Passengers using Birmingham’s Snow Hill Station are to get a new entrance so they can switch seamlessly between local rail and tram services.
An image of how the new eastern entrance will look was released today (Tuesday December 18) by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
TfWM also announced the appointment of leading independent infrastructure specialist Barhale to build the £1.5 million project.
The scheme involves opening up another of the arches under the Victorian viaduct that carries trains and the West Midland Metro trams into the city centre.
At the moment passengers wanting to get from the West Midlands Metro stop at St Chads to trains in Snow Hill Station have to walk down a flight of external steps and then along A4440 Queensway before turning into Livery Street and accessing the station through its second entrance. Alternatively they have to walk past the Snowhill Three, Two and One office developments and into the main Snow Hill entrance.
The new third entrance will remove both of these external walks and instead give passengers a direct way into the station from the tram stop.
Rail passengers wanting to catch a Metro service will also get direct access without having to leave the station.
Cllr Roger Lawrence, WMCA portfolio holder for transport, said:
This new entrance to Snow Hill is one of several exciting projects in our long term rail development programme which aims to transform train travel in the West Midlands over the coming years. Building the eastern entrance is a positive improvement that we can deliver in the short term, with the potential for more ambitious plans for the station being developed as part of the Snow Hill Growth Strategy.”
The project will see Barhale construct the entrance beneath the existing brick arch viaduct which is enclosed by a reinforced concrete wall at the station’s Livery Street end, where the second entrance was built more than a decade ago.
Work on the new entrance is set to start in summer 2019, and it will link into the existing Livery Street entrance to the station.
Cllr Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council and WMCA portfolio holder for economic growth, said:
Improving the links between local rail and tram services will lead to a much better passenger experience, further cementing Snow Hill's importance to our ambitious growth plans for Birmingham and the wider West Midlands. Better connectivity will make this an even more attractive place to work and invest, helping us create more jobs and opportunities for the people of the region."
Paul Edwards, contracts manager at Barhale, added:
The main challenge for construction will be to break through the reinforced concrete wall at the Livery Street end of the station to form the new access. This is in the operational side of the station and so the works will take place outside of station opening hours with dust proof screens erected to keep out debris. This will allow ‘business as usual’ at Snow Hill station during the works.”
New ticketing, security and travel information facilities will also be provided in the new entrance as well as wayfinding signage between the entrance and the St Chads Metro stop.
The new entrance is expected to be in operation in late 2019 with Metro and rail services unaffected during the construction period.
Brenda Lawrence, West Midlands Railway’s head of stations, said:
The future of public transport is all about making it easier and simpler for passengers to move seamlessly between different modes of travel. The third Snow Hill entrance, connecting the railway station with the Metro, is another important step towards that goal.”