Tag Archives: time

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.


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.

The cost of a letter, I don’t care.

Recently the Post Office has increased the cost of posting a letter. I really don’t care as I’ve almost stopped using the post. I’ve been using e-mail and other social networking type stuff for my messaging for many years, however the main reason I don’t use the post anything like as much as I did is because of the Post Office itself. Or more specifically, when the Post Office stopped their early morning delivery. I have no problem with them going from two deliveries a day down to one, but their shift of (the now single) delivery time from early morning to late morning has been a killer for me.

Let’s take the ’before’ situation. I could write a letter (the request) on Monday, get it off in the afternoon, and assuming 1st class post, the other party would get it before they headed off to work on Tuesday morning. They could then pen a reply during the day (response), get that off in the evening post. I’d get it Wednesday morning and get a reply (acknowledgement) off by the evening and they would then get it Thursday morning. They could then get a final note (confirmation) off on Thursday which I would get on Friday morning

So we have a request, response, acknowledgement, then final confirmation, all done within a working week. In fact this is not really any slower for those computer users who are not that geeky and just check their e-mail once a day.

However let’s look at the same situation since the Post Office ’updated’ their delivery service.

I write my letter on Monday (request) and get it off in the post. It gets delivered on Tuesday after those I’m writing to have left for work, so they won’t see it till Tuesday evening. They sort out a reply (response), this will be too late for Tuesday’s collection so won’t get into the system till Wednesday. This should then get delivered to me on Thursday morning, but after I’ve gone to work, so I won’t see it till the evening. I get my reply (acknowledgement) written on Thursday evening but this in turn won’t get into the postal system till Friday, arriving at the other end on Saturday morning. Even living in a city, my Saturday last post collection time is around lunch time, so even if they get their final reply (confirmation) written on Saturday it won’t get collected till Monday. This should get to me late Tuesday morning, but I won’t see it till Tuesday evening.

So our request, response, acknowledgement and final confirmation has now stretched from just a few days to a week and a half!

I’m sorry, but that’s just crap, so I’ve shifted even more of my communication across to electronic messaging. The only thing I now regularly use the post for is birthday and Christmas cards. I would be happy to use the postal system more, it’s not so much the cost of a letter but this reduction in quality of service that I find so distressing.

With service like it is no wonder the Post Office is losing business.

Update Time

The last time this had an update was the end of January; it’s now nearly the end of April, so ‘update time’.

At the start of February there was a nasty fire at work and that has caused major problems,including a lot of personal though work related stress.  Now, stress is one of those things that till it affects you, you really have no idea how debilitating it can be.  Stress can lead to disturbed or no sleep which means being really tired during the day.  This tiredness combined with the daytime stressful work situation makes for an even greater level of tiredness (exhaustion?) yet, despite this tiredness sleep is still illusive, so this whole thing becomes one vicious self-perpetuating circle.

The idea of interacting with others disappears (including interacting with this blog), however a few things are starting to sort themselves out a bit, plus a degree of ‘forcing an amount of normality into life’  should mean a bit more of a regular update routine for this blog.

Summer / Winter clock change.

Writing this, it’s that time of year when the clocks are changed by an hour, it’s that summer / winter clock change time again. Something that I think is a real pain in the arse.

I really don’t know why we keep on doing it. After all, it doesn’t give you any more daylight. If you’re on the equator then you get 12 hours of ‘day’ and 12 hours of ‘night’ making up your 24 hour day. For the rest of us, the daylight to darkness ratio is dependent on your latitude and the season. So if on a particular winter’s day you are due to get 9 hours of light, then that’s what you get, perhaps it’s summer so on a specific day maybe 15 hours of daylight. No amount of shifting clocks is going to change that. If it’s 15 hours from sunrise to sunset, then it’s 15 hours.

With all this clock changing, one group will say how the day biased to more light in the morning hours cuts down on one set of accidents, another group will argue their case saying how having the daylight biased to the evening willbenefit them. What ever you do, you’re not going to please everybody. So why not leave the clocks alone, and then let people adjust their own requirements to suit their own situations.After all , the relationship between the Earth and the Sun is not going to be altered just because someone wants to muck around with a clock. So when the sun is at its peak position in the middle of the sky, make that mid-day! A fixed point that everybody can relate to.

The Earth rotated around its own axis and in turn rotates around the Sun, live with it!