into two major canal projects in central Scotland, Holyrood has announced. Milton Keynes rolls out 'wireless' electric buses The roll out of a fleet of wirelessly charged electric buses has begun in Milton Keynes. Storm to test flood defences to limit Travel chaos has continued into the evening as storms hit the UK with local authorities preparing defences and emergency services evacuating residents. Autumn Statement:Osborne increases housing borrowing cap Chancellor George Osborne announced an increase in the Housing Revenue Account borrowing limit in today’s Autumn Statement. Govt and industry pledge to slash infrastructure carbon by 24 million tonnes Ministers and industry leaders have signed a joint pledge to try and reduce carbon levels in the infrastructure sector by as much as 24 million tonnes, saving £1.46bn a year by 2050. Cycle counters arrive in Scotland Digital counters have been installed at nine sites across Scotland to monitor the number of cyclists passing through the area. KPMG predicts record year for transport infrastructure deals 2013 is poised to be a record year for transport infrastructure deals, according to leading infrastructure consultants KPMG, following major UK deals such as Manchester Airport Group’s acquisition of Stansted airport. £28m flood defences unveiled in West Sussex A £28m sea defence scheme has been unveiled along the south coast in West Sussex, providing communities with improved flood protection along its key 7km stretch. £73m in coastal defence contracts awarded to Balfour Beatty A combined £73m of coastal defence contracts have been awarded by Blackpool Council and Wyre Council to infrastructure firm Balfour Beatty. River maintenance pilots cut red tape to combat flooding The Government has launched seven river maintenance pilots in a bid to slash red tape and improve flood management techniques that could protect the UK's road network. Humber Bridge set for £3.9m a-frame overhaul Engineering firm Spencer Group has won an a-frames contract for a £3.9m project on the Humber bridge. Brent reviews guidelines after bizarre legal deadlock Brent LBC has shelled out £300 in compensation payments to a resident and is reviewing its domestic vehicle footways guidelines following a bizarre legal deadlock. Friday Thought: What is transport’s impact on architecture? The power of movement has always had a profound effect on architects' imaginations. New amendments to Welsh Active Travel Bill welcomed New amendments to the Active Travel Bill in Wales have been welcomed by sustainable transport charity, Sustrans. Hammersmith Flyover repairs enter final phase Final work on the Hammersmith Flyover is to begin next month as the structure’s life looks set to be extended for several more decades. Lancashire plans more than £100m of major transport schemes Plans have been put forward by the new local transport body (LTB) in Lancashire to improve infrastructure across the county. Analysis: Ipsos MORI finds roads top of the agenda for councils Public concern about the state of our roads and the cleanliness of our streets leapfrogged schools, health services and even crime in this year’s Ipsos MORI research, as Victoria Harkness - head of local government research at independent research agency - explains. Invest in pedestrians to save high street, charity says Public space campaigners have urged the Government to invest £500m in town centres and provide greater support for pedestrian shoppers. TfL throws its doors open to the public Transport for London sites from Blackwell tunnel to Victoria station will take part in Open Doors and Open House this month, giving the public a further insight into transport the capital’s transport system. Minister pledges £8m for Cornwall harbours Local transport minister Norman Baker has pledged at least £8m into improvement plans for the harbours connecting Cornwall with the Isles of Scilly. Energy producing noise barriers to be trialled on M40 A groundbreaking new type of highway noise barrier that can produce renewable energy looks set to be trialled along parts of the M40 after the successful completion of a feasibility study. UK streets face major overhaul as Govt commits to rivaling EU on cycling Ministers are considering major changes to traffic regulations to allow UK streets to undergo cycle-proof redesigns, the Government revealed today. Forth Bridge visitor centre and glass lift proposed Plans for a new £15m visitor centre and glass lift at the Forth Bridge have been released. Leadbitter awarded £12m contract for new engineering skills centre Fareham College has awarded Leadbitter with a £12m contract to design and build an engineering skills centre in the Solent Enterprise Zone. £20m flood defence improvements for Hull planned Improvements to flood defences in Hull have been put together by the Environment Agency to maintain standards and take climate change predictions into account. Tyne tolls to be reclassified by height as prices set to rise The Tyne Tunnels' charging system is set for a major overhaul from 2014 with plans to reclassify vehicles by height rather than weight. First road bridge over the Thames in 20 years opens to the public The first new road bridge over the River Thames in 20 years was opened to traffic this week, linking Walton-on-Thames and Shepperton in South West London. Sunderland abandons contentious New Wear Crossing on cost grounds Our sister publication Bridge magazine on Sunderland City Council ditching plans to build the 'iconic' New Wear Crossing. Cardiff plans enforcement of moving traffic Cameras on buses