UK: Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly announced on February 12 that the Birmingham Gateway project to reconstruct the city's New Street station had obtained the funding needed to proceed. Work is planned to start in 2009 for completion by 2014.

The Department for Transport will contribute £288m; another £100m will come through regional development agency Advantage West Midlands, and £200m from the private sector.

The first phase of the new 10 500 m² concourse above the west end of the station is due to be completed by 2011.

The congested current station dates from a 1967 rebuild of the site. A major hub in the UK rail network, New Street is currently used by 31 million passengers a year, with traffic expected to grow 30% in 10 years.

At present there are only five escalators linking the five island platforms with the concourse above. The new station will have 31 escalators and five rather than two public entrances.

The business case for the Gateway scheme was developed by Steer Davies Gleave for Network Rail, Birmingham City Council, Advantage West Midlands and local transport executive Centro.