16 Summer Lane
28 August 2009
Our Ref. BL3393/007/MF
Dear Mr Ride
West Midlands Regional Rail Development Plan
I am writing to pass on my feedback on the above. Obviously the Plan covers a wide range of proposals across the region and I would, of course, be supportive of any proposals which serve to better promote and improve the rail network in the West Midlands.
I would however wish to focus on one proposal in particular: the possibility of utilising the Camp Hill line for passenger traffic (and associated proposals).
The Plan points out that the Kings Norton to New Street route operates at greater than 100% of track capacity (during the busiest 60 minute period in the morning peak time) and that this is “acting as a significant constraint on the ability to develop the rail network in the West Midlands”. Were an alternative route to become available – the Camp Hill line – I would anticipate a reduction in the track capacity on the Kings Norton to New Street route arising from the likely take-up of this alternative route. This would, in turn, provide some leeway so the local network can be further developed.
For some years now, there has been a significant problem with traffic congestion for those travelling by car or bus through Kings Heath and Moseley towards Birmingham City Centre. An alternative, convenient, route, which the re-opening of the Camp Hill line would provide, would bypass this congestion thus discouraging the use of the car for the same journey. This would provide the further benefit of reducing the time taken for buses to travel into the City Centre producing a virtuous circle of increased public transport use compared to car use with associated reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and environmental pollution.
In summary, whilst there would be some fairly significant (estimated at £40M in 2007) costs involved in connecting the Camp Hill line with Moor Street Station, the proposed terminus in the City centre, the benefits could potentially be quite far reaching in a large number of areas.
I would therefore suggest this proposal should be considered a priority.
LYNNE JONES MP