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Transport - 2001






















EasyJet is to planning to expand its operations at Gatwick airport, starting with an increase in the number of destinations served from four to eight.

Balfour Beatty has acquired the rail electrification business of ABB for £25m, which includes 350 staff and operations in Italy, Greece, the Netherlands and the UK.

TNT Retail Express has acquired Bleckmann Group, the Dutch supplier of transport and warehousing for the fashion industry with 815 staff, as part of a strategy to expand into continental Europe.

ScotRail is to invest £2m in improvements for the North Berwick to Edinburgh line, including the introduction of five class 322 trains by next spring.

Decator, the Swedish producer of technical manuals for train operators, is setting up a 1,000 sq ft office on the RTC Business Park in Derby in January, in order to get closer to the city's privatised rail companies.

Vosper Thornycroft has acquired TUV FM, the Fareham-based supplier of support services to the Ministry of Defence, for £3.5m.

Brittany Ferries is planning to build a £100m passenger ferry by 2004, which is expected to be based at Millbay Docks in Plymouth.

TruTac, the supplier of data services to transport operators, is to create a further 75 jobs at the University of Warwick Science Park in Coventry.

Translink is to receive £48m of government funding to invest in new rolling stock and other improvements for Northern Ireland's railway network.

FKI has acquired Cleco Group, the supplier of automated warehouse systems, for £22m, in order to expand its FKI Logistex division.

Lynx Express is creating 70 jobs at a new £1.5m parcel distribution centre at the Scotia Business Park in North Staffordshire.

DHL, the international freight company, is planning to relocate its customer service team from Hounslow to Castle Donington, with the creation of up to 850 jobs.

Blue Band Express has undergone a management buy-in for undisclosed terms, and plans to provide a nationwide delivery service from its 13 depots.

Emerald Airways is planning to expand its European freight business following the acquisition of two additional aircraft, and has launched a recruitment drive to increase the current workforce of 168.

Stan Robinson has submitted plans to expand its distribution centre and lorry park at Seighford near Stafford, with the creation of 100 jobs.

P&O Princess Cruises has announced a £4.2bn merger with Royal Caribbean Cruises, which will create a combined group with 41 ships and 40,000 staff.

BAA has won government approval to build a £2.5bn fifth terminal at Heathrow Airport, which will create about 6,500 jobs.

Hutchison Ports has submitted plans for the creation of a £400m 250-acre container terminal at Bathside Bay, Harwich, which would create 500 jobs.

Go is planning to expand its low-cost airline business by acquiring two more aircraft this year and by adding a new base in continental Europe to add to its Stansted and Bristol bases next year.

BAe Systems has won a £120m contract from the Ministry of Defence to build two amphibious landing ships, which will secure the future of 600 jobs at its Govan shipyard on the Clyde.

Brambles Industries has sold its European rail wagon rental business to Hapag-Lloyd for £222m, and the proceeds will be used to fund bolt-on acquisitions for its information management and waste management operations.

Forth Ports has selected Dew Construction as preferred bidder for a £10m contract to build a new ferry terminal at Rosyth.

Wallace Arnold has secured "significant" new funding to provide for future acquisitions and the expansion of its coach business.

Isle of Wight Council has approved plans from Guernsey-based Seaward Marine to set up a boat building business at the former Island Plastics factory at Cowes, with the creation of 50 jobs.

Bombardier Transportation is to close the former Derby locomotive works at Pride Park and relocate 240 staff to its site in Litchurch Lane, while production of train wheels and 85 jobs will move from Litchurch Lane to Crewe.

Vosper Thornycroft is to acquire Merlin Communications, the communications facilities management company, for £95m.

Seafield is to create 25 jobs at a new 90,000 sq ft warehouse being built at Claylands Avenue in Worksop.

Tibbett & Britten has won a contract to operate a new DIY import centre in North Lincolnshire for B&Q, which will create 200 jobs.

Birmingham International Airport has announced plans to build a £10m air-rail shuttle by the end of 2002, in order to reduce travel time between the terminal and railway station from 13 minutes to two.

