The Reporter
Issue 509, 4 July 2005
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In the news

The government’s ‘pay as you drive’ proposals would leave more than half the population better off, explained professor of transport studies Peter Mackie on BBC Two’s Daily Politics Show. He said: “I would very much welcome a tariff reform which would include vehicle excise – which doesn’t use people’s decision to travel, fuel duty and make congestion charging an element.” Professor Mackie calculates that travel could cost from eight pence a mile up to £1.30 for the M25 in rush hour. He was also quoted in the Times, the Yorkshire Evening Post and elsewhere.

Higher charges for users of peak time rail services were proposed by the Association of Train Operating Companies and Dr Andrew Smith from transport studies joined Sky news: “Rail congestion charging isn’t inevitable – instead they could look at using their capacity more efficiently, for example by improved signalling.”

Dr Richard Howells joined a BBC Radio 4 You and Yours discussion on the growth of ‘trailer park’ living in the UK. He said we should be forewarned by the American experience in which trailer parks had become like sink housing estates – but without the proper housing.

 Work on ‘global factories’ by professor of international business Peter Buckley was featured in the Financial Times’ foreign direct investment magazine. He predicts a new breed of flexible factories in which all plants within the system can make all the firms’ product models.

Storm chasing researchers led by Dr Alan Blyth from the school of earth and environment took to the skies last month. The Daily Telegraph’s Roger Highfield joined the team as they monitored the weather to understand how destructive storms can develop. Dr Blyth was also interviewed by ITV’s Meridian news.

A virulent bug called Clostridium difficile has hit the renowned Stoke Mandeville Hospital but Leeds microbiologist Professor Mark Wilcox said the bug is ‘endemic’ throughout the NHS, reported the Independent. Professor Wilcox’s research shows that each case of the bug costs the NHS £4,000 in extended hospital stays and that one in six hospitals have closed wards due to C.difficile infections.

Investigative work by the BBC revealed the murky world of London’s parking attendants and Dr Gregory Marsden from transport studies helped inform a BBC Radio 4 You and Yours discussion on the subject.

Sir Ken Morrison’s name hasn’t been blackened by southern prejudices but genuine concerns over how he had steered the supermarket chain through its recent acquisition, reported the Financial Times. “People felt he should have turned round Safeway quicker,” said Leeds University Business School dean Andrew Lock.

Antisocial teenagers, hoodies and feral youths will be among the topics discussed at this month’s International Medieval Congress at the University, reported the London Evening Standard, Yorkshire Post and ITV’s Calendar news. Speaking to the Guardian, Congress director Dr Axel Muller said: “The discipline of medieval studies is thriving around the globe because it covers all aspects of the culture we hold in common, then and now.

“So many of the problems – and successes – we encounter in our own society have their counterparts in the medieval world. Studying them can teach us about the great questions; how to live, the uses of power and culture – and how to respect the old and deal with the young.”

The University's earth scientists have made an unusual contribution to Leeds' cultural landscape. The swishing sounds of micro-earthquakes in the Dales recorded by researchers are part of a sound sculpture by Bill Fontana at the Leeds city art gallery, reported the Guardian.

Page owner: pressoffice@leeds.ac.uk | Updated: 04/07/05

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