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Old April 17th, 2014, 11:55 PM   #10101
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Can't tell if joking?
No kidding, just the sad truth.

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Old April 17th, 2014, 11:55 PM   #10102
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I'm not sure the Bham/Midlands allocation of the infrastructure budget would cover a single terminal of a new airport (see the proportionate spending above) ...

The problem with this country is that everything is centred around London. And I say this as someone who loves the city. But it receives many times more spending per head than anywhere else in the country for just about everything, which of course produces greater economic activity, which in turns is used as justification for it continuing to receive such a large amount.

For instance, I can't imagine that any other city than London would receive £4.1bn from national infrastructure spending for a project (Crossrail) that will exclusively benefit inhabitants of that city (source) ...
The West Midlands receives half the transport spend that London does, which is understandable given the circumstances listed above, coupled with the fact that the region is far more rural.

Regarding your point on Crossrail, no it will not exclusively benefit London residents:
  • Crossrail extends into regions beyond London.
  • London intakes over 3 million rail commuters daily from outside the Greater London limits. To put that into perspective, three Birminghams worth of people enter London and use its transport infrastructure every day.
  • London receives double the amount of overseas tourists than it has residents; not surprising given that by all accounts it is the 1st or 2nd most visited city on earth. To put that into perspective, 16 Birminghams worth of people come in from overseas to visit London.

The 'transport spend per head' figure do not take these vast figures account. Furthermore, they compare an entirely urban entity (Greater London) with urban/rural regions (eg. West Midlands) which further distorts the difference. If the transport spend per head was compared between cities (ie like-with-like), and took into account external transport users (commuters and tourists) then the figures would reflect operational reality.
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Old April 17th, 2014, 11:56 PM   #10103
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Heathrow and Gatwick are running at capacity, whereas Birmingham Airport isn't. Logic dictates that if there was passenger and aviation demand, Birmingham would pick up the slack. In reality it doesn't. Official statistics demonstrate that Londoners have the highest propensity to fly in the country by a great margin, with residents of the south east of England second. Official statistics also demonstrate that London is the most common destination for inbound travellers by a great margin, with the south east of England also second. The 'full' London Heathrow is in such high demand that due to its capacity constraints, airlines shed certain routes to focus on those that deliver the highest returns. Do those shed routes get redistributed to Birmingham? No, to Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam. Hence we see London (and the UK by extension) fall behind the continental hubs in the number of destinations served. In the United Kingdom, it's London's airports are running at capacity. It's Londoners and those in its commuter belt that fly most. Therefore it's understandable that the greatest need for a capacity increase is in the London area. Regarding the point concerning regional transport spending per head: Regional transport spend per head = Amount Spent on Transport ÷ Region's Resident Population For London, that figure don't take into account the millions of overseas visitors that use London's transportation systems. It also doesn't take into account the millions of people per day that live outside Greater London but use its transport systems daily. It's also worth noting that London contributes far more per head to the government's accounts than any other region, with the South East second. In fact, London and the South East is the only part of the country that contributes more than it takes out. Personally I'm open to either an expansion of Heathrow or the construction of a Thames Estuary Airport. Having flown to many places as a regular traveller and having studied different airport projects, the Thames Estuary Airport project is the vision that excites me most. I just wish that we had the same attitude to such engineering solutions as the Victorians did.
I think the Victorian mantra is something that Boris is trying to emulate. You can't fault him on his vision but, on the practicality and finance, I do find him a little bonkers!

I would like to explore one further aspect of the estuary airport and an aspect mentioned in SE9's post. Regarding those routes that airlines shed in order to focus on the most profitable. Is there any evidence that those routes would be any more feasible out of the estuary airport. Extremely high construction costs can only be recovered by high landing fees. I hope that the airport commission studies this.

Take Kansai in Japan as an example. Originally conceived as a regional hub airport for Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto. After a promising start, the airport struggled to hold onto existing or attract new routes and operators. The main reason for this was cripplingly high landing fees. Today, Itami airport remains open (due to pressure from the business community) Kobe airport continues to grow, Kansai effectively has been bailed out and there is a constant political furore over the closure of Itami and linking of Kansai to the Shinkansen.