DML has acquired LSC Group, the Tamworth-based engineering logistics company with 200 staff, in order to improve the operational efficiency of its naval dockyard in Plymouth.

Peel Holdings is to lodge a planning application for a further extension of the terminal at Liverpool John Lennon Airport, which could lead to the creation of up to 2,200 jobs by 2003.

Vosper Thornycroft is to acquire Griffin Services, the provider of facilities management and logistics services to the US military, for £20m.

Tibbett & Britten has won a contract to manage Sainsbury's new Hams Hall distribution centre near Birmingham, which will employ 750 people from September 2002.

Locate in Kent has announced that Rail Europe Group is to locate about 200 staff at a new rail travel call centre on the Kings Hill business park near Maidstone from next February.

Southend Airport is preparing plans to expand the airport over the next five years, in order to attract low-cost holiday flights and create up to 3,000 jobs.

The Strategic Rail Authority has created a new company called Cross London Rail Links, in order to push forward a scheme to extend London's £3bn east-west Crossrail project to Greenwich and Canary Wharf.

Wightlink, the operator of Isle of Wight ferry services, has undergone a £180m management buy-out backed by Royal Bank of Scotland.

BAA is to sell its World Duty Free Americas business to Duty Free Acquisition of the US for £84m.

Tyne Slipway Engineering is to buy Wear Dockyard from the receivers of Cammell Laird, which is expected to lead to the creation of 120 boat-building and repair jobs.

Wiggins, the airport owner and property developer, is raising £6m in a share placing to fund the expansion of its PlaneStation network in Germany.

Cambridge University is planning to set up a "zero carbon" public transport system between its new science campus and the city centre, which will use solar energy to produce hydrogen to power a bus.

Carillion has bought the remaining 51% of GT Rail Maintenance from Alstom for £34m, as part of a strategy to expand its rail maintenance operation.

Croydon Council is preparing plans for the redevelopment of the 13-acre West Croydon station site to create a transport interchange linking bus, tram, train and Tube.

The North West Development Agency is considering proposals for the development of a freight village at Ditton and Hale Bank in Cheshire, which would house a number of companies providing road and rail freight transport facilities.

Fitzpatrick has won a £21m contract to build a train care facility at Northam in Southampton, which will maintain the new Siemens fleet for South West Trains.

Seascope is to acquire Braemar Tankers, the tanker broking company, for £7.3m, as part of a strategy to create one of the world's largest ship broking and marine professional services groups.

BAA is set to win control of two airports in Oman by investing £9m in a consortium with the Suhail Bahwan group and ABB Equity Ventures.

Railtrack has submitted plans for the development of a 2m sq ft rail freight distribution depot at Parkside Colliery in Newton-le-Willows.

Arriva is planning to recruit 120 train drivers this year and 170 next year, due to a shortage that is forcing the company to replace some train services with buses.

Jarvis has acquired a 51% stake in Avonwood Developments for £1.1m, in order to develop new systems to monitor the condition of railway lines.

Associated British Ports has announced plans to build a £50m roll-on roll-off ferry terminal at Immingham, creating up to 200 jobs.

Railtrack is expected to award a £25m contract to Balfour Beatty for the refurbishment of track and stations in Watford and Bletchley.

Corus Rail Consultancy is to build a new £1.5m headquarters at Toft Green in York by May 2002, with the creation of 30 jobs.

Strathclyde Passenger Transport is to receive £16m of government funding to build a £23m rail link between Larkhall and Glasgow.

Simon Group is looking to expand its port services business with a number of bolt-on acquisitions, and will invest up to £15m on the further development of the Humber Sea Terminal.

Go-Ahead has acquired Reed Aviation, the provider of ground handling services at six airports, for £5.3m.

Mersey Docks & Harbour is linking up with other port users to support a new scheme to recruit 300 apprentice dockworkers across Merseyside, as part of the MerseyPort project to link port-related activities across the region.

