Category Archives: Travel

Heathrow Gatwick link

What about a Heathrow Gatwick link.

There’s been lots of discussion recently about the expansion of air transport capacity in Britain, and whether or not Heathrow should have a third runway or perhaps build a new airport somewhere in the Thames estuary. Gatwick only has one runway, however there appears some legal restriction stopping any development of a second runway there till 2019.

However there’s one thing that has been discussed a little bit in the past but seems to have fallen by the way-side and that’s sorting out a fast rail link between Heathrow and Gatwick.

At the moment Heathrow has a fast rail link into Paddington and Gatwick has its train service into Victoria. Both have coach operators doing shuttles into central London and Heathrow is also on the Piccadilly line of the London underground system.

http://youtu.be/T0N3csrpXUo

However, though these two airports are only about 23 miles apart (line of sight) there’s no good quality connection between the two. Going by road involves about 40 miles of travel, this includes part of the M25 and generally over some of the most congested roads you’ll find anywhere. (It would not take much to turn this 40 mile journey into a 2 hour drive.) Going by rail involves heading into central London, changing, going around London, then to change again for the final leg out to the other airport.

Getting a fast rail link between the two could cut journey times down to about 15 or 20 minutes so enabling you to treat the two airports as one. (It can take this length of time to get from one Heathrow terminal to another, so to have your ‘other terminal’ at Gatwick would not slow things down very much.) Facilities could be shared such as checking into one airport covers both locations, and could allow for more efficient use of the existing runway resources.

It would not solve the long term problem of lack of runway capacity, but a Heathrow Gatwick link could certainly provide that bit more flexibility in the operation of two of the world’s busiest airports.

London and SitC

A trip to London and SitC 2011.

Went down to London for a week recently. Got down there at the tail end of that period of rioting. However all I saw was Londoners (and tourists) all just getting on with life. The reason for heading down from Glasgow; to attend the three days of Summer in the City YouTube Gathering (SitC) and also have a few days in London of just being a tourist.

SitC was good. I don’t know how many attended over the week-end, perhaps six or seven hundred. A bit of Hyde Park, a bit of Regent’s Park and a bit of Jubilee Gardens; and in the evenings some music sessions. Nice to see some familiar faces and nice to make some new contacts. For a few people this is the only time throughout the year that they get the chance of face to face meetings with their internet social contacts, especially when these people are located in different countries.

One area that seem to have become a surrogate home for many YouTubers is Camden. An interesting area of shops and markets, lots of food places and the canal going through the middle. Walking around there the day after SitC had ended and I was bumping into many I knew, all just winding down.¬†Although not really my style of clothing, heading off into The Stables market area and a wander around CyberDog is always fun. A few years ago if someone had asked me if I’d like to live in London I’d probably have said ‘no’, however I’ve going down there to Gatherings over the last three years my attitude to the city has changed, and if I could afford a property there, then I would happily move there now.

Back to SitC – an amazingly friendly get together. Yes, with that number there there will be personality clashes and the like, on the other hand it is so large it’s easy enough to avoid those you may not wish to see. No barrier to gender or age, many there in their early teens, others there retired. Spread across Friday – Saturday – Sunday some just turned up for one day, but what did surprise me was the numbers there at the start on Friday lunchtime. Walking into Hyde Park and seeing in the distance this huge crowd of people was just amazing. I’d expected (and we got) large Saturday numbers, but to see so many there so early at the start was great.

This was the third SitC and at least this time YouTube bothered to send some representatives which was nice. Provisional dates for 2012 are for the 17th – 19th of August. I hope to go.