Major changes are to take place at Coventry Station in the next week to enable the new boulevard section being delivered as part of the £82 million project to be completed ahead of the start of UK City of Culture.
The extension of the current walkway to create a traffic-free route from the station to Greyfriars Green in the city centre means that from this Sunday (March 14), Station Square North will be closed permanently to traffic to finish the work.
High-quality granite will be laid on the boulevard alongside large planters and planted trees to create an attractive and welcoming pedestrian and cycle route from the railway station towards the city centre.
The station’s drop off and short stay spaces will move from Station Square North to dedicated bays on Eaton Road, including disabled parking, temporarily until the new drop off loop is completed next to the station building this summer. There will also be five standard drop off and short stay spaces to the east of the closed part of Station Square North that can be accessed off Manor Road.
Buses will continue to use the transport interchange but a new layout will allow all vehicles to turn northbound on Eaton Road towards Warwick Road.
Manor Road will become two way, permitting all inbound traffic to access the existing multi-storey car park and taxi rank.
A new bus and taxi gate will be introduced on Manor Road for vehicles exiting towards the ring road, all other traffic will be required to exit via Park Road. This arrangement will be in place until autumn 2022 when the new Manor Road link road opens which is being built as part of the 2 Friargate works.
A new exit off Eaton Road onto Warwick Road roundabout will open towards the summer, which will provide access and egress for the new multi-storey car park.
The Coventry Station Masterplan project is being funded by £39.4 million from the West Midlands Combined Authority Devolution Deal and £27.5 million from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) as well as funds from Coventry City Council.
Coventry City Council is working in partnership with Network Rail, Avanti West Coast and other rail operators, Transport for West Midlands, Friargate JV Project Ltd and other stakeholders on the scheme.
Councillor Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration at Coventry City Council and CWLEP board director, said: “I’m really pleased that we are taking another big step forward in our work to improve Coventry railway station.
“Once this phase of the work is complete there will be an impressive walking route between the station and the city centre – which will give visitors a really warm and impressive Coventry welcome.
“It’s clear to see just how much work has already been done at the railway station. And the second station building will sit alongside the original booking hall marrying the best of the old and the best of the new.”
Zamurad Hussain, a board director at the CWLEP, said this major scheme is a testimony to the strong partnerships the CWLEP has formed.
He said: “Completing the pedestrian boulevard will be another visible sign that work is continuing at a fast pace to complete the Coventry Station Masterplan during Coventry’s 12 months as UK City of Culture.
“It is important to create a welcoming image for visitors from across the UK and the world and having a pedestrian route direct from Coventry Station to Coventry city centre will help achieve that.
“This whole scheme underlines the importance of the strong working relationships the CWLEP has formed with the private and public sector along with our strong track record for delivery which is emphasised by this scheme.”
The project also includes installing a new footbridge over platforms one, two and three and four to provide more capacity for increasing passengers which will be connected to a second station building which will contain new retail units and passengers’ facilities that can be accessed from Station Square and Warwick Road. A new 633 space multi-storey car-park sits on top of the new station building.
The new transport interchange will be connected directly to the new station building by an access tunnel under Warwick Road. Highway improvements are also being undertaken on Warwick Road.