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Posts Tagged ‘John McNicholas

John wack Nicholas

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Written by beleben

March 2, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Posted in Centro, HS2, Politics

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Leader of the wack

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Centro graphic claimed that HS2 would allow sub-3-hour journeys from Birmingham to Paris The West Midlands must be served by direct high speed rail services to Europe “if it is to take full advantage of the tremendous opportunity HS2 brings”, said the chairman of the West Midlands transport authority Centro.

[Go HS2 weblog, Posted on February 27, 2013]

[Councillor] John McNicholas, chairman of Centro, said high speed rail services would be able to reach Paris and Brussels from Birmingham in less than three hours.

Through services to other cities on the growing European high speed rail network, such as Amsterdam and Frankfurt, would also be possible.

“High speed rail presents a tremendous opportunity for the West Midlands bringing jobs and investment,” he said.

“Journey times from Birmingham to London, Leeds and Manchester will be halved by high speed services, but it is essential we’re also able to take full advantage of improved European connections.”

Cllr McNicholas said it would be a missed opportunity if high speed rail passengers from the West Midlands had to change trains or even stations in London in order to access international services.

He said provision must be made for passport and customs control at Birmingham’s city centre station in Moor Street and at the Birmingham Interchange station.

“I welcome the proposed direct link between HS2 and the existing HS1 line from London to Europe but it must be capable of allowing passengers in the West Midlands fast, direct rail travel to the continent.”

Cllr McNicholas said the current proposal for a single track HS1-HS2 link may prove inadequate to meet future demand and added that the West Midlands was working closely with Transport for London and other authorities to ensure UK regions could be served by European connections.

“I urge the Government to consider a fully segregated two track link between HS2 and HS1, which could cater not only for high speed rail services from the West Midlands to a range of destinations on the continent but which would also facilitate new high speed rail links between the region and economic centres in East London and Kent.

“High speed rail is great news for our region and we want to see fast, direct links with European cities.”

Over a decade ago, Regional Eurostar and Nightstar carriages were ordered for services from Britain’s provincial cities to Europe via the Channel Tunnel, but low demand ensured they were never used for that purpose.

HS2 would only reduce the Birmingham-to-Europe rail journey time by just over half an hour, so it’s unlikely such trains could run without heavy subsidies. Is councillor McNicholas proposing that council tax be used to subsidise rail travel to Europe?

If HS2 paths were reallocated away from Euston and onto HS1, that would surely reduce loadings, revenue, and the benefit cost ratio. HS1 was designed as the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, and its domestic connectivity is poor. It would be difficult to envision a viable HS2 through service to towns like Maidstone and Canterbury.

Written by beleben

February 27, 2013 at 9:39 pm

New Centro appointees

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On 25 June Coventry councillor John McNicholas was elected as the new chairman of the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority at its annual general meeting. The Authority uses the name ‘Centro’ interchangeably with the Passenger Transport Executive. Councillor Kath Hartley, a Labour member of Birmingham City Council, was appointed vice-chairman.

Cllr McNicholas takes over the post after Labour secured a majority on Centro following last month’s local government elections.
Until his appointment as chairman he was Centro’s Shadow Lead Member for Policy, District & Local Enterprise Partnership liaison, and for high speed rail.

He has also served on the West Midlands Joint Committee’s Planning and Transportation Sub-Committee, The Coventry Partnership, Birmingham Airport Consultative Committee and as a director of Birmingham International Airport Holdings Limited.

Cllr Kath Hartley has represented the Ladywood ward in Birmingham since 1996.

She sits on the Transport Connectivity and Sustainability Overview & Scrutiny Committee and before being made vice-chairman of Centro was its Shadow Lead Member for Bus and Highways.

Coventry is one of five West Midlands boroughs which would not have a station on HS2, so hopefully his fellow citizens will be letting Mr McNicholas know what they think about trekking 13 kilometres just to start a train journey.

Councillor Hartley’s past “sustainability overview” included exalting HS2 to be as fast and carbon-intensive as possible, by building it as straight as possible; and urging the retention of a bus lane used by just four vehicles per hour.

Written by beleben

June 27, 2012 at 11:06 am