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Mayor Andy Burnham to ‘revolutionise’ transport as he unveils latest plans
May 10, 2021

Newly re-elected Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, will seek to transform the region’s transport system. Putting ‘transport revolution’ at the centre of plans for his second term, Burnham said he will be accelerating plans for a ‘London style’ transport system so that all parts of Greater Manchester have buses integrated with Metrolink by May 2024 – a year earlier than originally planned Ahead of the first meeting of the Mayor’s new Bee Network Delivery Board,  he also announced 95 new electric vehicle charging points by the end of this year, with plans for a further 200 charging points next year, in partnership with government He has pledged to complete 100km of cycling and walking routes by the end of the year and a new bike hire scheme to launch in November, with the preferred delivery partner unveiled in June Burnham is also opening negotiations with Network Rail to agree a plans to make all rail stations in the city-region accessible by 2025, ‘or to give Greater Manchester the funding and power to do it.’ Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “Across the world, the most successful city-regions have one thing in common – an affordable, integrated and accessible transport network. “People in Greater Manchester have made clear that they won’t settle for second best any longer – that is why on day one of my second term as Mayor I’m vowing to accelerate the delivery of a world-class transport network for our city-region and its people.  It is absolutely critical to our future economic and social prosperity. “People here deserve a transport network where you can seamlessly travel across our city-region on buses, trams and trains – without spending a fortune each time. “We will deliver this alongside hundreds of new Electric Vehicle charging points, a bike hire scheme and world-class cycling and walking corridors which will make everyday trips to school, to work and to the shops safe, easy and fun. This will benefit our people and our planet as we step up our plans for carbon neutrality.” The Mayor has also written to Rochdale Council to offer his support for the creation of a new partnership to drive the regeneration of Middleton Town Centre, and is asking TfGM to accelerate the development of a business case to bring Metrolink to Middleton. The new partnership will be tasked with preparing a masterplan for the town centre, including funding proposals to bring Metrolink to Middleton.

Welcome order boost for Broughton’s Airbus wing-making factory
April 28, 2021

Workers at the Airbus wing-making plant in Broughton, near Chester, have received an orders boost after US airline Delta added a further 25 aircraft to an existing delivery. It marks a return to something approaching normality after Airbus, and other plane makers around the world, suffered a collapse in work intake as a result of the coronavirus pandemic that led to international border closures and the grounding of nearly all aircraft for almost a year. Airbus underwent a restructuring to combat the dearth in business, which included Broughton’s headcount dropping from more than 6,000 staff to just over 4,500. However, Delta Airlines has placed a firm order for 25 A321neo (New Engine Option) aircraf, in addition to Delta’s 2017 order of 100 A321neo aircraft. These planes will be powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM engines. Additionally, Delta has accelerated delivery of two A350-900 aircraft as well as two A330 900neo aircraft. Mahendra Nair, Delta’s senior vice president-fleet strategy, said: “With our customers ready to reclaim the joy of travel, this agreement positions Delta for growth while accounting for the planned retirements of older narrowbody aircraft in our fleet, reducing our carbon footprint, increasing efficiency and elevating the customer experience. “We thank Airbus for their steadfast partnership during the pandemic and look forward to working with them as we take delivery of the A321neo as well as our accelerated A350 and A330-900neo deliveries.”

Shipyard completes nuclear test rig linked to future diversification plans
April 28, 2021

Cammell Laird has completed the design, manufacture and installation of an innovative test rig that will be used in the design of future nuclear reactors. It is aimed at re-establishing the UK as a world leader in thermal hydraulics research. The new Thermal Hydraulic test rig, which is seven metres tall, five metres wide and 2.5 metres deep, was built for the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) as part of Project Faith (Fuel Assembly Incorporating Thermal Hydraulics) by experts at the Birkenhead shipyard. The project aims to use the build of the experimental rig as a model for proving the facility’s modular construction techniques in the nuclear industry. Jamie Willgress, project manager at Cammell Laird, part of the Project Faith team, said: “Our expertise in the block build fabrication of ships was instrumental to this project and we’ve been able to share considerable best practice from our work constructing some of the worlds’ most high profile vessels, including the RRS Sir David Attenborough and the Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carriers.” Cammell Laird built the flight deck for the Queen Elizabeth which was assembled at the Rosyth shipyard on the east of Scotland. The yard is investigating work in the nuclear sector, as well as the offshore renewable energy industry. Mr Willgress added: “Modular construction will improve the delivery of nuclear projects in the future and revolutionise the way nuclear plant is constructed, so this is an incredibly important project to be part of.“ Designed to circulate water around a pipe loop, the stand alone rig enables different test sections to be installed to study the impact of flowrates and temperature on the flow regime in the geometry and workings of a nuclear reactor. The rig will be used by scientists at the National Nuclear Laboratory to collect data that will inform future nuclear reactor design and help to deliver a more robust talent pipeline to support the UK nuclear industry.