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Railhub Archive
1999-09-13 SRA-001
Shadow Strategic Rail Authority


SSRA to lead review of rail capacity in the West Midlands

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Shadow Strategic Rail Authority

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Shadow Strategic Rail Authority

SSRA to lead review of rail capacity in the West Midlands

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13 September 1999
source Shadow Strategic Rail Authority
type Press release

Sir Alastair Morton, Chairman of the Shadow Strategic Rail Authority (SSRA)
today announced that the SSRA would be leading a review of network
capacity in the West Midlands. The review will identify the overall demand for
rail capacity in the area and how that demand should be met. It will take into
account the Government's broader aims for integrated transport policy.

The Steering Group for the review will comprise the SSRA, Centro (the West
Midlands Passenger Transport Executive), the Government Office for the
West Midlands and Railtrack. The Steering Group will consult train operators,
local authorities, campaign groups and freight interests in order to:

Assess long term rail demand in the key suburban, cross country,
London and rail freight markets.
Assess capacity constraints.
Consider a broad range of capacity solutions proposed by train
operators, Railtrack and others, including how best to develop: terminal
capacity at Birmingham New Street, Snow Hill and Moor Street; line
and signalling capacity; and train capacity.
Consider capacity solutions which would encompass the role of light
rail and the development of terminal complexes.

The review will be concerned with developing a long term strategy for rail in
the West Midlands and the implications. At this stage it will not promote
particular solutions but aim to identify a sufficient range of options and
evaluate proposals.

The review will feed into the first full five year programme of the West
Midlands Local Transport Plan, the West Midlands Area Multi-Modal Study
and the SSRA's first Strategic Plan. The Steering Group plans to commission
consultants to work on the study. Work will start shortly and is expected to
take six months.

West Midlands Passenger Transport Chair Councillor Richard Worrall said, "I
am pleased that the SSRA have joined with Centro and West Midlands PTA's
initiative to fully assess the longer term capacity needs of the rail system in
the West Midlands - we have to have a fully informed strategy to
accommodate existing and future major growth in rail patronage."

Rob Donald, Centro's Director General, said, "The West Midlands Passenger
Transport Authority have spent millions to alleviate traffic congestion, but the
success of increasing use of train services and the need to reduce traffic
congestion by providing motorists with attractive alternatives means that all in the rail industry really have to plan for a big expansion of capacity for the
West Midlands. This study will take a fresh look at what is really needed and
will provide a firm basis for serious investment in rail infrastructure, which is
essential for the increased rail services that the West Midlands will require
over the next 20 years."

Sir Alastair Morton said, "The Birmingham bottleneck is a major strategic
issue for Britain's railway network, not just for local traffic. We have to find a
way not only to ease current problems but also to build in the capacity needed
in the future as long distance, regional and local rail traffic all expand."

Railhub Archive ::: 1999-09-13 SRA-001


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