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Network Rail predicts there will be 14 passengers for every 10 seats on Coventry to Birmingham trains before Phase One of HS2 is completed in 2026. The arrival of rapid mass transit services in the West Midlands is vital to capacity on the WCML. We will work with the new West Coast Partnership franchise, Network Rail and West Midlands Rail Executive to ensure Coventry and Warwickshire enjoy the local and national connectivity they require to thrive.
We will improve East-West rail journeys across Warwickshire by increasing capacity between Coventry, Warwick and Leamington, reinstating direct trains between Coventry and Leicester, and looking at options for additional services through Solihull. Adding capacity towards Leamington would also enable better access to Birmingham Airport, doubling the number of services per hour from the Thames Valley and East Midlands, through Coventry.
Our Rail Hub project proposes two direct trains per hour from Coventry to Leicester, taking less than 40 minutes. This East-West upgrade increases the number of people in the area who can reach Leicester and Birmingham within an hour and brings 120,000 more Coventry residents within an hour of Leicester and Nottingham. The project also sees more trains stopping at Nuneaton because of a doubling of services from Leicester to Birmingham.
With existing traffic issues and the potential scale of development around Coventry, Warwickshire and Leicester, targeted improvements to the A46 and A5 are essential to avoid hindering growth.
The focus of our A46 study is improving capacity and connectivity on a route that contributes 9% of English economic output each year. An A46 Link Road to better connect Coventry and Warwickshire to Birmingham Airport and the new HS2 Interchange station has already been awarded development funding. The new link would also enable thousands of houses to be built, though this growth is at risk if the performance of the A46 itself continues to worsen.
The A5 is also a vital component of strong economic growth for the Midlands. We are working with the A5 Partnership on plans to upgrade the route and increase the resilience of an already congested network.
Cllr Izzi Seccombe,
Leader of Warwickshire County Council
rise in regional productivity 2009-2016, almost double the UK average
businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire supporting improvements to the A46