FOOTBRIDGE LINK TO HS2 AT CURZON STREET PROPOSED
ON 18 MARCH the West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) launched a concept study detailing how Birmingham’s historic Moor Street station could be redeveloped to cater for growing passenger numbers and tie in with surrounding developments, including the adjacent Curzon Street HS2 station. The document was produced by Grimshaw Architects and Glenn Howells Architects, on behalf of a group that pulled together rail industry partners with Birmingham City Council and HS2 Ltd. Passenger numbers are forecast to grow from seven to 12 million a year by 2043 as Chiltern services continue to grow, local services are enhanced as part of the new West Midlands franchise and Midlands Rail Hub proposals – including the Camp Hill chords – are implemented. The concept study shows options to more than double the size of the concourse from 910m2 to 2,000m2 and deliver new platforms to accommodate growing passenger demand.
The plans include an iconic new transfer deck and links to a new footbridge taking passengers directly to HS2 services at Curzon Street via a new public square. A second entrance is proposed to the south of the station to smooth passenger flow, avoid overcrowding and improve access to the £1.5 billion Smithfield development and Digbeth area.
It is hoped that undercroft areas can be opened up to further improve accessibility and make the most of the Grade II listed station, originally constructed in 1914. Through platforms were added in the 1980s and in 2002 additions were made in a sympathetic heritage style as part of works to construct the new Bullring Shopping Centre.
The vision puts Moor Street at the heart of Birmingham’s ‘One Station’ strategy, devised to ensure seamless links with New Street and Curzon Street stations. The most direct link for passengers interchanging between Moor Street and New Street stations is only 375 metres, although this is currently via a less than satisfactory, fume-filled subterranean passageway.
There are two other routes available that can be upgraded and the study looks at how to improve all three. Various environmental, lighting, signing and public realm interventions are suggested to improve these links and there is also scope to look at the opportunity for electric shuttle vehicles.
The report ‘Birmingham Moor Street Station: The Vision’ is the first stage in setting out possible options to ensure the station is fit for the future. Further engineering feasibility studies are required to progress the concept, which can feed in to a future Outline Business Case for the redevelopment of the station. Pete Brunskill Pete Brunskill was a key member of the working group that prepared the vision for Moor Street station. He has nearly 30 years’ experience of working on station design and city centre development across the country.