Transport infrastructure improvements for Cork, Dublin

A €215 million upgrade of the Dunkettle Interchange in Cork has been approved by Government in advance of Budget 2021 .

Dunkettle interchange is a road junction in east Cork City, forming a junction between the M8, N25 and the N40. Minister of State for Transport Hildegarde Naughton described the upgrade as “vital” for Cork city and region.

The appointment of contractor Sisk to carry out the the upgrade had been delayed for over a year as Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) was not satisfied with initial bids.

It is understood TII saved more than €40 million in putting the project out to tender for a second time. The figure of €215 million includes land costs.

The project involves putting in place an interchange just north of the Jack Lynch Tunnel to allow traffic travelling north-south on the M8 and traffic travelling east-west on the N25 move freely in either direction freely with slip roads providing links between both major arteries.

Dunkettle Interchange is the only remaining project in the National Roads Programme scheduled to go to construction this year, although the Government will today announce progress will continue on a number of schemes, funded under Budget 2021.

Work is expected to begin three more schemes in 2021. These are:

the N5 Ballaghaderreen to Scramogue in Co Roscommon
the N69 Listowel Bypass in Co Kerry
the N59 Moycullen Bypass in Co Galway

N11 pause

However doubt hangs over the progression of key projects such as the proposed M20 Cork-Limerick motorway, the Galway outer ring road and N11/M11 improvements, all of which which require ongoing planning funding in today’s budget.

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan has already said he would pause the expansion of the N11 through the Glen of the Downs, in Co Wicklow. However M11 improvements between

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State Highway 3/Napier Rd improvements to go ahead

A plan to improve safety on State Highway 3/Napier Rd is moving ahead, with funding secured for detailed design and consenting work.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is developing a package of safety improvements along a 3.4km section of Napier Rd, between Keith St and Stoney Creek Rd, and including Roberts Line intersection.

Regional relationships director Emma Speight says the improved saftey of the road will go ahead following investigation and consultation on options.

“I’m pleased that we can now move into the detailed design and consenting phase of this project.”

“This is a positive step towards making the road safer and more accessible for the everyone.

“We’ve had lots of feedback from locals who say the area feels unsafe, and we’ve taken their feedback into consideration when making decisions about ways that we can improve safety.

“We heard that it is difficult for cyclists and pedestrians from Kelvin Grove to cross the road and access the Manawatū River pathway on the other side, so to make access easier and safer for all road users, we will be installing traffic signals at the intersection of Roberts Line and SH3/Napier Rd.

“There is also a shared path planned between Sutton Place and Roberts Line.

“This will be an off-road facility connecting the Manawatū River pathway with the Kelvin Grove residential area.”

Palmerston North City Council chief executive, Heather Shotter says the council welcomes the funding as it addresses a part of the transport network that the community has been concerned about for many years.

“We will work with Waka Kotahi to ensure the design reflects the urbanisation of this part of the city, and the plan to remove the state highway network from travelling through the city via the proposed regional freight ring road.

“We look forward to the project progressing

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Call made for safety improvements at ‘dangerous’ Ludlow roundabout

Councillor Vivienne Parry
Councillor Vivienne Parry

Lack of lighting, signage and faded road markings are among the problems at the mini-roundabout on Foldgate Lane in Ludlow which need to be addressed as “a matter of urgency”, according to Councillor Vivienne Parry.

She said: “This roundabout near ‘Pets are Us’ and the ‘Squirrel’ on Foldgate Lane has been in for some time now and there are still no signs to warn motorists or indicate who has right of way.

“The road markings are also worn. As a result, I’ve had a number of complaints about near misses at this roundabout.

“I know of one visiting motorist who told me he drove over it not realising that there was a roundabout there.”

‘Whole area much darker’

“Also the street lights covering this area have progressively ceased to function over the last few years making the whole area much darker after sunset.

“Given the number of pedestrians passing between the petrol station, pub, shops and nursing home this is making the whole area quite dangerous as the days start getting shorter.

“The light near the pedestrian crossing on Sheet Road near the junction with Foldgate Road has also failed.

“I have been pressing for some time to get these problems sorted and I have been promised that the lights will be repaired in the near future.

“However, Shropshire Council does need to get the signage and road markings issue sorted as a matter of urgency.

“They clearly need to identify the junction as a mini roundabout and state who has right of way.”

Shropshire Council has been contacted for a comment.

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Schroders hopeful for sustainability improvements with Biden victory

The recent rollbacks could potentially result in US companies laxing on environmental practices.

Against the backdrop of Covid-19 and the US’ rollback of environmental regulation, investment in environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) remains a wise choice, writes Sarah Brattan Hughes, Head of Sustainability, North America, Schroders.

“We have seen sustainable investing outperform going into the Covid-19 crisis, and throughout the crisis. The resilience of results supports our view that sustainable investing is a proxy for quality.”

The recent rollbacks could potentially result in US companies laxing on environmental practices. However, the focus on sustainability in other parts of the world will help keep up the sustainability standards globally, Hughes adds. 

“For example, the European Union has embarked on a sustainable finance plan and has a strong ambition to be a global leader of sustainable investing. It is a matter of time before ESG integration becomes a hygiene factor in investing; a base-line requirement for asset managers to incorporate into all investment processes.”

With additional corporate disclosures being mandated around the world, US companies will have to abide by such regulations if they want to be operating in regions outside of US, adds Hughes.

“With the US presidential elections fast approaching, should there be a shift in the White House, we’re hopeful for improvements in sustainability policies as US presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris are both advocates of environmental and climate justice.”

ESG over the years

Hughes notes how sustainable investing has evolved over the years, starting in its simplest form in the 1990s as a process of exclusion of “taboo” industries, such as alcohol, tobacco and firearms. “Since then, sustainable investing has had huge shifts in methodology; it is now a process of inclusion rather than exclusion,” she writes.

See: Temasek to report air

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Nobel Prize In Economics Goes To Paul R Milgrom, Robert B Wilson For Improvements To Auction Theory

STOCKHOLM — Americans Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson have won the Nobel Prize in economics for “improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats.”

The winners were announced Monday in Stockholm by Goran Hansson, secretary-general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

The award caps a week of Nobel Prizes at a time when much of the world is experiencing the worst recession since World War II because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Technically known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, the award was established in 1969 and is now widely considered one of the Nobel prizes.

Last year’s award went to two researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a third from Harvard University, for their groundbreaking research into efforts to reduce global poverty.

Few economists could have predicted last fall that the globe would come to a virtual standstill within months, as governments closed their borders, imposed lockdowns and ordered other measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, triggering a sharp dip in business activity worldwide.

The prestigious award comes with a 10-million krona ($1.1 million) cash prize and a gold medal.

On Monday, the Nobel Committee awarded the prize for physiology and medicine for discovering the liver-ravaging hepatitis C virus. Tuesday’s prize for physics honored breakthroughs in understanding the mysteries of cosmic black holes, and the chemistry prize on Wednesday went to scientists behind a powerful gene-editing tool.

The literature prize was awarded to American poet

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