When you want to travel around the West Midlands, does the train service meet your needs ? If it does not, what is in store ? You can do something about it.
In 2007, the West Midlands Region started to plan its vision for the next thirty years and the first stage was to decide how to reinvent Birmingham's neighbour, the Black Country Boroughs. Part of the evidence that was included in the plan was 'THE BLACK COUNTRY STUDY'. If you want to see the visionary thinking for the area, the section D7 'Developing an Integrated Transport Network – May 2006' spells it out. Here it states 'Rail usage in the West Midlands is growing more rapidly than nationally. While this is encouraging, many routes through the Black Country are becoming congested. The improved and new services promoted in the £4.6bn package by WMAMMS (West Midlands Area Multi Modal Study) is not in sympathy with Network Rail/DfT view that rail is to move people to and from large cities quickly. Centro’s pragmatic approach is to lengthen platforms and trains to get more people into Birmingham but with the same frequency of service.'
Depressingly, it seems that Network Rail is so focussed on rushing people on high speed trains to London that it forgets a few things – such as what about people coming the other way – won't they want to get around the West Midlands easily ? And also what about the rising price of energy that may make high speed rail travel incredibly expensive and environmentally irresponsible. Shouldn't we value local travel, local services, and a good quality of life in the West Midlands ?
If you think that the Network Rail/DfT view is the wrong one, you could write to your MP – or to brian Welch at the Department for Transport.
Rail usage in the West Midlands is growing more rapidly than na