Dear Editor, The week before last the Birmingham Post published my letter challenging Centro to tell us what words in what documents showed the consultation of bus users about loss of bus routes along Corporation Street to make way for the Metro extension.
And now we have Centro’s long-winded reply (Post June 21). And yet despite its length it fails to cite so much as a single word or a single document as evidence of that supposed consultation. That’s because they indeed did not at any time consult the bus users or consult at all about the major impact on the buses.
In attempted justification, Mr Swingler’s letter makes a misleading reference to the planning inquiry (so-called “public inquiry”) that led to the 2005 approval. But Centro’s own documents prove that there was not the slightest such consultation in that inquiry.
None of the inquiry consultation documents even hinted at anything about loss of bus stops or routes, but instead consistently asserted only that there would be “improvements” to bus services.
The TWA Application’s Environmental Statement section headed “Traffic and Transport Impacts” made clear that removal of buses from Corporation Street was not a matter in issue because it was already assumed that the bus mall would be already in operation and therefore the Metro would have no negative impact on buses: “It is assumed that the proposed City Centre Bus Mall will be operating prior to the Birmingham City Centre Extension scheme coming into operation.”
And even Centro’s own comprehensive BCCE consultation report made no mention of bus users or bus stops or routes being lost.
Robin P Clarke, Ladywood, Birmingham
Dear Editor, Traders in Corporation Street complain that the construction of a tramway system from Snow hill will cause loss of trade
Nonsense, those shoppers who travel by bus will not mind walking a couple of hundred yards extra in order to make their purchases.
Or they can do what they have always done when trade is slack, lay off staff – what they lose in takings, they gain in wages saved.
When the railways were being built, landowners and farmers said it would ruin the countryside and scare the horses and cattle to death.
They stopped complaining when the quality of their lives improved.
In any case, when the trams are running, trade will pick up again.
Can’t they wait a few months?
James Benton, Hall Green, Birmingham