Archive for Boris

Threat of planes flying into the Olympic cable car – Still unlikley

Posted in Alas the Mystery Remains Holmes, Engineering, Irregular Features, Olympic Cable Car, Rantings, Your cut-out-and-keep Guide with tags , , , , , , , , on February 4, 2011 by awickerman

Friends of the Earth have managed to get the BBC to parrot out articles and news items on their latest ill informed panic; Olympic Cable Car at risk from London City Airport.

As a big supporter of the marvellously stupid cable car I was naturally concerned and spent a whole handful of minutes on the interweb. So we amble to the original cable car planning application lodged with Newham council and gather a route picture, then off to London City Airport for the information on the Public Safety Zone (PSZ). Combining these mighty pictures with literally minutes of photoshop gives you;

A map of the cable car route skilfully mixed with the Public Safety Zone

Is it too late to call this a mashup? What's the Web 2.0 Service Pack 1 phrase I should be using?

As you can see the Zone of Death (aka where the cable car route crosses the Public Safety Zone), which is where the cable cars will be ‘at risk from City Airport planes’ is a tiny corner squeezed into the far end. Ohh and also includes the A1011 and the A1020 roads, but strangely they aren’t considered ‘at risk’ despite actually existing? Is it just that people don’t care if road users are killed when planes crash into them? While that may be true for Friends of the Earth I think this section of the Civil Aviation Authority site may be more relevant;

PSZ Reviews

Airport Status
Bournemouth Closed 30 September 2010 – Nil comments received
Newcastle Closed 23 August 2010 – Nil comments received
Bristol Closed 23 August 2010 – Nil comments received
London City Airport Open – closing date for representations has been extended to 14 March 2011 – see London City Airport Notification Document inc map9 and FAQs

So in fact that Public Safety Zone is the proposed expansion and still hasn’t been confirmed? And the current one in fact stops in the middle of the Royal Victoria Dock? And as the cable car has planning permission it’s now treated the same as any other existing development? And the new PSZ is based on traffic forecasts that assume London City Airport gets to increase it’s traffic levels, so in fact the burden is on the CAA and London City Airport to prove that the new traffic levels (and new PSZ) won’t endanger the cable car and not the other way round? Well that’s a relief.

While I can understand why Friends of the Earth would do this, they were the people who fought a judicial review against London City Airports attempts to expand so any mud will do, why is the BBC so lazy? This was 5 minutes work on the internet, that lovely graphic took most of the time, surely BBC journalists can use search engines, so why don’t they?


Never go back. Except when your right

Posted in And thus the Mystery was solved Watson!, Engineering with tags , , , , , , , on February 2, 2011 by awickerman

Those of you with nothing better to remember may recall this post from last September discussing the East London River Crossing (or one of it’s many aliases). My essential conclusion was; the bridge is not going to happen and Boris is talking rubbish. Again.

Well thanks to a belated comment from a chap called ‘N’ (enigmatic in a Bond spoof kind of way) our man on the spot says the land owner claims the bridge is hold, yet trees are being felled allegedly for a park. Does this make my claim more or less true?

Beginning with industry rumour, the report has apparently duly said ‘Yes you could build a bridge cheaply’ (no shock there, you can knock up a decent road bridge east of London for ~£30 million if you make the effort) but the government has said ‘No you can’t expect the rest of the UK to stump up £200 million for a bridge in East London.’

Proof? Well BoJo last words on the subject were from late November and proudly declaimed City Hall were;

“looking at bringing forward a series of river crossings in the next few years, east of London Bridge”

If that’s not a grand statement proving the Gallions Reach Bridge idea is dead I don’t know what is. I am therefore declaring my previous prediction correct and the crossing is not going to happen any time soon.

That said I still expect to see yet another East London River Crossing idea crop up in the next few months, though my cynical side wouldn’t be surprised to see the official announcement delayed till the run up to the Mayoral elections. One day politicians will stop treating infrastructure as a pre-election bribe. And one day pigs will fly.

Still for those of you hungry for a cross Thames crossing in East London – good news! The cable car has got planning permission and almost all the whining killjoys at CABE are being sacked. Truly marvellous days for those of us who would enjoy a ridiculous cable car and hate almost all architects.

Another London Transport Mystery Explained

Posted in Almost Beyond Words, And thus the Mystery was solved Watson!, The Underground, Tunnels with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2011 by awickerman

Do you have a burning desire to check people’s tickets on public transport? Do you want to spend all day standing on a bus or train and argue with commuters and passengers about whether or not they have a valid ticket? If so become a Revenue Protection Officer! And for god’s sake work for those idiots at Transport for London who’ll pay you more than anyone else would dream of.

If you ask those nice chaps at the Department of Eduction, through the yoff orientated Job4U site, they will tell you a Revenue Protection chap could earn £14,500 as a new entrant, up to maybe £22,500 for a senior role.  The Transport Skills Council agrees and give the helpful advice that about £17,000 is what a trained, post-probation officer should expect, though I suspect they may have added an extra ‘0’ on the starting salary. That or they think the starting salary really is £145,000 which looks a bit steep even by TfL standards.

With that in mind how much do you think TfL pay a new starter? No, it’s more than that, it is in fact £30,150, rising to £34,141 after 1 years probation, plus of course 30 days holiday and a final salary pension. For this you will have to do a 36 hour week, earliest start of 6:30, latest 22:40 and no night shifts (fair enough, who’d want to revenue protect a night bus?) and ping around London on various bus routes. In the unlikely event you can’t imagine what the job involves there is a hand youtube video explaining it.

Neither the work nor the conditions are worse than a revenue inspector anywhere else in the UK would experience, yet they pay more than double what everyone else does. This is just one of the reasons why the ‘Bus’ part of TfL requires a subsidy of £600 million a year,  but don’t expect anything to be done about it. After all if people asked questions about salaries rather than just brutally cutting the network someone might ask questions about why Paul Hendy is on £430,000 despite being an idiot, why so many of his minions have to be paid over £100,000 despite a track record of incompetent failure or why we need a £75,000 Head of Behaviour Change Programme.

I’m sure it doesn’t need saying that Revenue Protection Officers are, of course, covered by that friend of the traveller Bob Crow and his loveable funsters at the RMT. However it’s only in London that he’s managed to gain such hansom remuneration for his members. Explanations vary. You could believe that only in London were management stupid enough to grant such pay rises, you could say that only in London is public transport important enough to allow a union to blackmail people or you instead note that all the payrises occurred under that union favourite Ken Livingstone who probably just hurled money at them as payment for that support. And frankly if you don’t think it was option 3 you should take a long hard look in the mirror, and then look at this marvellous Kabul time-share opportunity I have for you…..

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