Coastal dumps contain radioactive waste

The Government yesterday disclosed further evidence that radioactive waste was dumped in the sea off various British locations between the 1940s and 1970s.

Travel rail journeys: ...and some of the best ways to see Britain by train

The "Deerstalker Express", so called because of its very important role in ferrying Scottish landowners between their shooting estates and their London interests, leaves London Euston for Fort William every night except Saturday. This is the way to travel to the Western Highlands. From dawn to arrival in Fort William at 10-ish - preferably while eating a huge breakfast - you will pass through some of the most stunning scenery in the world. A dastardly plan by British Rail in May 1995 to close the line (impossibly uneconomic, said BR) attracted howls of outrage from said landowners (including Alan Clark MP, who has an estate in the western Highlands), Scotland's tourist industry, loyal holiday makers and railway buffs. The howlers won and British Rail was accused of acting "absurdly" and illegally by the Court of Session in Edinburgh. If it had not been for BR's absurd and illegal behaviour, however, I and many others probably would not have made the journey. The publicity surrounding the closure attracted enough new trade to warrant extra coaches on each train and ScotRail, the post-privatisation owner, continues to run a two-coach service. It still makes a loss but has a seven-year subsidy for one coach under its franchise arrangement. Take the Deerstalker Express before the subsidy gets cut.

TWO DEAD POETS MEET A LIVE ONE

`Film of a book: ho hum. Film of a book about poets: shudder.' With prejudices like these, what does one modern poet make of the filming of Pat Barker's prize-winner Regeneration?

Centrica on a slow burner

BLUECHIIP

Crowded jails `ready to blow'

Britain's jails are becoming a "powder keg that could blow at any time and place", the prison officer's leader has warned after calling for an urgent meeting with management.

Centrica battles to save pounds 150m in taxes

Centrica, the British Gas supply business which starts life as an independent company today, is negotiating with the Government to slash its tax bill in a move that could boost its profits by around pounds 150m a year.

Lock them up by all means, but not in my back water

It cost more than pounds 4m of tax-payers' money, can house about 500 criminals, and was the answer to prison officials' prayers.

British Gas to offload contract burden

British Gas is to transfer some of its gas production assets for the first time in a deal with Mobil to renegotiate some of its pounds 40bn-worth of so-called "take or pay" contracts to buy gas at inflated prices.

Gas surprises with pounds 293m deal on take-or-pay

British Gas directors yesterday attempted to put past disasters behind them as they brought forward plans to split the company in two, and revealed the first successful renegotiation of part of the company's pounds 40bn worth of take- or-pay contracts with North Sea oil and gas producers.

A view of Lakeland

The Albion sits on a commanding corner in the small Cumbrian town of Arnside and in fine weather the place to be is outside, gazing across the expanse of the Kent River to the Lakeland heights beyond - it's extraordinary how different the view becomes when there is acre upon acre of estuarial mud in the foreground.

British Gas boosted by takeover rumours

Speculation that a number of predators have shown an interest in acquiring British Gas is likely to heighten this week, following a report yesterday that Shell has approached Richard Giordano, the chairman, with a takeover proposal.

British Gas abandons pounds 1bn claim

British Gas suffered a double blow yesterday as it abandoned a pounds 1bn compensation claim against the Government and a top executive in its pipeline business, TransCo, was forced to resign because of ill health. The company said it had dropped its legal action against the Department of Trade and Industry for repayment of Gas Levy because it was satisfied the tax had been applied correctly.

Lottery throws lifeline to decaying family seat

National Heritage Bill paves way to aid private owners with upkeep of historic homes

Letter: Beware of the Solway Firth

Beware of the Solway Firth

Man thought he would drown in quicksand

A man who cheated death by minutes after spending a night trapped in quicksand yesterday described the moment he thought he was going to die.
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