could be involved in Cardiff CC’s plan to become the first council outside London to enforce moving-traffic rules. Costain wins £60m Hammersmith Flyover contract A £60m repair deal to strengthen the Hammersmith Flyover has been given to contractor Costain by Transport for London (TfL). OECD: Up infrastructure spend for growth The Organisation for Economic Cooperation Development (OECD) has claimed the UK should invest more in infrastructure for growth. BPF: Ensure CIL regimes are pro-growth Reform of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) should focus on economic growth and introduce financial certainty to the sector if it is to be successful, according to the British Property Federation (BPF). HMEP publishes new highways asset management guidance The Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme (HMEP) has published new asset management guidance for highways infrastructure today. Boris: funding uncertainty ‘benefiting’ contractors Suppliers of transport infrastructure to London are benefiting commercially from the capital’s lack of long-term funding certainty, London Mayor Boris Johnson has complained. UKIP councillors: Use miles not km 'to continue being English' UKIP councillors at East Sussex CC have called on officers to use miles not kilometres in documentation and signage in a bid ‘to continue being English’. Haulage chiefs: New driver tests 'unreasonable' Concern has been raised by the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and Road Haulage Association (RHA) about recent Department for Transport (DfT) advice on annual statutory tests for garage technicians and mechanics driving HGVs. Extra cash not needed to declutter streets, says former TfL chief Additional cash is not required to declutter streets, the former head of design at Transport for London (TfL) has stated. Councils in bidding war for HS2 regional headquarters Local authorities in the West Midlands are vying to host the regional headquarters for the High Speed Rail 2 (HS2) project, Transport Network understands. Friday Thought: Battle of the transport crooners The battle is on between central and local government transport crooners - in a race to the middle of the road. First tranche of pinch point cash announced Cash for improving congestion at 10 sites across the UK has been announced by the Department for Transport (DfT) as part of its Local Pinch Point Fund. Browne report: 'Worryingly poor' management of major projects Whitehall management of major infrastructure projects, including transport schemes, has been described as ‘worryingly poor’ by a senior government adviser, following the release of a new report focusing on the issue. Crossrail £300m tunnelling contract awarded London’s £15bn Crossrail project has awarded its last major contract, handing a £300m deal for fit-out work in the new tunnels to a joint venture comprising Costain Ltd, TSO and Alstom Transport. DfT allocates £40m for safer cycle routes Scores of local authorities have won a share of a £40m cash pot to help improve cycle safety across the country, transport minister Norman Baker has announced. Surveyor's Bridges 2013 conference awarded CPD status Surveyor's Bridges 2013 conference and exhibition has been awarded Continued Professional Development (CPD) status by the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation for the first time. Sustrans opens Britain’s longest cycling tunnel Sustainable transport charity Sustrans is set to celebrate the opening of Britain’s longest cycling tunnel built on the former Somerset and Dorset railway line - 50 years since the Beeching cuts forced the line to close. Budget 2013: £3bn infrastructure boost An extra £3bn infrastructure spending is due to be released for 2015/16, the chancellor George Osborne has announced. Derby to get £4.4m for bridge replacement Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has approved £4.4m of government funding for plans to replace the ‘sub-standard’ bridge carrying the A6 London Road over the Derby to Birmingham railway line. Govt rejects claims of flood defence cuts The Government has rejected claims that flood-defence funding has been slashed in half - a move that could leave roads and transport links vulnerable to serious damage following extreme weather. Discount borrowing rate for local infrastructure The Treasury has unveiled a new concessionary lending rate for up to £2.5bn of local infrastructure projects nominated by Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). Councillors shut out of Forth Road Bridges management Excluding councillors from the management of the Forth Road Bridges in Scotland is the right decision, influential MSPs have said. North Wales councils plan regional CIL Seven Welsh authorities plan a region-wide Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), as criticism mounts of local government’s fragmentation in Wales. Crossrail paves the way for Whitechapel transformation Tower Hamlets LBC this week launched a major regeneration project for its historic Whitechapel area, made possible by Transport for London’s (TfL) £14.8bn Crossrail project. DfT considers expansion of £20m new stations fund Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has suggested the Department for Transport’s (DfT) £20m new train station fund could be expanded following its first bidding round. LEPs must have 'freedom to operate' says Pickles Communities secretary Eric Pickles has called for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to operate as councils see best, when implementing local transport strategies.