The Anonymous Widower

Waterloo Upgrade August 2017 – Walking Between Wandsworth Common And Clapham Junction Stations

These pictures show my walk this morning.

These are my thoughts on the various things I saw! Or in some cases didn’t!

Wandsworth Common Station

Wandsworth Common station is a curious station in some ways, as it certainly wouldn’t be built in the middle of Wandsworth Common in these conservation-minded days.

It also has an eleven trains per hour (tph) frequency to the next stations; Balham and Clapham Junction. Some trains take as little as two or three minutes.

Passenger numbers in 2015-16 at the three stations are as follows.

  • Balham – 10,115,000
  • Wandsworth Common – 1,690,000
  • Clapham Junction – 32,282,000

Wandsworth Common station would appear to be just an overflow station to take pressure from the other two much busier stations.

In the Gibbs Report, one of the things that Chris Gibbs says is that there are too many Off Peak services.

Surely four or six tph stopping at Wandsworth Common station is enough, given that there’s only 24 parking spaces and bus stops are 450 yards away.

Currently, there are six tph between Victoria and West Croydon stations and all stop at Wandsworth Common station, with the fastest journeys  taking thirty two minutes.

There are also six tph between Wandsworth Common and Norbury.

Surely on both these services stops can be eliminated, which would save a couple of minutes per stop.

Timing the trains for something like a Class 377 train and using a more efficient stopping pattern, might reduce timings between Victoria and West Croydon to under thirty minutes, which must help Southern to run a better service.

But would the good burghers of Wandsworth allow the simplification, even if it became a faster service?

The Cat’s Back Bridge

The Cat’s Back Bridge is a pedestrian bridge across the railway to the North of Wandsworth Common station.

The replacement of this bridge is described in this article on Rail Engineer, which is entitled A Trio Of Southern Bridges.

The article has some clear before and after pictures taken from the railway.

Wandsworth Seems An Information-Free Borough

Walking from the bridge to Clapham Junction station might have been quicker, if there had been some maps or information.

Perhaps, Wandsworth doesn’t welcome walkers!

At least I found a couple of helpful policemen!

Breakfast At Revolution

I had a hearty gluten-free breakfast at a bar-restaurant called Revolution in Clapham.

Incidentally, Clapham surprised me with the quality of the shops.

There were also a couple of interesting cafes, including one that was gluten-free and vegan called Without.

Clapham Junction Station And The Waterloo Upgrade

Again there was a lack of information.

Plenty of helpful Customer Service personnel were in attendance at the station, but some better signage was needed, for those unfamiliar with the station.

Conclusion

Wandsworth Council need to get their act together with regard to information.

I live in Hackney and the maps are so much better!

August 8, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Temporary Barriers On London’s Bridges

Barriers to protect pedestrians have been installed on some of London’s bridges.

I hope these monstrosities are only temporary and they are replaced with something more in keeping with the historic bridges.

I still feel that we should shut Southwark and Lambeth Bridges to all traffic except buses, cyclists and pedestrians.

June 5, 2017 Posted by | Travel, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Protecting Pedestrians From Vehicles Driven By Imbeciles

Look at these Google Maps of part of various bridges across the Thames.

London Bridge

Southwark Bridge

Blackfriars Bridge

Waterloo Bridge

Westminster Bridge

Note.

  1. How the pedestrians can are easily seen in the images.
  2. All the bridges have wide pavements, which are designed for easy walking.
  3. All images were probably taken at the same time and are to the same scale.
  4. Westminster Bridge is much busier than the others.

There is no protection to stop a bin lorry  with a driver who has a high risk of collapse, wandering off into the crowd. Given that that has happened in recent years, surely we should develop a protective system, that stopped vehicles getting on the pavement.

You wouldn’t need it on every road, as very few are likely to suffer an attack from imbeciles. But there have been a couple of pedestrians killed by drunks or drivers who should have given up because of health or advanced age.

Many roads too already have massive protection for pedestrians, as rows of vehicles are parked nose to tail alongside. I’ve never heard of an out of control vehicle going through a line of parked vehicles to kill someone. It must have happened surely!

