Paradise – What is Really Happening

This article spells out some detail arrangements for road and pedestrian routes that will happen in the near future.

Image by kind permission of Argent

In my last article on this I reported on the upcoming changes to the road and pedestrian routes there would be in the near future and illustrated the leaflet issued by the Paradise Developers Argent.

It did not spell out the practicalities of what you will or will not be able to navigate in the complex area around Paradise.

The following information was gleaned from a recent meeting with the Paradise Developers, Argent. As such it is hearsay and not necessarily fact. In addition, it must be realised that the road and pedestrian route changes are complex and subject to change due to problems encountered. So, the plans are difficult to implement on a fixed timeline.

I will try to obtain updated plans and will publish these on this website.

Road Routes

R1.    From 15 November the section of the Paradise Circus Queensway running under the old library from Great Charles Street to Paradise Street will be permanently closed.

R2.    From this date the section of Paradise Circus Queensway running between Centenary Square and the old library will carry two-way traffic, a single lane in each direction. This will continue until Summer 2016.

R3.    Travelling from Great Charles Street, it will not be possible to turn into Cambridge Street or Broad Street from Paradise Circus Queensway. This is a permanent arrangement.
So, to get to the Brindley Place area will require either continuing along to Holloway Circus and doubling back up to Broad Street or Cambridge Street or taking a route through the Jewellery Quarter, perhaps to the Sandpits island at the bottom of Newhall Hill.
Buses will follow the Holloway Circus alternative.

R4.    It is not absolutely certain, but the Sandpits island will not be closed totally from 18 October as shown on the maps. However, it will be closed during the overnight closures.
However, it is likely that the island will be closed during the overnight works:
Sunday 25 to Wednesday 28 October 22:00 to 04:00
See published plan (opens in new window).

R5.    Buses will eventually be able to turn right into Broad Street from the the section of Paradise Circus Queensway running between Centenary Square and the old library. Eventually there will be traffic lights to enable buses to turn right into Broad Street, The Metro tram extension will also cross at these lights.

R6.    Eventually Cambridge Street will be returned to two way traffic allowing cars to enter the A38 (Great Charles Street) and Parade . They will not be aided by traffic lights.

Note: Holiday Street and Bridge Street will remain open to two-way traffic and not as one-way as suggested by the maps.

Pedestrian Routes

P1.    The plan is that from 1st November this year it will not be possible to walk between Centenary Square and Chamberlain Square via the internal corridor of the old Birmingham Library , ie Paradise Forum.
However, latest indications are that Work on this is suffering a slight delay and the corridor will not close until this work is completed and is ready to open for all users.

P2.     Instead, a new pathway is being constructed from the old library end of the bridge alongside the Paradise Circus Queensway to a widened Fletcher’s Walk (the  passageway that runs under the Birmingham Conservatoire ). This pathway will be quite wide to take the large flow of pedestrians to and from the Centenary Square and Brindley Place area. However there will be steps down from the bridge. To cater for wheelchair users and people with walking difficulties, a lift will be installed having passed under the bridge from the new path.
Latest indications are that Work on this is suffering a slight delay thus the old pathway, through the internal corridor of the old Birmingham Library, will not close until this work is completed and is ready to open for all users.

P3.    To complete the route into the city centre a pathway will cross the closed Paradise Circus Queensway at the end of Fletchers Walk.

P4.    At the end of 2017 a walkway between the two new buildings – One  and Two Chamberlain Square – will be opened but the buildings will not have been completed and will be fronted with boards.

Note: The Christmas Craft Market will no long occupy the bridge nor Chamberlain Square but will occupy Centenary Square.


Demolition of the old library demolition starts in November this year and is to be completed by June/July 2016.
The contractors are DSM who recently worked on the preparation for Arena Central.

Two giant 65m high demolition cranes (the largest in the Uk currently) will be positioned by the north-east and south-east corners of the library. They will have giant jaws which will nibble away at the concrete structure and the spoils of this will be loaded into lorries using Great Charles Street and Paradise Street to gain access to the site.

The Chamberlain Square stone statues of Joseph Priestley and James Watt have been removed and stored at the Museum Collection Centre. The bronze statue of Thomas Attwood situated on steps in the square will also be removed and put into storage. All three statues will eventually be installed in the new Chamberlain Square.

The old Council car park under Chamberlain Square will remain.

The Copthorne Hotel will still exist for “many years”. It is to be hoped that the noisy air conditioning plant will be silenced.

Article By Geoff Caine

About Geoff Caine

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