> The scheme has faced widespread opposition from local people, politicians, climate scientists and medical experts who say it would increase traffic and worsen public health in some of the most deprived boroughs in the country. They also say it will lock in high carbon transport for generations to come.
Then you get proper bus options through the taller tunnel, and proper human-powered options with nobody to run them over, win win.
And I guess we're not replacing lorries/vans for a while yet, so they can use the big tunnel with the busses I guess.
And cars can go via the m25, no need for them in the city. Maybe multi-pasenger/disabled only (incentivises carpooling, helps families who need a cubic meter of junk per baby, and disabled people have genuine needs for their adapted vehicles).
But yeah, the harder cars are to use in cities, the better for everyone (even the drivers often enough, still takes them the same time, but now they're not trapped queuing in a fuming tunnel, instead they're dancing playfully through one-way puzzles... ok, maybe it's not much better for them, but not _much_ worse either).
London is like another planet compared to the rest of the UK.
All other cities of any size need to have town planners that are top quality.
The lack of investment outside of London is quite deliberate
That being said, while it's true that many of the "headlines" come from LN projects (Tideway, Elizabeth Line, this) it seems there have been many recent infra projects across the UK. Example: https://www.eclcivils.co.uk/the-uks-major-infrastructure-pro... and https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/
(Though the latter map is missing any points in Scotland. Whether that is an issue with data quality or with actual infrastructure planning policies is left as an exercise to the reader)
It's much harder to justify (and pay for) these kind of infrastructure projects in small cities.
A more accurate comparison is with the total conurbation size of other cities. For example, Manchester is listed as having a population of about 550000, but the Greater Manchester conurbation (the equivalent of Greater London) has a total population of 2.8 million.
Birmingham is 1.1 million, but the contiguous West Midlands conurbation is about 2.9 million.
The Liverpool to Leeds cross-Pennine urban axis (which is nearly contiguous) has a population of nearly 7 million.
Yes, these are smaller than Greater London, but not by the amount you think.
For any non-UK people who aren't familiar, here's here's a simple map showing pop. density to give you a rough idea what we're dealing with: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Gridded-UK-population-de...
You can clearly see the areas in question - London being the big red/purple blob in the far south-east, and the cities/conurbations marmarama described are to the north and north-west of that. They're not individually on the scale of London, but they're substantial population centres that would see real benefits from this kind of public transport infrastructure investment.
That said, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol and Birmingham (I'm sure others that I don't know about) have all done an enormous amount of work in the last 10-20 years to modernise.
Transport is hardest of all, of course, since you don't have the space usually to create greener systems without removing something else like a road and not everyone can simply swap easily. That said, I wish they would take some bold decisions across the UK and, like the Hague, make whole town centres pedestrianised during the day to try and force it a bit.
While I appreciate that investment in London needs to happen to solve issues now, the UK should be pivoting more investment to its regional cities that are in more sustainable locations, so that the UK is prepared for when London eventually succumbs to the tides.
That doesn't mean I want to travel 2 hours a day just to use London's infrastructure.
London is a big place. The centre of London is big. Where my train comes into London is not necessarily where what I need to do is.
So there could be another further hour of travel each way to get across London.
Travelling to and from the station on the home end is also a problem. Since public transport is so dire outside of London that takes much longer than it should do and is much more inconvenient.
Where friends of mine get annoyed waiting 5 minutes for a bus in London, you could be waiting over an hour in the rest of the country ...and if you miss it you're in schtuck, because it's the only one that day.
How much daily travel should we have to put up?
Just to be clear, I don't want less in London, I want more/better outside of London.
I understand your vibe though.
Why are people so mistaken about HS2. It doesn't halve the time, but IT INCREASES CAPACITY!
The West Coast Mainline is congested, and so twisty it's like a rollercoaster in places.
... and yet so much of the public (and ... [sigh] the news and various politicians) seem to be laser-focussed on travel time, and loudly question whether a quicker north/south line is really worth it. And they'll often talk about the focus should instead be on improving utilisation of the existing without knowing that these main north/south lines are already very near capacity.
If I was a rail guy in the UK I'd probably lose my mind.
But you've got knowledgeable people patiently giving plain easy-to-digest descriptions on the benefits ... which are ignored entirely by those with a bigger platforms who boil it down to "do we really need the fast trains?"
it was supposed to somehow help the north by cutting journey times.
"The government says that HS2 will free up capacity by taking the long distance trains off existing lines and on to the new high speed line."
That's what they were talking about in 2013 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24159571.
For perspective, it's 3.6 meters larger in diameter than the channel tunnel bore diameter.
the contrast between london and other places in the uk is dire
However the tunnel boring part didn't seem to be an issue.
I think some of the drivers who are currently using the Blackwall tunnel would switch to cycling if this was available.
Currently getting across the river in that area on bicycle is very difficult. You would have to ride to the greenwich foot tunnel and walk.
To me that would be a cheaper and quicker win.
I jokingly call it the "Greenwich cycle tunnel" because there's always a large number of people cycling through it despite the many signs saying it's forbidden!
IMO a cycle/pedestrian crossing between the Canada Water/Surry Docks area and Canary Wharf (replacing the existing expensive ferry) would be a game changer that would lead to greatly increased development on the south side. But unlikely to happen because it's hard to put a toll on a cycle/pedestrian crossing to pay for it!
In a political sense maybe, but in a technical sense that's just what is already done with subway turnstiles.
Existing, non-zero emissions vehicles can use the old tunnel and be phased out over time, lane by lane.
edit: but on reading more, it seems mostly to be about charging HGV tolls.
In practice, everyone rides their bike, scooter or whatever in the tunnel. And honestly I find it really hard to blame them: sure it's "forbidden", but I'd do the same if I was them (as long as you are not just speeding like a madman)
Answering my own question, it's quite a small, two way traffic tunnel.
You sure you're not mistaken for Rotherhithe tunnel?
edit: I see you're referring to Greenwich tunnel. Fair points.
Idea would be to split the tunnel into two levels with a deck, have the lower right hand lane for cyclists (two way), upper right hand side for pedestrians and the entire left side for shops with frequent stairs/lifts for access between the two levels.
London had this years ago in the form of the Thames Tunnel, however the gloomy gas lighting meant it didn't last long as a pedestrian tunnel. With modern lighting and ventilation I wonder if this is a possiblity.
People living in East London and South London find it really inconvenient to travel between the both since the birth of London. The Thames River is very wide in the East unlike West London.
It can take between 40 minutes to 1h20m to drive the 500 meter distance between East London and South, by travelling through tunnels or bridges closer to Central London.
But since this is in the middle of a busy city, I'd guess other factors dominate, costs for land access and approach roads, river traffic, appearances etc.
Honestly, i would just trust the architects and urban planners. At least in my country, every new development i saw recently, even those i was kind of against at first (in 4 different cities) were upgrades once finished. Even when it lost something i really was attached to, i have to admit that this is overall better now.
Tall and short ships and boats travel up and down it.
A bridge would cost a lot to upkeep.