Recently a local consultant emailed: “At the recent Birmingham Transport Summit I had the impression of a total power vacuum, in which businessmen are clamouring for ever-more-expensive solutions that their companies can get a slice of in contracts, irrespective of actual public benefit or sustainability: £1,000 million for a high speed rail station at Curzon Street!!. plus new Metro lines, expanded airport … I felt they have been driven insane by greed. 

70 minutes is fast enough

“I was on the Chiltern line recently. There is a non-stop service from Warwick parkway to London Marylebone in 70 minutes. In most of the world that would be considered high speed.”

The council hosted the Summit but . . . 

“The ‘council leader’ was absent, as usual. I began to wonder if having a high profile person directly elected by the voters on a defined platform and answerable to them, to make decisions across the board for Birmingham might be just what was needed, as in cities of North and South America, Europe, Australia etc. Someone who is very aware what the voters will do if their priorities are ignored. An elected chief executive, instead of the current unelected one.”