Last Thursday 7th November, Chair of DRA John Gordon attended a Council meeting focussed on Maximising the Impact of HS2:
“Digbeth Residents Association is broadly in favour of HS2, but we are keen to see good connectivity (including connectivity to the coach station and the High Street), community compensation for the impact on Eastside Park, consideration for the community during the construction phase, quality environmental and public realm responses, and appropriate steps to ensure that Digbeth, and the people who live there, share in the economic benefits that should flow from the project.”
DRA are delighted to say that the meeting gave serious consideration to the option of a tramline connecting HS2 to Digbeth Coach Station, Birmingham International Airport, and the east of the city as far as Coventry. The proposed tramway would leave the new terminal down Fazeley Street, and arrive in Digbeth via New Canal Street, before heading east along the High Street.
John continued: “Our response to the HS2 Draft Environmental Statement called for a commitment to a link with the National Express Coach Station, preferably leading through Digbeth to the airport. Linking both existing and emerging communities in Digbeth via a tramway has the capacity to create an inviting promenade through Digbeth, and facilitate the flow of economic and social resources in our direction. It would also help define Digbeth as a welcoming, clean and safe part of the city.”
“We would like to thank Nechells Ward Councillor Ali, as both Digbeth and DRA received recognition throughout the meeting, and the need to ensure good connectivity between Eastside and Digbeth was regularly referenced.”
This is great news for residents of Digbeth, who would have the best of both worlds – being just a short distance from the city centre, and less than 20 minutes from the airport. The benefits of this project could be felt very soon since it was made clear throughout the meeting that the infrastructure connecting transport links in the city centre should precede the completion of the HS2 terminal.
For more information on the meeting, click here to see the supporting documents, and here to watch the meeting in full, which was broadcast live via the web.