WestTrans map and mission

"The six West London Boroughs of Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon and Hounslow have worked together since 1997 on transport issues of common concern, originally under the name of the West London Transport Strategy (WLTS).

The WestTrans Partnership, led by Ealing Council, provides support on transport issues to West London Business and West London Alliance, and liaises closely with other key stakeholders such as Park Royal Partnership, the education & training and health & voluntary sector organisations.

Since its inception, through TfL's LIP programme, each year WestTrans has been successful in securing significant levels of funding to support the many and varied initiatives that it has implemented and continues to develop. This year WestTrans has secured £1.225m for the development of schemes, and has the potential to implement a further £670k of improvements subject to funding. Initiatives include:
  • freight projects (coordinated through the West London Freight Quality Partnership); 
  • Travel Planning initiatives; 
  • strategy development; 
  • station access schemes. 
The Partnership has and continues to face significant challenges in meeting transport demand, reliability and quality issues that are presented as a result of economic expansion and growth associated with development and leisure activities in the region. With an economy larger than that of Frankfurt, West London already has a very broad spectrum of businesses and employment and has benefited from the proximity to Heathrow as the primary 'International Gateway to Britain'.


BBC: "Transport spending 'skewed' towards London"

Link to BBC web site

"The government spends more money on transport projects for Londoners than on those for the rest of the country combined, a think tank says. 

"The Institute for Public Policy Research North says £2,700 is spent per person in London, compared with £5 per head in the north-east of England."


Lord Foster: The Future of London and Britain

"Lord Foster's second lecture as Humanitas Visiting Professor of Architecture at the University of Oxford, 28 November 2011, in the Nelson Mandela Lecture Theatre, Saïd Business School, Oxford University. The lecture considers 'Heritage and Lessons'. Lord Foster said:
"Imagine how differently we might understand the modern world if we could travel back in time. We would discover that the cathedrals, the castles and the viaducts that form our 'heritage' were once new themselves and were seen as quite alien at the time; and that many of the landscapes we revere as 'natural' were in fact shaped subtly by man - some the outcome of the Industrial Revolution itself. We would also find that many of the challenges we face now have been met before.

Given the need to upgrade Britain's infrastructure for the 21st century, and in the absence of a time machine, we have to try to recapture the foresight and political courage of our 19th century forebears and to revive our traditions of architecture, engineering and landscape design. We have to draw lessons from our heritage, as well as inspiration from our Asian counterparts."

The OTHER Thames estuary airport plan (well, one of them)

Link to 'Thames Reach Airport Consortium'

"Bluebase initially developed Thames Reach Airport in 2002, following the SASIG report 'Does Aviation Matter?', with the conviction that the airport and associated infrastructure benefits will transform the Thames Gateway region into a well-serviced, world-class, 21st century metropolis.

"The project has developed with the support of leading UK consultants in aviation, construction, transportation, finance and cost planning."


Crossrail tunnel boring machines (TBM) ready to ship to London

Link to 'London Reconnections'

"The two TBMs currently being prepared are for the boring of the tunnels from Royal Oak Portal. The first of these now sits at Herrenknecht’s German plant, where it is undergoing final factory testing. It will shortly be dismantled and shipped to the UK, where it will be reassembled on the portal ramp at Westbourne Park.

"... Crossrail have confirmed that there have been very general, hypothetical discussions about the possibility of reconditioning and reusing the TBMs, should Crossrail 2 make it definitively off the drawing board."

And if tunnelling floats your boat, here's another in East London:

Link above to 'Londonist' web site
and to a BBC video.


The Economist: "Quietly, a huge new port is being built close to the capital"

Link to The Economist

"SOME 25 miles east of London, on the site of a former oil refinery, the biggest infrastructure project most people have never heard of is under way.

"The port’s developer is DP World, the third-biggest ports company in the world, and owned by the emirate of Dubai. It is also building one of Europe’s largest logistics parks next to the docks.