Perhaps on London’s bridges and the wide pavements of streets like Regent Street and the Embankment, bollards or something physical will help.

But we should think creatively!

Something that could be done in London would be to follow on from the action at Bank Junction, where between seven and seven, the junction is for buses and cyclists only.

As there seems to have been little protest about this action, perhaps it could be done elsewhere and for twenty-four hours.

Look at the image of Southwark Bridge and the bridge is showing its reputation as London’s least used bridge.

So why not make the bridge pedestrians and cyclists only?

That could be done tomorrow and it would take some pressure from London Bridge, especially in the rush hour.

Also, at Blackfriars Bridge, it should be that pedestrians could use Blackfriars station, by just touching in and out and not being charged.

Pedestrian-only routes must be much safer.

June 4, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Bank Junction Goes Buses And Cyclists Only

On Monday, the 22nd of June 2017, the City of London brought in an order making the busy Bank Junction buses and cyclists only between seven in the morning and seven in the evening from Monday to Friday.

I took these pictures soon after ten in the morning.

The first few pictures were taken from the top of a Routemaster bus on Route 21, as it travelled from where I live across the city to London Bridge station.

Note.

  • Most drivers seemed to be avoiding the area.
  • The City of London Police were telling drivers, but didn’t appear to be ticketing anybody.
  • Much of the congestion seemed to be caused by half-empty polluting Tour Buses.
  • One pedestrian was moaning that he couldn’t use his car to get around the City.

Overall, it appeared to be a calm start.

The Upgrade Of Bank Station

I have only shown the area on the surface, but under the ground around Bank Junction, a massive construction project is starting in the City of London’s twin goals of more and better office accomodation and transport links.

Bank station is getting a major upgrade, which will include.

  • In The New Tunnel Under Bank Station, I wrote about an upgraded pedestrian tunnel that crosses the area.
  • In Between Bank And Cannon Street Station, I wrote about how Bloomberg are helping develop a new step-free entrance to the Waterloo and City Line and Bank station, which will open by early 2018.
  • A new Northern Line tunnel to create more space on the platforms and increase frequency on the line.
  • The station weill receive a forty percent increase in capacity.
  • Full step-free access with thirteen new escalators and three new lifts.
  • A new entrance to Bank station opposite Cannon Street station.
  • Two North-South moving walkways.
  • Some of the £600million project cost will be funded by oversite office development.
  • Hopefully, much of the work will be finished by 2021.

There’s more in this article in the Guardian, which is entitled Bank station upgrades point to London’s bigger, busier future.

Bank Station And Crossrail

You may wonder, why if Bank station is so important, that Crossrail doesn’t call and Crossrail 2 won’t either.

It may not, but the Central Line will have good connections to Crossrail at Stratford, Liverpool Street, Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street stations.

So passengers for Bethnal Green, Bank, St. Paul’s, Chancery Lane and Holborn will change from Crossrail to the Cwntral Line at a convenient station.

In addition, Crossrail will feed passengers into loops in the District, Hammersmith and City and Jubilee Lines.

Travellers will pay their money and take their choice.

Other Developments At Bank

I wouldn’t be surprised to see more pedestrian routes linking the City stations of Bank, Cannon Street, Fenchurch Street, Liverpool Street and Moorgate; both on the surface and possibly underground.

I would also make sure that all buses in the centre of London are low-emission vehicles. That certainly doesn’t apply to those polluting and jam-creating Tour Buses and tourist coaches.

 

May 25, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Derby To Manchester The Midland Way

I was trying to find out about two stations; Miler’s Dale and Monsal Dale, which are both on the Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midland Junction Railway.

I found this article in the Derby Telegraph, which is entitled 50 years on, as passengers return to railways, in a few quiet corners, Beeching’s cuts are being reversed.

It says a lot about the Midland’s spectacular route from Derby to Manchester.

As a result, some of the lines and stations axed in the Beeching Report are being brought back to life. One of these is the Midland Railway, a route which once linked Derby and Manchester.

It is regarded as one of the most spectacular lines ever built. Cutting through the Peak District, numerous tunnels and other impressive civil engineering features, including magnificent viaducts at Millers Dale and Monsal Dale, had to be constructed because of the terrain.

