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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 June, 2003, 09:50 GMT 10:50 UK
Underground idea for Birmingham
The Lord Mayor of Birmingham has launched a campaign to bring an underground transport system to England's second city.

Councillor John Alden believes the scheme would stop Birmingham being choked to death by a paralysed transport system.

He told the city's civic society that the initiative was a "big idea for the 21st Century".

Councillor Alden has agreement from the main political parties to lobby the Government for funding - although the scheme could cost as much as 10bn.

The Lord Mayor said the campaign could unite the city after the failure to win the European Capital of Culture bid for 2008.

Birmingham has an overground tram system - the Midland Metro - which could be extended through the city centre from its current terminus at Snow Hill.

But Councillor Alden has raised doubts that the system could be extended through the congested city centre.

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