Sunday, 13 September 2015

More on London Rapid Transit

Since I wrote the previous blog entry I have added a further map to the Localities area of my website, so that it takes account of proposals for Crossrail 2. Personally I do not like the route, or indeed the proposal as a whole. Should it happen, it must rule out a crossing near Barking Riverside that would link to Abbey Wood. I don't care either for the zig zag of lines that would be the approach to Abbey Wood (my East Chord). The simpler proposal is better and for which there are routes across the Thames via Lewisham and Woolwich. Lord Adonis and the great and the good pressed for Crossrail 2 and it has gone to public response via Transport for London. My first years ago impression of Crossrail (any of it) was that it was going to allow through trains between Paddington and Liverpool Street - a service starting at Norwich might end up at Swansea/ Abertawe, say, via London. It wouldn't have been difficult (in comparative engineering terms) either to have created a kind of ring main of railway terminus lines for through and connecting services. After all, Thameslink is a squeeze, first through Kings Cross and now through St Pancras. I propose Riverlink to go via Imperial Wharf. And this Crossrail 2 proposal would make one enormous cavernous station at Euston St. Pancras Kings Cross. What a name for a roundel! All three stations would presumably end up with one name, hopefully not Eupancross. Crossrail has turned out to be a poor compromise between concepts - mainline railway size, fewer but not few stops - and basically they amount to slightly souped up Underground routes.

All this investment amounts presently to about £5000 per person in London compared with about £5 per person in the North East. When the Conservatives made the railways and buses an operating joke around Britain, they left alone the integrity of London rapid transit. We need this for the rest of Britain and a much more rigorous regional policy - get public sector jobs out of London wherever possible, for example. The BBC has created a media hub in Manchester, but only a public body could have started this. Now Mr Corbyn is Labour leader (60%! - and all that 'writing up' Yvette Cooper was so much journalistic hogwash) perhaps we will get some imaginative ideas regarding returning rail and bus to public ownership. It should start with turning private contracts into fee paying only with tickets united across the country and purchases going to National Rail, and one livery for England and Wales. I'd allow 'service provided by' but that's it. When the contracts are up, or they go bust, the state takes over. Same for the buses - contracts up, the state takes over.

What London needs is the development of the London Overground as fast, frequent and alternative routes, so that some passengers take a little longer to go around the city to come in at a later point. Stations should be moved and extended to provide more junctions. Major new lines will be like new roads: they fill up rapidly and then someone starts thinking about the next one. So much of this is like the dog chasing its tail.

1 comment:

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

I've since added a further line, by shifting others about and this fills up the map because the stretch of the centre is effectively a comparative squash to the edges. The stretch is also greater in a NW direction and then reverts, because of the tilt of the central 'bottle'.