CWN - News & Information for Coventry & Warwickshire 20x21spacer.gif (59 bytes)What's New?Search CWN
Rugby Can Have New Road and Link Link Says MP

Rugby’s Western Relief Road and a revitalised rail link from the town to Southam are both likely to get ahead, says Andy King MP.

Some fear that both major projects could not run in tandem, as they both need an old rail line that passes through the area.

The Western Relief Road will bypass Rugby from the Avon Mill in the north, crossing Lawford Road in the west by the cement plant, to Cawston in the south - using the old Rugby to Leamington rail line for part of its route.

But with the closure of the Rugby Cement Plant at Long Itchington/Southam, others want the old rail line to be reopened for trains to carry material from the Southam works.

Although the Southam works are closing, quarrying will continue and clay from the site will need to be transported to Rugby, via road or rail.

Residents do not want lorries taking the clay to go via road, because of the noise and road safety dangers caused by dozens of extra HGVs on the road - three routes have been outlined to spread the load.

But the rail scheme is more amibitious and more costly. 

The route would use a short stretch of the old Daventry to Leamington line as far as Offchurch where trains would join the Leamington to Rugby line on to the cement works.

Mr King said:

“Back in January it was true that the rail freight link was dead and buried, but the new owners of Rugby Cement (RMC) seem to be environmentally-minded. They are interested in opening the rail line.

“We cannot make people suffer 45 years of hell with these lorries going through the villages and the streets of Rugby. I think we are within an inch of this scheme going ahead, and it need not affect the road plan.

“We are looking at having both of these schemes running side by side. It is perfectly possible for this to be a ‘win-win’ situation for Rugby and everyone.

“I am getting very cross with people who should be supporting the rail option. It has not got the support it should have done.”

Warwickshire County Council is all set to start a compulsory purchase order scheme along the old rail route so it can start on the Western Relief Road. It should ease traffic along the A4701 Bilton Road and A426 Newbold Road in town, particularly with hundreds of new homes being built at Cawston..

Shire Hall has given the cement operators until the end of August to come up with a rail plan. And if no definite scheme is forthcoming, it looks likely the old rail line will become a bypass for the town. The plan has been floated since the 1980s.

Mr King said the line should be used to reopen the rail line for freight initially, with passenger services to Leamington in the longer term, and the Western Relief Road running next to the rail line. 

He cannot believe that others are not supporting plans for both road and rail.

Mr King (Lab, Rugby and Kenilworth) said:

“The latest Government announcement on transport last week said there would be no new roads, except for bypass and Western Relief Road is not perfect, but it is needed for Rugby.

"But there are people scaremongering and endangering the road for their own aims. The people of Rugby will not forgive us if we let this chance go. 

"We can have both, and I cannot believe people want to stop this. 

“We will not lose the road scheme, and we must not give up on the reopening of this rail line."

1x22rule.gif (89 bytes)
Help support CWN - buy your books online with Amazon

150x15more.gif (274 bytes)


Find an old School Friend on CWN

Win prizes every day with the CWN competition!

CWN / Politics / MPs / Andy King  / 25 Jul 00

©1995-2000 Coventry Internet Developments Ltd

This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM