Fares, rail policy and DfT news

18.07.19

'Midlands time is now' speech brings TransCityRail audience to their feet

This month marks a turning point for the Midlands, today we all here in the Midlands so we can work together and thrive together,” declared Maria Machancoses in a rousing delivery to rail executives from all over the UK.

The final speech of TCR Midlands was the most rousing, with Maria rallying the audience who responded with the noisiest round of applause all day at the TransCityMidlands conference and dinner in Birmingham.

She said the Midlands had been stuck in the middle for too long, on one side a high-maintenace spoilt favourite child, and the other an outgoing suffers-no-fools child.

“Well no more nice middle child,” the director of Midlands Connect declared, “the family dynamic needs to change.”

The Midlands has “world class supply chains” and is home to one of the largest rail supply chains in Europe. But it needs investment, she told the TCR crowd.

The government “must step up to the plate,” and it “must give the Midlands the investment it deserves.”

Certainty about the pipeline of projects is what is needed “to ensure we have the skills, technology and ambition to truly deliver… not for the next five years, but the next five decades.”

Maria revealed she will be writing to the new prime minister and chancellor next week “to tell them exactly that.”

Finishing her rousing speech, Maria declared: “No longer, are we the forgotten, middle child, overshadowed by our siblings.

“No longer will we hide behind niceties, and trade our good manners, in exchange for goodwill.

“No longer will we fail to fulfil our economic potential.

“The Midlands needs investment. The Midlands deserves investment.”

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