The Anonymous Widower

Paddington Square – 7th February 2020

Paddington Square is a new development springing up to the East of Paddington station.

This Google Map shows the location between the station and St. Mary’s Hospital.

The development will include the following.

  • A Twenty-storey tower.
  • Offices
  • Four floors of upmarket shops
  • A rooftop restaurant.
  • A new public square
  • A new entry into the Bakerloo Line, which will have a step-free connection to Crossrail.

It will certainly improve, what is rather a grotty area of Central London.

There is nothing much to see at the moment.

It’s just a big hole, which is surrounded by hoardings.

February 8, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Oxbourne House Is A Mixed-Use Retail And Residential Project Located On Europe’s Busiest Shopping Street

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the Fletcher Priest web site.

This is the introductory paragraph.

The project includes high quality apartments and a prominent retail provision, as well as step-free access to Bond Street Underground and Crossrail Station below, where a new street-level station entrance has been constructed off Marylebone Lane.

Note that Fletcher Priest are the architects.

These pictures show the state of the building on December 29th, 2019.

This Google Map shows the location along Oxford Street.

Note.

  1. Oxbourne House is the building along Oxford street with the ribbed structure on its Western end.
  2. The pedestrianised Marylebone Lane, at the Eastern end of Oxbourne House,  running down towards Oxford Street.
  3. The recently built entrance to Bond Street station is hidden by Oxbourne House.
  4. The Radisson Blu Edwardian Berkshire hotel on the other side of Marylebone Lane.

This second Google Map shows the wider picture.

Note.

  1. Marylebone Lane and the Radisson Blu hotel are to the left of this map.
  2. Cavendish Square is in the North-East corner of the map.
  3. Debenhams, House of Fraser, John Lewis are in a line to the East of the entrance.

It looks to be a well-placed entrance.

It Gives Rear Entry To The Department Stores 

Will travellers for Debenhams, House of Fraser, John Lewis and Cavendish Square use the pedestrianised Marylebone Lane and Henrietta Place route, in preference to the crowded route along Oxford Street?

Perhaps if Henrietta Place were to be pedestrianised as well and the signage was clear, many savvy duck-and-divers may be tempted!

I describe the current walking route in Walking From Cavendish Square To The Marylebone Lane Entrance Of Bond Street Station.

Access To Harley Street

The Marylebone Lane/Henrietta Place route gives good access to Harley Street and all its consultants, clinics and facilities.

If as I suspect the route were to be pedestrianised or at least had the kerbs removed,, as the Marylebone Lane entrance to Bond Street station has step-free access to all platforms, Harley Street would have better step-free access to public transport, than many hospitals.

Access To The New Cavendish Square Development

This proposed Cavendish Square Development seems to be mainly upmarket shops and medical facilities like consulting rooms and probably expensive diagnostic equipment.

The access from Bond Street station will be better than to Harley Street.

  • the route will be built step-free.
  • There might only be one road to cross at most.
  • It will be shorter.
  • As an aside, I suspect taxis will be able to drop and collect visitors from inside the development.

I wonder how many consultants will move from Harley Street to the Cavendish Square development.

Conclusion

The new Marylebone Lane entrance to Bond Street station, gives step-free access to an area to the North of Oxford Street

The new entrance also acts as the foundation for Oxbourne House, whose development probably contributed to the creation of the new step-free entrance.

 

December 29, 2019 Posted by | Health, Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts On Step-Free Access At Oxford Circus Station

The London Underground station most in need of step-free access is probably Oxford Circus, where the Bakerloo and Victoria Lines have a cross-platform step-free interchange, which connects to the Central Line.

  • Oxford Circus is the third-busiest station on the Underground.
  • The capacity of the station probably limits the capacity of the Victoria Line.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr, shows the lines through the station.

Note.

  1. The cross-platform interchange between the Bakerloo and Victoria Lines
  2. The Central Line running East-West under Oxford Street.
  3. Crossrail is shown by dotted lines, passing to the South of the station..

South of the Central Line, it would probably be difficult to squeeze in lifts and more escalators, but to the North, there may be space for another entrance building.

  • The great advantage of making either the Victoria or Bakerloo Lines at Oxford Circus step-free, is that the other one will get it as well.
  • I think it will probably depend on which of the buildings in the area, need to be replaced.
  • I also suspect that the areas under Oxford Circus, Oxford Street and Regent Street are well surveyed, as there has been continuous development of Oxford Circus station since the 1960s.

On the other hand, the opening of Crossrail, with a new entrance to Bond Street station in Hanover Square, may mean that passenger numbers reduce at Oxford Circus, thus allowing a simpler solution.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a very innovative solution to provide step-free access at Oxford Circus station.

I feel that the Proposed Shopping Centre Under Cavendish Square could be the elephant in the room.

  • An upmarket shopping centre and medical centre needs good access for taxis, cars and public transport.
  • Cavendish Square was used to build the Victoria Line.
  • Tunnelling techniques have improved since the 1960s.

This Google Map shows Cavendish Square and the area between the square and Oxford Circus station.

Consider the four corners of the map..

  • Oxford Circus station is in the South-East corner.
  • Harley Street is just on the map at the North-West corner.
  • The BBC is just off the map in the North-East corner.
  • John Lewis’s flagship store occupies the South-West corner.

But perhaps the most interesting building is the former BHS flagship store, that lies to the East of John Lewis, with Cavendish Square to the North and Oxford Street to the South.

The proposed development under Cavendish Square will be upmarket and it will need high quality access to attract tenants, visitors and clients.

  • I doubt there will be masses of car parking, although they could probably dig up to a hundred metres below the square. Could there be an automatic car park, where vehicles are taken and stacked deep underground?
  • Good access for taxis, private hire vehicles and delivery trucks will be needed..I suspect that planning permission, would specify electric vehicles only.
  • The Bond Street station complex, with Crossrail, Central and Jubilee Lines is perhaps two hundred metres away. I feel the developers of Cavendish Square, will see access to Crossrail as being essential.
  • Oxford Street station is closer, but good access will be needed between the station and Cavendish Square.

Access to Bond Street and Oxford Circus stations would probably be via wide, deep tunnels with travelators as are being installed to solve the horrendous access problems at Bank station.

The former BHS building could be key in any design.

  • The BHS building has a superb location.
  • Tunnels between the two stations and the Cavendish Square complex could go via any development of the BHS building.
  • It might be possible to go higher on the site.
  • It might even be possible to put another station on the Central Line in the basement.

There is certainly a lot of scope for an innovative solution at Oxford Circus station.

December 29, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Galliard Homes To Develop £140m Luxury Flat Complex Above Crossrail Station

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on City AM.

This is yet another Crossrail related development.

November 13, 2019 Posted by | Transport, World | , , | Leave a comment

One Liverpool Street: City Of London Approves Crossrail Entrance Office Block

The title of this post is the same as that as this article on City AM.

This paragraph describes the financial structure of the development.

One Liverpool Street will be run by asset managers Aviva Investors, through a joint venture with Transport for London (TfL), and will replace an existing six-storey office block.

It is yet another development along the Crossrail route.

November 13, 2019 Posted by | Transport, World | , , | Leave a comment

Full Steam Ahead For Eric Parry’s Crossrail Scheme

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

These points are made in the introduction.

  • Plans for a nine-storey Eric Parry scheme above a Crossrail station in the City of London have taken a significant step forward.
  • Transport for London inked a deal with Aviva for the overstation development at Liverpool Street station.
  • It is one of 12 developments TfL is planning above and around Crossrail sites.

It illustrates how Crossrail is leading to a vast amount of development along the route.

How many cities in the UK and around the world, could benefit from their own cross-city rail line?

Aberdeen, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool and Newcastle have them of various standards, but in some cities getting across the city is a nightmare on public transport and people drive.

 

September 28, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Farringdon Station – 3rd September 2019

These pictures show the Barbican station end of the Crossrail entrance at Farringdon station.

I showed this entrance in Farringdon Station – 7th July 2018.

September 3, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 2 Comments

Crossrail Rushes To Make Bond Street Ready For Testing

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Rail Technology Magazine.

Mark Wild, who is Crossrail’s Chief Executive, is quoted as telling the London Assembly.

Our current focus is predominantly on key areas of risk such as ensuring that Bond Street station is at the required stage of completion to allow us to commence trial running early in 2020..

