The Anonymous Widower

Tory London Mayoral Candidate Wants Sponsorship Deals For Tube Station Names To Raise TfL Cash

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Underground stations could be renamed under plans put forward by the Conservative London mayoral candidate for a £100 million a year sponsorship deal to bolster investment in the capital’s public transport network.

I think it could be an idea worth pursuing, as due to Sadiq Khan’s bribe of a fare freeze to get elected Transport for London’s finances are in a terrible state.

The article says, that Dubai, Madrid and New York already use similar ideas to raise money.

Remember, London already has one station, where name was changed for a local business; Gillespie Road station was renamed Arsenal in 1932.

Let’s Be Creative!

I also think, if we are creative, we could make the stations much more passenger-friendly, with respect to services nearby.

Imagine a board, with Alight Here For at the top and slots for local shops and businesses below. Each slotted-in advert would be a perhaps a foot wide and four inches high, saying something like. “Boots 100 metres” or “Costa Here!”

September 20, 2020 Posted by | Business, Transport | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Sadiq Khan Scraps Tube Fare Freeze In Mayoral Election Pledge To Only Freeze Bus Fares

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Sadiq Khan has announced that if re-elected as Mayor of London, he’ll freeze bus fares for the next four years and ensure any other TfL fare rises are lower than the rate of inflation.

When I first heard of Sadiq Khan’s fare freeze for the 2016 Mayor of London election, I considered it a blatant electoral bribe, as the finances just didn’t add up.

I’m not sure, who I will be voting for next year, but it will be a North London candidate.

Recently, there have been cuts to buses in North and Central London, but few, that I can ascertain in the South of the City. Could this be because, if a Mayor cuts buses or any other services in their area, they get incessant pestering, as they go about their business? So do Mayor’s cut, where they are not instantly recognised?

March 14, 2020 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The One Station I Never Use Coming Home Is Highbury & Islington

I am typing this post in Highbury & Islington station as my Overground train, skipped all stations North of Whitechapel, diue to congestion.

I always avoid this station, as getting between my house and the station is difficult as there is only one crowded 30 bus, every fifteen minutes. There used to be twice as many buses, as the 277 bus used to serve the route as well. But nearly a year ago, it was cut back to Dalston Junction making it as useful for me, as a chocolate tea pot.

So now after a ten minute wait, I’m taking the two stops back to Dalston Junction to get a bus home. That is only three routes now, due to the cutback of the 277.

I find it interesting, that North East London appears to have got more bus cuts, than Sadiq Khan’s patch of South London. And it was all to pay the bribe of the fare freeze, that got him elected.

So in the next Mayoral election, I shall be voting more a Mayor, who lives in the North.

We certainly, did better under Boris, who lived a mile towards the City of London.

 

November 25, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 6 Comments

Will Sadiq Khan Be A One-Term Mayor?

This article on the BBC is entitled Donald Trump Hits Out Again At Sadiq Khan Over London Violence.

I don’t like Trump or many of his policies one bit and if in the unlikely chance, I was invited to meet him, I would decline.

But I’ve met many people, who think we need someone like Trump to stand-up for the man on the Clapham Omnibus.

I have two personal criticisms of Sadiq.

The Unaffordable Fare Freeze

The fare freeze he proposed, that must have impressed a large number of voters, has not been something that London can afford.

Now important projects like the rebuilding of Camden Town and Holborn station have been delayed.

He’s A South London Mayor

To my mind, Sadiq seems to favour his home territory over the North.

  • In the North, we seem to have suffered more from cuts in bus frequencies.
  • He was very slow to act on the problems with the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.
  • Knife crime and violence seems to be worse in the North, so is it Mayoral neglect?

It is probably understandable, as his mates in the South have more chances to bend his ears and you don’t annoy your friends.

I wonder if Ken favoured the North!

I do think though that various effects are working against his reelection.

The ULEZ Effect

The London ULEZ currently only applies to the Congestion one, but from 2021, it will apply to all areas inside the North and South Circular Roads.