Kansai isn't a complete white elephant but few would cite it as having completely met that vision that the planners and politicians had for it.
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Old April 18th, 2014, 12:22 AM   #10104
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Originally Posted by TedToToe View Post
I think the Victorian mantra is something that Boris is trying to emulate. You can't fault him on his vision but, on the practicality and finance, I do find him a little bonkers!

I would like to explore one further aspect of the estuary airport and an aspect mentioned in SE9's post. Regarding those routes that airlines shed in order to focus on the most profitable. Is there any evidence that those routes would be any more feasible out of the estuary airport. Extremely high construction costs can only be recovered by high landing fees. I hope that the airport commission studies this.

Take Kansai in Japan as an example. Originally conceived as a regional hub airport for Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto. After a promising start, the airport struggled to hold onto existing or attract new routes and operators. The main reason for this was cripplingly high landing fees. Today, Itami airport remains open (due to pressure from the business community) Kobe airport continues to grow, Kansai effectively has been bailed out and there is a constant political furore over the closure of Itami and linking of Kansai to the Shinkansen.

Kansai isn't a complete white elephant but few would cite it as having completely met that vision that the planners and politicians had for it.
Concerning the number of destinations served, a Thames Hub Airport would offer more.

Airlines are constrained by the number of slots they can have at Heathrow, thus they shed routes and only operate those with the highest patronage. A Thames Hub airport would have more slots, more runways (allowing for more aircraft movements per operational hour) and would be operational for 24 hours (far more flexible). It's estimated that 159 routes that are currently suppressed by Heathrow's capacity would be offered at a Thames Hub Airport.

A Thames Hub Airport wouldn't struggle to attract airlines, given the status of London and its air system.
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Old April 18th, 2014, 12:01 PM   #10105
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Heathrow and Gatwick are running at capacity, whereas Birmingham Airport isn't. Logic dictates that if there was passenger and aviation demand, Birmingham would pick up the slack. In reality it doesn't.
Heathrow and Gatwick are indeed at nearly full capacity. Birmingham is not as it hasn't been able to accommodate a runway for significant long haul flights.

Birmingham is now in the process of adding the finishing touches to it's runway extension that will open later in 2014 which will enable significant long haul destinations. This has been highlighted by the fact it has secured the first direct China-UK flights outside London.

It hasn't been able to pick up the slack because it hasn't been allowed to expand. It has now done so and within 6 years Birmingham will be operating at almost twice it's current size and handling roughly the same number of passengers as London Stansted.

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Official statistics demonstrate that Londoners have the highest propensity to fly in the country by a great margin, with residents of the south east of England second. Official statistics also demonstrate that London is the most common destination for inbound travellers by a great margin, with the south east of England also second.
Again. We've had this discussion many a times in the BHX thread. London is a different kettle of fish. It is the one of the wealthiest cities in the World.

It also has a population 8x larger than Birmingham.

However - The reason why the propensity to fly becomes skewed is the fact that Birmingham is the centre of the country.

The UK is investing £50b into HS2 which bring Birmingham even closer to all major cities. Infact Birmingham's catchment area becomes LARGER than London's.

Yes, millionaires and business managers fly more often, but even then - myself and other collegues included have the reasoning to fly but we 8 x out of 10 we have to fly from London as Birmingham doesn't offer the routes required which means the airport can't grow and London is sucking potential clients away from it's regional compatriots.

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The 'full' London Heathrow is in such high demand that due to its capacity constraints, airlines shed certain routes to focus on those that deliver the highest returns. Do those shed routes get redistributed to Birmingham? No, to Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam. Hence we see London (and the UK by extension) fall behind the continental hubs in the number of destinations served. In the United Kingdom, it's London's airports are running at capacity. It's Londoners and those in its commuter belt that fly most. Therefore it's understandable that the greatest need for a capacity increase is in the London area.
This is where you are wrong. The UK aviation hubs falter because there are NO ALTERNATIVES within the UK which can offer such services. If Birmingham had a new terminal further resources these flights and routes would be redirected internally, not externally.

As I have previously said. We are spending £50b to bring Birmingham within 45 minutes of London. Birmingham International airport is getting a HS2 station which means it would take less time by train to get from Birmingham to the Centre of London - then it would from Heathrow to London.

Crazy isn't it??

An example. Wembley stadium, demolished a historic stadium, rebuilt a non-user friendly stadium, at a ridiculous cost and over budget and not on schedule and now charge "citizens" over the top prices for everything to do with it to get the money back. - People congregate to Wembley because that's where the national facility is.

During this time the national facility was all across the country. Everyone benefitted, we saved lots of money, carbon emissions were cut and prices remained 'normal'.

Its the same with infrastructure. in 12 years. London will be 45 minutes away from Birmingham International Airport. Hard time for nobody.

Quote:
Regarding the point concerning regional transport spending per head: Regional transport spend per head = Amount Spent on Transport ÷ Region's Resident Population
Yes that is the math - however the issue lies within the figures

Each London resident gets £700 to the Midlands (and other regions) £110. No way you look at it can establish a defence for the differential spend between the regions and London.

10 Londoners get £7,000
10 Brummies get £1,100

20 Londoners get £14,000
20 Brummies get £2,200

100 Londoners get £70,000
100 Brummies get £11,000

1000 Londoners get £700,000
1000 Brummies get £110,000

10000 Londoners get £7,000,000
10000 Brummies get £1,100,000

100000 Londoners get £70,000,000
100000 Brummies get £11,000,000

1,000,000 Londoners get £700,000,000
The POPULATION OF BIRMINGHAM gets £110,000,000

POPULATION OF LONDON = £6,300,000,000
POPULATION OF BIRMINGHAM = £110,000,000
REMAINING POPULATION OF UK = £5,830,000,000

London (9,000,000) = £6,300,000,000
UK (54,000,000) = £5,940,000,000

It took Birmingham over a decade to get GOVERNMENT funding for investment into the busiest train station outside the capital. Almost crippling the country's rail network and regional growth. But it has managed to invest BILLIONS into crossrail and HS1 within London.

Quote:
For London, that figure don't take into account the millions of overseas visitors that use London's transportation systems. It also doesn't take into account the millions of people per day that live outside Greater London but use its transport systems daily. It's also worth noting that London contributes far more per head to the government's accounts than any other region, with the South East second. In fact, London and the South East is the only part of the country that contributes more than it takes out.
Yes, we are all aware of London's importance but this again is down to the "lack" of importance given over the decades to the UK regional cities.

It's all well and good saying you do this and do that but how can anybody do anything different if you don't let them??

London has stagnated regional growth, poured billions into infrastructure into the city and the south east and basically fed the rest of the UK breadcrumbs.

WE ARE SPENDING £50 BILLION ON HS2 TO BRING THE CITIES CLOSER - YET WE STILL WANT TO KEEP EVERYTHING IN THE LITTLE 100 SQM POCKET THAT IS THE SOUTH EAST.

Quote:
Personally I'm open to either an expansion of Heathrow or the construction of a Thames Estuary Airport. Having flown to many places as a regular traveller and having studied different airport projects, the Thames Estuary Airport project is the vision that excites me most. I just wish that we had the same attitude to such engineering solutions as the Victorians did.

Money appears to be no object to you. This austerity shenanigan must only be applied to those north of Watford.

---

Also - I think you can tell from previous contributions how much I admire London and it's progress. I'm a massive fan of the city and working for a contractor who does many schemes in the city and all across the globe it's always London that intrigues me most.

However, when it comes to Aviation and this country, the best answer isn't London - It will always the UK aviation hub. It will always host 5 airports. But lets not clog it up even more when there is a "ready to go" option 45 minutes away.