In 1967, the Beeching Report brought about the end of passenger services on the line with the closure of stations at Millers Dale, Bakewell, Rowsley, Darley Dale and Matlock Bath. Now a three-and-a-half-mile section of the line has since been reopened and brought back into use by Peak Rail.

Today, the company operates both a steam and heritage diesel service for tourists and visitors to both the Peak District and the Derbyshire Dales. The preserved railway line operates trains from Matlock station via Matlock Riverside and Darley Dale to Rowsley South.

Peak Rail has ambitions to reopen more of the line in the future. The first stage would be to relay track to the site of Rowsley station, extending to a total of 4.25 miles. There are also plans to extend the line all the way to Bakewell, which would involve the restoration of both the Haddon tunnel and Coombs Road viaduct as well as the reinstatement of numerous bridges along the way.

It certainly seems to be worth a visit.

It sounds to me though to get trains running all the way will need a friendly billionaire.

February 18, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | 1 Comment

A Visit To The Design Museum

I visited the Design Museum yesterday.

It is an interesting concept and I think as it settles down it will be worth visiting again.

One problem, I had with the Museum is getting to and from the site in Holland Park.

I went by the Underground to High Street Kensington station and took about ten minutes to walk along to the museum.

Coming back, I thought I’d go a different way after a walk.

But after emerging from the Museum, there were none of London’s excellent Legible London maps and signs to be seen.

Eventually, I walked through Holland Park, but it was the same story on the other side of the Park; no maps or signs to the Underground. There were several fingerposts in the Park, but none pointed to the Underground.

I suppose if you’re in a Chelsea Tractor, many of which were rushing around the area, you’re not interested in walking maps and are against your Council spending monry on them, as it might attract more visitors.

 

January 30, 2017 Posted by | Travel, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Between Bank And Cannon Street Station

The City of London is creating a new walking route between Bank and Cannon Street stations, along Walbrook.

It doesn’t reach to the Thames yet, as there is some 1980s development and the dual-carriageway of Upper Thames Street in the way, but I suspect it will, at some point in the future.

On the Western side of the walk is Walbrook Square being developed by Bloomberg, which underneath which are both the London Mithraeum and the new step-free entrance to the Waterloo and City Line and Bank station.

On the Eastern side is the historic church of |St. Stephen Walbrook, where I once met Chad Varah; the founder of The Samaritans, who for personal and wider reasons, I nominated at Man of the Noughties.

This Google Map shows the area.

walbrook

It looks like this walking and cycling route will come with a prestigious office development, an important Roman site and a transport interchange.

I have a feeling there’s a deep agenda in pedestrianising Walbrook in this way.

Commuters arriving in the City at Cannon Street station or the Waterloo and City Line will be able to come out of the stations onto the spacious thoroughfare of Walbrook , from where they could walk to their place of work. A pedestrianised Bank Junction would give a traffic free route for commuters to the East side of the junction.

Could we see other routes around Bank Junction also given over to pedestrians and cyclists? Roads like.

  • Cannon |Street
  • Cornhill
  • Dowgate Hill
  • King William Street
  • Lombard Street
  • Lothbury
  • Old Jewry
  • Prince’s Street
  • St. Swithin’s Lane

and a few others, must all be being considered for full or partial pedestrianisation.

In addition, there will be beloe-ground routes through Bank station.

January 19, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

From St. Leonard’s To Hastings

I walked along the sea-front in the sun to Hastings.

It was colder than it looked and I was pleased, I had got a lot of layers on.

I finished my walk, in the cafe at the surprisingly large Marks and Spencer, which was just a short walk from the station.

About fifteen years ago, I went to Hastings and was distinctly unimpressed. It has certainly improved and it was a good walk along the front.

January 19, 2017 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

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

Walking From Hampton Court To Kingston

I hadn’t intended to walk, but when I saw the distance  was 3.5 miles and it was sunny, I thought why not!

It took me twenty minutes over the hour and I had lunch in Bill’s by the river before taking the train home.

December 27, 2016 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment