Click above for what became the consented plan, plus Transport page.


Evening Standard: "Boris Johnson hails home building boom in London"

"The number of new homes being built in London is gathering pace as huge residential developments such as those at Battersea Power Station start to emerge from the ground.

"Builders in the capital registered 26,230 new flats and houses with the National House-Building Council last year. This was a 60 per cent rise on 2012 and the highest figure since its records began in 1987.

"The increase was welcomed by Boris Johnson as:
"hugely encouraging... we are beginning to turn the tide."

Barnet Times: " 'It will be a living hell' - anger as Brent Cross Regeneration Project approved by Barnet Borough Council's planning committee"

Link to web site

" 'Heartbroken' neighbours lost the fight to block the Brent Cross Regeneration Project this evening, as councillors voted to pass the proposals.

"Plans for the £4billion scheme, across Brent Cross and Cricklewood, were backed by Barnet Borough Council’s planning committee by a 6:4 majority, despite it hearing strong concerns from residents.

"It was given planning permission three years ago - but amendments to the existing application by developers Hammerson and Standard Life sparked a second meeting."

Barnet Press: "Revised Brent Cross development plans approved"

Link to web site

"CAMPAIGNERS fighting to drastically alter proposals for the £4billion regeneration of Cricklewood and Brent Cross have said they are 'disappointed' after planning chiefs approved the developers’ revised plans.

"Barnet Council’s planning committee waved through the amended application from Hammerson and Standard Life Investments - which was originally approved in 2010 – despite several residents and politicians from Brent speaking at the meeting to oppose some or all of the application.

"Critics of the development, claim it is too dense, and that the proposals have not provided adequate transport infrastructure."


The Independent: "Advances in artificial intelligence could lead to mass unemployment, warn experts"

Link to web site

"Experts have warned that rapidly improving artificial intelligence could lead to mass unemployment, just days after Google revealed the purchase of a London based start-up dedicated to developing this technology.

"Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme, Dr Stuart Armstrong from the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford said that there was a risk that computers could take over human jobs at a faster rate than new jobs could be generated:
"We have some studies looking at to which jobs are the most vulnerable, and there are quite a lot of them in logistics, administration, insurance underwriting. Ultimately, huge swathe of jobs are potentially vulnerable to improved artificial intelligence."

Municipal Dreams: "The Old Oak Estate: ‘That line of beauty which Hogarth said was in a curve’"

Link to web site

"Imagine a Hampstead Garden Suburb built for working people. Better still, if you’re in London take the Tube and get off at Acton East, and visit the Old Oak Estate where you’ll find just such an estate.

"... Ebenezer Howard’s Garden Cities of To-morrow was published in 1898. The Fabian Society published Cottage Plans and Common Sense – Raymond Unwin’s manifesto addressing how municipalities might best ‘provide for the Housing of the People’ – in 1902. Unwin would be appointed Architect and Surveyor of the Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust in 1906.

These currents all directly influenced the Old Oak Estate. And, in fact, one of the LCC architects responsible for the design of the Estate was Archibald Stuart Soutar, the brother of – and sometime collaborator with – JCS Soutar, who replaced Unwin in Hampstead in 1914."

GOOD NEWS ON HOUSE PRICES: "£400,000 average house price fuels fear of boom" (surely not?)

Link to web site

"London's average house price smashed through the £400,000 barrier for the first time last month, as the capital’s remarkable property bubble gathered momentum.

"Property values shot up by more than £10,000, or 2.6 per cent, in December alone, according to the Land Registry, reaching an average of £403,792.

"The 11.2 per cent annual rise was the highest since summer 2010, when prices were bouncing back from the slump triggered by the global financial crisis."

Bellrock: "North London residents could soon see a massive regeneration project take place at Brent Cross in Hendon"

"According to constructionenquirer.com, the scheme, which is set to cost £4 billion, aims to double the size of the shopping centre.

"In addition, developers Hammerson and Standard Life Investments have plans to create a huge transparent canopy to cover the retail space. They also wish to improve transport links in the surrounding area by building a pedestrian bridge, as well as making other amendments.

"Mike McGuinness, development director at Hammerson, said the project aims to improve the lives of those living nearby:
"Brent Cross has been an important part of the community for over 35 years and our plans ensure it will continue to be part of a thriving new town centre, putting this part of London truly on the map as a popular neighbourhood and retail destination."
"A public exhibition by the developers earlier this year revealed that 87 per cent of attendees were 'for' [some of] the [cherry-picked] proposed ideas, reports kilburntimes.co.uk. However Barnet Council will now launch its own public consultation, in order to decide whether to approve the plans or not. [Eh?]

"When the regeneration is finished, the area will also benefit from an extra 7,500 homes, 4m sq ft of office space and four parks." [Stop it. We want to be sick.]

"Three charged with stealing food from skip behind Iceland supermarket"

Link to The Guardian

"A man will stand trial next month, after being caught taking some tomatoes, mushrooms and cheese from the dustbins behind a branch of Iceland.

"It is expected Paul May, a freelance web designer, will argue that he was taking the food because he needed it to eat, and does not consider he has done anything illegal or dishonest in removing food destined for landfill from a skip.

"... The Crown Prosecution Service [said] this month that the case would go ahead, because 'we feel there is significant public interest in prosecuting these three individuals'."


[Reposted from 24 Jan 2014] Brent & Kilburn Times, 'Cricklewood Town Square', and Barnet Press

Two photographs of Cricklewood Green Space
 - to be concreted over by Hammerson and Standard Life Investments, as part of their Brent Cross Cricklewood planning application.

[Reposted from July 2012] Croydon Guardian: "Gavin Barwell MP calls for Whitgift resolution" (between Westfield and Brent Cross's Hammerson)

Link to 'Croydon Guardian'

"MP Gavin Barwell believes resolving the impasse over development of Croydon's Whitgift Centre is the key to sparking regeneration in the borough.

"... Asked for his opinion on the merits of either of the schemes, Mr Barwell declined to pick a favourite:
"They are both good schemes. If I were to express personal opinion, it would be Westfield brand would give an immediate impact [so you favour Westfield then!] while Hammerson’s is a more permeable[*] scheme for the long term.  If either comes, it will be good for the town."
[* Permeable: adjective from the verb permeate:
  1. to pass into or through every part of: "Bright sunshine permeated the room."
  2. to penetrate through the pores, interstices, etc., of.
  3. to be diffused through; pervade; saturate: "Cynicism permeated his report." (We're saying nothing.)
He probably means a more traditional street pattern; Hammerson's actual plan is still awaited.]

Links to 'Croydon Advertiser'

'Why a 400-year-old charity
holds the key to Croydon's future'

"... Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell is a co-opted governor [of the Whitgift Foundation] after originally serving as a council appointment." 

Westfield exhibition of Whitgift plans
for Croydon attracts 5,000
 "John Burton, development director of Westfield, next to the exhibition
displaying plans for redeveloping the Whitgift Centre"

Link to Croydon web sites...

'Inside Croydon' web site:
 "Boris promises to end
Croydon’s planning paralysis"

"The entrenched battle between the Whitgift Foundation and Hammerson was not helped by the local MP childishly running ahead of the issue.

"He implied that he personally had solved Croydon’s problems by facilitating the Whitgift deal to work exclusively with the Australian company Westfield, before the owners of 75 per cent of the leasehold of the Whitgift Centre had been consulted."

'Croydon's Future' web site:
"Croydon’s regeneration:
the triumph of hope over experience?"

"The audience was about 100 residents. The audience was somewhat older and more affluent than the Croydon norm. Many of those present are habitual attendees at all of Croydon’s public meetings. Interestingly, both Westfield and Hammerson had senior employees in the audience, to gauge the public temperature."

An extra view of Westfield...

Link to 'Louder Than War' web site:
"Coming Soon? The long wait for Westfield"

"The recent announcement by Australian retail giant Westfield of their intent to build a £1billion ‘super-mall’ in Croydon has been met with mixed reaction. None more so than in the city of Bradford, West Yorkshire, whose own experiences of this company were not quite what they expected.

"... in December 2004, Westfield bought [developers] Stannifer, and took over the Bradford project.

"At first there were no outward signs of problems. Demolition continued, and by the summer of 2006 the site had been largely cleared, with an expected completion set to occur in late 2007. At this time however, Westfield were building their huge centre in Derby, and so many of their workmen were unavailable, meaning that this date was pushed back. Despite this, a huge foundation was dug into the ground in the place that would house the car park for the centre. At this point construction stopped, and was left in the same state in which it can be found to this day.