National Express has selected Exeter as the location for the new Wessex Trains headquarters, and 45 staff will be recruited.

British Waterways is planning to build a 20-mile canal to link the Great Ouse at Bedford with the Grand Union Canal at Milton Keynes, and the nine possible options have been costed at between £80m and £150m.

Cammell Laird's receivers have sold the ship repair group to A&P for undisclosed terms, but there is unlikely to be an immediate reopening of the Tyneside and Birkenhead yards.

ScotAirways is setting up a new operation at Inverness airport to provide daily flights to Amsterdam and London City Airport.

First Great Western is to invest £13m in improvements at its train maintenance depot at St Philips Marsh in Bristol, with the creation of 50 jobs.

Seacon Holdings, the freight forwarding company, is to be acquired by a new company called JCR for £11m.

City of Edinburgh Council is expected to reveal proposals next month for the development of a tram service between the city centre and the £1bn Waterfront scheme.

Londis is planning to invest £3m at its regional distribution centres in Thamesmead and Andover, in order to expand the capacity to store chilled foods.

British Midland is to relocate its Belfast operation from Aldergrove to Belfast City Airport in October, in order to provide improved facilities to passengers.

Power Europe, the logistics company, is creating 500 jobs at a new Tesco frozen food warehouse in Crick, which is due to open in October.

Air Miles Travel Promotions is to recruit 150 new staff at its call centre in Warrington, but its call centre in Crawley will be closed with the loss of about 200 jobs.

First Group has acquired Verona Bus Service of Wisconsin for about £4m, in order to expand its school bus business in the US.

Swan Hunter has confirmed plans to acquire the Kvaerner shipyard at Port Clarence on Teesside in September, where it will create 200 jobs for a Ministry of Defence contract.

TDG has acquired IWT Worldwide Logistics of Ireland for £12m, and is now looking to acquire companies with turnover of about £100m.

BAA is planning to invest up to £7bn in improvements at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports over the next 10 years.

Merseytravel is seeking government funding for the development of a £225m tram system between Liverpool city centre and Kirkby.

Ryanair is to create 120 new jobs at Stansted Airport to cope with its expanded winter schedule.

WSP has acquired Marcial Echenique & Partners, the Cambridge-based transport planning practice with 16 consultants.

Highlands & Islands Airports is to invest £2.2m in the improvement of fire training grounds at eight of its ten airports.

Expeditus has received £1.5m of venture capital to develop an internet-based system that will improve the efficiency of same-day couriers.

Exel is to set up a £8m distribution centre at Gateway Glasgow for its Tradeteam subsidiary.

TNT Express is to open a £4.3m parcels depot in Basildon in October, creating 150 new jobs.

BBA is looking to spend up to £300m on acquisitions to expand its commercial and corporate aviation businesses, and has just completed the acquisition of Aircraft Service International Group of the US for £97m.

BAe Systems is to shed 1,000 jobs at the Govan and Scotstoun shipyards on the Clyde and a further 150 at Barrow, despite winning part of a £4.5bn contract to build six Type 45 destroyers for the Royal Navy.

Big Yellow is planning to open a further 50 self-storage centres by 2003 to add to the existing 24, and has also announced the purchase of the Dudley Stationery building in Bow, London, for £4.6m.

Interserve has won a £20m contract from BAA and Virgin Atlantic to build an aircraft maintenance facility at Heathrow.

Clarkson has acquired a 49% stake in Agence General d'Affretement of France, in order to expand its global shipping services business.

Safestore is planning to expand its network of 20 self-storage sites with a further 11 over the next 12 months.

WH Smith is to sell its distribution business to former managers backed by ABN Amro Private Equity for £215m.

P&O Cruises has confirmed plans to leave its London base and concentrate all operations in Southampton, which will involve the expansion of the Richmond House and Dukes Keep premises in Southampton.

Reed Elsevier is planning to sell the Official Airlines Guide to a management buy-out for a nominal sum.

