In one of the first steps to enable the planned Birmingham Eastside extension, which will serve the new HS2 Curzon Street Station, the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and HS2 have agreed to work together to deliver the necessary utility diversions.
Located between Bull Street and Digbeth, the West Midlands Metro Eastside extension is being developed by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the WMCA, and will help better connect HS2 to wider Birmingham and the Black Country through the tram network.
Forming the heart of the high speed network, the new HS2 station in Birmingham has been designed to allow for future improvements to the public space to ensure inclusive, seamless transport connections for local people.
There are also steps being taken to help provide retail and commercial development opportunities, as well as drive local investment and regeneration.
To facilitate these ambitions, HS2 and WMCA have developed joint plans to ensure the utility diversions needed around the new HS2 Curzon Street station will futureproof the area for the city’s tram extension.
The works are set to be carried out by HS2’S enabling works contractor over the coming year to form part of the preparation work for the station.
The plans will lay the foundations for the new route to serve the HS2 station, as well as providing connections with the Birmingham New Street, Moor Street and Snow Hill railway stations.
Alongside a number of other projects, the Birmingham Eastside Metro extension is being planned, designed and delivered by the Midland Metro Alliance, on behalf of TfWM.
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said: “This agreement with HS2 shows that we are preparing the ground to ensure we are ready to begin construction of our Eastside Metro extension in the New Year.
"This extension, which will run through Digbeth and the new HS2 Curzon Street Station, is not only part of our wider transport plan for the region, but it will also help create and protect jobs at a challenging time for our economy. The benefits to people both short and long-term will be immense, and it is critical we now press on with the construction.”
HS2’s Project Director for Curzon Street Station, Tom Wilne, added: “We’re extremely pleased to reach this agreement with WMCA, and will continue to work with them and our other partners, including Birmingham City Council, Transport for the West Midlands, Midland Metro Alliance and Network Rail to ensure that HS2 delivers additional benefits to Birmingham and the wider region.
“HS2 is already playing a pivotal role in helping Britain’s economic recovery, with 7,000 jobs being created in the Midlands as the project moves into construction. It is also crucial to the country’s low carbon future by providing a cleaner, greener way to travel, helping to cut the number of cars and lorries on our congested roads.”