leading protester against Coventrys Phoenix Boulevard fears supporters may be
becoming "battle weary" but has vowed to fight on.
Michael Newman, who heads the Hippodrome Appreciation Society, has been one of the main
voices against the council project but is now convinced some business people have given up
Work has now started on the £20 million scheme jointly funded by Coventry City Council
and the Millennium Commission.
The project, which will be the largest construction programme since the city centre was
rebuilt after the wartime blitz, involves demolishing dozens of buildings in the Hales
Street area to make way for squares and piazzas stretching from the Cathedral to Cook
Street Gate by the Inner Ring Road
Mr Newman said he still hopes to halt the councils progress and believes he has
"Around 7,000 people signed a petition and we still believe people feel the same
way. If there is a public inquiry we will aim to have it in a large venue like the Central
Hall so people can have their say.
"But yesterday I was going along Fairfax Street delivering our newsletter and I
sensing there that business people are taking compensation and getting out before the
compulsory purchase orders.
"I think they are getting a little battle weary over it all. It takes a lot effort
to keep fighting on and I think there is a lot of stress on the people with businesses
"But I will keep on battling. In that area you have the bingo hall,
Sainsburys, The Museum of Road Transport and the Smithfield and they are all
important areas of community activity. There are rarely empty shops in that area of the
town and there is no comparison with Bull Yard or the Lower Precinct. It should