Posted 5th February 2010 | 8 Comments
Birmingham New Street work to start this year
WORK on transforming dowdy Birmingham New Street is set to start later this year, after the City Council planning committee approved Network Rail's ambitious £600 million plans for the hub. When the scheme is completed in 2015, passenger capacity will have been doubled.
The Gateway project is backed by Network Rail, Birmingham City Council, Advantage West Midlands, Centro and the Department for Transport.
City Council leader Mike Whitby said: “Today's endorsement sees a further green light given to one of the most important projects undertaken in this city in generations. It has been a long road in securing funding for Gateway but ultimately our vision for a stunning central station that can cope with Birmingham’s 21st century transport demands has been recognised.
“The redeveloped New Street Gateway will provide a focal point for far wider regeneration of the entire city over the next 10-15 years, and is one of the main components of the city's £6 billion worth of publicly funded regeneration projects currently on our books.”
The station is already used by almost 1 million passengers a week, and Network Rail is promising to keep disruption to a minimum. Route Director Jo Kaye made it clear that the business of the station must continue during the rebuilding.
She said: “New Street station will be transformed into a 21st century transport hub. With the backing of the planning authority we are one step closer to realising this vision. We will continue to refine our plans so that we give New Street the new start it deserves and keep the impact on people’s journeys to a minimum.”
New Street opened in 1854, replacing the first Birmingham station at Curzon Street. Although planned on a grand scale, it was bitterly criticised in later years, and was completely rebuilt in the 1960s as part of the London Midland electrification of the West Coast Main Line between London and the north west.
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