Ricoh station plan remains on track

By Matthew Bates Wednesday 11 September 2013 Updated: 12/09 09:43

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LONG-AWAITED plans for a train station at the Ricoh Arena will still go-ahead - despite the stadium sitting empty.

The multi-million pound project has been fraught with delays but council chiefs insist they are kicking on with it.

Work had been earmarked to begin in December last year - and be completed a year later - but is yet to get off the ground.

And a council spokesman confirmed this week: "We are currently out to tender and we expect the project to be completed by mid 2015."

A service from Coventry station to the Ricoh had been planned every 15 minutes on Sky Blue match days - but with the club playing their home games in Northampton it is unclear how often the station will get used.

If City bosses choose to stay away from the Ricoh, the new station may only be used during major events, such as concerts, when a service every 15 minutes is also planned.

Funding for the £19million project is set to come from the Department for Transport (DfT) as part of the NUCKLE project to improve rail links in the area.

The then secretary of state Justine Greening had announced the plan back in December 2011 - six-and-a-half years after a Ricoh station was first mooted.

A DfT spokesman told the Observer this week funding for the project was still available and that the ball was in the council's court.

The NUCKLE plan will see trains between the city and Nuneaton every 30 minutes. Nuneaton's Bermuda Park will also get its own station while Bedworth's station will see improved platforms.

Leading city figures had roundly welcomed Ms Greening's announcement with then Ricoh chief Daniel Gidney claiming it would help the stadium persuade big acts to play in the city.

Back in 2005 the Observer ran a campaign to build a station after fans at a Rod Stewart concert had complained about congestion around the stadium.

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