Category Archives: Sustrans

What to do with the Olympic Site? Let’s create a Superprison


But no, Boris wants another university in Stratford (even though there already IS one. It’s called the East London University).

Is this way way of making just one Super University, a ‘cost cutting’ exercise?

From the London Evening Standard:-

“PLANS for a university on the site of the London Olympics will take a step forward next month with the launch of a viability study backed by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

It is hoped that a top British university will agree to establish a campus in the Olympic Park as a flagship legacy scheme.

Olympic chiefs have asked the Higher Education Funding Council for England to draw up plans for a college to make the commitment to the East End.

Talks have already been held with the Russell Group, which represents universities that receive two-thirds of research funding in the UK.

Universities thought to be interested in a move include King’s College, Imperial College and University College London. Loughborough University is also involved in talks.

Olympics chiefs are thought to favour a “federal” arrangement with several universities sharing the campus and specialising in sport and science. The Olympic Park Regeneration Steering Group, attended by government ministers, Mr Johnson and the leaders of the five Olympic boroughs will launch the study next month.

“There is space on the Olympic Park site and some of the housing that will be left after the Games could be used as student accommodation,” said a source”

Haven’t we got enough universities in London? What we don’t have enough of are prisons. Yes, why not make the Olympic Site ‘a Flagship Superprison’ so we can chuck in East London’s knife crime criminals, burglars, narcotics, dangerous drivers, drink driving footballers, politicians etc and muggers. If the prisons are overcrowded – we need more then. London wants to be safe.

The Olympic Site has bags of space for one. It could be an ‘Eco-Prison’ perhaps, something that’s practical (it houses crims) but actually benefits the environment as well as society. It could be a park/prison. Of course inside, it will be full of the usual prison-esque type ‘fittings’ but outside, the public can cycle or walk around and they can see justice being done. Londoners are sick to death of lawless people here being let off with a fine because the aren’t enough prisons, the judges’ hands often being tied.

These are the prisons in London – so we aren’t we ‘due a Stratford one’:-

(from H M Prison’s website):-

“Belmarsh

Brixton

Bronzefield

Feltham

Holloway (nearby where apparently Boris lives ref Wikipeidia)

Latchmere House

Pentonville

Wandsworth

Wormwood Scrubs”

It’s not enough.

You’d think this will please many Tories in their ‘chuck away the keys’ philosophy. Residents may not like it because it will be ‘in their back yard’ but many crims are from London so they need a place near where they live. Their relatives can visit them easily too. It is a very ‘convenient’ location.

So one day, we could have ‘Olympic Stratford’ Prison and we would be safe as houses. In Stratford, we could even leave our doors open and not worry. Women would go out out night and not fear for our safety. Cyclists could go in Sustran’s underpasses and not bat an eyelid. The gangs would all be incarcerated in the Olympic ‘Superprison’. Taxpayers may be happy particularly as Stratford people will be paying the hefty Olympic tax.

Then it could be an exhibition centre or a police museum and a drugs rehabilitation/education centre.

or one big environmental park, with lots of cycle paths with are lit and don’t have any scary underpasses.

but a uni, when we have loads.

Write to the Mayor with your idea: mayor@london.gov.uk

Who wants it to be a uni? If we have one, it means prisoners will be released early and they will be hanging round causing mayhem.

Here is a bit about Boris, who studied Classics in Oxford, under Higher Education in Wikipedia:-

Politics

“Higher education

Johnson stood for the February 2006 election of Rector of the University of Edinburgh, after receiving seven times more nominations than needed to stand.His presence as candidate caused an unprecedented turn-out and sparked an “Anyone but Boris” campaign. Protests included having drinks thrown over him at his first of two visits to the student body. Johnson eventually polled third of four, with 2,123 votes, behind 3,052 votes for journalist Magnus Linklater and 3,597 for Green Party MSP Mark Ballard. Johnson was quoted as having been pleased to mobilise the student body, but disappointed at the personal campaign against him as an “English top-up fee” Merchant.”

Sustrans – I also have my doubts


I am also disappointed with some of Sustran’s work, although there is a lot of stuff I like I have to say.

So I have added a link of a website complaining about Sustrans on the left of my blog and under Cycling Organisations. It makes interesting reading.

J works for a charity, in statutory fundraising, and I will have a quick word with him about this issue and see if he can ‘come up with anything interesting’.

In the meantime, I found an organisation where you can address complaints about Charities:- The Charity Commission:-
(www.charity-commission.gov.uk/publications/cc47.asp)

Telephone 0845 3000 218

Update 14/1/09: J said that ‘Membership Organisations’ like Sustrans are just Support Organisations ie give them the money and they will ‘handle it’. J’s charity is also a ‘Membership Organisation’. He also says that it is often hard to ‘consult’ for various reasons and says that the trustees are often a mixed bunch of people, people who know about the charity or are good at ‘managing’ charities but know little about their ‘subject’ matter’ but are good at what they’re doing.

I used to work for a company where the Executive knew absolutely nothing about the business but only about finance. I have to say, a lot of his ideas, never made sense to ‘people on the ground’.

However, J said there will be ‘problems’ in this system. In a democratic organisation, like the Rotary Club, people are more likely to have a chance to air their views. Saying that, there shouldn’t be any harm for the ‘Membership Charity’ to employ a Mystery Shopper, ie someone who can ‘test the cycle route’ before it opens. Then a lot of problems can be flagged up pretty quickly (although let’s face it, a lot of them could be fixed at planning stage!).

Interestingly enough, he says there are often more problems with ‘big projects’ as often the Chief Executive of a charity doesn’t have much time so can often make ‘quick decisions’ at, perhaps, the detriment of the organisation.

So, if Sustrans do the London to Paris Cycle Route, will there be scary London underpasses, littered with needles and muggers? Will they be lit? I would agree that these dodgy types of places supress cycling (unless you are a cyclist selling drugs). Why don’t Sustrans care about Personal Safety? In fact I have just contacted them about that and said that women alone (let alone anyone else) will feel safe cycling there. I think it is a very good point. Would you want your girlfriend to cycle their alone?

Comments to Sustrans on info@sustrans.co.uk

Furthermore, cyclist David Hembrow says this on personal safety:

You should always be able to see out of any tunnel as you enter it.
Blind corners on paths are not acceptable.
Cycle paths should be wide to allow cyclists to move out of the way of others.
A low crime rate and a good conviction rate are needed. Cyclists should not feel that the police do not take their complaints seriously.

Areas that are clean, litter free, graffiti free, where grass is mowed and plants are not allowed to overhang the cycle path have a better feeling of social safety.
Cycle paths should be lit at night so that you can see potential muggers, obstacles on the path etc”

++

If you have a problem with vandalised signs on Sustrans Routes and blocked cycle paths:-

“National Cycle Network missing signs and route blockages
Most of the National Cycle Network is signed and maintained by local authorities. However, if you come across missing or vandalised signs or a blockage on route please report these and we will notify the relevant authorities. If you are interested in helping us maintain our routes, find out about becoming a Volunteer Ranger.

Tel: 0845 113 00 65
Email: maintenance@sustrans.org.uk”