Friday, November 07, 2014

Pedestrianise Oxford Street, Part 2: A View From Semtex.

Looking at this idea from face value, of course it is a fantastic concept and technically would be a innovative master plan.

However, this is London we are talking about here. We don't have the economic stability of a country such as China, or the advanced foresight and efficiency projections of somewhere like Japan, either.
Furthermore, retail is changing more now than at any other time in history.

Sustainability issues are higher on the consumer agenda than ever before.

That said, the competition and race to "go green" holds huge rewards for whoever manages to pull this massive coup off successfully.

I agree totally that doing nothing is an option we can't afford.

Currently though, retailers are and have had an extremely rough time. To have extra burden put on them by raising rents and rates to pay for our ultimate green retail dream, is probably untenable.
Digital retailing from both a retailers and customers view has increased dramatically too. Even the big boys in the global retail trade are having their work cut out against on-line savvy customers.

When you look at the one's having it off in the UK at the moment, it is the extremes between the markets.
Primark and Harrods are doing great, but how about the ones in between?
Successful retailers these days have to have a customer focussed business structure, that operates at a lower cost but at the same time, with far greater agility.

I think therefore it would be improbable to expect retailers to be able to foot the bill for such a fantastic ideology.
If that is true then it would be left to Government to have to fund it. But be honest, how could we trust either central government or indeed, City Hall to back a project as huge as this?

I remember in the late 90's when they closed the Rotherhithe Tunnel for refurbishment. Because they couldn't afford to pay the contractors the overtime, it ran over by months! Traffic getting across the water was an absolute nightmare every single day!

It became so bad, that Morgan Stanley who had only just moved up onto the Wharf, actually paid for the work to be completed, as they were getting fed up with employees arriving late for work.
Not only that though. Look at the current state of our infrastructure. The tube has had no real investment down there since Queen Victoria was alive, roads are literally breaking up around us as we drive our cabs.

They've just resurfaced the East side of Russell Square and Woburn Place.

Make a job of it? Jesus Christ! I thought they had discovered oil up there! How did it take so long to resurface a road?

In America, they do it as you drive behind them!!!
So, all in all, as much as I look at that brilliant projected plan I think how wonderful it would be for all of us. In reality though, I just can't see where the massive funding would come from, for such a mammoth infrastructure and ecological Pièce de résistance.

I have said for years that before we were to look at something as masterful as this plan, we need to get basic infrastructure problems right first.
I believe that ALL zebra crossings in London should be ripped up overnight and replaced with Pelicans.
There is no place for the old fashioned Zebra in a fast paced city like London.

Take the one for example on the North Side of Russell Square by Bedford Way, or the one outside St Pauls, or the one by Bow Street/Russell Street, Covent Garden.
I defy any cab driver or other motorist not to break the law on these crossings during the day.

It is impossible to get past them without somebody's foot being on them! That's not forgetting the clever Dicks who think it's clever to pretend that they are continuing straight ahead, only to "trick us" at the last second, using the "rights" that the public have to stop us on a whim ! The fact that they are constructed of 90% water walking in front of a 2 ton TX4 is of little consequence to these numb skulls.

In my opinion and in summary, although I see this proposal as being a brilliant and innovative masterpiece for our Capital City, in truth I cannot see the future of elevated pedestrian walkways and areas in London until we have learnt how to fill a pot hole in the road, without closing the Borough off, to achieve it.
8829 Semtex


I'm Spartacus said...

As ever friend, got it it one.

As far as crossings go, get one of those dashboard cameras to protect yourself against false allegations.

The real problem is that we are hopelessly overcrowded with too many using our systems (except cabs as in daytime the traffic is too bad and at night TfL have surrendered our living to scabs).


Anonymous said...

With Oxford Street doing nothing is not an option.
If a scheme like this is not implemented then the entire length of Oxford Street will be pedestrianised.
See how much fun it is to sit in congestion then!

Anonymous said...

Spartacus and the Taxileaks team,any recommendations on a camera for the dashboard please?