A study which is looking at re-opening former railway stations and allowing passenger trains to use freight lines shows why Birmingham's dash for jobs and houses must be accompanied by improved public transport.
The transformation of Fort Dunlop, from derelict former tyre warehouse to iconic offices, is a splendid achievement which typifies this city's gritty determination to reinvent itself. But the new-look Fort, which will soon be home to 2,500 workers, is already contributing to worsening congestion at peak times on the A47 Heartlands Spine Road and the A38 Tyburn Road.
The wider picture, with Birmingham under Government pressure to identify sites for up to 60,000 new homes over the next 20 years, and efforts under way to bring more employment to the city's suburbs, makes it certain that the city's main commuter routes will have to accommodate even more traffic.
A key theme flowing through the regional assembly's consideration of the West Midlands Spatial Strategy has been the apparent lack of attention given at Government level to the infrastructure improvements that will be required to cope with the estimated level of growth. The private sector, it is supposed, will provide what is needed.
But private money will not pay for new railway stations and track. Only Network Rail can find the £75 million needed for vital new rail links to Moor Street Station, thereby reducing pressure on New Street and allowing passenger services to operate on the Sutton Park line, the Camp Hill line and the Birmingham to Tamworth line.
The Department for Transport may say Birmingham has already had its fair share of cash, with the £400 million contribution to the redevelopment of New Street. But think how much more could be done to improve public transport with a further £75 million.