Centro Coventry connectivity crackpottery
In yesterday’s blogpost, I mentioned Centro’s bizarre proposals for mitigating West Midlands HS2 disconnectivity. The Coventry Telegraph’s Martin Bagot has also covered the story.
COVENTRY could get a tram service to link directly to the new HS2 station near the NEC.
Centro will consider plans for a metro service from the city to the Birmingham station on the high speed rail network.
A tram is one option to allow the city to benefit from the £32 billion rail project which has faced fierce opposition from action groups in Warwickshire.
Any tram would run eight miles along the existing West Coast Main Line transport corridor, before diverting off to the HS2 station.
The West Midlands regional transport body said options considered by its HS2 Local Connectivity Group include:
* A tram service from the city.
* A direct rail service from Coventry with a spur to the HS2 station.
* A shuttle service of “sprint buses” direct to the HS2 station.
[...] Centro chief executive Geoff Inskip said: “Our challenge is to get the best from HS2 for people throughout the West Midlands.
This means ensuring local and regional services connect seamlessly with the high-speed rail network so that everyone benefits.
“We know that using this capacity for more passenger and freight trains – and working hard to deliver schemes such as a direct link to Coventry from HS2 – will bring 22,000 jobs and increase economic activity by £1.5 billion per year.”
The only West Midlands rail capacity “freed up” by HS2 would be on the Birmingham — Coventry route (because Centro says it expects the existing Birmingham — Coventry — London rail services to be reduced from three to two an hour).
In Centro’s connectivity vision, what would that freed capacity be used for?
Um, apparently, to run a tram-train — or heavy rail shuttle — from Coventry station to Bickenhill HS2. This is so weird, you couldn’t make it up. What’s the construction cost of the Spur? What kind of service frequency could operate from Coventry to a Bickenhill HS2 Spur station?
For the HS2 Spur frequency to be any good, the Coventry — Birmingham line would likely end up with *less capacity* than it has now. Who at Centro is responsible for these crackpot ideas?