Today Boris Johnson has proposed plans for a set of major road tunnels, fly-unders and mini-tunnels, to reduce congestion and pollution in London. But if it goes ahead it will take twenty years to come to fruition.
Currently the most significant development for reducing congestion in London is the new train line, Crossrail, is being built, which will connect commuter towns in the west and east of London to west London, the City and Canary Wharf. It will carry trains more than 200 metres long, carrying 1,500 passengers, every two-and-a-half minutes at peak times through the centre.
With more and more skyscrapers being built in and around central London locations, and the population expected to reach 10 million by 2030, tube stations, trains and the people that ride them can expect more and more unwelcomed intimacy. It has been predicted that with the present rate of growth, and even if London’s planned infrastructure projects come to fruition, many of London’s transport networks will become inaccessible at peak times.
Pollution is a problem too. Our air is a killer. It makes you sick and it’s illegal. In April 2014 an epidemic of chest stress, constriction and suffocation, spread across the capital as African dust combined with exhaust fumes and fog, to create a palpable orange haze. Children were forbidden from playing outside.