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I MUST admit I am getting a bit fed up with the constant negativity of the UK press, every time you open a newspaper or watch the news it’s still doom and gloom.

I MUST admit I am getting a bit fed up with the constant negativity of the UK press, every time you open a newspaper or watch the news it’s still doom and gloom.

Every new idea or development seems to have a huge campaign against it. Isn’t it about time that we embrace the fact that in these difficult times people want to invest in our area and try to make it better?

I have lived in Solihull for over 25 years now and have welcomed the changes and investment we have seen during this time. I am sure that those objecting to the Shirley and Dorridge regeneration plans, HS2 etc objected to Touchwood, Dickens Heath and the M42 and look at the benefits that we all have because of the positive actions of the council and developers.

Do we really want an environment and high streets that never move forward? Or isn’t about time that we aspire to regenerate and create a new modern aesthetically pleasing and easier environment for ourselves?

Carl Varney via e-mail


Left standing

I AM a 15 year-old student who attends St Peters Catholic School. I am writing concerning the alarming news that my bus, the 30 is changing hands, from Travel West Midlands meaning all the bus passes we use are virtually useless.

In the morning the 30 has in excess of 70 people, on one bus. After the change, what bus are all of us school kids going to descend on?

At the moment the 37 is abysmal in the morning, where it’s like sardines in a tin, if you can even get on the bus. Therefore lots of students will end up getting a lift in their parent’s car harming the environment and making our roads even more congested, and contributing to the rise in obesity.

David Cameron urges us to use public transport, why on earth is anyone going to use it when you have to walk up to 20 minutes to get on a bus which is comparable to being in a stationary crush. Mr Cameron talks about using the “fantastic” public transport provided, but has he ever been on a bus during his privileged, Etonian life?

James Nicholson via e-mail


Green reality

THE anti HS2 conference at Stoneleigh Park brought just more repeats from the proposal’s opponents who claim that concern for the environment, visual and noise intrusion and the energy consumption of HS2 are among their major reasons for opposing it.

To witness adherence to true green principles I visited Stoneleigh Park on the day of their conference hoping to see a dozen or so coaches carrying full loads from Aylesbury/Amersham/Leamington/Kenilworth/Berkswell and Lichfield.

Instead I watched the devoted arrive in over 400 cars (plus me). The real heroes of the day were one on foot and one by cycle. I take my hat off to them as it was pouring with rain.

These cars would form a queue 10 times longer than the single HS2 needed to carry the same number of passengers. They would consume four times the fuel, producing four times the CO2. Their cumulative noise would be greater than HS2 and take no less than four minutes to pass.

The ‘devoted’ know more than 16 per cent of HS2 route will be invisible in tunnels and noise will be substantially absent. These virtual ‘Greens’ are perfectly aware an additional 40 per cent of HS2 route is in cuttings.

‘HS2 should follow existing transport corridors’ they say. What they really mean it should follow transport corridors in someone else’s backyard.

H T Harvey, B91


Path to ruin

IF ‘Meriden Rambler’ (Letters) really believes that HS2 is to be “a simple two-track railway with occasional electric trains”, he will be in for a rude awakening if the wretched thing is ever built. The design capacity of the line is for 18 trains an hour travelling at 250mph, and it will be every bit as intrusive as the “flyovers, bypasses and duelling of the A45 and A452 with their perpetual traffic flows”.

Indeed, far from “not being the end of the Meriden Gap”, HS2 will finish off what the rail, motorway and road network started long ago, even further bisecting the spaces between these routes, chopping the landscape into ever smaller segments, thus causing utter devastation of the footpath network. Should this happen, I can only wish Meriden Rambler the joy of the long, inconvenient, unpleasant, noisy (and possibly non-existent) footpath diversions that will necessarily follow!

Michael Bird, chairman, Warwickshire Ramblers


Gap in peril

I FEEL I must respond to the letter written by a Meriden Rambler’s letter under the heading “The Gap is Safe” as I am aghast that he thinks this is true.

He states that HS2 is a simple two track railway – in Meriden area it is four track.

He states occasional electric trains – there will a train every two minutes.

He is concerned about thunderous traffic noise – HS2 is estimated at 95 decibels over one mile area which will make the traffic noise insignificant.

He states that the A45 and A452 flyovers M6 and M42 are visual eye sores – try adding a 7000 unit car park, a new station at Stonebridge and all the additional traffic of the proposed users to and from the station. Plus an elevated railway line on 10m high concrete structures above the Meriden flood plain, with security fences, sound barrier protection and the additional and necessary electronic gantry structures.

Yes we need an improved interconnected transport system but HS2 is not green, it will not deliver wider economic benefits and cure North/South divide and it will not deliver value for money

Just where does this Meriden Rambler get his opinion from – Caroline Spelman?

Malcolm Hickin, Lavender Hall Lane, Berkswell



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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