As anyone looking to properly understand London’s transport needs and network knows, context, background and best-practice are important. As readers might imagine, behind the scenes here at LR Towers we thus spend a lot of time sharing links and reading around the subjects we cover here.

We also occasionally share links containing good information about transport topics that we know we just don’t have time to cover. We also all, as authors, occasionally write elsewhere on this or tangentially related subjects.

This week’s reading list is below. If you’ve got something you feel we should read or include in a future list, don’t forget to email us at [email protected].

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There are 11 comments on this article
  1. Greg Tingey says:

    The FT is either paywalled, or, even if you can get in (subscribe) you get inundated with adverts ….
    Would be interested in their take on Uber, though.

  2. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Greg – I’ve been registered with the FT for years. I pay nothing for that and I’ve read the article without adverts or anything else. I am limited to a low number of articles in any one month but I only dip in occasionally. The basic gist of the article is that Uber are exploiting their “workforce” to run a hugely unprofitable operation so they can destroy the competition. They are bankrolled by their investors to the tune of $13bn. The article basically says their entire model is economically flawed and that society has to be very wary of how it responds to the apparent “desire” of Uber users to see it expand. This is on the basis that Uber offer their users incentives to great a sense of loyalty to the service but it’s really about making Uber work more like a bus service (in the States) where users are pooled into one vehicle and asked to wait at predefined locations (known to us as a bus stop or a taxi rank)! If nothing else the article confirmed my prejudices against Uber and similar services. I wasn’t that aware though of the mass lobbying tactics they are employing in the States. No wonder taxi drivers in London are screaming about corruption and dodgy tactics on social media every time anyone mentions “TfL” in a tweet.

    The other article I found of relevance was the one about reorganising Moscow’s buses. The opening remarks set out why buses are still important in Moscow despite an efficient Metro system. The key issue is the access time from street to platform being pretty long as Metro line are deep. Hence buses can cover shortish trips in the centre far more effectively than have people spending ages on entry and egress from Metro stops. I instantly thought about long it is going to take from street to Crossrail platforms and wondered why, given the logic of the argument in Moscow, that London is setting about wrecking its Central area bus network and forcing people to spend disproportionate time trekking up and down escalators and along corridors to use Crossrail. How nice to see we’re doing something that is completely stupid.

  3. Greg Tingey says:

    Uber are exploiting their “workforce” to run a hugely unprofitable operation so they can destroy the competition…
    Confirmation of already-suspected…..
    Will Khan come down on them, as Boris didn’t?

    [Snip. Let’s not get carried away. LBM]

  4. Old Buccaneer says:

    Perhaps I’m a Grumpy Old Man (TM) but the music in the BBC Elizabeth Line video just irritated me. Nice visuals though; a total absence of the underground bits of the line was quite striking. I wouldn’t’ve seen it without you, so thanks for that.

  5. IslandDweller says:

    @Greg. A bit of pedantry, but it’s relevant to the paywall issue. That FT link is to ftalphaville rather than the main FT site – think of it as a web focussed subsidiary of the FT. It is a free site so long as you register, and they have a lot of sharp economic analysis in there.
    Not entirely a transport story, but very relevant to the Uber issue (as in – exploding the myth around the “gig” economy) is another recent ftalphaville article about Deliveroo. There is transport relevance in here – you can only wonder at what pressure the scooter and cycle delivery people are under to break traffic laws when you read this piece.

  6. @Old Buccaneer

    I liked the music as it was upbeat and not the usual muzak that accompanies such rail videos. But yes, the music is a matter of personal preference.

  7. Old Buccaneer says:

    Fair point well made Mike (de la branche longue). The NR London Bridge videos turn a massive public demonstration of skill precision & expertise into ‘entertainment’; Crossrail videos combine an agenda (nothing wrong with that) with calm & thoughtful exposition. (wanders off, muttering into beard)

  8. Old Buccaneer says:

    Island Dweller & Greg – the Alphaville sub-site is set up so you can read as much as you like after registering. I’ve got a lot of time for Izabella Kaminska – don’t always agree, but worth reading.

  9. Zed says:

    @ID, Greg, OB

    Yes, FT Alphaville is email-walled but otherwise completely free.

    Regular FT articles are technically paywalled but always accessible for free by pasting the headline into Google and clicking through from there (depending on your setup, may require private browsing/incognito mode ± clearing cookies first).

  10. Greg Tingey says:

    ID / Zed /WW
    Thanks – now signed in to Alphaville …..

  11. IslandDweller says:

    There’s another substantial piece on ftalphaville today about the economics and business model of Uber. If I’ve understood this article (not 100% sure that I have….) it seems that – should be recent Employment Tribunal judgement* be upheld – then Uber will also be hit with VAT charges that they aren’t budgeting for.

    * The tribunal ruling looked at the assertion by Uber that they are merely an agent enabling self employed drivers to engage directly with customers – whereas this ruling said that the customer is a customer of Uber and that Uber is employing those drivers – with all the tax and NI implications that go with that business model. Uber are going to appeal.

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