diamond geezer

 Tuesday, July 09, 2024

20 years ago this week TfL published a map of what their transport network might look like in 2016.
(technically it was 20 years ago last week, but the actual anniversary was election day and we were all otherwise occupied)

They hoped it might look like this.



The map has obviously disappeared from the TfL website because two decades is a digital lifetime. Thankfully London Reconnections wrote about it in 2011 and uploaded a large jpg which, thanks to blogspot longevity, still exists. Also way back in 2004 the Wayback Machine captured and stored the original pdf, which I only found because I blogged about the map at the time and my post included the correct link. Hurrah for planned non-obsolescence. [jpg] [pdf]

The original press release also still exists, 2004 being the earliest year TfL's archive keeps. I can reproduce it here in full because back in 2004 press releases were generally straight-forward statements of fact rather than pumped full of verbose backslapping brand froth.
Mayor of London Ken Livingstone today revealed his map of how London's transport system could look in 2016. The new map includes all the major transport projects planned for the next ten years including Crossrail, the East London Line Extension, Thameslink 2000 and DLR extensions.

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said: "Improved transport infrastructure is vital for London to maintain the international competitiveness upon which our prosperity depends. This map shows how London's transport system will look in 2016 if we make the essential investments in the city's transport infrastructure. These investments are necessary to sustain London's growth and prosperity and will enhance the economic growth prospects and productivity of the entire United Kingdom. This map represents the future of London's transport system. It shows what we need to do to ensure our city's future success."
2004 was a completely different world - lots of projects in the pot, potential money from government and all partially spurred on by London being one of the candidate cities for the 2012 Olympics. But which of the potential projects made it into transport reality and which fell by the wayside (or were comprehensively binned by a subsequent Mayor)? How much of this future 2016 actually happened, and how much of it happened late?



East London Line
The Overground was already being planned in 2004, the former East London tube line closing in 2006 so it could be transformed and extended north and south. This section, which is about to be dubbed the Windrush line, opened through the Thames Tunnel in 2010 with the connection to Clapham Junction added in 2012. It's interesting to see that the original intention at the northern end was for trains to terminate one stop further on at Caledonian Road & Barnsbury, not Highbury & Islington. The other anomaly is the perennially-deferred station at Surrey Canal Road whose funding somehow remains in limbo to this day.

Metropolitan Line
The map includes the long lost Metropolitan line extension to Watford Junction, including the original intermediate station names of Ascot Road and Watford West. Planners took it terribly seriously for years and Boris later waved a magic wand regarding funding, but Sadiq silently scuppered it almost as soon as he came to power. Our first 2016 map failure.

Piccadilly Line
This is the extension to Heathrow Terminal 5 which opened successfully in 2008. By July 2004 the British Airports Association had already agreed to fund it so it was always going to happen.

Crossrail
This arrived a lot lot later than 2016 but was already on the drawing board in July 2004 (and finally got government funding a fortnight after this map was published). The route across central London was already set with stations in all the now-familiar locations, plus an understanding that it'd branch east to Shenfield and Abbey Wood. Out west however the termini were Heathrow and Kingston (the latter via Richmond and an intriguing interchange at Turnham Green), with Maidenhead/Reading added later. Stations at Acton Main Line, West Ealing, Hanwell and Southall were not proposed at this time, ditto Maryland out east, ditto Woolwich (a very last minute addition). The other big difference between then and now is that the line was due to extend past Abbey Wood to Dartford and Ebbsfleet - still an aspiration but a not a very likely one.

Thameslink
Thameslink already existed in 2004, indeed trains had been crossing the City since 1988. What this map was referencing was Thameslink 2000 and the (massively-delayed) connection between Finsbury Park and King's Cross Thameslink which finally linked up in 2018. Additional tentacles to Horsham, Orpington, Sevenoaks and Rainham were not envisaged at this time.

Croydon Tramlink ❌❌❌
Croydon's trams were only four years old at this point and there was vast optimism regarding potential extensions. The map shows three of these including a wildly aspirational Streatham-Purley link which never properly advanced. Elsewhere a short branch to Crystal Palace was progressing nicely until 2008 when Boris abruptly pulled the plug, and a slimmed-down connection to Sutton was vaguely on the drawing board until the pandemic scuppered it.

Docklands Light Railway ✅✅❌
Three extensions were shown and two were built well before 2016. A new branch to Woolwich Arsenal opened in 2009 and to Stratford International in 2011. The extension that never came to pass was to Dagenham Dock, since reimagined as a shorter cross-river connection to Thamesmead. The Overground got to Barking Riverside instead in 2022. Closer scrutiny of the map shows the presence of a still-unachieved DLR halt at Thames Wharf and no extra station at Langdon Park (opened 2007).

West London Transit/Cross River Transit ❌❌
Ken Livingstone was a big fan of trams and had two new projects on the go. West London Transit was the most advanced, except local people kicked up such a stink about laying tram tracks along the Uxbridge Road that the only politically sensible action was to ditch it. Today Superloop route SL8 has to suffice. Cross River Transit would have linked Camden Town to Peckham and Brixton via Waterloo Bridge, a considerable imposition on roads in central London but also an opportunity to plug a tube/rail void beyond Elephant & Castle. Boris killed that off six months after taking office, as he did with the next two...

East London Transit/Greenwich Waterfront Transit ❌❌
These weren't trams, they were "segregated high-quality bus schemes", but Boris extinguished both anyway. ELT was subsequently trimmed to a couple of routes between Barking and Barking Riverside (with branded vehicles and bus shelters), rather than the intended web of routes to Barkingside, Rainham, Romford and beyond. GWT has only come back on the radar recently as a possible new Superloop route linking Greenwich to Thamesmead. Boris also binned the Thames Gateway Bridge which would have linked the Transits across the Thames (although completion of the alternative Silvertown Tunnel is now only a year away).

(you can discover more about all these projects as they stood mid-2000s on an archived version of Dave Arquati's much lamented website alwaystouchout.com)

Also on the 2004 map...
✅ Silverlink (which became the core of the first tranche of the Overground in 2007)
✅ Eurostar switching to St Pancras (but also shown at Stratford International which never happened)

We don't often step back and take stock of forward-looking snapshots taken many years ago. How much was delivered, how much proved impractical and how much was dropped... and what does that teach us about future plans?

The 2016 map may not have happened in full but a goodly proportion of it eventually did, delivering better transport links for all. This feels especially relevant as a new government takes control and pledges to focus on growth rather than NIMBY complaints. Sometimes you really have to focus on the long game, however expensive and/or unpopular delivering it might be, because 20 years later all that really matters is what got built.


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan24  Feb24  Mar24  Apr24  May24  Jun24  Jul24
Jan23  Feb23  Mar23  Apr23  May23  Jun23  Jul23  Aug23  Sep23  Oct23  Nov23  Dec23
Jan22  Feb22  Mar22  Apr22  May22  Jun22  Jul22  Aug22  Sep22  Oct22  Nov22  Dec22
Jan21  Feb21  Mar21  Apr21  May21  Jun21  Jul21  Aug21  Sep21  Oct21  Nov21  Dec21
Jan20  Feb20  Mar20  Apr20  May20  Jun20  Jul20  Aug20  Sep20  Oct20  Nov20  Dec20
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19  Apr19  May19  Jun19  Jul19  Aug19  Sep19  Oct19  Nov19  Dec19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

» my flickr photostream

twenty blogs
our bow
arseblog
ian visits
londonist
broken tv
blue witch
on london
the great wen
edith's streets
spitalfields life
linkmachinego
round the island
wanstead meteo
christopher fowler
the greenwich wire
bus and train user
ruth's coastal walk
round the rails we go
london reconnections
from the murky depths

quick reference features
Things to do in Outer London
Things to do outside London
London's waymarked walks
Inner London toilet map
20 years of blog series
The DG Tour of Britain
London's most...

