HS2 and Digbeth/Eastside

You will have probably already heard that HS2, the high speed rail network between Birmingham and London, has been approved. But what does this mean for Digbeth?

Quite a lot actually.

Digbeth Resident’s Association Chairperson Val recently sent me a link to this article on the Guardian. Although I don’t fully agree with the author, I do agree on the main point of his article: HS2 is a HUGE cost to the tax payer. And call me stupid, but I was pretty sure we were/are in the midst of an economic crisis?

Birmingham architect Joe Holyoak, who has offices in the Custard Factory put it like this:

I am very concerned about the impact of the HS2 station upon the relationship between Digbeth and the city centre. The station threatens to reproduce the barrier between the two which the previous elevated ring road represented. The removal of the ring road, and the establishment of better ground level connections, was the first act of the Eastside team following the Eastside designation. HS2 would reverse this accessibility, with Bordesley Street and Fazeley Street being blocked. Between Selfridges and the old Curzon Street Station building, there will be no way of walking between Digbeth and the city centre.

The proposed HS2 station is discussed in the Eastside Masterplan (file download), which is available from the Birmingham City Council website. If you don’t agree with anything in the document, make sure your voice is heard!

Consultation for the Eastside Masterplan is open until 23rd March 2012; make your comments by emailing bigcityplan@birmingham.gov.uk.

Remember that HS2 and its affect on Digbeth will be discussed at the Digbeth Summit on 16th February. If you’d like to attend, make sure to RSVP!

Pamela Pinski

Digbeth and Proud

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