The Anonymous Widower

Appliance Of Science To Boost Stevenage

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article in The Times.

These two paragraphs introduce the article.

Planning permission has been granted for a former TK Maxx outlet and two other stores in the middle of Stevenage to be knocked down and replaced with laboratories.

The £500 million development, funded by UBS Asset Management and designed by Reef Group, is the latest example of how Britain’s town centres can be adapted and brought up to date.


  1. We have a laboratory shortage in the UK, which is especially serious in Oxford and Cambridge.
  2. Canary Wharf is also turning offices into laboratory space.
  3. There was even an article in The Times yesterday about converting offices to laboratories in Harley Street.

It’s probably a sign of success!

If Stevenage is to become a worldwide centre for life sciences and medical research, it probably needs the town’s excellent rail links to London and Cambridge to be further improved.

  • LNER runs two fast trains per hour (tph) to and from London King’s Cross.
  • Other fast services call during the day.
  • Local services include two tph to Cambridge, London and Peterborough.

Services need to be improved, especially to and from Cambridge.

ERTMS Is Being Installed Through Stevenage

Installation of full digital signalling on the East Coast Main Line could have various effects.

  • LNER and other fast services could be faster to places like Doncaster, Leeds and York.
  • Fast Cambridge, Ely and King’s Lynn services would have to be run by 125 mph trains to keep out of the way of the expresses.
  • 125 mph services to Cambridge would reduce journey times by a few minutes and might allow the Cambridge Cruisers to sneak in a stop at Stevenage, whilst maintaining the current times.
  • Will the Thameslink Class 700 trains have to stick to the slow lines?
  • As the Hertford Loop Line will also be digitally signalled, it might be possible to divert some trains via Hertford North.

There will be a lot of hard thinking going on to find out the best way to run services on the Southern section of the East Coast Main Line.

High Speed Norfolk

I like the concept of running high speed trains to Ely, Norwich and Kings Lynn.

  • It would open up a lot of West Norfolk for laboratory space and commuter towns for Cambridge.
  • The Breckland line between Ely and Norwich would be improved for higher speeds. It could even become a 125 mph line.
  • High Speed Norfolk trains would have a frequency of two tph and call at Stevenage, Cambridge South, Cambridge, Cambridge North and Ely before alternatively going on to Norwich and King’s Lynn.
  • Cambridge and Norwich services would alternate with the Norwich and Stansted Airport service.

Norwich could be the overspill city that Cambridge needs.


February 27, 2023 Posted by | Health, Transport/Travel, World | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Activity Ramping Up On Irish Floating Wind Test Site

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on

This is the sub-heading.

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is busy with bringing forward its Atlantic Marine Energy Test Site (AMETS), a floating wind and wave energy technology test site which has been in development for several years now. Along with offshore surveys scheduled for next month, SEIA has also commenced work on procuring an onshore substation and a floating LiDAR for AMETS.

It all sounds very professional.

The Atlantic Marine Energy Test Site will be located off Annagh Head in the West of Ireland. This Google Map shows the location of Annagh Head on the island of Ireland.

I do have a imperfect memory of a weekend of good hospitality and gourmet food at a hotel called the Cashel House Hotel to the West of Galway, but I can’t remember how C and I flew there. Did we fly to Knock or Shannon either using a scheduled airline or my Cessna 340 A?

All I can remember of the holiday, was that it was very windy at times and driving through Westport. So did we explore towards Annagh Head?

This Google Map shows a close-up of Annagh Head.

I suspect that Annagh Head is an ideal location to test floating wind and wave power.

There will also be good hospitality and airlinks to the UK and Europe.

In So Many Floating Wind Designs, So Few Test Sites – Norwegian METCentre Sold Out, I wrote about the shortage of test sites for wind power.

So perhaps, AMETS will help to fill the gap?


February 27, 2023 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is The Nightmare On The Buses Going To Get Worse?

This morning after photographing the finish of the Bank Station Upgrade, I walked down the side of the new Cannon Street entrance to catch a 141 bus from King William Street to my home.


  1. There are two bus stops for the 21, 43 and 141 buses on King William Street; one Northbound and one Southbound.
  2. The bus stops are a two minute level walk from the gate-line at the Cannon Street entrance.
  3. To go between the gate-line and the Northbound stop requires no crossing of any road, but the route to the Southbound stop requires the use of a light-controlled crossing.
  4. The Cannon Street entrance is step-free and only a short walk, between the street and the platforms of the Docklands Light Railway and the Northern Line.
  5. The access to the Central Line is also easy, but a longer walk.

This afternoon, I walked the other way from the Southbound bus stop on King William Street to the new Cannon Street entrance of Bank station.


