Tuesday, 25 November 2014

If You Can't Beat Them, Join Them

With Twitterland still reeling from the ground breaking transport announcements coming from the Mayor of London's Future Streets Incubator Fund, I have decided to have a crack myself.

I am clearly in the minority for slagging off the idea of trampolines being a serious mode of transport for the Capital; so I am suspending my disbelief to give you 5 other ideas which could really shape the way we travel in the future. In no particular order;

North Circular Frogger Crossings
We all know that the North Circular Road is a real barrier to walking and cycling and so we bring you a new type of shared-use pedestrian/ cyclist crossing. Based on the popular 1980s computer game, the Frogger Crossings will use special studs set into the carriageway surface which will detect vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. The studs will show red, amber or green signals to pedestrians and cyclists where there is a gap in the traffic. Green will mean it is safe to cross the the next lane, red will mean do not move to the next lane and amber will mean hop to it, a lorry is coming. Showman designers will always get a green signal, regardless of the traffic conditions.

City Ropeway
The City of London has really congested streets and lots of tall buildings. So, rather than mix it with the buses, we propose a series of ziplines between the famous City buildings. They will have platforms built on their tops and all a passenger has to do is to take a lift to the top of the nearest building and grab a waiting handle from a docking station and off they go. Where someone needs to move from a lower building to a higher building, then the zipwire will be powered. The scheme will require a registration fee, but as long as you zip in 30 minute slots, it will be free. Showman Designers will need to use the power of their smugness on the up-zips.

Muswell Hill Bobsleigh Run
We will convert the A504, A1201 and A103 into a Europe's longest all-year, all-weather bobsleigh run. The route will provide a fast link between Muswell Hill and Highbury for the commuter in a hurry. The "Muswell Run" will be kept at a chilly -20 degrees Celsius by pumping vast quantities of heat into the conveniently placed Regent's Canal which will double up as the UK's longest continuous hot tub. Showman Designers will have to leave their bottles of turd polish on the side of the canal before they take a dip.

The Westminster Skid Pan
OK, I know this is not really a serious transport proposal, but it is nice to create something a little bit zany to provide a sense of place in a busy city. We will level the entire City of Westminster, using the rubble to construct a state of the art skid pan which promises to be the largest in Europe. Around the edge, we will build a 50 storey Colosseum so that tourists can be assured of a good seat to watch the fun. Kept wet by a gentle spray of depression, the WSP will allow landed gentry, government ministers and international tycoons to drive at speed before performing the most awesome of handbrake turns into specially reserved parking spaces. We will also build a 10 lane limo-superhighway between the WSP and Canary Wharf for that TfL board member in a hurry. Showman Designers will be given bicycles.

Lower Thames Trebuchet
Because of the shipping lanes in the Thames downstream of Tower Bridge, we either need to dig a tunnel or ensure there is sufficient clearance. This idea is basically two bastard great Middle Ages style siege engines which will sit on specially built platforms, each side of the river, just west of Crossness.

Passengers and freight will be loaded into specially padded containers and then flung into huge nets on the opposite site of the river and then lowered to ground level to make the scheme fully accessible. Showmen Designers get to ride for free, but without nets.

So there you have it, a little bit edgy I know, but 5 solutions to London's future transport needs. If you see Boris, tell him to send a cheque for £1.8m to the usual address. If there are any budding artists out there, we could do with some promotional sketches as I am a bit crap at drawing.

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