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Railway station master plan brought forward

Coventry City Council approved the changes at a meeting yesterday

A planned makeover for Coventry railway station's being sped up - to make sure it's done in time for the city's year as UK City of Culture in 2021.

It was due to be done in the summer of that year, but work will now start within weeks and be done by autumn of 2020.

Certain elements - like part of a road to link the station to Central Six have been scrapped though - so the project stays withn its £82m pound budget.

Changes will also mean that 385 parking bays will be taken out of use during construction of the new bus interchange and car park.

It is proposed that a temporary car park, with 196 spaces, is made available to the south of Westminster Road, in order to reduce the costs that will need to be paid to Virgin Trains for the resulting loss of revenue.

A possible reduction in the size of the interchange will also be considered as part of efforts to deliver the scheme within budget.

The original Coventry Station Masterplan was agreed by cabinet in March 2015 and was intended to “create a fitting gateway to the city.”

Last year it was revealed that Coventry station was the fastest growing station outside London over a five year period and the local authority has argued that the improvements will help cope with further increases in passenger numbers in the years ahead.

The scheme will include a new footbridge, extended canopies, a new station entrance onto the Warwick Road and a multi-storey car park.

Cllr Jim O’Boyle, the cabinet member for jobs and regeneration, said: “We recognise and understand it would be silly not to have [the masterplan in place by 2021] when the City of Culture will have an increase, an influx in the number of visitors.

“It’s important to say that the £82 million as the overall cost of this scheme … will not be breached in any way.  And that is an absolute pledge that we have to stick to.

“If it means that we have to move things about a little bit in order to make the reality of it happen, then that’s what we will do.”

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