HS2 Ltd has been asked to revise the current plans for a parkway-style station on the 350-acre site known as Arden Cross on the outskirts of Solihull.
The UK Central Solihull Urban Growth Company (UGC) has said that the current plans for the Birmingham Interchange station don’t reflect the region’s ambitions. It would like to see the Hybrid Bill, which was passed earlier this year, amended so that the necessary infrastructure can be delivered.
The new station is due to open in 2026 and the UCG wants to take it further than just a rail interchange with associated parking to put it at the centre of a ”fully-connected, urban quarter”.
The changes requested include altering bridges, moving roads and creating new landscape features to revising car park layouts, incorporating pedestrianised connections and making provisions for other future public transport links. The site is situated on Junction 6 of the M42 motorway adjacent to Birmingham Airport and the National Exhibition Centre.
It says the changes will be paid for by the West Midlands Combined Authority through its HS2 Growth Strategy Fund secured as part of its devolution agreement. The formal request for the change is backed by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority
West Midlands mayor Andy Street said: “HS2 is one of the biggest public sector infrastructure investments ever in this country and the West Midlands is uniquely positioned to benefit from this project.
“This submission demonstrates our ambition in making the most of HS2. What we are looking for is to go beyond a railway station and create something far bolder.
“HS2 will put this part of the region at the heart of the UK’s high speed rail network, with easy access to an international airport and the UK’s motorway network. This all combines to make it the best connected place in the country, something we need to make the most of.”
Earlier this summer a senior official from Birmingham Airport said it could build a new terminal building in or next to the station site.
HS2 Ltd said that any changes to the Hybrid Bill would have to go through the government.
The call comes as the Department for Transport goes out to consultation on what the Crewe hub will look like. This incudes the vision for a hub station at Crewe and infrastructure options for enabling more HS2 services to stop at Crewe, providing the opportunity to serve Stoke and potentially other destinations.
New Civil Engineer has asked the Department for Transport for a response.