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Transport - 2002






















Michael Gerson, the removals and storage company with warehouses in north London and Daventry, is undergoing a management buy-out backed by Bank of Scotland Corporate Finance.

Go NorthEast is recruiting 35 new bus drivers for its Gateshead depot.

Associated British Ports has submitted proposals for a multi-million pound improvement scheme at Teignmouth Quay in Devon, including new warehouses and a longer quay.

Belfast International Airport has announced plans to extend its existing terminal building, as the existing facility is operating close to capacity.

Eurotunnel has acquired Abbey National March Leasing, the aircraft leasing company, for £345m.

Simon Group is to sell its tank storage business to private equity firm Patron Capital for £64m, in order to focus on ports and logistics.

George Walker Transport is relocating its Leeds-based freight business to a larger 60,000 sq ft site in Morley this month.

Bristol City Council is considering plans from First Group for the £40m redevelopment of the city's bus station to create a modern transport interchange.

Associated British Ports is to build a new £1m terminal on Immingham Dock to handle pulp and paper imports for Bowater.

AEA Technology is to create up to 30 jobs at its Derby-based rail technology business next year, having won a £3m contract to work on the West Coast Line.

British European is to set up an operating base for its FlyBE regional airline at Southampton airport, with the creation of 150 jobs.

Associated British Ports is to invest £4.6m in new storage facilities at Newport docks, having won a long-term contract to import timber from Scandinavia and the Baltic states.

James Fisher is to acquire Scan Tech, the Norwegian marine services company, for £8.8m, in order to expand its Underwater Engineering Services business in Aberdeen.

Arlington Group has acquired Sentinel Business Services Group, the London-based data storage services company operating from a 110,000 sq ft facility in Greenwich.

Redrow has submitted plans for the development of a warehouse distribution complex at the Western Approaches near Avonmouth, although a buyer has not yet been found.

Wincanton is to acquire the P&O Trans European logistics business, which employs 7,000 people, for £152m.

Gulf Intermodal has acquired a six-acre site to double the size of its freight container depot in Widnes, in order to house new storage, paint shop and manufacturing facilities.

Port of Felixstowe has announced plans for another multi-million pound expansion project, which will involve the creation of extra deep-water berths and 400 new jobs.

Parsons Brinckerhoff is to relocate the UK head office of its rail consultancy business and nine staff from Bristol to Swindon early next year, and eight new jobs will be created.

Christian Salvesen is considering plans to train refugees from eastern Europe to help ease the shortage of 20,000 drivers in the road haulage industry.

Amey Rail is planning to recruit up to 100 army leavers a year from the Royal Signal Corps, in order to ease the shortage of signal and telecoms engineers in the rail sector.

Tees & Hartlepool Port Authority is planning a £20m expansion of Teesport's container capacity, with the creation of more than 100 jobs over the next year.

Exel has submitted plans to expand its distribution centre at Eastern Avenue in Burton, with the creation of 140 jobs for warehouse, managerial and office staff.

Teesside Airport is in talks with a number of potential partners to help with its expansion plans, and an announcement is expected by the end of the year.

Pall-ex is setting up a new £6.5m headquarters for its pallet distribution business at Bardon in Leicestershire by March, with the creation of 20 jobs.

Simon Group is to relocate its headquarters from central London to Redhill next year, and has also announced that talks are taking place to sell its ports and logistics business.

EuroManx is expanding its new airline business with the launch of five daily flights from the Isle of Man to Liverpool.

Trent Barton is to renew its bus fleet by investing £7m in 64 new vehicles, with the first batch being delivered next April.

Devon County Council is to consider revised plans from Gill Associates for the development of a £60m rail freight terminal on a Church of England site next to Exeter Airport.

Peel Holdings is to acquire Clydeport, the Glasgow-based port operator, for £184m, which will result in Clydeport's management taking over the running of the Manchester Ship Canal.

Montgomery Transport has acquired Dukes Transport, the Portadown-based road haulage company with 460 staff, for undisclosed terms.

P&O is forming a joint venture with CMA-CGM to acquire an 80% stake in Egis Ports, the French container terminal operator, for about £35m.

Sutton Harbour Holdings is to unveil proposals for the development of a new airport on the outskirts of Plymouth, in response to the government consultation on plans for air travel over the next 30 years.

Land Rover is seeking government permission to build a 2.5 mile rail link between its Solihull factory and the West Coast Main Line.

Port of Felixstowe is recruiting an extra 150 quayside staff immediately and may add a further 150 early next year, in order to improve customer service levels and compete against other European ports.

Menzies Aviation Group is recruiting 60 staff to provide baggage handling and passenger transport services for Bmibaby at East Midlands Airport.

Business Post is seeking bolt-on acquisitions worth up to £10m to expand its express delivery service.

First Great Western is to merge with Thames Trains and Wessex Trains, creating a new Greater Western rail franchise, as part of the Strategic Rail Authority's plan to have a single operator at each major London station.

Plymouth City Council and the South West Regional Development Agency are preparing a funding bid for the development of a £6m National Centre for Marine Research & Development at Devonport Dockyard.

Wincanton is seeking acquisitions to expand its logistics business into continental Europe, and has also announced joint ventures with Genco and Kuehne & Nagel.

Dunn-Line has acquired Durham Travel Services for undisclosed terms, securing the future of 70 jobs, in order to expand its coach business further north.

Tate & Lyle is planning to build a 100-acre distribution hub at Burnaston near Derby in a joint venture with Pilot Fields Estates, and a planning application will be submitted once an occupier has been found.

North Tyneside Council has approved plans for a £7m facelift for the Metro and bus interchange at Four Lane Ends in Newcastle.

KLM is planning to expand its Buzz low-cost airline by opening a second UK base at Bournemouth by next March, with the creation of 200 jobs, while a third site will open later in 2003.

Royal Mail has announced plans to set up a £40m transport hub for up to 600 staff at the Drift Logistics Park in Daventry by next August, and existing sites in Wednesbury, Nottingham and Northampton will close.

Jeffreys Haulage, the Derbyshire-based transport company with 80 staff, has undergone a management buy-out.

BAe Systems and Thales have both selected Rosyth as the preferred assembly site should they win a contract to build two Royal Navy aircraft carriers, although some of the manufacturing work will be allocated to other yards around the country.

Vosper Thornycroft is to relocate its group headquarters to Hedge End next month, as part of the company reorganisation that will see the closure of its Woolston shipyard and the transfer of production to Portsmouth.

One NorthEast has outlined proposals to roll out Sunderland's £100m Metro extension across East Durham, in order to regenerate communities between Sunderland and Middlesbrough.

Dart Group is to set up a base for its new JET 2 low-cost holiday and freight airline at Leeds-Bradford airport, with the creation of up to 200 jobs.

Rotherham Council and the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive are considering plans to expand the Sheffield Supertram system out to Rotherham town centre.

EasyJet, the low-cost airline, is planning to set up a new regional base in Newcastle with the creation of more than 100 jobs.

AEA Technology is to acquire The Engineering Link, the Derby-based train services company with about 200 staff, for £10m.

A&P Tyne is to create up to 400 jobs at its shipyard in Hebburn, South Tyneside, having won a contract to convert a De Beers ship into a diamond mining vessel.

Consignia has submitted plans to build a mail distribution centre in Central Park, Rugby, which could create up to 840 jobs.

Bombardier Transportation is to create 150 new jobs at its factory in Derby, to handle a rise in orders for its Electrostar and Turbostar trains.

Highlands & Islands Enterprise is to conduct a feasibility study into plans for the development of a £60-100m airport on Skye.

Bmibaby is setting up new booking call centres for its budget airline in France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Ireland and the Czech Republic.

New Wave Logistics is to create 320 jobs at a new 500,000 sq ft distribution centre at the Brackmills industrial estate in Northampton.

Ballast is to build a £12m distribution warehouse at Manton Wood near Worksop for household goods retailer Wilkinson.

James Fisher is to acquire Rumic, the operator of a Glasgow-based submarine rescue response team, for up to £4m.

South Beds District Council is to consider plans from ICP Commercial for the development of two distribution centre warehouse buildings at the former AWD industrial site in Dunstable.

East Midlands Airport is considering plans to build a new £40m terminal over the next four years, and is expected to submit a planning application next year.

Mentmore has acquired Aardvark Self Storage, the privately-held operator of nine self storage centres, for £30m.

Sab Wabco is to shed 80 of the 190 jobs at its train braking systems factory in Bromborough, and the remaining 110 jobs will relocate to a new facility nearby.

Burford is planning to set up a £750m fund to develop rail distribution centres across the UK and continental Europe.

Railtrack has announced plans to overhaul its rail maintenance procedures by reducing the role of contractors and taking over the management of repairs, renewals and inspections, and will recruit 200 engineers over the next 12 months.

Wales & Borders Trains has announced plans for a £2.5m investment in a new passenger information system, which will be installed at 54 stations by 2003.

Gloucestershire Airport has announced proposals for the development of ten new hangars.

Carillion is planning to set up a £4m training centre in Stafford for its 4,000 rail staff, and the site could become part of the proposed National Rail Academy.

Railtrack is recruiting 30 extra staff in the West Midlands to form a rapid-response team to deal with track problems.

Coventry Airport is to submit expansion plans to Warwickshire County Council next month to handle up to 500,000 passengers a year by 2004, including a new £3m terminal.

GNER has announced plans to invest £30m upgrading its trains on the East Coast main line route.

Cendant is to acquire Galileo Danmark, the Danish distributor of its airline reservation system, from Maersk data for undisclosed terms.

Peterhouse is planning to acquire First Engineering Holdings, the Glasgow-based rail infrastructure provider, for £65m.

Railtrack is forming a joint venture company with Mott MacDonald and Fluor Daniel to develop the use of PFI on the railways, in order to attract private finance for the upgrade of the East Coast Main Line.

Midland Mainline is creating 150 new jobs to help run a £160m fleet of new Meridian trains and refurbished High Speed Trains on the London-Sheffield line.

Associated British Ports is setting up a new £1m warehouse and storage terminal at Immingham, to enable IAWS Fertilisers to produce and distribute granular horticultural products.

Carmarthenshire County Council and the Welsh Development Agency are seeking £1.7m to extend the runway at Pembrey airport, in order to facilitate commercial flights.

EasyJet, the low-cost airline, has decided to set up its new headquarters in Luton, and is seeking a site large enough to include a telephone sales and customer service centre.

Leeds Bradford Airport has awarded a contract to Ilkley-based Quarmby Construction for a £2.9m terminal refurbishment and expansion project.

James Fisher has appointed corporate finance boutique EC Hambro Rabben to seek acquisitions to expand its marine services division.

Chiltern Railways is planning to build a £14m rail maintenance depot at Wembley in north London, and is considering bids from Galliford, Amec and Fitzpatrick.

Amec has been selected as preferred bidder for the £300m 30-year concession to extend the Docklands Light Railway to London City Airport, and its investment partner is Royal Bank of Scotland.

British Airways has announced plans for more than 100 new jobs at its direct sales call centre in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Bmibaby is planning to set up a third UK base for its budget airline, and a number of airports have been invited to tender.

Lok n Store is to open a 33,000 sq ft storage centre in Luton in October, taking its total network to 17 sites.

The Ministry of Defence is to create up to 700 jobs at RAF Brize Norton by locating the Airbus A400M heavy lift transport aircraft at the Oxfordshire site.

Liverpool City Council has approved plans for the £26m expansion of Liverpool John Lennon Airport, and work will start next spring.

Transrent has received a £30m funding package from Aberdeen Murray Johnston Private Equity and Penta Capital to expand its trailer rental business.

Ryanair is to set up a £12m aircraft overhaul and maintenance facility at Prestwick Airport, with the creation of 180 engineering jobs over the next three years.

Hanbury Davies Containers has acquired the Ipswich port haulage operations of DFDS Transport, with the transfer of 105 staff and 80 vehicles.

May Gurney is to seek permission to build a £5m rail depot on the edge of Norwich, which would handle mixed aggregates used in roads and construction.

Squirrel Storage has acquired the storage and archiving business of London-based Project Group Services for undisclosed terms.

Forth Ports has acquired Grainfax, the Port of Dundee-based company that specialises in the storage, drying and testing of grain.

Commodore Group, the operator of ferries to the Channel Islands, has undergone a £150m management buy-out backed by ABN Amro Capital.

Associated British Ports is to sell its Amports aviation services business in the US to Macquarie Global Infrastructure Funds for £32m.

North West Aerospace Alliance is seeking a suitable location for the development of a £20m Aerospace Innovation Centre, which could lead to the creation of more than 5,000 jobs in the north west over the next five years.

The Department for Transport has announced proposals for a major expansion of the country's airport capacity over the next 20 years, and options include a third runway at Heathrow and up to four additional runways in the south-east.

PDG Helicopters of Inverness has acquired Irish Helicopters for £2m, and is now looking to buy two charter helicopter operations in England.

BBA Group has acquired Air Kaman, the US aircraft servicing company based at Jacksonville International Airport, for £11m.

Virgin Express is to set up a base at Cologne-Bonn airport in Germany, offering low-cost flights to about eight destinations by next summer.

Virgin Atlantic is recruiting 300 additional staff in preparation for the re-introduction of a number of daily and weekly flights to the US.

P&O Nedlloyd has acquired a majority stake in Gilbert Companies, the US logistics company, for undisclosed terms.

BBA Group has acquired three aviation services companies in the US and Canada for a total £23m, and has also announced plans to invest £5m expanding hangar facilities at Luton Airport.

Dunn-Line has acquired Buffalo Travel, the Bedfordshire-based coach company with 35 vehicles and more than 50 staff, for undisclosed terms.

Bmibaby is to set up a second base for its low-cost airline at Cardiff International airport, where it will handle 1m passengers a year and create about 100 jobs.

Stena Line has confirmed plans for a £12m investment in a new double decker berth at the Port of Holyhead, with the creation of 56 jobs.

Arriva has acquired SAB Autoservizi, the Italian bus operator with 1,200 staff, for £44m.

Newark & Sherwood District Council has approved plans for the development of a distribution centre for Mastercare, Dixons and Currys at the Newlinc Business Park, which will create almost 500 jobs.

Sheffield City Council is considering plans from Robert Turley Associates for the development of a rail freight distribution centre between the M1 motorway and the airport, which could create more than 1,000 jobs by 2009.

Arriva has acquired a 51% stake in Transportes Sul de Tejo, the Portuguese-based bus operator with 1,300 staff, from the Barraqueiro Group for £23m, and has an option to buy the remaining 49%.

Railtrack has submitted plans for the development of a new railway station at the Thames Valley Business Park in Reading.

Leeds City Council is considering plans from Eagle Star Life Assurance Company for the development of a storage and warehouse complex at the former Vickers tank factory in Cross Gates, which could create up to 500 jobs.

Clarke Chapman has won a £7m contract to refurbish Railtrack's fleet of track laying machines, securing up to 140 jobs at its Cowans Sheldon rail division in Gateshead.

Bibby Distribution is to create 100 new jobs at its two distribution centres on the Foxhills Industrial Estate in North Lincolnshire, due to rising demand from the Nisa-Today consortium of independent retail and wholesale companies.

EasyJet is looking to expand its French operations by applying for 20,000 annual take-off and landing slots at Paris Orly airport.

National Express has acquired Stock Transportation, the Canadian school bus operator, for £75m, and is now seeking further bolt-on acquisitions in Canada.

PA Freight is planning a £1.4m expansion at its export packing site in Newark, which will create a conference centre, warehouse and up to 50 jobs.

The National Assembly for Wales is said to be in discussions with a group of companies operating under the name of Email4all about plans to set up an internet-based rival to the Royal Mail, and a data centre with 300 staff could be established in the Treforest and Nantgarw area.

Tyne Slipway Engineering is reopening the former Cammell Laird dry dock in Sunderland, and expects to increase the workforce from 20 to 100 over the coming months.

Swansea Council has announced plans for the development of a £5m bus and train interchange at High Street station by summer 2004.

Ryanair is planning to set up a new £15m maintenance base with the creation of 200 jobs, and sites are being considered at Prestwick and Bournemouth airport.

Bmibaby is creating over 100 jobs for cabin staff at East Midlands Airport, due to an increase in the number of aircraft and destinations.

First Group is looking to expand its transport business by winning UK rail franchises and acquiring small US school bus operators, and would also consider buying stakes in US railway company Amtrak and leading school bus operator Laidlaw.

Crawley Borough Council is considering plans for the development of a £3m engine testing enclosure and aircraft maintenance facility at Gatwick Airport.

Newark & Sherwood District Council is to help Richmond Preston find a suitable site for a new haulage depot for 20 lorries and 30 staff in Newark, having refused the company permission to use a site in Northern Road.

Quickstore is planning to expand its self-storage warehouse in Torquay and open two more units in the South West.

North Warwickshire Borough Council is supporting plans for the development of a £3m station at Coleshill, to provide an improved rail link for people to commute to Birmingham.

The Mayor of London has approved plans for the development of two tram schemes over the next 10 years - a £300m north-south Cross River link and a £200m west London scheme from Uxbridge to Shepherds Bush.

Cendant has agreed to sell the NCP chain of 535 car parks to Cinven and Royal Bank of Scotland for £820m.

Nightspeed is creating 50 new jobs at its Tipton-based courier business following a rise in demand from major retailers for its new Printspeed overnight delivery service.

EasyJet has agreed to acquire Go for £374m, creating Europe's largest low-cost airline with 63 aircraft, 2,700 staff and 32 European destinations.

Mersey Docks & Harbour has announced plans to build a grain warehouse for Arkady Feed at Seaforth Dock, with the creation of more than 100 construction jobs.

Protec Research has put forward proposals for the introduction of a high-speed 400-seat ferry to link towns along the south coast between Falmouth and Hampshire during the summer months.

West Sussex County Council has awarded a £13m contract to Edmund Nuttall for the development of a Fastway part-guided bus scheme for Crawley, Gatwick and Horley.

John Menzies has acquired The Wyng Group, the ground handling and air cargo trucking company with annual turnover of £6.3m.

Railtrack has announced proposals for the £150m revamp of Birmingham's New Street Station, which would more than double the size of the current concourse.

GNER is to create 350 new jobs at its call centre in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, to cope with rising demand for train tickets.

Macfarlane Transport is planning to relocate its Leeds-based distribution business to a £5m site in the Aire Valley.

Helios has acquired a 60-acre site at Thorne, Doncaster, to develop 1m sq ft of rail-connected warehouse facilities under the name of Nimbus Park, and the scheme could be used to satisfy BMW's local requirement for car storage space.

Go-Ahead has acquired Meteor Parking, the operator of airport car parks and associated bus services at Heathrow, Stansted, Edinburgh and Southampton, for £16m.

EasyJet is in negotiations to acquire Go for about £400m, in order to create Europe's largest low-cost airline.

Virgin Atlantic is to create 300 new jobs at Gatwick, including 200 cabin crew and 100 office staff, following an increase in services to destinations such as New York, Lagos, Orlando and Shanghai.

Yellow Buses is planning to relocate its Bournemouth depot to Yeomans Way, in order to make way for a retail development by Castlemore Securities in Mallard Road.

Palletways, the logistics company, has undergone a £12m management buy-out backed by 3i.

