In terms of excitement London has had a good run in recent years with the Royal Wedding of William and Kate in April 2011, The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, The Olympics & Para Olympics in 2012, Andy Murray’s win at Wimbledon a few weeks ago and this week the birth of a boy to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The birth of the third in line to the throne was marked by gun salutes in Green Park and the Tower of London and the ringing of bells at Westminster Abbey.
Apart from these major flurries how is London really doing?
The above events remind people in the rest of the UK and the world that London has historic and cultural places of interest, museums, art galleries and wonderful parks to explore and encourages them to think of visiting. Tourism is a thriving and important part of the economy. While visting Christopher Wren Churches and studying Grinling Gibbons wood carvings there are new places to visit in the City of London such as The Lloyds Building, The Gherkin, The Shard, The Cheese Grater and The Walkie Talkie.
Professionals Working in London
These new buildings have a purpose. There is very little space left at ground level in the City and these tall buildings provide office space for banking, insurace and legal companies. Highly skilled workers from around the world find this an attractive place to work. The job market is flexible and talent is rewarded with rapid career escalation. It is particularly attractive to European high flyers as they can settle and with a short flight can still have close contact with family back home.
The London Gateway
London was once a global centre for maritime trade. It lost that edge because the Thames was not wide enough or deep enough for bigger vessels. Later this year a new deep sea port called The London Gateway will open twenty five miles east of the capital. The port has a 9 million sq ft of buildings attached to house the largest logistics park in Europe. This will streamline the import and export of goods not just to and from London but to and from other parts of the country.
Crossrail for Bikes
London is to get a “Crossrail for bikes” as part of a £913m investment plan in cycling. The plan is for more than 15 miles (24km) of cycle ways through the western suburbs, central London, stretching to Barking in the east. It is expected to open in 2016 and will use a Dutch-style segregated cycle track at places such as Victoria Embankment and the Westway flyover.
Crossrail is Europe’s current largest civil engineering project that by 2018 will provide the first phase a new 21km east-west rail link under London. It will provide 42km of new tunnels and link existing Network Rail services from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, and Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east It will connect the City, Canary Wharf, the West End and Heathrow Airport to commuter areas east and west of the capital. It will bring 1.5 million more people within a 45 minute commute of the West End, The City and Canary Wharf. Journeys from Paddington to the City will take 9 minutes, to Canary Wharf 16 minutes and from Heathrow to Canary Wharf it will take 39 minutes. The trains will be 200 metres long and be able to carry 1,500 people which is nearly twice as many as the current London Underground tube trains.
In addition Crossrail has developed an art strategy, and is engaging eight world renowned London art galleries to create a permanent line-wide exhibition across the eight central stations.
At the end of June this year the Treasury announced £100bn of spending on UK infrastructure projects. £2 million of this is ear marked for a feasibility study into Crossrail 2, a proposed north-south rail line across London.
The Thames Estuary Airport
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, is well known across the world because of the success of the Olympics and Para Olympics. Recently he backed a proposal for a new airport in the inner Thames Estuary which could open in 2029. He attacked ministers for “sitting around like puddings” and doing “nothing” as rival cities abroad build vast airports in an attempt to win a greater slice of global trade. Will it happen? We will have to wait and see.
All this new infrastructure and enterprise will mean that London continues to be an exciting and thriving place and will provide interesting career opportunities for the talented and determined from all corners of the globe. By the time HRH Prince George of Cambridge becomes a young man transport to, from and within London will have been transformed.
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