THERE is just under a week left for residents to have their say and help shape the future of transport across the borough over the next 20 years – but could that future see the railway station being moved closer to the town centre?
Solihull Council is urging people to have their say on the Solihull Connected project by filling out an online poll at: www.solihull.gov.uk/solihullconnected before September 30.
The project features a variety of suggestions, options and ideas on how Solihull and its surrounding areas, including the NEC, Birmingham Airport and HS2 Interchange could be best-served over the next two decades.
Included in this is a suggestion that consideration should be given to Solihull railway station being moved closer to the town centre – close to Monkspath Hall Road and the long-stay car park.
The part of the proposal in question – which can be found on pages 42 and 43 of the online document reads:
“Should the Rail Station Move?
“As part of an overarching Town Centre master plan a detailed investigation should be made into the opportunities
to better integrate the rail station into the central area.
“The existing railway station is a 10-15 minute walk from the town centre along Station Approach and Homer Road
which is a route that is not particularly welcoming to pedestrians and cyclists.
“It has the feel of a suburban station which is perceived as being poorly connected to the Town Centre.
“An assessment should be made of this journey and what could be done to improve the station environs and walking and cycling experience to the town centre.
“There may also be development opportunities to enhance the station area and these should be investigated.”
As the largest single possible change up for discussion, The Observer asked Solihull Council how likely a move was for the railway station.
And a Council spokesperson said: “The Green Paper does consider the possibility and implications of relocating Solihull Station, but it is not a formal proposal.
“It is intended only to promote discussion about what can be done to improve public transport integration and make public transport more accessible.
“In any case any formal proposal to relocate the station would need to be developed through a review of the Council’s land use plan, the Solihull Local Plan.
“We know we need to cater for the increased travel demand from job growth and new homes, hence asking for people to look into the future and help us make plans that will keep Solihull moving in 20 years’ time.”
Consultation on the Green Paper runs until September 30.
More information and consultation questionnaires are available at http://www.solihull.gov.uk/solihullconnected
Responses to the consultation will be considered via the Council’s formal Committee processes, culminating in the production next year of a Solihull Connected White Paper, which will set out the Council’s transport strategy for the next 20 years.
What do you think? E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org with your views on the project and the possibility of the station moving.