New Street Gateway Is 'Exactly the Right Solution' RAILWAYS an MPs' Report Published Today Casts Doubt on the Redevelopment of New Street Station. Birmingham City Council and Network Rail Respond to That Criticism, Writes Emma Brady

The Birmingham Post (England), July 21, 2008 | Go to article overview

New Street Gateway Is 'Exactly the Right Solution' RAILWAYS an MPs' Report Published Today Casts Doubt on the Redevelopment of New Street Station. Birmingham City Council and Network Rail Respond to That Criticism, Writes Emma Brady


Byline: Emma Brady

The deputy leader of Birmingham City Council, Councillor Paul Tilsley, is insistent in his defence of the pounds 600 million New Street Gateway scheme.

"There is no Plan B, this is the only plan there is," he said.

"If they the Government start prevaricating over the development of New Street it will completely crock the whole rail network, as it is at the cross-roads of the West Coast Main Line and Cross Country routes."

It was only last week that the city council started sending out compulsory purchase orders to businesses affected by the redevelopment.

If approved by the Government, the CPO scheme will allow the city council to acquire the land it needs to deliver the new-look station by 2014.

The council has also revised upwards the number of new jobs likely to be created by the Gateway scheme, from 5,000 to 11,000, and Coun Tilsley was defiant that that would not be put at risk.

"We've jumped through every hoop that the Government have asked us to jump through," he said. "We got the go-ahead for New Street this time last year, so I'm beginning to wonder if this is something to do with the financial situation they find themselves in right now.

"All partners have been signed up and I do think it's a bit rich that this is coming out now, seeing as we've completed sending out compulsory purchase orders.

"The Birmingham Grand Central idea died some time ago after the land was sold on Eastside, so there is no Plan B. The alternative died a death some time ago, so we must get on with the redevelopment of New Street.

"I think the conclusions reached in the Transport Select Committee's report are somewhat out of date.

"The situation is such that we need to have urgent discussions with Liam Byrne on the future of this project to find out what, as Minister for the West Midlands and the most powerful person in the region according to The Birmingham Post Power 50 list, he can do about it. …

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