The Anonymous Widower

Construction Has Started On The Silvertown Tunnel

These pictures show that construction has started on the Silverton Tunnel.

Note that New Civil Engineer is reporting that tunnelling has started.

My Current Thoughts On The Silvertown Tunnel

In 2015, I wrote No To Silvertown Tunnel, which I started with these two paragraphs.

My personal feelings about the Silvertown Tunnel are that it is irrelevant to me, except that it might help some trucks bring goods that I buy online or at a local shop. Although as a sixty-eight year-old-widower living alone, I don’t think my transport needs through the tunnel will be high.

I don’t drive after my stroke and I like that lifestyle, except when last night it took me three trains, a coach and a taxi to get back from watching football at Ipswich. But that tortuous late night journey was caused because NuLabor spent my tax money on pointless wars that will haunt us for generations, rather than in extending and renewing our rail system, that will nurture and enrich our future.

But my objections to the Silvertown Tunnel have changed and expanded.

New Transport Infrastructure Attracts Passengers

This may seem obvious, but there has been several cases recently in London to prove my point.

  • The London Overground has been a success beyond Transport for London’s wildest dreams and as an example the North London Line, that started with three x three-car trains per hour (tph) is now running eight x five-car tph. This is a four time increase in capacity.
  • New buses and contactless ticketing have encouraged more passengers to use the buses.
  • Electrification and new trains has transformed the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.
  • The expansion of Thameslink and new trains now carries a lot more North-South traffic through London.
  • Every time, a new section of the Elizabeth Line opens more passengers are attracted to the new line.
  • The remodelling of London Bridge station has increased passenger numbers. And shoppers!

On a personal note, I live on a bus corridor, that runs between North London and Moorgate for the Lizzie Line. Since the Lizzie Line has been fully connected, passenger numbers have risen by a big margin.

I don’t believe that the ability to attract more traffic of the Silvertown Tunnel will be any different.

More Traffic Means More Congestion And Pollution

I live close to the Balls Pond Road, which increasingly seems to be a truck route across North London.

The Silvertown Tunnel will be two lanes each way; one for trucks and buses, and one for smaller vehicles.

I can’t see that pollution and congestion around the Silvertown Tunnel and on the routes to the tunnel, will not increase.

There Is Little Or No Provision For Cyclists And Pedestrians

This will be a big problem. Especially, as the local traffic in the area will increase dramatically.

Does Central London Have Enough Parking For The Increased Traffic?

Parking in Central London is probably close to capacity now!

So What Would I Do?

Given that construction has already started, I feel it is too late to cancel.

Better Alternatives Than Driving

I feel measures should be adopted that provide better alternatives than driving.

Obviously, this won’t help with trucks, but it could reduce the total number of vehicles going through the tunnel.

These could include.

  • Increase the frequency of trains on both the Lizzie Line and Thameslink.
  • Increase the number of destinations on both the Lizzie Line and Thameslink.
  • Add an extra car to Lizzie Line trains.
  • Remove First Class on the shorter eight-car Thameslink trains.
  • Add provision on some Lizzie Line and Thameslink routes for bicycles.
  • Add a Silvertown station to the Elizabeth Line for London City Airport.
  • Add one or more pedestrian and cycling bridges across the Thames.
  • Expand of the Docklands Light Railway.
  • Expand the Thames Clipper.
  • Connect Barking Riverside station to Thamesmead and Abbey Wood station either by a rail or a fast ferry.
  • Keep the cable-car.

I suspect there are other viable ideas.

Develop Incentives To Use Public Transport

Incentives could be in these areas.

  • Better station and bus terminals encourage more to use trains and buses.
  • Full free onboard wi-fi and phone charging.
  • Special fares for some journeys.

An example of the latter could be a discount for certain cross-river journeys.

Make The Silvertown Tunnel Available For Zero Carbon Vehicles Only

This would surely cut pollution in London.

Conclusion

We should use the Silvertown Tunnel to improve London’s air quality.

November 23, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What A Stupid Place To Park A Bike!

These days my eyesight, has almost returned to normal after my stroke in 2011 and I rarely bump into things, that I did in the first couple of years after suffering from the stroke.

Today, though I came across this hire bicycle, that some twit had left where a light-controlled crossing meets the pavement.

The idiot deserves at least points on their driving licence or a suspended sentence for their stupid behaviour. Or perhaps, the bike hire company need a hundred pound fine?

It has been stated on The Times, ITV and other web sites, that the next Transport Bill will include a review of cycling law.

That should also include rules about how to park a bicycle.

August 8, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 4 Comments

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