Posts Tagged ‘business’

Good for business

January 31, 2012

Good for business. A meaningless expression.

We were told doubling the capacity of Farnborough Airport was good for business. We were told it was good for the surrounding area. Not the views of those who live in the surrounding area, who value their quality of life. Not good for the nearby towns of Farnborough and Aldershot, both of which lie semi-derelict, though that owes as much to greedy developers and bad planning. Expansion of Farnborough Airport is good for Saudi-owned TAG Aviation, owners and operators of Farnborough. [see Farnborough Airport News]

Farnborough Airport was never going to be good for the local economy, as it is not a major employer. It lacks shops, customs, baggage handling, immigration control. At an average occupancy rate of 2.5 passengers per flight it is extremely bad for the environment.

HS2 we are told is good for business. There are even figures to show, it will shave 25 minutes off the journey time for businessmen travelling between London and Birmingham, as they will be the only ones using HS2. Not sure why anyone would wish to visit Birmingham, let alone get there 25 minutes sooner. Though I guess it may be an advantage to get away 25 minutes quicker.

High Speed trains are not good for the environment, major polluters. The scheme is simply an opportunity for the construction industry to make money. If there is money for investment in rail, then invest it in the rail network in order that we may all benefit.

Farce of rail price hikes

Crossrail will link east and west London. An excellent idea, but that is not why it is being built. It is being built to provide the City of London with a fast connection to Heathrow. Once again the taxpayer is being asked to subsidise the City of London. If the City of London wants a fast link to Heathrow, then the City of London should pay for it.

Thames Estuary Airport is the latest White Elephant. Again we are told good for businessmen, expanding airport capacity is good for business. We are told Heathrow lacks the capacity, lacks the destinations of other airports. Not true, but when has the truth ever got in the way when fast bucks are to be made?

Boris Island airport versus Thames estuary wildlife

London airports have 1113 departure flights to key business destinations compared with Paris 499, Frankfurt 443, and Amsterdam 282. Heathrow has 990 departure flights each week to the world’s key business centres – Charles de Gaulle 484 and Frankfurt 450.

Will aviation expand at the projected rate? Highly unlikely as flights will become too expensive as airlines are forced to pay their true environmental costs and the cost of fuel rockets.

Airports are not only a cost to private developers, it is the public purse that pays for the surrounding infrastructure.

Thames Estuary Airport would mean the closure of Heathrow, possibly Gatwick too. Massive loss of capital investment, not just Heathrow, but all the surrounding businesses. Massive unemployment west London.

Quality of life is a major determinant when people decide where they wish to live. London fails miserably. Expanding aviation would only make the quality of life worse.

London too dirty for business?

London ranks 25 on a table of air pollution for European cities. Mercer’s Worldwide Quality of Living Survey 2011 placed London in 38th place (out of 221 cities), behind Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam.

New report claims poor environment, not lack of airport capacity, threatens London’s status as top city to do business
London Claims Most Traffic Congested City in Europe Prize
Boris Johnson and the ‘invisible crisis’ of air pollution
London ranks among worst European cities for air pollution
Climate Rush Soho roadblock

London 2012 Olympics another mega disaster. Good for tourism, we were told. Greedy hoteliers jacked up their rates tenfold.

Slow Start For Olympic Biz Jet Bookings
Operators claim UK tourism affected by reserved Olympic rooms

I warned people to avoid London during the Olympics, avoid London end of July, all of August and early September. It will be hell in London. The transport system cannot cope now. Roads are to be hijacked for exclusive Olympic use. I am pleased to say people heeded my advice. London will be a no-go area for tourists, hotels will sit half empty.

Across the country town and city centres have been destroyed by developers out to make a fast buck and corrupt planners in their pockets. Good for business we are told. Good for greedy developers, good for High Street retailers, but not good for communities who see their towns laid waste, not good for local communities who see the wealth of the community leached out, not good for those who lose their livelihood and jobs when local businesses close.

In Lincoln, Sincil Street all that is left of character in the market area is due for destruction.

Destruction of Sincil Street

There are exceptions. Communities are saying enough is enough. We are no longer going to be walked all over by Big Business and corrupt politicians.

The Victorian Queen’s Market at Upton Park in London, one of the few remaining traditional East End London markets, was due for destruction. It has been saved, the developer St Modwen driven out of town.

Across the country traditional markets are being destroyed, bastardised and yuppified. Queen’s Market is one of the few remaining London east end markets. It was under threat when the mayor got into bed with property developer St Modwen who have track record of trashing town town centres (eg Farnborough and Hatfield), it was to be destroyed for a supermarket, but after a six year fight, Friends of Queen’s Market have sent St Modwen’s packing with their corporate tail between their legs. Remaining is to be answered is how much taxpayers money has the mayor wasted on this ill-thought-out scheme? He and the councillors who backed him should be surcharged and made personally bankrupt to recover ever last penny.

Queens Market
Asda v Queens Market
Victory for Queens Market!!

The irony is that those towns that have retained their traditional markets are thriving, the markets major tourist attractions. But that does not provide development opportunities, enable fast bucks to be made.

Bury Market in Lancashire – 300 stalls, a quarter of a million visitors every day! The success of Bury Market is down to two factors, quality stalls selling quality products and that the market worked with the local council to a common ethos, a common agenda.

BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards 2008

Communities are starting to take control of their own destinies. Often it is from small beginnings. In Alton, Greening Alton plants up small patches of land for vegetables, Transition Heathrow and Incredible Edible Todmorden has taken this much further.

We are in charge now

We can have development, but it has to be sustainable development, development that is good for people and planet. Good for businesses had to be consigned to the dustbin of history. Anyone remember, one for the road, an extra pint before driving off from the pub?

Put planet and its people at the core of sustainable development

UK airspace closed!

April 16, 2010
Eyjafjallajoekull eruption NASA Terra Satellite at 1139 GMT Thursday 15 April 2010

Eyjafjallajoekull eruption NASA Terra Satellite at 1139 GMT Thursday 15 April 2010

1200 BST Thursday 15 April 2010 UK airspace was closed, all flights grounded. 0830 BST Friday 16 April 2010 the ban on flights was extended until 0100 BST Saturday 17 April 2010 with the likelihood of the ban being extended into the weekend.

Closure of UK airspace is unprecedented. The cause being the eruption of a volcano in Iceland which is spewing dust into the upper atmosphere. Were this dust to be ingested by jet engines it was would damage the engines.

Across northern Europe airspace has been closed and flights grounded. Which begs the question why a flight was allowed to take off from Farnborough Airport midmorning today (approximately 1030 BST)?

Never a pleasant experience at the best of times, passengers at airports have been subjected to indefinite delay.

For people living in close proximity to an airport it has been unexpected peace and quiet. Bliss.

The closure of UK airspace has served to highlight how dependent the UK has become on aviation, in particular airfreight, especially so-called fresh fruit and vegetables, for example green beans from Kenya.

The Eyjafjallajoekull eruption was the second in Iceland in less than a month.

see

Iceland volcano: UK flights grounded for second day