19 July 2019
Dear Tim & Co (Tim Martin Head of Governance Clerk and Monitoring Officer)
e-mail subject field: 60 years of ecocidal behaviour to bring about Attenborough's dire warnings from the runaway greenhouse effect
Attenborough's "collapse of civilisations" and "extinction of much of the natural world" and "time is running out" warnings (Dec 2018).
Please ditch trams and, instead put the passenger trains and stations back on all 106 Kms - urgently!
Thanks for your decency in replying to my email. Eventually, my reminders of what I think you all need to do will fall off - or continue to fall on deaf ears. Your reply seems to indicate that some may be read and that is much appreciated!
It really is an embarrassment to live in the W Midlands. Before I arrived, 51 years ago, the complete and extensive electric tram network had been completely wiped out. Replaced by more diesel buses! In the ensuing years, about 100 Kms of the railway network went the same way. You started rebuilding the tram network instead of the train network and, in the process wiped out vital parts of the railway network for the trams to run on - permanently. Astonishing incompetence! And at the most colossal expense, too. About ten times more expensive per kilometre than putting the trains and stations back. SEE THE EVIDENCE:
Two principal railway stations have been demolished and rebuilt, with New Street demolished twice. The second time, relegated to the basement of a fine new shopping centre that looks nothing like a railway station. Not even a prominent name plate for visitors to know that there is a station as well! Snow Hill was thought to be redundant - never again to be needed, I believe. Demolished in the 1970s. Your predecessors soon realised their little slip-up and rebuilt it but, to half its former size. Unbelievable! The Victorian station had eight platforms, the modern one only four and the fourth is now out of use since Metro trams now bypass the station to go straight to Grand Central. But the business case justified the great expense by saying that Snow Hill would be linked to Grand Central. The money was given on false pretences!
The authorities failed to build the much needed western approach tunnels for New Street when Brindleyplace was built in the 80s and 90s. That was a serious omission. Indeed, incompetence by the top people. It continues the station being known as "one of the worst railway congestion bottlenecks in the UK" (Peter Plisner on 'Midlands Today').
The Bull Ring Shopping Centre has seen its second demolition and rebuilding. Yet the new eastern approach railway tunnels for New Street were never put in after the demolition, in the 90s and 00s. Another lost opportunity and a tragedy for Brum's railways.
The main library in Brum has been demolished and rebuilt twice. Centenary Square demolished and rebuilt so many times I have lost count. Does Chamberlain Square survive?
We once had a fine inner ring road of fast underpasses, flyovers and roundabouts of free-flowing traffic. It did not last long before they decided to break "the concrete collar" by demolishing Colmore Circus, Masshouse Circus and St Martin's Circus. In their place, we have yet more traffic lights, congestion and nose to tail traffic with all their attendant cocktail of poisonous, greenhouse gases right next to where people have to walk. They call that progress. Progress towards more greenhouse gases and the runaway greenhouse effect that means the END.
The Black Country and Brum also took passenger trains off 50 Kms of its railway network and thought that houses, shops and offices were meant to speed down railway lines - and some railway lines turned into roads. Some of what was left is being turned into tram lines and test tracks, a trail of trees and the extension of the cycle-walkway in south Staffordshire, north of Walsall.
Manchester chose trams to replace buses and trains. BBC Panorama, 'HS2: The Great Train Robbery' showed the disgraceful state of the railway network in northern England, centred on Manchester, with even slum-like Pacer commuter trains still used. Money misspent. Wrong priorities.
All the West Midlands authorities have constantly chosen the last six decades of never-ending building and demolition. Deliberately destroying the tram network instead of modernising it; choosing trams that destroyed railway infrastructure instead of restoring trains and stations to the railway network. All this is a very serious failure by our top VIPs in the city and region. When are things going to be turned round to respond to the climate emergency instead of fueling it?
Please ditch trams and, instead put the passenger trains and stations back on all 106 Kms - urgently. Get the buses turned into fareless, electric buses with 100% bus lanes and traffic lights turning green for them and red for the cars, whenever possible. Use the nearly £2 billion you will save from abandoning Metro trams and Sprint diesel buses! Get a sea change in social attitudes away from driving the car into city centres towards jumping on the bus, train or tram instead. This way you free up the road network for essential vehicles. My family is now using the bus or car/train to get into the city centre. I cycle and have done for years. Even using the bike for my social work in Brum for the last 15 to 20 years of my working life. And still using the bike in my old age.
With best wishes
Dear Mr Weller,
Thank you for your email.
As I have pointed out before, there is a difference of opinion between you and the WMCA over the best way to proceed with these transport
solutions however that does not mean that we are acting in a way which is undemocratic or would lead to disciplinary action being taken.
In your email you mention an unresolved complaint. I am not aware of any specific complaint that is unresolved. Your correspondence with
the Authority often raises the same or rhetorical points to which there is no specific “new” answer. If you could refer me to anything specific that has not received a response I would be happy to look into this.