Thursday, 5 March 2015

Two bridges too far

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. 


Anonymous said...

That bridge is bloody Joanna Lumley again isn't it?

First she shafts the Gurkhas, now the rest of us Londoners.

john cheshire said...

I wish Ms Lumley would keep her mouth shut; I was and am against the preferential treatment for them that she forced on to us taxpayers by abusing her celebrity status.

G. Tingey said...

I see Boris has done a bait-&-switch lie again, telling us, (indirectly) that actually, like the Arab-fly-dangleway, the taxpayer of London will get stuffed for the costs of the withered-&-dead-trees bridge!
( Consider - all those plants in relatively shallow soil, above windy bridge & salty water-spray.So practical.

As for London Bridge station ...
This is a direct result of rail privatisation.
The trains are run by a TOC ("Southern" in this case) but are owned by one or more ROSCO's ( That used to be called "Angel", "Eversholt" & "Porterbrook"), but the track & stations are owned by Network Rail - heirs to the incompetent & corrupt Railtrack.
What happens of course is that there is no "controlling mind" & the various parties are merrily passing the parcel of blame, one to another.
I can name the guilty man, too: John Major.

Anonymous said...

This is all part of the cathedral complex of modern politicians. Instead of looking after their voters they want to build and build