On a train at 6.55am this morning back from London to Manchester after attending a small dinner last night looking at how we can develop a high-speed rail service connecting London, Birmingham and the major cities in the North and Scotland.
As usual other European countries have sped ahead on this and now even the United States are waking up to the value economically and environmentally of fast, reliable links between key population nodes. We in the North and Scotland need to make sure that not only do we get more high-speed rail but that we have a network that covers the whole of the country.
Early train for a 9.30 meeting about the future direction, indeed future, of the Manchester-Salford Housing Market Renewal pathfinder. This has been helping to breathe new life into what were some of our most deprived neighbourhoods, but its a job only half done, not helped by the credit crunch, and we need to keep investment going for a few years yet.
Later on in the day Jon-Leigh Pritchard, one of my fellow ward councillors, and I meet with Highway's officers to discuss traffic management around the new St.Thomas's school being built in Lower Crumpsall. The building looks great but when it is completed virtually all pupils will have to cross a busy and often speedy main road to get to it so we wanted to check what arrangements are being put in place to ensure pupil safety. I'm not going to try and insert plans here but we were very happy with the outcome.