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Austerity in ruins?

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cornixt
1240814.  Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:12 am Reply with quote

One of the current holders, Geoff Marshall, recently completed a three week journey visiting every train station in the UK (with his wife). It was in one of those news puff pieces on the BBC. He has some very interesting videos online about the Underground.

 
'yorz
1240815.  Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:47 am Reply with quote

Visiting or passing through?

 
GuyBarry
1240820.  Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:20 am Reply with quote

I attempted my own modest version of the Tube Challenge a couple of years ago. The aim was to visit all 16 stations on the Victoria line without using the Victoria line itself (with a cheat for Pimlico, which isn't on any other line). Here's how I managed it:

http://www.tubechallenge.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3109#p83724

 
suze
1240830.  Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:47 am Reply with quote

AlmondFacialBar wrote:
I now very much want Andy to do this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tube_Challenge


Andy tells me that he was really quite keen to have a go at that when he was a young man.

Then he got a job and stuff, and he hasn't seriously considered it since. It's a challenge for the young and fit, since most who attempt it come to the same conclusion: that the best route involves running from Cockfosters to High Barnet to connect the northern terminuses of two lines. To beat the record you need to do that at something like 7 minute mile pace, and there's a serious hill on the route.

Andy hated track and field in high school, but reckons that thirty years ago he could probably have done a 7 minute mile on the road. I know that I could, because I ran the 1,500 meters for the school team back in the day. But not so much now, in either of our cases.

 
cornixt
1240837.  Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:41 pm Reply with quote

'yorz wrote:
Visiting or passing through?

Found a webpage about it:
http://allthestations.co.uk/about/

What counts as having visited each station?
We do have to arrive or leave on a scheduled train thatís timetabled to stop at each station - fast trains that pass through do not count.
We donít have to leave the train at every station, but we will get off at some of the most interesting stations and report back to you.
Request stops have a special rule. As long as the train we are on is able to stop, if requested, then we will count it as having been visited, even if no one does actually get on or off.

 
GuyBarry
1240867.  Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:16 am Reply with quote

cornixt wrote:
One of the current holders, Geoff Marshall, recently completed a three week journey visiting every train station in the UK (with his wife).


Just for the record, it's a three-month project rather than a three-week one, and they haven't finished yet!

 
michaelchurchill
1240868.  Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:47 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Spike wrote:
There are some stops on London Underground where you'd walk further to get to the platform than you would walking overground between the stations - or at least it feels that way!


This is actually true!

The closest pair of stations on the London Underground is Covent Garden and Leicester Square. According to TfL, the distance between the two stations is 262 meters. Five minutes is a generous allowance to walk from one station to the other.

The mean travel time between the two stations - according to some rather troubled enthusiasts who spent a day going back and forth with a stopwatch - is 37 seconds. But that's before you remember that Covent Garden has no escalators, and you either wait for the lift - which can be several minutes at busy times - or use the 193 spiral stairs.

The longest walk below ground to change platforms is from the Circle and District platforms at Monument to the Waterloo and City Line platforms at Bank. As Londoners will know, Bank and Monument are in fact one sprawling station with half a dozen entrances, and the walk between these two sets of platforms is about 940 meters.

If you're extremely fit, you can even try racing the train. That's what a fellow called James Heptonstall did one Sunday morning in 2014.


On the DLR, the distance the train travels between West India Quay and Canary Wharf is 199m and it's a further 233m to Heron Quays. So, three stations in a span of 432m.

 
michaelchurchill
1240869.  Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:48 am Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
cornixt wrote:
One of the current holders, Geoff Marshall, recently completed a three week journey visiting every train station in the UK (with his wife).


Just for the record, it's a three-month project rather than a three-week one, and they haven't finished yet!


And Geoff doesn't hold the record any more.

 
Jenny
1240942.  Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:49 pm Reply with quote

Welcome to the forums, michaelchurchill :-)

As you can see, the topic has drifted somewhat from the thread header. The forum term for this is doffcocking, to understand which you would have to look at our Meaning of Liff thread.

 
Prof Wind Up Merchant
1241193.  Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:11 am Reply with quote

Can someone remind me which Theatre in the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea received finding, which was criticised due to the cost cutting renovations of Grenfell Tower. I think the cost of the Theatre refurb could have covered the cost of putting more flame resistant zinc based cladding compared to the aluminium based cladding that was installed last year.

The government has cut council funding too far leading to devastating situations such as the one we see. Unless the government invests more in local councils, then residents will have to foot the bill with increased council tax bills which no one wants.

 
brunel
1241208.  Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:19 am Reply with quote

Prof Wind Up Merchant wrote:
Can someone remind me which Theatre in the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea received finding, which was criticised due to the cost cutting renovations of Grenfell Tower. I think the cost of the Theatre refurb could have covered the cost of putting more flame resistant zinc based cladding compared to the aluminium based cladding that was installed last year.

The government has cut council funding too far leading to devastating situations such as the one we see. Unless the government invests more in local councils, then residents will have to foot the bill with increased council tax bills which no one wants.

You are presumably thinking of Opera Holland Park, a cultural institute which was originally part of the council but, back in 2015, was given a grant of £5 million as it was spun out from the council to become an independent charity.

It's not the only decision which the council has been heavily criticised for - this is the same council that, back in 2014, announced that because of an "overachieving efficiency drive", they would be giving the richest tax payers in that borough a £100 rebate.

In this particular case, the borough of Kensington and Chelsea doesn't have a problem with funding from central government - they have been running a substantial surplus for years, mainly due to self imposed spending cuts.

This particular borough has consistently been underspending on their social services - adult services alone running nearly £2 million under budget - whilst in 2016 alone their financial reserves increased by £42 million (their reserves now reportedly stand at £274 million).
However, The Times has alleged that, whilst Opera Holland Park was under their control, the council was happy to let that run at an annual loss of between £1 million to £1.5 million.

 
suze
1241349.  Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:24 am Reply with quote

Has the idea of Cabinet collective responsibility been abolished?

In recent days, both Michael Gove and Boris Johnson have said that the policy limiting pay rises in the public sector to 1% ought to be abandoned, even though its retention was a manifesto commitment. Today, the Prime Minister's office has stated that the policy is not going to be abandoned.

Does this mean that Mr Gove and Mr Johnson now have to get out of the Cabinet? Apparently not ...

 
cornixt
1241585.  Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:13 am Reply with quote

michaelchurchill wrote:
GuyBarry wrote:
cornixt wrote:
One of the current holders, Geoff Marshall, recently completed a three week journey visiting every train station in the UK (with his wife).


Just for the record, it's a three-month project rather than a three-week one, and they haven't finished yet!


And Geoff doesn't hold the record any more.

I've started watching the Youtube series now. BBC report on it was wrong in so many ways, the woman isn't even his wife (but is an incredibly cute nerd). It's a very interesting show.

 
Jenny
1241682.  Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:47 am Reply with quote

Tetsabb and barbados suggested that posts from the Venting Thread relating to Grenfell Tower should be copied over here. I have omitted some that were just passing comments, but kept the ones that seemed to have something substantive to offer. These will appear in bunches over several posts, as it's too laborious to copy them one by one.

1239600. Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:14 am
Quote:
monzac wrote:
'yorz wrote:
Somebody up there definitely doesn't like London. Horrendous.

That building looks like an absolute death trap.



Yes, although it's difficult to see how any high-rise can be "safe" in a serious fire unless they have zipwire escapes or parachutes.

PDR


Efros
1239601. Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:36 am
Can only be safe if there are effective fire prevention and extinguishing built in. Even then...


Awitt
1239602. Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:38 am

I heard tonight on my news that apparently the residents association complained last year or recently at least, about that very issue.


PDR
1239609. Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:04 am

A friend who is an academic in "fire engineering" just told me that it looks as if this building has suffered precisely the failure mode which they have been warning about for several years. The quick version is:

Growing pressures to be "green" and "energy efficient" led to building regs which require than when many types of building are refurbished they must be brought up to a certain minimum standard of insulation. This has already been causing problems with overly hot rooms (as ventilation is not suitably modified at the same time), but when it comes to these old high-rise blocks the only way to achieve the requirement is to externally-clad the building in insulation foam. The academics have been shouting about the associated fire risk, because it completely changes the "fire dynamics" such that the whole fire-safety concept is invalidated.

