Q. Why are you investing at New Street?

A. Every year, more people travel through New Street than Gatwick Airport. Congestion is a major problem with access routes frequently becoming overcrowded. We are planning to invest £500m in order to ensure that the station can handle the forecast increase in passenger numbers. The “Gateway” scheme will deliver 150 per cent more passenger capacity as well as offering a whole range of benefits, including economic development and regeneration.

Q. What are you proposing to do at the station?

A. We are planning to transform New Street station to build:

  • Increased passenger capacity to over 52 million people a year
  • Brighter, cleaner and clearer platforms, reached by 42 new escalators and 14 new lifts
  • A new 10,500 sq. m. concourse, three and a half times bigger than the current one
  • A giant light-filled atrium, roofed with the same material used on the Eden Project
  • New, comfortable, airport style waiting lounges
  • New and improved pedestrian links to Moor St station and across the city

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Q. How long will it take to redevelop New Street?

A. The redevelopment of Birmingham New Street is expected to take approximately 4 ½ years. With the right funding decision from the Government, we hope to begin work in late 2008.

Q. What benefits would this bring?

A. The benefits from this programme would be wide a varied:

  • Passengers - Our plans will increase the space at platform and concourse levels, making it easier and more comfortable for passengers to move around. Passengers will also benefit from a more pleasant travelling environment as we open up the station interior bringing natural light into what are presently dark and cramped conditions.
  • Local and regional economy - Our plans for New Street will act as a catalyst for economic growth and development in the region. They will create an estimated 2,200 to 3,200 jobs and provide better access to existing job markets and training. This will contribute significantly to the region’s drive to secure investment through new business opportunities and increased tourism and enhance the city’s image as a great place to live and work.
  • Local environment – The proposals would transform the station and surrounding area, bringing it in line with the renaissance of Birmingham city centre in recent years. The proposals would also create new public spaces for people to enjoy.

Q. Will the plans remove essential parking spaces?

A. The plans would take half of the capacity from the NCP next to New Street station. We have done preliminary work to assess the availability of local parking and are confident that parking demand can be met once New Street has been redeveloped. We will continue to work with the local authority to ensure this is the case.

Q. Is this the final design for the station?

A. The outline proposals have the support of all key stakeholders in the area, and the New Street Gateway Programme is essential to the continued regeneration of Birmingham and the economic success of the West Midlands. The final scheme design has yet to be approved and will be developed in close consultation with local groups, including Birmingham Council’s planning committee and the detail of delivery will be improved over time

Q. How much would the redevelopment of New Street cost?

A. Gateway is a £550m project with £150m funded by the private sector. We have invested a great deal of time to ensure that the project is value for money and achievable in as quick a timescale as possible.

Q. When can building work begin to upgrade the station?

A. Timings are dependent on a satisfactory funding decision by the Government. If a decision is taken by summer 2007, construction could begin at the end of 2008.

Q. What will be done about affordable housing when Stephenson Tower is demolished?

A. The Gateway scheme offers a sustainable solution for the local environment, including housing. At least 10% of housing created within the proposed new towers would be reserved for affordable housing.

Q. Were there any objections to the Gateway proposals?

A. The proposals have the support of all key stakeholders in the region. However, as with most if not all development proposals of this scale, there were some objections raised during the scrutiny of these outline plans. We will work closely with each of these interested parties, and others, to improve final designs so that they offer the best solution for Birmingham and the region.

Q. Will there be any disruption for passengers?

A. The Gateway project has been carefully designed to minimise disruption to passengers and train services. The station will be redeveloped in two phases, therefore remaining fully operational throughout.

Q. Are you making provision to safeguard land for future rail schemes (to ensure there is sufficient capacity on the network)?

A. It is very important that we plan for the future. Our plans are compatible with measures to provide longer and more frequent trains between London and Birmingham and we are committed to working with the Government should any future decision be taken on an intercity High Speed Line. Birmingham City Council are presently protecting an area of land that would allow for two extra tracks to run from Proof House junction on the north side of the existing track into a terminal platform beneath New Street Station and Moor Street Station.

Q. Wouldn’t it be better to build a new station outside of the city centre?

A. No. A new station would be unnecessary duplication at a very high cost to taxpayers. The rail network is capable of handling the increased volume of passengers, provided that our plans to redevelop New Street get support from the Government. We want to turn New Street into a world-class station that will act as a catalyst for economic growth and development in Birmingham and the West Midlands, creating an estimated 2,200 to 3,200 new job opportunities.

Q. Why is it important that everyone gets behind the scheme?

A. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the City. Confusion and distraction from the development of the Gateway scheme could risk Birmingham's rail transport network going unchanged for the foreseeable future. This would suffocate Birmingham's aspiration to grow as a modern city with world-class facilities.