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  #1  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2007, 4:45 PM
Lucky Luke Lucky Luke is offline
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Why can't London DO stuff?

The Millenium Dome...
The Jubilee Line Extension...
Wembley Stadium...
The East London Line Extension...
Crossrail...
Channel Tunnel Rail Link

The above are all projects that have suffered from massively spiralling costs, public rows and farcical delays of sometimes many years after the initial due date. They're all in London, former capital of an Empire, hub of global finance, "world city" and home of great universities.

When you look abroad and see the awesome projects that are just DONE, little fuss, little problem, it makes me wonder. The Greeks put on the Olympics, the French built stade de France for £180m. Madrid built a 30km metro line in 3 years from design to opening, for $85m/km.

By contrast Wembley stadium will have cost around £1 bn when it finally opens this year (if it does!), the 16km JLE took 7 years to build after design and final approval (30 years after proposal) and cost $375m/km, the £1bn Millenium Dome does Nothing. The Channel Tunnel Rail Link took 10 years.

So what's the problem here? Will they really be up to the Olympics in 2012?
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  #2  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2007, 5:08 PM
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You think these things don't happen in other places?

Our 120 million dollar hospital that was supposed to open in 2001, ended up being a half billion dollar hospital that opened in 2004 and it not only falling apart, but sinking too!

London can DO stuff. Trust me. The Olympics will be great.
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  #3  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2007, 5:13 PM
Lucky Luke Lucky Luke is offline
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Yes these problems do happen elsewhere. And in some places they don't for some reason that I am eager to discover. Is it a lack of centralised control? Too much private sector reliance? Conflicting interests? Or downright incompetence from the top down?
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  #4  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2007, 5:42 PM
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1. this isn't buildings or architecture
2. this seems like troll bait/city vs city crap

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  #5  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2007, 6:05 PM
UglymanCometh UglymanCometh is offline
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Boo fuckin hoo.

Unless you live in Detroit, you can't complain about shit. lol.....

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  #6  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2007, 7:49 PM
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^ As a resident of the former 3rd city of the most powerful nation in the world, I second that. (3rd city is like "king of an empire status" in itself.)
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  #7  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2007, 8:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky Luke View Post

When you look abroad and see the awesome projects that are just DONE, little fuss, little problem, it makes me wonder. The Greeks put on the Olympics...
The end result was good, but is that really an example of efficiency to aspire to? Hopefully London will be more organized and efficient in puting together the Olympics.

The Millenium Dome was a bad idea from the start, and all the other projects you name had some issues, but nothing that you don't see in projects that size anywhere else in the world (look at Millenium Park in Chicago - it was way over budget and wasn't completed until 2004). The Eye opened late, but worked out well.

Last edited by Attrill; Mar 3, 2007 at 9:02 PM.
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  #8  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2007, 12:31 PM
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I'm telling you this is a curse from selling the London Bridge to Arizona..

Millenium Dome is being transformed into an entertainment mecca complete with a decent sized arena, theaters, shops, eaterys, and clubs now no?
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  #9  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2007, 12:42 PM
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I'm telling you this is a curse from selling the London Bridge to Arizona..

Millenium Dome is being transformed into an entertainment mecca complete with a decent sized arena, theaters, shops, eaterys, and clubs now no?
Oh wait... I just described a shopping mall..
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  #10  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2007, 3:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky Luke View Post
The Millenium Dome...
The Jubilee Line Extension...
Wembley Stadium...
The East London Line Extension...
Crossrail...
Channel Tunnel Rail Link

The above are all projects that have suffered from massively spiralling costs, public rows and farcical delays of sometimes many years after the initial due date. They're all in London, former capital of an Empire, hub of global finance, "world city" and home of great universities.

When you look abroad and see the awesome projects that are just DONE, little fuss, little problem, it makes me wonder. The Greeks put on the Olympics, the French built stade de France for £180m. Madrid built a 30km metro line in 3 years from design to opening, for $85m/km.

By contrast Wembley stadium will have cost around £1 bn when it finally opens this year (if it does!), the 16km JLE took 7 years to build after design and final approval (30 years after proposal) and cost $375m/km, the £1bn Millenium Dome does Nothing. The Channel Tunnel Rail Link took 10 years.

So what's the problem here? Will they really be up to the Olympics in 2012?
As numerous posts have illustrated, this isn't a problem that is confined to London, but is a problem around the world. I also disagree with some of your points:

The Millennium Dome was a failure for what it tried out to be, but it is succeeding as a catalyst for regeneration. The Greenwich Peninsula redevelopment project simply wouldn't have happened had the Millennium Dome been built (and the connecting Jubilee Line station). London also wouldn't be building the world's largest indoor arena (26,000 capacity). Within a few years, the once industrial wasteland will be home to over 20,000 people and offices for 24,000 more.

The Jubilee Line Extension was exceptionally costly project, but it was needed and has paid for itself several times over. Who would have thought that back in 1999, that from the lonely 1x150m+ tower, to 2007 that another 6x150m+ towers would be built? The Southbank has been completely opened up (Tate Modern, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, etc...) and wastelands such as the Greenwich Peninsula (mentioned above) and Stratford Rail Lands are going to become new quarters for London. Stratford will also be the hub for the 2012 London Olympics.

Also, another reason for the high cost was the problem of integrating the stations with present stations (most interchanges were re-built to cope with the new line - this isn't a cheap affair) and multiple railway lines, and the requirement to build amongst the biggest and most impressive stations on the planet....Canary Wharf tube station has yet to be matched in modern metro design circles for the simple wow factor.

Wembley Stadium was indeed a shambles, but then thankfully its not public money being thrown down the drain, its Multiplex and the international banks behind it. Yet we'll be getting it in 2 months time, and the entire area around the site will be transformed into yet another big redevelopment opportunity. Several tall buildings and lots of housing and commercial opportunities to ensure that Wembley is a stadium that breathes 24/7 unlike most other stadia around the world which are located in the middle of nowhere surrounded by car parks.

The East London Line Extension was delayed because of democracy: one old guy thought that history was at risk from being destroyed. The result was construction was held up. Should he have done this? In my opinion, he is an idiot, but then his opinion is just as valid as mine and we live a democratic society where concerns have to be understood. You don't tend to get the depth of interaction and democratic procedures that you do in the UK with the planning system, as you would in Europe, let alone the rest of the world.

Crossrail is a project that has been on-going for 70 years. Its annoying that it has yet to be built, but there are multiple reasons for this. The first is that the line has to be built to accommodate projections of the Thames Gateway...these have only been recently finalised. The second is that London is already a hub of activity for railway construction: CTRL, Heathrow T5 Heathrow Express & Piccadilly Line extensions, East London Line, Woolwich DLR Extension, Stratford International DLR Extension and Thameslink.... the general scheme of things is that once the CTRL is finished later this year, those workers will be shifted onto Crossrail. What it means is that you retain the talent to ensure the project in the long-run is as efficiently run as possible, that is where the problem on the Jubilee Line Extension occurred: there simply wasn't vast amounts of global talent around to undertake the complicated project. There is now, and that talent has to be retained. Once Thameslink and the East London Line is finished, then work would probably start on a possible Crossrail 2 Line....

The CTRL was delayed because its a brand new HSR line that needed to be as straight as possible, but had to overcome several hurdles. The first is that several villages had to literally be 'lifted' and moved - again, democracy at work and this takes time. The second is that the CTRL had to travel under London via 2x19km tunnels. To my knowledge, there aren't any HSR lines that travel underground through cities.Yet the project is ahead of schedule and under-budget.

Yet the annoying thing is that while you point out these projects which I should add are probably amongst some of the most complicated engineering projects on the planet, you don't highlight any of the positives:
- East London Line: despite being set back is now back on-track and on schedule
- Heathrow Terminal 5: a 30mppa terminal larger than most cities main airport: ahead of schedule and less expensive than initial projections
- Heathrow Terminal 5 Piccadilly Line & Heathrow Express connections
- Arsenal's new 60,000 Emirates Stadium
- Twickenham Stadium Expansion to 82,000
- CTRL

The amazing thing is, despite London being one of the most expensive cities in the world it still gets done. I can't think of any city on the planet that has the infrastructure or venues of London and is continuing to expand upon them. And now London 2012!

London isn't perfect, but it does far better than most other cities which have far fewer issues or problems to contend with.
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  #11  
Old Posted Mar 6, 2007, 5:19 PM
Lucky Luke Lucky Luke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_taylor View Post

Yet the annoying thing is that while you point out these projects which I should add are probably amongst some of the most complicated engineering projects on the planet, you don't highlight any of the positives:
- East London Line: despite being set back is now back on-track and on schedule
- Heathrow Terminal 5: a 30mppa terminal larger than most cities main airport: ahead of schedule and less expensive than initial projections
- Heathrow Terminal 5 Piccadilly Line & Heathrow Express connections
- Arsenal's new 60,000 Emirates Stadium
- Twickenham Stadium Expansion to 82,000
- CTRL

The amazing thing is, despite London being one of the most expensive cities in the world it still gets done. I can't think of any city on the planet that has the infrastructure or venues of London and is continuing to expand upon them. And now London 2012!

