Hammond 'should launch bold infrastructure plan'

A call for chancellor Philip Hammond to launch 'a bold new infrastructure plan' features in today's newspaper round-up.

Hammond should go beyond airport expansion and deliver a wider infrastructure investment programme, former foreign secretary William Hague writes in the Telegraph. He says it "is vital to show that one airport runway is neither the answer to everything nor an isolated plan. Don’t rule out expanding other airports too. Make a massive show of the opening of Crossrail in 2018, one of the most impressive pieces of infrastructure this country will ever have built. But above all, accelerate the new road and rail links that can give real meaning to a northern powerhouse."

National Grid "has unveiled plans to spend £460 million burying new power lines through the Lake District, in a U-turn that will cost seven times more than erecting pylons", the Telegraph reports. The newspaper says that the "utility giant had originally planned to build 160ft-tall pylons through a 14.5-mile stretch of the national park, as part of a 102-mile cabling project along the west coast of Cumbria to connect up NuGen's proposed new nuclear plant at Moorside. But after fierce opposition from campaigners, who warned the pylons would devastate the scenery and could jeopardise the Lake District's bid for Unesco world heritage site status, National Grid on Monday proposed burying the cables under the park."

"Living on a busy road is as bad for blood pressure as being overweight", the Times (subscription required) reports. The newspaper says that the "largest study of its kind" has suggested that "people living in polluted and noisy areas are 22 per cent more likely to have high blood pressure than those in cleaner areas".

Former energy secretary Sir Ed Davey has said that Britain risks "sleepwalking into brownouts and blackouts" because of "a proposed overhaul of energy regulation that could lead to the closure of many small power plants", the Telegraph reports. The newspaper says that the "warning from Sir Ed, who was in charge of UK energy policy from 2012 to 2015, is the starkest intervention yet into a fierce industry debate over plans by regulator Ofgem to change the way Britain’s power grids are paid for".

Almost 11,000 people have signed a petition against plans for "three concrete factories and an asphalt plant next to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park", London’s Evening Standard reports. The newspaper says that "campaigners said the plans for heavy industry in the middle of the park — near to schools, homes and sports facilities — would be a ‘complete disaster’ for children’s health and the local environment."

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