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Greenpeace: Heathrow expansion a 'can of worms' for Cameron

A 'no third runway' signs in the village of Sipson near Heathrow Airport. Credit: PA

The recommendation for a new runway at Heathrow Airport sparked fresh debate on the environmental impact of the plan and stirred up further political debate.

Local campaigners and environmental groups vowed to continue their protests against the expansion, as business leaders broadly welcomed the plans.

Green groups attacked the announcement because of the likely impact on the environment.

Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven said:

A third runway at Heathrow is an environmental and political minefield. It would jeopardise the UK's climate targets, worsen air pollution in London, and open up a political can of worms for David Cameron.

– John Sauven, Greenpeace

London Underground: We are ready to negotiate

London Underground have urged the unions to "keep talking" in order to solve the disputes over pay related to the introduction of the Night Tub. In a statement to ITV News London, Steve Griffiths, London Underground's Chief Operating Officer said:

Londoners and businesses overwhelmingly back the Night Tube. It will make life easier for everyone, cut journey times, create jobs and boost the economy.

Most of our staff will not be affected by the new services at all because it affects only five of eleven lines. Some staff will actually work fewer nights than they do now because we have hired 137 more train operators specifically for the Night Tube.

The train staff who will be affected are being asked to work around an additional seven nights each year on average, with no increase in their total current hours. No-one is being asked to work more hours.

In return, we are offering a realistic pay increase this year and next, as well as an additional payment for Night Tube working. We are ready to negotiate, but any increase must be sustainable and fair. I urge the Trade Unions to keep talking to us to achieve a settlement.

– Steve Griffiths


TSSA union Underground workers vote for strike

Underground workers who are part of the TSSA Union have also voted for strike action, as part of an ongoing dispute with London Underground. The news comes just hours after RMT union members also voted to strike.

General Secretary Manuel Cortes said 76% of balloted members voted for strikes, whilst 88% voted for other forms of strike action.

We hope that this result will show Boris Johnson just how angry our members are at his plans to try and rush the start of the night Tube without any detailed agreement on manning levels.

Under plans we have been shown so far, some Zone 3 stations will be left with just one staff member on duty in the middle of the night. That is no way to run a service which prides itself on safety and security.

We want to reach a deal which safeguards both passengers and staff. We will be hoping to reach agreement on that in the coming days.

– Manuel Cortes

RMT Underground staff vote for strike action

The RMT Union have voted overwhelming for strike action over a number of disputes with Underground bosses over the introduction of the tube running overnight, pay, staffing, safety and use of agency staff. RMT General Secretary Mick Cash:

It is simply outrageous that management, in a mad dash to bulldoze through the night running stunt, have smashed apart long-term agreements and have resorted to trying to bully staff into accepting roster changes at a local level and the message from RMT and our sister unions is clear – we are not having it.

RMT will be co-ordinating campaigning with our sister tube unions as we seek to defend negotiating agreements, decent pay and the rights and working conditions of our members.

– Mick Cash

London's transport boss to take up a new role at Network Rail

London's transport boss has quit to take up a new role at Network Rail. Sir Peter Hendy will replace Richard Parry-Jones as chairman and oversee 2,500 stations across the country.

Sir Peter Hendy Credit: PA

Network Rail has a critical role in the railway industry and the whole British economy, by facilitating economic growth and enabling job creation.

I am delighted to be asked to chair the Board and help it, the executive team and the whole organisation fulfil Network Rail's full potential.

I am looking forward to working with Mark Carne as he takes the organisation forward.

– Sir Peter Hendy


Could electric scooters eventually ride alongside 'Boris Bikes'?

When Boris Johnson ends his time as London mayor in 2016, we'll still get a few reminders of his time at City Hall - not least from 'Boris Bikes'.

Credit: PA

If his successor is looking for some new ideas how about electric scooters? A new hire scheme is being trialled in Paris - and if successful could be coming to a street near you.

One of the CityScoot scooters in Paris Credit: CityScoot

70 scooters are now operating around Paris and cost just over £2 per 15 minutes. Speaking to The Times, founder Bernard Edelist said:

London is definitely our top target after France. The British government wants to encourage two wheeled vehicles so the terrain seems favourable to us and the mentality is right.

– Bernard Edelist

Small businesses call for cost cutting in the capital

London's small businesses are in a mixed in the second quarter of 2015 Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Small businesses in London are calling for a reduction in the cost of doing business in the capital.

The latest survey of London members of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) shows that although business owners view their prospects over the next few months in a positive light, London businesses have found it hardest to provide wage increases in the last 12 months, compared with the rest of England.

The results of the Q2 London Small Business Index show that whilst London businesses remain optimistic, we must ensure we reduce the cost of doing business in the capital. The FSB London Policy Unit is urging the Mayor to continue to support the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers of £3,000 when it ceases to exist at the end of June and for Government to sign off on the Crossrail 2 project at the time of the Comprehensive Spending Review.

– Sue Terpilowski, London Policy Chair, FSB

Nearly three quarters (74 per cent) of small businesses said they expected to grow moderately or rapidly in the next three months - the highest figure ever reported in the small business index. Four in 10 London businesses are also planing to increase capital investment over the next 12 months.

Foreign brands outnumber British stores on Regent Street

The Apple store on Regent Street Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

For the first time in 192 years, there are now more overseas retailers on London's Regent Street than there are domestic brands, with American stores leading the way, according to property specialists.

Currently, more than 50 international brands - a quarter of which come from the USA - are based on the capital's prestigious shopping street. Some of these brands include J Crew, Anthropologie, Calvin Klein, Desigual, Karl Lagerfeld and Longchamp.

Demand for shops in London's West End remains high. In 2014, central London saw the sharpest fall in vacant units since 2007. Research by real estate company Colliers International showed that prime rents rose on average by just under 15 per cent last year.

Mayor to launch London Technology Week

Boris Johnson at last year's London Technology Week Credit: Geoff Caddick/PA Archive

London's Mayor Boris Johnson will mark the start of London Technology Week today by meeting some of the capital's future tech entrepreneurs.

He is due to launch a new dedicated online hub for the city's digital industry as part of the second London Technology Week. The first event was held in 2014.

The aim to is for London to exhibit its technology credentials to a global audience, in an attempt to attract companies from around the world to do business.

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