Dear Editor, Only in Britain could we belittle the achievement of completing a £9 billion engineering project on time – a project which is set to transform travel across one of the busiest travel corridors in the country benefiting many millions of people (“Virgin set for another row over the railways”, Tuesday).

Network Rail will finish its work on the rail infrastructure over the weekend of December 6 and 7. The job will be done. The project complete. Come Sunday, December 14, a new era will unfold on the West Coast Main Line as Virgin sees its weekend services almost double with over 1,000 extra services per week introduced across the route, while freight will enjoy a 70 per cent increase in capacity.

Since Network Rail took on this project in 2003 every major milestone has been reached with passengers seeing improvements along the way.

There have been problems along the way but Network Rail is determined to get the job done so that millions of people can realise the benefits.

It will remove tens of thousands of cars and lorries from our roads, and hopefully, unnecessary planes from our skies. It’s been a long, hard slog – and yes improvement and regular renewals of worn out assets on the route will continue, that’s always part of running a railway – but the project will be done and the benefits will be there for all to enjoy.

Iain Coucher
Chief Executive
Network Rail


Why not build the eco-town at Longbridge?

Dear Editor, With regards to the two ongoing stories concerning the creation of new neighbourhoods to tackle the lack of sustainable housing and the plan to regenerate South West Birmingham, I had a thought today of how we could kill two birds with one stone.

The eco-town planned for South Warwickshire is facing huge protests because the good people of Middle Quinton don’t want it built in their vicinity, while St Modwen ‘promise a vibrant new town’ on the former Longbridge MG factory site, which could end up like Anytown, UK, with the same shoebox houses complete with miniscule gardens.

Why not build the new eco-town in Longbridge complete with all the trimmingss of a sustainable energy system, design a new road system allowing for bendi-buses, a new rail station linked to the Cross City line, and a new bike route to link up with the Rea Valley bicycle route?

Or is that too simple to contemplate?

Ian Wood
Northfield, Birmingham


Lap dancing hypocrisy

Dear Editor, I had to laugh at the way our lords and masters have interrogated Peter Stringfellow about lap dancing establishments in Parliament, yet don’t blink an eyelid about the amount of massage parlours and brothels that appear in our communities time after time.

I wonder how many MP’s [male or female] actually frequent either of these establishments ?

One has to think of equality these days!

Answers on a postcard please ...

It just shows where our politicians’ priorities lie. Regarding such issues and how in touch our lords and masters really aren’t!

Ian Payne