The more I read about this project, the more I believe, that the projects lateness is down to two things.

  • Some very optimistic project management by contractors to get some of the enormous contracts on offer.
  • A lack of resources in vital areas like some trades and the testing of trains.

But then what do I know about Project Management and computer software?

Could Bond Street also be the only really late station, as it is on a very cramped site in the centre of some of the most expensive real estate on the planet?

The 3D visualisation shows the area around the station.

Note .

  1. The new Western entrance to Bond Street Crossrail station, which is the cleared site with the russet-coloured building behind.
  2. The new Eastern entrance, which is just to the West of Hanover Square.
  3. Bond Street running down from Next on Oxford Street to Fenwicks.

Surface access is not good to say the least.

The same access problem probably applies at Paddington, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Moorgate and Liverpool Street stations, but at these five stations, there were buildings that could be demolished to give access for construction.

It should also be notes, that some of these stations have only a few local residents.

I’ll take a quick look at these five stations.

Paddington

This Google Map shows Paddington station.

Note the Crossrail station, which has been squeezed into the old cab rank, alongside the station.

Tottenham Court Road

This Google Map shows Tottenham Court Road station.

Note the amount of cleared space around the station,

Farringdon

This Google Map shows Farringdon station.

The Crossrail station is to the West of the current station. It must have helped contractors, that the station had been redeveloped a couple of times for the construction and update of Thameslink.

Moorgate

This Google Map shows Moorgate station.

Moor House, which is the large office block behind Moorgate station, was built in 2004 and was designed to accept Crossrail in the basement.

Finsbury Circus, which is the green space in the East was used as a construction site.

Liverpool Street

This Google Map shows Liverpool Street station.

The main entrance to the Crossrail station will be in front of the Broadgate office complex, which is to the West of the station.

This section of Broadgate is also being redeveloped, which probably helps and hinders in equal measure.

Conclusion

I think lessons will be learned that can be applied to other cross-city rail projects.

  • Future-planning as with Moor House should be increasingly used.
  • Should stations be built in conjunction with other developments?
  • Are stations in areas of high real-estate values a good idea?
  • Could more innovative ways be used to bring in construction materials?

Will future projects be better?

July 16, 2019 Posted by | Computing, Transport | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crossrail’s Latest Issues Begs The Question, How Do We Judge Success In Transport Megaprojects?

The title of this post is the same as this article on Forbes.

The article makes some interesting points about transport megaprojects. It is definitely a must-read.

As an example of a megaproject that went wrong, it cites the Channel Tunnel, which exceeded its budget by 80%, required refinancing and then Eurostar only carried a third of forecast traffic.

This article on the BBC, which is entitled How Eurotunnel Went So Wrong, gives the full story of the Channel Tunnel finances.

So should it now be closed? Obviously not, as the alternatives of driving and flying would create a lot more unwanted carbon dioxide and would need more motorways and airports.

The benefits of building Crossrail, such as increasing the capacity of London’s transport system, reducing congestion in Central London and giving better access to Canary Wharf, East London, Heathrow, The City and West London will just come in a year or so later.

The article also says that according to Oxford professor; Bent Flyvbjerg, Crossrail is suffering a 7% cost overrun, where the average for rail projects is 45%.

In my view Crossrail has suffered from a number of problems that together have caused the cost and time overruns.

  • Not enough time was built into the schedule to test the sophisticated trains with their three signalling systems.
  • No dedicated Crossrail test track was created, so the trains could be fully tested.
  • An unfortunate transformer explosion, was a big cause of delay in testing systems.
  • There were not enough workers to finish the project.
  • Central London is awash with large projects, some of which became viable because of Crossrail, that are sucking up masses of workers.
  • Brexit uncertainty has meant that a lot of EU workers have gone back to Europe to build projects nearer their homes.

Where was the European project supremo, who added up all the needs of these European megaprojects, to make sure, we had enough resources to build all of them on time?

 

December 25, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

Big Names Chase £50m Crossrail Office Job At Bond Street

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

This is the first two paragraphs.

Scheme is one of a dozen planned for central London link of rail route

Three firms are in the race to build a new £50m office block above the Crossrail station at Bond Street.

It just shows how much is being pumped into London to develop office and housing complexes.

November 29, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment