Anorak News | Pig Air

Pig Air

by | 19th, July 2004

‘WE could forgive the International Olympic Committee if they treat news that London will have a £10bn east-west rail link in time for the 2012 Olympics with a degree of scepticism.

Crossrail enjoys a successful launch

As the Times remarks, this is a plan that was first proposed 50 years ago and nothing has been done about it in the interim.

Indeed, if London’s Olympic bid included plans for a shuttle of flying pigs to ferry competitors and spectators across the capital, it may have an ounce more credibility.

But the Government says it’s going to happen – so happen it will.

Transport Secretary Alistair Darling will announce tomorrow that a public-private partnership will fund the scheme to link Paddington to Stratford via a series of tunnels under the city.

It is part of a raft of proposals to tackle congestion on the country’s roads, including tolls on some motorways and trunk roads and congestion charging in up to 20 towns and cities.

However, the focus is on what Crossrail will mean for London’s Olympic bid.

And the Guardian says it is just one plank in a concerted effort by the Government to stop suggestions that the bid lacks political support.

Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell has written to MPs and peers and urged them to get behind the 2012 campaign, while Prime Minister Tony Blair will host an Olympic reception at No.10 tonight.

Certainly, the London bid looks technically superior to the Greek bid, if the evidence of the very first marathon is anything to go by.

American scientists have discovered that the very first running of the 26-mile race in 490BC (coincidentally between Marathon and Athens) was scheduled in August, not in September as previously believed.

Only one contestant, Pheidippides, entered, and he collapsed and died moments after completing the course – in what is now presumed to be a case of heat exhaustion.

In London, by contrast, competitors will only have to run the 15 miles between Paddington and Stratford, probably in the pouring rain.’

Posted: 19th, July 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink