With apologies for those of you in real England for a London piece, yesterday was a day of two bridges.
The first is bouffant Boris' and the fragrant Joanna Lumley's elitist fantasy playbridge with a private garden on the top, aimed at private champagne parties for West Londoners. Nothing wrong with that, in itself, as long as they pay for it all themselves. But now it's emerging that the design tender was close to fraudulent, that the deal will cost London taxpayers a fortune in capital and revenue costs and that Boris has deceived and obfuscated his backing for this daft idea. The planning consents are dodgy, the business plan jejune and support for the white elephant is draining away like Deptford Creek at the ebb. If London needs a new bridge, it's to the East of Tower Bridge, not the West, and unless access roads are very substantially improved, should be designed for pedestrians, cyclists and light rail rather than ordinary road traffic. All of which probably means it will get built anyway.
The second is the massive, ambitious redevelopment of London Bridge station - unlike Balham, the real gateway to the South. One can't fail to have been impressed as the widthways track expansion over the roofs of Borough Market and its pubs and shops moved south, crossing Borough High Street. However, the station rebuilding and associated crowd management (or shortfall in same) is causing chaos - and Tuesday evening came as close to a fatality as I've seen so far. And that comes with thirty years experience as a construction professional. Here's a warning to all concerned - sort yourselves out, today. Once there's just one death, you'll have nowhere to run - and will face ruin and a spell in prison.