These claims have been made by HS2 opponents before. In fact, we wrote a piece in response to similar claims on September 16, 2011 – Coventry will not miss out, despite what critics say. When referring to Coventry rail services opponents are really referring to London services from the city’s station. Of course Coventry needs services to many different destinations and not just London. However, it is right that Coventry’s services must not suffer and it must get the best possible deal from HS2.
It is worth reiterating a few important points.
- Coventry will be around 8 miles from HS2 services at Interchange
- Coventry will retain London services AND will benefit from released capacity which provides better local, regional services (for example better links with Milton Keynes)
- Many London services arrive full or extremely busy from Birmingham (HS2 will relieve this)
- The main alternative to HS2 (51M) allows for no growth between Coventry and Birmingham
- With increasing rail use what kind of service will Coventry have unless we provide more capacity?
The following letter was sent to the Coventry Telegraph from Centro chief exec Geoff Inskip.
We fully support City Council Leader John Mutton’s view in Thursday’s Telegraph (April 26) that Coventry must see some benefit from HS2 and that its city rail links must not suffer.
On the contrary we need to seize the opportunity to improve Coventry’s connectivity with the extra space created on the West Coast Mainline and so we will continue to work with Coventry City Council and other authorities across the West Midlands to ensure we get the best possible deal for our communities and businesses.
I often receive letters and comments from rail passengers in Coventry saying that London trains are already crowded when they arrive from Birmingham.
Building the new network will release capacity for towns and cities, including Coventry, all along the West Coast Main line and help us provide Coventry with better local and regional services.
So I would like to see Coventry enjoy better links and job opportunities with fast-growing Milton Keynes, for example.
I’m concerned that the alternative to HS2 which is often put forward by opponents allows for no growth in rail services between Coventry and Birmingham and also threatens services at Atherstone.
However, I fully understand Councillor Mutton’s concerns about existing services from Coventry station and will work closely with him to ensure Coventry gets the best deal from HS2.
Centro chief exec