The government has pledged £50M to develop proposals for transport improvements around the High Speed 2 (HS2) Birmingham Interchange Station.
The funding commitment was made as part of the Budget announcement made today (3 March).
The Budget statement says that this “will help support regeneration at Arden Cross in Solihull”.
The station, which will be at the heart of the HS2 network in the Midlands, recently became the first railway station globally to achieve the BREEAM “Outstanding” certification at the design stage – a measure of sustainability for new and refurbished buildings.
The new Interchange station is the penultimate station before the new high speed line terminates atBirmingham Curzon Street station.
The full site will be 150ha in size, and is set to support 5,000 new homes and offer a link to Birmingham of under 45 minutes to 1.3M people.
Other budget pledges relating to rail include a £59M investment to construct five new stations in the West Midlands, cutting journey times from Willenhall, Darlaston and south-west Birmingham into the city centre.
The Budget will also unlock more than £40M of funding to reinstate passenger services on the Okehampton-Exeter line, subject to final approval of costs and contracts.
Despite this Railway Industry Association chief executive Darren Caplan bemoaned a lack of clarity regarding the government’s rail enhancement pipeline.
“The Chancellor himself said in his speech that “for business, certainty matters”, and with today marking 500 days since the Rail Network Enhancement Pipeline was last published, we would once again urge the Government to provide the rail sector with visibility of upcoming rail schemes, so crucial to the UK developing a world-class network for the future,” Caplan said.
“This is not about seeking more budget; rail suppliers simply need the updated pipeline of rail upgrades to be published, along with the Integrated Rail Plan and the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, to help them build up capabilities and skills, and ultimately support jobs and investment at what is a very difficult time for everyone.”