As a former civil engineer Bernadette regularly reports on infrastructure developments from policy and investment plans to major projects. She is the former editor of Underground Utilities magazine which specialised in the placement of pipes, cables and underground infrastructure using trenchless technologies. In this role she travelled all over the world reporting on new technologies and projects. The magazine was merged with Tunnels & Tunnelling International (T&TI) in 2014. Bernadette remains a contributor to T&TI.
Between 2014 and 2016 Bernadette was a regular contributor and member of the launch team for Infrastructure Intelligence, the official online and print publication of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE).
Her coverage included reports on the Northern Powerhouse agenda, diversity and inclusion in engineering, and fracking. the government’s (unsuccessful) push towards starting a shale gas industry. “With so many scare stories circulating I have tried to give as much insight into the technical realities as possible, from focusing on well integrity and seismic risk to geotechnical potential and regulation.”
- Manufacturing and engineering firms welcome fast track for fracking – Government has stepped in to accelerate the planning process for shale gas exploration by introducing new measures to ensure councils make planning decisions within 16 weeks.
- Fracking failure for Cameron as shale gas looks set to stay in the ground – David Cameron’s announcement that the UK would go all out for shale faced a huge setback as Lancashire County Council refused planning permission for the first two sites to apply since a fracking moratorium was lifted in December 2012.
- Calls grow for a single fracking regulator – As the shale gas industry struggles to gain public confidence calls are increasing for a single fracking regulator to simplify the complex framework of responsibility.
- Fear Fracktor: UK deserves informed debate on fracking – When the government announced the bid process for the 14th onshore oil and gas licensing round earlier this year there was confusion over where fracking would take place. The licensing round opens 124,000km2 of the country for exploration, – approximately half the area of the UK, however shale gas which requires hydraulic fracturing to remove it, is only expected to be found in two areas of the country.
Northern Powerhouse: Manchester sits at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse agenda for two reasons. The devolution deal which will see the city receive unprecedented political and financial control over its health, social care, transport and skills spending; and its location as the fulcrum between London with the new link to High Speed 2 and the network of northern cities that are set to see connectivity boosted much needed road and rail investment through the new Transport for the North organisation.
- Northern transport “blueprint” misses opportunity for progress: A new government document badged as a blueprint for northern transport simply outlines worked recently carried out or currently underway failing to mention much needed long term projects.
- Prepare for progress on northern transport: By Spring 2016 Transport for the North will have published a list of priority projects for the region, building on the £15bn schemes proposed in the One North document.
- Creating Northern Powerhouse report: Interviews with Transport for Greater Manchester; Mike Blackburn of Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership; North West developer Peel Holdings; and trailblazing BIM in new northern roads.