"At the new port, containers can be transferred straight to warehouses, with the cargo leaving in smaller loads going directly to the south-east’s shops. London Gateway claims this will save millions of miles of lorry journeys, equivalent to taking 2,000 vehicles a day off Britain’s roads."


The Guardian: "London's new airport: should Beijing be a blueprint for the Isle of Grain?"

Link to The Guardian

"Architect Norman Foster says a Thames estuary hub is essential for Britain's economy; critics warn of a £50bn white elephant that could harm the environment."

"What is at stake, according to all sides of the argument, is nothing less than the economic and spiritual future of the nation. We are in danger of 'denying future generations to come', says architect Lord Foster. It is about the importance of our 'world-class natural environment', says the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. It could be a 'white elephant' that would deal a near-fatal blow to our economy, says Sir Terry Farrell, another leading architect [including of Old Oak Common]. Also at stake is national identity: how much Britain should try to match growing countries such as China, and how much we should do our own thing." 

"Ambitious Thames estuary plan to include international airport, railway and housing with new freight and energy infrastructure"
Link to The Guardian
"The Thames Hub, a £50bn project devised by architects Foster and Partners, planners and builders Halcrow and Volterra, a consultancy group of British economists, aims to revolutionise Britain's often creaking and largely inadequate national transport and energy infrastructure.

"From a proposed new Thames Hub, comprising an international airport, railway terminus, freight depot and port along with a new Thames Barrier sited all together in the Thames estuary, a new four-track high-speed orbital passenger and freight railway would run around the north of London before joining main lines to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester, Hull, Felixstowe, Cardiff and Southampton."

Evening Standard: "Streets ahead: Exhibition Road, London's culture highway"

Link to Evening Standard

"The latest addition to the South Kensington campus is a rather uptight experiment in improving the experience for these visitors. Architect Dixon Jones, best known to Londoners for the Royal Opera House refurbishment completed in 1999, has laid out new chequered paving on Exhibition Road in black and white granite, stretching unbroken, building-to-building, across what was once pavement and carriageway.

"It is at the same time a traffic-calming measure, a new, more civilised waiting area for tourist crowds, and one of the grandest (and possibly most expensive, at £25 million) pieces of public realm design in London's recent history, reaching 800 metres from South Kensington Tube station right up to Hyde Park."


The Guardian: "Chancellor believes massive investment in new aviation hub will boost UK economy"

Link to The Guardian

"George Osborne dropped the clearest hint yet that the government is warming to the notion of an airport on the Thames estuary, possibly built on this peninsula, as he pledged to 'explore all options for maintaining the UK's aviation hub status'. For residents of Grain village, it was confirmation that kickstarting the British economy poses a threat to their homes. ...

"The chancellor begs to differ. He is sold on the idea that infrastructure investment can boost the UK by providing economic links for business and unlocking cash from British pension funds. He also unveiled a memorandum of understanding with the National Association of Pension Funds and the Pension Protection Fund, to invest up to £20bn in projects such as power stations and high-speed rail lines, as well as the four-runway airport that would be built right over a quiet village in north Kent. A national infrastructure plan published this week mentioned 500 projects. All they need now is the money.

Daily Telegraph: "Extra £500m for high-speed rail tunnel to protect Chilterns "

Link to Daily Telegraph

"Ministers have found an extra £500million to pay for a new tunnel under the Chilterns, to pacify MPs who have been protesting against the high speed rail link between London and Birmingham."

"Officials in the Department for Transport have found the extra cash from other spending along the 100mile £32billion proposed route.

"The change to the plans will mean that a final decision on whether to give the green light to the HS2 project will now be delayed from this month to mid-January."


The Treasury: "Infrastructure investment pipeline data"

Home >  Infrastructure >  Infrastructure UK >  National Infrastructure Plan 2011 > Infrastructure investment pipeline data

"The National Infrastructure Plan 2011 confirms that the Government has published, for the first time, detailed data on the infrastructure investment and government construction pipelines pipeline. This fulfils the commitments made in the Plan for Growth.

"This data covers over 500 infrastructure investment projects and programmes across both the public and private sectors, with the government construction pipeline covering a further 300 non-infrastructure projects. Resulting in a total of over 800 projects and programmes for which there is data.

"The pipeline estimates are indicative and reflect the information held within Government on investment combined with other public sources of information. Data about purely private investment is subject to greater uncertainty than that for public sector or regulated investment. To enable analysis, some observations have been estimated to provide annual breakdowns of totals and to fill gaps in the information available.

"For infrastructure, projects under £50 million are generally excluded to focus on significant investment. In addition no information on local infrastructure projects that are not funded directly by central Government is available. Where stated funding for projects beyond 2015 is in general not confirmed. Economically regulated investment in energy and water networks is also not generally confirmed beyond currently determined regulatory periods. Generally the pipeline data are designed to provide a sense of the scale of investment and forward work that is expected but should not be taken as a commitment in each and every case.

"The data has been released in spreadsheet format and includes information on project / programme name, location, ownership, funding and costs. For the Government construction pipeline additional information is included on likely procurement routes.

"For convenience the infrastructure and construction pipeline data have been released as single file. Where this overlaps with the infrastructure investment pipeline consistent estimates have been used.

"The infrastructure investment pipeline data will be refreshed annually, and the government construction pipeline will be updated quarterly."


Evening Standard: "Better roads, rail travel and new river crossings, in spending boost for London"

Link to Evening Standard

"Boris Johnson today praised the Chancellor's announcement of backing for new crossings for the Thames, improvements on the M25 and an expansion of the Oyster card system to 'keep the capital moving in the downturn'.

"Speaking today on his way to Harrow for a Safer Parks awards event, Mr Johnson told the Standard: "This is a fantastic settlement for London.
"We had to fight for several elements of this package. But the Chancellor understands the vital importance of investing in London and the London economy."
"The Treasury will continue to finance the £14.9 billion Crossrail project, and the huge Thameslink programme. Mr Osborne also said he will press ahead with the High Speed 2 project, which will link the capital to the Midlands."


BBC: "Viewpoint: Could people learn to love tower blocks?"

Link to BBC web site

"Once, tower blocks were the answer to a housing crisis but many people came to hate them. With Sheffield's Park Hill estate being refurbished for its 50th birthday, can people learn to love them again, asks architect and broadcaster Maxwell Hutchinson. 

"But there is nothing intrinsically flawed with the idea of high-rise living. Sustainability, good maintenance, careful management and a sense of ownership can make things work. 

"If the lift works, towers are particularly suitable for the elderly - great views, peace and quiet, neighbours who can still remember the post-war devastation. 

"Towers also work for the young - they are convenient, give a good leg-up on the housing market, and, with good neighbours, great fun. There is plenty of time to have children and move into a predictable estate on the outside of town. In the meantime, one can enjoy life with one's head in the clouds."


Transport for London: Problems of success for London Overground

Link to TfL report

"London Overground growth has been consistently higher than that on other services, but a step change took place in 2010/11. Passenger volumes are two and a half times the level when TfL took over services. Excluding the East London Line, demand has increased by over 80 per cent."

BBC: "Will the government back a £50bn airport for London?"

Link to BBC web site

"London Mayor Boris Johnson has set out the economic reasons why he believes a £50bn airport needs to be built in the south-east of England.

"Simon Walker, from the Institute of Directors, said the transport network was a 'complete disaster' and the country was falling behind European competitors.

"BBC London's Tom Edwards questioned Boris Johnson on whether the government was likely to back such an expensive project."


Mail on Sunday: "Thames Estuary airport gets backing of Downing Street to ease pressure on air space"

Link to Mail Online

"Plans for a new airport in the Thames estuary have won political backing from senior figures close to David Cameron.

"Steve Hilton, the Prime Minister’s strategy chief, and Chancellor George Osborne are said to have swung behind the scheme as the best way of tackling a crisis in airport capacity."


Crossrail Royal Oak tunnel portal (towards Farringdon): the official photo

And as it will be...

BBC: "Why the City of London Corporation supported Crossrail"

Link to BBC London

"Details of a £250m deal between the City of London Corporation and the Labour government for the Crossrail project have been discovered by the BBC.

"... This means the corporation could end up recouping much, if not all, of the money it is contributing to Crossrail.

"The chairman of the Corporation Policy Committee Stuart Fraser conceded things need to change. 'I think it's fair to say we've got to look at this,' he told the BBC, but defended the corporation's lack of transparency."


Shepherd's Bush blog: "H&F Council to 'muzzle' Hammersmith & Fulham's planning committee"

Link to Shepherds Bush blog

"Our Council stand accused of planning to muzzle the infamous planning committee ...

"... I think their agenda is one more of impatience to transform the borough, in ways that they think are in the best interests of stimulating growth, as Council Leader Greenhalgh outlined to a debate I attended at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester earlier this year. At that meeting, it was clear he felt frustrated at not being able to do more, and faster, rather than the other way around! Those are not inherently bad intentions.

"But the criticism I do think is very valid of changes like this, being pushed through without any publicity either from them or the local media, is that it will fundamentally restrict the visibility of their decisions. In future they may well be able to simply ignore questions, about why there are not more plans to build affordable local housing, by using some 'commercial confidentiality' clause, instead of laying the figures out for all to see."


Financial Times: "Thames transport hub project unveiled"

Link to FT web site

"The 'Thames Hub' proposals unveiled on Wednesday could lead to the most radical overhaul of Britain’s transport, logistics and communication network since the building of the railways.

"The ideas presented by the architects Foster & Partners and engineers Halcrow, on their own initiative, would see a new London orbital railway linking in to fast lines to the north and Europe, and a new airport on the Isle of Grain in the Thames estuary.

"Also included are a new flood defence barrier and Thames crossing, a freight port and logistical hub and the laying of extensive cabling, utilities and communications infrastructure, in what the report refers to as 'The Spine'."

More details:


Questions to Boris the Mayor

Question No: 2889 / 2011
Navin Shah
Does the Mayor share my concern about the potential impact of HS2 on the West London Waste Authority transfer station in Hillingdon? Is he doing anything to help resolve the uncertainty?
I am aware of the issue you have raised and the potential impact of the HS2 alignment on rail access to the existing waste transfer station. The current proposals for HS2 sever this access and it is not clear at this point whether an alternative is going to be provided. I know the London Borough of Hillingdon has made representations to the Secretary of State on this matter and I would share their concerns.
I have made it clear that although there is a great case for investing in a high speed rail network, which has the potential to generate major benefits for both London and the UK, my support on the proposal being consulted on is conditional on a number of issues being addressed, which are set out below:

  1. Environmental effects – I am seeking changes to the design of the route to ensure any impacts on west Londoners are properly addressed, preferably by tunnelling the whole route through London;
  2. Euston dispersal – I am seeking a commitment from the Government that their proposals for HS2 will include a package of measures for addressing the impacts at Euston, including delivery of the first phase of the Chelsea Hackney Line (Crossrail 2) between Clapham Junction and Seven Sisters;
  3. Old Oak Common – I am seeking a commitment that complementary rail and other transport enhancements for Old Oak Common are included in the core HS2 scheme to ensure it is accessible to the wider area, and;
  4. HS2-HS1 connection - I am asking that the Government consider alternative options that do not impact on North London Line services or limit the potential for these services to be enhanced in the future.
As with any railway, some closures will always be necessary so that TfL can properly maintain the Tube in a safe and reliable condition.


Sunday Times: "The prosperity express"

Link to Sunday Times

"HS2 has become a cause celebre for the transport industry. Supporters say it and other big schemes are necessary to relieve stress on the network, and will have an immediate economic impact during construction. Critics say the environmental damage will outweigh the benefits.

"Campaigners on both sides of the argument will know by the end of the year which of their efforts have been successful. That is the expected deadline for a decision on HS2 from Justine Greening, the new transport secretary."


