Dear Action Briefing . . .
Dudley & Sandwell Metro: Modal Musical Chairs!
When, in the 1960s, our transport experts closed the rail line now used for Metro One, former train passengers transferred mainly to cars.
To now claim that 20% of Metro One passengers are likely to be car owners who have chosen trams, as Head of Transport David Bull, said at a public meeting on 5th February 2004, completely overlooks the fact that these car drivers were the ones who had to transfer to their cars from trains. They have now simply transferred back, but to trams instead of trains.
In other words, it
is not a genuine modal shift from cars to trams at all; it is in fact a 20%
modal shift from train to tram!
Returning the trains would have been more cost effective, more sensible, and quicker and easier to achieve, too! It would also have helped with the modernisation of the West Coast Mainline.
From my research, 77% of the first three Metro lines are to go on rail lines; the remaining 23% on roads. Therefore, as part of the development of Metro lines 1, 2 and 3, 77% of trams are replacing trains and the further 23% replacing buses. Is the colossal expense a prudent and sensible use of taxpayers money? Of course not. It simply plays musical chairs with now three failing public transport modes while car use continues to rise inexorably, untouched by all our huffing and puffing to get trams to replace buses and trains.
Tim Weller, Halesowen