That's how long it takes to get from Brooklyn to Manhattan or Park Plaza to the Grovesnor on a Friday afternoon. Lets use what we've got without throwing money around willy nilly and allow this North-South gap to die a lonely death.
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Old April 18th, 2014, 01:14 PM   #10106
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My rebuttal condensed, as I've already stated most points:



Concerning Regional Spend
  • Regional transport spend per head in London's case is a greatly distorted figure. It doesn't take into account the 3 million external daily rail commuters that use London's transport, nor the 16 million overseas tourists that visit the city every year. In reality, London's transport network is used by far more than 8.3m Londoners. If regional transport spend per head took into account tourists and commuters, then it would start to reflect operational reality.
  • With all government revenue and expenditure for different regions taken into account, London and the South East make a positive contribution to the UK treasury by a substantial margin. In other words, it's London and the south east that doesn't receive its fair share of expenditure. This region contributes far more to the country than it takes out per head:







Concerning the location of a hub
  • The air travel market is consolidated in the London region, particularly in the capacity-constrained LHR and LGW:

  • Londoners have the highest propensity to fly in the country, followed by the South East:

  • London is the most visited place in the country, hosting twice as many overnight tourists per year than it has residents:

  • London and the South East are not only the most populous regions of the country, they're also the fastest growing:

  • For an insight into the view of the domestic and international aviation industry: A recent study for the CAA found that London is considered the most important European destination by airlines, concluding that its "potential strategic importance to airlines is expected to persist if not increase" and that "it is unlikely that the combination of volume and value that defines London can be replicated elsewhere."


Putting all those points into consideration, plus points I haven't bothered to raise, it's entirely understandable that an expansion in London's air capacity is being sought.
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Old April 18th, 2014, 01:43 PM   #10107
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Airports: Gatwick's capacity can be significantly increased by building an additional runway for relatively little cost in comparison with expanding Heathrow or building an estuary airport.

Also, all companies connected to Heathrow including freight business, aircraft maintenance etc. have invested heavily in a west London location and their employees and supporting businesses are all there. All these companies will not want to throw away this investment for a move to east London, nor will people want to move. The govt will not want to compensate all these companies either.
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Old April 18th, 2014, 06:20 PM   #10108
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Expanding Gatwick wouldn't solve the capacity crisis. Pressure wouldn't be relieved from Heathrow, it would still remain hub and full in terms of capacity. We would continue to lose out in terms of routes and traffic to our European competitors.
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Old April 18th, 2014, 06:48 PM   #10109
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I confess that I know nothing about this airport issue other than what I've read over the past couple of pages here.

But it seems to me that the options discussed (thus far, at least) are either / or. Not both and.

Is there no way that a slightly less ambitious Thames hub airport, catering for the excess capacity and routes that other airports cannot currently handle, could be built without Heathrow having to close or downsize?

Is that the best of both worlds? Or does the Thames hub airport only make sense, in terms of economies of scale, if it is huge and London's only option?
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Old April 18th, 2014, 11:43 PM   #10110
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Building a new airport in the midlands or the north, or expanding the ones currently there, would be putting the cart before the horse. London needs new infrastructure because it is hugely attractive to businesses and tourists and commuters. Manchester and Birmingham have spare capacity and a smaller transport budget because they aren't. Or rather, they are to a much lesser extent.

The UK needs a second city. In almost every country, the second city has 50% of the population and 50% of the economic output of the first city (Zipf's Law) But that's not the case in the UK, where the role of second city is actually up for debate, that's how close they are.

Balancing the UK economic landscape is going to require either Birmingham or Manchester taking on that role. Offering themselves as a viable economic centre unto themselves without the backhanded compliment of being 'a short train journey from London'.
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Old April 20th, 2014, 12:32 AM   #10111
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Providence Tower | Blackwall E14

London forum thread: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=395444

Official website: http://www.providencetower.com/




Providence Tower core up to the 11th floor. Photos by chest:





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Old April 20th, 2014, 12:37 AM   #10112
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Baltimore Tower | Canary Wharf E14

London forum thread: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...hp?p=105569479

Official website: http://www.baltimorewharf.com/




Baltimore Tower also up to the 11th floor. Photos by chest:





