Bridging the Gap

The inability of Transport for London at taking on a project cannot be better demonstrated than the work to replace the 160 yards long Ardleigh Green Bridge on the A127 in Romford. Work began on the 24th September 2014, after interminable delays and changes of builders, the bridge was finished on 30th March 2019, four-and-a-half years of construction chaos, in comparison is a project nearby that TfL didn’t manage. The QEII Bridge, when completed at Thurrock, was the longest cable-stayed single-span suspension bridge in Europe. A four-lane road deck carried by two pairs of steel and concrete masts 276ft tall, founded on 175ft high concrete piers sunk into the Thames. At an overall length of nearly 2 miles, it took only 3 years to build. We should never let the hapless TfL near another bridge project again.

4 thoughts on “Bridging the Gap”

  1. It is interesting to know of the different time scales and approaches to the 2 projects. The difficulty with TfL seems to be that most of the projects are contracted out to third parties who then hand it on to a further set of sub contractors who have no real or obvious connection with the first party who want the job done, in this case TfL. There is no one in the chain of command to say to people “you know what, I am responsible for this and I will sort it out”, so its a dilution of responsibility it seems.


  2. I know you have retired but I am sure that you still sit in your black cab in your driveway grimacing & gritting your teeth about these annoying occurrences, delays or indeed non-occurrences. With BREXIT & its transport ramifications, the Elizabeth Line & so on we Londoners would be forgiven for thinking that as far as transport goes we are the #1 embarrassment in Europe. However, to cheer you up [?] may I bring to your attention that in Paris in 2000 [20 years ago.] a decision was made by the Parisian “TfP” to build a 20 minute Express rail link between Charles de Gaulle Airport & the centre of gay Paris. This was subsequently knocked on the head but resurrected to be built in time for the Paris Olympics in 2024. The new Express rail link will be open in time for the Olympics, unfortunately it will be the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028. In other words 4 years late.
    I know black cab drivers dislike airport-city centre express rail links second only to Uber but since you mention ‘bridges’ it is worth noting that even Luton Airport will soon have a new express rail link, of sorts, to London St. Pancras as a rail bridge, built off-site, was recently shuffled to the location & slotted into place in less than one weekend.
    Not sure if any of that makes you feel better?


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