Category Archives: London

A Step in the Right Direction?

As anyone who has ever travelled on the Tube in London will tell you, the lack of mobile phone coverage is really irritating, meaning that you have to end any conversations before you get to the ticket hall at most stations, and won’t resume coverage until pretty much street level.

Now it is completely understandable that there’s no signal on these trains; you’re underground, after all! But, mobile phones have been in mainstream use for most of this decade, and have been around for 30 years, surely this problem should be solved by now? Make-shift solutions have been banded about for years now it would seem, suggestions of all-encompassing, all-powerful signal boosters installed in the tunnels, or so-called ‘signal deflectors’ that are supposed to somehow bounce the coverage off each other, down the tunnels. I don’t understand how this would work, and I’m not going to pretend to. But the fact that people are making suggestions means that a solution could well be in the pipe-line.

Which brings me to the TFL wi-fi trial, in conjuction with BT Openzone, that was introduced yesterday, Monday 1st November 2010,  at Charing Cross tube station (Londonist report found here) which they report that, although only covering the ticket hall and platform levels, is apparently really good, with instant connection, and a fast one at that. I for one am very excited by the prospect, and if it means that, at some point in the future, Londoners can actually ride the tube with the ability to make a phone call, access their emails or even go on Facebook, then I’m definitely in. Changes are everywhere in the capital at the moment, the new Tube trains I spoke about in a previous post for example, and they are just going to increase between now and the Olympics, 18 very short months away. London is a very exciting place to live right now.


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When London was announced as the host city of the 2012 Olympics, the day before the 7th July bombings in 2005, I myself was really excited for the prospects that this prestigious ceremony would bring. The revenue alone would be massive, and the improvements to the city would be huge. We’ve seen a few improvements already, mainly the improvements made in Stratford and the transport system, including the East London Line and the afore-mentioned new tube carriages.

Where Boris Johnson, Sebastian Coe and others seem to have gone wrong is the marketing. They’ve decided to put their faith in children, which is understandable given that the youth are the athletes of tomorrow. However, this has lead to errors such as the logo, which has been universally slated, but I’m quite a fan of:

or the latest mistake, one of the coins being brought into circulation which can be seen to resemble something quite unsavoury:

I myself am hoping that these errors can be rectified, so as to not make the most prestigious sporting event Great Britain has seen in years a complete mockery. Maybe a talented young child can make amends by designing a particularly fetching olympic torch.

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Where the TFL are going

Stumbled across an interesting piece just now, on the new Underground carriages, and how they look.

I’m impressed. They’re modern-looking and fresh, no doubt something to do with the Olympics. And they’re fully air-conditioned! The similarities between them and the trams in Croydon are undeniable, but judging from the pictures at least, they’re great!

More here

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