Moving Londoners About
Another day, another poll, but there are some surprises here. Now that London is the 3rd most expensive place on our planet after the Cayman Islands and Switzerland, the things we hate most have appeared in yet another new survey (please tell me when you’re bored with these damned things!).
37.8 per cent of respondents hate the cost of everything, but 23.8 per cent were (rather surprisingly) more concerned about the lack of manners present in the city, which I find odd as generally people – on the whole – are ridiculously polite. Although the woman who rushed to catch a tube train (when there was another along in one minute) and managed to punch my Kindle out of my hands onto the railway line, and didn’t bother to apologise as it vanished beneath the train wheels, affected the odds a bit.
Next on the list came public transport, overcrowding (London’s centre is the most overcrowded in Europe), tourists and the perpetually miserable climate. I’d have put this last point first, as London in the sun makes everyone smile. Top of the list of likes came the incredible diversity of entertainment and dining.
For me some of these problems will be solved by spreading London’s load to its further-out regions, as in Tokyo, where different sections of the city are specifically associated with different things like fashion, fine dining, parks, entertainment and so on. London suburbs are still quiet and largely dead, so why not offer perks to companies to relocate?
It’s certainly the theory behind the city’s massive Crossrail project, which expects to see whole areas East and West regenerated by the case of travel between them. But London needs to find a way of cutting its public transport costs – it’s the most expensive city in the world to travel in (but not the worst; Istanbul wins that accolade for me). The poor weather keeps many cyclists off roads and the river has consistently been underused for public transport. Whether Crossrail alone has the desired effect, only time will tell.