Audio: Dan Byles, MP, North Warwickshire – Does Brum airport need a 2nd runway?

Recently a public consultation on the proposed expansion of the Birmingham Airport was held at Coleshill, the area to be affected the most by the new plans.

Local residents and local MP from North Warwickshire, Dan Byles discussed the various aspects of the expansion plans with airport officials.

On the sidelines of the consultation, Dan Byles spoke to Brum Transport about the why the residents of the area are opposing the proposed expansion:

Talking about the possible links between the much debates high speed rail corridor, HS2, he said it is interesting to hear from the airport officials that the airport expansion and the HS2 project:

Noise levels are a cause of concern for most Coleshill residents around the airport.
Expansion of the airport’s capacity, both by expanding the present runway and creating a new one will further add to their problems, he said. More from him in this audio clip:

He further added that there are a lot of questions to which the Airport authorities need to have answers soon.

Earlier, on 2 August, Brum Transport reported live from the consultation.

The new plans discussed at the consultation included two proposal:

  1. Extension of the present runway, which will increase the passenger capacity from the present 9 million to 27 million annually.
  2. Plans to create a second runway, which will further increase the passenger capacity to 70 million annually.

While Coleshill residents are not opposed to the first idea, the second runway is a cause of concern for many.

Soon to follow: Reactions from residents of Coleshill on the proposed 2nd runway and aviation expert Howard Wheeldon’s analysis of the expansion plans. 

AUDIO: ‘City centre car crime data does not represent entire Brum’ – WM Police

West Midlands police have said city centre crime data is not representative of the rest of the city.

In an interview with Brum Transport, Sergent Andy Gregory, crime prevention manager, West Midlands Police, explained:

“The B4 area of Birmingham has a large transient population. People come to the city centre for work, shopping, etc. Very few live there.”

Brum Transport contact the West Midlands Police after a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, filed by HONESTJOHN.CO.UK revealed that Birmingham has the 7th highest rate of car crimes in the country.

Talking about car crimes in the city centre and the transient populations, he said:

He said car crimes include not just ‘theft of the vehicles’, but also ‘theft from the vehicles’.
The data revealed by the FOI also includes break-ins, number plates being stolen and other car crimes:

To reduce car crimes, the West  Midlands Police has urged car owners to use parking facilities certified by the ‘Park Mark’ scheme – a crime reduction initiative run by the Association of Chief Police Officers:

The West Midlands region has about 300 Park Mark certified car parks, under 7 different local authorities.

Earlier this week, Brum Transport had reported about the FOI data and carried an interview with David Ross from HONESTJOHN.CO.UK 

Video: Rail unions say 4-9% fare hike unacceptable

With rail fares hikes between 4.3 to 9.1 per cent, rail unions have said Birmingham might see a rise in the number of cars on the streets again.

Earlier, on 13 August, Brum Transport spoke to rail unions protesting the fare hike at the New Street and Birmingham International stations.

Ken Usher, regional organiser, Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union explained the impact the hikes are likely to have on commuters. He said:

“Between 2008 and now, we have seen an almost 48 per cent hike in rail fare. This is bound to lead more people to start using cars again.”

RMT has urged the government to roll back the decision to allow for nearly 4-9% fare hike by rail companies.

More from him in the video below:

Live updates of the protests are also available on an earlier post on Brum Transport.

Audio: FOI reveals Birmingham 7th highest in car crimes in UK

Data based on a Freedom of Information (FOI) request filed by HONESTJOHN.CO.UK has revealed today that Birmingham has the 7th highest rate of car crimes in the country.

While the national average is 121 offences per 10,000 vehicles, Birmingham’s car crimes rates are 2.6 times higher the national average, with 313 offences recorded per 10,000 vehicles.

Brum Transport spoke to David Ross, news cars editor, Honest John to find out more about what car owners can do keep their cars safe and reduce insurance premiums.

A press release from Honest.John.co.uk has clarified that the West Midlands police statistics do not include details of whether a vehicle was registered to a Birmingham postcode. It also does not give details of the type of car crime.

More details on vehicle crimes in the West Midlands can also be obtained from police.uk

Soon to follow: Audio interview with West Midlands police about measures being taken to reduce car crimes in the region. 

VIDEO: Eddie Fellows, Amey, on the A38 Tunnel closures

On 23 July, (second work-day of the A38 tunnel closures), Eddie Fellows, Highway Networks manager, Amey, spoke to Brum Transport about the plans for next six weeks for the refurbishment of the 40 year old tunnels.

In the interview here, he talks about the funds for the refurbishment works, whether there were options other than a total shut down of the tunnels and and how traffic flow will be monitored to help commuters.

As reported earlier by Brum Transport, the A38 St Chad’s and Queensway tunnels were closed on 19 July, at about 10pm for the repair works.

The tunnels will be closed again next summer for six weeks of school holidays for electronics works including installing cameras, emergency contact systems and ventilations.

Soon to follow: Audio clips of commuters responses and reactions during the first week of the tunnel closures.

Audio: How much money and time do Real Time Information screens at bus stops cost?

The maintenance of bus stops in the city is carried out by the public transport authority Centro through maintenance contracts being given out to commercial companies.

Over 100,000 pounds is allocated annually for these maintenance contracts.

But are any records kept of the repair work? Is data collected to find out what needs to be changed to make the system work efficiently?

How much money and time does it take for repairing a single bus stop Real Time Information (RTI) screen? Where do the funds come from?

What are the ways in which you can contact Centro to get the screens in your neighbourhood working?

In an interview with Pete Bond, head of the ‘Transforming Bus Travel’ team of Centro, Brum Transport tries to find out the answers to some of these questions.

Audio: Are information screens at bus stops working?

Bus

Regional transport authority Centro, responsible for bus stops in the city, spends over 100,000 pounds annually on the maintenance of the Real Time Information (RTI) screens at bus stops. This budget covers about 1500 screens in the West Midlands region covered by Centro.

But are these screens functioning? I found out what the commuters think of them and what Centro has to say about the matter.