The Anonymous Widower

Did Arsenal Shilt Themselves?

On of my long-standing friends, who just happens to be both Jewish and a Hull City supporter uses the word shilt to  mean bringing bad luck on yourself.

So did announcing the Victory Parade cause Arsenal to go behind so early.


If a

Did Arsenal Shilt Themselves?

Did Arsenal Shilt Themselves?

nybody knows the real spelling of shilt please tell me.

May 17, 2014 Posted by | Sport | , , | Leave a comment

Could We Create A Second Entrance To The Overground At Highbury And Islington Station?

Highbury and Islington station is not one of my favourites.

It has only two escalators to get to the deep-level platforms for the Victoria line and the Northern City line. At least we have now got two fully working examples, but a much needed third escalator can’t be fitted in the empty position, as there is not enough circulation space at the bottom.

It’s all because it was a typical 1960s Jerry-built station like several on the Victoria line.

One of the problems is that although since the Overground was opened at Highbury and Islington, there is more space on the concourse, at certain times, like an evening match at The Emirates, every passageway and the space in front of the station, gets seriously overloaded.

Although the Overground was built to a price, they did save money by using good design, rather than just leaving something out, as they did on the Victoria line.

For this reason, although they could have reinstated the Eastern Curve at Dalston Junction, to enable trains to go directly between Stratford and the East London line, they chose not to, but instead made Canonbury station, into a good, easy and efficient interchange.  Especially, if you were coming from Stratford and going south to or through Dalston Junction! I regularly if I’m coming home from Stratford, change at Canonbury to a southbound train and go to the first stop; Dalston Junction, from where I take one of the numerous buses home. It sounds complicated, but if I have a heavy parcel, there is only one set of steps, which can be bypassed by a lift.

To facilitate train changing at Highbury and Islington station, they also built a second footbridge over the tracks, at the western end of the platforms. This footbridge is also designed to serve an emergency exit from the station.

This footbridge and its associated emergency exit, opens on to the road alongside the station;Highbury Station Road. So could this exit be expanded into a full entrance and exit to the station? I took a walk around the station to see it all from the outside.

The residential developments around the north side of the station, probably wouldn’t take too kindly, to large numbers of people and especially football fans passing down their road. But it is only a short walk up Highbury Station Road on the south side to the wide expanses of Liverpool Road, which is in fact, an area poorly served by buses.

So a second entrance is probably feasible and it might give benefits to those, who live in the area to the west of the station. As Liverpool Road leads to the Emirates Stadium, a second entrance might help with congestion on the Holloway Road on match days.

Admittedly, a second entrance here would really only serve the Overground, but bear in mind that over the next couple of years, the capacity of trains on that set of lines, will be increased by twenty-five percent. This will put more pressure on Highbury and Islington station, which is a terminus of the Overground and the main northern interchange to the Underground.

I suspect too, that more football supporters will be using the Overground to get to the stadium. Remember that football fans have different travel patterns to say commuters and usually have a window of an hour or so before the match, when they can turn up. So they’ll see the extra capacity on the Overground and perhaps take a few minutes longer to get to the stadium in comfort, rather than crammed into an Underground train.

A second entrance would have certainly helped on Saturday, with all the chaos in the Balls Pond Road. If of course, the Overground had been running.

November 3, 2013 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Chaos In The Balls Pond Road

The roadworks that caused all the problems with the buses, last week are still ongoing. There are no open bus stops and just one narrow lane for the traffic.

One Narrow Lane In The Balls Pond Road

One Narrow Lane In The Balls Pond Road

When I left home this lunchtime, I walked to the next stop, where there was an angry crowd and even angrier drivers trying to get onto the Balls Pond Road.

The diversion on Dove Road was congested and totally inadequate, especially as they were running extra buses as the Overground was closed, so putting a large number of extra passengers on the buses. When I returned later in the afternoon, the problems were made worse, by everybody trying to get to the Emirates to see Arsenal at home to Liverpool.

If they’d wanted to organise chaos, they’d created it, in the best way possible.

I was talking to a bus driver and he blamed Boris, which was a bit unfair.

As my background is project planning and management, I believe this chaos was all down to no co-ordination between the parties involved. The Arsenal match has been in the calendar for months, so surely to do the necessary resurfacing work, on a match day was a bad decision. It was probably costly too, as it meant that all of the chaos, meant that not as much progress as had been hoped was made.

Surely too, the Overground should have been kept open, whilst the road was effectively closed, as this closure imposes extra strains on the road network.

The only good thing about the roadworks, was that I could cross Southgate Road with ease.

A Closed Southgate Road

A Closed Southgate Road

But crossing the Balls Pond Road is difficult for pedestrains, as there are no lights and we’ve been left to our own devices and wits.