British Waterways has announced plans to restore a disused canal linking the Thames and the Severn rivers, in a £82m project that could lead to the creation of 500 jobs.

Amec has won a contract to build a regional distribution centre at Wakefield Europort for Scottish & Newcastle, which will employ up to 350 staff from next year.

Praxis Critical Systems, the railway systems consultancy, is setting up new offices in Derby and London with the creation of an unspecified number of jobs.

Prolog is to set up a new 250,000sq ft warehouse at the Sherwood Park industrial estate in Annesley with the creation of 600 jobs.

Powell Duffryn is to sell Geesink Norba, the Dutch manufacturer of refuse vehicles, to Oshkosh Truck of the US for £91m, in order to focus on ports and shipping.

Midland Mainline has won government permission to build a £17m station near Ratcliffe-on-Soar in the East Midlands, and 34 jobs will be created when it opens in summer 2002.

Postcomm has awarded three interim licences for the creation of new postal services, with two going to TNT UK and one to G3 Worldwide Mail.

Birse Logistics Solutions has won contracts worth £8.7m to build two new distribution centres for ProLogis Developments at Hams Hall in Warwickshire.

Stagecoach is selling its Portuguese bus operations to an unnamed company for £14m, as part of a strategy to focus on the UK, US, New Zealand and Hong Kong.

British Airways has sold its Go low-cost airline business to a management buy-out backed by 3i for up to £110m.

Mike Beer Transport has bought Tipro, the international bulk tipper operator, from Star Cargo for undisclosed terms, and has also announced plans to consolidate its three UK depots onto a new site at the Dover Port Zone.

Pickupworks has reached agreement with BP to install its Fraserbox automated retrieval system on forecourts, which will enable customers to collect goods bought online.

Alstom is linking up with the Engage division of GKN to set up a rail signals development centre at an unnamed site in Swindon, with the creation of 50 jobs.

Burford has formed a joint venture with The Bristol Port Company to develop a £6m rail freight terminal at Avonmouth Docks, providing a link between road, rail and sea transport.

Lloyd's Register is planning to acquire MHA Systems for undisclosed terms, as part of a strategy to move into the international rail safety market.

WS Atkins is to acquire ScanRail, the transport consultancy, from the Danish National Railway Agency for £6m.

Tyne & Wear Passenger Transport Authority has announced plans to build a £100m road tunnel under the River Tyne, and a private consortium will be chosen for the project by December 2003.

SBS Logistics, the offshore services company, is to create about 30 jobs in Shetland by operating two dedicated cargo vessels every day between Aberdeen and a distribution centre in Lerwick.

Consignia is considering plans to set up cut-price local postal services, which would compete with its own Royal Mail business and deliver bulk mail for large customers.

The Ministry of Defence is said to be considering plans to relocate the British Forces Post Office from Mill Hill in Barnet to RAF Northolt near Harrow, which would affect 266 jobs.

Vosper Thornycroft is to acquire RTK Marine, the Poole-based boat supplier, for about £4m.

Unipart has acquired National Railway Supplies, the railway equipment supplier with 300 staff, for undisclosed terms.

First Group is to invest £4m in the introduction of 100 US-style yellow school buses, and negotiations are taking place with four local authorities.

DCA Distribution is to set up a new head office for its international logistics business at the Oxford Business Park at Cowley, and is currently recruiting secretarial and accounts staff.

Peel Holdings has bought the remaining 24% of Liverpool Airport from five Merseyside borough councils for £2.4m, clearing the way for a £50m investment in the expansion of the airport terminal.

Stirling Shipping, the operator of North Sea support vessels, has been acquired by Seacor Smit of the US for £54m.

Big Yellow has raised £23m in a share placing and is considering plans to set up self-storage centres in continental Europe.

Newcastle Airport is to have a 49% stake acquired by Copenhagen Airports for £95m, and the Danish company will look for ways to expand capacity at the site.

The Strategic Rail Authority has announced a £4bn plan to improve rail freight routes over the next 10 years, including the development of four new terminals near London and two in the north-west.

