The recent consultation events in Moseley, Kings Heath & Stirchley regarding the re-opening of our train stations to passenger services has caused much excitement that this long fought for project is now finally happening. I have not spoken to one person who doesn’t think it is a good idea.
Having secured the backing of Government and Regional authorities, the West Midlands Rail Executive, Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), West Midlands Railway and Network Rail are now working together on the track, signalling and service changes required.
We even had West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling visit for a tour of the Moseley station site and the unveiling of the station designs. In a press release by West Midlands Railway in September Cllr Roger Lawrence, the Chair of West Midlands Rail Executive, said: “The Moseley line is part of the wider investment TfWM is making across our region”
But, the current plans to re-open the stations will result in a maximum of only two trains an hour. This is due to the lack of capacity for trains into New Street Station. In order to develop the line into a fully functioning commuter service, which connects not only to services from New St but also to HS2 when it arrives, we need the Camp Hill chords to be built. This is an extra section of track which would divert the line into Moor Street station and part of integral plans to create a Midlands rail hub so significantly increasing rail use across the region.
This is now all under threat
In 2013 the city’s Labour cabinet, despite representations from opposition and community groups, decided to sell off the piece of land on which the chords would be built. At that time, it would appear they clearly didn’t have any optimism that the project would ever take off like it has. 2013 Press article
Now the inevitable has happened and the land the council sold off has a planning application to build a hotel, housing and retail complex. We understand the West Midlands Rail Executive, Transport for West Midlands, Midlands Connect and other Rail user groups are objecting to the proposed development.
The Camp Hill Chords are critical to the long term resilience and success of the rail network in and around Birmingham, to ensure effective public transport so minimising the need for vehicular traffic and enabling Birmingham to meet it’s emissions targets
Moseley Liberal Democrats are calling for as many people to add their voice by commenting on the planning application Comment online here
The planning application number is 2018/09467/PA
URGENT – We have until 1st March to make comments.