Plans are being drawn up to make it easier, quicker and more pleasant to travel between two of Birmingham’s key train stations and the emerging Eastside district, site of the city’s future high speed rail hub.
Centro, the region’s transport authority, has appointed city architects Glenn Howells Architects (GHA) to develop detailed proposals for a high quality link between Eastside, Moor Street Station, New Street Station and the wider city centre.
More than one million passengers travel the route each year but Centro and the city council hope to create an interchange between the two stations and the high speed (HS2) hub that gives the feel of being in one connected station.
The close proximity of the three sites is seen as a key advantage with the entrance to the high speed rail hub due to be built right next to Moor Street Station, itself a short walk from New Street. The interchange link is likely to include a high quality pedestrian route and cycling features. Artistic lighting and possibly public art features are also likely to be looked at.
The appointment of GHA comes hard on the heels of the Government’s go-ahead last month for the £17 billion HS2 route between London and Birmingham. It also follows the publication of the Eastside Masterplan in which GHA was also closely involved.
Cllr Angus Adams, Chairman of Centro, said: “Our objective is to improve the quality of the city environment for pedestrians and make changing between different types of public transport safe and attractive.
“This specific programme of work is just part of the first phase of our strategic vision for making it easier, quicker and more pleasant to move around the city centre.”
The detailed design phase will look at improving the St Martin’s Queensway Tunnel which runs under the Bullring shopping mall and forms a major part of the route between the New Street and Moor Street stations. A planning application for the scheme is expected to be submitted later this year.
Dav Bansal, director at GHA, said: “Citywide thinking – which started with the launch of the Big City Plan – provides a huge opportunity to repair the urban fabric of the city centre. Taking the first step with Centro to develop these detailed proposals is another milestone in Birmingham’s continued regeneration and follows on from the practice’s work on the Eastside Masterplan.
“This project, alongside those that have already been completed and those that are under way like The Gateway project, could significantly improve the experience of our city and how it works. They can do this by providing clear and pleasant pedestrian routes between areas of the city centre as well as improving the public realm and overall environment.”
This project is part of Birmingham City Council’s “One Station” vision which involves creating better accessibility and connectivity between the stations. It also connects with the £600 million Gateway redevelopment at new Street Station and future phases will include a direct link into the high speed rail hub.
Founded in Birmingham more than 20 years ago and with offices in Birmingham, London and China, GHA is also appointed by Argent on Paradise Circus and is working on proposals for the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas.
Both Centro and GHA are supporting Business Birmingham at MIPIM, the international property expo in Cannes, next month.
Transportation consultant Peter Brett Associates and civil and structural engineers Techniker are also part of Centro’s design team for this project.