diamond geezer

 Wednesday, October 31, 2012

TfL are currently considering building two new river crossings in East London. What they'd like is a new tunnel at Silvertown (roughly underneath the cablecar) and a new ferry at Gallions Reach. To this end they've been running a public consultation to see what the public thinks, and what do you know, the public appears to be in favour.
• "Over 90% of those who responded agreed that there is a need for more river crossings in East and South East London."
• "Over 80% of respondents supported the Silvertown Tunnel."
• "Over 60% supported the Gallions Reach Ferry."
So now there's a new public consultation to iron out some of the more niggly detail, like the fact the Blackwall Tunnel will suddenly have to have tolls, and the Woolwich Ferry will probably have to close. Once they know this, will London's motorists still be so keen?
"Some of the people who responded to the previous consultation on river crossings suggested that tolling would be a good way to fund the investment."
Hang on, where have the statistics gone? There were proper percentages to back up the previous conclusions, whereas this is empty babble. It might be that only 2 people out of 4000 suggested introducing tolling on river crossings, but someone's subtly nudging this consultation towards tolling being an acceptable idea. Here's why.
"There is currently no funding set aside in TfL's budget for the major infrastructure projects outlined in this consultation. This means that in order to deliver them we would need to identify a means of paying for them."
This is the future of public transport development in Austerity London. No money for new projects is available from the public purse unless someone other than TfL coughs up and contributes. We've already got a cablecar part-funded by a Middle Eastern airline. The proposed Northern line extension is only being built to keep developers at Battersea happy. Crossrail will have a station in Woolwich solely because a housing company wants to pay for it. What next?

In particular, what additional toll-funded river crossings could we introduce to keep the Arabfly Dangleway company? Here are ten suggestions. You may have more...

1) The McSilvertown Drive Thru: Ride through Ronald McDonald's magic tunnel, placing your order on one bank and exiting with a bag of burgers on the other.
2) The Wonga Gallions Reach Ferry: No need to pay for your £5 ticket straight away. Instead interest on your loan accrues at 4214% APR, allowing you to pay £50 on the way back.
3) The O2 Priority Foot Tunnel: A new pedestrian walkway will be created between Docklands and North Greenwich. Free to O2 customers, otherwise £29.95 a time.
4) The Rotherhithe Skycycle: Let's build an aerial superhighway suspended from balloons. Entirely impractical, but it'll look pretty, and that's what's important.
5) The Erith Catapult: The perfect tool for Bexley to rid itself of undesirables and NEETS, by firing them across the Thames to a new workfare camp on Rainham Marshes.
6) The Elizabeth Embankment: A six lane express motorway floated on the Thames between Richmond and Chelsea to smooth the traffic flow.
7) The Utterly Butterly Westminster Punt: This essential transport link will allow Cambridge graduates to ferry small groups of tourists across to the South Bank for £25 per trip. Discounts available for regular users.
8) The Carlsberg Frost Fair: Refrigeration technology allows the Pool of London to be artificially frozen over, with visitors charged for access to the fairground, lager concessions and skating rink.
9) Old London Bridge: An exclusive cross-river housing development of luxury apartments for Russian multimillionaires, built parallel to the existing London Bridge on the site of its medieval predecessor.
10) Boris Airport: A series of floating runways off the coast of Kent, linked to London and Southend via toll motorways and a bloody expensive rail service. Probably the least likely project on this list to get built.

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