London isn't perfect, but it does far better than most other cities which have far fewer issues or problems to contend with.
Nick you are right to point out the successes. In the case of Twickenham and Arsenal, these are both private enterprises and that's crucial. In the public domain what we get is --- Wembley.
Small scale projects of high importance like the Heathrow links are well carried out.
It' the bigger scale projects that tend to get bogged down in bureaucracy tangles, underfunding, lack of vision and direction. To be honest I think the facilities in many European cities exceed London pound for pound.
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  #12  
Old Posted Mar 6, 2007, 6:04 PM
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its neither a sellers nor a buyers market, its a middlemans rule. For example the ENTIRE Victoria line, with all stations running, took 7 years to build in the 1970s. Fast forward to the millennium and ONE 3 level escalator at Tottenham Ct Rd station takes 12 years to repair.

Imagine walking up and down on your daily commute FOR TWELVE FECKIN YEARS. The corruption is phenomenal - the builders were of course, charging us taxpayers by the hour.
Yep, for twelve years.

Other examples include refitting a school toilet block costs $400,000. The planning stage alone + 'call out fees' costs us $40,000. Similarly changing a single lightbulb in a public office costs $120.

Dontcha just !LOVE big business?

and blow me, how can one 7 storey office block + underground station refit opposite Big ben cost over $1 billion (more than the new WTC).

...and dont even get me started on the bastards that rob the NHS...
The largest single project on in London is not the Olympic Stadium, it's a 'super'hospital (read: hospital) that will cost over $2 billion. The largest in the country at the mo is the upgrading of the London-Glasgow train line to high speed. It will cost more than the entire Channel Tunnel compex- $36 billion FOR ONE TRAIN TRACK. THATiS ALREADY FECKIN THERE.

Last edited by muppet; Mar 6, 2007 at 6:15 PM.
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  #13  
Old Posted Mar 6, 2007, 6:14 PM
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Basically the rule of thumb goes, if its a public project (read taxpayers money), charge us fuckers through the roof. Stagger the process as long as possible with expensive delays, enquiries and a whole lotta lawyers. Then send ur invoice.
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  #14  
Old Posted Mar 6, 2007, 6:49 PM
Lucky Luke Lucky Luke is offline
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Basically the rule of thumb goes, if its a public project (read taxpayers money), charge us fuckers through the roof. Stagger the process as long as possible with expensive delays, enquiries and a whole lotta lawyers. Then send ur invoice.
I think you may be onto something here...
Isn't it Ken's job to sort this out?
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  #15  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2007, 2:18 PM
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Theres no evidence. Hes already having a hard enough time trying to expose metronet which are much doing the same thing - a signal failure or line breakdown every few minutes on average.
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  #16  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2007, 4:25 PM
nito nito is offline
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Originally Posted by Lucky Luke View Post
Nick you are right to point out the successes. In the case of Twickenham and Arsenal, these are both private enterprises and that's crucial. In the public domain what we get is --- Wembley.
Small scale projects of high importance like the Heathrow links are well carried out.
It' the bigger scale projects that tend to get bogged down in bureaucracy tangles, underfunding, lack of vision and direction. To be honest I think the facilities in many European cities exceed London pound for pound.
Wembley isn't a public domain project.

I also don't see what is 'small scale' about digging several km of tunnels under the busiest 2 runway/international airport in the world, with future connections for Airtrack.

And some cities probably do exceed London for 'value', but then none of those cities have anything close to the infrastructure scale of London. So technically I'd argue against that.



Quote:
Originally Posted by muppet
and blow me, how can one 7 storey office block + underground station refit opposite Big ben cost over $1 billion (more than the new WTC).

The largest in the country at the mo is the upgrading of the London-Glasgow train line to high speed. It will cost more than the entire Channel Tunnel compex- $36 billion FOR ONE TRAIN TRACK. THATiS ALREADY FECKIN THERE.
I quote your two points here because there are issues here that you wouldn't have noticed.

The first is that Portcullis House cost so much is that it included the cost of building the Jubilee Line station below. It also included the crazy task of shifting the Circle & District Lines across the vast void that became the escalator hall down to the platforms....with the tracks above still being used. An engineering miracle that is rarely mentioned.