Park Royal City light-rail line: Earlier visualisation

Click above, then scroll down to Simpsons video
(copyright issues permitting)

"Episode 4/12: Marge vs. the Monorail

"After Mr. Burns is caught storing his excess nuclear waste inside Springfield Park’s trees, he is ordered to pay the town $3 million. The town is originally set to agree to fix Main Street, but the charismatic Lyle Lanley interrupts and convinces the town to use the money to buy one of his monorails."


High Speed Two: A Decision by December?

Link to main 'High Speed Two' web site

"High Speed Two Limited (HS2 Ltd) is the company set up by the Government to consider the case for a new high speed rail network in the UK and for the first phase between London and the West Midlands.

"The Government has now carried out a public consultation on its proposed high speed rail strategy, and the recommended route for an initial high speed line from London to the West Midlands. It was launched 28 February 2011 and closed 29 July 2011. The findings are expected to be announced by the Secretary of State for Transport later this year."

Crossrail promotional videos

(No station in Hammersmith and Fulham, or Kensington and Chelsea, shown above)

(That's enough promotional videos.)


Proposed new 'Willesden' Parliamentary Constituency

(Click to enlarge)

The Boundary Commission's draft proposals for changes in parliamentary seats have been published. The proposed new 'Willesden' constituency, replacing 'Brent Central', is shown above, and now includes the 'College Park and Old Oak' ward of Hammersmith and Fulham.

The public consultation period is now open, and closes on 5 December. Consultation meetings will be held at Brent Town Hall, on Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st October. 

Further details are on the web sites of Brent Council,

Earlier lobbying by Hammersmith and Fulham

"Old Oak Common, located three miles west of central London, is being considered as a potential location for a High Speed 2 interchange station. A station based in Old Oak would provide the opportunity for an interchange between HS2, Heathrow Express, the future Crossrail service, and the Greater London, suburban and intercity rail network."

"The HS2 Interchange will provide the opportunity to transform Old Oak Common into a new destination for London, offering unrivalled connectivity by public transport. The site could provide significant levels of commercial and residential development, and provide employment and homes for local residents, supporting London’s long-term demographic and economic growth. By providing a balance of housing types and tenures, Old Oak will also promote diversified communities, and contribute to local requirements for affordable housing."

"The station interchange will open up access to the existing rail infrastructure in this part of West London and, when combined with access to high speed rail, provide the potential for high-grade office facilities, with exceptional links to Central London and Heathrow. Old Oak will attract national and international inward investment, and would become a new major employment destination in London, complementing comparable developments at Stratford City, Kings Cross, and Paddington Basin. [Thankfully no mention of the terrible Brent Cross plan.] The development at Old Oak will transform the quality of the local business base and labour market, and provide a significant source of construction and permanent employment for local people."

(Click on any image for the Hammersmith and Fulham document.)

West London Waste Plan likely to place domestic waste plant bang in the middle of 'Park Royal City'. Shurely Shome Mishtake.

(Click to enlarge)
Link to West London Waste Plan.


Daily Telegraph: "MPs to air planning law reforms frustration"

Link to Daily Telegraph

"MPs will get their first chance to vent their constituents’ frustration with the Government’s controversial changes to the planning laws in Parliament this week.

"House of Commons business planners have scheduled a 'General debate on National Planning Policy Framework' on the floor of the House of Commons for Thursday."

Hammersmith & Fulham, and Terry Farrell's sim city

Link to Hammersmith & Fulham web site

"Futurist computer generated graphics showing how one of Britain’s poorest neighbourhoods could be transformed by the nation’s first high-speed rail super hub were released today [well, August, actually].

"To the sound track of ‘We Built This City’ by Starship, the YouTube clip shows how vast swathes of derelict or underused industrial land – around Old Oak Common in NW10 – could be transformed into London’s newest city.

"The ambitious regeneration vision, which has been dubbed Park Royal City, shows 12,000 new homes and businesses and 115,000 extra jobs (40,000 in H&F) created around an unrivalled convergence of transport routes in north-west London.

"The four minute video, which was put together by Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council and internationally renowned architects Farrells, was released as a growing coalition of west London businesses leaders and residents came forward to back the plans."

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