LETTER: Cycleway proposal for rail line ‘short-sighted’
Michael Fabricant’s quest to turn the mothballed Walsall to Lichfield railway line into a footpath and cycleway is very short-sighted.
Yes, Network Rail would say it is not in a plan for imminent use, but most people with an eye to the future will know that it could be a rail route that ideally should be a key part of a Worcester to the Potteries line that avoids congested New Street but serves as a south-to-north commuter corridor for the conurbation linking Stourbridge with Walsall via the gridlocked Black Country.
With the tram extension to Merry Hill and Andy Street’s aim to return freight lines to passenger use it would be madness not to preserve this line.
With the plan to reopen stations along Birmingham’s Camp Hill line, the other end of the combination too needs better connections, Wolverhampton especially, which has so far only secured a short tram extension to the rail station.
This city desperately needs alternatives to its congested roads. Mr Street should resist any attempt to close rail corridors, both in and outside of the West Midlands, or future generations will wonder how we could have been so short-sighted.