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Guest Tall Striker

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The Metro used to have the best reliability in the country and one of the best in Europe with over a 99% reliability and on time services.

 

The trouble is that it received no investment to keep it maintained since it opened, the most recognisable problem being the trains which are at least 10 years past their due date of replacement.

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43 minutes ago, madras said:

I've been told that there isn't space, by design, for all the current staff and elements of WFH will be encouraged where poss.


We can already work from home two days a week following our contract being renegotiated earlier this year

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Replacing out of town offices with smaller city centre office space is surely an inevitable and clearly a positive move. 

 

Many big companies and gov departments choose out out of town/suburban office spaces simply because you get more bang for your buck. Lots of cheap expanses of office space, loads of cheap expanses of parking. But this is an awful use of land in general, places huge demands on the road network because you can only drive there (even if you can get public transport, non central locations make this awkward and not really preferable), has very few beneficial spill-over economic externalities of workers spending their money nearby (as there is usually fuck all) and ultimately they are a blot on the landscape visually because they're so ugly. 

The huge benefit of hybrid/mixed working going forward, is that companies simply won't need anywhere near as much office space as they did before. So it makes far more sense to spend on a glamorous + high profile city centre location like Pilgrim Street or Helix, get a bit less space, but still have more than enough space if staff are working from home part time. If you're a law firm or an architectural consultancy the benefits of meetings with clients in a city centre location, or corporate lunches in the city etc is obvious. This kind of agglomeration raises the profile of a city.

Freeing up out of town office spaces also makes ready made brownfield sites for housing - which is a much preferable use of the land. 

 

 

Edited by ponsaelius

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38 minutes ago, ponsaelius said:

Replacing out of town offices with smaller city centre office space is surely an inevitable and clearly a positive move. 

 

Many big companies and gov departments choose out out of town/suburban office spaces simply because you get more bang for your buck. Lots of cheap expanses of office space, loads of cheap expanses of parking. But this is an awful use of land in general, places huge demands on the road network because you can only drive there (even if you can get public transport, non central locations make this awkward and not really preferable), has very few beneficial spill-over economic externalities of workers spending their money nearby (as there is usually fuck all) and ultimately they are a blot on the landscape visually because they're so ugly. 

The huge benefit of hybrid/mixed working going forward, is that companies simply won't need anywhere near as much office space as they did before. So it makes far more sense to spend on a glamorous + high profile city centre location like Pilgrim Street or Helix, get a bit less space, but still have more than enough space if staff are working from home part time. If you're a law firm or an architectural consultancy the benefits of meetings with clients in a city centre location, or corporate lunches in the city etc is obvious. This kind of agglomeration raises the profile of a city.

Freeing up out of town office spaces also makes ready made brownfield sites for housing - which is a much preferable use of the land. 

 

 

 

 

Could read this sort of stuff all day long.

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The point about public transport comes back to the same argument as with SJP vs out of town stadia.

 

City centre locations are far more viable for public transport because there is already multiple direct routes from the suburbs/neighbouring towns as everything naturally orbits towards the city centre. The percentage of people getting public transport to work at somewhere like Quorum Business Park or even Benton Park View will be very small because most people already live in the suburban outskirts - so even if there's bus/metro stops nearby to the place of work there's not usually a direct route serving their specific journey from home in the same way there would be from said suburb to the city centre - and there isn't the critical mass of people making this very specific route to ever justify there being one. Throw in free parking and very few would ever even consider choosing public transport in that context.

Because 90% of people will drive to work at places like this it places enormous stress on the road network at peak commuter times and is a huge pain in the arse for everybody who actually needs to be driving around for their livelihood. This is then also a huge infrastructural waste the rest of the day when the roads are much quieter.

The easiest way for any city to reduce the amount of traffic on the roads is to agglomerate uses that can easily be there (offices being the absolute main one, but lots of types of small scale retail/entertainment too) right in the heart of the city centre - even if it may seem at face value counterproductive. 



Obviously if you're going to have increased demand on public transport then there needs to be improved service to meet that as Ian says. But the problem is with the way our economy and transport is structured, with public transport privatised and everything driven towards being profit making, the demand often needs to appear first before they'll spend on rolling out more regular services or improve the infrastructure. Public transport is often so shit and infrequent in this country because it isn't making enough money, and it isn't making enough money because there isn't the demand, and there isn't the demand because the service is shit - and because there isn't the demand, then those who have to use it are actually charged more to subsidise the service, which further encourages those with alternatives not to use it... and round and round you go

 

 

Edited by ponsaelius

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In addition to all of the logistical and demand-related reasons, actually improving the product when it comes to public transport is definitely one way of increasing usage and encouraging that modal shift, too. The Metro - from what I gather - goes without saying, but a properly comfy bus journey is a pretty rare thing as well tbh. More often than not they're cold, mucky, steamed-up, narrow and steep staircases into the top deck, old worn seats, rattly/noisy, lots of vibration. 

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28 minutes ago, number37 said:

They could even have ticket barriers like they have on the London Underground so you actually have to pay to use it. Might be a nice little money earner for them. 

 

:lol:The pricing and ticket enforcement is one of the main problems with the Metro like. They have the barriers at most stations and the card scanners at all of so there's no reason not to have a better pricing system and more robust enforcement. The fact it costs only a fiver to travel on the network all day but £3 odd to travel 60 seconds between Whitley and Cullercoats is too big of a discrepancy. It encourages even the most honest of folk to ticket dodge shorter journeys. 

 

There was an article in the Chronicle the other day about them bringing in a new pricing system for the pop cards since so few are renewing their season cards. This sounded like it would mean pay as you go tickets getting progressively cheaper for pop card holders the more they used them - which is a very logical middleground between singles/season tickets now that many are not commuting every day. 

 

 

Edited by ponsaelius

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2 hours ago, ponsaelius said:

Replacing out of town offices with smaller city centre office space is surely an inevitable and clearly a positive move. 

 

Many big companies and gov departments choose out out of town/suburban office spaces simply because you get more bang for your buck. Lots of cheap expanses of office space, loads of cheap expanses of parking. But this is an awful use of land in general, places huge demands on the road network because you can only drive there (even if you can get public transport, non central locations make this awkward and not really preferable), has very few beneficial spill-over economic externalities of workers spending their money nearby (as there is usually fuck all) and ultimately they are a blot on the landscape visually because they're so ugly. 

The huge benefit of hybrid/mixed working going forward, is that companies simply won't need anywhere near as much office space as they did before. So it makes far more sense to spend on a glamorous + high profile city centre location like Pilgrim Street or Helix, get a bit less space, but still have more than enough space if staff are working from home part time. If you're a law firm or an architectural consultancy the benefits of meetings with clients in a city centre location, or corporate lunches in the city etc is obvious. This kind of agglomeration raises the profile of a city.

Freeing up out of town office spaces also makes ready made brownfield sites for housing - which is a much preferable use of the land. 

 

 

 

 

Very interesting post. 👌

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Will actually miss STACK, granted it's borderline Geordie Shore crowd and definitely 'Eee Chantelle take a candid pic of me staring off in the distance whilst I hold me cocktail' crowd, but I still find it a decent place.

 

 

Edited by TBG

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