MORE TRAINS ...BUT NOT FOR A YEAR

Coventry Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By CLAIRE HAR­RI­SON News Re­porter news@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

MORE trains from Nuneaton to Coven­try will be added on to the timetable – but not un­til at least next year.

West Mid­lands Trains Ltd (WMTL) takes over the rail fran­chise for the re­gion in De­cem­ber, with a prom­ise of im­proved ser­vices from the town’s sta­tion, as well as Bed­worth. But the ex­tra ser­vices will not come in­stantly, in fact, the first lot are not ex­pected to get on track un­til De­cem­ber 2018.

As of De­cem­ber next year, there will be ear­lier and later train ser­vices between Nuneaton and Coven­try ev­ery day of the week, in­clud­ing Sun­day.

Then, in De­cem­ber 2019, there is a prom­ise of an ad­di­tional hourly ser­vice in each di­rec­tion between Nuneaton and Coven­try, de­liv­er­ing three trains per hour on Satur­day and two trains per hour Mon­day to Fri­day and Sun­day. This will pave the way for those at­tend­ing Coven­try City FC and Wasps games to be able to get a train af­ter the matches.

For wider links, there will also be a new hourly ser­vice between Coven­try and Leam­ing­ton fol­low­ing the open­ing of a new sta­tion at Ke­nil­worth.

De­spite not see­ing the ben­e­fits straight away, the new ser­vices have been hailed by Nuneaton and Bed­worth Bor­ough Coun­cil and other mem­bers of the West Mid­lands Com­bined Author­ity (WMCA) as well as the ad­di­tional in­vest­ment in trans­port in the re­gion.

Coun­cil­lor Den­nis Har­vey, Town Hall leader, said: “We com­mit­ted our­selves very early to the West Mid­lands Com­bined Author­ity as we could see the ben­e­fits that de­vo­lu­tion would bring. We were the first War­wick­shire author­ity to sign up as a mem­ber and we worked hard with our part­ners to get it off the ground.

“Trans­port in­vest­ment on this scale is only pos­si­ble be­cause of the de­vo­lu­tion deal and it is ab­so­lutely won­der­ful that our vi­sion and com­mit­ment is al­ready pay­ing off. Our ef­forts with our West Mid­lands part­ners are start­ing to re­turn div­i­dends across the re­gion and for res­i­dents right here in the bor­ough.”

WMTL, a part­ner­ship between Abel­lio, East Ja­pan Rail­way Com­pany and Mit­sui & Co Ltd, was awarded the fran­chise by the Depart­ment of Trans­port in Au­gust this year.

The fran­chise will op­er­ate from De­cem­ber 10 un­til March 2026 and will cover the train ser­vice across the whole of the West Mid­lands as well as trains from Lon­don Eus­ton to Crewe and from Liver­pool to Birm­ing­ham.

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