As originally designed the fire-concept was "compartmentalisation" - the walls, floors, ceilings and doors of each flat are sufficiently fire-proof that any fire can be safely left to burn-out without affecting any of the other flats in the building. As such massed fire-escapes aren't needed and people can be told to simply stay in their rooms (blocking smoke at the door with wet towels) until it's all over. So these buildings have only one staircase and only one ground-floor entrance - no seperate fire escape.

But the external wall is not as fire-proof, nor are the windows, and the external insulation cladding acts as a "fire conductor" which transmits the fire from flat to flat, completely invalidating the compartmentalisation concept.

This was screamed about at the time, and there have been numeous examples of the consequent tragedies (google "high rise cladding fire" or similar), but no one was listening because anything which opposed the "green agenda" was rejected out of hand as a matter of eco-dogma.

There believed to be dozens (perhaps hundreds) of buildings with this fire risk in the UK.

PDR


Efros
1239610. Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:48 am

Seems that external thermal insulation had been added as a retro fit reno. There also seems to have been numerous concerns voiced concerning the overall fire safety and equipment maintenance, I think the building factors (or whatever they are called in England) may have some very difficult questions to answer once all is done here.


barbados
1239611. Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:32 am

That could be why the initial advice was to stay indoors (supposedly).
Which to the untrained eye seems like a daft thing to do, although at my last mandatory fire training I heard something the sounded equally daft - if you are further than half way up the building (in this case above floor 4 of 7) then the safest way to go is up. I questioned the logic and it was pointed out that there were proper fire doors in place and you are safer going up to the roof where you can be recovered.


Awitt
1239612. Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:49 am

But that depends how the fire's burning and where - how it spreads, across the windows on a couple of floors, or up/down a few floors, destroying floors/ceilings in the process.

In my city we had a fairly new Docklands apartment block catch fire initially from someone who'd left a smouldering cigarette.....and the article link below shows how it burnt vertically.
This building had recently had a cladding added and the cheap quality of this was blamed for this fire spreading how it did.

Not the same comparison, but the large number of deaths from the 9/11 attacks were caused by internal floors collapsing and people on the higher ones being trapped.

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/docklands-apartment-tower-fire-fuelled-by-material-in-buildings-walls-says-mfb-20150427-1mukhx.html


PDR
1239613. Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:55 am
r
Awitt wrote:
Quote:

Not the same comparison, but the large number of deaths from the 9/11 attacks were caused by internal floors collapsing and people on the higher ones being trapped.



Not sure where you got that from, but I don't think it's true. AIUI even though the actual failure modes were slightluy different in the two buildings in both cases as soon as the first floor actually failed it triggered a chain of events that collapsed the entire building in a matter of seconds. People above the fire were certainly "trapped" in the sense of being unable to get past the fire, but I'm not aware of any being "trapped" by collapsed floors.

PDR

 
Jenny
1241683.  Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:49 am Reply with quote

barbados
1239618. Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:18 am

Awitt wrote:
Quote:
But that depends how the fire's burning and where - how it spreads, across the windows on a couple of floors, or up/down a few floors, destroying floors/ceilings in the process.



Yes it does depend on a lot of things, however the initial advice was to stay indoors - that would seem illogical - although as suggested by PDR, the units are built to be fire retardant (which in the 70s when this particular building was constructed was standard) the problem has arisen because of the cladding that was added in the refurb. Similarly the initial advice I received in the training seemed illogical - until you take into consideration the other factors,


Celebaelin
1239623. Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:54 am

The strange diagonal line going up the building at about 15 degrees was an odd feature I thought. Perhaps some explanation will come to light in the investigation of the tragedy.


PDR
1239624. Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:36 am

Pure speculation, but I would suspect that the unburned part is the up-wind side, and wht you're seeing is an artefact of the temperature and flame-propagation characteristics.

PDR



barbados
1239634. Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:51 pm

Carolyn Harris - cheap political points scoring on Iain Dale this evening.

"The government promised a review after Lakanal House Fire - now there has been loss of life carrying out a review into the safety of tower blocks is closing the door after the horse has bolted."

Considering the fire is still smouldering - the modern labour party should be ashamed of those comments.

 

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