lördag 6 oktober 2007

Crossrail gets the go-ahead

This is sort-of good news but the project as proposed sounds like bad value for money and could cause other problems.

It appears that the main services will run from Shenfield and Abbey wood in the east to Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west. Why Maidenhead? No good reason but they cannot go on any further to Reading as there is not enough capacity there. On the east side, it should take some pressure off Liverpool Street. But to the west, it will use up the capacity on the GW main line and there have been concerns that there will be no room for freight services. Surely a better destination would be Hammersmith, which would take pressure off a busy section of the Circle Line and allow improvements in services in the North Kensington area?

Then there are the trains themselves. Illustrations show they have two sets of doors on each side of each vehicle. Surely this is not enough and will cause excessive station dwell times? And surely the most appropriate stock is an AC version of that being developed for the LUL surface lines? Which has three sets of doors per side.

This of course raises the question of the suitability of the stock for longer journeys, which is a problem with Thameslink where passengers end up travelling for over an hour on trains that are of necessity meant for short distance crush loading routes. Perhaps it is a mistake to have long distance services running through Central London.

Finally, there is the matter of the money. One third of the £16 billion will, the government claims, come from the private sector, but nobody seems clear how this contribution will be collected. Of course, with the right system of land value taxation in place, the contribution would flow into the government's coffers without the need for further action.

Inga kommentarer:

Swansea Bay barrage dropped

This project sounds like one of those environmentally friendly schemes which is almost certainly just the opposite. Just a few of the doubts...