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Railwatch 073 - October 1997


By Alan Bevan

Parkway station A new £3 million station with room for 400 cars is being planned on a site near the A46, 1.5 miles west of the present Warwick station. The county council is hoping to have government and private funding to allow building to start in spring next year. There would be a bus to local destinations.

Euro funds West Midlands Passenger Transport Authority is making a "fast track" application for European funding for a costly new station to serve the International Conference Centre, at the norther portal of Birmingham's New Street tunnel.

Central corridor A new through train service is being planned, linking Nuneaton with Coventry, Leamington Spa and Stratford-on-Avon with a new staion at Kenilworth and possibly others at Hawkesbury and Bermuda. Railtrack, Central Trains and Centro have agreed a three-year strategy, with a bid for funding next year.

Metro Line One should be open in autumn next year with work on platform, escalator and stairs already well under way at Snow Hill.

Freight The new international freight depot at Hams Hall was opened in July by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.

Fares fair Central Trains have cut the price of fares from Birmingham to encourage new customers. An off-peak day return to Derby now costs £4.90 compared to £6.90, and the fare to Leicester is £4.90, compared to £7.30.

Unfair RDS is protesting about the increased intervals between trains between Walsall and Wolverhampton via Willenhall. The 30-minute gap is being extended to 40 minutes because of pathing and turn-round problems. The risk is that fewer customers will use an infrequent service and it will then face complete withdrawal.

Good news The number of people using Birmingham New Street station on a Saturday has increased by 12% while Sunday patronage of Moor Street has increased by 400%. Overall train travel into the city centre has increased by 3%.

Tourist potential The Tourist Board is co-operating with councils on a study of the potential of the Birmingham to Stratford-on-Avon line (via Henley-in-Arden) for business and leisure.

Integration The station forecourt at Leamington Spa, currently used for car parking, will have a bus departing to the town centre every 20 minutes from November.

Speed-up Services between Longbridge and Redditch are being speeded up this month. Between five and eight minutes will be saved on each journey.

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