ADDITIONAL trains will be put on for rugby fans at the Ricoh Arena station on selected matchdays but NOT for Coventry City football fixtures.
London Midland has confirmed this week the introduction of a special service which will provide an extra 1,000 seats before and after the games against Harlequins on February 22 and Leicester Tigers on March 12.
The extra service will include a six carriage train running between Coventry and Nuneaton stations, which stops at Coventry Arena.
As previously reported in the Observer, fans of both Wasps and the Sky Blues had been told that no extra trains would run at the new station because of fears over crowd safety problems.
But rugby fans will be able to catch the train to and from Coventry Arena and rail users will also be able to take advantage of discount drink offers inside the venue.
“We listened to fans and stakeholders and made a commitment to look at every possible option,” said London Midland’s head of Regional Services, Steven Fisher.
“While London Midland has no additional trains for match days, we have hired in charter services to test the idea of running rugby specials.”
The 13.6million council-owned station finally opened to the public last month after previously missing two scheduled opening dates due to a series of problems.
Plans to increase the service by expanding the platform have been delayed until summer 2017.
The plan was to increase the one small train per hour to two longer trains per hour, with potentially more for sports and other events at the Ricoh Arena.
But there have been several severe delays to building the new six-carriage platform, as well as the scheme’s track and signal changes at Coventry station and Three Spires junction just south of the Ricoh Arena.
Andy Gibb, managing director of Arena Coventry Limited, said that further planned investment will help more fans get to the stadium easier.
“We have worked hard with London Midland to find a solution in the short term,” he added. “We will be doing all we can to raise awareness of the test services and we hope Wasps fans will get on board with the trial.”
London Midland and Wasps will review the operational and commercial performance of the test services before deciding on next steps.