A CAMPAIGN has been launched to reopen Coundon Road train station and build another in the east of the city.
West Midlands mayor Andy Street has joined the city’s Tory group in calling on Coventry City Council to explore the feasibility of opening the stations.
They say the stations would cut traffic on the city’s roads, reduce journey time and help to tackle toxic emissions.
Coventry’s Tories have now launched a consultation exercise with residents to gauge public opinion, delivering a survey to homes across Coundon, Binley and Willenhall.
They have not stated where the proposed new station in the east of the city would be.
As we revealed last week, Warwickshire County Council has proposed a new station to serve Warwick University and the proposed King’s Hill housing development to the south of Coventry, just across the city’s border in Warwick district.
Conservative mayor Mr Street said: “New rail stations would give people an alternative to the car that would improve air quality and boost the economy.
“However, we first need to establish a business case which is why we’re consulting local residents before we do anything else.”
Coundon Road station – which closed in 1965 – is situated close to air pollution hotspot Holyhead Road and Bablake School – which attracts a lot of traffic from outside of the city, they say.
The Tory group also says there are no stations to the east of Coventry within the city boundary, which needs to change.
Conservatives argue there is a clear demand for better rail services in Coventry, citing the huge growth in passenger numbers at the city’s main station as evidence.
The proposals have been launched as the government seeks to impose a congestion charge to improve air quality in the city.
The council remains in negotiations with the government’s department for environment, food and rural affairs about how best to cut emissions – as it hopes to avoid a ‘disastrous’ ‘Low Emission Zone’ with an alternative plan.
Coventry Conservatives have mirrored the council’s concerns and say that a congestion charge for older cars will not improve air quality in the longer term and will unfairly penalise poorer drivers.
Before a congestion charge was provisionally ordered by the government, the council had proposed closing the Coundon Road at the level crossing over the railway line to fight pollution on Holyhead Road, which prompted huge opposition.
Tory group leader Coun Gary Ridley said: “Whatever way you look at it, people won’t make smarter travel choices until those alternatives are there.
“So we’re asking the people of Coventry to look again at rail travel and the role it can play in reducing pollution and congestion. Fewer car journeys mean quicker car journeys and we’d all breathe cleaner air.”
A petition with nearly 6,000 signatures has been created by former Coventry MP Dave Nellist against the congestion charge.