The former head of Birmingham International Airport has hit out at the "disintegration" of transportation in the West Midlands and the length of time being taken to deliver the redevelopment of New Street Station.
Brian Summers told the West Midlands Regional Assembly that securing a step change in the quality of roads, railways and airports was fundamental to ensuring future economic growth.
Mr Summers, now director of Heart of England Tourism, said "silo" funding arrange-ments, where several different bodies had to give spending approval before major projects could go ahead, was holding back the £500 million New Street Station scheme in Birmingham.
Mr Summers added: "The challenge to achieve serious transportation investment in our region must be seen as one of the highest priorities. If we are to be a successful region we have to address priorities such as New Street, our motorway system, public transport disintegration and Birmingham Airport."
He said there were three separate funding steams involved in the New Street project.
"It is extremely difficult and even today we don't know whether that project will be taken forward and achieved.," Mr Summers added.
Paul Tilsley, the deputy leader of Birmingham City Council, said a refurbished New Street would provide a better image of the city centre.
"Coming out of the equivalent of a dungeon isn't the best impression of Birmingham and the West Midlands," he added.
But there was an "extremely simplistic" view that the New Street issue could be quickly resolved, Coun Tilsley warned. The difficulties of delivering a new station and shopping centre were compounded by a large number of different land ownerships in Birmingham city centre.
"I wish that people in the business community would recognise there is a complicated process you have to go through to develop the business case for New Street."
Nick Paul, chairman of Advantage West Midlands, warned the assembly that the nomination of New Street as the number one transport priority did not have unanimous backing across the region.