> It's whether the preferred option (through London
> Bridge and knocking down buildings around Borough
> Market) which will mostly serve places outside
> London is better than the proposed alternative
I'd have thought that a fast and regular service to Gatwick and Luton airports, Brighton, Croydon and the Channel Tunnel services at St. Pancras provided by Thameslink would greatly benefit the thousands who live and work around London Bridge.
> I instinctively prefer the route through Elephant
> / Herne Hill though I am no expert on the
> viability or otherwise of this.
Surely London Bridge (with access to the Jubillee Line into the West End/Canary Wharf, and rail services into Charing Cross and Cannon Street) would be the logical place to put the interchange and not Elephant & Castle?
The alternative to Thameslink is certainly not 'for London to crawl to a standstill.'
Taken at face value the list of 'benefits' may well seem compelling and justify the vast and growing expense of construction, destruction to businesses and peoples homes. The main transport benefit will be to [allegedly] reduce commuters travel times into London by a few minutes and increase the numbers delivered to the city - how does that alleviate travel within London? There will be no benefit to local infrastructure in SE London.
Evidence presented at the Inquiries on behalf of CARA challenged those benefit statements and raised serious questions about the strength of the arguments put forward by Raitrack [and later Network Rail], but to trawl through a list of points [excuse the pun] about train lengths, frequency, connections etc., etc. would be beyond me and the capacity of this forum.
It is highly unlikely that the market and other local businesses will be able to continue trading during the course of the construction and while the area will be able to 're-invent' itself yet again, much will have been destroyed in the process. Other local developments, such as the re-construction of London Bridge Station and the building of the Shard of Glass are not dependent upon Thameslink happening.
Unfortunately the Inspector has given approval to Thameslink, subject to the outcome of the most recent Inquiry relating to [among other issues] the replacement buildings. However, what will certainly stop it happening is a lack of funding.
The word "Victorian" should be the red flag there.
As I said, I don't think paving the figurative cowpath is a particularly astute path of action to take. Whether its Olso or New York or Paris, or you really would get laughed out of town if you made a plan to reinvest billions in an two centuries old piece of misplaced urban infrastructure.
The Mapmaker Wrote:
However the reality of the situation
> is that London is a huge railway junction - that's
> a feature of the different Victorian railway
> companies' approach to building.
> It's now 6 years beyond 2000... and we need
> Thameslink 2000 desperately - as well as
> Crossrail. This is not the time to be reinventing
> the wheel and suggesting putting it underground!
One of the earlier options shown by Thameslink during the first inquiry was a tunnel under from near the Spa Road junction. Paris has the RER trains under the city, trains into New York go underground to get to Grand Central, parts of the Thameslink already go underground, CrossRail will be underground, and the Tunnel link will be underground through London. This is a cost and political will issue, and the present proposals are an anachronism from when Railtrack was a vast enterprise for passing the costs on to the taxpayer while creaming as much dosh out of them as they could at the same time.
It is amazing that as a country, Britain feels it has enough money to fight illegal wars and buy more useless nuclear weapons, but does not have enough to build a transport infrastructure for the next century. An improved Thameslink network does urgently need to be built, but I'm sceptical enough about the claims that 24 trains per hour will be able to get through London Bridge to think that they should still go back to the drawing board and design a tunnel through to St Pancras.
It does sound attractive, investing in public transport - who would want to disagree with that? That long list of benefits sounds very worthwhile. However, I would recommend anyone interested in this to look beyond the spin and summaries (whose summaries?), and dig up the anticipated numbers of trains per hour on different routes, before and after the 'improvements'. Those who do, will find that this scheme is all about taking people from one to the other side of London via the centre, when they have no reason to go anywhere near the already congested centre, whilst actually making it more difficult to travel in our area, for example by reducing the train frequency on the Charing Cross/Waterloo East line. And as Andrew pointed out, thats just the hoped-for train frequency; the actual frequency will no doubt be lower - just look at the early years of the Jubilee Line Extension.
The Unladylike Ms. Jo Wrote:
> this scheme is all about taking people from
> one to the other side of London via the centre,
> when they have no reason to go anywhere near the
> already congested centre, whilst actually making
> it more difficult to travel in our area, for
> example by reducing the train frequency on the
> Charing Cross/Waterloo East line. And as Andrew
> pointed out, thats just the hoped-for train
> frequency; the actual frequency will no doubt be
> lower - just look at the early years of the
> Jubilee Line Extension.
But the trains are going to stop at London Bridge and not go straight through right? So that's got to help those living and working around London Bridge.
I wasn't aware that the frequency of trains to Charing Cross would adversely be affected, or other negative aspects for local travellers; could you post links to these findings please?
I got my information by attending the public enquiry rather than from the internet. It may be possible to find something from Railtrack's "Statement of Case" submitted to the inquiry inspector, I do not know if this is recorded on the internet somewhere. One of the problems of public enquiries is that the proceedings are not recorded for the public, only for the inspector!