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Old 24th May 2020, 07:57
  #3897 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: In the sticks
Posts: 7,609
The council must now swallow their pride. Suspend as far as possible any further development of the DART, put it into a care and maintenance state and concentrate on getting the airport back where it was before the current situation. When the numbers demand it, get it finished.
I think the project is too far down the line to be stopped now and by stopping it and then starting it again will add to the final bill.

The opening date was meant to be the Spring of 2021 but that has been moved to summer 2021. The airport was claiming it was on schedule but looking at the time line for completing different parts of the project it is clear it is running late and might not open until 2022. When projects run late so the costs go up, which will mean even more money will need to be borrowed. We might never find out the final cost as it will be hidden away.

The project is remarkable for the speed of when it was first announced to the world and the actual start date. Consultations were held only 3 1/2 years ago in November 2016. Three months later a planning application had been submitted with a full set of drawings to the Council by the Council and then swiftly approved and work was actually started in August 2017, just 9 months after the consultation. Compare this to other major projects that take years to start. This is what happens in Communist China where opposition is crushed and the state does what it likes. The state in this case being the Labour controlled Council. Saying that, I don't think there was any opposition, as it was projected as taking traffic off the roads, the airport already owned the land on the route and no one asked any questions about who was going to pay as it was all free LLAL money except LLAL is the Council.

With the plans in February 2017 showing the track taking a 90 degree turn inside the CTA, so the terminal station lined up nicely with the public park next door, it was obvious a planning application for airport expansion was on its way. In December 2017 the Council announce plans to double the size of the airport after denying there were any such plans. A phoney consultation was held that showed 4 locations for the second terminal. One location was south of the runway yet work had started on the Dart which needed the terminal to be inside Wigmore Park so it lined up with the Dart track.

The big question is why is the council spending 225m for a Dart link to the existing terminal when the terminal has reached capacity without it. Yes it is taking 2 buses off the road that shuttle all day between the station and the airport but that can't justify spending 225 million. This project is being funded by the council taxpayer yet they will get nothing out of it as very few council taxpayers will ever use it. Of course those in the know understand that the Dart was never about serving the existing terminal but serving a second terminal and this project smooths the wheels of the DCO. The Council is also funding the 124m link road that will allegedly serve a proposed business park except most of the business park sits on the same land that is required for airport expansion. Again this road ,if started soon, will smooth the DCO application and the airport concessionaire who is expected to build the terminal 2 infrastructure will get a free road and 225m knocked off the price of getting a Dart link from Parkway Station to its new terminal.

Last edited by LTNman; 24th May 2020 at 08:28.
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