The Week That Was in 2013: £1.4bn transport plans as Marr returns after stroke

APRIL 10 - 16, 2013: The biggest overhaul of Yorkshire’s creaking transport network in a generation was about to move ahead, when councillors green lit a ground-breaking £1.4bn investment package of news roads, railways and other key infrastructure.

Broadcaster Andrew Marr was back on television screens in April 2013 after recovering from a stroke. Picture: David Cheskin/PA Wire
Broadcaster Andrew Marr was back on television screens in April 2013 after recovering from a stroke. Picture: David Cheskin/PA Wire

A list of more than 30 major projects across West Yorkshire and York had been drawn up for the following decade, including a raft of station and city centre improvements, new link roads and bypasses in Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield, a bus interchange for York, a new carriageway to Leeds-Bradford Airport and an extra motorway junction to ease congestion on the M62.

These projects alone would lead to the creation of around 20,000 new jobs, due to the need for existing companies to expand to fulfil contacts.

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Around a quarter of the funding would come from Government and the rest from councils themselves – potentially via a small levy on the council tax bill for every household.

Meanwhile, developers heralded a new dawn for one of the region’s highest profile regeneration projects, after a multi-million pound deal was signed for the former Terry’s site in York.

The historic estate, which was central to the city’s world famous confectionary industry before it closed in 2005, was to be transformed with hundreds of new homes, shops, hotels and a business park which had already attracted interest from companies based across the country and abroad. Two of the UK’s largest property companies, Sheffield-based Henry Boot Developments and York house builder David Wilson Homes had bought the site for an undisclosed sum from GHT Developments LLP.

Scientists at the University of California in San Diego found that microscopic sponges circulating through the bloodstream mopping up toxins could overcome the superbug MRSA. The ball-shaped ‘nanosponge’, which was 3,000 times smaller than a red blood cell, soaked up dangerous chemicals and transported them to the liver where they were broken down. Pre-injection with the nanosponges allowed 89 per cent of mice to survive normally lethal infections. Treatment after infection saved 44 per cent of the animals.

Children felt under pressure to be the best at sports amid a “win at all costs” culture, according to new research. It revealed that many youngsters had resorted to cheating to win, with children also saying they had seen others resorting to unsporting behaviour such as fouling, diving and time wasting.

The survey, carried out by the Chance to Shine cricket charity and Marylebone Cricket Club, asked around 1,000 eight to 16-year-olds for their views on sport. The findings showed that almost 90 per cent said they felt under pressure to win when they played sport. Around half said they felt this pressure from other youngsters, including teammates, while others said they felt it from teachers, coaches and their parents.

And TV presenter Andrew Marr made his first television appearance since suffering a stroke three months previously.

Marr told viewers of his Sunday morning current affairs show that he was “frankly, lucky to be alive” after what he’d been through.

He said that walking was still difficult and his left arm “isn’t much good yet”, but his voice and memory were unimpaired.

He blamed a combination of overwork and excessive exercise for what had happened. The stroke symptoms came on after working out intensively on a rowing machine.

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