Huge HS2 redevelopment plan to include new Metro tram route

Ambitious plans to create a thriving new district around
Birmingham’s forthcoming high speed rail station have been
unveiled. More than 141 hectares of land in the city’s Eastside
district would be transformed in one of the biggest urban
regeneration schemes in Britain, and by far the biggest redevelopment
so far announced on the back of the HS2 high speed
rail project.

The new developments will be focused around the brand new
city centre station - Birmingham Curzon - where HS2 will terminate
on its 49-minute journey from London. The station will place
Birmingham at the heart of the new national high speed
network with the first trains due to arrive in 2026.

The Birmingham Curzon HS2 Masterplan, drawn up by
Birmingham City Council, also includes a new Metro tram route
branching off the extension currently being built through the city
centre and travelling down through Eastside before stopping
directly underneath the high speed rail station.

Centro, the transport authority for the West Midlands, said the
tram connection would play a key role in making sure the region
got the maximum economic benefits possible from high speed
rail. Independent research has shown that the West Midlands
can more than double the economic growth and jobs offered by
HS2 if the right transport infrastructure is put in place to best
connect and feed into the region’s two high speed stations.
Working closely with Birmingham City Council in drawing up the
Curzon Masterplan, Centro has developed proposals to ensure
people from across the West Midlands can easily access the HS2
station. The principle connection is a Midland Metro route that
would stop underneath the station and then continue out
through the Digbeth area before terminating at a park and ride
facility close to the inner ring road.

Centro Chief Executive, Geoff Inskip, said: “Even in isolation HS2
offers significant economic benefits for our region yet we can secure so much more by getting the connectivity right. With the
proper transport links we can double the benefits for the West
Midlands, increasing the number of new jobs to 51,000 while
securing an annual boost to the regional economy of more than
£4 billion.

Taking the Metro to Birmingham Curzon is a cornerstone of that
required connectivity. Not only will it provide a quick and
comfortable link for the 12,000 West Midlands people arriving
at the station each hour but it will also serve as an additional
catalyst for growth in Eastside, helping to open up new pockets
of development.”

The tram link would connect the high speed station to a Metro
system already undergoing a major transformation. Work is well
underway on the £128 million extension through the heart of
the city from Snow Hill Station to New Street Station and plans
are also being finalised to take the trams on through a redeveloped
Paradise Circus to the new library in Centenary Square.
A fleet of 20 new trams will also start going into service on the
existing Metro line between Wolverhampton and Birmingham
later this year.

The cost of extending Metro to Curzon Street Station is expected
to be around £50 million with another £55 million to take it
down to the inner ring road. The extension would be designed
to allow future expansion of the tram network to the east of the
city, potentially linking it to Birmingham Airport, the National
Exhibition Centre the UK Central business development.
Mr Inskip added: “Last October Lord Deighton, Chair of the HS2
Growth Taskforce, challenged the regions to put in place the
schemes needed to squeeze every possible benefit from HS2.

That’s exactly what we are doing with the Curzon Masterplan.
Linking the Birmingham Curzon station to the Metro network
will connect the wider West Midlands and especially people in the Black Country to the national and European rail connections
offered by HS2. It would also mean that all of the city’s rail
stations, so from New Street, Snow Hill, Moor Street/Curzon
Street are connected by the Metro network.
Birmingham Curzon needs that connectivity which in turn will
help the region get the most from HS2”.

Contact: Steve Swingler, Media manager:

  • Updated : April 29, 2014

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