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Birmingham Metro Area For Birmingham, Wolverhampton and the West Midlands.



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Old July 28th, 2005, 01:30 PM   #1
Nacho
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Birmingham Transport

This morning I've been reading about the start of the new tunnel in Madrid (7.5 km for local trains) connecting the two main stations Atocha and Chamartin.There is already one tunnel and the new one will run parallel to it.There were complaints about the 500 or so trains that use Atocha daily and that it was time to ease its workload.Here we have to point out that New St Station handles more than 600 trains a day and four years ago Birmingham was denied ONE deep tunnel (local trains and Metro) which would have provided a station at ICC too.I despair at times !

The new Madrid tunnel was talked about in 2003,approved in 2004,and will be in operation by 2007.That's the way things should be done.
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Old July 28th, 2005, 01:54 PM   #2
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I wonder when the council are going to inform us about the underground report.This was supposed to be done by May.Sandwell and Dudley councils want to press ahead with Metro line two as soon as possible and are furious with Birmingham's delay(remember the Dudley line and Birmingham city extension were to be funded at the same time).The Black Country have said they will go it alone if Birmingham doesn't decide its future by the end of July.Shambles really....and bloody embarrassing for Brum as places like West Brom,Wednesbury,and Tipton will have a higher standard of transport than the city!!!!!!
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Old August 1st, 2005, 12:31 PM   #3
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Here's today's big news.Lets hope all parties start pulling together with this one.Biosonic,as you mentioned on another thread, the LPT had been carried out with the Metro in mind(I read the 200 page document too and thought it stranget hat they didn't make any reference to the underground).

Brum Tube plans on ice Aug 1 2005
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By Campbell Docherty, Transport Correspondent


Plans for a Birmingham underground will be mothballed later this month when the city council reaffirms support for street-level trams in the city centre.

A feasibility study, more attractive to central government funding, on light-rail operating in tunnels has now been completed.

The £ 150,000 study, described to The Birmingham Post by sources from supporters of both street-running and underground camps, settles on a compromise with trams in central Birmingham streets first, with the possibility of replacing those lines with tunnels in the long term.

It is very similar to the previously agreed phase one and phase two of the Midland Metro tram network, which was placed in doubt when the Conservative-Lib-Dem coalition took control of the city council last year.

After completion of the city centre line, the only significant tunnel proposed in the next phase will underpass Selfridges and emerge in Digbeth as part of a line to Birmingham International Airport and the NEC.

Officials from the city council-and the regional transport body Centro are working on a final report.

Both bodies did not intend to go public until the end of this month, prior to an early September meeting of the council cabinet. However, on Friday the West Midlands Local Transport Plan bid for £1.3 billion of Government cash for transport schemes included the street-level city centre line.

Explaining the LTP document's exclusion of the underground system, a city council spokeswoman said: "The section in the LTP containing the reference to on-street running was written by Centro.

"We are keeping all our options open and a report is being prepared following the feasibility study." The LTP is co-signed by Birmingham along with the six other metropolitan authorities and Centro-PTA and now represents policy.

The first draft of the underground feasibility study, which reported in May, showed a scheme with an overall cost - including financial risk and other factors on top of straight capital outlay - in excess of £2 billion. It allowed for only one or two subterranean stations, near the Pavilions Shopping Centre in the city centre and possibly under Broad Street, and involved the construction of two tunnels.

To be financially viable from day one, some or all of the metro future lines to the Birmingham Airport/NEC, Perry Barr and Quinton - already planned by Centro-PTA - needed to be completed alongside the underground.

Jerry Blackett, chairman of the West Midlands Business Transport Group and policy director of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, said the LTP decision to submit a bid for street-level trams in the city centre was " sensible and pragmatic".

"It is clear that is the option which would recoup the most value for money and to be honest, it is the only option that Government were going to wear bearing in mind the hurdle of cost-benefit is being set higher and higher all the time," he said.

A joint statement from Birmingham City Council and Centro-PTA stated a decision on the metro's future will be announced "in the near future".
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Old August 1st, 2005, 12:44 PM   #4
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so is this the good news we are looking for.....everyone is now to back the street level trams???????
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Old August 1st, 2005, 12:57 PM   #5
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The article seems to indicate that.Apparently ,it looks as though the council has adopted Albert Bore's stance of one Metro line through the centre but the rest must use tunnels.Centro have always said that there is scope for two more steet lines and this is were Centro and the Labour group fell out a little.The Con/LibDems seemed to have grasped the idea that they would never get a full underground going.Lets hope that everything now gets a...er....smooth ride.

