NCE Live News Updates Thursday 13 February 2014: Flood warnings remain in place while M2 reopens two lanes after sinkhole problem
Southern and central England flood warnings will remain in place.
4pm: Communities in southern and central England remain at risk of flooding over the next few days, the Environment Agency has warned.
Although water levels may fall throughout today, they are expected to rise again on the Thames and Severn, the Agency said.
At 1pm today the Agency had 16 severe flood warnings in force, as well as 128 flood warnings.
Chief executive Paul Leinster said: “Some communities will see a brief respite today, but unfortunately the risk of flooding will continue. We ask people to remain vigilant and take action were necessary. We expect to see river levels rising again with more rain forecast for Friday and Saturday.”
3.30pm: The position of a rail tunnel near Old Street station that was damaged during a construction project last year was not marked on the site plan or on any map available to the design team, developer or local planning authority, according to a report.
Shortly after 10am on Friday 8 March 2013, the auger of a CFA piling rig penetrated the roof of the Network Rail tunnel in Hackney, London.
According to the report, by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, more than half of 39 proposed piles would have intersected with the tunnel. Read the full story here.
11.45am: Network rail engineers worked overnight on lines damaged by yesterday’s storms.
The track operator said its staff removed scores of trees from blocked lines; repaired over a dozen overheard cable problems and cleared hundreds of pieces of debris from track.
The spurs of the West Coast Main Line to Liverpool and of the East Coast Main Line to Leeds were expected to re-open late this morning.
Some Welsh routes remain shut, however, and services remain reduced in areas affected by heavy flooding in the South.
11am: The M2 has been reopened between J5 and J6 with hard shoulder running allowing traffic to bypass the huge hole in the central reservation.
At 6am this morning two lanes were open to traffic on the London-bound carriageway; and one lane on the coast-bound side.
Geotechnical investigations are continuing as engineers seek to establish the cause of the hole, so it can be safely repaired.
The hole, about 5m long, 2m wide and 5m deep, was reported on Tuesday.
10am: Contractors are sought for three roads deals that could be worth a combined £1.3bn.
The Highways Agency launched the procurement process for asset support contracts in areas 1, 13 and 14.
The contracts – in the South West, North West and North East – will be awarded for an initial three or five years with the possibility of extensions to a total of eight years.
Contractors have until 19 March to express an interest in the work.