"Life in the UK will undergo 'radical' change in the 2020s due to Brexit, population changes and jobs being taken by robots, a think tank has predicted.
"The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) said there would be a Brexit 'aftershock' and that the UK's exit from the EU would be 'the firing gun on a decade of disruption'.
"... The IPPR also said two-thirds of current jobs - 15 million - were at risk from 'exponential' improvements in new technologies such as artificial intelligence systems.
" 'Politics, economics and power structures will be profoundly disrupted, and with it social relations,' it said.
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(Click images to enlarge)
1.1 A new link is being planned between the Great Western Main Line (GWML) at Old Oak Common and the West Coast Main Line (WCML) at Sudbury Junction to enable Crossrail trains to run to and from Watford, Hemel Hempstead and Tring, thus creating a new “north-western branch” of Crossrail.
1.2 The track alignment design for the proposed layout at Old Oak Common indicates that it would be physically possible to retain a connection to the Wycombe Single line if required (see extract of drawing C241-PBR-RTDPP-010-000200-AP2 P01 [originally 'Appendix A'] which has been annotated to illustrate the retention of the Wycombe Single).
1.3 This Technical Note examines the operational implications of retaining the Wycombe Single connection at Old Oak Common after the WCML - Crossrail Link is commissioned.
2. WYCOMBE SINGLE - CURRENT USAGE
2.1 The Wycombe Single connection at Old Oak Common West Jn is currently used by only a limited number of trains:
2.2 Trains do not run to/from the Wycombe Single during peak hours, due to the heavy use of the Relief and Main lines between Old Oak Common and Paddington by First Great Western (FGW) trains.
- Chiltern Railways West Ruislip - Paddington: one train a day (Mondays to Fridays) each way. This “token” service to Paddington is provided firstly to retain a passenger service over the line, which would otherwise have to go through the statutory closure procedure, and secondly to retain route knowledge for train crews for occasions when Chiltern Railways services are diverted into Paddington due to planned engineering works or major disruption on the Marylebone route.
- Empty Coaching Stock to/from OOC Depot: a total of approximately four train paths a day for First Great Western and First Hull Trains (it is not known whether all these paths are regularly used).
- Freight trains to/from Paddington New Yard: one train path in each direction; into Paddington in the early morning and out of Paddington in the early afternoon.
- Diverted trains as required: for example, Chiltern Railways trains from High Wycombe etc diverted from Marylebone into Paddington during disruption or planned maintenance (this occurs infrequently).
3. TRAIN OPERATIONS AT OLD OAK COMMON
3.1 The Wycombe single would join the Down WCML Link line north-west of Old Oak Common station (see annotated drawing in Appendix A). However it would be necessary for Up trains from the Wycombe single to run “wrong line” for a distance of up to 0.5km (depending on the track layout at the station) before joining the Up Relief line. A schematic drawing of a possible track layout at Old Oak Common is in Appendix B.
3.2 When the WCML - Crossrail Link is commissioned, the number of trains on the GW Relief lines between Old Oak Common and Portobello Jn (Paddington) will increase, making it more difficult to path trains to/from the Wycombe Single line, particularly in the Up direction as explained above.
3.3 In the peaks there will be 24tph (all Crossrail) on the GW Relief lines between Old Oak Common and Portobello Jn, and it will not be possible for any trains to run to/from the Wycombe Single during these times. During off-peak daytime there will be 16tph (Crossrail) on the GW Relief lines between Old Oak Common and Portobello Jn. It may be possible to provide a limited number of paths for trains to/from the Wycombe Single line, but these would have to be fitted around the Crossrail service.
3.4 By the end of 2024, when the WCML - Crossrail service is scheduled to begin, the current Empty Coaching Stock movements via the Wycombe Single to/from Old Oak Common Depot are likely to have ceased, as the depot itself will have been superseded by the new North Pole facility.
3.5 The freight trains to/from Paddington New Yard are assumed to continue. Crossrail Ltd has developed an operational concept for the movement of these trains within Paddington New Yard. It is likely that the arrival/departure times of these trains will have to be late evening or overnight, to avoid conflict with the Crossrail service.
3.6 Planned maintenance on the Chiltern Main Line in the Marylebone area may result in Chiltern Railways trains being diverted to/from Paddington, but this is likely to be infrequent, and to occur during late evenings and weekends, when the Crossrail service is not operating at peak frequency. Even so, careful timetabling will be required to accommodate the diverted trains.
4. CHILTERN RAILWAYS PASSENGER SERVICE
4.1 The existing Chiltern Railways once-a-day service to/from Paddington could continue to operate via the Wycombe Single, provided suitable paths can be identified. It may be possible to enhance the service frequency, but the service could not operate to/from Old Oak Common or Paddington during the peaks on the infrastructure as currently planned.
