All entries for Wednesday 05 July 2006

July 05, 2006

Sprint: Nuneaton – Coventry – Kenilworth

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I've just fould details of the plans and public consultation for this proposed new bus–based rapid transit system linking Nuneaton, Bedworth, Coventry, Warwick University and Kenilworth.

Basically, it's a new high frquency bus service, which will be operated on new, segregated sections of road (I assume guided busways will be involved), using new tram–like vehicles, like those currently operated by First Group on their 'ftr' initiative in York.

The route would run from Nuneaton to Coventry city centre via Bedworth and the Ricoh Arena, then continuing via Coventry station, Kenilworth Road and Cannon Park to the University, then optionally onto Kenilworth Town Centre and the proposed future railway station at Kenilworth.

This seems like quite an interesting scheme, which looks like it will provide a high quality link from north to south Warwickshire via Coventry, and will improve access to and from the University. One thing I'm concerned about however, is that (for one route option) – the route would be built across the University playing fields which, to be honest I'd rather it didn't do, as I'm rather a fan of the greenery around the campus, although an alternative is to use the existing Gibbet Hill Road/Kenilworth Road route.

Although I'm normally a fan of light rail over guided busways, the large capital cost of light rail would not be justified for a route such as this one, so a guided busway seems like a more viable option, at a cost of £85 million, and 5 million passengers a year are estimated to use the service.

I'm all for these plans, and they would definitely bring benefits to the University as well as the other areas it would serve. And would easily beat the 12 and its circuitous route for getting into Cov!

What does everyone else think of these plans?

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