CBRD: 'Ringway One': Taking out Kensal Green and Harlesdan

Artist's impression of the West Cross Route above Kensal Green Cemetary
Link to 'Chris's British Road Directory' (CBRD)

"Ringway One would probably have been the largest inner ring road the world had ever seen: an urban motorway encircling about sixty square miles of central London, including the whole of the City, Westminster and all of the present-day Congestion Charging zone, plus almost all of its docklands and the East End.

"Surprisingly, a substantial amount of it was built. The entire eastern flank is there to be driven today, and a short section in the west was opened to traffic, though in recent years has been substantially altered and is no longer recognisably a motorway.

"... The motorway would have taken a slice through Harlesden, Kilburn, West Hampstead, Hampstead, Camden Town, Barnsbury and Islington."

The Guardian: "Earls Court project: avoidable unpleasantness?"

Link to web site

"A fortnight has passed since a dossier was handed to the police alleging that residents of two West London housing estates had been promised preferential treatment in the allocation of replacement homes if they gave their backing to the estates' demolition, and arguing that such behaviour could constitute a criminal offence.

"...Way back in February 2007, the then new leader of the council Stephen Greenhalgh – who Boris Johnson has recently made head of his new office for policing and crime – appeared on the internet channel 18 Doughty Street TV with local Tory MP Greg Hands. Both argued that they wanted to improve the lot of poorer people on their patch of inner West London and tackle deep inequalities. I can no longer find this item online – perhaps someone else have better luck – but I recall feeling that they believed what they were saying.

"Greenhalgh championed the Earls Court project right up until he stepped down as leader earlier this year. Yet to some in the regeneration business the entire Earls Court enterprise has looked unwieldy, impractical and undesirably old-fashioned from the start – a top-heavy, top-down wrecking ball of a scheme that will be difficult to finance, characterised by unrealistic claims and always at risk of incurring resentment. And it doesn't look to me like a project guided by the bottom-up, localist, 'big society' principles that modern Conservative administrations are supposed to be applying, particularly in a London borough seen as a trailblazer for national party policy – David Cameron's favourite council, no less."

Greengauge Report on High Speed Two

Link to web site

"This new report, commissioned from Greengauge 21 by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), RSPB and the Campaign for Better Transport, examines the impacts of HS2 on carbon emissions.

"The report highlights that the first phase of HS2 will lead to a modest reduction in carbon while adding substantial transport capacity. Greater carbon reduction can be achieved by sensible complementary policy measures and by making full use of the capacity that HS2 will release on the existing railway. In addition, the beneficial carbon effect is increased fourfold by the planned extension of HS2 further north.

"Government’s plans for high-speed rail can therefore help meet carbon emissions targets — if supported by a set of bold policy initiatives."

And Old Oak Common: Not The Real Thing


Evening Standard: " £240m bailout to prevent further Crossrail delays"

Link to Evening Standard

"The Government gave a £240 million boost to the Crossrail project today in a bid to avoid further delays to Europe’s largest building scheme.

"Danny Alexander will use his speech to the Lib-Dem conference to announce that the first government loan guarantee to support major infrastructure will be to overcome funding difficulties for Crossrail.

"He will say the £1 billion order for new trains for the massive rail scheme will receive the guarantee in a bid to kick-start UK building projects by boosting industry confidence."


Ealing Gazette: "Ealing homes could be spared HS2 demolition"

View of Hanger Lane gyratory
Link to Ealing Gazette

"... Campaigners have been fighting for the route to be tunnelled under the borough. The Gazette reported how Ealing Council last month pressured HS2 to look at the option of a tunnel.

"However, it was also confirmed that all 10 bridges carrying traffic over the tracks – running alongside the Central line from a new interchange at Old Oak Common, East Acton, to Northolt – would be replaced and temporary bridges installed during construction.

"This includes the east and west bridges at the congested Hanger Lane gyratory, where the North Circular meets the A40."


The Guardian: "Let's move to Harlesden and Old Oak Common"

Link to web site

"The 'common' in question is more steel than oak, a curling mass of sidings and railway sheds which, one day, will metamorphose into the centre of the blooming universe, to become the main London interchange between High Speed Two from The North and Crossrail.

"Harlesden has been quietly preparing for its moment in the sun. It has aspirations, for the first time since it was built in the 19th century, when the future was steam-powered. Brent Council appears to have invested in bollards and the odd patch of paving. Stonebridge estate, which once had a 'reputation', has gone, replaced by terraces and front gardens.

"People call Harlesden 'the new Acton', as it rubs shoulders with loftier suburbs, such as Queen's Park and Kensal Rise. It is only a matter of time, they say, before this dusty corner becomes The Next Big Place. For now, Harlesden is neatened up, but still a riotous mash-up of Portuguese caffs beside proper Irish pubs. 

"When The North does arrive en masse, I can think of no finer welcome to The Smoke."


Evening Standard: "Earls Court demolition ‘is social cleansing’"

Link to Evening Standard

"Two west London housing estates and the Earls Court exhibition centre are to be demolished, after an £8 billion regeneration scheme was given the go-ahead.

"Residents accused Hammersmith and Fulham council of 'social cleansing', as outline planning permission for the development was granted at a stormy meeting last night.

"Under the scheme, based on a masterplan by architect Sir Terry Farrell, 761 homes will be bulldozed, as well as Earls Court. The council has promised residents will get contracts guaranteeing them a new home on the 57-acre development, and compensation."


Evening Standard: "The mothership lands: A striking new design for airport which could solve crisis"

Link to Evening Standard

"New plans for a floating airport in the Thames Estuary have been unveiled by a major global architecture firm.

"London Britannia Airport, designed by architects Gensler, includes four floating runways tethered to the sea bed.

"The Gensler experts say new runways could be floated in as required - allowing for future expansion to accommodate six landing strips."


BBC: "Third runway: Boris Johnson warns of 'stealthy U-turn' on Heathrow"

Link to BBC web site

"The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has warned of a 'stealthy U-turn' by the government on the third runway at Heathrow.

"Speaking on The World At One Mr Johnson, who favours the building of a new airport on the Thames estuary, said it was important that the government 'level with Londoners about their intentions'."


Sunday Telegraph: "Boris Island airport 'almost as quick to build as third Heathrow runway'"

Link to Sunday Telegraph

"A new airport in the Thames estuary could be built within 14 years, only two years longer than would be needed to build a third runway at Heathrow, according to new research.

"... The scheme has previously been criticised for taking too long before it could ease pressure on Britain's busiest airport.

"But a report for architects Foster + Partners, which has produced the plans for an airport on the Isle of Grain in Kent, suggest it would barely take longer than proposals to extend Heathrow."

The Independent on Sunday: "Secret plan for new four-runway airport near Heathrow"

Link to web site
"Ambitious plans for a four-runway airport near Heathrow are to be submitted to the Government, as a solution to the aviation crisis that has divided the coalition, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

"A world-leading infrastructure firm is assessing sites to the west and north-west of London which could rival, or even replace, Heathrow to challenge other European hubs in providing air links with the Far East. Sites in Oxfordshire and Berkshire could potentially be in the frame for the airport, estimated to cost £40bn to £60bn.

"Justine Greening, the Secretary of State for Transport, is to launch a call for evidence as early as this week on how to increase airport capacity, after winning a major political battle to rule out a third runway at Heathrow."
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