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Portal:London transport

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London transport
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The London transport system is one of the oldest and largest public transport systems in the world. Many components of its transport system, such as the double-decker bus, the Hackney Carriage black taxi and the London Underground, are internationally recognised symbols of London.

Most transport services in London are controlled by Transport for London (TfL), an executive agency of the Greater London Authority. TfL-controlled services include the London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, the London Overground, Buses and Trams, most of which accept payment by the Oyster card. TfL also administers the congestion charge zone and the low emission zone.

London has a comprehensive rail network with several major railway stations linking to the rest of the country. International travel is possible from two international railway stations at St Pancras International and Stratford International, which connect to mainland Europe through the Eurostar service, or from one of six international airports, including Heathrow or Gatwick.

London is the starting point for a number of motorway routes. The M25 is an orbital motorway which enables vehicles to avoid travelling through central London and is one of the busiest motorways in Europe.

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Routemaster RM758.jpg Hackney carriage.jpg Westminster.tube.station.jubilee.arp.jpg Unit 378013 at Imperial Wharf.JPG DLR unit 109 at Heron Quays.JPG Tramlink-Beckenham Jn.jpg Eurostar at St Pancras Jan 2008.jpg Savoy Pier.jpg BA Planes T4 2004.jpg
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Battersea Bridge 1.JPG
Battersea Bridge is a cast iron and granite five-span cantilever bridge crossing the River Thames. It links Battersea south of the river with Chelsea to the north and replaced a ferry service that had operated near the site since at least the middle of the 16th century.

The first bridge was a toll bridge commissioned by John, Earl Spencer, who had acquired the rights to operate the ferry. Although a stone bridge was planned, difficulties in raising investment meant that a cheaper wooden bridge was built instead. Designed by Henry Holland, it was opened to pedestrians in November 1771 and to vehicles in 1772. The bridge was poorly designed and dangerous and, due to its location on a bend in the river, boats often collided with it. To reduce the dangers to shipping, two piers were removed and the sections of the bridge above them were strengthened. Despite its problems, the bridge was the last surviving wooden bridge on the Thames in London and was the subject of paintings by many significant artists such as J. M. W. Turner, John Sell Cotman and James McNeill Whistler.

In 1879 the bridge was taken into public ownership, and in 1885 it was replaced with the existing bridge, designed by Sir Joseph Bazalgette and built by John Mowlem & Co. The narrowest surviving road bridge over the Thames in London, it is one of London's least busy Thames bridges.


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Edward William Watkin, Vanity Fair, 1875-11-06.jpg
Sir Edward William Watkin, 1st Baronet (26 September 1819 - 13 April 1901) was chairman or a director of many British railways including the Metropolitan Railway (MR), the South Eastern Railway (SER) and the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (MS&LR). He was intermittently a member of parliament, representing Hythe from 1874 to 1895.

Through his leadership of the MR, SER and MS&LR, Watkin had the amibtion to construct a new mainline railway connecting the north of England, via London and Kent to the continent. Although his plans for a channel tunnel to be constructed by his Anglo-French Submarine Railway were never realised, the MS&LR constructed its London extension in the 1890s from Annesley, Nottinghamshire to the MR's station at Quainton Road in Buckinghamshire to a continental loading gauge. Reflecting its enhanced connections the MS&LR changed its name to the Great Central Railway in 1987.

To encourage tourist day-trips on the MR, Watkin planned a pleasure grounds at Wembley Park, with a large tower, "Watkin's Tower", intended to be larger than the Eiffel Tower. The park opened in 1896, but because of cost and structural problems, the tower was never completed and was demolished after Watkin's death. The site was subsequently used for Wembley Stadium.


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  • ...that at Euston Underground station, a passenger changing between the Victoria line and Northern line Bank branch will find that trains on adjacent platforms travel in opposite directions even though both are either northbound or southbound?

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