read the archive
Jul24  Jun24  May24
Apr24  Mar24  Feb24  Jan24
Dec23  Nov23  Oct23  Sep23
Aug23  Jul23  Jun23  May23
Apr23  Mar23  Feb23  Jan23
Dec22  Nov22  Oct22  Sep22
Aug22  Jul22  Jun22  May22
Apr22  Mar22  Feb22  Jan22
Dec21  Nov21  Oct21  Sep21
Aug21  Jul21  Jun21  May21
Apr21  Mar21  Feb21  Jan21
Dec20  Nov20  Oct20  Sep20
Aug20  Jul20  Jun20  May20
Apr20  Mar20  Feb20  Jan20
Dec19  Nov19  Oct19  Sep19
Aug19  Jul19  Jun19  May19
Apr19  Mar19  Feb19  Jan19
Dec18  Nov18  Oct18  Sep18
Aug18  Jul18  Jun18  May18
Apr18  Mar18  Feb18  Jan18
Dec17  Nov17  Oct17  Sep17
Aug17  Jul17  Jun17  May17
Apr17  Mar17  Feb17  Jan17
Dec16  Nov16  Oct16  Sep16
Aug16  Jul16  Jun16  May16
Apr16  Mar16  Feb16  Jan16
Dec15  Nov15  Oct15  Sep15
Aug15  Jul15  Jun15  May15
Apr15  Mar15  Feb15  Jan15
Dec14  Nov14  Oct14  Sep14
Aug14  Jul14  Jun14  May14
Apr14  Mar14  Feb14  Jan14
Dec13  Nov13  Oct13  Sep13
Aug13  Jul13  Jun13  May13
Apr13  Mar13  Feb13  Jan13
Dec12  Nov12  Oct12  Sep12
Aug12  Jul12  Jun12  May12
Apr12  Mar12  Feb12  Jan12
Dec11  Nov11  Oct11  Sep11
Aug11  Jul11  Jun11  May11
Apr11  Mar11  Feb11  Jan11
Dec10  Nov10  Oct10  Sep10
Aug10  Jul10  Jun10  May10
Apr10  Mar10  Feb10  Jan10
Dec09  Nov09  Oct09  Sep09
Aug09  Jul09  Jun09  May09
Apr09  Mar09  Feb09  Jan09
Dec08  Nov08  Oct08  Sep08
Aug08  Jul08  Jun08  May08
Apr08  Mar08  Feb08  Jan08
Dec07  Nov07  Oct07  Sep07
Aug07  Jul07  Jun07  May07
Apr07  Mar07  Feb07  Jan07
Dec06  Nov06  Oct06  Sep06
Aug06  Jul06  Jun06  May06
Apr06  Mar06  Feb06  Jan06
Dec05  Nov05  Oct05  Sep05
Aug05  Jul05  Jun05  May05
Apr05  Mar05  Feb05  Jan05
Dec04  Nov04  Oct04  Sep04
Aug04  Jul04  Jun04  May04
Apr04  Mar04  Feb04  Jan04
Dec03  Nov03  Oct03  Sep03
Aug03  Jul03  Jun03  May03
Apr03  Mar03  Feb03  Jan03
Dec02  Nov02  Oct02  Sep02
back to main page

the diamond geezer index
2023 2022
2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
2006 2005 2004 2003 2002

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
unlost rivers
cube routes
Herbert Dip
metro-land
capital ring
river fleet
piccadilly
bakerloo

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
boredom
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters
iceland

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
thunderbirds
routemaster
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
amsterdam
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
typewriters
doctor who
coronation
comments
blue peter
matchgirls
hurricanes
buzzwords
brookside
monopoly
peter pan
starbucks
feng shui
leap year
manbags
bbc three
vision on
piccadilly
meridian
concorde
wembley
islington
ID cards
bedtime
freeview
beckton
blogads
eclipses
letraset
arsenal
sitcoms
gherkin
calories
everest
muffins
sudoku
camilla
london
ceefax
robbie
becks
dome
BBC2
paris
lotto
118
itv