I walked the East-West Cycle Superhighway in two sections, as I crossed the bridges to have lunch on the South Bank by the Tate Modern.
It certainly is getting a move on, with some sections almost ready to open.
A few notes follow.
The Arthur Street Site
A new block is being created on this site, but before that happens, the site is being used to access the underground parts of Bank station.
This map from a TfL document show the site.
This fact sheet explains how the Arthur Street Site is to be used. This is said.
To deliver the proposed station improvements there is a need for a worksite in Arthur Street. This site is above the new tunnel alignment, and enables access via a shaft directly down to the new tunnel. This separates the underground tunnelling works from the extensive demolition and basement construction works on the Cannon Street site, facilitating an earlier completion of the tunnelling works and a reduction of the overall impact of the project on the City.
As with everything in the City of London, it all seems very crowded.
Along Upper Thames Street
As the pictures show the Cycle Superhighway is going on the North side of this road.
This road has always been jammed solid with cars, taxis and a lot of trucks.
The construction phase of the Cycle Superhighway isn’t exactly helping traffic flows.
The Millennium Inclinator
Westward From Blackfriars
After lunch, I crossed back to the North over Blackfriars Bridge and followed the Cycle Superhighway to Westminster station.
As with Cycle Superhighway CS5 from Oval to Pimlico, from what I could see, it seems to be well-designed and built.
I’ll look forward to hiring a bike at one end and riding it to the other.
I watched Andrew Neil’s carefully-crafted monologue on the BBC last night, in which he referred to Islamic State as Islamic Scumbags.
It was a brave and very right thing to do and I hope there are no repercussions.
But his monologue was in the great tradition of the BBC, that started in the 1960s, with That Was The Week That Was or TW3.
It was on late and as I needed to get up early to deliver newspapers, I usually went to bed and my father would wake me and call me down to watch the program.
Perhaps the most moving program was the one they did after the assassination of President Kennedy, which contained none of the usual copious amounts of satire.
We should treat the so-called Islamic State with the contempt they deserve and strong words and biting humour are the weapons we should use!
This article in Rail News is entitled .Major Midland Metro expansion plans unveiled. It lays out how after a devolution deal for the West Midlands there is going to be new lines on the Midland Metro. The article says this.
A new ‘HS2 connectivity package’ will include new tram lines from the HS2 station at Birmingham Curzon Street to Birmingham Airport via Bordesley Green and Chelmsley Wood, and between Wednesbury and Brierley Hill — a destination which was an aspiration of local Metro planners even before the first section opened in 1999 between Snow Hill and Wolverhampton St George’s.
It is certainly a substantial expansion.
Birmingham Curzon Street to Birmingham Airport
There would appear to be no mention of Bordesley Green and Chelmsley Wood, so I would assume that the route has been changed.
Wikipedia also mentions serving Coventry station, but the Rail News article doesn’t. I suspect that as Coventry is part of the devolution plans, that Line Two will go to the city!
Wednesbury To Brierley Hill
This proposal for this line, which links both Birmingham and Wolverhampton to the Merry Hill Shopping Centre, is better developed and some details are given in this section of the Wikipedia entry for the Midland Metro.
The proposal utilises the disused South Staffordshire Line, which to complicate matters Network Rail want to open for freight.
In January I published Will Dudley Get A National Very Light Rail Innovation Centre?, which also throws some extra factors into the knitting.
In the Midland Metro entry for this line, this is said.
Centro has stated that the WBHE would provide 10 trams per hour, alternately serving Wolverhampton and Birmingham. Journey time from Brierley Hill to West Bromwich was stated as 31 minutes.
So if it is intended that this line runs trams to both Birmingham and Wolverhampton and it will also carry freight, then it seems to me, that by using something like Class 399 tram-trains, you can be all things to all stakeholders.
If you look at the South Staffordshire Line north of the proposed junction with the Midland Metro, it is a mass of working and disused railway lines, that ultimately terminate on the West Coast Main Line at Lichfield Trent Valley station.
Given that the article in Rail News talks of improvements to the West Coast Main Line, I can’t believe that in the future the South Staffordshire Line is not developed as a cross city line from Lichfield to Stourbridge.
The West Midlands is going to see a lot of rail and tram development in the next few years.
Councillor David Lawrence, who chair of the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority, is quoted as saying this about the schemes.
The agreement will see Whitehall make an annual contribution of £40 million for 30 years to support investment worth £8 billion, which it claimed will support the creation of more than half a million jobs.
Will the Brummies go for it?