Onward and Upward

So I’ve covered the Sprint GT’s first service over on its own blog – I just need to start giving it the berries a bit more (although its trip computer must be over-reading…).

I also received a letter about my stepmother’s estate which was a piece of pleasant news and well timed, given I’m planning to buy a house or maybe even my apartment which may soon be up for sale.

Due to a change of plans, I had Saturday free so I decided to get the pushbike out to go for a little spin: maybe 5 or 6 miles on the advice of my Consultant Knee Surgeon and my physiotherapist at the excellent London Bridge Hospital. 11.4 miles later and I’d had a great time, keeping the cadence up and not putting too much effort through the knee. Same thing next week, I think.

GT popped over in the evening, meeting me for dinner at the O2 where we were then due to see Iron Maiden play. An excellent gig! Then over to Waterloo to say goodnight and back home to the apartment.

Up at a reasonable time on Sunday to head up to Norfolk for lunch with the ‘kids’ which was made more difficult by the completely inept road closure arrangements for the Prudential Ride London: every main road out of London to the East was closed despite the official sites claiming they’d be open earlier.

Monday saw more check-ups and blood tests – all fine – and a nice, long phone call as arranged the week before from Humberside Police to explain, as expected and agreed, that they wouldn’t be pressing charges against the psycho ex for her theft and disposal of some of my stuff (“intention to permanently deprive”), but only because it wouldn’t be in the public interest to waste taxpayers’ money on a prosecution: there was the passage of time caused by them, sadly, which they accepted was the case and they knew she would never admit guilt – she never does – and accept a caution, so the options were a full trial or nothing and the thefts were, as I told them, insignificant (I’ve long since replaced the stolen goods with better quality, newer things … a bit like I did with her, I suppose). They suggested I start a private prosecution, which is always an option, but I can’t be arsed to waste any more time on her.

But the good news is that they’ve now got the proof of what she’s really like: a liar and a thief. So that’s the end of that: maybe she’ll stop stalking me one day too?

So it’s onward and upward!

The Trouble with Traffic Planning…

…is that it’s an oxymoron, much like the old joke about “Military Intelligence”.

Transport for London, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to fix a problem that it thinks might exist (see the quote below) in the Rotherhithe Tunnel by adding more solid bollards to restrict the width of the approaches to the tunnel down to 6′ 6″, i.e. tighter than a gnat’s chuff.

What this means is that on the approaches to the tunnel, both northbound and southbound, traffic – understandably – slows to a snail’s pace at best to negotiate the width restrictions and this leads to long, long queues of traffic and not just at peak times.

The justification?

“The narrowing of the width restrictions on both northbound and southbound approaches to the tunnel will significantly reduce the risk of vehicle collisions, spillage of flammable materials, and fires in the tunnel.”

So a complete lack of a quantitative analysis or justification. Are they saying that narrower vehicles don’t crash or spill flammable materials or catch fire? Evidence?


And what is to become of the vehicles that cannot enter the Rotherhithe Tunnel? Well they are required to use either Tower Bridge or the Blackwall Tunnel, both of which are well-known for traffic queues, so they’re just creating more travel problems or adding to the severity of existing ones.

Utter fuckwittery!

Still, I suppose they need to justify their fake jobs by coming up with these ludicrous schemes…

I’ve written to TfL to ask them about this issue, copied to my MP, so we’ll see what, if anything, they have to say.

More Olympic Lane Confusion

So the press, including the Eenig Stannurd and Daily Heil, have been keen to capitalise (see what I did there?) on the apparent madness of Bus Lanes – from which ordinary motorists are banned at certain times of the day (including those bizarrely signed as being in operation all day from Monday to Sunday, i.e. always) – running side by side with Olympic Lanes for VIPs and from which we’re also banned, which would appear to mean that motorists would be unable to use those roads at all.


Indeed, I saw the same markings heading through Battersea at the weekend, and was going to blog about it, suggesting a campaign of civil obedience which would effectively block off those routes, leading to gridlock.

But I say ‘appear to’ because that’s how the rules would appear to be unless you, for instance, expand the interactive maps at TfL and then enable the overlay that shows bus route changes. Those overlays then show that for at least part of the period during which the ORN is in operation, those bus lanes will be suspended. I doubt that they’ll be well signposted, but heigh ho. Sloppy journalism at its best and one for the usual brand of braying sheep to seize upon and repost everywhere…

Olympic Route Network – Clear As Mud

Yet more fuckwittery from TFL and LOCOG, I presume: this time it’s the Olympic Route Network which shows the already-busy routes that will be completely messed up by bussing all the VIPs around in their 4,000 chauffeured BMWs – oh and maybe one or two athletes who aren’t staying on site at the Villages for some unknown reason.