No-one seems to have any idea, how long this chaos will go on. Although this notice mentions that Phase 5 ends on the first of December.

I can’t help feeling, that traffic problems in the area would be helped on match days, if the Northern City line was open between Finsbury Park and Moorgate. Perhaps, when Thameslink is fully established this line will get some long-needed improvement.

November 2, 2013 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

And Some Think London’s Got Traffic Problems!

I just read this piece on the BBC web site about a legal challenge to a new bus lane in Delhi.

I think it is interesting to look at how well London survived the Olympics. A lot of the road network was closed down and people found better ways to work or get to work. I started referring to buses as Big Red Taxis.

Since the end of the Olympics, you’d think road traffic would have got back to previous levels.  I’m not sure, but when I walk up the Balls Pond Road at rush hour, it may be busy, but not as bad as I remember before the Olympics. The only really bad times are when Arsenal are at home, as a large number of people still drive to one of the easiest stadia in the country to get to by public transport.

I would love to see some properly collected figures on traffic in Central London. Do they publish the amount of money raised by the Congestion Charge? I can’t seem to find any recent results.  They should publish the takings on a regular basis. Probably daily!

October 15, 2012 Posted by | News, Sport, Transport | , , , , | 4 Comments

Sorting Out Highbury Corner

Highbury Corner is one of London’s busiest interchanges, which is being restructured to make it easier for all users. The picture shows the terminus of the 277 bus.

277 Buses At Highbury Corner

I regularly get a bus from here to my house and the stop is badly placed for the Underground. It is also a very busy stop, just off the roundabout towards Dalston and not the nicest place to wait for a bus.

I think that whatever you do, you’re not going to make a great improvement, unless the 277 route was extended a bit towards Holloway. But then there probably isn’t another suitable terminus.

Traffic was particularly bad last night, as Arsenal were playing at home and people will insist on driving to the Emirates.

October 4, 2012 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

The Manager is a Physio

I’m watching Southampton take on Coventry in a game that if they win, they’ll be in the Premier League next season.

Surprisingly, the Southampton manager; Nigel Adkins, trained as a physiotherapist and was employed in that position at Scunthorpe, when he was made manager there. He also played over 300 games as a goal-keeper for Tranmere Rovers, Wigan Athletic and Bangor City. Tradition has it that keepers don’t make good managers.

However, there is a precedent for a physio, who went on to be a top-class manager; Bertie Mee, who led Arsenal to the double in 1970-71.

April 28, 2012 Posted by | Sport | , , | Leave a comment

The Goodyear Blimp Over the Balls Pond Road

I took this picture, as I came back from getting my paper this morning.

If looked to me, that the Goodyear Blimp was flying along the Balls Pond Road toward Highbury Corner for the Arsenal Chelsea match at lunchtime. I’m not sure about the flying rules for airships, but if the pilot was in the left hand seat, he could have been flying just to the north of the road. That would be standard procedure in a fixed wing aircraft, when flying visually.

The Goodyear Blimp Over The Balls Pond Road

I see the blimp is down to be over the London Marathon tomorrow.

April 21, 2012 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , | 2 Comments

My Freedom Pass Failed South of the River

I’ve indicated before that London has always been two cities; my side of the North and the other side of the South.

Now I’ve got nothing against those who live south of the river and in fact some of my friends live there, but it’s a different country.  It’s nothing new, as my father said that the two sides didn’t agree on anything before the Second World War. I blame it on Arsenal’s move from south of the river to Highbury.  It was almost as bad as Wimbledon going to Milton Keynes.

But that still doesn’t explain, why my Freedom Pass wasn’t accepted at Elephant and Castle, either coming out or going in. However, in both cases, the helpful staff let me through.

Do the barriers read your DNA and if it’s from the North, you’re barred? We should be told!

January 13, 2012 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

We Thought That Ipswich Town Couldn’t Defend

After Ipswich Town’s fiascos against Southampton and Peterborough, I thought that things couldn’t get worse. Ipswich certainly improved against Leeds, but then today their defence  was seriously out underperformed by both Spurs and Arsenal.

I think I’ll wear my Ipswich hat tomorrow.

August 28, 2011 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

The Two Faces of Football

This morning the news of the threats against Neil Lennon broke.

This evening, I’ve just watched a marvellous display of football as Tottenham and Arsenal fought out a three all draw.

Now, when I was young and growing up in North London, the rivalry between the two North London teams was fierce and probably on the same level as it was between Rangers and Celtic in Scotland at the time.

The rivalry is still there in North London, but it is still at a fierce but fair level.  I would doubt there have been any more than a handful of arrests tonight. How many will we see in Glasgow on Sunday?

What has gone so wrong in Glasgow?

April 20, 2011 Posted by | Sport | , , , , | 6 Comments