Work will soon be starting on a new tunnel under Warwick Road to connect the railway station to the new platform built as phase 2 of the NUCKLE project.
The works form part of the Coventry Station Masterplan, a five-year programme to transform Coventry Railway Station and will deliver a second station building with an entrance off Warwick Road, a new footbridge, a new multi-storey car-park and a bus interchange.
The tunnel will measure six metres by 24 metres and create a wide pedestrian link and enable people who park on the Central Six side of the station to walk to the station without crossing a road. It will form part of the new station building and people will also use it to walk to the new bay platform which will start construction next year.
The tunnel is funded by a £3 million grant from the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) as part of the government’s Growth Deal initiative and work is set to start on 29 March. The works will involve closing one lane in each direction on Warwick Road from 29 March to early December 2016. Some preparatory work will start next week.
The access tunnel is part of a wider programme of improvements in and around the train station, which includes the Friargate development.
Councillor Rachel Lancaster, Cabinet Member for Public Services, said: “This is more great news for Coventry. The new tunnel will create light spacious environment for pedestrians and improve the look and feel of the station area. Our station is the fastest growing station outside London and it and the new business district at Friargate are key to helping us be a top ten city once again.
“There will, of course, be some disruption to drivers while the work is carried out, but there are no planned full road closures and Central Six and the Warwick Road shops opposite are open as usual. I hope people will bear with us while we do this really important improvement work.”
Nick Abell, a board director of the CWLEP, said: “Growth Deals were set-up by the government to give LEPs the freedom to fund projects which will benefit the local area and economy.
“This work will certainly help passengers using Coventry Railway Station since it will create a safer route instead of people having to cross busy roads as well as ensuring access to the new station building once it is completed.
“This is an exciting infrastructure project which will help to drive the economy forward as well as investing in the future of the city.
“The CWLEP was also successful in securing an allocation from the Regional Growth Fund for the new bridge deck to connect the Friargate development to Coventry city centre which was matched by a grant from the European Union to kick-start the project to improve the entire area around Coventry Railway Station and create Friargate.”
The tunnel will take approximately nine months to construct and is the first part of the new station building. Once completed the tunnel will stay closed until the whole building is finished in 2019, this is because it is part of the building, and not a stand-alone structure. The phasing of the masterplan has been carefully considered to try and minimise disruption to rail passengers, as well as minimise temporary loss of some car parking spaces as far as possible.
The new platform will be built next year to allow the trains that run north to Nuneaton and Bedworth and south to Kenilworth and Leamington to pull in, off the main London Line.