Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Crossrail coming to Woolwich?


Initial reports from parlaiment appear to suggest that Crossrail is coming to Woolwich. In the report from the Crossrail Select Committee today they have stated that they were "clearly convinced of the essential need for a Crossrail station at Woolwich" and that they would be asking the promoters to work with Greenwich Council to integrate a station into the trapsort infrastructure.

Bizarrely the report appears to contradict the feasibility study Crossrail commissioned and says the promoter's "calculations of cost of this station showed it would provide exceptional value for money". The feasibility study in comparison was very clear that Crossrail felt a station in Woolwich would not be commerically viable - according to Crossrail there will be a £504m shortfall which the local public sector will have to subsidise.

The Council has also commented on this today, and from what we've learned they probably knew yesterday as the Communications Unit sent out an email saying there would be a photo opportunity today with the leader Chris Roberts, and the local MP Nick Raynsford to "celebrate good news".

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16 Comments:

Blogger Indigo said...

At the end of the first part of the Public Inquiry (Galliard Homes appeal) last Friday in Woolwich, the appellant’s transport expert witness said that (based on his discussions with TfL) GWT was going to happen. The Council's barrister said that they were very pleased that GWT was confirmed as the Council had not been able to confirm funding.

5:15 pm  
Anonymous Woolwichpioneer said...

So to clarify, does Greenwich.Watch think it is a good or a bad thing that Crossrail is coming to Woolwich?

9:44 am  
Blogger greenwich.watch said...

Honestly? For us it doesn't really matter either way. As long as Woolwich remains in Zone 4 we will continue to catch buses to Zone 2 and save around £50 a month in the process. We do, of course, have concerns about the apparent half a billion shortfall that Crossrail said there would be if a station was built in Woolwich. Such a fiscal worry is only prudent after all.

Why do you ask?

10:00 am  
Anonymous WoolwichPioneer said...

I asked because the original article had the usual generally critical tone which constitutes your housestyle but without an easily discernable position on the issue.

The only "target" I could detect was the inconsistency between the Select Committee and the feasibility study, which is inevitably going to be par for the course with this sort of thing.

Your highlighting of "[s]uch a fiscal worry" demonstrates why transport is in such a pickle in this country. I bet the same sort of ultra short-term feasibility and cost-benefit arguments were marshalled against Mr Bazalgette's sewer and by those who wanted to bulldoze the Arsenal a few years ago. I'm pleased a few people have some vision for the future of our town.

10:06 am  
Blogger greenwich.watch said...

Must we engage in ad hominen arguments to divert from the question of where half a billion quid is actually going to come from? It is not at all unreasonable for us to ask that question and raise that concern.

After all, citing examples of where similar such concerns have been made in the past and have then been shown to be wanting, does not, consequentially, invalidate the same concerns for all other circumstances in posterity. Only a politician would try to deploy such logically fallicious positions.

As we understand it, all the parties on the Council support Crossrail for Woolwich, so who else is going to ask where the money is coming from but us? This does not mean we don't support it in principle, we just want to know how the shortfall will be covered.

10:24 am  
Anonymous WoolwichPioneer said...

I know what an ad hominen argument is so you need not trouble yourself with the Dorling Kindersley/Wikipedia pop-logic of your second paragraph. If you really want to go down that path then someone might point out that the final sentence of your second paragraph looks like you're affirming the consequent!

If you think my argument is ad hominen then you've misunderstood. I was contrasting the long-term public good mentality of earlier visionaries with the short-term neo-liberal market logic which dominates political discourse at the moment. The former mind-set was able to provide big flagship public goods. But if Crossrail is looked at through the latter prism then a station at Woolwich is unlikely to be able to justify itself in those terms. Consequently, I was engaging with the substance of your short-term argument and providing examples to support my case.

Any short-term detriment will be overwhelmed by the long-term utility of a station at Woolwich.

10:44 am  
Blogger greenwich.watch said...

We never suggested you didn't know what an ad hominen argument was, did we? As to the suggestion we're affirming the consequent, we're not quite sure where the antecedent is, or the hypothetical proposition we're making for that matter. But that is no matter anyway.

We accused you of using an ad hominen argument because, without you're later clarifcation, you were. We do though appreciate the clarification and Benthamite justification for a Crossrail station in Woolwich.

However, we still don't see how it's relevant to the question of a potentially significant funding shortfall. We want to know where the money will come from. Actually, let us correct that. We want to know if there really is a £504m shortfall, and, if there is, where the money is going to come from.

It's a very straightforward question, and no amount of discussions on logic, or the virtues of utilitarianism versus hayekism will do a thing to answer it.

p.s. touche on the flame

11:08 am  
Anonymous nairobi said...

By the way, to put things into perspective Council Tax raises about £70m per year, so £504m represents seven years of CT receipts. Or a one-off bill of £8000 each. Hooray!

11:25 am  
Anonymous Woolwich35 said...

Why wasn't this story in News Shopper? What's going on their lately - doesn't seem as good as it once was? Have they lost staff or something? Or don't they bother with decent stories?

1:41 pm  
Blogger greenwich.watch said...

Be fair. It only happened yesterday. The dead tree press takes time to ctach up. We're sure they will.

1:43 pm  
Anonymous Woolwich35 said...

Fair enough. Think they could be doing a better job though.

mind you, it's better than the Mercury.

2:08 pm  
Anonymous fergledog said...

Glad to see that the newshopper and the mercury still exist, its such a long time that either have been delivered to my door I thought they had ceased to publish, must be going on two years now

4:14 pm  
Blogger Inspector Sands said...

Woolwich Arsenal will be in Zone 3 when the DLR opens.

(Well, the DLR station will be, anyway.)

7:40 pm  
Blogger The Plumster said...

To answer an earlier question in what I think is a slightly more direct way than other responses. Do I think Crossrail will be good for Woolwich? Putting aside any concerns about financial shortfalls, yes, of course this sort of improvement in the local transport infrastructure is a good thing. Bit of a no-brainer really, or am I over simplifying this?

Re the Zone, according to an up-to-date tube map, the new DLR station will be in Zone 4, the same as the present mainline station. Unfortunately, I don't think any amount of investment in Woolwich can do anything about its distance from central London. Perhaps if people start calling it East Greenwich, maybe that would prompt a zone change!!!

9:04 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But how is the distance from Woolwich to central London a problem? What is it? 10 miles? It's hardly far.

4:18 pm  
Blogger The Plumster said...

As far as I'm concerned the distance between Woolwich and Central London isn't a problem at all. My comments were merely a light-hearted response to an earlier comment suggesting that the new DLR station would be in Zone 3.

9:22 am  

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