4.2 To provide a more effective and frequent link between the Chiltern Main Line and the GW Main Line, it is possible that the West Ealing - Greenford shuttle service could be taken over by Chiltern Railways and extended to/from Gerrards Cross or High Wycombe, with an all-day frequency of 2tph. This would enable new journey opportunities for passengers from the Chiltern stations with a simple change at West Ealing, giving connections to/from Crossrail services to Heathrow Airport, Old Oak Common and central London.
4.3 This new service would require the following infrastructure enhancements:
The existing track configuration at Northolt Jn and South Ruislip would be unaffected, as the Greenford - Northolt double track section would revert to its existing single track formation just south of the junction. See Appendix C for a schematic showing these track layout changes.
- New platform(s) on the Wycombe line at Greenford.
- Possible doubling of the section between Greenford and Northolt.
4.4 If an enhanced peak frequency was required between West Ealing and Greenford (to give a total of 4tph to the branch stations), additional trains could operate between these two places, using the existing “LTE Bay” platform at Greenford Central Line station.
1. The proposed track alignment design indicates that the connection to the Wycombe Single can be provided in the final layout (see annotated drawing extract in Appendix A).
2. Freight trains to/from Paddington New Yard can continue to use the Wycombe Single route, although arrival/departure times will have to avoid conflicts with the Crossrail service.
3. A more effective link between the Chiltern stations and the Crossrail network could be provided by withdrawing the current once-a-day Paddington service and extending the West Ealing - Greenford shuttle service to Gerrards Cross or High Wycombe, operated by Chiltern Railways. (When the Crossrail service on the GW is implemented - and the Thames Valley branch lines are electrified - the Greenford branch will become an isolated “pocket” of diesel operation. It would make sense for Chiltern Railways to provide the service, using its existing diesel fleet possibly augmented by ex-FGW diesel units.)
22 November 2016
"As a Mayoral Development Corporation, we want to try and make sure the local community have the opportunity to be kept informed on the Local Plan as the project progresses.
"With this in mind, the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) Planning Team were keen to hold a community event, to update those interested and those previously involved in the consultation for the UK’s largest regeneration project in Old Oak and Park Royal, west London.
"With almost 50 community members present on the night, the Planning Team explained that over the last eight months they’ve been busy reading, processing and sorting through the feedback submitted during the consultation on the draft Local Plan, which began on 4 February and finished on 31 March 2016. The draft Local Plan activity consisted of:
- 11 workshops in the area
- 6 exhibitions
- 29,000 views of the online engagement platform
- 2 Live Twitter Q&A sessions
"In total, this activity led to 7,000 individual comments and provided 2,300 issues, which the Planning Team then categorised into seven key themes:
- Delivering a range of housing types and tenures
- Building at super densities
- Environmental challenges (integrated utilities, daylight/sunlight)
- Connecting to the wider area and open space
- Releasing more industrial land
- Impacts on the transport network
- Infrastructure delivery and timing
"The Planning Team have been focussing their efforts over the summer on addressing these key themes in greater detail and this work has gone on to inform the next Local Plan, known technically as Regulation 19. It is expected to be published in March 2017 for public consultation and will act as the overarching planning document for the whole 650 hectare site.
"Tom Cardis, Head of Planning Policy, spoke about additional papers, known as Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs), some of which will be published at the same time as the Local Plan in March 2017.
"These focussed documents will provide detailed guidance for future development. OPDC currently proposes five SPDs of which three would be place specific covering Scrubs Lane, Victoria Road, Park Royal and two would be topic specific covering Section 106 and Public Realm.
"The next part of the presentation elaborated on the Spatial Vision, which was described as a sort of ‘tag line’ for the whole Local Plan and was part of the first draft Local Plan. The Spatial Vision feedback, made during that consultation, has been woven into the updated version as OPDC wants the development and regeneration to integrate both the existing and future communities together.
"The planners described how the Spatial Vision needs to balance both the local community nature of the place being created in Old Oak, with the national character of being a transport super hub with a High Speed 2 (HS2) and Elizabeth Line (Crossrail) station. This has been interpreted in the vision as one overarching theme with two ‘narratives’: Going Local and Thinking Big.
"This new three-part spatial vision is the golden thread running throughout the Local Plan and has been used to create a distinct and clear link into a new section, Strategic Policies. These polices will provide the high level direction that OPDC wants the regeneration and development to aspire to and achieve. There are nine strategic policies in total:
- City in the west
- Excellence and innovation
- Thriving communities
- Resilient economy
- Places and destinations
- Connecting people and places
- Green and blue infrastructure
- Built environment
- Integrated delivery
"These Strategic Policies have been created from the March 2016 consultation feedback and are further supported with over 50 evidence base research findings carried out as part of the planning process. They will form an integral role within Regulation 19 Local Plan and contain high-level, less technical, information but set out clear parameters which must be adhered to.
"The evening was incredibly informational and engaging [so the OPDC says of itself!], with almost 60 slides and over 20 questions asked from the community.
"You can view all the slides from the presentation [also below] and if you would like to be informed of future events, including the second Local Plan Update, which will focus on explaining the differences with the Regulation 19 Local Plan you can sign up to receive our newsletter.
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"There is a growing recognition that large-scale housing development can and should play a large role in meeting housing need. Garden towns and villages – planned correctly– can deliver sustainable new communities and take development pressure off less sustainable locations or forms of development.
"However, what looks good on paper needs to deliver in practice. Plans putting forward large sites to meet need must have a justification for the assumptions they make about how quickly sites can start providing new homes, and be reasonable about the rate of development. That way, a local authority can decide how far it needs to complement its large-scale release with other sites – large or small – elsewhere in its district.
"Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners' latest research looks at the evidence on speed and rate of delivery of large-scale housing based on a large number of sites across England and Wales (outside London)."
"Sadiq Khan today set out plans to put local people, not buildings, at the heart of his estate regeneration plans.
"The Mayor published draft guidelines for all new developments which suggest that Londoners should be involved in shaping proposals from an early stage.
"The plans, drawn up with boroughs, housing associations and residents' groups, recommend tenants get full rights to be rehoused on their estates after they have been modernised.
"City Hall aims to avoid the type of controversy that surrounded regeneration schemes such as Heygate Estate and Earl's Court, [not to mention Barnet's corruption around Brent Cross] in which residents claimed they were being forced out."
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"The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced plans to recruit a team of entrepreneurs and business leaders to help protect London’s workshops, studios and workspaces.
The Workspace Providers Board will advise on securing workspace, including through the planning process, and creating new space, for example through identifying sites for building new developments or re-fitting empty space in existing buildings.
"The Board will also advise the Mayor on wider challenges and issues around workspace, such as permitted development rights and general affordability.
"Research published recently by The Institute for Public Policy Research estimates that London’s open workspaces host 31,000 people and generate £1.7 billion for the capital’s economy. The report recommends continuing to protect workspace through the planning system and using surplus public sector assets to create new workspaces in areas of employment growth.
"The Mayor says he will write to all of London’s boroughs asking them to support and help create affordable workspace in their local areas. Sadiq will ask the boroughs to signal their commitment to protecting workspace by signing up to a workspace pledge.
"The pledge will ask boroughs to support the important role of workspace for start-ups, small businesses and artists in London by implementing a number of measures, including:
"The Mayor continues to urge ministers to give London greater control of permitted development rights and business rates in his continuing drive to help small businesses.
- Limiting the conversion of office space to residential space through permitted development rights
- Encouraging the provision of affordable workspace through planning policy and good practice
- Ensuring new developments include non-residential space suitable for the needs of small businesses
- Seeking funding and partnerships to create new space for start-ups, small businesses, the creative industries and artists.
"The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:
"I promised to be the most pro-business Mayor London has ever seen – and now I’m delivering on that promise by protecting workspace for the use of local entrepreneurs and small businesses.
"Clare McNeil, IPPR Associate Director for work and families said:
When we give Londoners with skills and talent the space they need to fulfil their potential, we pave the way for the great businesses of tomorrow.
Whether you are an entrepreneur looking to expand your business or a creative start-up that needs more space to work, my message to you is that London is open for those with ideas and passion."
"Affordable workspaces are vital to sustaining London’s start-ups and creative and social enterprises. They are the lifeblood of London’s economy, with over thirty thousand people working in them, including growing numbers of London’s self-employed in need of flexible workspace.
However in many cases rents for these workspaces are becoming unsustainable. The government’s relaxation of planning rules for office to residential conversions is also leading to a shortage of affordable workspace in some areas, as well as little in the way of affordable housing.
Action needs to be taken if London’s rich and diverse micro businesses are not to be squeezed out. The Mayor is announcing important measures today, but central government should devolve extra powers as well to make sure these workspaces are properly nurtured."
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"As autumn approached, Crossrail announced that, following a very intense and busy period, the project had reached yet another milestone – declaring that 75 per cent of the work was now complete. To understand better just what '75 per cent complete' actually means for the engineers involved, Rail Engineer caught up with Chris Binns, chief engineer for the £14.8 billion project.
"First, a recap on the project. Crossrail extends from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east, a route that is 118km long. It includes a new central core consisting of 42km of new bored tunnels.
"There are 40 stations on the route, including 10 new Crossrail stations that are entering their final stages of construction. Some are in very complex locations – Paddington, Bond Street, Whitechapel and Liverpool Street to mention a few. In addition, there are complex, redesigned track layouts both west and east of the capital.
"Bombardier is currently building 66 new trains at its factory in Derby. Each train is 200 metres long and designed to carry 1,500 passengers. The first trains are now coming off the production lines for trials and testing, ready to be introduced to services on the route between Liverpool Street and Shenfield by May 2017. This deadline will be followed by further targets of May 2018 from Heathrow to Paddington, then Paddington to Abbey Wood by December 2018."