According to this article in the Birmingham Mail on Thursday, Centro, the West Midlands regional transport authority, is having to look very closely at it’s spending plans – and this may mean cutting current local initiatives to prepare for high speed rail.
The government is suggesting that there is no reason to include HS2 in the current round of spending cuts, because they won’t be spending very much on it for years.
However, if this article is accurate, the government is misleading the public. They might think that they have enough money in the coffers to spend £93 million on HS2 next year. But what is happening at the local level?
Centro are in favour of HS2, and recently published a report describing what they saw as the benefits of the proposed new rail link to the area round Birmingham. No-one can call them nimbies!
But chief executive Geoff Inskip told Centro members that they are facing a stark choice between funding projects like real time information screens at bus stops or spending money on expensive priorities including projects which will helping to pave the way for high-speed rail.
Do you live in the West Midlands? Why don’t you write to Centro or your local councillor and tell them what you think about their choices?