Acocks Green Railway Station Lifts

Lifts Scheme - Acocks Green Station - Artist Impression - cropped-1

Update

We visited the exhibition today at Acocks Green Railway Station. Quite a few people came. To be honest, the crew behind the table seemed a tad defensive and not very used to dealing with community activists. The idea that we might be less than ecstatic about what was on offer seemed to surprise them. ‘But most people like grey – all the London Tube Stations have been painted grey now.’ (Perhaps it had been a busy day: maybe someone needed at the point to pop out and check the building they were in? It’s Tuesday … an Edwardian suburban railway station in Brum, not a London Tube Station, duuhh) and ‘They will just disappear, when you look at then, honestly they will.’ (Someone been watching too much Dr Who?)

Unfortunately for them, they also had brought with them the design which had originally been produced and rejected on grounds of cost: Let’s have a look:

The withdrawn option

The withdrawn option

This, note involves red brick which roughly matches the station and hipped roofs. This came in at 50K over budget, apparently. (Or 50K over what someone was planning to keep in profit??) How do you keep ’em down on the farm … They tried the level bestest to persuade us that grey was nicer. So widely approved across the country – oh and if we were asked to pick another colour we wouldn’t agree and we would argue among ourselves, so it is best if we let the grown-ups (er, lift engineers and Centro folk) do it for us. They really were starting to look as though they would like to send these ungrateful people who had opinions about what was right and wrong in their own suburb to bed without any supper.

Finally, however, we have agreement. We will be sent a range of lift colours to look at. Remember how we chose the green and gold for the centre of Acocks Green all by ourselves and without anyone having to sit on the naughty step for not agreeing and getting cross? Looks like we will be doing it again – choosing the colours, not sitting on the naughty step (Not even on the station steps – we will be getting lifts remember) Watch this space.

Also, possibly we could have some ornamentation on the sides: not utterly blank? Maybe – watch this space.

They also finally conceded that the roof top design is not final. This was another design they were also working on.

Acocks Green Lifts - Another Design with Flat Roof

So if they are also looking at that one – with a slightly sloped, rather than curved, roof then maybe they could do a hipped roof whilst they were at it. They sounded slightly surprised, but agreed they could. Again, watch this space.

They should be sending us some more piccies – soon.

There is another take on the viewing of the Acocks Green lifts here from Roger Harmer

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Acocks Green Railway Station has long been awaiting a pair of lifts so that less physically able people can use the station. It is is clearly important that these facilities are provided and it is very good to know that we will have this facility soon. Centro has a arranged a viewings of the design at Acocks Green Railway Station booking office from 3.30-6.00 pm on Tuesday 26 November. There will also be opportunity to comment. Work is due to start in December. For more info you can download A leaflet about Acocks Green Railway Station lifts Scheme here

However, howdo you feel looking at these particular lift shafts? Comments we have received so far include ‘Do they have to be so grey?’ and ‘Why not use more brick facing?’

These lifts will be in a proposed Conservation Area (completion expected about next April). Is it a pity that they do not more closely reflect the station building behind? What about matching brick colour, or hipped roofs?

Here are a few other lift shafts towers in a few other stations. Some of these are in posher areas than Acocks Green … areas which already have Conservation Status (Ahem.) But do keep going for our favourite: the Smethwick (Galton Bridge) one … we had to double check to make sure this really was lift towers. It is.

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This is a brick clad pair – fairly plain but the roof part has a little more depth than the Acocks Green models.

Station Lifts - Bracknell

Station Lifts – Bracknell

These are again brick clad – broken up by a set of contrast strips.

Station Lifts - Northumberland

Station Lifts – Northumberland

Brick clad in a warmer coloured brick – you can just see station buildings in the background which match in colour. Again the roof is slightly more substantial, making the columns feel a little less tall, and visual balancing is also added by a small window in the top of each. The deep cabins at the base help to break up the height.

Station Lifts - Canterbury

Station Lifts – Canterbury

The tower in the foreground here obviously needed to blend with the church as well as the station, so brick colour is important, but the hipped roof matches that of the station as well. There are finishing corner stones, too.

Station Lifts - Lincoln

Station Lifts – Lincoln

Another approach – open sides with glass may feel less overpowering.

Station Lifts - Ireland

What a diference hipped roofs can make!

Station Lifts - Smethwick, Galton Bridge - note the difference hipped roofs make!

Station Lifts – Smethwick, Galton Bridge

Brand new this year – note smart green edging relieves the plain brickwork – nice see-thru bridge, as well.

Station Lifts, Cambridge (2013)

Station Lifts, Cambridge (2013)

Or maybe our lift towers are a stunning example of a modern design deliberately planned to make a striking contrast to our particular traditional railway station … yes, well maybe … have you checked out the equally stunning design, no doubt also carefully planned to make a contrast etc etc exclusively for Selly Oak …

Selly Oak lift towers (As exclusively designed for Selly Oak … ?)

Why not go to the Tuesday viewings and let Centro know what you think … or, if you can’t make the viewings, or are reading this too late, drop them a line: [email protected] or [email protected]

3 Responses to “Acocks Green Railway Station Lifts”

  1. treaclemine says:

    Those less physically able to use stairs include: those with heavy baggage (luggage or shopping etc.), those with small children (buggies, babes in arms, toddlers), those extending their public transport range using cycles with rail, those with injuries as well as of course those differently abled from stair-a-thon experts.

    • Julia says:

      Couldn’t agree more. Have also done the whole pushchair bit, incidentally, and with a heavy old fashioned pushchair and a two/three/four year old and no-one to help – single parent – haven’t forgotten! And also now have had to deal with very elderly and fragile people these past few years who no way could get up those stairs Until I recently had parents who could barely walk and now spend quite a lot of my time helping elderly Mum-in-Common-Law with Zimmer – and, not getting any younger myself, and have sometimes been known to take lifts myself because I couldn’t face stairs at that point! Of course we need the lifts. However, surely all of those in that list also have the right to look at something a bit more attractive and fitting for Acocks Green? I would have been very angry as a young struggling Mum to be told that the look of the thing didn’t matter at all dearie as long as I could manage a bit more easily!

      What we hope we have achieved now is some kind of compromise at least where we still get the lifts but they might look a bit nicer … for struggling Mums, people with zimmers, wheelchairs etc etc – everyone – don’t we all have a right for our area to be treated with respect – not just er, ‘stair-a-thon experts?

  2. […] The main concern about the lift towers is that while grey may blend into the November sky above Acocks Green, its not sympathetic to the local red brick architecture – which will soon hopefully be protected by becoming  a Conservation Area. Following tough questioning from Julia Larden of Acocks Green Focus Group, Centro agreed to look at changing the colour to fit in better with the rest of the station and also to look at capping the towers with a hipped roof – which would also be more sympathetic to the main station building. For more details you can look at the article on the Focus Group’s website here. […]

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