PERRY BARR STATION: £30 million redevelopment got under way
The £30 million redevelopment of Perry Barr station got under way yesterday, with diggers moving in to demolish the old station.
Due to undergo a complete transformation in time for next summer’s Commonwealth Games, planners say that ‘a new purpose-built standalone station will be constructed over the next 12 months.’
Once completed, the new station will offer increased capacity and ‘vastly’ improved facilities for passengers, such as lift access to the platforms, an improved ticket office, accessible toilets and cycle parking.
The development, being led by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and the West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE), is taking place alongside the wider regeneration of Perry Barr which includes a new road layout and thousands of new homes.
The £30 million funding package will also cover the redevelopment of the bus interchange outside the One Stop Shopping centre, while Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) is also developing a Sprint bus corridor along the A34 and A45 between Walsall, Birmingham and Solihull.
The design of the station received some criticism when it was revealed last year, leading to a redesign which itself was still deemed as unsuitable by many.
However mayor Andy Street, who visited the site yesterday to view the progress, believes the new station will be a huge improvement on the ‘eyesore’ that was the old station.
“This redevelopment of the eyesore Perry Barr station is long overdue, and I am delighted that just days since being re-elected as Mayor we’ve been able to get on with the work and tear the old station down,” he said
“It was a hideous building with poor access for wheelchair and pushchairs, and almost certainly put people off using public transport.
“The new, modern, Perry Barr station will have more space, public toilets, better travel information, and CCTV, to create a far better experience for passengers.
“Given the station will be a gateway to the Commonwealth Games next year, it is absolutely vital we get this much-needed work done.
“The development is also taking shape just at the right time as we look to bounce back quickly from the pandemic – with jobs being created both on site and in the supply chain.
“Infrastructure projects such as this are going to be critical to my plans to create 100,000 jobs and employment opportunities in just two years.”
The redevelopment is taking place alongside the wider regeneration of Perry Barr by the council, with a new road layout, redevelopment of the bus interchange and thousands of new homes also due as part of the £30 million funding package.
And Deputy Leader of the Council Cllr Brigid Jones said it is good to see the progress being made on the new development.
“It is great to see this long-awaited project taking shape,” she said.
“The new station will not only be a vast improvement on what came before, but will also link to the wider transport network through the new bus interchange next door as well as the reliable and rapid bus services along the Sprint corridor and the new safe cycle route stretching from the city centre to Alexander Stadium.
“These improved links are vital if we are to encourage people to switch from cars to more sustainable forms of transport, helping us reduce traffic congestion and move towards achieving our #WM2041 target of being a net zero-carbon region within the next 20 years.”
Words: Tom Dare, Local Democracy Reporter
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