Did you see Lord Peter Snape’s savage demolition of the case for a redevelopment of Birmingham New Street station?
It was quite brilliant. The former railway man described, in the Birmingham Post, the project variously as "ludicrous" and "half-baked".
He pointed out that on some estimates full capacity will be reached in 2015, just four years after The Gateway refurbishment comes into existence – if it ever happens.
Longer trains would do nothing to improve the position, while planned airport-style lounges were unworkable.
A few of us have been saying for months that Gateway is a pig in a poke. Now we have a man – the former Labour MP for West Bromwich was once a signalman and one-time chairman of Travel West Midlands – steeped in trains stating exactly the same thing.
One wonders whether the chief advocates of Gateway – Birmingham Chamber chief executive Jerry Blackett and John Edwards, of Advantage West Midlands – are listening.
I don’t suppose so. They are, after all, wedded to Gateway and can’t afford to lose face by admitting it is utterly flawed.
The indications coming out of Westminster are that the Government have been persuaded something has to be done and will probably sanction the plan because it is relatively cheap. Let’s hope that they have second thoughts even at this late hour.
Because Gateway will be a complete waste of #500 million which could go towards an entirely new station in the area around Curzon Street.
Gateway will embed the 'shopping complex with a station' shambles at New Street for years to come and will completely fail to address the capacity issues which bedevil the Birmingham rail system.
A Grand Central would help deal with the lack of platform space which can’t be solved at New Street.
That is Lord Snape’s preferred solution. Of course the Gateway issue is just another example of how "partnership" is failing Birmingham.
A handful of "worthies", with little democratic remit, reckon that somehow they have the right to decide issues like New Street.
They do their best to silence all opposition, their ideas are never tested properly because they "know best" and so we end up with the Gateways of this world, a kind of ostrich crossed with a goat.
If it wasn’t so serious for the future of Birmingham you could write it off as some amateur theatrical farce.
And we wonder why we never get any of the big projects – the Millennium Domes, the Wembley Stadiums, the super-casinos.
If I plagiarise the words of Sir Digby Jones, we allow London to steal our lunch and Manchester to pinch our dinner.
Gateway is no good for Birmingham or Britain.