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METRO BACK ON TRACK?

30-07-2009

Reports that plans to expand the Midlands Metro are moving again brings cheer to Andy Munro – but he wonders what happened to plans for a distinctively Brummie form of transport.

It’s good news that the Metro proposal for the City Centre is back on track, certainly from my Jewellery Quarter perspective. This should bring real economic benefit to the Quarter when visitors can be enjoying a coffee in New St before being whisked effortlessly to the Quarter.

However there is the small matter of finding £30m of private sector funding and, no doubt, the publication of enough orders, inquiry notices and memorandum of understandings to keep an army of civil servants employed up to their retirement.

Of couse, we also know that central government and their agencies are absolute masters of taking so long over processes that by the time the funding is due to come on stream,the goalposts are moved or the administration changes!

Meanwhile on the obvious concern that hell will freeze over before anything happens, I notice that the Broad St Business Improvement District are campaigning for a shuttle ‘bus’ from Broad St (surprise,surprise) to the City Centre.

Unfortunately I think that this misses a great opportunity to follow up the Big City Plan with its Birmingham Bus idea – a great concept which unfortunately seems to be parked up at the moment.

Here’s the idea….work with local Universities to design an environmentally friendly small bus with a distinctive ‘quirky’ design which also makes it a tourist attraction.Operate the bus from Digbeth/Millenium Point/Jewellery Quarter/Gay and Chinese Quarter/Broad St with a jump ‘on and off’ flat fare Amsterdam style.

It’s not rocket science or is it?

WHAT WOULD A DISTINCTIVELY BRUMMIE FORM OF TRANSPORT LOOK LIKE? DISCUSS THIS ON THE STIRRER FORUM

Andy Munro would like to point out that 'my views are personal and not those of the City Council'

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