West Midlands mayor Andy Street has torn into the proposed designs of HS2 (High Speed 2) stations by Grimshaw and Arup
Writing in The Times, Street said the plans for the Solihull Interchange and Birmingham’s Curzon Street stations had all ‘all the quirkiness and charm of Stansted airport’s baggage drop-off area’ and should be looked at again.
And he said the £56 billion mega-project could ‘save billions’ by using private investment to turn stations into ‘hives of offices, shops, restaurants and apartments’.
The high-speed rail line is currently undergoing an independent review led by Doug Oakervee, with the government set to make a final ‘go or no-go’ decision after the general election in December. But a draft of the Oakervee report, leaked last week, recommends going ahead with minimal changes.
Steet, however, argues there is still time to alter elements of the scheme. ‘Let’s take the opportunity to revisit some of the most exciting visionary parts of the project,’ he said.
The elected mayor’s broadside comes after the MP for Birmingham Hodge Hill, Liam Byrne, described Grimshaw’s design for Curzon Street as ‘not good enough’ earlier this year.
Byrne, an HS2 supporter, said he favoured ‘sending the designs back to the drawing board’.
Grimshaw and Arup are currently reworking their designs for Curzon Street and the Interchange respectively, based on feedback they have received.
Developed designs will be unveiled early next year if the government decides to continue with HS2.
HS2 declined to respond to Street’s comments. Grimshaw and Arup have not responded to a request for comment.
Arup’s designs for Interchange station in Solihull