The Guardian: "Earls Court project: the deep commitment of Stephen Greenhalgh"

Link to web site

"As the police watchdog considers whether to investigate Boris Johnson's policing deputy Stephen Greenhalgh over alleged illegal conduct by public officers of Hammersmith and Fulham council when he was its leader, it is instructive to consider the passion with which Greenhalgh supported the ambitious redevelopment scheme at the heart of the affair - the Earls Court project

"As regular readers will know, the project envisages the destruction of 760 homes on two adjoining housing estates against the wishes of the great majority of the people living there. This is despite Greenhalgh's commitment to the scheme extending to appealing in person to some estate residents at their homes - the very homes that will be demolished if the scheme goes ahead."


Tues 5 Feb: "Launch of London First report on Crossrail 2, with Boris Johnson and Andrew Adonis"

"London First is delighted to welcome Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, to the launch of its report on Crossrail 2. 

"The report outlines new route options for a potential SW-NE line to support London's continued growth over the next two decades, and has been overseen by a working group of members, chaired by former Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis."


The Guardian: "Earls Court: Tory council signs 'peoples' estates' land deal but anti-demolition fight goes on"

Link to web site

"Conservative flagship council Hammersmith and Fulham has finally signed its deal with property developer Capital and Counties (CapCo) to sell off land containing two housing estates, comprising 760 homes, all of which will be demolished, should the controversial 77-acre Earls Court project redevelopment scheme go ahead.

"What will happen next?

"The anti-demolition campaign, backed by the tenants and residents associations of the two 'Peoples' Estates' - the West Kensington and the Gibbs Green - is considering an appeal against the judge's decision, and argues that in any case this reverse was still a battle worth fighting, in a much longer and larger war of attrition."

Daily Telegraph: "Minister: high-speed rail is worth the upset"

Link to web site

"Patrick McLoughlin will unveil the route for the line on Monday, saying it will 'service the United Kingdom for the next 100 years' and will 'be a great engine for regeneration'.

"Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Mr McLoughlin suggests that those who oppose the £32 billion project should consider its economic benefits. He believes that those in the North will welcome the scheme but is braced for a backlash from countryside campaigners and Tory MPs, with the proposed route from London to Birmingham having met strong opposition.

"The line will cut the journey time from Manchester to London to one hour and eight minutes when it opens in 2033. Up to 18 trains an hour will be able to connect England’s major cities."


BBC: "Crossrail: Passion deep below west London"

"I've been trying to get inside the tunnels for a while, and on Thursday I was given the first rare opportunity to have a look and film in the tunnels deep under west London.
"Compared to the power tunnels in Park Royal these tunnels are much larger.
"So far 3km have been bored. There have been a few issues - for example, a hopper that carries soil at Paddington collapsed - but Crossrail workers now think they are making good progress.
"I visited the tunnel boring machine TBM2 - called Ada - and to get to see her you have to take a 10-minute train journey in the tunnel.
Built in Germany, the machine is like something from a Ridley Scott sci-fi movie.
It bores out the clay, and behind that the concrete slabs are slotted in. It works round the clock, and only stops for main-

Evening Standard: "Boris Johnson supports Stansted hub as 'easiest' solution"

Link to web site

"Today Mr Johnson criticised the 'panda-like pace' at which the Government was coming up with a solution, and again rejected Heathrow expansion.

"He said:
"I urge leaders of UK business now to look at the extraordinary potential of the alternatives either at Stansted or at the two estuary sites that, with sufficient political will, could be delivered on roughly the same timescale as the third runway at Heathrow and would be very largely financed by some of the international investors at Davos today."
However, City Hall sources acknowledged that Stansted increasingly looked like the front runner to get the Mayor’s backing."


Building: "Boris Island airport 'would cost taxpayers £30bn'"

Link to web site
(Registration required)

"Boris Johnson’s plans for a proposed airport hub in the Thames Estuary would require £30bn in public subsidy, and would not be commercially viable, an unpublished parliamentary report has found.

According to Professional Manager magazine, the report, by transport consultancy Oxera for the commons transport select committee, shows that the expected revenues generated by the airport – dubbed Boris Island on account of London mayor Boris Johnson’s support for its construction – would be insufficient to justify building it, without a massive contribution from taxpayers.

"... A source told Professional Manager:
"There is [also] nothing to stop Gatwick building a new [competing] runway. This [report] assumes no other runways are being built."


"GVA appointed to spearhead 15 year Euston economic study"

Link to GVA

"The controversial High Speed 2 (HS2) rail link will be a key variable of the report given the likelihood of the £33bn infrastructure project going ahead as planned.

"The London Borough of Camden says it remains opposed to HS2 but also recognises that if HS2 should proceed it needs to be in a position to secure the best deal for its communities. If the project progresses, Euston will undergo significant change, as HS2 will terminate at a greatly expanded Euston station.

"In January [do they mean January 2012?], the government gave the go-ahead for the £33bn project, after agreeing changes to the London-to-Birmingham route to mitigate the impact on the countryside and local communities."

Associations join forces in continuous fight to save Earls Court

Link to 'Event' magazine

"The Association of Event Organisers (AEO) and the UFI - the global association for the exhibition industry - have sent letters to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable, in a continued effort to prevent the proposed demolition of Earls Court Exhibition Centre.

"In their letters, the associations draw attention to the detrimental impact that the closure of Earls Court will have, not only on the exhibitions and events industry, but also on the wider community.

"The associations want Cable to support their demand that the planning applications relating to the Earls Court Opportunity Area be called in, so that the government can judge all the evidence through a public inquiry."

The Guardian: "Earls Court: Boris, Greenhalgh and the police"

Link to web site

"The possibility of Stephen Greenhalgh, the man Boris Johnson chose to head his office for policing and crime becoming the subject of a police investigation has, unsurprisingly, attracted lots of media attention. ITV and BBC News in London covered the story and even the Boris-loving Evening Standard reported it after I broke the news on Monday night (he wrote, casually) that the Greater London Authority had referred a complaint about Greenhalgh to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

"So, what will happen next? And what, exactly, is the complaint about?

"To briefly answer the second question first, the complaint is that during the time when Greenhalgh led the Tory flagship borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, council officers (and others) promised certain residents of two housing estates preferential treatment in the allocation of new, replacement homes nearby if they supported the demolition of their existing ones as part of a large, proposed redevelopment scheme known as the Earls Court project."


"Earls Court Regeneration Project: Complaint against Boris Johnson policing deputy referred to IPCC"

Link to The Guardian

"A complaint that Boris Johnson's deputy mayor for policing and crime, Stephen Greenhalgh, may have engaged in criminal conduct, while he was leader of the Conservative flagship council of Hammersmith and Fulham, has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

The Greater London Authority's monitoring officer, who is responsible for ensuring that the GLA, its members and officers comply with the law, informed the complainant on Monday that under regulations applying to elected local policing bodies his complaint:
"falls with the statutory definition of a 'serious complaint': a qualifying complaint made about conduct which constitutes or involves, or appears to constitute or involve, the commission of a criminal offence.

As a consequence...I am obliged, today, to refer your complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Commission."

Link to 'My Earls Court' Project


Daily Telegraph: "Dark city: atmospheric photographs of London streets by night in the 1930s"

Link to web site

"This picture gallery features atmospheric images of London streets in the 1930s, before the Blitz, before the Clean Air Act, before sodium lighting.

"It was a city of gloomy back streets lit by dim lamps, with forbidding alleys and the occasional welcoming light.

"The photographs are from a book called 'London Night', by John Morrison and Harold Burdekin, which was published in 1934. They were recently posted on The Library Time Machine, a fascinating blog run by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Library Service."


Kensington & Chelsea's rival to Hammersmith & Fulham' Crossrail station (or could there be both?)

Link to:
"Supporting Kensal Crossrail"

'The Rail Engineer': "Reading remodelling takes shape"

Link to web site

"The remodelling of Reading station is one of the largest projects currently being undertaken by Network Rail. Previous articles in 'The Rail Engineer' (issue 76 Feb 2011 – Caversham Road Bridge, issue 77 March 2011 – Station Area Resignalling and issue 78 April 2011 – New Station Design & Layout) gave an insight into the massive amount of work that was to come.

Now, nearly two years later, the station is in the middle of its transformation and for those who knew Reading station of old, it is barely recognisable. Only the old building that was once the main entrance remains, this having listed status and is currently the Three Guineas pub. All the rest has been swept away and the platforms are full of temporary canopies and new construction works. A site visit was arranged recently courtesy of Invensys Rail to see what is going on and to learn the plans for the next two years.


[Reposted] Transport for London: The Next Decade (Snazzy cover, Boris)

"Delivering this Business Plan will maintain the city’s reputation as a world-leading location in which to live, work and do business, and will secure economic growth and prosperity for the entire country.

"As the Plan sets out, our transport system needs two essential things to make that a reality. 
  • First, continuous renewal of the assets that must deliver reliable services for customers and users day in, day out. This includes modern trains and buses and advanced signalling to operate more rail services and keep traffic flowing. 
  • Second, sustained investment in infrastructure to improve reliability and reduce overcrowding on public transport and congestion on the roads."

New 'WestTrans' web site

Link to web site

"WestTrans is a partnership of the six West London boroughs of Ealing, Brent, Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon and Hounslow. 

"Led by Ealing Council, and joined by key stakeholders including West London Alliance, West London Business, BAA and the Park Royal Partnership, it works with Transport for London to identify, develop and implement transport projects to the benefit of the sub-region.

"It also contributes advice to West London leaders relating to the development of an appropriate transport strategy for West London, and provides a platform to lobby regional and national government in a cohesive manner, on behalf of the sub-region."


Crossrail Construction: The flyby

Aerial view of Crossrail Paddington Station worksite.
The new Crossrail station is being constructed beneath Eastbourne Terrace.

Link to Crossrail web site for more photos.


'Freedom Pass': New route map (Dec 2012)


More details: here
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