24th Aug, 2019

REVEALED: New station plan for Coventry outskirts' new homes and Warwick University in time for HS2

Laura Kearns 18th Jul, 2019 Updated: 18th Jul, 2019

A NEW train station could be built between Coventry and Kenilworth stations to better serve Warwick University and new housing developments including at King’s Hill.

It is among a number of proposals being considered to upgrade rail services in Warwickshire to coincide with the arrival of HS2.

Warwickshire County Council is looking at improving the rail network between now and 2034 under a new rail strategy, which it says will benefit businesses and the some 10million passengers who travel on the county’s train lines each year.

The plan would see an extension to services from the ’north-south corridor’ – which the Leamington and Coventry stops are on – to the East Midlands and Thames Valley, including stops at Oxford, Reading and Nottingham.

Council officers say a new station between Kenilworth and Coventry would improve connections to the university and thousands of homes at King’s Hill, in Warwick district land on historic green belt land just over the Coventry border.

Residents in Finham in Coventry, Stoneleigh and surrounding areas have campaigned on concerns including traffic and pressure on services.

It is located off Stoneleigh Road, Coventry, on the other side of Kenilworth Road and Gibbet Hill to the university campus.

Major road schemes nearby to prepare for HS2 and extra housing include a planned upgrade of the Stoneleigh A46 roundabout.

Warwickshire’s Rail Strategy report said if the plans were approved the station would be built between 2026 and 2033.

It reads: “WCC will investigate the provision of a new strategic multi modal station, located between Kenilworth and Coventry stations.The provision of such a facility will provide strategic and local connectivity to the University of Warwick and planned development in the surrounding area (e.g. King’s Hill).

“WCC aspires for the new Warwick University station to offer a strategic rail service, providing direct rail connectivity to key destinations. The delivery of this station may require the provision of additional rail capacity between Coventry and Leamington.

“In addition it is anticipated that new highway infrastructure will be required to facilitate strategic access to the site.”

Elsewhere in the county the Henley in Arden station – which has been derelict and boarded up for many years – could be brought back into use and developed into a rail hub for the surrounding rural area.

Improvements would not take place until at least 2027 but could also see new car parking facilities created.

And a second station called Rugby Parkway could be built close to the M1 junction 18. Trains would run to London twice an hour.

The council says the strategy looks at how HS2 – which is set to run between Birmingham and London, with 54km cutting through the heart of Warwickshire – can benefit the local rail network.

A council spokesman said: “The arrival of HS2 will have a significant impact on rail services in Warwickshire, not least due to the release of capacity. This presents a significant opportunity to influence and shape future service provision to enable passenger service and freight enhancements, new connectivity opportunities and new stations serving Warwickshire to be delivered, thereby maximising the economic benefits to Warwickshire afforded by the arrival of HS2.”

The council says funding would come from bids to government and would use ‘innovative ways’ of securing the money needed without using council funds.

The strategy has been approved by councillors to go to public consultation before going to cabinet for approval in December.

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