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Old April 20th, 2014, 12:48 AM   #10113
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Quick question, does anyone know what that cooling tower-like object is near the Providence Tower site?
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Old April 20th, 2014, 01:03 AM   #10114
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It's a ventilation shaft for the Blackwall Tunnel, which emerges to the right of the DLR viaduct below:

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Old April 20th, 2014, 01:03 AM   #10115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivanator View Post
Quick question, does anyone know what that cooling tower-like object is near the Providence Tower site?
Those are ventilation towers for the Blackwall Tunnel. There's also one on the other side of the Thames, inside the O2 (arena, dome or whatever it is called nowadays).
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Old April 20th, 2014, 01:14 AM   #10116
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Ah yes, that makes sense. Thanks guys.
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Old April 20th, 2014, 09:17 AM   #10117
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One The Elephant | Elephant & Castle SE1

London forum thread: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...hp?p=105441658

Official website: http://www.onetheelephant.com/




Core up to the 22nd floor at One The Elephant:


One The Elephant SE1 by Jamie Barras, on Flickr
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Old April 20th, 2014, 09:39 AM   #10118
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Chobham Manor | Stratford E20

London forum thread: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...96478&page=110

Official website: http://chobhammanor.co.uk/



Project facts
  • Homes: 850
  • Hotel floorspace: 14,500m²
  • Office space: 25,987m²
  • Cultural facilities: 31,451m²




Marketing suite up, construction of units to follow shortly:


Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park by Jamie Barras, on Flickr
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Old April 20th, 2014, 01:35 PM   #10119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 909 View Post
Those are ventilation towers for the Blackwall Tunnel. There's also one on the other side of the Thames, inside the O2 (arena, dome or whatever it is called nowadays).
Actually, that's what the government wants you to believe. They're actually cooling towers for the small nuclear reactor that powers Boris Johnson. Every night he goes down into a vault beneath City Hall and recharges his power cells. His internal servo motors can run for a full 48 hours on a single charge. Hopefully we can convert the mayor to renewable sources by the end of the decade, but his power demands are currently outstripping solar investment.
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Old April 20th, 2014, 06:12 PM   #10120
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Building a new airport in the midlands or the north, or expanding the ones currently there, would be putting the cart before the horse. London needs new infrastructure because it is hugely attractive to businesses and tourists and commuters. Manchester and Birmingham have spare capacity and a smaller transport budget because they aren't. Or rather, they are to a much lesser extent.

The UK needs a second city. In almost every country, the second city has 50% of the population and 50% of the economic output of the first city (Zipf's Law) But that's not the case in the UK, where the role of second city is actually up for debate, that's how close they are.

Balancing the UK economic landscape is going to require either Birmingham or Manchester taking on that role. Offering themselves as a viable economic centre unto themselves without the backhanded compliment of being 'a short train journey from London'.
And here lies the problem. The only city we have to blame for the unique imbalance within the United kingdom is London and it's narrow minded policy makers of the 60s. Sweep those policies under a forgotten carpet and you might have a point. Unfortunately brummies and families of brummies will continue to argue and continue to laugh at the continual ignorance of many southerners when these type of commenuts pop up. If you're wondering what I'm getting at... Look at the GDP statistics of bboth Birmingham and London 1950's to 60's. Then look at the legislations and policies introduced to prevent the growth of Birmingham. Birmingham was growing so fsay and becoming so powerful London and the government were so worried they paid companies to leave Birmingham and set up elsewhere in the north and south of England. Over night the British government put a stop to Birmingham becoming one of Europe's most important city. There is coincidence that Birmingham was the heart of everything coming from the UK. It's had more influence in patented goods and innovations than anywhere else. It was the workshop of the world in the late 19th century and it was becoming just as important again. London didn't like how buzzing and important Birmingham was becoming again and actually inflicted this north south divide itself.

Ironically then they were happy to spread the wealth. Took it from the Midlands and gave it away to the rest of the country. How is it now the same isn't being done with London? Contradiction at its greatest and also signs of significant uneducated chitter chatter which helps with the propaganda started decades ago.

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