Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Digbeth Coach Station

Digbeth Coach Station
This is Digbeth Coach Station. If you arrive in Birmingham by National Express coach, this is where you’ll end up. As you can see from the picture above, it’s highly depressing.

It’s a rather unglorified shed, with a dirty corrugated iron roof and painted concrete floor. It doesn’t give a good first impression of Birmingham, which is now very much on the up. You’d think that with all of the nice new architecture being put into the centre of the city that they’d do something here, but obviously not. But then Birmingham New Street is also quite depressing and dark too.

Still, if Bradford can manage a reasonably good coach station then why can’t Britain’s second-largest city?

Anyway, yes, I arrived safely at Hari’s parents house yesterday.


  1. Birmingham’s also one of the major hubs for National Express, so you’d have thought that would have some influence. It’s several years since I last had to spend any time in Birmingham waiting for a coach, it doesn’t appear to have changed much.

  2. It’s been a long time since I travelled by coach but Heathrow’s not bad (open air) but Victoria is quite dark and depressing too. Cardiff and Swansea are also open air and it’s surprising the difference it makes.
    I wonder if it’s because many of our major rail stations were built by the victorians who had a bit of a knack for building large, light-filled stations (Bath, Windsor, Bristol Temple Meads, Paddington, Waterloo, etc.)
    Modern railway stations (e.g. Croydon) seem to have mostly kept to the light, airy feel so I don’t know why coach stations have gone the other way. Economics?
    I sound like a bit of an anorak now don’t I? 😉

  3. ooh-er
    This rather suggests that the plan to send mother by coach, with a 50 min stopover at Digbeth coach station is not the bright Idea that I thought it was! Can I ask those of you clearly in the know – will she be able to get a cup of tea and a bun?? And she’s toting a very technical walking aid, as well as suitcase….
    Is the train a better idea?

  4. Digbeth is depressing but at last there is some sign that it will be improved. Negociations are in place to move the bus services over to the other side of the A45 while the station is rebuilt. Hopefully they will do something like what happened in Bristol. You can get tea and a bun in the station but there are also a couple of cheap cafes just outside, literally a few paces, I used to get a bacon sandwich there on a Sunday morning, great value.

  5. Come back in a few years. Ken Shuttleworth, architect of London’s gherkin, has drawn up preliminary plans for the new Digbeth coach station. All being well building work will begin soon.

  6. Just to say that Birmingham will get a brand new coach station. It has been approved some years ago. Just waiting for National Express to start the work, which should have started beginning of Januray 2007. Apparently it is a very good design by an International Architect.

  7. National express is a nice place to work and i would like to work ther as a coach driver