London is and has always been a fantastic place to enjoy a weekend away. This weekend we took in a show, enjoyed a number of wonderful meals and enjoyed the delights of Harrods.
But, everywhere was so crowded. But not just crowded considerably more crowed than in the past. Walking about was difficult. Tubes were packed. Resteraunt were full. Prices were high. Hotels full.
All this is great for the economy but bad for the quality of life. When does one trade off against the other?
Some technology advancements I welcomed. We tried out Uber taxi booking service for the first time. It is brilliant. The app was easy to download and set up. Taxis came within two minutes, registration details were given to make it easy to spot your cab, feedback on drives provided assurance and it was cheaper than black cabs. Great service.
The second tech improvement was on the tubed. Rather than buying a tube rover ticket you can now just swipe your contact less credit or debit card at the turn styles. Easy and again cheaper. Brilliant.
So here are a few facts and figures to explain why it felt to busy.
The population of London on census day (27 March 2011) was 8.2 million, an increase of 12 per cent from 2001 when it was 7.3 million.
London was the greatest-growing region across England and Wales, ahead of three regions that grew by 8 per cent – South East, East of England and East Midlands.
By comparison the population across the whole of England and Wales increased by 7 per cent to 56.1 million, the largest growth in population in any 10-year period since census taking began in 1801.
At the 2011 census, 36.7% of London’s population was foreign born (including 24.5% born outside of Europe). With 2,998,264 residents born abroad, London has the second highest foreign-born population of any city in the world.
Can this continue?