Plenty of new skyscrapers adding to London’s skyline over the next 15yrs

5-The Heron TowerAs a reader of this blog you’ll know of my fascination with London’ skyscrapers. So, in seeing the London skyline from Chobham Ridges yesterday I wondered how many more there are to come.

Reports I’ve found variously indicate that there’ll be nine, fourteen, or even seventeen appearing quite soon. In fact, from these reports I’ve compiled a list of 22 towers in an advanced state of development, either being built, or about to be built.  So, what are these skyscrapers in the pipeline?

In New London Architecture’s [an independent forum-based organisation looking at architecture in London] study London’s Growing Up!, it has mapped 230 towers over 20 storeys in the pipeline. Again in City A.M. they reference the work of NLA, and have cleverly Mapped: Every skyscraper planning application in London.

I’m sure you’ll find skyscrapers in this map not included in my list above. I even found one myself – Principal Tower, a 50 storey residential building where the low-rise element is under construction.

Viewing the London skyline from Chobham Ridges

Part of the fun of walking in our local heathland is, apart from the joys of the flora and fauna, the variety of views.

  • From High Curley in Lightwater, height 129 metres/423 feet, you can see into the heart of central London, including the BT Tower and the Victoria Tower of the Houses of Parliament.
  • From Hangmoor Hill, which is half way up Red Road, you can see all the tall buildings in Woking.
  • Best of all is that from Chobham Ridges you can see a panorama of the London Skyline, including the City skyscrapers. the Shard, and office towers of Canary Wharf.

Here’s my photo of the London skyline from Chobham Ridges. It’s not the clearest of images, though you can pick out the skyscrapers – click on image to expand.

London skyline from Chobham Ridges

Breaking the Tour de France cycle race watching addiction

It’s over, and how fantastic that ‘Froomey’ has won. It’s been riveting TV watching the Tour de France. Amazing to think that a three week race – minus a couple of rest days – has provided a daily dose of excitement.

Couch potato that I’ve become, when not able to drink-in the live drama on ITV4 from 1.0pm to 5.0pm, I caught the highlights from 7.0pm to 8.0pm nightly. Mostly I watched live, and the highlights too, to listen to the expert’s interpretation.

The competition has been epic, as Chris Froome would say. The sporting drama has had an unsavoury element, with accusations of doping by Team Sky – absolutely without foundation. This has added an additional frisson to this year’s race.

I wonder whether it isn’t all to do with the fact that out of the last 4 years, a Briton has won, and has raced for Team Sky. Also, that the characteristic reserve and un-showy attitude contrast with Gallic, and Latin over-excitement.

That’s it for another year.

Plenty of happy Hot Rod Hayriders at Bisley, despite the wet weather

Yesterday we visited the Hot Rod Hayride at Bisley. My impressions are that the number of camping Hayriders were there in larger numbers than previous years, although with pretty much the same number of Hot Rods and classic American cars, though more motorbikes – not the flashy street road rocket kind, but a mixture of grungy and custom chopper bikes.

The atmosphere was as relaxed and enjoyable as we’ve found in 2014, 2013, and earlier, in the Hayrides we’ve attended. This year I resisted the temptation to buy another 1950’s American Hawaiian-type shirt. I certainly wasn’t out of place in wearing it yesterday.

One other difference I noticed this year, there were more of the rods and cars on the showground for sale. No prices were quoted.

This is part 1 of my report on the Hayride, next I’ll post a short video of the event,

Comparison between the Paris Metro to the London Underground

Ok, it’s not me doing the comparing. It’s CityMetric, a division of the New Statesman, that has an article entitled, “Paris has one of the densest metro networks in the world. So we’ve superimposed it on London“.

Geographically accurate Paris metro mapThe article contains clever overlays of the Parisian Metro, and it’s suburban rail networks over a map of London to help identify the differences. [Click on image to enlarge].

The article finds these differences,

…. there are some very big holes in the [Parisian] network. Consider the vast gap to the east of the city, which on this map covers Tower Hamlets. No other trains serve that district.

Two thoughts stem from all this. One is the difference in functions performed by these different networks. In Paris, the Metro moves people around the city centre; the RER and Transilien ferry them in from the suburbs.

In London, though, there’s no such division: the Tube plays both roles. The Central line, say, acts like an RER route in the Essex suburbs, but a Metro route in Zone 1.

The other is that this might be one reason why so many Parisian banlieues are depressed: it’s much harder to generate a vibrant economy when there’s no way of getting to a job.

NOTE: Transilien is the equivalent of National Rail, and the RER is the regional express underground rail network serving Paris, it’s suburbs, and the Île-de-France région.