Traffic jams in Yorkshire, and a new fleet of buses for London - it’s this month’s news in numbers.
Transport for London has approved a production order for 600 ‘new bus for London’ vehicles, to be manufactured by Wrightbus in Northern Ireland. This will be the largest order for hybrid buses ever placed in Europe. When added to vehicles already in service and on order, they will bring the capital’s hybrid bus fleet to over 1,000 by 2016.
The European Union has passed 100GW of installed wind-power capacity, according to the European Wind Energy Association. Half the total has been installed in the last six years. EWEA says 100GW of wind capacity can deliver an annual output equivalent to that of 39 nuclear power plants.
The IET’s Inspec database of science and engineering research has added its 13 millionth record - a paper looking at the geometric accuracy of rapid prototyping models in medical applications, authored by researchers from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. Inspec adds over 700,000 records a year, selected and categorised by subject specialists. Its archive goes back more than a century.
A new cascade of three hydropower plants on the Devoll River in southern Albania will increase electricity generation in the country by 20 per cent. A joint venture of Mott MacDonald and Coyne et Bellier has been appointed as owner’s engineer for the development, which will have a total installed capacity of approximately 280MW and produce about 800GWh a year. Generation should start by the end of 2015, and construction is due for completion in 2019.
Extreme weather conditions cost the EU transport system at least €15bn (£12bn) a year, according to a study by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The greatest costs arise from road accidents, taking account of material damage and psychological suffering. Road traffic is the most vulnerable mode because of its volume and because it is not professionally or centrally controlled like rail and aviation. In these modes the dominant costs are time-related, typically arising from delays. “Surprisingly,” say the authors, infrastructure costs did not take the lion’s share.
The Leeds-Bradford conurbation suffers the worst rush-hour congestion in the UK, but it is only 17th in a ranking of European cities compiled by satnav firm TomTom, based on comparing non-peak and peak-time traffic. Istanbul is the worst for jams, followed by Warsaw and Marseille.