The Anonymous Widower

Cycle Paths To Run Alongside HS2 For 200 Miles

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

This is the first paragraph.

The route of HS2, the high-speed railway line from London to Manchester, is to become an unlikely tourist and leisure destination, with a trail for cyclists and walkers that will eventually run for 200 miles.

The article says this about the design of the proposed trail.

  • The cycle path is expected to be 3m wide.
  • The walkers path is expected to be 2.5m wide.
  • The two paths would be separated by a grass verge.

I am pleased that the combined path will be set at some distance from the High Speed Two track, as I don’t like to be near speeding trains.

I have some thoughts.

Rest Areas

In some places, there should be rest areas. Some of these could be close to towns or villages, where there is a convenient cafe or pub.

In Burnley, there is even a Premier Inn on the banks of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and the manager told me, that in the summer, they get cyclists staying the night, as it’s the mid-point between Leeds and Liverpool.

Mobility Scooters

Will rules for these to use the trail be developed?

Health And Safety

In Edinburgh to Inverness in the Cab of an HST, I talked about a memorable trip, that I made to Inverness.

The route to Inverness is for a long way alongside the A90 and driver told me how on one trip, there was a serious multiple car crash in heavy snow.

So he stopped the train, alerted the emergency services  and even asked the passengers, if there were any medical staff on board.

Obviously, stopping a High Speed Two train from 225 mph is not as practical as stopping an InterCity 125 from perhaps 90 mph.

But the drivers’ eyes or the CCTV systems on the train would probably spot a minor accident on the path, so the appropriate assistance can be called.

Conclusion

I like this idea.

It should be fully developed.

 

 

April 17, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

Liverpool Shows The World How To Plan A New Station

Liverpool and Liverpudlians tend to do things differently.

This article on Liverpool Business News is entitled First Look At New Baltic Triangle Station.

This is the first paragraph.

St James station closed in 1917 but images and a video fly-through of a proposed new Merseyrail station to serve the fast-growing Baltic Triangle in Liverpool have been released – and you can help choose a name.

These are my thoughts about the new Liverpool St. James station.

The Video Fly-Through

Merseyrail produced a high-class video fly-through for Headbolt Lane station and it is my belief that these types of presentation are the best way to show everybody what the Transport Authority, Local and National Government are planning to deliver.

Note.

  • The station is very cycling-friendly.
  • The proposal includes a cafe and toilets.
  • There are escalators from the surface to the platforms.

My only fault with the video, is that it uses the old Class 508 trains, rather than the new Class 777 trains. But that is being picky!

The Station Name

Liverpool already has a station called Liverpool James Street station.

The UK also has seven railway stations with James in the name and the whole world has a total of twelve, which are listed in Wikipedia.

So to avoid any possible confusion, the three chosen names seem to be a good idea.

  • Liverpool Baltic
  • Liverpool Parliament Street
  • Liverpool Riverside

Cast your vote before February 18th  by clicking here.

I can’t remember a station name being chosen by an Internet vote.

At least a write-in name is not allowed, which should avoid a silly name like Station McStationFace.

Conclusion

Liverpool are to be congratulated on their planning exercise for the new station.

January 20, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Chaos In The Balls Pond Road

This article in The Times is called High Court Deals Blow To Expansion Of Cycle Lanes And Wider Pavements.

This was the first paragraph.

Road closures designed to boost walking and cycling could face legal challenges after a judge declared that a big expansion of the plans was “unlawful”.

A challenge to the often ill-thought out improvements from black-cab drovers has been successful.

My experience, yesterday, summed up my inconvenience with such a scheme.

yaxiI actually, think that matters are being made worse by some of the designs and planning by the Council Clowns.

A big scheme is being undertaken around the Balls Pond Road to bring in a cycleway between Tottenham and the City. In Hackney, it looks like it will improve walking and calm the traffic in residential areas as well.

I had a serious stroke ten years and my eyesight was ruined enough, so that I couldn’t drive, so I rely heavily on buses to get around.

On Tuesday, I needed to go to the Angel to pick up a prescription. On arriving at the junction of Balls Pond Road and Southgate Road, I found that one of Islington’s Idiots had planned to dig up the junction and all four bus stops were closed. The traffic was so jammed as well, that there weren’t even any stray black cabs stoating about!

In the end, I walked to the next bus stop. This was not easy, as the lock-down has ruined my feet and they were painful.

But I got a bus to the Angel and after a bit of food shopping, I looked for a taxi to come home.

But another branch of Clowns and Idiots Ltd. has closed the taxi rank, so I had to resort to the bus, which got stuck in another set of jams caused by Thames Water at one of their well-used Party Places.

I did find a black cab, but he was unable to take me home, as the area was gridlocked. So he said give him a tenner and walk. As this was less than what was on the meter, I complied!

I laid down the principles of project planning using small computers in the 1970s.

Obviously, My ideas have fallen on deaf ears in Islington Council.

January 21, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do We Need More Bikes Like This?

When I moved back to London in 2010, bikes like this were rare!

Now, you see various bikes every day delivering bread, children, dogd and parcels in the City and East End of London.

It swhould be noted that in a circle of two to three miles from Bank, London is fairly flat and ideal cycling terrain.

But we still need more!

Have we got enough people, prepared to ride them?

September 9, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Uberst

I took this picture yesterday.

I should say, the tyre is only flat at the bottom!

July 9, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | 2 Comments

Plans Shown Off For A Bridge Across The Thames At The Barrier

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

This Google Map shows the location of the Thames Barrier.

Note the City Airport to the North and Charlton to the South.

I think it could be a valuable link for pedestrians and cyclists.

The Northern End

The Northern end of the bridge would be a pleasant five-minute stroll through Thames Barrier Park to the Pontoon Dock DLR station, as this Google Map shows.

Note that there is a cafe in the park.

The Southern End

What would happen at the Southern end of the bridge is less clear, as this Google Map shows.

The Thames Barrier is visible at the top of this map.

Could a network of cycle and walking routes be created between Maryon Park and the bridge?

These could also extend East to Charlton station and The Valley and West to Woolwich Dockyard station, which is just on the map.

Conclusion

I think it could be a valuable link for pedestrians and cyclists, through a new cross-river park.

 

 

June 4, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Saddle Up Says Bank, As It Slashes Staff Parking

The title of this post, is the same as that of an article on Page 12 of today’s Sunday Times.

This is the precis.

HSBC is swapping spaces for bike racks to persuade workers to drive less, and to discover why Britons refuse to pedal.

It’s an interesting position to take.

And I agree with it! Especially, if offices have good public transport connections.

June 2, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 2 Comments

Bicycles And Class 800 Trains

I was at Paddington station this morning, having breakfast in Leon.

Afterwards, I noticed that Great Western Railway were using a nine-car Class 800 train on the 10:52 to Oxford.

I also noticed from the information displays, that all bicycles needed to be booked. That is a bit different from the days of the InterCity 125s, which had lots of space in the back of the locomotive.

On one trip to Plymouth, I saw several surfboards swallowed by the locomotive.

I got in a conversation with a station guy about bicycles and surfboards and from the knowing look on his face, I suspect it is a bit of a pain.

With the growing popularity of cycling, surely a turn up and go regime is needed.

March 16, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment

A Tale Of Two Cities

This article in the Evening Standard is entitled Traffic Will Be Banned From Three Roads Leading To Bank Junction Following Cyclists’s Death.

  • Priority will be given to pedestrians and cyclists at Bank Junction in the City of London.
  • The works will be completed before the works at Bank station are completed in 2022.
  • There may be a street market in front of the Bank of England.
  • The taxi drivers don’t like it.

Compare this to the attitude of London’s other city;Westminster, which has recently, gone against the pedestrianisation of part of Oxford Street and the extension of a Cycle Superhighway.

February 13, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

ScotRail Finds A Use For The Unloved Class 153 Trains

Class 153 trains are the unloved members of British Rail’s Sprinter family. I occasionally use one on excursions to Felixstowe, but they are cramped, noisy and slow.

As the pictures show, some are not in bad condition and to be fair, some train operators have tried hard to provide a better level of service.

Greater Anglia still has five Class 153 trains in service and the fact that they will be replaced by three-car Class 755 trains by the end of 2020. You don’t increase capacity by that amount, unless the current one-car trains are overcrowded or you know that there is a lot of untapped demand on the route.

If on the Felixstowe Branch, a doubling of capacity would have been sufficient, then surely a refurbished two-car Class 150, 156 or 170 train, would have been a more than adequate replacement.

Currently, there are seventy of these trains in service and many of them, like those in East Anglia are being replaced with new or refurbished trains.

Greater Anglia’s five units are going to Wales, where they will join another eight on rural lines in West Wales. Nothing has ben said about how they will be used, but they could be used singly, in pairs or in multiple with Class 15x or Class 17x trains.

So they could be useful to the Welsh in providing extra capacity.

In the November 2018 Edition of Modern Railways, Alex Hynes of ScotRail talks about how a number of Class 153 trains will be used to add bicycle space to trains on some of Scotland’s scenic routes. Alex Hynes is quoted as saying.

The interior format is yet to be fixed, but is likely to include a large amount of space given over to bicycles. Bike tourism is a growing area and the aim would be to allay fears about whether or not you’d get your bike on a train by providing plenty of space. Part of the vehicle might be given over to a lounge car layout to make the most of the magnificent views on these routes.

Transport Scotland sees the scenic routes as a key part of the rural economy for the part they play in stimulating tourism.

Our inspiration is to get “158s” on the West Highland route.

So it looks like ScotRail could be running Class 158/Class 153 pairs to provide increased capacity on the West Highland Line.

Wikipedia says this about the use of the Class 153 trains on the West Highland Line.

These single car units are to be completely adapted to accommodate bikes, skis and other outdoor equipment.

They will be attached to the Class 156s either as centre cars, or as extra coaches at either end.

If ScotRail’s scheme is a success, I suspect more of the Class 153 trains could end up doing the same task, in Wales, the South West and North of England.

It should also be noted, with respect to bicycle tourism, that ScotRail’s shortened HSTs will hopefully retain their bicycle swallowing abilities in the back ends of the power cars, thus enabling bicycle tourists to do the longer Scottish journeys with ease.

My one worry about bicycle tourism in Scotland and Wales is not concerned with trains internally, but with getting there from other parts of the UK with a heavily-loaded bicycle.

With the replacement of the HSTs and InterCity 225 from the London to Edinburgh and London to Wales and the West routes, will the new Class 800 trains have enough bicycle capacity? The bicycle storage on these trains look to be a good design for a racing bicycle, but some of the heavily-loaded bicycle tourists I’ve seen in Suffolk, would find them inadequate.

This article in The Guardian is entitled New High-Speed Trains Go Slow On Provision For Cyclists.

The article is critical.

I wonder what provision has been made for bicycles on the new rolling stock for the Caledonian Sleeper?

 

 

October 26, 2018 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 2 Comments