The second is that the West Coast Main Line Modernisation Programme is one of the most complex engineering problems around. The WCML is the busiest trunk route railway in the world outside Japan: thousands of trains use the route each day and modernising the entire length is a logistical nightmare. Simply closing the line for several months wasn't a possibility and the only time that work could commence was at night...that doesn't give much time, nor the best conditions: it is also expensive. It is also far from being a single train track, some of the route is 6-track, and most is 3/4-track!

The big cost was trying to implement ETCS Level 3 moving-block signalling, to most people that probably doesn't mean much, but the LVG Est which is the brand new French HSR line and saw the world rail speed record smashed only has ETCS Level 2. Essentially it was trying to take a technology used on automated metro lines and replicate it across a heavily congested rail corridor. Unfortunately because this was untried technology on such a vast scale, it led to a few problems.

Yet the WCML Modernisation Programme is no way near to being $36bn. Current estimates see the cost reduced by Network Rail to a more healthy £8 ($16bn). The network also has the possibility to still have ETCS Level 3 put in place at a later date, meaning the initial adventure can still be continued and providing the most advanced trunk route line in the world!
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  #17  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2007, 4:50 PM
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Boo fuckin hoo.

Unless you live in Detroit, you can't complain about shit. lol.....

My sentiments exactly...Any US city would KILL to have any of those things getting built and he is complaining they are coming in over budget?!?!?

Thats 3 subway lines in a few years while here in Miami it has taken 30 years to just TRY and add a SECOND mass transit line and it looks like its going to take at least another 10 to 15 years for it to be completed.
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  #18  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2007, 5:37 PM
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Same goes for LA, jeez, heart of a metro of 18 million, growing pretty quickly and it absolutely pathetic in this building boom. Totally outflanked on three sides by Vegas, San Diego and the Bay Area when it comes to "getting things done." Add to that a pathetic recent Olympic bid, unlike London's spectacular one.
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  #19  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2007, 7:42 PM
Lucky Luke Lucky Luke is offline
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Same goes for LA, jeez, heart of a metro of 18 million, growing pretty quickly and it absolutely pathetic in this building boom. Totally outflanked on three sides by Vegas, San Diego and the Bay Area when it comes to "getting things done." Add to that a pathetic recent Olympic bid, unlike London's spectacular one.
So, the grass is always greener huh?!
Well, I would also ask therefore why can't LA DO stuff??? Like you are.
I'd guess that LA could do plenty of stuff if it wanted, but do you LA-ites really want transport projects or do you just love your cars too much to bother using them? I believe you already have some pretty good stadia and some cool skyscrapers no?
Having said that, the US has around 23 urban metro systems, not bad for a car-oriented society. The Uk has 3, with around 1 fifth the population of the US.
My point here is really within a European context. London, having ruled most of the world for 300 years has been taking second place as compared to many European cities, which I have lived in and visited. Despite being one of the top 5 world economies money is always tight, and there are always delays.
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  #20  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2007, 8:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Lucky Luke View Post
So, the grass is always greener huh?!
Well, I would also ask therefore why can't LA DO stuff??? Like you are.
I'd guess that LA could do plenty of stuff if it wanted, but do you LA-ites really want transport projects or do you just love your cars too much to bother using them? I believe you already have some pretty good stadia and some cool skyscrapers no?
Having said that, the US has around 23 urban metro systems, not bad for a car-oriented society. The Uk has 3, with around 1 fifth the population of the US.
My point here is really within a European context. London, having ruled most of the world for 300 years has been taking second place as compared to many European cities, which I have lived in and visited. Despite being one of the top 5 world economies money is always tight, and there are always delays.
What on earth are you babbling on about now!

The US has 11 cities with heavy rail metro networks, the rest you refer to are light rail networks. If you combine the total for those cities with heavy rail networks within the city: Atlanta (81km); Baltimore (24.5km); Boston (60.5km); Chicago (173km); Cleveland (31km); Los Angeles (28km); Miami (38km); New York City (368km); Newark (22.2km); Philadelphia (62km) and Washington (169.5km) you end up with a heavy rail network smaller than that within London. Add BART (which is a lot more like a commuter rail system) and it is roughly equal in size.

The simple reason why most British cities lack a metro network, is because they already have extensive heavy rail networks. Why build a metro, when the cities already have extensive heavy rail services - it doesn't make economical sense, hence why they never got built!

Money isn't 'tight', its that Britain doesn't have as high taxes as in most of Europe. And there are delays in Europe as well, even though you'd be keen to neglect that point.
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