As always, sporadic updates on my blogs can only mean total hectic-ness. this is a truth as far as i am concerned!
Firstly, recommended is my piece on Labour’s recently published Transport Policy Review document which you can read here: http://www.progressonline.org.uk/2012/06/15/the-new-transport-world/
You’ll find that i am very supportive of the content of this document…!
High Speed Rail continues to stay in the spotlight, at least for those interested enough to look for it. I am always comforted by the vast majority of midlanders who correctly assume it is going ahead without issue as quickly as possible – and they can’t wait to get high speed rail to the West Mids!! Those of us working on the project in 1 capacity or another are flat out ith a vast amount of work, whle at the same time avoiding the continued flak from the anti-HS2 campaigners. I continue to be bemused by the anti-campaign’s obsession with tiny elements while wholeheartedly ignoring the big picture and the major issues facing the national transport infrastructure. HS2 is vital, to delay this will cause a major crunch on our rail network that will grind the country and our economy to a halt in very quick time.
While on the rail network, we are also fighting hard to take control of the West Midlands rail network – indeed, we are fighting for the principle of devolving rail to the regions so that we can plan and run our local and regional services – providing better services designed by the regions for the regions and more directly accountable to our communities (which is a central premise of Labour’s policy review i referred to earlier).
The Government will shortly reveal its plans for rail investment in the period 2014-19 and this is eagerly anticipated as we suspect our lobbying will have brought significant improvements to the deal for the West Midlands.
Talking on that note, the excitement is palpable as 2 major projects in Birmingham City Centre proceed at pace – the new New Street Gateway station development and the Midland Metro city centre extension. There is a tangible sense of major strides being taken here in the West Mids now, that we are getting our act together and campaigning much more effectively for our region. This can only be a positive step.
So on a positive final note, Saturday 30th June – le grand depart – the start of the 2012 Tour de France. Excitement!!!