garrylengthorn

15-Aug-12 Is Boris mad?

In Blog, Personal on August 15, 2012 at 6:21 am

After yesterday’s rant in relation to the depressing subject of riots, I felt the blog needed freshening up today with something more positive, hence my topic of Mr Boris Johnson!

I know what you are thinking; there is no link to sport or technology here and you are absolutely correct!

Boris appears to becoming a bit of a legend in my mind. First of all his idea of Boris bikes is brilliant. How this idea has been adopted by Londoners and visitors. I signed up yesterday and loved the fact that you can Google ‘Boris Bikes’ and it comes up with the Barclays cycle web site!

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Quality that Boris Bike search works!

His tackle in that soccer aid football match against Germany is now legendary. If you have not seen it, please take time out to view this video.

Pure class!

The Olympics was the icing on the cake. Doing his dad dancing on prime television was hilarious and a lasting legacy for Britain! Video from Telegraph.

Boris is in the news again today, as he is pushing ‘Boris Island’ in the Thames Estuary. For those not aware, this is his answer to the London airport congestion issue that has the potential to restrict London’s economic growth plans in the future.

In my view, this is actually one of the most sensible things Boris has done. Why would we not build a fantastic new state of the art airport in a location that can flourish from the investment?

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What a vision? Is this the future?

Yes there are some environmental issues, but no more than directing even more traffic over a congested airspace in central London (surely an accident is waiting to happen here).

Building a new airport will create jobs, ease congestion and create an airport to provide future investments in both the airline and general travel industry. Any other country would see these benefits and just do it!

Fair play Boris. At first I thought you were mad (you still might be), but at least you are showing innovation!

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  1. I think I have found ‘Boris’ Number One Fan’….Garry I’m worried!!!!

  2. For the record, the bikes were actually Ken Livingstone’s idea, but they didn’t go into service until after the election that brought Boris to power. He’s built a career appropriating other people’s work and staging PR stunts, such as his absent-minded reversion to the Rugby code in the game vs Germany. He knew if he tried to play football he’d not be the star, so he simply sabotaged the event. The man trades on being a comic buffoon, but he’s actually a arrogant tosser who thinks he has a God-given right to be PM.

  3. And another thing … The idea of an airport in the Thames Estuary was first mooted back in the 1940s. This is not some brilliant new idea that Boris has come up with. The reason it has never got off the ground is not because of worries about birds nests being ruined but a) the increased likelihood of bird-strikes and fog in an estuary, b) the remoteness of the site from London (the idea’s reappearance owes much to the presumed handiness for the HS1 line at Ebbsfleet), and c) the fact that users would generally prefer increased capacity at Heathrow (or any other airport nearer London).

    The problem with airport capacity is not primarily that we are travelling more (the big increase in domestic use happened decades ago), but that the rest of the world is doing more travelling, most of which has to connect via a small number of international hub airports. The problem with London & the SE is the poor rail connections between the airports, which makes it difficult to disperse connecting traffic to other airports with available capacity, so it all bottlenecks at Heathrow. For example, a high-speed rail link between Heathrow and Gatwick (about 30 miles as the crow flies) could transfer travellers in 20 minutes. It currently takes about 1 hour by road, if you’re lucky with traffic. There’s the same problem between Heathrow and Luton.

    Instead of a sexy new airport in the Thames Estuary, we’d be better off spending the money on a high-speed rail link between Luton and Gatwick via Heathrow. We should also divert the proposed HS2 route via Luton and expand that to 2 runways, and increase Gatwick to 2 runways as well. That would create a dispersed hub of 6 runways, compared to today’s capacity of 4 (plus the limited single runways at Stansted, City and Southend).

    • I quite like the fact that we move the traffic away from our existing major airports; especially Heathrow. It’s only a matter of time before a major catastrophe happens considering the volume of flights that go across that central London flight path.
      An high speed link could drop you in London within 20 minutes and I guess would require a lot less planning than a route from Gatwick to Heathrow to Luton to join them up.

      • The Heathrow Express gets you to Central London in 15 minutes today, however the terminus is Paddington, which isn’t what most travellers consider central, plus it’s a bugger for transfers who then need to get to Victoria for the Gatwick Express. The latter takes only 30 minutes, but the walking/Tube journey in between adds another 30 minutes or so, which means a total transfer time of 1:15 if everything goes like clockwork and nearer 1:30 if you have to wait for connections. Paddington to Luton (via St. Pancras) takes about 1 hour as well, so again about 1:30 in total. It’s these long transfer times that lead to the pressure for an extra runway at Heathrow.

        Crossrail will extend the high-speed route from Paddington to Bond St, Tottenham Court Road and Liverpool St., but it won’t help transfers via Gatwick or Luton. There are plans for a Crossrail 2, which will provide a spur from Tottenham Court Rd via Victoria to Chelsea (and possibly on to Wimbledon or Clapham Junction), but that is years away and looks ultra-expensive. This might get the Heathrow-to-Gatwick transfer time down to 1 hour.

        A high-speed rail link close to the M25 would be a lot easier (and cheaper) to build than more routes in Central London, which would have to be largely tunneled. It also offers the prospect of transfer times closer to 30 minutes.

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