How many voters, who will be affected by the ULEZ extension, will vote for Sadiq?

The Brexit Effect

Sadiq has nailed his colours to Remain and is regularly interviewed about Brexit.

Most right-of-centre Brexiteers wouldn’t probably vote for him, but some traditional Labour boroughs voted to Leave, so could his support for Remain cost votes.

On the other hand, if Brexit has happened and going badly, will Sadiq gain votes?

The Next Prime Minister Effect

If Boris becomes Prime Minister, this would be an imponderable. It might help or hinder Sadiq’s reelection.

The Crossrail Effect

The late delivery of Crossrail, is not Sadiq’s fault, but it will have four effects.

  • The late delivery will ffect London’s transport budget and give the Mayor less money for projects.
  • Some people will view his oversight of the project as incompetent.
  • He won’t be able to bathe in the glow of a successful Crossrail.
  • It is a ready-made millstone to hang around his neck.

There will also be many Londoners, for whom, the late delivery of Crossrail caused a financial loss and they will vote accordingly.

The Trump Effect

I would expect, Trump to keep up his criticism of Sadiq.

Who’s to say, whether it will affect Sadiq’s vote, but there are quite a few people, who would support Trump.

Conclusion

There are a lot of questions to answer, but I feel given the state of British politics, that we could be in for a surprise.

Could we see a Brexit, Green or Lib Dem Mayor?

June 16, 2019 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

If This Is The End For The £1.3bn M4 Relief Road, Radical Thinking Is Needed

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

The article is a good analysis of one of South Wales’ major transport problems; How do you relieve capacity on the ageing M4 around Newport?

I haven’t been on that section of road for perhaps twenty years or even longer, but I can’t ever remember the road, not being full of traffic.

Abolition Of Tolls Not The Smartest Move

This is a subsection of the article about the abolition of tolls on the Severn Crossing, where this is one sentence.

The abolitions of tolls, as predicted, have already driven a 20% rise in traffic levels on the existing M4, which will only put more pressure on its resilience.

Any sensible person could have told you that.

Surely, the extra capacity should have at least been planned before the tolls were abolished.

But then politicians like buying votes with unsustainable decisions that benefit their electorate.

As another example, look at the problems, Sadiq Khan’s fare freeze has caused Transport for London. But then you can’t expect a lawyer and politician to get their sums right. My late wife was a lawyer and many of our friends in Suffolk were in the same profession. Few had any clue about handling numbers properly.

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

West Drayton Station – 3rd May 2019

I  took these pictures at West Drayton station.

Look at the bridge. It is very little different to this picture, which was taken in 2015.

Stairs have been added, but there is no sign of the lifts.

It is surely obvious to the around two million passengers who use the station every year, that little progress is being made at West Drayton station.

Obviously, it was not obvious to Sadiq Khan and his advisers sitting in their bunker South of the River!

He should remember, that he’s a Mayor for all Londoners and not those, who voted him in as an MP.

If there’s a North London candidate in the next Mayoral Election, they will get my vote, even if they’re from the Moster Raving Looney Party!

May 4, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment

Minicab Drivers Claim Discrimination Over New London Charge

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

This is the first paragraph.

Minicab drivers are launching a legal action against the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, accusing him of discrimination against a largely ethnic minority workforce by making them pay the congestion charge while black cab drivers, who are overwhelmingly white, will be exempt.

Black cab drivers may or may not be overwhelmingly white, but I have certainly never seen a South Asian black cab driver.

But Central London is getting increasingly polluted and congested and this slows the buses, that I regularly use through the centre.

I am no legal expert, but I have a feeling, that the Ultra Low Emission Zone, which will extend to the North and South Circular Roads will be a very big factor in the next Mayoral Election.

The lawyers, who will be big winners in this debate, have surely been sharpening their pencils.

March 1, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 6 Comments

TfL Mulls DLR And Overground Extensions To Thamesmead

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

Overground

TfL’s plan for the Overground would appear to be an extension under or over the River Thames to a single station at Thamesmead and a possible connection to the North Kent Line at Plumstead, Abbey Wood or Belvedere stations.

DLR

The plan for the DLR involves more stations, including a possible one on the North Bank of the Thames. It also serves a proposed massive Peabody housing development, which will provide up to 11,500 new homes.

What Goes East Must Go West

Nothing is said in Ian’s report about train services to Thamesmead.

Overground

On the Overground, there will be four trains per hour (tph) between Gospel Oak and Barking Riverside stations.

There are problems with increasing frequency and capacity, which could be necessary.

  • The terminus at Gospel Oak station is only a single platform.
  • The Gospel Oak to Barking Line is used by an increasing amount of electrically-haled freight trains.
  • There is little space on the line for an additional bay platform to turn trains.
  • Trains can’t continue along the North London Line at Gospel Oak, as that line is busy as well.

The only alternative Western terminals are.

  • Barking – A bay platform could possibly be squeezed in.
  • Enfield Town – Sounds crazy, but there is a chord between Seven Sisters and South Tottenham stations.
  • Fenchurch Street – Busy and possibly could be made larger with redevelopment.
  • Liverpool Street – Busy and only a slight possibility.

There would also need to be platform lengthening to incorporate trains that are longer than four cars.

Although, it might be possible to run five-car trains using selective door opening on the last car.

DLR

Currently, the DLR has a Peak service of 7.5 tph between Tower Gateway and Becton calling at Shadwell, Limehouse, Westferry, Poplar, Blackwall, East India, Canning Town, Royal Victoria, Custom House, Prince Regent, Royal Albert, Beckton Park, Cyprus, Gallions Reach.

The extension to Thamesmead would branch off around Gallions Reach and the current service has the following connections.

  • Shadwell – London Overground
  • Canning Town – Jubilee Line
  • Royal Victoria – Emirates Air-Line
  • Custom House – Crossrail

Will there be enough capacity on this section of the DLR?

  • Tower Gateway is a single-platform station and would need to be upgraded to handle more than 7.5 tph.
  • Thirty tph run through Shadwell, Limeshouse and Westferry station in the Peak.
  • Can stations be lengthened to use longer trains?

It does look to me that the only way to increase capacity would be to extend the DLR to the West, as I outlined in The Bank Station Upgrade And The Western Extension Of The DLR.

This map from TfL shows the possible extension.

What would be the cost of this extension?

Conclusion

The logic and economics of extending either the Overground or the DLR to Thamesmead are sound for that area of South-East London, but does The Mayor have the budget to complete the other end of the transport links?

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

London’s Northern Line Extension To Battersea Delayed By A Year

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in the Financial Times.

This is a paragraph.

People close to the project believe that TfL will announce in the new year that the completion date is being pushed back until September 2021.

This delay will heap more financial woes on Transport for London.

Transport for London have already postponed these important upgrades.

  • The resignalling of the Piccadilly Line.
  • The rebuilding of Camden Town station.
  • The rebuilding of Holborn station.

I believe that on financial grounds, the Mayor must reverse his fare-freeze as soon as possible.

December 21, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Aberdeen Standard Backs Controversial £1bn Bid For Crossrail Fleet

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

This has been mooted for some time and I believe that Transport for London are taking a sensible action to help get round their funding crisis, caused by three factors.

  • The loss of Government subsidy.
  • The lateness of Crossrail.
  • Sadiq Khan’s bribe to the electorate of a fare freeze.

I also think, that this will be advantageous to London in the long term.

This is a paragraph in the article.

TfL would be able to terminate the 35-year lease in 2020, 2025 and 2030, through a break clause, with an ability to acquire the fleet for just £1 in 2044. TfL will announce the winner at the beginning of next year.

Depending on how TfL’s finance progress in the next few years, the break clause may allow them to cancel and acquire new trains, if they felt it best.

But all these trains need a rebuilding at someyime around twenty years old and this will surely be the responsibility of the leasing company.

December 17, 2018 Posted by | Finance, Transport | , , | Leave a comment