Wiki Actu en

January 26, 2010

Wales railway upgrade proposals would cost £5bn, says expert

Wales railway upgrade proposals would cost £5bn, says expert

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cymru / Wales
Other Welsh stories
Location of Wales

A map showing the location of Wales

To write, edit, start or view other Welsh articles, see the Cymru / Wales Portal
Flag of Wales.svg

A file photograph of a Welsh train service in Cardiff
Image: Chris McKenna.

A committee of Welsh Assembly politicians has called for an extensive programme of works to upgrade the railways in Wales, saying that Wales is not being treated fairly in comparison with other parts of the United Kingdom. However, one academic who gave evidence to the committee says that the proposals, if implemented in full, would cost about £5 billion (more than US$8 billion), and it is unclear whether this level of public finance will be available.

The Enterprise and Learning Committee made a number of recommendations to improve the rail service within Wales, and between Wales and England. It calls for better links between the north and south of Wales, high-speed links from Wales to other parts of the UK, and light rail systems for the southern cities of Cardiff, Swansea and Newport.

Other suggestions include upgrading the Severn Tunnel between south Wales and England, electrifying the line along the north Wales coast, and new carriages, especially on routes serving the valleys of south Wales. Improved access for passengers with disability is another area where the committee wants action. It also calls for more decision-making powers about railway matters to be transferred to the devolved government in Wales.

The committee, which took two months to look over the report, said that it was concerned that passenger satisfaction with the service was lower in Wales than elsewhere. In addition, investment was needed to meet an anticipated increase in demand for passenger and freight services. It wants the possibility of reopening closed lines, or building new lines, to be examined.

Committee chairman Gareth Jones said that the report “examines the long-term future of the rail network in Wales”, adding, “The evidence we have gathered indicates that freight and passenger traffic on our network will increase over the coming years. The objective hopefully will be that Wales benefits from this extra traffic so that we are better placed in terms of high speed link connections with the rest of the UK and Europe. It is important that the Welsh government provides for that extra demand.”

Commenting on the report, Profesor Stuart Cole from the University of Glamorgan said that although the plans were ambitious, the committee had “set out very clearly what is required if you’re going to get a 21st century railway”. The 21 recommendations would cost £5bn in total, with the three light rail schemes taking about one-third of that total, in his view.

Other improvements, for example between the north and south of Wales, could be achieved at a lesser price. Cole, who gave evidence to the committee, says that “for an expenditure of £50m spread over three years we could get the journey time from Llandudno to Cardiff down from four hours to three hours and 20 minutes.”

The Welsh Assembly Government will give its full response to the report at a later date. A spokesman said that a modern railway was “crucial” for Wales, and commented that the Assembly Government agreed with many of the recommendations. Network Rail, which manages railway tracks in Wales and elsewhere in Great Britain, said that it would already be spending more than £1.5bn on infrastructure over the next five years, with improvements to over 120 stations planned.



Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

December 23, 2009

UK Wikinews Shorts: December 23, 2009

UK Wikinews Shorts: December 23, 2009 – Wikinews, the free news source

UK Wikinews Shorts: December 23, 2009

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

A compilation of brief news reports for Wednesday, December 23, 2009.

Help Wikinews! Contribute to Wikinews by expanding these briefs or add a new one.


Map of United Kingdom with Northern Ireland highlighted in dark blue.

Two-year-old child in Northern Ireland dies of H1N1 swine flu virus

The Department of Health (DHSSPS) in Northern Ireland has announced that a child aged two has died after falling victim to the H1N1 swine flu virus. The toddler had underlying health problems. The death brings the total number of people from Northern Ireland that have died as a result of having the disease to 17, also including one person who was in Spain and one person who was in England at the times of their deaths.

Michael McGimpsey, health minister of Northern Ireland, expressed his sympathy. “Sadly, we have been notified of the death of a two-year-old child who was confirmed as having swine flu,” he stated. “The child had underlying medical conditions. I would like to express my deepest sympathy to the family at this very sad time for them.”

Sources



Woman killed in collision with ambulance in Staffordshire, England

Map of England with Staffordshire highlighted in red.

An elderly woman has been killed in a car collision physically involving an ambulance in Staffordshire, England. The incident occurred when the woman and her female passenger, travelling in a Ford Ka, crashed into a West Midlands Ambulance Service vehicle that was flashing its full emergency lights. The crash occurred at approximately 15.15 GMT at the junction of Quarry Hills Lane and Tamworth Road. An air ambulance subsequently arrived at the scene and took the 72-year-old passenger to a hospital; she suffered included damage to her chest and her head. The driver of the Ford was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. It is believed that icy road conditions were not a factor of the collision.

A spokesperson for Staffordshire Police said that : “the woman driver of the Ka was pronounced dead at the scene. Her female passenger was airlifted to Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham, suffering from head and chest injuries. The male driver of the ambulance vehicle was taken to Stafford Hospital after suffering minor injuries.”

Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer Keith Prior from West Midlands Ambulance Service also spoke about the incident. “All our thoughts are with the families of all of those involved in this tragic crash. We have launched an internal investigation to examine the circumstances of this incident,” said Prior. “We have already been working with our colleagues in Staffordshire Police and this will continue.”

Sources



90-year-old man dies after car crash in Northern Ireland

A man aged 90 has died after being involved in a road traffic accident in Northern Ireland. The accident, which occurred at 1030 GMT on Sunday, involved two vehicles and took place on the Doagh Road in the suburb of Newtownabbey in County Antrim. The man died the following day from the injuries he sustained in the accident. At the request of his family, the police have not yet publically identified the gentleman.

Sources



Man dies while carrying child in railway station in Edinburgh, Scotland

Map of Scotland with Edinburgh highlighted in dark blue.

A man has died while carrying his child in a railway station in Edinburgh, Scotland. The man, who was aged 47, was carrying his young daughter in Waverley Station in Edinburgh when he suddenly either collapsed or slipped near a taxi rank at approximately 0900 GMT on Wednesday; his head impacted with a parked car. The man, who came from the city of Dundee, suffered from injuries to his head as a result of the impact. After being treated by staff at the scene, he was taken to hospital where he later died as a result of his injuries.

A spokesperson for Network Rail has released a statement about the incident. “We can confirm that a man has died following a tragic incident at Waverley station this morning,” said the spokesperson. “We are co-operating fully with the police investigation into this matter.”

A post-mortem examination is to be held to try and determine the cause of the man’s death. The police have yet to have identified him publically, however his next of kin have been notified. The British Transport Police have now launched an investigation. “About 0920 GMT on Wednesday, 23 December 2009, a man in his 40s appeared to fall as he walked on the concourse of Edinburgh Waverley station,” said a spokesperson for them. “He was taken by ambulance to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where he later died. Inquiries are ongoing into the circumstances surrounding his death, although at this stage there do not appear to be any suspicious circumstances. It is anticipated that a post mortem will take place in due course to establish his cause of death and full report will be submitted to the local procurator fiscal by Lothian and Borders Police.”

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg





This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

January 28, 2008

UK allows corporations to award high school credits

UK allows corporations to award high school credits

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Monday, January 28, 2008

A McDonald’s in Exeter.
Image: Billy Hicks.

The government of the United Kingdom has given corporations like fast food chain McDonald’s the right to award high school qualifications to employees who complete a company training program.

Two other businesses, railway firm Network Rail and regional airline Flybe, were also approved. The decision was made by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, which oversees the national curriculum.

McDonald’s said it will offer a “basic shift manager” course, which will train staff in marketing, customer service, and other areas of restaurant management. Completion of this course will be the equivalent of passing the GCSE, the standard exam taken at age 16, or the Advanced Level, taken at age 18.

Network Rail plans to offer a course in rail engineering, while Flybe is developing a course involving aircraft engineering and cabin crew training. Passing Flybe’s course could result a university level degree.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown supports the plan. “It is going to be a tough course, but once you have got a qualification in management you can probably go anywhere,” Brown said. He emphasized the importance of higher education, saying, “Every young person needs a skill and to think about going to college, doing an apprenticeship or university.”

John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, called the decision “an important step towards ending the old divisions between company training schemes and national qualifications” and said it will “benefit employees, employers and the country as a whole.”

However, some people are unsure of the plan’s effectiveness. Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, said, “We are unsure whether those institutions would be clamoring to accept people with McQualifications,” using a derogatory term for the program.



Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

December 29, 2007

UK rail regulator launches investigation into line closure at short notice

UK rail regulator launches investigation into line closure at short notice

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Virgin Trains Pendolino on the West Coast Main Line; Virgin will be worst affected by the closure.

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR), the regulatory authority for Great Britain’s railway network, has launched an investigation of Network Rail procedures following a complaint from Virgin Trains regarding over-running engineering works on New Year’s Eve.

Network Rail, who are responsible for the British railway infrastructure, have announced that as part of ongoing engineering work to improve the West Coast Main Line, no services will be able to pass through Rugby on December 31.

The closure will affect services operated by Virgin Trains, London Midland and First ScotRail.

Chris Gibb, the Managing Director of Virgin Trains said, “I am very disappointed that Network Rail (NR) has given us so little opportunity to warn our passengers of this further disruption. We were first warned of the possibility of this additional work on 6 December.”

“Because of the seriousness of the situation we felt it necessary to refer the matter to the Office of Rail Regulation. We simply cannot have NR bullying train operators in this way just because their engineering planning processes are in a mess.”

The company has warned passengers that journeys are likely to be extended by an hour or more in some cases.

Whilst the ORR will be investigating the complaint from Virgin, they have ruled that the work should still go ahead.

A spokesman for Network Rail said, “Work will be ongoing for most of the next year, but the Christmas period is the last major opportunity we have to do key work while passenger numbers are down during the relatively long holiday period.

“It was only realised at the beginning of December that work was falling behind. Rail companies are usually given 12 weeks notice of engineering work. Virgin were told only at the beginning of the month, so that is very late.

“Network Rail is extremely sorry and apologises to passengers for the inconvenience.”

According to the company, the engineering works will contribute to enabling increases in service frequencies and reductions in journey times on the West Coast Main Line from December 2008.



Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

July 13, 2007

Network Rail employee arrested in connection with Cumbrian train crash

Network Rail employee arrested in connection with Cumbrian train crash

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Friday, July 13, 2007

The scene of the accident
Image: Lawrence Clift Photography.

An employee of Network Rail, the company that owns and maintains the British railway infrastructure, has been arrested in connection with the Grayrigg derailment in Cumbria, in the north of England, which left one passenger dead in February of this year.

The Virgin Pendolino service from London to Glasgow derailed at 20:15 GMT on February 23 as it passed over a set of points which an interim report by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch found were missing components and were in a poor condition.

A spokesman for the British Transport Police said that the 46-year-old man from Preston was arrested on Wednesday and has been released on police bail until October 31.

Network Rail were unable to comment on the arrest.

Icon of loudspeaker
This audio file was created from the text revision dated 2007-07-13T15:30Z and may not reflect subsequent text edits to this report. (audio help)
Audio Wikinews

Related news

  • “Virgin Train crashes in England” — Wikinews, February 23, 2007

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

February 23, 2007

Virgin train crashes in England

Virgin train crashes in England – Wikinews, the free news source

Virgin train crashes in England

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Friday, February 23, 2007

Spoken content icon This article features in a News Brief from Audio Wikinews:

Aftermath of the derailment.

A 9 Carriage Class 390 Pendolino train, with as many as 180 people onboard, operated by Virgin Trains has derailed and crashed in Cumbria, England.

The train was the 17:15 service from London’s Euston Station to Glasgow Central. Witnesses said that several passengers have broken bones. All but one carriage have slid down the embankment and all of the carriages were derailed. 5 people are still seriously injured in hospital, including the driver Ian Black, and 11 people altogether are still in hospital. Hospital reports early on Saturday morning indicate 1 death, 84 year old lady Margaret Masson from Glasgow.

“It’s our understanding there are a number of people injured on the train. We think there are numerous injuries,” said a spokesman for the Cumbria Fire and Rescue squad, Brian Mitchelhill.

“A train has crashed between Oxenholme and Tebay, but that is all we know at the moment. We have got two cars travelling there now and local police are attending,” said a spokeswoman for the British Transport Police.

At least twelve ambulances and at least five fire trucks are at the scene, along with 3 Royal Air Force Sea King helicopters, two mountain rescue teams and one police helicopter. The rescue effort was hampered by limited access to the remote site and poor weather conditions.

“At the moment, we have reports of various injuries, from leg injuries to back injuries and head injuries — ranging from minor to quite serious,” said an unnamed ambulance official.

Virgin West Coast Class 390 Pendolino EMU 390009 at platform 1 of Carlisle railway station.

“The carriage I am in is completely on its side, it did a sort of bump – and I was thinking don’t worry this fine – but then the swaying became very dramatic,” said a BBC executive, Caroline Thomson. “Where I am there are some injuries – a woman with a very badly hurt back but I suspect further up the train it’s a bit more serious.”

First reports suggested that the train hit something on the track at 20:15 near Grayrigg, between Oxenholme and Tebay, derailed and slid down an embankment. Early investigators reports say a set of points will be the primary focus of the investigation. All but one of the train’s carriages are said to have totally come off the tracks, a spokeswoman said.

So far 12 passengers have been taken to The Royal Preston Hospital, where three casualties are said to be in a “critical condition” and one serious. 3 passengers with limb injuries are at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary. People with minor injuries were taken to a nearby farm before being transferred to a Kendal hotel.

As of 22:16, Sleeper services over the affected line have been suspended. Other major services are terminating at Preston or Carlisle according to (UK) National Rail Enquires. A five mile cordon has been set up to seal the crash site as investigators from the Rail Accident Investigation Branch attempt to determine the cause of the crash.

Virgin owner Richard Branson came to the site from his holiday in Switzerland and held a press conference at a safe distance, roughly 200 meters, from the site. Branson stated that the Virgin Train Pendolino was “built like a tank”, and believed the track was to blame. All of the carriages retained their integrity and none of the windows broke. Mr Branson also praised the driver of the train for attempting to stop the train and not leaving the cockpit.

Network Rail has checked 700 sets of rail points in response to the accident, though no speed restrictions have been imposed.

Exquisite-Modem.png
British Transport Police Contact Number 0800 40 50 40

Sources

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
Grayrigg rail crash
Wikinews
This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.


Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

September 25, 2006

Virgin Rail train collides with car near Copmanthorpe, killing driver

Virgin Rail train collides with car near Copmanthorpe, killing driver

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Monday, September 25, 2006

File photograph of a Virgin Voyager Class 220 train (Cr. Chris McKenna)

A Virgin Trains train travelling at high speed collided with a car near Copmanthorpe, Yorkshire, England, killing the car’s driver.

The accident took place at approximately 20:55 GMT when the Class 220/221 train, travelling at close to 100mph, hit the car which was on the tracks. The train then partially derailed but remained upright, coming to a stop further down the tracks. The car driver is believed to have been killed instantly. No one on the train was injured.

The car was not at a level crossing. North Yorkshire Police said that the car had left the road, driven through a fence and ended up on the track.

The train was the 14:25 Virgin Voyager cross-country service from Plymouth to Edinburgh Waverley, capable of speeds up to 125mph, but was deccelerating on approach into York. There were 74 passengers on board.

The line between York and Leeds was closed for several hours, delaying other services. Virgin Spokesman Arthur Leathley told reporters that Network Rail hoped to have three of the four lines in that section of the track operational by Tuesday morning.

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

May 8, 2006

Union criticizes East London Line \’privatisation\’

Union criticizes East London Line ‘privatisation’

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Monday, May 8, 2006

Route map of the East London Line extension

The transport union RMT has criticised Transport for London (TfL) for the decision apparently to privatise the East London Line, which is undergoing a major upgrade and extension programme over the coming years. The announcement follows a report from BBC News which claims that a ‘leaked memo’ has revealed plans for the line to be run by the private sector come 2009. RMT General Secretary said “there is no earthly reason why its operations should not remain within London Underground”, adding that the Union would take steps to safeguard the jobs of its members currently working on the line.

Responsibility for the East London Line extension was officially transferred from the Strategic Rail Authority to Transport for London in November 2004, and London Mayor Ken Livingstone has pledged to deliver the £900m extension by the end of the decade. However it has always been the plan that the line, once built, would form part of the national rail network, rather than the Underground network. Network Rail will manage much of the track, and private companies will run the trains under strict franchise from the London Rail arm of TfL, in the same manner as TfL franchises the bus services.

Phase One of the project, due to be complete in June 2010, will see a northern extension to Dalston Junction and a southern extension to Crystal Palace and West Croydon. This is in plenty of time for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Control of the North London Line, currently run by Silverlink, will also pass to TfL from Autumn 2007. It is planned that eventually the line will join up with the East London Line, the West London Line and the South London Line to form a circular ‘Orbirail’ service.

Icon of loudspeaker
This audio file was created from the text revision dated 2006-05-09 and may not reflect subsequent text edits to this report. (audio help)
Audio Wikinews

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Powered by WordPress