The West Midlands has enjoyed strong growth in recent years on the back of its manufacturing prowess. The region is likely to benefit further from the HS2 line that is planned to pass through the region. In a bid to prepare itself for the influx of visitors and to improve the public transport network for residence, the Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council has commissioned Mott MacDonald to develop a new integrated public transport hub that connects the major incoming transport hubs with regional sites of interest.
The West Midlands has enjoyed steady growth in recent years, on the back of a continuation of its long tradition of manufacturing and export, as well as its relative proximity to London. Much of the region is expecting to see increased economic activity in the coming years, partly due to the potential HS2 line that will pass near Birmingham on its passage north.
In a bid to prepare itself for the potential additional economic activity within the region, the Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council – with one of the highest regional GVA in the UK – has commissioned Mott MacDonald, in partnership with architects Grimshaw, to deliver a comprehensive integrated transport study.
The study will provide comprehensive analysis, and development, of the surface modes of transport that can connect Birmingham International Station to the planned Birmingham Interchange HS2 station and other landmarks in the region. The study will also involve the development of an outline for the new integrated public transport hub, as well as strategic advice, stakeholder engagement, risk management, architecture, engineering and cost estimating services. The consultancy firm is also said to be offering the Council with planning advice, transport modelling, business case development, funding and financing advice and environmental appraisals. One of the stakeholder with whom the firm will engage is Birmingham Airport and the National Exhibition Centre, in a bid to integrate the hub within the wider ‘masterplans’ of some of the region’s most important features.
The new plan is set to be completed by 2017, with the project delivered before the completion of Phase 1 of the HS2, in 2026. The project was supported (50%) by funding from the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility, with additional support from the private sector.