The Anonymous Widower

Airport Plans World’s Biggest Car Parks For 50,000 Cars

The title of this post, is the same as that of an asricle in Wednesday’s copy of The Times.

This is the first two paragraphs.

The biggest car parks in the world will be built as part of a £14 billion expansion of Heathrow amid fresh claims that the scheme will be an “environmental disaster”.

Parking for almost 53,000 vehicles will be built as part of a 30-year masterplan, even though the airport insists that expansion can be achieved without any extra cars on the road.

This sounds to be contradictory, as why would you need to build extra car parking, if there were no more extra cars on the road?

Perhaps there is a clue later in the article, where this is is a paragraph.

Heathrow said that the overall number of parking spaces would “not change materially from today”, insisting that spaces were simply being consolidated on bigger sites. It pointed out that car parks would allow for 100 per cent electric vehicle usage in the future. In total, the number of parking spaces, including those for staff and spaces at nearby offices, will grow from 64,000 today to 67,000.

Admittedly, it only says allow, but Heathrow are future-proofing themselves for the day when everyone is driving electric cars.

Heathrow and others are also planning to do the following.

  • Charge a congestion charge of up to £15 a day will be imposed by 2026 to dissuade passengers from travelling to the airport by car.
  • A “green loop” — a 12-mile pedestrian and cycle network — will also circle the airport.
  • Finish Crossrail.
  • Improve Heathrow Express.
  • There will be a rail link to Reading.
  • There will be a second rail link to Waterloo via Clapham Junction.
  • There will be a rail link to Basingstoke, Guildford and Woking, possibly by extending Heathrow Express.

Will these measures nudge travellers in one of two positive directions?

  • Using public transport to get to the Airport.
  • Cycling or working to the airport.
  • Using an electric car to get to and from the Airport.

I am a Control Engineer, who spent a working life of nearly fifty years analysing data and doing mathematical calculations, hopefully to improve little bits of the world.

So what would I do?

It is absolutely essential that it is known, where all the vehicles to the airport are travelling to and from.

No-one is going to get out of their car, if there is no creditable alternative

The ultimate aim must be that, all transport within a certain distance of the Airport must be zero carbon.

  • All vehicles used by travellers and workers to get to and from the Airport.
  • All vehicles bringing supplies to the Airport.
  • All airside vehicles.

What will happen to those that lived in the zone?

This Google Map shows Hanwell Village to the South-West of the Airport.

Will all those residents pay the congestion charge?

But suppose Heathrow could get ninety percent of all cars travelling to  the Airport and using the car parks, to be electric vehicles.

This would be 45,000 vehicles, each with a battery of between 40-60 kWh. Let’s call it, 50 kWh.

This would mean that the total of energy storage on a typical day at the Airport would be 2.25 GWh.

Compare that to the 9.1 GWh capacity of Electric Mountain.

Electric Mountain would be bigger, but intelligent control of the batteries of these electric cars could create a massive electricity storage resource at the Airport.

  • Cars would be connected to a two-way charger, when the driver went about their business at the Airport, after telling the car when they would return.
  • On return to the car, it would have enough charge for the next journey.
  • The driver would also have an app on their phone, so they could alter their return times.
  • Whilst the driver was away, the grid would borrow electricity as required.

The grid might even pay for the use of your battery.

I suspect that all car parks for electric cars will work using something like this model.

Note the following calculation.

In December 2018, there were 31.5 million cars and four million light goods vehicles in the UK.

In a few years time, suppose half of these vehicles are electric with a 20 KWh battery.

That works out at an astronomical 355 GWh or nearly forty Electric Mountains.

  • Electric Mountain cost £425 million in 1984.
  • Applying a web inflation calculator means it would cost around £1350 million today.
  • So forty Electric Mountains would cost £54 billion.

That is a lot of money and we have no place to put them.

But we have this massive storage capability in the millions of electric vehicles, that will be on the roads in a few years.

Conclusion

All future large car parks must be built to be large storage batteries, when drivers plug in their electric cars.

If you were to be paid for the use of your car’s battery, would that ease the exense of owning an electric car?

 

 

 

June 21, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Heathrow Plans Runway Over M25 In 30-Year Expansion

The title of this post, is the same as that of an article in Saturday’s copy of The Times.

This picture, which I downloaded from this page on the Heathrow web site, shows the proposed expansion.

For comparison this Google Map shows the Airport recently.

These are some of my thoughts.

The Position Of The Third Runway

As can be seen, the new third runway is to the North-West of the North Runway.

  • It will extend all the way to the M25.
  • The M25 will be lowered and the new runway and two parallel taxiways will cross the road on a series of bridges.

This enlargement from the first image shows the crossing of the M25 and two other roads.

Note.

  1. The runway is on the left, which increases the spacing with the North Runway
  2. How openings between the runway and the taxiways will allow natural light onto the motorway.
  3. In the picture you can see five angled taxiways joining the runway from the two taxiways. Does this design mean that aircraft spend a minimum of time queuing for take-off? Similar but not so extreme layouts can also be seen on the two existing runways.

What intrigues me, is what looks to be a hole in front of the ends of the taxiways.

Could it be rail or road access to the airport?

This map from Network Rail shows the route of the proposed Western Rail Approach To Heathrow.

It looks like the dark holes could be the railway, between Langley and Terminal 5.

This section of the rail link is supposed to be in tunnel, but I wonder if costs could be saved if it is in a buttressed cutting, designed in cooperation between Heathrow and Network Rail.

Obviously, it will need to be in tunnel to cross under the M25.

I think that rather cleverly, the runway has been slotted in with the best use of the limited land available.

A Phased Construction Program

The Times says this about the construction program.

Only the runway would be built by the opening date of early 2026.

Other facilities such as new terminals, car parks, hotels and transit systems would open from 2030, with an expansion of Terminal 5 the priority

This means that the extra runway capacity can be used initially to better accommodate the same number of flights.

If Heathrow get it right passengers. should see the following.

  • They would suffer less from construction.
  • Fewer taxi delays on the ground.
  • Less long fuel-burning taxiing between gate and runway.
  • More flights leaving on time.

It might also enable air traffic controllers to allocate aircraft noise in a fairer manner.

Car Psrking

Two huge new car parks are to be built North and South of the Airport, which in conjunction with new hotels would be connected to the terminals by an underground transit system.

This article on International Airport Review is entitled Heathrow To Launch First Airport Ultra Low Emission Zone.

So doesn’t the building of large car parks contradict this policy.

It would unless, the car parks are designed for the future.

  • Electric cars only.
  • Intelligent chargers for every parking space.
  • Whilst the cars are parked and connected, they would be a massive energy storage battery for the National Grid.

When you arrived back to your car after a week in Greece, there would be enough power in the battery for your next journey.

By 2030, there will be a substantial need for parking for electric cars at railway stations and airports. Parking solutions like this will help reduce the carbon footprint of airports.

Conclusion

2030 is ten years away and Heathrow will have to work hard to build an airport fit for those times.

June 16, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Turn Off Engine Or Face Parking Ban, Coach Drivers Told

The title of this post is the same as that of an article on page 12 of today’s copy of The Times.

This is the first paragraph.

Tourist coaches face being banned from parking in central London because of concerns that they pumping out toxic fumes as drivers leave engines idling.

Apparently, Westminster Council are thinking of reducing parking for coaches, if the practice continues.

Interestingly, this evening, I walked past two coaches parked close to Kings Cross station with their engines running.

 

 

 

June 14, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 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 | , , | 2 Comments

How Many Welshmen And Welshwomen Can You Fit In A Million Pound Park-And-Ride?

This article on Insider Media, which is entitled Work On £1m Park-And-Ride Site Completes.

The Park-and-Ride facility is at Abercynon station, which is the station, where the Merthyr Line splits into two branches to Metryr Tydfil and Aberdate stations.

  • The facility has 310 parking spaces.
  • It has been built in six months after a November start.
  • Bus access will be provided at the original car park.
  • I hope they’ve increased cycle capacity for the Geraint Thomas effect.

My only worry is that with eight trains per hour to start between Abercynon and Cardiff in 2023, will the facility be big enough?

Economics

This is obviously and a much-needed scheme and each parking space has cost around £3,000. If on 250 working days, each generate around five pounds in revenue, that must mean that the car park should be viable.

Conclusion

If this Park-and-Ride facility has been built so quickly and should be viable, why is it that so few similar parking schemes are proposed for railway stations?

Especially, where at Abercynon station, there will be a massive improvement in capacity and quality of the train service.

  • A doubling of frequency
  • Faster, electric tram-trains.
  • Trains that can hold more passengers.

How many other stations are getting this improvement?

as to finance, I think this could be the sort of investment, infrastructure funds, run by the like of L & G and Aviva will be looking at..

  • Not a large investment.
  • Could be constructed to n efficient design.
  • Guaranteed return.

But in the future, when electric vehicles make up say half of all those on the road, it could become a large energy supply and storage facility.

April 5, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Parking Fees Rise At Many Hospitals In 2017-18, Analysis Finds

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

This is the first paragraph.

Four in 10 NHS hospitals in England have increased car parking prices in the last year, new data suggests.

I don’t drive, so it doesn’t effect me and the only hospitals I’ve visited in the last few years; Addenbrooke’s, Homerton, Royal London and University College have been easily accessible by public transport.

The real scandal is that so many hospitals are not easily accessible using fully-accessible public transport.