"... And so to the recent announcement that Westfield are to plough £1billion into building a new centre in Croydon. This news was understandably met with some disbelief in Bradford, and an empathy with the people who may face a similar fate to theirs. Familiar sloganeering and propaganda has no doubt filled the local press there, and it will be the tip of conversation amongst its residents. There is no doubt that Westfield are once again speculating that the recession they claim has stalled the Bradford centre will be over by the time they expect the first tills to ring in Croydon.

"Should this prove not to be the case however, and the downturn continues, when can the people of Croydon expect to see their shiny new retail cathedral? If all else fails, they will be more than welcome to take a trip to the North, and use Britain’s biggest wishing-well in a search for answers."

...West Hampstead, Cricklewood, Hendon, Mill Hill Broadway,... "Thameslink unveils electric Class 700 train"

Link to BBC web site

"Thameslink has unveiled an electric train that will run on the line from 2016.

"The electric Class 700 is being built for the north-south route through central London.

"It has over double the number of carriages, which it said would provide 80% more peak seats between Blackfriars and St Pancras.

"Siemens is building the 1,140 carriages in Germany, but claims up to 2,000 jobs will be created in the UK supply chain."

Film: "The Human Scale"

50% of the world’s population lives in urban areas; by 2050 it will be 80%.

Acclaimed architect Jan Gehl and his team are on a humanistic mission to reclaim public space in mega cities for pedestrians (and cyclists) rather than cars.

This human/new approach to city planning is put to test in Denmark, LA, NY, China, Australia, New Zealand and India.

The Guardian: "Just 40 years ago, ice used to form on the inside of windows, central heating was for the lucky few..."

"UK government-commissioned report reveals changes in the way homes have been heated and powered in the last 40 years"

Link to web site

"Today's homes, according to a government-commissioned report showing the changes in how the UK heats and powers its homes, are kept 4C warmer on average than they were in 1970, have more than 30 lightbulbs and an array of energy-guzzling appliances like 40-inch TVs that would have been unimaginable then.

"But, possibly because far more of us live alone or in small households now, we use 18% less energy per household than we did 40 years ago and we pay about £200 less per household each year."

"... The government report coincides with the launch next week of the biggest ever public campaign to end fuel poverty. An alliance of 170 children's and older people's charities, health and disability groups, environment and consumer groups, trade unions and others will be seeking to improve energy conservation in homes using the money the government raises from carbon taxes."

Cricklewood.net: "Public Realm Updates"

(Photo: Cricklewood Town Square)

Granite Paving
Works to repave the footways in Cricklewood town centre in fine Portuguese granite are progressing and are on programme for completion in March. Curently all footways on Cricklewood Lane are being laid with several gangs working simultaneosuly and are in varying degrees of completion. Repaving of footways on Cricklewood Broadway will commence in February. Tactile paving and special granite quadrants will be installed in March.
Removal of extraneous street furniture and non-essential pedestrian guard rails will take place throughout February and March on Cricklewood Broadway and Cricklewood Lane.
Bridge Lighting and Signage
The railway bridge crossing Cricklewood Lane at Cricklewood station is the subject of several enhancements including new 'Cricklewood' signage to announce the entrance to the town centre for the east, new underbridge lighting and cleaning of brickwork to the bridge abutments.
Cricklewood Lane
The northern footway at Cricklewood Lane will be widened and repaved to create a widened piece of public realm at the heart of the town centre. A significant tree-planting scheme here will create a boulevard setting and provide much-desired greenery in the town centre. The space will allow opportunities for market traders to enliven the space and create vibrant new retail opportunity for the area. New feature lighting, cycle stands, informal seating and a community noticeboard will further enhance the space.
Local Enhancements
A series of improvements will be made to selected locations throughout the town centre at junctions with the high street, including works to enhance Keys Road, Sylvan Grove, Oaklands Road and the greenspace fronting Burlington Parade.
New branded Cricklewood dual bins will reinforce a coordinated street scene, and help to reduce litter on the streets throughout the area.
Median Strip
A tree-lined and continuous central median strip will be formed between Cricklewood Lane and Depot Approach on the A5 to facilitate informal crossing and introduce greenery to the town centre. A large antique clock, manufactured at the Smiths factory in Cricklewood, will be a focal point on this island - restored to its former glory and returned to its rightful home.
50 new street trees will be planted in March along the length of Cricklewood Broadway, with additional trees to be planted in the widened footway at Cricklewood Lane.


Update: Planning and Environment Committee
Thursday 30th January, 2014 7.00 pm
Main topic: Brent Cross Cricklewood

The Barnet Times reports that Cllr Jack Cohen's request last night that the special Planning Committee two evening meeting be recorded, remained unanswered by Planning Committee chairman Cllr Maureen Braun.

Cllr Cohen said, "The council keeps saying it wants to be more inclusive and promote democracy, but it does not want to put meetings online so people can interact on their PCs.”

The Brent Cross Coalition, which has been trying to find out if recording of meetings is illegal said:  “It's a shame they do not give the oxygen of publicity to public meetings of Barnet committees.

“If the council is not prepared to record the meetings the public should be allowed to. We have asked them on what grounds they do not permit recordings, and they have cited statute law from the 1960s.

“They can't seem to find anywhere the council has actually banned recordings themselves.”

According to the Times, Camden, Haringey and the GLA all webcast meetings.

THIS is an email exchange between Leader of the Council Mike Freer and a Barnet resident:

-----Original Message-----
To: Cllr.M.Freer@barnet.gov.uk
Sent: 28/02/08 20:51
Subject: Council meetings

It has been brought to my attention that Barnet Council has decided to impose a ban on the recording of public meetings at the Town Hall. Could you please advise me:
1. Why was the decision taken?
2. Who made the decision?
3. When and where was this decision taken?
4. Where is the DPR or Committee Report to give authority to the decision?
5. What is the legal authority for such a ban?
6. Do you support the ban?

----- Original Message -----
From: Cllr.M.Freer@barnet.gov.uk
Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2008 8:58 PM
Subject: RE: Council meetings which regulate the filming or recording by broadcasters

We have never allowed the recording of meetngs. We have a new policy.

-----Original Message-----
To: Cllr.M.Freer@barnet.gov.uk
Sent: 28/02/08 21:14
Subject: Re: Council meetings

Thanks for your very prompt reply. Do I understand your comment to mean that this new policy relates only to broadcast media, and that print journalists and the public can, if they so choose, continue to record public meetings?

If there is now an official policy, can you please ask an officer to e-mail me the report setting out the details as I would like to know the legal basis for imposing restrictions.

Please also confirm whether you support or oppose a ban on recording, given that you hope to become a Member of Parliament where proceedings are automatically recorded for public access (with a few exceptions).

----- Original Message -----
From: Cllr.M.Freer@barnet.gov.uk
Sent: Friday, February 29, 2008 7:32 AM
Subject: RE: Council meetings

Write to the director of communicatons for the answer, I don't believe recording by the public has ever been our policy. Emer Coleman is the relevant director.

-----Original Message-----
To: Cllr.M.Freer@barnet.gov.uk
Sent: 29/02/08 08:12
Subject: Re: Council meetings

OK, I will write to her. I don't know why you won't tell me whether you support or oppose a recording ban - even if it is a long standing policy, introduced by a previous administration.

... In 2002, Victor promised "an open and honest administration". That objective surely hasn't been rescinded?

From: Cllr.M.Freer@barnet.gov.uk
Sent: Monday, March 03, 2008 11:25 AM
Subject: RE: Council meetings

I do not support members of the public recording of their own bat - we would have no control over cutting and splicing. Recording by the council under correct supervision is fine.

Wired: "There’s a Science to Foot Traffic, and It Can Help Us Design Better Cities" (Wasted on the Brent Cross clowns, of course)

Link to web site

"...'If you consider where and how urbanization is happening in the world, the single biggest place is China,' said Tim Stonor, the CEO of Space Syntax Ltd, which guides architects and urban planners on the science of building cities. It opened an office in Beijing in November, hoping to use history’s largest urban migration as a stage for its unconventional approach to designing cities.

"Before there was Space Syntax the multinational company, there was space syntax, the science of how cities work. In the late 1970s, British architects Bill Hillier and Julienne Hanson hit on the idea that any space within a city – or the entire city itself – could be analyzed in terms of connectivity and movement. They reasoned that a city’s success depended largely on how easy it was for people to move about on foot.

"This wasn’t a huge revelation. Studies reaching as far back as 1960s have shown walkable cities have higher property values, healthier residents, and lower crime."


