The headline on London’s Evening Standard’s story of the tragic death of a Crossrail worker on Friday resonated with me.
News analysis and opinion from the NCE team
As Britain continues to be battered by a seemingly endless cycle of winter storms, a cynicism is emerging about the reactions of Britain’s politicians. There are doubts about whether they care quite so much about the people at the receiving end as they do about scoring political points.
With a looming skills crisis and an almost complete lack of public awareness of what civil engineers do, is the industry in dire straits? Max Thompson examines what can be done to tackle our dismal public profile.
The expert view
The government is hell bent on creating more traffic, despite dirty air for those living near busy roads
Plans for hard shoulder running on congested sections of motorway have shone a light on dangerously poor air quality that those living near busy roads routinely face. Rather than planning for a massive increase in cars, the Government needs to clean up its act and protect communities from dirty air.
At the recent launch of AMP6, a water industry leader asked everyone in the room if they knew “how many different types of light bulb we use on our estate?” The answer, you’ll be interested to know, is 472.
AMP6 is coming and it would appear that very few companies are ready. Until now, the focus for even the most progressive water companies has rightly been on business planning, evaluating suppliers and awarding contracts. Now it is time to plan for the wholesale changes that will be required to their own businesses once AMP6 arrives, before it is too late.
The contrast couldn’t have been more stark. For a while last year, energy boss-bashing almost became a national sport. When the big six energy firms announced price rises in the Autumn, consumers and politicians queued up to vent their outrage.
Geographically Hong Kong is a small place. I therefore often bump into many familiar faces at ICE events. At a certificate presentation ceremony a couple of years ago, I started a conversation with an extremely joyous young lady with a familiar face.
At first sight, Liverpool and its region does not fare too badly from High Speed 2 (HS2). Journey times to London will be reduced by 28 minutes and there will be a doubling of frequency. But we at 20 More Miles are not happy.
Why are construction workers a 100 times more likely to die of work related ill health than an accident on site?
Statistics show that construction work is getting safer, with a lower rate of fatal accidents than ever before. But a construction worker is still about 100 times more likely to die of work-related ill-health than as a result of an accident on site.
Crossrail 1 is only half finished but it's time to start thinking about London’s next big hole in the ground
It is – and ever has been - a common device in films that depict our future to have flying vehicles, people travelling through tubes, and other such novelties. The one thing you tend to notice is it’s usually highly ordered and efficient. People arrive. They are whisked away with no fuss.
In the face of the ongoing flooding crisis the government is spooked. But making policy on the hoof and in a panic is a recipe for errors and incoherence.
At the start of this year, I watched ICE vice president David Balmforth being interviewed on BBC TV news, discussing the need to adopt a new approach to flood risk management - a more holistic approach that isn’t solely reliant on conventional defences but looks to build the resilience of our communities and stand them in good stead for the longer term.
Getting to the essence of what defines a civil engineer and a contractor.
Questions raised over the proportion of money the government allocates to flood defences.
Sir Bernard Ingham’s forthright views on the government’s energy policy stirred up debate in the sector.