Friday, July 25, 2008

New Street 'Gateway' takes some stick

Lord Snape, former Labour MP for West Bromwich has slammed the ongoing project dubbed "New Street Gateway" right after a Commons inquiry warned the idea should be shelved as "it would not solve Birmingham’s rail needs".

Lord Snape talked of a cosmetic project that would simply "tart up" New Street while causing "further massive interruption of train services in and out of the station". In 2007, the former MP already denounced the scheme with an article that described it as "seriously flawed" and based on a review (the Birmingham and West Midlands Rail Capacity Review) that allegedly included "erroneous assumptions and pretty elementary errors". The implication is that the old idea of a major main line station at Eastside, known as Birmingham Grand Central, should be dusted off.

The deputy leader of Birmingham City Council, Councillor Paul Tilsley, hit back at critics of the £600 million New Street Gateway scheme by saying: “There is no Plan B, this is the only plan there is,” adding that it is too late to make a u-turn after all partners have been signed up and compulsory purchase orders have been sent off.
“The Birmingham Grand Central idea died some time ago after the land was sold on Eastside, so there is no Plan B. The alternative died a death some time ago, so we must get on with the redevelopment of New Street".

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