MAJOR investment is to be pumped into Solihull’s transport infrastructure as a result of HS2 and could see Birmingham International among the best connected stations in the world.
That is according to the Urban Growth Company (UGC) which is spearheading the UK Central Hub development – featuring a revamped International station and the new Arden Cross urban quarter which will house the HS2 Interchange.
Around £1.6billion is being invested over ten years to develop the site which is also home to Birmingham Airport, the NEC and Jaguar Land Rover.
Speaking at the launch of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce’s Quarterly Business Report, UGC’s communications head Claire Barker said major plans for a “multi-modal” Birmingham International will put it among the world’s top ten best connected stations.
And, with the arrival of HS2, UGC believe it will boast connectivity to rival Beijing’s Wangjing Station.
Ms Barker said: “What’s really key is bringing in the other types of transport. Birmingham International will be a multi-modal exchange which will have the West Coast Mainline running through it, the metro, the Sprint buses, private vehicles, taxis, a cycling strategy and also pedestrian links.
“Paul Thandi (managing director) of the NEC Group says the only way you can’t travel there is on a boat.
“We think once our improvements to International are in place, it will find itself in the top 10 of the world’s most connected stations, because it connects to the airport as well.
“Because of HS2’s arrival and that added connectivity, it puts us in the same league as Beijing.
“Solihull in the same league as Beijing – that is what we’re working towards.”