Thursday, January 08, 2009

What if those who govern us had a long term view about strategic infrastructures?

I posted the following comments on this blog post of this morning:
The Toleration Of Public Transport on Jonathan

These are the consequences of the refusal to invest in a proper public transportation system for 30 years: high prices and bad service.

They've tried to privatise and introduce competition, but the idea just doesn't work with infrastructure: you just can't make a profit, provide universal access, good interconnections and good service with redundant infrastructure.

If the government had taken a long term approach, the results could be:
- that the Eurostar platforms don't stand un-used for a year after they've innaugurated High Speed 1 and St Pancras International, when on the other hand trains are waiting for a platform on approach to Waterloo station
- that the Waterloo and City line would not be an isolated branch but would serve as a junction tunnel between the overground in Waterloo to the overground in Moorgate (strange that no one ever thought that trains could come from Reading / Portsmouth all the way to Stevenage / Cambridge)
- an airport in the estuary with 5 runways instead of 5 airports in dense conurbations, each with 1 or 2 runways
- a high-speed line to the Midlands and Scotland, with an interchange with the Eurostar
- Water pipes that are buried so that they don't freeze when the temperature drops

And so on... it's a long story of incompetence and short-sighted decisions.

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