UPS is to set up a financial services subsidiary called UPS Capital Global Trade Finance UK in order to improve the service offered to its logistics customers in Europe.

Yearsley Group has started work on a £5m expansion at its head office facility in Heywood, Lancashire, which will increase cold storage capacity by a third.

Safeway is looking at ways to expand its rail freight strategy across the country following the success of its scheme in north Scotland, and is also planning to run a fleet of 50 lorries using compressed natural gas in London.

English Welsh & Scottish Railway is linking up with Helios to prepare plans for the development of a £70m international rail freight terminal at Tinsley in Sheffield.

Birmingham International Airport has unveiled plans for a £29m steel and glass departure lounge complex, as part of a £260m expansion project aimed at handling 10m passengers a year by 2005.

P&O is planning to invest £1bn in its container ports business over the next five years, including projects in Europe, Asia and the US.

Gill Airways, the regional airline with nine aircraft, has been bought out of administration by a management team backed by Bank of Scotland.

Air Partner, the air charter broker, is planning to expand its business in Europe and the US by opening 20 new offices over the next 5-10 years.

Consignia is planning to build a £150m postal distribution centre near Heathrow airport by 2002, where it will employ 800 staff.

Surrey County Council and Guildford Borough Council are to conduct a new feasibility study for the development of a light monorail system in Guildford.

Wiggins has acquired Lahr airport in Germany for £1.5m, as part of a strategy to set up a network of 20 regional airports.

British Waterways has drawn up a list of 12 potential partners for the £500m redevelopment of up to 6,000 acres of waterfront land throughout the country.

James Irlam & Sons is to set up a distribution depot in Stoke with the creation of up to 100 jobs.

The Royal Mail is to create a further 150 jobs at its St Rollox mail centre in Glasgow.

Sea Containers has finalised the sale of the port of Newhaven to the French county council of Seine Maritime for £15m, which is expected to lead to investment in new passenger and freight facilities.

Maritrade of Australia has revealed plans for the development of a high-speed commuter ferry service from Bangor and Carrickfergus to Belfast city centre later this year.

Roadferry has bought the Palletline division of Aberdeen-based Sandy Bruce Trucking for £1.6m, which will involve taking on 70 staff and 32 trucks.

Bolsover District Council is to consider plans from Sladen Estates for the development of a £9m regional distribution centre for an unidentified company at South Normanton, which would create about 180 jobs.

Exel is to set up a national distribution centre for Selfridges in Solihull with the creation of 200 jobs, which will replace an existing warehouse in Paddington.

P&O Cruises is to create a further 150 jobs at its call centre and customer service operation in Southampton.

Bournemouth International Airport has won planning permission to develop a new multi-million-pound passenger terminal, and wants to start new routes to Manchester and short-haul European destinations.

Johnson Service, the dry-cleaning group, has sold its airline servicing business to Aviation & Airport Services for £3.5m.

British Midland and the Star Alliance of global airlines are seeking investment of £50m at Heathrow airport to develop transfer services between three terminal buildings, as part of a strategy to develop a long-haul network out of the UK.

Frans Maas, the Dutch-owned freight forwarding company, is planning to expand its Great Yarmouth headquarters over the next 12 months, having won a number of new distribution contracts.

JMC is planning to open a new package holiday base at East Midlands Airport, which will involve one Airbus A320 aircraft and the creation of 65 jobs.

Lafarge has won a £2.3m government grant to develop material handling facilities by the Aire and Calder canal in Yorkshire, which will enable materials to be transported from its Besthorpe quarry and Wakefield distribution centre.

GB Railways has selected Skanska Construction as infrastructure development partner for a £200m east-west rail link between East Anglia and Oxford, but government approval is still required.

The Ministry of Defence is to sell the RAF Kemble airfield in Gloucestershire to a consortium of local companies for £7m, which is expected to lead to the creation of 200 jobs as more companies are attracted to buildings on the site.

