How wasps got stung
Prospects for dedicated train services to and from Coventry’s Ricoh Arena station — on the Coventry to Nuneaton line — for football and rugby supporters look bleak, following two trial runs.
[Ricoh Arena matchday trains in doubt after trial runs lose an estimated £30,000, BY SIMON GILBERT, Coventry Telegraph. 16 March 2016]
It is understood London Midland and Wasps suffered losses of around £30,000 after jointly spending a total of about £40,000 on special charter train services for the matches with Harlequins and Leicester Tigers.
The train for the Harlequins game in February is estimated to have lost about £18,000 as just 650 people paid £2.40 for return tickets on the six carriage charter train.
The matchday special for Wasps’ victory over Leicester on Saturday was better used with an estimated 2,000 people taking advantage of the service. But that was still nowhere near enough to cover the running costs – leaving the rugby club and the train operators roughly £15,000 in the red on that day.
Of course, such issues do not just apply to the Coventry — Nuneaton line. Peak-time crowding on rail services in the north of England mostly happens because the train operators would lose money if they ran trains with more carriages.
The root cause of Northern rail crowding is, almost always, the cost of leasing more stock. So the ‘capacity problem’ addressed by the so-called ‘HS3’ scheme, is a problem which doesn’t really exist.