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  • It can only ever be a subjective judgement, but I think the ends are justifying the means.

    London Bridge, King's Cross, Farringdon are stations (and whole districts of the city) to be proud of. They look great, preserve existing architecture, add walkable housing, and will probably out-last any problems they've caused. Even if that does take 100 years.

    In every case they've added or improved space for cycling and walking. For example South of Blackfriars the new station has led to office development on Upper Ground which has repaved and widened pavements. I don't know if you ever tried to push a buggy down there in the old days, but it's amazing how much easier it is now.

    At the same time they've generally removed parking, and road capacity, permanently from the city.

    They might not solve every problem but can you think of many other cities that are using transport development to push more pedestrian friendly city planning on such a huge scale?

  • Well, it's relatively simple: If you look where the investment has gone, of course you see benefits there. The trouble is that the concentration of investment in so few places, most notoriously in Central London only, causes an immense increase in the need to travel for those who live further away, and there's no 'trickle-down' effect except perhaps for the increase in house prices along the Crossrail alignments. Jobs will move to Central London, more people will shop in Central London and not elsewhere, and so on. Most of that extra travel actually won't happen on Crossrail itself.

    Overall, I still think Crossrail was an extremely ill-timed project, formulated decades ago when Central London badly needed a stimulus, which it really didn't any more by the time construction finally started. The main beneficiaries will be Central London landowners.

  • Places with low density tend to be a bit shit (examples include Peterborough, Milton Keynes, Dalls, every suberb everywhere) and I'm confused why you'd want to see more of them.

    Good transport enables high density development and fewer cars. The "trickle down" you are looking for can be seen up and down every rail corridor to London - where high-density flats are being built within walking distance almost every station to enable people to live closer (in terms of time) to work and entertainment.

    Some of those places have even reached high enough density that they are becoming interesting places in their own right. Elephant & Castle being one such example.

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