  • Addenbrooke’s has a large bus interchange, which has connections to Cambridge City Centre and at least one of the City’s large Park-and-Ride sites.
  • Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre has a tram connection to the large Park-and-Ride sites.

But I can think of several hospitals, where the only public transport is an expensive taxi.

I also remember a hospital administrator in London telling me, that the largest number of complaints they received was about car parking.

 

December 28, 2018 Posted by | Health, Transport | , , | 2 Comments

Eastern Central Line Stations To Be Made Step-Free

Five stations at the Eastern End of the Central Line are to be made step-free.

These pictures show the various stations. on the 22nd January 2018.

Buckhurst Hill

Work is already underway to reopen an old subway at the Southern end of the station. A completion date of Summer 2018 is displayed.

Will lifts be added to this subway?

Debden

No work has started yet! Will the current bridge be replaced?

Newbury Park

Work has started. A completion date of Summer 2018 is displayed.

Snaresbrook

No work has started yet! Will the current bridge be replaced?

South Woodford

No work has started yet!

Summary

These stations were built by the Great Eastern Railway in the nineteenth century, with the exception of Newbury Park, which was built for the Central Line after the Second World War.

The Great Eastern stations show their heritage with good brickwork, period features and a good selection of wrought iron bridges.

Newbury Park station is Grade II Listed because of the hideous concrete bus station.

What Are Transport for London’s Plans?

Transport for London have stated that their aim is to eventually have all Underground stations with full step-free access.

There are twenty station East of Stratford station on the Central Line.

Currently, four have some degree of step-free access, so these five added stations would bring the step-free stations to forty-five percent.

Could all this work, be due to the fact, that when Crossrail opens, the Eastern section of the Central Line will effectively become a branch of London’s new line? The two lines will have a step-free cross-platform interchange at Stratford.

Will this give a marketing advantage, as there will now be a totally step-free route from a lot of Eastern Central Line stations to the West End, Paddington andHeathrow?

Could car parking be a factor?

  • Only Debden and Newbury Park stations, of those being made step-free have car parks with over a hundred spaces.
  • Disabled spaces are generally less than ten.
  • Of the other step-free stations in the area, only Epping has a large car park.

It is probably more affordable to add step-free access to stations, than provide disabled parking spaces, closer into London.

Onward To Ongar

Currently, there are no plans to extend the Central Line to Ongar.

But I do wonder, if this could be reconsidered in the future.

  • The roads will get more congested.
  • More housing is built in this part of Essex.
  • Crossrail will probably attack passengers to use the Central Line.
  • The Central Line’s new trains in a few years will cut journey times and add capacity.

What will probsbly decide the matter is overcrowding at Epping station.

 

 

 

 

January 23, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 3 Comments

The £20million Station Car Park

This article in the Oxford Mail is entitled Work begins on £20m multi-storey car park at Didcot Parkway.

Didcot Parkway station is a major Park-and-Ride station on the Great Western Railway, so the economics of spending £20million on car parking must be an investment, that the company thinks is worthwhile.

This Google Map shows the station and the existing car park in Foxhall Road.

Note that Oxford is to the North, with the Great Western Main Line going across from London in the East to Swindon in the West.

This visualisation shows the new car park, which will be built on the site of the existing car park.

The Didcot to Oxford Railway is in front, with Oxford to the right and Didcot Parkway station to the left.

The Economics

If you go up from Didcot Parkway to Paddington, the return fares are as follows.

  • Anytime Day Return – £82.40
  • Off-Peak Day Return – £25.70

Consider.

  • Parking will probably cost from £3/hour.
  • The Internet reckons that Didcot to London is about 60 miles and it will take about one hour thirty-eight minutes to drive.
  • On the other hand, the fastest trains take 41 minutes with a stop at Reading.
  • From December 2019, interchange for the City and Canary Wharf wil be possible at Reading and Paddington.

I have a feeling that another large Park-and-Ride will be needed.

This Google Map shows Swindon station.

It would surely be a station, where the existing car parks could be multi-storied.

But there are probably lots of others. This article in the Wantage Herald mentions Grove, Corsham and Royal Wooton Bassett, as possible parkway stations.

 

 

 

 

May 8, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Westminster Council To Trial Diesel Parking Charge

The title of this post is the title of an article on the BBC web site.

There will be a lot of complaints, but just as the Congestion Charge was accepted, this charge will be too!

And if it works for Westminster, how long before other Boroughs in London introduce it?

I do think though, that cities that cut pollution will benefit from the good publicity, that could generate extra visitors and increased business activity.

 

January 28, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments

Bollards To Illegal Parkers

The City of London has its own distinctive way with street furniture.

But it’s not just bollards.

A walk through the City of London is always rewarding.

 

 

January 18, 2017 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment