Recently in Transport Category
The HS2 decision today has generated a huge amount of controversy with passionate arguments for and against the development over the last few months.
Such is the stuff of planning. It is about making difficult decisions which will impact on people and the environment, but crucially should benefit us as a society.
Inevitably, not all people will be happy with the decision reached.
However within our decision making processes there should be sufficient clarity and transparency so that people can understand the decision set within a managed process of dialogue, consultation and listening.
In particular there should be a clear linkage with other policy approaches that allows people to see the big picture even if they disagree with the final decision.
So let's examine this in more detail.
I do not know how much money is spent on public relations by West Midlands Passenger Transport Authority.
But one thing I do know. Whatever the figure is, it is a shocking waste of money.
This organisation has for 20 years or more been a communications basket case and has as a result failed completely to get its message across. Even when it has something positive to say, it doesn't say it very well.
The latest debacle over the Midland Metro tram extension through Birmingham city centre is a case in point.
It has been clear for months that the chances of securing Government funding for the ÃÂ£180 million track from Snow Hill to Five Ways is somewhere between nil and nil.
If you're reading this maybe you're a busy commuter frustrated by how the Government and rail companies organise the railway; or perhaps a leisure traveller who got stuck in the New Year shambles created by Network Rail at Rugby?
Or someone who wants a better bus service to get to work - without roads' gridlock turning a 15-minute ride into a Shakleton-style expedition?
I'm a transport consumer rep. and activist living in the city centre. I sit on national and regional consumer bodies that keep an eye on public transport providers. I got involved because I'm a public transport user. I've also been responsible for public transport policy in a small part of our region in the past. I now try to rattle the cage of those who run rail, bus and Metro services to get something better.