You recently launched a consultation on the Birmingham Mobility Action
Plan. What will this do for the city?
The Birmingham Mobility Action Plan asks what should the transport
infrastructure be 25 years from now? We have to have the long term vision for the city and its transport infrastructure and we have to have ways that we can fund it. Those ways will be a mix of public and private. It will be a mix of the sort of things we currently do plus other things we don’t do.
You highlight the success to Lyon, Birmingham’s twin city in France,
in levering in funding for new transport infrastructure through business taxation linked to employee numbers. Is that an option in Birmingham?
It may be that employers in this city would accept a tax on employees [to
pay for new transport infrastructure] because if it was hypothecated to transport and if congestion reduces as a consequence. Businesses might buy if they could see that there was something in it for them and that something is the ability to get around the city and to get goods and services in and out faster and to have less congestion.
You are on the High Speed Two Growth Task Force with Lord Deighton. What
will this project do for Birmingham if it gets the go-ahead?
The issue is capacity and you cannot deal with that by putting on more trains or
extending platforms. You have to build a new line and then you might as well make it high speed.
But the real issue is how to get connectivity across the greater Birmingham sub-region because that increases the economic benefi t of HS2. The multiplier effect of connectivity increases the number of jobs two or three fold.
Press reports have talked about you doing a deal with a Chinese investor to
fund a regional connecting rail network on the back of HS2. Is this true and if so how far has the deal got?
Don’t believe everything you read in the papers but we are talking. There are deals to
be done. There are sovereign wealth funds who want to invest but what they want to do is invest where there is a proposition. So you have got to be attractive and have some certainty that it is going to deliver. But if you have got that then there is investment money to be won.
© 2014 KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and a member fi rm of the KPMG network of independent member fi rms affi liated with KPMG International Cooperative, a Swiss entity. All rights reserved. For more information please contact:
Mike Froom Partner, KPMG in the UK T: +44 (0) 121 232 3015 E: michael.fr
WE HAVE TO HAVE THE LONG TERM VISION FOR THE CITY AND ITS TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE AND WE HAVE TO HAVE WAYS THAT WE CAN FUND IT.
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