An aerial view of people walking on the pedestrianised paving above trains outside Birmingham's New Street station, in the city centre. Provided via Istock

Midlands rail connectivity survey released

The regional transport body Midlands Connect has launched a survey on the creation of a direct rail link between Coventry, Leicester and Nottingham, in what would represent the first of this service availability since 2004. The online survey is urging businesses within the surrounding areas to have their say on the proposals.

The release of this survey follows on from the Building Back Greener report from the previous year, which outlined the case for the reconnection of the Midland’s major economic hubs, being Coventry, Leicester and Nottingham. According to this report, passengers travelling from Coventry to either Leicester or Nottingham had to change trains at Nuneaton, meaning that every journey had needless increased service times with a stronger chance for delays.

Midlands Connect is currently advising the local businesses of surrounding areas to complete this short survey to support the case for further investment on the route, creating even stronger economic links.

The survey must be completed by Friday 11th November 2022.

According to estimates, there are currently just 3% of journeys from Coventry to Leicester that are made by rail, compared to 30% of journeys from Coventry to Birmingham. These staggeringly low numbers show a major need for infrastructural investment to create better transport links removing the need for road travel. Supplying a direct rail link will encourage people to convert their methods of daily commutes, thus making strides towards the Government’s ambitious net-zero targets, whilst also boosting the fiscal returns of rail sector still recovering from the pandemic restrictions.

The rail line, if improved, will deliver significant social, environmental, and economic benefits, estimated to be worth £179 million.

Midlands Connect’s CEO Maria Machancoses, commenting on the survey’s release, said:

“Today we are calling on businesses and employers in Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham, and Nuneaton to make their voices heard in our consultation.

“Increased connectivity between these cities could bring more jobs and opportunities to the region. The information local companies will give us could really help build our case for this new rail line.”

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