Issue - decisions

23/11/2023 - Birmingham Eastside Extension

(1)     It was noted that sections of the Birmingham Eastside Metro Extension had been successfully delivered in Lower Bull Street (section 1), as well as certain elements between Lower Bull Street and Moor Street Queensway (section 2), which included utility diversions and the demolition of a number of buildings, and that works were due to be completed in Digbeth (section 5) by the end of 2023.


(2)     The change to the delivery schedule for the Birmingham Eastside Extension scheme, which paused metro works whilst Curzon Street station was built following a signed Memorandum of Understanding between HS2 and the Department for Transport and as previously reported to the board, was noted, and it was noted that the Birmingham Eastside Extension schedule could also be impacted by further potential changes to the HS2 programme arising from the recent decision by the Government to cancel the northern parts of the scheme, further detail of which was awaited.


(3)     It was noted that this pause in delivery, and any potential further changes to the HS2 programme, would have an impact on costs due to inflation as previously reported and prolongation of the delivery to the full scheme as a consequence of HS2 works.


(4)     It was noted that the WMCA Board remained committed to completing the full scheme and that work was ongoing with HS2 and Birmingham City Council to finalise designs for both the Curzon Street Station and any resultant changes to the base metro design, and this work would need to be completed in order to produce the full scheme scope and costs including reimbursement from HS2 for the financial impact of delays, and be subject of a further report to board next early next year.


(5)     It was noted that three options had been considered to assess the opportunity to release some early connectivity benefits whilst the scheme was paused as referred to in previous board reports (March and June 2023).


(6)     Option 3 to undertake an interim scheme terminating at a temporary stop alongside Moor Street Queensway at a current cost estimate of £245m, which included all works completed to date, was approved.


(7)     It was noted that the additional funding required of £17m to complete this interim scheme would be provided through the overprogramming of City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement and provided for within the additional headroom provided following the Network North announcements reported in a separate paper to the board.


(8)     The work commencing to progress both development and construction of option 3 was approved, subject to an agreed design and construction methodology with Birmingham City Council as the Planning and Highway Authority, being contained within the £245m estimate and following a value for money assessment and a successful outcome through the single assurance framework.


(9)     It was noted that a comprehensive report would be brought to a future meeting of the board within the next six months, subject to all information available from delivery partners, setting out costs, funding strategy and the programme to complete the Birmingham Eastside Extension in full, including remaining works to sections 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the scheme, and this report would include a revised full business case, including a value for money assessment that would require evaluation through the single assurance framework.