Victoria underground line gets go-ahead – archive 21 August 1962

Victoria underground line gets go-ahead – archive 21 August 1962

21 August 1962: The new line is the first piece of major tube construction in Central London since 1907

The long-awaited “Victoria Line” – an underground railway between Victoria and Walthamstow – is at last to be built. The Government’s decision to accept the London Transport Executive’s proposal for its construction was announced yesterday.

The line, which was first mooted some 14 years ago, will run through Central London from Victoria by way of Green Park, Oxford Circus, Warren Street, and Euston to King’s Cross, and on to Seven Sisters, Tottenham, and Walthamstow. It will be the first piece of major tube construction in Central London since 1907.

Related: 150 years of the London underground – in pictures

Related: The tube’s advance into London’s suburbs – archive, 1 December 1924

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Kay Longstaff was lucky. Most people who fall off ships are never seen again | Gwyn Topham

Kay Longstaff was lucky. Most people who fall off ships are never seen again | Gwyn Topham
An average of one person a month is lost to the sea from cruise ships. This rescue is little short of miraculous

Even when life is a cruise, we are just a guard rail away from a rude awakening. For British passenger Kay Longstaff, the fall from the back of the Norwegian Star cruise ship has had an unexpectedly happy ending: rescued after 10 hours’ floating in the comparatively warm and balmy Adriatic sea. The circumstances of her initial plunge have yet to be established, and while theories have ascribed yoga and levels of subcutaneous body fat as factors in her survival, most who go over the edge are not so lucky as to be plucked from the sea by the Croatian coastguard.

The annals of those who have disappeared overboard – most thoroughly documented by the excellent Cruise Junkie database – show a rate of at least one recorded fall per month from cruise ships over recent decades. The incidence of mortality aboard is far higher from the natural passing of an often ageing clientele – every stately ship, many carrying thousands of passengers, has a morgue. And the intermittent outbreaks of norovirus, liable to sweep through a cruise ship buffet like wildfire in a heatwave if unchecked, will pose a greater danger for many.

Related: Lost at sea: the man who vanished for 14 months

Related: Air on board cruise ships ‘is twice as bad as at Piccadilly Circus’

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Gatwick resorts to whiteboards for flight information after IT crash

Gatwick resorts to whiteboards for flight information after IT crash

Staff forced to manually write out gate numbers, with some passengers missing flights

Whiteboards are being used to display flight information at Gatwick airport after an IT failure.

Staff have resorted to manually writing out information such as gate numbers for each departure, with some passengers missing their flights due to the problem.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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London bus cuts to hit working-class hardest, says watchdog

London bus cuts to hit working-class hardest, says watchdog

TfL cuts to include routes used by workers living on outskirts to reach low-paid, central jobs

Leaked Transport for London plans to cut bus routes connecting the outskirts of the city with the centre will disproportionately affect working-class people, a transport watchdog has said.

More than 30 TfL bus services will be reduced, including longer routes from the south-east to west London, some of which are more than an hour long end to end, including the 53, 171 and 172.

Related: Transport for London hoards £321m from dormant Oyster cards

wanted to crack a joke but honestly TFL cutting these long central > south London bus routes is an attack on the working classes + I’m not accepting any different. how many ppl who can afford the (more expensive) overground or train instead choose to sit on a bus for 70 minutes https://t.co/eVfJhvBATs

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Pollutionwatch: roads account for a lot of pollution so why do we need more?

Pollutionwatch: roads account for a lot of pollution so why do we need more?

While citizens curb car use and get on their bike, infrastructure policy still backs building roads – a source of inescapable pollution

Roads are not the largest source of many air pollutants but our everyday proximity to traffic means vehicles are responsible for a lot of the pollution we breath in. Some air pollutants from diesel vehicles have been out of control, with cars producing far more nitrogen dioxide on the streets than in official tests.