  1. It is a totally level walk.
  2. There are lights to help the crossing of King William Street.
  3. The concrete building on the other side of King William Street is the other end of the new station entrance.
  4. It looked to me, that there was a retail unit in the corner of that building. This was confirmed by station staff and it would surely be an ideal place for an upmarket takeaway.
  5. The building on the corner of Cannon Street and King William Street is a set of shared offices. Again it is in a prime position.
  6. You can also walk from the bus stop to the main Monument station entrance.

I timed myself from the Southbound stop on King William Street to the various platforms.

  • Central Line – Under five minutes
  • Dockland Light Railway – Under four minutes
  • Northern Line – Under three minutes

Will these times encourage passengers to use the new entrance and its buses to North London?

If I was looking for offices for a foreign company, that wanted to be in the City, as I do occasionally for an American attorney, I would start in this area.

Step-Free Access On The Northern Line Is Rather Variable

If you look at the step-free access on this section of the Northern Line, you find the following.

  • Euston – Escalators – No Lifts until High Speed Two
  • King’s Cross – Escalators – One Lift to platform
  • Angel – Escalators – No Lifts – Medium walk to the buses
  • Old Street – Escalators – No Lifts – Medium walk to the buses
  • Moorgate – Escalators – Long Lift route – Medium walk to the buses
  • Bank (North) – Escalators – Lots of Steps – Medium walk to the buses
  • Bank (Cannon Street) – Escalators – Two Lifts to platforms – Short walk to buses
  • London Bridge – Escalators – One Lift to platform – Steps to buses


  1. If I was going between My House and the Northern Line South of Bank station, I’d change between the 141 bus and the Northern Line at the Cannon Street entrance to Bank station.
  2. Alternatively, I can take a 38 bus to the Angel and join the route there. But that route can be very slow coming North, as there is a lot of walking. Going South, it’s also likely to be blocked by a Tesco truck at the Angel.
  3. Between My House and the Docklands Light Railway, I’d change from the 141 bus at the Cannon Street entrance to Bank station.
  4. I might even take that route, if I wanted the Central Line out of Bank.

It does appear that as the new Cannon Street entrance to Bank station has been well-designed with full step-free access and short walks to the bus stops, that it will be the interchange of choice for many travellers to  and from the area, who are using the buses.


I feel that a lot of passengers from North London will use the 21, 43 and 141 buses to access the Central and Northern Lines, and the Docklands Light Railway using the new Cannon Street entrance to the Bank station complex.

I very much feel that all three bus routes will have a lot more passengers, so the Nightmare On The Buses, is likely to get worse.


February 27, 2023 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do We Need More Escalators?

I should say, that I don’t consider myself disabled, but I do have various disabilities.

  • The school bully, broke my left humerus, so now sixty-two years later, my left hand and arm isn’t as dextrous as the right. This means that when I’m going up or down a set of stairs I tend to keep on the right.
  • My left knee has suffered through being a father three times in too short a time, As at the time we lived in a fifth floor flat without a lift, I had to carry a heavy double-pushchair up the stairs too many times.
  • My GP at the time was all for an operation, which I have avoided for fifty years or so.
  • My stroke nearly twelve years ago, left me with slightly dodgy vision on my left side.

Luckily the stroke didn’t affect my balance, so if I miss a step, it usually doesn’t result in a fall. In fact since the stroke I’ve only tripped and fallen four twice. Once going down the steps at Dalston Junction station, once in my bedroom, when a mat slipped and twice on Islington’s dreadful pavements.

This morning I have been up and down a lot of escalators.

I rarely have any problems, although once when I was about thirty, I feel down the escalator at Oxford Circus and went to the A & E at the Middlesex Hospital for a check-up.

I certainly wouldn’t mind a few more escalators to ease me on my way!

February 27, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | | 1 Comment

Into The Realm Of The Rabbits

The completed Bank Station Upgrade opened today and I went and took these pictures of what is now a rabbit warren of a station.


  1. There are now three cross passages between the two Northern Line platforms.
  2. There are two lifts between Cannon Street and the Northern Line and one extends to the Docklands Light Railway.
  3. The Northern Line and Cannon Street are now connected by two sets of three very long escalators.
  4. I took a walk to Cannon Street, whilst taking this pictures and from leaving the new entrance to being on a train out of Cannon Street, took mt five minutes.
  5. After photographing the station, I walked to the bus stop for the 141 bus, which took me home. As there is now a new passage between the gate-line and the bus stop, it took just two minutes.

The new Cannon Street entrance is a practical, stylish and well designed and built addition to the Bank station complex.

I would let the same architects and builders loose on Camden Town, Holborn and Oxford Circus/Bond Street stations.

February 27, 2023 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment