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Thumbs up to hard shoulder

The extension of hard shoulder running in the Birmingham motorway box was welcomed at ICE West Midland's annual Great Regional Debate held at the Arup Campus, Solihull last week.

ICE past president Quentin Leiper, chaired the debate with a panel consisting of West Midlands Regional Assembly chief executive, Olwen Dutton; former Birmingham city council strategic director of development David Pywell and Catesby Property Group planning director of sustainable development John Acres.

Pywell and Acres were in favour of extending the hard-shoulder running scheme beyond the M42 on the grounds that building one's way out of congestion was not a solution to traffic congestion and hard shoulder running was a cost-effective alternative to further motorway construction.

Following on from ICE's State of the Nation document published in January, the issue of skills also came to the fore. The panellists, led by Dutton and Acres, called for a more unified approach on the part of their representative bodies in addressing the skills shortage in the West Midlands.

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