Here's what we can expect.

http://www.centro.org.uk/Metro/Nov%2...um%20intro.asp
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Old August 1st, 2005, 02:55 PM   #6
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why the **** do they want a line to the airport, we already have pendloino's that can take you to the airport in under 8 minutes??

we should instead have a line going through somewhere like mosley rd,somewhere where i has a need of reducing traffic

connecting to the airport isa complete waste of time and effort
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Old August 1st, 2005, 06:14 PM   #7
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How the Birmingham Post sees it.

The perils of putting vanity before value Aug 1 2005
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After 12 months delay and a £100,000 feasibility study to investigate a Birmingham underground, an answer has been found.

Anyone expecting to see £100,000 worth of insight and new ideas had better think again. The light-rail plans for Birmingham look remarkably similar to the plans we already had in place before the Conservative-Lib-Dem coalition took power last summer.

The study was supposed to report in May but the consultants' first draft showed a project that would never have been possible.

It was too expensive and with very few benefits to passengers over the street-level tram network that had to be put on ice.

Everyone seemed to know what the feasibility study answer would be, except the politicians.

Everyone knew it would say: "Yes, it's technically possible to build, but so is Birmingham building its own colony on the Moon . . . . . . . . . if you've got enough money."

Beyond the fact it was always going to be too costly, the scheme itself was never going to attract Government money.

Apart from a few notable exceptions, the great shift in light-rail across the world has been away from subterranean systems towards bringing trams back to city streets.

In the last decade or so, Birmingham has tried to rid itself of an image of dingy, threatening underpasses pushing people underground to allow the motor car unhindered passage.

Everybody knows this is a dreadful example of mistaken priorities. Yet, it is almost exactly what was being returned to.

Birmingham people have been forced to wait yet another year with nothing happening to ease the appalling public transport alternative to rapidly worsening congestion and £100,000 of public money has been spent to state the obvious.

The compromise, with tunnels pushed off somewhere into the dim and distant future, will not fool anyone.

The ongoing delay in deciding between street trams and underground - and absurdly the city council trying to distance itself from the LTP document, which it is a co-signatory to - hints at some disarray in the local authority.

This whole vanity-led project smacks of the ruling administration playing politics for the sake of being seen as different from their predecessors.

Whatever happened to taking good advice from paid officers and experts and doing what is best for the people of the city? Or is that a little too unfeasible?
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Old August 1st, 2005, 07:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pirlo_21
why the **** do they want a line to the airport, we already have pendloino's that can take you to the airport in under 8 minutes??
That's a really good point, seems very redundant. We just need more trains on the current set of rails and better facilities at Bham International to allow trains to turn around there and allow more light onto the platforms.
Better services from the suburbs to the airport would be a better use of money.
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Old August 1st, 2005, 07:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nacho
Everyone knew it would say: "Yes, it's technically possible to build, but so is Birmingham building its own colony on the Moon . . . . . . . . . if you've got enough money."
Ah, nothing like a bit of satire to make a point.
It's nice to hear that this farce has been brought to people's attention.
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Old August 1st, 2005, 07:33 PM   #10
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Well much as I welcome some street level metro this will sound the death knell for some shops and disruption on a scale greater than the Bullring development. Corporation street deals with a huge number of buses and until the coherence of all regeneration schemes gel such as eastside we are going to have an interesting public transport system for a while - the bus mall for example.
Also lets hope that the aesthetic appeal of corporation street can be maintained and that Centro redesign the new street and surrounding route path to link in with New Street station redevelopment.
Im not a total sceptic but I hope it will be all right on the night.
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Old August 1st, 2005, 07:37 PM   #11
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The reasoning behind the Airport line itself isn't lets say an A to B objective.Of course ,if you are in the centre it would be much quicker to catch a train from New St Station but the route itself would be useful in ferrying people from Yardley to the Bullring for example.An awful lot of cars use that road and if a suitable alternative was offered maybe a lot of people would leave their cars in the garage.On current line one over 30% of users used to make their trips into Birmingham by car;I think that's quite impressive.A lot of people I know in The Black Country are always banging on about the Metro and how efficient it is.It must be doing something right.
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Old August 1st, 2005, 07:44 PM   #12
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when i grew up in sheldon - it could take nearly an hour on the bus to get to the city centre (thats 7 miles), on a saturday.
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Old August 1st, 2005, 07:44 PM   #13
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Apparently,construction will take place in small sections thus trying to keep disruption to a minimum.I think it's important to point out that an underground would also cause a fair deal of disruption too;they are currently building one where I live at the moment and it seems that every street is "up".
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Old August 1st, 2005, 07:56 PM   #14
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Another of the attractions of street running trams is the number of stops that can be built.Today's Post pointed out that for more than two billion there would have been only two underground stops ;one in the centre and one in Broad Street.This is a far cry from the initial plan which envisaged stations all over the city centre consstructed at a risible 200 million pounds.Where the hell did they get that figure from?!!

Here is the diagram that was presented last summer.Look at the economics!!
http://icbirmingham.icnetwork.co.uk/...name_page.html
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 10:19 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feltip
Well much as I welcome some street level metro this will sound the death knell for some shops and disruption on a scale greater than the Bullring development. Corporation street deals with a huge number of buses and until the coherence of all regeneration schemes gel such as eastside we are going to have an interesting public transport system for a while - the bus mall for example.
Also lets hope that the aesthetic appeal of corporation street can be maintained and that Centro redesign the new street and surrounding route path to link in with New Street station redevelopment.
Im not a total sceptic but I hope it will be all right on the night.
It is going to be interesting to see how we will be able to catch a bus in the centre of town, but I don't think accommodating buses and trams on the same street (corporation St) will be a problem - Sheffield copes quite well. The bus drivers are going to have to use the bays properly so as to not hold up the trams, and there may have to be a holding pen somewhere so not too many buses end up on Corp St.

The New St Stn redesign will accommodate the trams fine on Navigation St. In fact it wouldn't surprise me if they set up a tram stop AND a bus stop in parallel there as they have an opportunity to widen the road (maybe even bring the trams inside the station?)
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 10:33 AM   #16
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Yes,the Metro stop is at the side in Navigation St.It'll be interesting to see how it fits with the remodelling of the station.I imagine this was another factor which forced the council's hand.......remember that New St Station will hopefully be completed by 2011 the same year as the line is supposed to start.Another interesting feature will be a perspex screen which will run along the ramp;to protect pedestrians from cables and to protect the cables from the pedestrians!
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 10:38 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nacho
Yes,the Metro stop is at the side in Navigation St.It'll be interesting to see how it fits with the remodelling of the station.I imagine this was another factor which forced the council's hand.......remember that New St Station will hopefully be completed by 2011 the same year as the line is supposed to start.Another interesting feature will be a perspex screen which will run along the ramp;to protect pedestrians from cables and to protect the cables from the pedestrians!
I wouldn't be entirely certain that the ramp is going to stay. There's a whole lotta change going on with a few surprising decisions if the people in charge get their way
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 10:53 AM   #18
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I'm a bit slow this morning...of course, the ramp and its surroundings were in the 2003 plan which was submitted by Centro and the council with one of the problems being the removal of the corner of the book shop.I imagine a lot of things will have to be revised in that area.Interesting.
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 01:29 PM   #19
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iok, i dont want to sound like the total opermist but the fact that the metro is meant to be up and running by 2011 and the council need to complete the new street re-build by 2012 for the olympic, birminghams transport situation could be totally reversed in the pace of 1 year lol!
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 11:25 PM   #20
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The only thing that is stopping the progress of ANY Tram/Metro schemes for our cities is - and this may sound blatantly obvious when you think about it - The Government. That's who! They haven't got any proper insight or understanding about any of the issues or ramifications whatsoever. And they never ever will have any. I mean, why else are they so perpetually undecided and - worse - undedicated about every aspect of exactly what goes into planning, funding, building and operating these schemes? For decades, they have been using - and will continue to use - the notion of trams and metros and other integrated transport proposals as pawns on a very large and disorientating chessboard. Nothing more, nothing less. They have absolutely no commitment to funding or building any appreciable network of these metro systems - and never will do either. For them it's just a burden they have to occasionally put up with and deal with through gritted teeth or - more ignominiously - some minor irritant that they - given the chance - would rather see brushed under the carpet and forgotten about at the quickest available opportunity. That to me, sums up their whole attitude to funding expansion of metro systems and tram networks.

Unless, of course, it happens to be London.....

Truly, it stinks.
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