The Anonymous Widower

The Severn Barrage Is Still Off The Agenda

I have just seen this story and video on the BBC’s web site.

It shows the terrible state of the River Severn and the surrounding land.

One of my earliest memories is the aftermath of the East Coast Floods of 1953. Since then, every year or so the River Severn floods badly and despite barriers in other places like the rivers Thames, Tees and Hull, nothing of a similar scale has been done to alleviate the problems on the Severn.

I worked at Frederick Snow and Partners in the 1970s and was told of their design for a proposed Severn Barrage, that would help to cut flooding and also generate ten percent of our electricity.

Surely now is the time to build such a structure!

January 3, 2014 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

The Cost Of Tunnelling

I, like probably many others, have often thought that parts of city infrastructure can be improved by the odd strategic pedestrian tunnel or perhaps an inclined one for some escalators. Underground stations, like Oxford Circus and Highbury and Islington are stations, that could probably be improved in this way.

But an interesting insight into the cost of these connections is given in this article in Construction Enquirer about the contract for a pedestrian tunnel to connect Crossrail to the Bakerloo line at Paddington station. Here’s the start of the article.

London Underground has shortlisted three bid teams for a £55m underground tunnel link at Paddington Station.

The 100m long passenger tunnel will link the new Crossrail station to the London Underground Bakerloo Line station at Paddington.

So this hundred metre tunnel is not cheap.

January 3, 2014 Posted by | Transport, World | , | Leave a comment

East Tilbury Level Crossing

After hearing about this level crossing a couple of weeks ago, I just had to visit.

East Tilbury may be loved by some, but it was all I had expected. I didn’t get a demonstration about how it is a real problem for emergency vehicles, but that was probably just as well.

January 3, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

The RBS Computer System Strikes Again!

Or that’s what it looks like according to this article in the Guardian. Here’s the first part.

NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland customers have become the victims of another technical glitch that has resulted in many being unable to pay for fuel at Tesco‘s petrol stations. Reports of the problems spread on social media after customers’ credit cards were declined when they tried to pay for fuel.

I still meet people, who bank with Britain’s most accident-prone bank! Why?

January 3, 2014 Posted by | Finance, News | , , | 1 Comment

Work Starts On A Bigger Overground

I found this article about work at Clapham Junction station to prepare for longer trains on the London Overground at the end of 2014.

You don’t hear or read many complaints about London’s newest railway, from passengers or even moans from staff. In many ways this is a tribute to the engineers and architects, who’ve turned a very shabby almost-derelict railway into a superstar.

There are a lot of lessons to be learned from how Transport for London has created the Overground, that should be applied to transport projects throughout the world.

In some ways , the stars of the line are the Class 378 trains. You rarely hear of train failures and the interiors still seem pristine after nearly four years of service. And now, because of their design, they’re being extended by the simple addition of a fifth carriage in the middle.

And of course they were all designed and built in Derby!

Gradually, the stations are being improved and in a few years, some of the grubbier will be up to the standard of the best.

On a personal note, as well as giving me a lot of transport options, in common with many others who live along the line, the Overground has probably contributed to the rise in the value of my house.

January 3, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment