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Thursday 5 February 2015

City AM Ignores Ordinary Londoners

London’s unashamedly pro-business morning free sheet City AM was ecstatic yesterday as it brought the news thatLondon City Airport given green light for £200m expansion by Newham council”. After all, this is the paper read by all those Nigel Hyphen Hyphen Stroke Money types who know that they have to be able to fly to and from somewhere very close to the city’s Docklands, or their cocks will drop off.
City AM backs this man - now you know why

The good news just kept on coming: “The chief executive of the airport Declan Collier welcomed the decision as ‘great result for the capital’. The scheme could see passenger numbers double at the east London airport to 6m and create up to 2,000 jobs. A four-star hotel will be built on site. The airport's reach will extend beyond Western Europe and branch out to Eastern Europe and North Africa”.

So lots of reassuringly expensive fizz will no doubt be getting uncorked as I type. And who might be helping this exercise along? “If Mayor Boris Johnson gets on board with the project work could start by the end of the year. As a leading international city, London is facing intense demands on its transport infrastructure”. Yes, let’s cheer for Bozza, and forget where the real pressure on that infrastructure lies.

While the bubbly is being broken out in and around One Canada Square, over on the other side of town, the Piccadilly Line - its train fleet now into its fifth decade of service - has just given its hard-pressed commuters another Morning Travel Experience From Hell. That is the kind of transport infrastructure that ordinary Londoners would like to see improved - along with long-overdue cycling space. At least the Standard understands this.

So their headline, “City Airport £200m expansion gets go-ahead but campaigners say it will create 'ghettos and misery’”, attempts to strike a balance. The incessant inflation of Bozza’s achievements - mainly because of the lack of them - is all too often used to mask serious failures: apart from the creaking state of parts of the Underground, the capital’s bus network is suffering as a result of the Mayor’s skewed priorities.

Bozza wants the world to see his wonderful new bus, but the reality is that this vanity exercise is starving the rest of the system of much-needed investment in capacity, and reliability is being undermined by worsening congestion. On top of all that, whisper it quietly, the much-trumpeted expansion of City airport is not actually much of an expansion at all - because one operating constraint remains.

Yes, there may be approval for “an extended terminal, a new taxi-way and additional parking stands for larger aircraft”, but the Airport’s runway remains less than 5,000 feet long. Its glide slope angles are so steep that this restricts the aircraft types that may land and take off there. And so, for the most part, it remains a resource for the rich of London’s financial districts. That is where City AM’s priorities lie.

That means they’re giving ordinary Londoners the finger. What an absolute shower.

1 comment:

SteveB said...

Presumably this involves filling in at least part of the KGV Dock.

Not just City AM spinning it, Newham Council are also doing their best. They say it will see the MAXIMUM (my caps.) number of flights reduced from 120,000 to 111,000. Presumably the higher figure is part of a previous planning consent that has never actually been reached, as the Standard points out it means the ACTUAL number of flights will rise from the current 70,000 to as many as 111,000 (over a 50% increase by my maths).

And once again we get the COULD claim. This "it COULD see passenger numbers doubled etc. etc."
But then again it COULD see 200 passengers die a huge fireball as more chances of collsion are set up. It COULD see as many as 100 passengers drown as their taxiing plane slips over the very close edge of the dock. Not that I want to worry anyone, just examples of the word COULD used in a way that spin-meisters don't.

And the question on lips of millions (or possibly not) - does this mean they will have to alter the title sequence of Eastenders?