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It's not all Dome and gloom
[1 Edition]
Sunday Herald - Glasgow (UK)
Author: Rodger, Jennifer
Date: Oct 3, 1999
Start Page: 8
Abstract (Document Summary)

TICKETS for the Millennium Dome have been on sale for just a couple of weeks, but already it's begun to look like more trouble than it is worth. First off, you have the tickets, which must be ordered in advance. Then there's getting to the Dome, which means the traffic on the A2 must miraculously subside seeing as the Dome is just off it. Thirdly, what is the Dome, but a lucky dip of unconfirmed attractions? Tourists might be the only ones to put their hand in.

Of course, it's unfair to say Maze Hill is now at war with the Dome. It's rather a siege laid by the Dome on the area. Flower baskets and repainted gutters have come courtesy of the Dome, as have plaques that announce another pub refurbishment or council house paint job that has benefited from the Millennium Fund something or other. Yet it's mostly superficial.

The most interesting thing has been seeing behind the scenes. Since the beginning of the year a bus route has gone right up to Gate Number Seven, on the 108-bus to work. It's a special excursion. We pass a security guard on the way in, the gate goes up and we can view something that is still reserved for VIPs. (Of course we don't get inside it, but what's there to see anyway?) On this bus route, which I regularly choose rather than a much easier route through the well- to-do and tourist-soaked Greenwich, you'll pass homes boarded up, caravans where the workers live, and a hotel and supermarket, which have sprung up much faster than the Dome. Finishing a massive car park has also had priority over the Dome. (Subscribing to the theory that car parking is the most important consideration for many when planning a day out.) There is another reason I have taken this route, and that's because my normal journey has been disrupted by the changes to the Docklands Light Rail. With the new transport system in southeast London - the Jubilees line and the extensions being made to the DLR - the Dome is timed just right to be a symbol of a new era for the southeast of London. Previously ostracised by lack of transport, the Dome can say: look if you can get this far, why not explore the rest of this hinterland.

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