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Posts Tagged ‘Kath Hartley

Ninety-nine per cent dubious

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Councillor Kath Hartley (photo by Midland Metro)On 14 September, the Midland Metro celebrated ‘99% service reliability’ by handing out #99 ice creams at Birmingham’s Snow Hill station.

I suppose everyone likes a free ice cream, but the 99% reliability figure might be politely described as poetic licence. Operator Altram’s 23-year Midland Metro contract with Centro stipulated that the standard daytime frequency would be 10 trams per hour (i.e., one every 6 minutes).

Despite sixteen (rather than the originally planned fifteen) Ansaldo T69 tramcars having been built, Midland Metro never managed to run the regular 6-minute all-day service that was promised. For example, the current northbound Monday to Friday service between 7am and 8am has eight departures. The 99% reliability figure is therefore a bit of a swizz, because the timetable it is based on was dictated by the low reliability of the T69 fleet.

The T69s seem to have been a problem from the start. In January 2002, when the Ansaldo trams had only been in use for 2½ years, Midland Metro’s general manager described them as ‘crap‘, with wiring like ‘plates of spaghetti’.

Written by beleben

September 16, 2012 at 10:07 am

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