The Welsh Development Agency is planning to set up a 36-acre supplier park next to Freightliner's new Eurofreight terminal in Cardiff, in order to house rail-related companies that need to be close to the £15m terminal.

Iforce is to create 200 jobs at a new e-commerce warehouse at Bromford Gate in the West Midlands.

Strawson Holdings and Kilmartin Property are setting up a 300-acre distribution centre at junction 4 of the M8 motorway between Edinburgh and Glasgow, and the first tenant will be Scottish Courage.

Howard Smith has sold its towage business, which operates 150 vessels from 42 ports in the UK and Australia, to Adsteam Marine in order to focus on the distribution of industrial supplies.

Biggin Hill Airport has announced that Jet Aviation of the US has set up a jet charter and maintenance operation in two of its hangers, with the creation of 25 jobs.

Nor-Cargo is setting up new offices and warehousing at the redeveloped Matthews Quay in Aberdeen, to support its shipping services to Norway and continental Europe.

Vosper Thornycroft has won a £60m contract to build three new Royal Navy offshore patrol craft, which will secure the future of 450 jobs at its Southampton shipyard.

Exel is to acquire FX Coughlin, the US logistics and freight forwarding group, for up to £227m.

British Airways is set to acquire British Regional Air Lines for £78m, and will combine the business with its Brymon Airways subsidiary.

Swan Hunter and Imtech of the Netherlands are planning to jointly acquire the Port Clarence shipyard on Teesside, and expect to create about 400 jobs at the site.

Geodis United Distribution is to close its freight depot in Walsall next month with the loss of 92 jobs, in order to relocate to a new £1m complex on the Middlemore Trading Estate.

Simon Group is planning to expand its new £20m ferry terminal at Killingholme, which will involve the development of new warehousing and distribution facilities and the creation of up to 200 jobs.

Tibbett & Britten is looking to sell Axial, the car transport division valued at up to £100m, in order to raise funds for the expansion of its logistics business in Europe and North America.

Arriva has acquired London Pride, the operator of bus tours, for £4.9m.

The East of England Development Agency has provided assistance to the Excelsior Trust in the acquisition of the George Prior Engineering shipyard at Lake Lothing, Lowestoft, which will lead to the creation of 30 jobs.

Exel is to expand its distribution and warehousing operations in the Midlands, which will create 800 jobs at sites in Coventry, Daventry and Rugby.

Manchester City Council has approved plans from the Greater Manchester Transport Authority for the development of a £4m transport interchange at Shudehill in the city centre.

BAA has formed a consortium to expand its airport interests in Australia, which will involve the acquisition of minority stakes in Perth International and Northern Territory airports.

Travel West Midlands is to invest £2.7m in setting up a "Showcase" bus service between Perry Barr and Walsall, which will feature low-floor buses for easy access.

National Express is setting up a £1m customer contact centre for its coach business at the No1 Hagley Road building on Five Ways in Birmingham, which will involve the transfer of 300 staff from its Digbeth site.

Eastern Airways of Humberside is expanding its fleet with two new Jetstream 32 aircraft next month, and is looking to launch at least one new route.

Mersey Docks & Harbour is linking up with Railtrack and English, Welsh and Scottish Railway to propose the development of a £4m rail link between Birkenhead Docks and the national network.

Target Express is to open a new warehouse at North View in Coventry with the creation of 300 jobs, having won a contract to distribute computers for Dell.

Cambridge City Council is to consider plans from a new company called Cambridge Rapid Transit System for the development of a transport system to link the proposed Trumpington park and ride with Cambridge city centre.

National Express has agreed to sell its UK airports business, which includes Bournemouth and East Midlands, to Manchester Airport for £241m.

TDG has acquired TCG, the Dutch supplier of call centre and packaging services, for £22m, in order to expand its European logistics business.

Waitrose and Last Mile Solutions are planning to expand their online grocery retailing joint venture around the country, and are seeking suitable sites for distribution centres in Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham.