National Air Traffic Services is planning to relocate its centre of operations and about 750 staff to the Southampton area next year, and three possible sites are being considered.

Angel Distribution is to set up a regional distribution centre in Sunderland with the creation of 13 jobs, in order to expand its Harker's Transport furniture haulage business.

Mersey Docks & Harbour has acquired a 35-acre site at Queensborough on the Medway from Inchcape for £4.9m, in order to expand the volume of car imports through the Port of Sheerness.

Teesside Airport is to announce plans for a £6m expansion programme next month, in order to cope with rising passenger and freight volumes.

British Midland is planning to open a second base for its new Bmibaby low-cost airline at an unnamed UK location next year.

Railtrack is planning to create up to 70 jobs in York for quantity surveyors, operations managers, engineers and administrators.

Birmingham International Airport has announced that 150 new jobs are being created by the companies that operate the site's hotels, shops, food outlets and maintenance facilities.

South Staffordshire Council has approved plans for the expansion of Wolverhampton Business Airport, including a new terminal building and the creation of up to 120 jobs.

The Ministry of Defence has sold the 136-acre Aston Down depot near Stroud to Leda Properties for £7.5m for the development of a major distribution hub, and will relocate its staff to other sites around the country.

British Airways is planning to raise £80m from property disposals, and a further 1,500 staff will be relocated to its Heathrow headquarters.

Virgin Express, the Brussels-based low-cost airline, is looking to set up a second base in Europe next year.

National Express has revealed plans for the development of a £27m replacement for Birmingham's Digbeth coach station, including coach terminal, office and apartment block on a derelict site near the Jewellery Quarter.

Consignia is looking at possible sites near Derby, Burton and elsewhere in the Midlands to set up a regional mail distribution hub, which could create hundreds of jobs.

Iforce is negotiating a £5m investment from Lynx New Media Ventures and other investors to expand its delivery service for online retailers.

Thales is looking into the possibility of using the Nigg yard on the Cromarty Firth to build aircraft carriers, should it be chosen as prime contractor for the £2.5bn contract.

Ipswich Buses is considering plans to relocate its depot and offices within the next few years, to allow its existing Constantine Road site to be redeveloped as part of the Ipswich Village project.

Serco Railtest has acquired the Glasgow-based rail grinding subsidiary of Schweerbau, in order to help deliver its contract with Railtrack.

Highland Council has announced a £7.8m project to build a car ferry terminal on the Hebridean island of Eigg, which will be operated by Caledonian MacBrayne.

EasyJet is creating 33 cabin crew jobs in Northern Ireland, and adding new flights from Belfast to Liverpool and Luton.

WS Atkins has revealed proposals for a £300m Light Rail Transport system in Leicestershire, which, if approved, could be ready by 2011.

British European is planning to create about 150 jobs at its Exeter-based airline business, having won a contract to maintain 170 aircraft for Bombardier Aerospace.

Carillion is to recruit 400 additional engineering and management staff for its Birmingham-based railways maintenance division.

Lichfield District Council has approved plans from Fradley Park for the development of a 390,000 sq ft distribution depot alongside the A38 in Staffordshire, which will create up to 300 jobs.

Docklands Light Railway has won government permission to extend its network to London City Airport by 2005, at a cost of £115m.

British Waterways has announced plans to invest £300m in nine canal development schemes throughout the country this year, which will involve reopening or building up to 300 miles of waterways.

Widdowson Group, the Leicester-based haulage company, is to open a new £5m warehouse in Bardon over the next few weeks with the creation of up to 40 jobs.

Go is planning a flotation in 2002 or 2003 to help fund the expansion of its low-cost airline fleet from 20 to more than 80 aircraft by 2008.

Tibbett & Britten is to acquire Dimalsa, the Mexican logistics business, for an initial £42m, and has also announced the acquisition of a 38% stake in Davids Distribution of Thailand for £3m.

The Port of London Authority is developing long-term plans for the expansion of its container facilities, which could lead to the creation of thousands of jobs.

