The Old and the New

Articles, LondonUnlockedEditor1 Comment

200807111525.jpgYesterday marked the fiftieth anniversary of the parking meter - an iconic fixture of city life. Love them or hate them, they don't appear to be going anywhere, with new versions allowing payment by the web and mobile devices.

As The Times notes:

The introduction of the meters had been called for by this newspaper in a series of editorials that declaimed the “chaos caused by parked vehicles in the centre of London”.

How times change.

Whilst this icon celebrates a birthday, another long-in-the-public's-awareness transport institution takes a step towards existence: CrossRail.

The Department for Transport has published the revised route for the second tranche of the Crossrail scheme, which takes in a route transversing London from Kings Road to Leytonstone.

As is the wont of Government in such schemes, the delivery of the actual project is something of a moveable feast, estimated currently as opening between 2019 and 2025. As Tony Travers noted at the Million Vote Mandate launch however, until contracts are signed and public, there is no certainty of any progression whatsoever.

At stake is the first step in the politically and financially difficult task upgrading London's transport infrastructure. If the Mayor wants to prove his mettle, nailing the Government's colours to the mast on this issue would be a good way to start.