Dear Mr Morton
I refer to your enquiry below, dated 21 August 2013.
It has been over 30 years since the last upgrade of the Subway and we believe that the time is right to bring it into the modern age. The upgrade of signage at Cessnock is part of that work and will enable us to establish a consistent and contemporary external design for the Subway in advance of the Commonwealth Games next year.
SPT’s refreshed external signage was given full planning permission last year and approved on the basis that SPT is delivering improved signs with higher quality materials and better lighting which will result in clearly visible entry points for the Subway and better accessibility for customers.
We believe it will help anyone wanting to travel underground, to identify the Subway quickly and easily and in turn, encourage more people to use it. The distinct design also aligns perfectly with the overall plans for the modern refurbishment of each station.
That does not mean we will forget our heritage. Many elements of the 70’s design – brought in during the last modernisation of the system – will be preserved and we are endeavouring to capture as much of that as possible during the upgrade. Pieces of significance are being stored and we are in discussion with the Riverside Museum and others about how people might enjoy these again in future.
The Cessnock metal arches are part of that preservation strategy. Despite the fact they may not be considered as architecturally significant (they are a pastiche rather than an original Greek Thomson or Rennie Macintosh design), we do appreciate that they have been a key part of the area since 1989 when they were installed. One arch has already been safely dismantled and put into storage and we are currently considering the removal of the second.
We value all the feedback sent to us and will endeavour to keep you updated on any further decisions made.
Sent on behalf of