There can be few, if any, people in Ealing who now do not know that Crossrail has been given the 'green light', and that we will within the next 10 years have a new cross London railway.
In fact, if we were given a pound for every time the media has used the words green light and Crossrail in the same sentence we would all be able to afford a season ticket to travel on the new railway.
Yet oddly enough, by the time the first Crossrail trains begin to run drivers will no longer be dependent on green, red or any other colour light to control them but simply rely more on in-cab signalling, for by 2017 trackside signals will have followed the semaphore signal into railway history.
The new signalling will enable more trains to operate along the same track and it will also greatly help the electrification process since the engineers will no longer have to worry about gantries obstructing lineside signals.
Crossrail will certainly attract more commuters off the roads and on to the trains and what we must do is ensure that road transport is improved to cope with the need to get people to and from the new railway. Commuters who at present make their way to the Piccadilly or Metropolitan Lines may well find that heading off in the other direction to the nearest Crossrail station will be preferable and new higher frequency bus services together with off-road bus interchanges especially at Acton Mainline and Southall need planning now. 2017 is not too far away.
**Bus route 120 has been dubbed west London's worst bus route in this paper and others.
It too is included in the review and users' suggestions to improve the route are needed in order to make this dubious honour a thing of the past. Although the service starts at Northolt, it is the primary link between Southall and Hounslow and at most times of the day it is dangerously overcrowded with fights occurring on occasions as passengers struggle to get on and off. It was the subject of a long in-depth survey carried out by EPTUG which was presented to London Buses and other stakeholders but no major changes were forthcoming. Perhaps now is the time for users and would-be users of the route to write again. (Or email www.eptug.org.uk.)
* Have you lost money on your Oyster Card during the recent problems with the software?
If you have, let Transport for London know without delay, (you can get their details at any Tube ticket office). It is thought the main loser in the recent troublesome patch was TfL themselves and not the cardholder, but if you know differently and have lost money on your card then please contact them without delay.
Hardly had the green light been shown to the promoters of Crossrail before the planners were dusting off the plans for Crossrail 2, a line to run from Wimbledon to Hackney via Chelsea.
The proposed North, South Line was first mooted in 1991, since when the Olympics have commandeered land set aside for a depot for the line. Other minor changes to the route have been made but TfL are hopeful that this new line could be in use by 2025.
**When a bus passenger boarded his 95 bus outside Park Royal Station he noticed that the barrier installed to prevent speeding cars mounting the pavement also gave poor access to the bus and the narrow gap prevented bus passengers from using both doors.
He drew this fact to the attention of EPTUG and now a report with photographs is on its way to London Buses.
Perhaps as you travel around and notice things that ought to be put right you would simply pick up a phone and let EPTUG know. The phone number is 020 998 0999.
**Opposition to plans by Network Rail to terminate Greenford branch trains at West Ealing and to operate a higher frequency shuttle service along the branch line is thought to be growing and it is understood that Ealing Council is to be asked to raise this matter when it submits evidence to Network Rail's as part of their Paddington services Route Utilisation Study.
Network Rail say they cannot justify allocating track space into Paddington to such a lightly used route and Crossrail have no plans to electrify and run any of their ten coach trains along the branch either.
Reinstating the bay platform at West Ealing is the better option, say Network Rail but opponents argue that Ealing residents should have direct access to their regenerated town centre without change of train.
* The £10m contract to replace the railway bridge at Petts Hill, the notorious bottleneck near Northolt Park Station, has been awarded to civil engineers Birse & Co.
They have now announced their plans and timetable to show how this will be done with minimum inconvenience to local residents and traffic, confining the work to selected Sundays with the final push into place taking place over the Christmas holiday.
When weekday access is necessary the contractors say it will be restricted to off peak hours only to minimise inconvenience to local residents and other road users.
Birse are confident they can do the work on time and on budget.
Over the recent spring bank holiday they carried out a similar bridge replacement project for Network Rail at Earlestown in Cheshire and they say Petts Hill will also go just as smoothly.
Visit www.pettshill.co.uk for more information.
* A competition to design a modern version of the popular Routemaster bus has been launched with a prize of £25,000 on offer.
Sadly, this amount fares poorly against the development cost of any modern bus, let alone a design which only London has expressed an interest in and for which there will be few orders outside the capital. However in the meantime TfL have confirmed that all the artics will disappear from London's streets by 2015.
* Oyster Card readers at Southall, Hanwell, West Ealing and Acton Mainline are due to be commissioned by the end of September enabling users to cap their daily travel spend in the same way as Tube or bus passengers.
If the experience gained at Ealing Broadway where the one time regularly packed to capacity booking hall was once commonplace, is followed then it will also mean a big reduction in queues at the other ticket offices.
* N207 route serving night owls along the Uxbridge Road is one of the routes which will be diverted around Tottenham Court Road Station until August 22 to enable rebuilding of the station to be carried out.
And a reminder to check the weekend opening times at Acton Town too while building work is being carried out.