Dear Editor, As a train user, may I offer my opinion on the ongoing saga of Birmingham New Street Station.
What do I and probably most other travellers want from our station. I want trains that run on time, that I have a seat and my journey is comfortable. I cannot understand the mentality behind the “Gateway” scheme. It is a “tart it up-patch it up” scheme that is unlikely to meet the simple needs of the travelling public in a few years from now. Why do we need to talk about “airport like lounges”, why not just a comfortable waiting area?
If a vast sum of money (many millions) is going to be spent, why not use it to start again and build a station that will serve the traveller for many years to come. From my understanding of the current situation the two most important points (a) trains running to time cannot be assured and (b) sufficient platform room would not be available, appears to make “Gateway” redundant.
By building a new station, natural daylight would largely replace the current expensive lighting, thereby saving considerable money and it could be possible to incorporate solar panels or some other modern heating system that would again make considerable savings. Birmingham would then have a station that it could proudly display to the world. The funding could be agreed to be spread over a number of years as the construction would take a considerable time to reach completion. Surely this would be preferable to the “Gateway Scheme” that appears to have far too many critics among people who have a lifetime knowledge of our rail system. I suggest a lot more deep thinking needs to be done before any money is spent.
A view of the future Tories
Dear Editor, I write concerning The Birmingham Post’s “City ‘not strong enough’ to save region” article (pub 14 Aug), and the conservative reaction to it. The recent study published by the Policy Exchange, essentially stating that everywhere north of Oxford should be written off, could be considered a funny joke if it were not for this think tanks close ties to the Conservative Party.
The Conservatives have roundly come out to criticise the report in an effort to distance themselves from this think tank. However, the fact remains that since Cameron became the leader the Conservative Party policy has mirrored Policy Exchange recommendations. The two organisations standpoints on crime, local government and education are very similar.
Looking at statements and publications from this organisation, set up by a prominent conservative, run by conservatives, for the Conservative party, gives us an excellent idea of what legislation we can expected from Prime Minister Cameron.
The pedantic Coun Gregory has been found out at last
Dear Editor, I was amused by your coverage of the skyline gaffe and greatly enjoyed the Pravda-like assertion that the intention all along was only to use a generic image.
What your report missed was that this leaflet falls under the portfolio of one Coun Len Gregory. The Cabinet Member for Transportation and Street Services is legendary for his inability to make a decision (witness bus lanes on the Tyburn Road) and fabled for his attention to pedantic detail. It is therefore inconceivable that such publicity would escape his controlling gaze.
Finally, it seems, we have conclusive evidence that Coun Gregory (right) does not know his Aston from his Alabama!
Steve Bedser, Ryland Road, Edgbaston
Opponents are driving each other crazyDear Editor, Richard Burden MP has touched a raw nerve with the Conservatives by suggesting to Councillor Mike Whitby that as well as praising himself he should acknowledge the work put in by others over Longbridge including people in the local community.
Barely an issue of The Birmingham Post seems to go by without another stream of invective being hurled at Mr Burden by Conservative representatives and letter writers from places ranging from Sutton Coldfield to Stechford and Bournville, all apparently claiming intimate knowledge of what people think here in Longbridge.
The latest (Post, August 14) comes from King’s Norton resident Coun Ken Wood who was recently elected to represent Longbridge on Birmingham council whilst simultaneously campaigning to become an MP in Wolverhampton.
At the risk of unleashing another load of attacks from the Tories I would like Coun Wood to consider the following:
Coun Wood claims that Mr Burden should personally hang his head in shame because some other MPs drive hybrid cars manufactured abroad. Coun Wood should do his homework before putting pen to paper. He should look at the work Mr Burden has done in Parliament over several years to try to persuade government agencies, the police and others to buy cars built in the UK. Perhaps he should look at the fact that Mr Burden himself drives a car that was built here in the UK or alternatively Coun Wood could direct his fire at the man who stands for election as public representative for Longbridge who slags off other people for driving foreign cars but who spent the election driving around in one himself.
How is the Audi going?