Birmingham Labour Party has called on Andy Street to prove he has the funding available to reopen Moseley Station, as figures reveal that there is a £52 million black hole in the Mayor's plans.
A planning application to reopen Moseley Railway Station to commuter trains was submitted by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) on Thursday May 21st. The Mayor unveiled his plans with a video on his Facebook Page the same day.
However, local councillors have expressed concern that only two trains an hour will run on the line and that plans have not yet been signed off by Network Rail.
Martin Straker-Welds, Labour Councillor for Moseley, said, “I welcome the reopening of the Camp Hill Line and Moseley Station. Anything that gets people out of their cars and onto public transport should be encouraged.
“But it's simply not good enough that only two trains will stop at Moseley every hour and that we still don't have approval from Network Rail for trains to actually run on the tracks.”
Kerry Jenkins, Labour Councillor for Moseley, said: “The Moseley community has been campaigning for the reopening of the Camp Hill Line for passenger traffic for well over 40 years and now believe that plans and funds are now in place for that to happen.
“There has been an enormous amount of time, energy and commitment put into discussions with Andy Street, his office and with West Midlands Rail Executive by elected members and community groups over the past months in relation to Moseley Railway station.
“If all this effort has been for nothing more than providing PR content for the Mayor, there would be a massive sense of disappointment and anger.”
Lisa Trickett, Labour Councillor for Brandwood and Kings Heath and chair of WMCA's Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said, “Andy Street does not have his priorities right.
“In the middle of a global crisis when he should have been securing PPE for our key workers and setting up a jobs scheme for our unemployed young people, he was instead shooting a publicity film for a line that has a £52 million black hole.
“I am interested to know how WMCA can justify the use of stock and staff to allow our Mayor to play trains and shoot a political film to boost his re-election prospects. This is highly questionable unless it was specifically commissioned by Andy Street himself and I will be raising this issue with WMCA's governance.”
Liam Byrne MP, Shadow Mayor for the West Midlands, said, “Our research earlier this year revealed that WMCA has a £1.2 billion black hole in its budget. Of that £1.2 billion, £52 million is a shortfall for Moseley Railway Station.
“Our Tory Mayor needs to prove this isn't going to be yet another broken promise and show us he has the funding for Moseley Station. Crucially we need a plan to boost capacity so more than two trains an hour run to Birmingham City Centre along the Camp Hill Line, and guarantee access from that line to Birmingham New Street Station.”