Thameslink 2000 Public Inquiry & Borough Market

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Wednesday 31 July 2002 11.42am
You may be interested to know that the findings of the Thameslink 2000 public inquiry were published yesterday - see
South London sceptic
Thursday 1 August 2002 10.05am
Well, although the minister hasn't given Railtrack the go-ahead I don't think that Cathedral Area Residents Association should be jumping for joy. He is asking Railtrack to come back with suggestions on the way forward.

The inspector is just saying that there needs to be a proper scheme for "reinstating" buildings before they start knocking down the listed ones.

The real surprise is that he has turned down the proposals for London Bridge station - because they are so poorly designed and related so badly to the listed trainshed over platforms 10 to 17. The Thameslink station scheme (designed by Terry Farrell of MI5 fame???) was one that hardly anyone has ever seen.

No one ever expected to be built because Railtrack subsequently came up with the "London Bridge Masterplan" (designed by TP Bennett) which did get some publicity a couple of years ago- you know the one with 10 floors of fashionably rhomboid glass offices balanced on massive steel chicken wishbones above the station concourse with lots of escalators between the sock shop concessions. Strangely, I don't think that this scheme which completely demolishes whats left of the Victorian trainshed got any objections from English Heritage!

But ... there was the small matter of a 100 to 150 million "funding gap" for this scheme - i.e. Railtrack wanted Stephen Byers to stump up for this from our taxes ... and then Railtrack was no more.

So, how to pay for a new station - well I suppose they might try to extract money out of the developers of the London Bridge Tower glass shard as a "planning obligation". The owners of the other 1960s tower block on London Bridge Approach probably have plans for rebuilding their site as well - pehaps with a mini-shard also designed by the so civilised Renzo Piano.

But I still reckon that someone (Mayor Livingstone, the Deputy Prime Minister or whoever is now Transport Secretary) will have to find 50 to 100 million of public money to take it forward.
Wednesday 7 August 2002 8.12pm
But at least it provides additional time - and given the dire financial straits of Rail Track, or rather Network Rail, and the current state of the economy, chances are that the proposal will be delayed even further.
Friday 9 August 2002 2.53am
I think some recognition should be given to those who put such time and effort into explaining why the area is unique and deserves protection. It is clear from the report that this had some influence. I agree that the market is far from being safe but at least a precedent has been established that the area has some cultural and historical merit that warrants protection.

By the way , I have been abroad for a year now. How is the old Wheatsheaf doing?
Saturday 10 August 2002 9.19pm
I am sorry that it seems to be being taken as read on this thread that we are all against the Thameslink 2000 scheme. I'm very much in favour of it.
I think the inspector's report is fair and balanced. He accepts that there will be some damage to Borough Market but this has been limited as far as possible in the latest version of the proposals. Against that has to be set the benefits to wider society of the scheme, which will represent a major improvement in the region's public transport. Since it makes use mostly of existing infrastructure, the cost/benefit economics of the scheme are much better than for all-new projects like Crossrail.
Wednesday 28 August 2002 1.16pm
According to today's Standard

there could be a second Thameslink 2000 Inquiry
Thursday 29 August 2002 8.33pm
Paul - could you explain exactly what are "the benefits to wider society of the scheme, which will represent a major improvement in the region's public transport".

Friday 30 August 2002 2.14pm
Kate nicholls wrote:

Paul - could you explain exactly what are "the benefits to wider society of the scheme, which will represent a major improvement in the region's public transport".

Thameslink 2000 will:

- reduce overcrowding on Thameslink and other London commuter services
- reduce overcrowding on London Underground
- reduce the need for interchange between mainline and Underground services
- facilitate the dispersal of passengers arriving at St Pancras on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL).

Thameslink 2000 will allow the introduction of new cross-London services improving access in the South East of England. Specifically, in areas of anticipated demand growth - the London Bridge development area, Docklands, the King's Cross lands and Gatwick and Luton Airports.

Thameslink 2000 will enable trains to run between Bedford, Peterborough and King's Lynn in the north, and Guildford, Horsham, East Grinstead, Littlehampton, Brighton, Eastbourne, Ashford and Dartford in the south, all via central London.

Thameslink 2000 will expand the current Thameslink network of 51 stations to 169 stations, covering eight counties, 15 London boroughs and three unitary authorities. Thameslink 2000 will deliver more peak-time train capacity and provide for easier and more frequent cross-London connections. It will do this through lengthening platforms and increasing track capacity within central London. It will help boost the economic potential of development areas and act as a catalyst for regeneration.

Thameslink 2000 has widespread support from local government, commercial organisations and rail users. It will alleviate pressures on the current network, which is heavily used. In accordance with Government policy, it will encourage people to travel by train rather than by car, in greater comfort and convenience, across a large part of the rail network in the South East and East of England.

Thameslink 2000 will act as a catalyst for economic regeneration, connecting a wide range of locations with direct services for the first time and providing improved access to areas targeted for regeneration (including King's Cross, The South Bank, Thames Gateway, Luton and South Coast towns).

On a regional level, Thameslink 2000 will contribute to the emerging policy framework for London and the South East, which seeks to strengthen links between settlements, integrate public transport networks, improve interchange facilities for strategic and local public transport and improve transport access to economic regeneration areas.

Those areas connected to through services for the first time will become more attractive locations for businesses and for commuters.

Thameslink 2000 will provide better access to Gatwick and Luton airports.

Thameslink 2000 will generate substantial local employment opportunities during the construction phase.

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