Dear Editor, It would appear the protracted battle to develop world class public transport in Britain’s second city has finally ended in ignominious surrender.
The white flag, represented by the decision to run buses from New Street station to some of the city’s “Westside” developments, will deal the final blow to any aspirations to present Birmingham as a modern, international city.
Rival cities have not been slow to see the benefits of modern public transport systems. Significantly, they have grasped the reality an impressive arrival experience and high quality public transport present defining images and lasting impressions of a city to its visitors.
With Birmingham already decades behind its rivals, this latest proposal will merely confirm the low status and poor quality of the city’s public transport, as it will the lack of vision and aspiration.
Labour politicians from John “buses will do for Birmingham” Prescott to the present day can congratulate themselves on the successful outcome to their barely disguised campaign to frustrate the city’s attempts to modernise.
Perhaps now is the time for Ian Austin to require ministers to account for their billion pound support for light rail extensions in Manchester and Nottingham while once again refusing Birmingham. He should remind them that the benefit to cost ratio of the frequently re-submitted proposals for Metro extensions are superior to the hugely expensive London Crossrail scheme. Finally, he should seek belated justice for a region which his government has largely ignored and which continues to suffer more than any other from the consequences of the country’s economic difficulties.
A J Millinger,