I was delighted to receive an invitation from the fine folks at Transport Times to attend the high flying Transport Summit, taking place just a stones throw away from our really rather swanky office located in the heart of Birmingham City Centre, just 2 minutes walk from New Street. But, more on our super new office launch later this year.
The one day summit has assembled a truly impressive array of high calibre speakers from the transport spectrum, which includes key politicains and practitioners to discuss and debate the future transport strategy in the Midlands. At present the Midlands boasts one of the highest growing economies in Western Europe. I witnessed this expansion myself a couple of years ago when Eamonn and I set up our first office in the fashionable Jewellery quarter. The volume of housing and office new builds was staggering . Most of which was funded by foreign investment, especially from China and the Midldle East.
With the advent of HS2, not only creating a myriad of new jobs in the region, but more importantly making the Midlands a nationally accessible business hub. That frankly will compete nicely with both London and Manchester, indeed the succession of prestige organisations relocating to Birmingham is impressive (HSBC being the latest). The potential of HS2 cannot be understated and local Midlands regions are instigating strategies that will maximise its potential as a national hub.
Also high on the agenda is the implementation of Clean Air Zones (CAZ) It has been widely recognised that buses have an essential part to play in tackling this massive issue and the summit will focus on this key agenda. Nationally it is in my view, the answer to the problem of pollution and the real evidence that is now proven, that people are dying as a direct result of dirty fuels. So the focus will be to work out how we can put buses at the heart of the solution to the air quality challenge.
The list of speakers is indeed impressive, lead by Maria Machancoses, the Director of Midlands Connect, and the closing remarks from Laura Shoah, MD transport for West Midlands. In between will see presentations from the following. The Chief executive of HS2, Linda Greenwood MP, Chair, Transport Select Committee, David Bradford, MD UK Bus, National Express, Linda McCord , Chair, West Midlands Bus Alliance, other speakers include Claire Haigh CEO , Greener Journeys, Jum Steer, Director GreenGauge 21, Prof David Begg, Executive Transport Times, amongst others. Fair to say some really influential and impressive speakers and the event is sponsored by Vix So, if like me you live in the Midlands, and you have any interest in the huge potential this powerhouse region has to offer with the introduction of HS2 and everything else that is going on then sign up and get yourself along, it looks like a really good event.