diamond geezer

 Friday, September 29, 2017

Back in 2006, The Building Centre in Bloomsbury held an exhibition called London's Moving. Subtitled How Transport is Changing, it sought to shine a light on proposed improvements to transport in the capital. In particular it tried to suggest how likely each project was to be realised.
Each of the schemes featured in the exhibition has been given a special 'rating' by specialist consultancy LCA. The rating aims to give a 'score' for each scheme's overall likelihood of success, where 100% represents the highest guarantee of success, 50% is where things might be said to hang in the balance, and anything lower than 50% means the scheme faces such challenges that overall deliverability must be questioned, to a varying degree. The scoring is based on three factors - logistics, economics and politics.
I thought it'd be interesting to revisit three dozen of the projects then in the pipeline, and see how those probabilities turned out. How long ago 2006 now seems. At the time Ken Livingstone was well into his second mayoral term, Boris Johnson hadn't expressed any interest in taking over, and nobody was expecting the imminent economic slump. So, how did the experts do in the face of sheer unpredictability? (n.b. a lot of the coloured text is clickable)

97% Heathrow Terminal 5 (opened 2008)
97% Olympic Waterways (Three Mills Lock) (opened 2009) (hardly used)
97% St Pancras International (opened 2007)
90% London Cycle Network (high quality cycle lanes) (opened 2010) (incomplete)
90% Croydon Tramlink Extension (to Crystal Palace) (cancelled 2008)
87% DLR Extensions - Woolwich (opened 2009), Stratford International (opened 2011), Dagenham Dock (cancelled 2008)
83% London Overground (ELL phase 2) (opened 2010)
80% King's Cross Station Redevelopment (completed 2012)
80% Thames Gateway Bridge (Beckton-Thamesmead) (cancelled 2008) (back on drawing board)
77% London City Airport Extension (opened 2008)
77% Elephant & Castle Station Redevelopment (has not happened)
77% White City (Westfield-related) (opened 2008)
70% iBus (rolled out 2011)
63% Battersea Park Station Redevelopment (has not happened) (Northern line being extended instead)
60% Crossrail (opening 2018)
60% Euston Station Redevelopment (has not happened)
60% Cannon Street Station Redevelopment (completed 2012)
60% Victoria Station Redevelopment (tube) (completing 2018)
60% Thameslink Programme (completing 2018)
60% Low Emission Zone (introduced 2008)
57% Congestion Charge Zone Extension (introduced 2007) (revoked 2011)
57% Waterloo Station Redevelopment (completing 2018)
53% Croxley Rail Link (work ceased 2016)
53% London Bridge Station Redevelopment (completing 2018)
50% Silvertown Crossing (expected 2023) (tunnel, not bridge)
50% Airtrack (direct access from Reading/Waterloo to Heathrow) (cancelled 2011)
50% Thames Gateway Transit (cancelled 2008)
50% A1 Corridor - Old Street (consultation 2014), Highbury Corner (consultation 2016), Archway (completed 2017)
47% Battersea Power Station Riverbus (pier opening 2017)
47% Heathrow East (a rebuilt Terminal 2) (opened 2014)
43% Oxford Street Tram (cancelled 2008)
37% Mail Rail (converted to freight railway) (never happened) (museum opened 2017)
33% Cross River Tram (cancelled 2008)
30% London Underground Repair and Upgrade - Signalling (expected 2023), Track renewal (ongoing), Station Improvements (ongoing)
27% West London Tram (cancelled 2007)
27% New Runways At London's Airports (still up in the air)
10% Monometro 2012 (Liverpool Street to Isle of Dogs) (pipedream)
10% Offshore London Airport (rejected 2014)

A few thoughts.
» The experts did quite well, with a lot of green at the top and most of the red at the bottom.
» It's amazing how many projects still aren't complete, eleven years after they were on the drawing board.
» Very few projects completed between 2012 and 2016.
» Some real biggies are scheduled for 2018.
» Some projects we now think of as dead certs were looking questionable in 2006 (e.g. Crossrail).
» Some projects that looked like dead certs in 2006 just vanished (e.g. Tramlink to Crystal Palace, DLR to Dagenham Dock).
» That Croxley Rail Link percentage (53%) still looks quite prophetic.
» Imagine how wrong a list of planned transport projects from 2017 will look in 2028.
» A few other projects happened instead...

Not in the list, but have been completed since
0% Cycle Hire (opened 2010)
0% Cablecar (opened 2012)
0% Night Tube (opened 2016)

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