COVENTRY’S modern tram-style ‘Very Light Rail’ line is being planned to be ready on the streets for the City of Culture year 2021.
Bringing forward the People Mover project is among measures outlined in a ‘Connecting Coventry’ report to go before Coventry City Council’s cabinet on Tuesday.
As we previously revealed, the ‘innovative and unique’ People Mover scheme is being planned to link Coventry city centre and the station with Birmingham Airport and the nearby HS2 interchange station.
It will potentially be on verges on the A45 and will take in the University of Warwick, where advanced manufacturers are among those involved in developing the scheme, alongside Jaguar Land Rover.
Councillors say bringing forward its first section to start for 2021 will “showcase the city’s role as a world leader in innovation and technology.”
Councillor Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for jobs and regeneration, said: “It is so important that we have these improvements in place ready to welcome the thousands of visitors who will come to the city for our year as City of Culture.
“There are great plans in place for the year and we want to put on a show the rest of the country won’t forget. That has to involve making it easy and enjoyable to get around the city and visit our many attractions.
“Very Light Rail is a really good example of Coventry innovations, once again in the transport sector, and with a fair wind and all the processes going our way we hope we can have a small section up and running for 2021.”
It is among road and rail travel plans in Coventry set to be agreed by councillors in coming weeks, which have already attracted £141million from the government’s Department of Transport, West Midlands Combined Authority and private developers, in addition to the council’s capital budget.
The ‘Connecting Coventry’ programme to improve transport links also aims to help attract more investment and jobs, and improve the quality of life.
The four main parts of the plan are:
* Major road and rail proposals, especially around Jaguar Land Rover and the University of Warwick and to connect to HS2 and UK Central
* A major increase in capacity at Coventry Railway Station, and road improvements around the area to support Friargate and city centre attractions
* Road improvements to the north-west of the city and at the A444 and M6 Junction 3
* Very Light Rail – investment in the research, development and introduction of a Very Light Rail system.
Coun O’Boyle added: “We are at the heart of the nation’s transport network – just an hour from London – and we need to make sure those transport links are strong and fit for the future so they can help our city to grow and attract the jobs and investment we need.”