Latest Rail News

04.04.14

Coventry to Nuneaton Rail Upgrade finally gets green light

Work will finally start on the Coventry to Nuneaton Rail Upgrade this year after the Department for Transport (DfT) confirmed it will invest up to £4.75m in the project.

Locally known as NUCKLE, the improvement programme will include building new stations at Coventry Arena and Bermuda Park, with the platforms at Bedworth Station also being extended.

Contractor Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd will start theupgrade work, which has been delayed due to final funding confirmation, in September.

Coventry City Council added that at the same time the work is being carried out, key enabling agreements – securing access to the railway from Network Rail and operation of the new stations by London Midland – can also be entered into to support delivery through to operation by May 2015.

Cllr John McNicholas, council transport lead, said: “This is excellent news and I’m really delighted that we can now get on and build the two new stations and lengthen the two platforms at Bedworth. Local people have been waiting for this for too long but this final confirmation of the last bit of funding gives us the green light to get on – and get on fast.

“An awful lot of hard work has gone into making NUCKLE a reality and I’m really looking forward to us being able to work with the contractor in the near future.”

The latest announcement is a big step forward for the £18.8m NUCKLE project –  which was originally due to be completed in 2014 – as the council and its partners Warwickshire County Council and Centro, the region's transport authority, have now assembled all the funding required to upgrade the line. Partner funding has been confirmed over the last few weeks, the DfT approval was the final one, after ERDF consent was received in November 2011.

However, earlier this year, Mark Whiteleg, from the Coventry, Bedworth and Hinckley Rail Users Group, told the BBC that the earliest the “whole scheme” willbe delivered by is 2017.

“Phase one, which they say will be completed in 2015, will involve the building of the two stations but that will be it,” he said. “It will still mean the existing single-coach train will trundle every hour between Nuneaton and Coventry until 2017, when the line is electrified.”

It is expected that when finally completed the upgrade will provide enhanced travel links to major new developments along the line including Friargate business district, next to Coventry railway station.

Local transport minister Baroness Kramer said: “These rail improvements are great news for passengers in the West Midlands, who will now have easy public transport access to tens of thousands of jobs in Coventry, Bedworth and Nuneaton.

“The £4.75m funding put towards this project shows our commitment to investing in the infrastructure this country needs to drive economic growth, both locally and nationally.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Lesf   04/04/2014 at 14:15

Slowly, slowly, slowly. It may be frustrating but we are getting there. There are no extra trains available until 2017; we don't keep them hanging on coatpegs. And when Coventry-Nuneaton is doubled and electrified as part of the electric spine, through services can run between Nuneaton and Leamington Spa. Then we'll need 4-tracking between Coventry and Birmingham, and a flyover at Coventry to link the Leamington and Nuneaton lines without touching WCML. It will all come in time.

Lesf   04/04/2014 at 14:17

Oops, that should read "when Coventry-Leamington is doubled"

John   05/04/2014 at 13:57

What on earth is stopping the running of a 2 or 3 coach DMU set instead of that horrid single car Class 150 unit? The Bus firms would use 2 busses starting symultaneously from each end giving a half hourly service - or something with a semblence of service, so why not another unit?? A better service with good connections to the Birmingam - Leicester line, properly marketed would give better passenger numbers.

Eddie White   19/05/2014 at 21:15

I used to be track Inspector on the Nuneaton to Coventry line in 1995. I could never understand why all the existing disused stations were not re-opened. Coton at Nuneaton would have been an ideal location for access to the George Eliot Hospital and the Pingles Leisure Centre. Also Fillongley and Coundon in Coventry would have been useful, popular destinations.

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