So here’s a map of the routes: London 2012 Olympic Route Network (PDF)

There you go then: the Olympic Route Network … oh and an Alternative Olympic Route Network “to be used if the Olympic Route Network cannot be used”. Eh? Wait, there’s an explanation:

“Some road race events including the Cycling Road Race, the Triathlon and the Olympic and Paralympic Marathons, will take place on sections of the Olympic or Paralympic Route Network (ORN/PRN). During these events, which are mostly at weekends, some parts of the ORN/PRN will be closed and an alternative ORN/PRN route will be in place.  These alternative routes will be open to all general traffic. However, there will be some temporary traffic changes, including changes to traffic signal timings, on these roads so that athletes, officials, media and key Games workers can get to events on time.”

No news as to what other traffic changes will be planned if us common people are supposedly still allowed to use them. And there’s another map for us to look at showing these ORNs … which doesn’t tie-up with the AORNs on the first map, of course: where’s Jamaica Road, etc.?

Confused? You will be…

London 2012 Olympic Games

Yet more reasons for abandoning London during the Olympic Games have come out this week: reports of a lack of hotel rooms and extortionate pricing for those which are available have been discussed on various news channels.

It’s all about supply and demand, of course.

In this case, demand is high because of both the ‘main’ Olympic Games as well as the Paralympic Games afterwards. As noted on the BBC’s “Democracy Live” website:

 ”Speaking during questions on 9 February 2012, Ms Jowell told MPs of a mother who had been forced to pay £1,000 a night for a specially adapted hotel room in order to take her disabled daughter to the Paralympic Games.

“The same room would cost £375 during the Easter holidays, a 167% increase, Ms Jowell claimed.

“She told MPs that her team’s research found that hotel prices in London during the course of the games were, on average, 315% higher than normal.”

Of course demand will be high from tourists and visitors wanting to watch the Games, but it’s also the supply side that’s being affected. Why? Well it’s down to that great gravy train of excess and privilege known as “the Olympic family”. This is estimated to mean 78,400 people. Yes, 78,400!  Of these, well over 60% aren’t actually athletes or officials:

“National Olympic Committees (NOC) 19,900
– Athletes
– Team officials

International Federations (IF) 4,150
– Technical officials
– International Federations staff and guests

Media 21,300
– Press, photographers, journalists
– Rights holding broadcasters
– Olympic Broadcast Organisation

International Olympic Committee (IOC) 1,650
– IOC members
– World AntiDoping Agency
– Court of Arbitration of Sport
– IOC Medical Commission
– IOC staff
– Observers and guests

Marketing partners (sponsors) 31,400
– The Olympic Partners and guests
– Marketing Partner Coach Programme (ticketed)

Grand total 78,400″


This is the bunch that will be bringing traffic chaos to London with the Olympic Route Network of Olympic Family-only traffic lanes carved out of the already-congested existing road network.  It’s explained nicely here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16277688

And where are all these Olympic Family members staying? Well maybe in the rooms they’ve block-booked at specially reduced rates:

“Under a deal struck in 2005, Locog booked around 600,000 room nights in London during the course of the games, for Olympic officials, media and others.

“In January, around 120,000 of these rooms were put back on sale to the public after Locog said it no longer needed them.”

Ah! That would explain it! I’m so pleased I won’t be here in London during the Olympics…

You Know I’m Waiting

Transport for London now has a really useful service whereby you can track how long you’ll need to wait for a bus at any given stop. Excellent stuff!

It does, however, really show up the complete lie published by TFL on its timetable for the 381 bus route which promises a bus every “10 – 12 minutes” during the day.

Last night, for instance, the mobile service was suggesting a 25 minute wait at City Hall for my bus home so I walked and never was passed by one. This morning it’s a 20 minute wait.

Our local MP, Simon Hughes, has been promising action on this bus route since I moved here in 2008 and like all LibDem promises, it’s been an empty one.

Must try harder…

Traffic Planning

From March until mid-June 2011, Jamaica Road in Bermondsey is partially dug up whilst Thames Water replace some of the main water mains along there: you’ll see this if you watch the London Marathon this weekend.

This has been causing lots of congestion for a while with traffic usually backed up onto and around the roundabout by the Rotherhithe Tunnel.

So can someone explain the thinking behind the decision to close the Rotherhithe Tunnel to Northbound traffic for the period from 21:00 on Thursday 21 April to 05:00 on Tuesday 26 April? This is to allow refurbishment works to be carried out on the Blackwall Tunnel, but traffic that would ordinarily use the Rotherhithe Tunnel to head North will be diverted over Tower Bridge …which means they’ll also be diverted along Jamaica Road!

I’m glad I’ll be away!