Kent County Council is expected to oppose plans for the development of a new airport at Cliffe near Gravesend, one of a number of options being considered by the government to cope with a projected rise in air traffic over the next 20 years.

Cygnific is to create 80 new jobs at its call centre at Norwich International airport, having won a contract to sell tickets for KLM's low-cost Buzz airline.

Business Post is considering plans to set up post boxes in shops and garages, in order to establish a rival service to the Royal Mail.

Isle of Wight Council is in discussions with a consortium of local businesses about the possibility of setting up a new car ferry service from Cowes to Portsmouth.

A&P Tyne is creating up to 500 jobs at its Wallsend shipyard next month, having won the dry dock repair contract for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Fort Victoria.

Simon is to acquire Forthline, the operator of container services between Grangemouth and Rotterdam, from Forth Ports for £0.3m, and the business will be combined with its Seawheel European network.

John Menzies Aviation Group is to acquire Fr8, the Dutch cargo handling company with 440 staff at Schiphol and Rotterdam airports, for £4.8m.

International Moving Company has acquired T&S Transport of Edinburgh, creating a national network of removals branches with 123 staff, and is now seeking further acquisitions in North London and the north-east of England.

Midland Mainline has announced a £160m order for 23 trains to be built by Bombardier Transportation in Wakefield and Bruges, with the creation of 210 jobs.

British World, the Southend-based airline, is to be revived following its recent move into receivership, and up to 150 jobs could be created at the renamed BWA 2002.

Silverlink is planning to recruit up to 24 conductors and 12 drivers in Northampton, in order to improve local rail services.

Stena Line is planning to build a new £13m terminal at Holyhead, which would double the port's passenger and freight volumes.

Ryanair is planning to set up new operating bases in France, Italy and Scandinavia over the next three years, and is also looking to increase the number of flights in Germany and Spain.

Associated British Ports has agreed a 50-year lease to develop the old Ailsa-Troon shipyard, and will use the 5.5 hectare site for ship repair and other port-related business.

Consignia is set to lose its monopoly in public postal services sooner than expected, following proposals from Postcomm to open up the market for bulk business mail to new operators within eight weeks.

CPD Logistics is to create 20 new jobs at its Wellesbourne and Long Marston warehouses, having won toy distribution contracts worth £15m from General Creations, Paul Lamond Games and Zak Designs.

English Welsh & Scottish Railway is planning to recruit 144 new train drivers this year.

Railtrack is planning to recruit 250 engineers over the next 18 months, in response to an increase in staff turnover since the group went into administration.

The Strategic Rail Authority is planning to set up a new national rail academy to solve skills shortages in the industry, and Midland Mainline wants it to be sited in Derby.

British Midland is to recruit up to 100 airline reservations staff at its Donington Hall headquarters near Castle Donington.

Glenalmond Timber is to set up a new timber import and treatment facility at Perth Harbour, with the creation of an unspecified number of jobs.

The National Assembly for Wales is set to award a £5m grant to Advanced Transport Systems of Bristol for the development of a driverless taxi cab system in Cardiff, which could lead to a £45m project if trials succeed.

BUE Marine has won an estimated £34m ten-year contract to operate an icebreaking vessel and provide logistics support for a consortium of oil companies in the Caspian Sea, which will create ten jobs in Edinburgh and 40 in Kazakhstan.

Exel has acquired All Cargo Logistics, the Austrian air freight forwarder operating from three sites in Vienna, Linz and Innsbruck.

London City Airport is planning to open a purpose-built business aviation terminal for corporate jets this summer.

Exel has acquired USCL, the US provider of value-added freight consolidation services with net assets of £3.5m.

St Modwen has submitted plans for the development of the 500,000 sq ft Access 18 distribution scheme at Avonmouth, Bristol.

Mid Beds District Council is to consider plans for the expansion of Cranfield Airfield, which would involve five new hangars, an increase in the number of business flights and up to 200 new jobs.