A giant, 750-tonne crane arrived at Coventry Railway Station last week, marking another major milestone in the £82 million station masterplan scheme.
The specialist crane has been brought in to lift a new footbridge into place, spanning platforms one, two, three and four.
The new footbridge will increase passenger capacity and connect the existing platforms directly to a new 633-space multi-storey car park.
Nick Abell, chair of the CWLEP, explained, “the crane is set to dominate Coventry’s skyline for a few weeks as the new footbridge is lifted into place. The previous footbridge was no longer adequate for one of the fastest-growing stations outside London.”
The giant yellow crane remains lowered during daytime but is extended upright, towering above the surrounding buildings, when in use.
New station building
The wider masterplan, on track to be completed by spring 2021, includes a new station building which will feature five retail units, a new passenger waiting room and toilets.
There will also be a new transport interchange and bus station connected to the new building by an access tunnel under Warwick Road.
Highway improvements and public realm works planned by Coventry City Council will create a traffic-free boulevard from the front of the station to the city centre.
Councillor Jim O’Boyle said that the improvements ongoing at Coventry Railway Station will make it “one of the best arrival points in to [sic] any city in the UK”.
The councillor went on to admit, “COVID-19 is presenting a whole raft of challenges but the investment that is underway now will help us to be in the strongest position possible as we emerge out of the other end.”
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, called the project a “prime example” of devolved government’s financial commitment to helping redevelop Coventry city centre, with the West Midlands Combined Authority being the single-biggest investor in the new station, as well as UK City of Culture 2021.
Disruption to train services
To avoid disruption to train services and ensure passenger safety, works will be carried out on Saturday evenings from 11pm to 7am on Sundays, through to January 2021.
Meanwhile, pedestrian access to the existing station, which will remain open throughout the work, will be maintained with traffic marshals in place to guide passengers into the station.
Trains will continue to operate as timetabled during the day and evening.
Unrelated to the disruption, Avanti West Coast are to reduce trains on routes between London and Birmingham, via Coventry, to two per hour due to reduced passenger numbers as a result of the four-week November lockdown in England.