But there is good news. We are travelling less. The average person in the UK travels 10% fewer miles than in 2002. Young people are turning away from car ownership, the bicycle is now the most popular vehicle in the City of London’s rush hour, and a new survey reveals that 61% of us believe we should all reduce car use.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Asking staff to pay for rail mess isn’t fare | Letters

Asking staff to pay for rail mess isn’t fare | Letters
Margaret Prosser is outraged by Chris Grayling’s stating that fares should be eased by the workforce taking a lower-than-inflation pay increase

It is an accepted fact that our rail industry, to put it mildly, leaves a great deal to be desired. Excuses given include staff shortages, broken trains, signals, track issues, and of course the major timetable change. Now we have notice of fare increases which the secretary of state, Chris Grayling, says should be eased by the workforce taking a lower-than-inflation pay increase (Report, 15 August).

So the staff who have borne the brunt of the above mess are to be expected to help pay to balance the incompetent books. And this on the day that vast differences between pay reward for shop floor and management have been shown to be growing. Timing could not be better. If it were not so grim it would be funny. Mr Grayling should be looking seriously at what the future holds for him. With any luck, not a position of any influence over the rest of us. 
Margaret Prosser
Labour, House of Lords

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Man jailed for making hoax bomb threat to avoid missing flight

Man jailed for making hoax bomb threat to avoid missing flight

Jacob Meir Abdellak called police telling them there was a bomb threat at Gatwick airport

A man has been jailed for making a hoax bomb threat in an attempt to delay his flight because he was late.

Jacob Meir Abdellak, rang police and told them there was a bomb threat at Gatwick airport just eight minutes before his Norwegian flight to Los Angeles was scheduled to take off on 11 May.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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These rail fare rises are a step too far. Why don’t commuters rise up?| Polly Toynbee

These rail fare rises are a step too far. Why don’t commuters rise up?| Polly Toynbee
The unmitigated failure of privatised railways is plain for all to see and passengers are the victims

Railways signal the state of a nation. Fast, clean, cheap, punctual trains make a country look well run: Mussolini and Hitler knew the potency of “making the trains run on time”. Any prime minister who puts Chris Grayling in charge, an ideological obsessive who destroys all he touches, is tone deaf to the national pulse.

This week’s train fare rise announcement was political folly on a grand scale, after June’s train timetable fiasco left tens of thousands of trains cancelled. Fares have risen at twice the pace of wages, up 42%, pay up just 18% since 2008, with driver shortages, short trains and customers short-changed by the some of the most expensive fares in the world. A Peterborough to Kings Cross season ticket costs £6,540 a year while in Germany a BahnCard 100 buys a year’s travel anywhere for £3,840. Meanwhile, fuel tax has been frozen for seven years.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Rail travellers in Yorkshire and London hit by major disruption

Rail travellers in Yorkshire and London hit by major disruption

Delays after tractor damages track in Yorkshire and damage to overhead wires in London

Rail travellers have been hit by major disruption after a tractor damaged a track and overhead wires in West Yorkshire.

The incident in Fitzwilliam, between Wakefield and Doncaster, on Wednesday led to all lines being blocked. Firefighters and a specialist recovery service removed the tractor from the line but National Rail said repair work was taking place and services were unlikely to resume fully until 6pm on Thursday.

#LNERUpdate – Due to a damage caused to railway infrastructure between #Doncaster and #Wakefield all lines are blocked. Services may be diverted or cancelled. Please listen to on-board announcements for advice. You will be able to claim Delay Repay here – https://t.co/e3fVBrP4jr pic.twitter.com/UeSkPTK690

Related: UK rail fares to rise by 3.2% as commuters voice frustration

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Controversial trip by Boris Johnson on day of key vote cost £20,000

Controversial trip by Boris Johnson on day of key vote cost £20,000

Former foreign secretary ‘failed constituents’ by missing Heathrow vote, say Labour

A trip by Boris Johnson to Afghanistan on the day of the government’s key vote on Heathrow expansion cost taxpayers more than £20,000, official figures have revealed.

In response to a freedom of information request from Scottish website The Ferret, the Foreign Office said the cost of flights and visas for the three members of staff who accompanied the then foreign secretary on his trip was £19,366.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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