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Nuckle enlightenment

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Last Thursday (May 10) the co-leader of the Green Party, Caroline Lucas MP, met with Kenilworth Green Party members to celebrate the reopening of the town’s railway station.

Opened on 30 April, the station forms part of the ‘NUCKLE’ scheme, which is supposedly “designed to implement a step-change in the level of public transport provision along the Nuneaton – Coventry – Kenilworth – Leamington Spa corridor”.

However, the station has only one platform, and the offer is one single-carriage local train per hour to Coventry and one to Leamington, with no Sunday service.

Ms Lucas called for more frequent trains, and an additional station to serve the University of Warwick, the Kenilworth Weekly News reported.

But according to rail consultant William Barter, ‘getting more trains depends on HS2 freeing capacity in the Coventry corridor’.

As the Beleben blog has pointed out, HS2 would not release much, if any, capacity on the Rugby – Coventry – Birmingham line. Furthermore, providing Kenilworth with a frequent passenger service to Coventry, or Nuneaton, is not compatible with the current plans of Midlands Connect and West Midlands Rail.

The Beleben approach would be to avoid pathing conflicts by building a railcar bridge over the West Coast Main Line just east of Coventry station, enabling a frequent tram-like service between Nuneaton and Leamington. If this were possible, instead of stopping in Coventry station itself, these railcars would stop in the station forecourt before rejoining the Network Rail tracks.

Although Coventry city council favours ‘very light rail’ in general, there seems to be no plan to use such vehicles on the Leamington line. The council’s current plans seem to lack utility and realism.

Enlightened Nuckle: deconfliction in Coventry together with light rail operation would allow more stops and higher frequencies (Beleben)

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Written by beleben

May 15, 2018 at 10:38 am

Posted in Politics, Railways

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