Council officials are calling for a public
inquiry into controversial plans to permanently close two Coventry
Railtrack wants to bring the gates down forever
at Canley and Tile Hill stations as part of a £2 billion
modernisation scheme along the West Coast line.
The firm wants to turn the road by Canley station
into a cul-de-sac and replace the crossing with a pedestrian and cycle
At Tile Hill they want to build a road bridge
over the track in Cromwell Lane.
Railtrack say the closures are necessary because
track improvements mean more trains will run, causing the barriers to
come down more often, which would lead to lengthy traffic delays.
It calculates that the Canley gates would be down
for an average of 33 minutes per hour during the daytime – a rise of
At Tile Hill station the figure is expected to
rise from 31 minutes to 40 minutes an hour.
A survey by Railtrack has conceded that building
a bridge in Tile Hill would encourage more traffic to the roads in the
area, and the number of vehicles would rise dramatically.
Residents living near the level crossing have
formed a Bridge Action group to fight the proposals. They claim that
consultation carried out by Railtrack last year was poorly advertised
and did not allow them to express their views.
Council officials writing a report for
councillors to consider next week say Railtrack has not produced
enough measures to reduce the impact on the affected roads.
Strategic Director (City Development) John
McGuigan said that existing accident blackspots would see more traffic
if the level crossings would close.
In particular, the area dubbed “malfunction
junction” around the A45 and Tile Hill Lane, and the roundabout
between Sir Henry Parkes Road and the A45 could see new problems.
And traffic unable to head into the city centre
from the south of Coventry would be attracted to Kenilworth Road
Mr McGuigan said there were also concerns about
Cromwell Lane, Station Avenue and roads in Burton Green.
Public transport body Centro has claimed that the
road closure at Canley station would lead to bus routes being severely
disrupted. Some routes in the Canley Gardens area would cease to be
commercially viable and it would cost up to £50,000 a year to
Urging councillors to authorise officers to
protest about the scheme to the Department of the Environment,
Transport and the Regions, Mr McGuigan said:
“Railtrack has failed to produce detailed
traffic reports and has not proposed adequate mitigation measures to
deal with the impacts and effects of the proposals.”
have to be made to the DETR by 11 April following an application in
February by Railtrack for permission for the work to be carried out.