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The boring machines from the channel tunnels are under Las Vegas. I saw them left there in Ocean's13.

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Some new signs along the A421 near Finmere showing access to HS2 works at Widmore Farm, and prohibiting works traffic into Mixbury.

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Pity we couldnt make the tunnel machines in the UK ?

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Posted (edited)
On 24/05/2020 at 17:23, jjb1970 said:

I think the idea of living in tower blocks was tarnished in this country by experiences of the tower blocks built in the 60's and 70's which were awful. 

You are absolutely right. 

The sociology lecturer on my Liverpool Civiic Design Masters course back in 1962-63 was Elizabeth Gittus, whose classic book: "Flats, families and the under-fives" published in 1976, was a summation of incontrovertibly appalling statistical evidence.

This effectively killed off high rise at the same time as the gas explosion at Ronan Point in East London, triggered a horrific progressive collapse at breakfast time .

 

Most successful high rise since then has been for households without children, for foreign investors (as in the central districts  of London) or young professionals (as in Manchester and other Northern cities led by Urban Splash).

My hunch is that given the New Normal, urban densities (bed spaces per hectare) will be generally lower.

 

 

Edited by runs as required
predictive texting
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1 hour ago, lmsforever said:

Pity we couldnt make the tunnel machines in the UK ?

 

Do we even have a tunnel boring machine company in the UK?? Herrenknecht machines are used around the world, including Crossrail.

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7 hours ago, bimble said:

 

Do we even have a tunnel boring machine company in the UK?? Herrenknecht machines are used around the world, including Crossrail.

Funnily enough we do. The TBM for the new Farnworth tunnel between Manchester and Preston for the electrification, was built in Oldham. 

 

Markham's IIRC at Chesterfield  built at least one of the ones for the Channel tunnel as it could be seen from the station platforms. Sadly I don't think that they are still in business.

 

Jamie

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46 minutes ago, jamie92208 said:

Funnily enough we do. The TBM for the new Farnworth tunnel between Manchester and Preston for the electrification, was built in Oldham. 

I think that was more something jury-rigged onto the end of an excavator, so maybe a machine for boring tunnels but not a TBM as we know it.  It only had 300 metres to do and wasn't conspicuously successful.  

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9 hours ago, runs as required said:

..........My hunch is that given the New Normal, urban densities (bed spaces per hectare) will be generally lower.


I’m not sure how we achieve that with the pressures brought on by population growth, without massive development of outer suburban hinterlands and rural areas.

As with the arguments around HS2,  population growth Is the often forgotten, but key element  in many of these issues.

 

The UK population is increasing at a rate equivalent of adding the population of.....

Leicester, every year, or

Bristol every 2 years, or

Leeds, every 2.5 years.

These people all have to live somewhere and their housing and travel needs will continue to put pressure on the urban housing resource, rail and road systems, even with more working from home and whatever form of, so-called “ new normal” materialises...if it ever does.



 

.

 

 

 

 

 

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On 25/05/2020 at 13:43, lmsforever said:

Manufacturing needs to be brought back to the UK then we will be safe from dramas abroad and perhaps the unemloyed will find work

If only it were that simple. We do actually manufacture a lot here, but the number of different technologies that the modern world relies upon means that it would be impossible to do everything well. So instead we're good at some things, and buy other stuff in.

You don't see it so much with cheap consumer goods like microwaves and toy trains because the economics of making that in places like China (where living standards and wages are much below what we'd accept here) mean that it's not coming back, and if it did we'd be spreading ourselves very thin and would probably not do it very well.

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I was thinking more of engineering as that is an area we have lost out on but overall making as much as possible in the UK will give security for our workforce.Pharmecuticals are definitely a growth market here as is the technology associated with computing.Agree with your comments about items that can be manufactured abroad model railways etc although the price here in the UK keeps going up!

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Engineering is actually something we do a lot of here (high voltage electrical engineering is my area of expertise, and you might be surprised how much of the kit we use could be badged "made in the UK"). It's mostly pretty high tech stuff rather than the big dumb lumps of metal, but we do still do some of that too. There's just so many different things to engineer that doing them all well is impossible.

 

Another example (although low volume) is formula 1. Almost all the teams are based in the UK, and do the high value technical work using mostly British engineers.

 

Engineering is much more than things like making steel from iron ore and coal...

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34 minutes ago, lmsforever said:

I was thinking more of engineering as that is an area we have lost out on but overall making as much as possible in the UK will give security for our workforce.Pharmecuticals are definitely a growth market here as is the technology associated with computing.Agree with your comments about items that can be manufactured abroad model railways etc although the price here in the UK keeps going up!

 

I agree. There are many examples of importing items which used to be made in Britain but are not any more.

 

Cars

Trains

Steel (Sheffield steel was sought after everywhere, but not any more).

 

The US government gives US based companies an advantage (which is why Airbus built a factory there).

Why should this not work elsewhere?

 

It is all very well looking purely at the cost of buying things, but who pays for the unemployed? Every taxpayer.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Pete the Elaner said:

 

I agree. There are many examples of importing items which used to be made in Britain but are not any more.

 

Cars

Trains

Steel (Sheffield steel was sought after everywhere, but not any more).

 

The US government gives US based companies an advantage (which is why Airbus built a factory there).

Why should this not work elsewhere?

 

It is all very well looking purely at the cost of buying things, but who pays for the unemployed? Every taxpayer.

We still make cars, trains and steel, just not as much as before.

(in 1970 we made about 1.7million cars, 2019 it was 1.3 million)

 

Whilst we were part of the EU subsidising production was not allowed, however now on our own again we could have incentives for certain desirable businesses.

 

IMHO The problem with US policy is that they support their industries to make them competetive but complain when other countries do the same.

Edited by melmerby
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2 hours ago, Ron Ron Ron said:

I’m not sure how we achieve that with the pressures brought on by population growth, without massive development of outer suburban hinterlands and rural areas.

As with the arguments around HS2,  population growth Is the often forgotten, but key element  in many of these issues.

 

The UK population is increasing at a rate equivalent of adding the population of.....

Leicester, every year, or

Bristol every 2 years, or

Leeds, every 2.5 years.

These people all have to live somewhere and their housing and travel needs will continue to put pressure on the urban housing resource, rail and road systems, even with more working from home and whatever form of, so-called “ new normal” materialises...if it ever does.

 

I too am not sure how the UK will  accommodate these changes - both of inevitable growth and at the same time "de-densification". 

Although I shan't be around to participate in them, as I enjoyed doing in the first half of the 1960s working on the formulation of the PTEs with Barbara Castle, I'd hope to see a return to regional strategic Land Use/Transportation plans as have been hinted at but not yet moved to by the present Government in its election appeals to the north of England.

We still only have the London area that was spared the abandonment of integrated transportation at the time of de-regulation.

 

I suggest the following:

  • A return to earlier 1950s policies of Land Use de-centralisation (town expansion and promotion of growth in other regions) to discourage over emphasis on the South East.
  • Transportation Planning strategies that are co-ordinated with land use promotion
  • A return to "high density/low rise" built form that facilitate home based  working.
    Stoneycroft originally built for rent in Washington New Town, (the prototype for Milton Keynes New City) is now one of the most sought after medium cost housing locations in Sunderland. 
    1288634564_stoneycroftWashington.jpg.dfd46d51c35b67dbad80eeebf3b7d834.jpg
    Here are English 3 storey examples of the world's most popular house type: the Asian "Shop House": a permeably paved front apron, a built in garage/workshop/office/studio opening onto a green with play area and with small private fenced gardens at the back. All once within T&W PTE with through ticketing until the early 1980s. But now highly favoured by "White van man
    Much posher is Alexandra Road Estate, in West Hampstead, alongside the WCML - in effect a horizontal skyscraper cluster.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, melmerby said:

Whilst we were part of the EU subsidising production was not allowed, however now on our own again we could have incentives for certain desirable businesses.

 

IMHO The problem with US policy is that they support their industries to make them competetive but complain when other countries do the same.

No, sorry!

That is simply not true.

Whilst we were part of the EU - we were allowed to give subsidies of up to (iirc) 20%, however - it was always the British government that chose not to support its own industries.

These rules were always exploited to the full by the French and Germans especially making it look as though we followed the rules but they didn't.

I do however, fully agree with your final paragraph but I guess we better get back to HS2 now.

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1 hour ago, Pete the Elaner said:

 

I agree. There are many examples of importing items which used to be made in Britain but are not any more.

 

Cars

Trains

Steel (Sheffield steel was sought after everywhere, but not any more).

 

The US government gives US based companies an advantage (which is why Airbus built a factory there).

Why should this not work elsewhere?

 

It is all very well looking purely at the cost of buying things, but who pays for the unemployed? Every taxpayer.

This "we-don't-make-anything" myth never seems to go away.  I'm convinced it comes from the Left who measure the success of an industry by the size of the workforce, not the output.  The UK makes about 25% fewer cars than 50 years ago, but probably does it with 20% of the workforce and is one of the biggest car manufacturers in the world.  We make rather more than that famous car-loving country: Italy.  It is the same myth that Trump supporters in the US believe, that all their jobs were exported to China when in general, they were mechanised (and only then in some cases, exported) out of existence.

 

We do build trains and are opening new factories to do so.  The problem is that the UK is too small a market - especially with it's unique loading gauge - to sustain multiple train builders when train fleets last 30 years or more.  The gaps in building are too long.

 

Aviation is a difficult one; having worked in military aviation for many years I can tell you that the same problem applies.  The UK cannot possibly sustain specialist builders of fast jets, transport aircraft, business jets/turboprops, military and civilian helicopters, civil airliners etc.  So we buy in the capabilities we cannot build and export the expertise we do have.

 

The steel industry certainly is one where international exchange rates and some very dubious political practices have led to some countries dominating the market despite producing an inferior product and less efficiently.  Llanwern steelworks was widely considered to be the one of if not the most efficient steel-making plant in the world, but it couldn't compete against some heavily-subsidised state producers.  

 

In the end, National pride is all very well, but I don't see the Germans, Dutch, Danes, Norwegians feeling any less German or whatever, because they don't build most of their own military aircraft, steel or whatever.  

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.......Meanwhile......

Back to HS2 !!!

 

Please !

 

 

.

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Quote

 

Announced this morning. Court case re objection to the Euston tunnels thrown out.

Bernard

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Note that HS2 Ltd has to be more accountable now and explain expenditure to government who after all are the banker.

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9 hours ago, Bernard Lamb said:

Announced this morning. Court case re objection to the Euston tunnels thrown out.

Bernard

The judgment was an interesting read.

 

In essence, benefit of doubt given to HS2 that there is an acceptable engineering solution and that if not and risk is too great, the tunnel plan will be modified or abandoned.

The second part of the claim failed as the weight of public interest (and routes to seek compensation that remain open) outweigh her individual rights.

Case dismissed.

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On 05/06/2020 at 18:37, lmsforever said:

Note that HS2 Ltd has to be more accountable now and explain expenditure to government who after all are the banker.

 

HS2 Ltd has always had to be "accountable". The essence of the criticisms is that the DfT (and to some extent the Treasury) have not been transparent with the reports they have been getting, notwithstanding the external reporting, and alleged "whistleblowing" that has occurred from time to time. The fact that HS2 had been maintaining that they would keep to budget, on several occasions despite evidence that this was unlikely, was largely because that was what they were obliged to do, according to Treasury Rules and according to reporting directives from the DfT (largely the ones which obliged the project to be delivered at the authorised budget, no matter what). The Treasury Rules on contingency have since been changed, and the reporting guidelines amended, to better reflect reality. The Select Committee has directed its questions at the "new" Chief Exec, but its ire at the Department.

 

This is not the same as Crossrail, who would appear to have deliberately hidden bad information (from the Mayor's Office and the DfT at least) until far too late, hence the complete change of horses there, unlike HS2.

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Work going on at Hartwell fields outside Aylesbury  and bridge abutments appearing outside of Stoke Manderville across H Wycombe Rd.Big plans for links to Totton  trams buses and tram trains  should boost economy.

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55 minutes ago, lmsforever said:

Work going on at Hartwell fields outside Aylesbury  and bridge abutments appearing outside of Stoke Manderville across H Wycombe Rd.Big plans for links to Totton  trams buses and tram trains  should boost economy.

I doubt HS2 are building abridge this early. The detailed design is only just starting.

 

Could this be temporary scaffolding for overhead cable diversions ?

 

I'm still locked down in Risborough so not ventured out that way since March but know HS2 were not present then in a way that would create bridge abutments so quickly. 

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1 hour ago, black and decker boy said:

I doubt HS2 are building abridge this early. The detailed design is only just starting.

 

Could this be temporary scaffolding for overhead cable diversions ?

 

I'm still locked down in Risborough so not ventured out that way since March but know HS2 were not present then in a way that would create bridge abutments so quickly. 

They are presently building a bridge over the M42 near Brum

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