The Guardian: "The great migration south: 80% of new private sector jobs are in London"

"Talented young people are leaving provincial cities to make a success of their lives in London and never go back, report shows"

Link to web site

"Boris Johnson got into hot water recently with his claim that London, not Liverpool, was responsible for the success of the Beatles. The Fab Four might have been born on Merseyside, the capital mayor's said, but London turned them into the biggest band of all time.

"While that was the cue for Liverpudlian indignation at what was seen as cultural piracy, a new report out on Monday suggests the arrival of the Beatles at Abbey Road Studios in 1962 to cut Love Me Do was an early example of a now dominant trend.

"Talented young people are leaving provincial cities in their 20s, making a success of their lives in London and never go back. London is where the work is: the capital was responsible for four out of every five jobs created in the private sector between 2010 and 2012."

Interactive Sound Map: "A 'tube guide' of London's Rivers and Waterways"

"An auditory tribute to Harry Beck's Underground map, the skeleton of which has long lent shape to the city in the minds of Londoners.

"Here, sounds were collected from along London's canals and lesser rivers. Completed in March 2012."

Daily Telegraph: "Window and door rules axed in drive to get Britain building houses"

Link to web site

"David Cameron will today announce a drive to build thousands more homes by slashing building regulations.

"More than a hundred rules applied to new homes will be pared back to fewer than ten in a bonfire of 'crazy and over-zealous' red tape, the Prime Minister will say.

"... Rules setting out minimum window sizes, the dimensions of rooms, the strength of front doors, and arrangements for toilets, lighting, telephone lines and disabled access will be culled in the review."

Link to Daily Telegraph

"Economic gap between London and other cities widening, report claims"
"London is 'sucking' talent from the rest of Britain as the economic recovery sees the prosperity gap between the capital and the rest of the country widen, a report has warned.

"Almost ten times more jobs are being created in London than the next best performing areas of the country, research by the Centre for Cities think tank revealed.

"The study also found the capital accounted for 80 per cent of national private sector growth between 2010 and 2012."


PewResearchCenter: "How two decades of globalization have changed the world"

Link to web site

"Sometimes a graphic inspires us not by its creative animations or mesmerizing interactive elements, but by how much it can explain with how little.

"That’s why we like this chart from Branko Milanovic, lead economist at the World Bank’s research department (as annotated by James Plunkett, policy director at U.K. think tank Resolution Foundation). Milanovic likes to call it: 'How the world changed between the fall of the Berlin wall and the fall of Wall Street.'

"... The 'losers' are the bottom 5% (mostly people in Africa, Milanovic says), and people clustered around the 80th percentile. Most of that latter group live in developed countries — some in post-Communist countries that haven’t adapted well to globalization, but also the lower middle classes of advanced economies such as the [U.K.,] U.S. and Germany.

CONsolidated PR: "WE LOVE SHOPPING AT BRENT CROSS" (although conceivably not any more)

"We worked with Brent Cross for several years, to remind shoppers in North London of what they love about the pioneering shopping mall. [Which suggests they lost the contract.]

"Situated in one of the most heavily-contested retail catchment areas in the country, Brent Cross is faced with fiercely ambitious competitors, who can outspend them in every area.

"We used our forensic knowledge of London media, the nationals and glossies to talk to women about natural news hooks, events, promotions and new centre arrivals that ultimately drive footfall and sales for the shopping centre’s retail partners.

Alongside the PR, we developed their social media strategy, helping them to use key social networks effectively to connect with existing and prospective shoppers, drive footfall, and create buzz around key events and calendar hooks." [They got them to improve their web site (not difficult), use Facebook, and get on Twitter?]

The Guardian: "Interview: Jan Gehl on London, streets, cycling and creating cities for people"

"The influential Danish architect is disappointed with London's progress with implementation his ideas for humanising city streets, but sees grounds for optimism elsewhere.

"... Gehl describes a post-war urban planning formula in which the car was transport king in linear asphalt empires and housing developments sprouted in high-rise isolation amid concrete voids being challenged in some places by 'lower-density building based on making neighbourhoods communities,' but then, 'during the eighties and nineties came the the period of egotism, and the architects became more and more obsessed with buildings with funny shapes.'

