Keltruck’s Chairman & MD, Chris Kelly, has written to The Birmingham Post opposing the introduction of congestion charging in the West Midlands.

Strong leadership is called for

Dear Editor, How pleased I was to read your front page headline ‘Road charges plan on the brink of collapse’ (Post, July 7).

Congratulations must go to Dudley Council’s leader, David Caunt, for having the guts to stand up to what can only be described as blackmail tactics by the Government, protecting as he sees it, the interests of the good folk of Dudley.

The unnamed spokesman (presumably from Centro PTA) you quoted as speaking ‘for the seven West Midlands councils’ said “doing nothing about congestion is not an option”.

How right he is. But why is it that Centro has done nothing about congestion thus far, save for creating more hold ups in recent years under the expensive Local Transport Plan it coordinates. And why is it almost all of the councils have cocked a snook to Jerry Blackett and his West Midlands Business Transport Group’s initiatives termed ‘Quick Wins’ (finding simple ways to get traffic moving), that Centro PTA agreed would be enthusiastically investigated and carried out?

The facts, as reported by David Bull recently, are that only Birmingham has cooperated (enthusiastically too) with this scheme, alongside a mere handful from all of the other councils in the region over the last two years.

There is growing concern and evidence about the type of work that has been going on by the regions’ highways engineers group CEPOG, coordinated by Centro – building more and more delays into our road system.

It not only will not listen to the concerns of the public, but it also will not listen and actively cooperate with a much respected group like Jerry’s.

Something has got to change, and it is up to honest and strong leadership within councils, such as shown by Coun Caunt this week, to ask why simple quick fixes to get bottlenecks freed up are being so blatantly ignored by so many of these officers.

West Bromwich

Andrew Bentley, MInst SMM
General Manager – Marketing & Business Development