Westinghouse Signals, the railway signalling and train control systems company, is to relocate 70 Birmingham-based staff to the redeveloped Imperial House in Temple Street.

Fergusons Transport has won permission to develop a new logistics centre on the Pattinson North Industrial Estate in Washington, with the creation of 194 jobs.

Flightline International is to set up a flight booking centre at Trident House, near Glasgow airport, with the creation of 60 jobs.

Seascope Shipping is to merge with Braemar, the shipbroker, in a £16m deal.

Stagecoach is planning to build a new £4m bus depot in Gloucester, and the old bus garage could be sold to developers.

Dundee City Council is considering plans to invest £2.6m in improvements at Dundee Airport over the next four years, including passenger terminal facilities, surfacing works for the runway and car parking.

Big Yellow Self Storage has acquired two new properties at Barking and West Norwood in London, as part of a strategy to open 21 self-storage centres this year.

Mersey Docks & Harbour has agreed to acquire Heysham Port from Sea Containers for £25m, in order to strengthen its position in Irish Sea traffic.

Highland Council is to relocate its harbours and ports service from Inverness to Lochinver, in Western Sutherland, by April.

Exel is setting up a logistics operation in Switzerland in partnership with Kuoni, and has also started new businesses in Sweden, Finland, Turkey and Hungary.

Railtrack is planning to build a 2m sq ft distribution park on the site of Parkside Colliery in Cheshire, including rail sidings and warehousing.

Nexus is planning to build a £1.3m ferry terminal on the Royal Quays in Gateshead.

EasyJet is considering plans to expand its low-cost airline business at new bases in Liverpool, Geneva and Amsterdam, following an increase in its landing charges at Luton airport.

Doncaster Council is to give official backing to a £80m plan from Peel Holdings to build an international airport at RAF Finningley.

Nightfreight, the logistics group, is to go private in a £35m management buy-out.

Ireland Freight Services is planning to set up Vendorvillage, a virtual bonded warehouse where internet companies can house their inventory, with the creation of up to 100 jobs in Northern Ireland over the next three years.

John Menzies is seeking acquisitions to expand its aviation services division, but is expected to sell off its Early Learning Centre chain of toy shops.

Exel has acquired Werthmann & Koster, the German automotive logistics company, for £14m.

Stagecoach has sold Glasgow Prestwick International Airport to an international consortium led by Infrastructure & Utilities of New Zealand for £33m, and the site will be managed by Omniport.

National Air Traffic Services is planning to increase air traffic control capacity over south-east England by 20% by reorganising the division of airspace next month, and recruitment of controllers will rise by up to 50% a year.

Reading Borough Council has approved plans for the construction of a new railway station at the Green Park office development in Reading.

The Ministry of Defence is to create a further 120 jobs at the RAF Stafford distribution and storage centre in Staffordshire.

Newcastle City Council has announced plans for the development of a £5.2m rapid transit system between Newcastle and Gateshead, and work will start in 2002.

Eurostar is planning to spend £22m on the refurbishment of its terminals in London, Paris and Brussels and on improvements to its train interiors.

Mersey Docks & Harbour has awarded a contract to Amec to build a £22m terminal in Liverpool for Irish Sea ferries, which will create 100 construction jobs.

British Midland has sold its ground handling and airport services business to Go-Ahead for £72m.

Potter Group is planning to invest about £7m in the development of a new textiles warehouse at its premises in Selby, with the creation of up to 100 jobs over the next four years.

Midland Mainline is considering plans to build a £4m customer service academy at Pride Park in Derby, in order to improve staff training.

Mersey Docks & Harbour is to invest £3.5m at the Port of Sheerness in Kent, which will involve the creation of 300 jobs at a new fruit packing facility and a pre-delivery inspection centre for cars.

Wiggins is planning to set up a new passenger service at Manston airport in Kent, and discussions are taking place with an unnamed low-cost airline.

P&O has sold a 50% stake in Associated Bulk Carriers, which includes a fleet of 22 dry cargo vessels, to Eurotower Holdings for £68m in cash.