"More optimistically, he points to such as New York, Melbourne, Moscow and, most notably, his native Copenhagen as examples of cities where the economic and social value of creating 'Cities for People' has been recognised, and followed by action."

Big Issue: "Property Week: why can't The Big Issue be sold in shopping centres?"

Link to web site

"The market leader 'Property Week' is asking shopping centre owners to open their doors to 'Big Issue'.

A debate has started on whether shopping centres across the UK should open their doors to our Big Issue vendors. Right now, vendors up and down the country are restricted from sell the magazine in the dry and warm surroundings of shopping centres – but that could soon be a thing of the past.

"Property Week has asked five of the UK’s largest shopping centre owners – British Land, Hammerson, Intu Properties, Land Securities and Westfield — about welcoming Big Issue sellers to trade on their under-cover shopping streets. This is something that The Big Issue has explored for years, only to be met with a general resistance."

Barnet Times: "Paediatrician joins fight to lower speed limit on the East End Road, Finchley"

Link to web site

"A paediatrician who treats the victims of car accidents is urging Barnet Borough Council to consider lowering the speed limit on a 'hazardous' stretch of road.

Justin Daniels, of Manor View, Finchley, believes the limit on East End Road should be reduced from 30mph to 20mph, and has vowed to fight his cause to the bitter end.

There are currently two primary schools and two high schools in the area, and children regularly get knocked down by cars during the busy rush hour."


BBC: "Tougher clean air targets needed, experts say"

"22 January 2014 Last updated at 09:18 GMT
"A study confirming a link between atmospheric pollution and heart attack risk strengthens the EU case for tougher clean air targets, according to experts.
"Research in the BMJ looking at long-term data for 100,000 people in five European countries found evidence of harm, even at permitted concentrations.
"Dominic Hughes reports."

Hammerson's more successful involvement in "a far-away London borough, of which we know little"

Link to 'Metro' web site

"Croydon’s toughest critics find it hard to fault the transport network. There are three stations – East, West and South Croydon – plus buses and trams. [Not like Brent Cross, then.]

"Trains from East Croydon, which is currently being upgraded, run south to the coast and north [via Cricklewood and Hendon] to Bedford, with the fastest reaching Gatwick Airport or London Bridge in less than 15 minutes.

"... The Croydon Partnership, a joint venture between Westfield and Hammerson, will transform the outdated Whitgift and Centrale shopping centres into 1.5million sq ft of retail and leisure space. This will include a major department store – John Lewis has expressed interest – a full range of shops, cinema, bowling alley and restaurants. Construction should start next year, once full planning permission has been secured, and the target date for opening is 2018.

"This £1-billion project will act as the catalyst for the wider regeneration of the town centre and includes up to 600 new homes. It has received widespread local support, but few people can be more delighted than buyers at Saffron Square, a new housing scheme by Berkeley just down the road."


Barnet Times: "Meeting to discuss Cricklewood regeneration plans at Hendon Town Hall" (WAS: "There's been a new hunger for action: meeting to discuss Cricklewood regeneration plans" - WHY change it?)

"Thousands have opposed the plans"
(Link to Barnet Times web site)

"Planning officers should consider the 'upsurge of community spirit' when discussing plans to regenerate Cricklewood, according to a councillor.

"People will gather to hear about proposals to build on the Cricklewood Open Space, which thousands [are] opposed to, at Hendon Town Hall next week.

"The plans form part of the £4billion Brent Cross regeneration [of 2008] which was granted outline planning permission by Barnet Council three years ago.

"But changes to the existing application have sparked a new meeting: Thursday, January 30 at Hendon Town Hall, The Burroughs, from 7pm."


Yorkshire Post: "Lower speeds save lives and revive communities"

Link to web site

"THE number of pedestrians and cyclists dying on Britain’s roads is on the rise. In 2011, overall deaths rose by three per cent to 1,901. Within that figure, the climb in pedestrian deaths was much faster – up by 12 per cent to 453 deaths – with children and older people suffering the greatest increases.

"Deaths for cyclists jumped in the year to 2012. And although the number of road deaths fell slightly last year, the proportion of pedestrians and cyclists being killed or seriously injured has been steadily rising for many years.

"Road crashes remain the most likely single cause of death for older children and young adults in the UK. A car or lorry is almost invariably involved, and in the vast majority of cases they are travelling at more than 20mph."

