Tuesday, March 04, 2008

How bad is it to get infrastructure built in Britain?

One post on an aviation message board says this about how quickly this writer thinks Heathrow Terminal 2 will be replaced (this isn't serious, but has a few elements of truth):

This is Britain we are talking about.

My predicted timeframe:

Oct 2008 - stop using T2.

June 2009 - Submit public tenders for various designs for its replacement.

July 2009 - All designs rejected by local residents.

August 2009 - A rare and previously thought to be extinct breed of dust mite is discovered in T2.

Late-August 2009 - A charity single entitled "Save the Mites = Save our future (and our Children's future)" is released by two ex-Pop Idol nobodies. It goes straight in at number one.

September 2009 - Local residents set up an action group called T.W.A.T.S - (Team Worried and Against Terminal Success) which pickets Parliament to demand that the area is left for animals to graze on, as anything other than this course of action represents what basically amounts to Planetary Homicide. They lodge their formal complaints to the planning commission, which rules that in light of the new complaints against the massive expansion of Heathrow airport and the obvious and irrefutable damage replacing the terminal building will do to London’s green belt, that all previous planning permissions and tenders are null and void. A new planning process is started.

October 2009 – T.W.A.T.S chain themselves to a chainlink fence on the airport perimeter and are forcibly removed by police.

November 2009 – T.W.A.T.S climb in the roof of T5 and splash red paint all over the place to illustrate the murder of the green belt. One tries to break a window and falls to his death. “Stinky” as he is known, of no fixed address, is immediately Martyred. The local Government releases a statement expressing their sincere sorrow at his death. His wife/partner “Crusty” also of no fixed address, sues BAA for having lax enough security to let them in in the first place, and is awarded three million quid in damages. She cuts her hair, has a bath, moves to Kensington, sets up an advertising firm and buys a Range Rover.

December 2009 – Local residents not affiliated to T.W.A.T.S pre-emptively sue the Government for millions because of the emotional hardship so brutally inflicted on their lives by the grim edifice of the new terminal, in whatever form it may take. A Government investigation board is appointed to appoint a committee to do a study of the plans.

June 2010 – Committee appointed.

October 2010 – Committee convened for half an hour.

April 2011 - Committee convened for an hour and ten mins.

November 2011 - Committee convened for a seventeen minutes.

December 2011 – Preliminary findings are released. They say – “It is the opinion of this Committee that a public enquiry should be convened to assess the lawsuit brought by local residents. Once this is complete planning process may begin on the new terminal”

June 2012 – New committee convened which meets for three mins in a bar in Whitehall before taking a treasury credit card to Spearmint Rhino. Signs are put up all round the now derelict and crumbling T2 site that say that BAA is ‘Caring for your future’

November 2012 – T2 blows down in a moderately strong wind. A national day of mourning is held for the dust mites which it is presumed all perished. A charity single rework of Elton John’s ‘Candle in the Wind’ is released, sung by Jason Donovan and a class of primary school kids from Bromsgrove, entitled “You weren’t just a dust mite to me (Give peace a chance)” – its rockets straight to number one.

December 2012 – Work begins on clearing the site. Local residents complain about the noise of the drills and diggers (over the noise of the planes) which are causing emotional problems and successfully get an injunction to prevent the contractors from using any mechanical tools at all. The rubble is moved by hand. Local residents win more millions in compensation, because BAA should never have allowed the building to collapse in the first place.

December 2013 – the site is cleared. The fourth appeal of the planning permission is in the process of being dealt with in the High Courts.

April 2014 – The local residents take their case to the European Court of Human Rights in The Hague.

June 2014 – Final design, an award winning masterpiece of modern design and technical genius from Sir Norman Foster is dismissed on costs grounds. A rival bid from Botchitt & Scarper Ltd is accepted. The commission expresses ‘concerns’ that the design does not have any gates, and that the water feature and timber decking in and around the hard stands are unnecessary.

November 2015 – Work begins.

December 2016 – Work finishes. BAA make a massive glitzy launch and much is made of the fact that it came in with no work overruns and actually early. Rather less is made of the fact that the work is 395% over budget.

March 2017 – Structural engineers state that the building is unsafe. It transpires that the contractors had just poured tar over the ground and stuck beams into the tar. The site foreman, a Paddy O’Murphy, went on record as stating that “It was fine mate, its fine for people’s drives, and its fine for de terminal tingy dat we’re doing for ya’s. Do ya like Dags?”

April 2017 – Botchitt & Scarper Ltd is found to be a fake company. Nobody at the planning commission bothered to do any due diligence because they all had their drives done as a bonus. The new T2 falls down in a light breeze. An Al-Qaida carbomb is blamed.


May 2017 – Local residents sue again for emotional distress caused by the length of the planning process.

July 2021 – A new terminal design is approved.

May 2027 – The new T2 is opened. It was fifteen years late and cost more than nine-billion pounds all told, or 30% more than an entire brand new airport in the Thames Estuary.

(btw, the truth is that Heathrow Terminal 2 is to close within the next year or so, to make way for the new Heathrow East terminal. All the airlines using Terminal 2 are being relocated to Terminals 1, 3 and 4 after BA is relocated out of Terminals 1 and 4 and into Terminal 5 next month)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

2028 Ken the communist Livingstone is still ruling London...

*sigh*