New Scientist: "The architecture of density: Life in a megacity"

Link to web site

"YOU could be fooled into thinking this image had been digitally altered, as row upon row of apartments seem to stretch to infinity. But these are real tower blocks in Hong Kong, documented by photographer Michael Wolf in his series 'Architecture of Density'.

"After deliberately leaving the sky and ground out of frame to create the illusion of indeterminable size, Wolf says:
"This image is beautiful and harrowing at the same time. Viewed from a distance, the photograph could be mistaken for a supermarket barcode, but up close, the brutal reality of life in a megacity becomes apparent."

GetWestLondon: "HS2 chairman visits potential hub and site in Old Oak Common"

Link to web site

"The new chairman of HS2 visited a potential rail hub site in Old Oak Common [last] week.

Sir David Higgins toured the semi-derelict land north of Wormwood Scrubs, which could be used as a major interchange for the high-speed rail route from Euston to Birmingham and the north."

[Nothing much more to report.]

"Cyclists in the City: "Designing cities around cycling"

"Amsterdam announces plan to create separate priority networks for bikes, parallel to priority networks for public transport and for motor vehicles. Ditches current priority of journey 'speed' "

"This is a German television broadcast of an interview last year (in English) that I've only just noticed. I'm posting it because it's the clearest articulation I've heard in quite some time, about why cities should design themselves around cycling and how to do it. What I particularly like about the interview is the way that Klaus Bondam, a former rightwing politician in Copenhagen, pulls no punches and tells a few home truths that local authorities around the UK would do well to heed.

"His first comment seems quite obvious:
"In medieval cities, there's a limited amount of space, so you have to have a discussion about what the space should be used for... Right behind us there are loads of parked bikes; just imagine how much space that would take up if it was [the same number of] parked cars."
"Yup, spot on. You have to discuss cycling and private cars on an equal footing. This is a concept that is still nascent in the UK. But the same sort of thinking is going on in the Netherlands: Amsterdam this week published its new 'Action Plan for Mobility'. The document talks about how:
"Until now the guiding principle for almost every [street layout] reorganisation has been to guarantee the accessibility of all the functions for all modes of transport."

Click on image to continue the article

BBC: "HS2 legal bid rejected by Supreme Court" (so Old Oak Common, on the Brent Cross Railway[?] goes ahead)

Link to web site

"The Supreme Court has rejected a legal bid by objectors to the HS2 high-speed rail link to force further scrutiny of the government's plans.

"The challenge had focused on whether the government followed the rules when assessing HS2's environmental impact.

"But the court unanimously rejected the claims against the scheme.

"The BBC understands this is now the end of the first stage of the legal challenges, as there is no right of appeal to Europe.

"But there could be future challenges on the second phase of the scheme - beyond Birmingham - when the exact route is announced."

[Reposted from Aug 2013] Financial Times: "High-speed orbital rail proposed for London"

Link to
Financial Times
(register to read)

"A new high-speed 'rail bagel' encircling London will become a priority for the capital as its population soars to 10m over the next 20 years, Boris Johnson’s transport adviser has said.

"Isabel Dedring, deputy mayor for transport at City Hall, said new light-rail and tram services – now under discussion for some outer areas – would be 'only an intermediate measure' and the extra capacity would be soaked up by new arrivals.

"... Ms Dedring is helping to prepare a long-term infrastructure plan for the capital, due for publication in Spring 2014; it is expected to tackle rail and airport capacity, as well as roads."

Tom Chance: "Making parts of London more dense"

Link to web site

"How do we build more homes in London? The Mayor’s latest exercise assessing needs suggests we need up to 690,000 over the next ten years, but a parallel exercise looking for land only came up with sites for 420,000 homes.

"The usual debate is whether or not we build in London’s greenbelt to make up the difference. But there are at least three good reasons not to go down this route to solve our problems: there are an awful lot of protected habitats that we really cannot build on; building sustainable developments around transport hubs and avoiding those habitats could only deliver (in Andrew Lainton’s estimation) 72,000 homes; and if we ignore these, it could lead to more low density, car-dependent urban sprawl, which the greenbelt was established to prevent.

"The alternative, or perhaps complementary, approach is to make London more dense, particularly around transport hubs in sprawling, low density outer London. This has actually been pushed for over a decade by Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson with the London Plan, the main planning document for the capital."