Passengers angry with Nuneaton to Coventry rail scheme delays

Ricoh Arena Coventry City Council say the Ricoh Arena station will open in May 2015

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Passengers have criticised delays in plans to build a better rail link between Coventry and Nuneaton.

The Coventry, Bedworth and Hinckley Rail Users Group said it was concerned proposals to build two new railway stations and increase train services may not happen.

The £18.8m so-called NUCKLE project was due to be completed in 2014.

Coventry City Council, which is helping to lead the scheme, said the stations would now open in May 2015.

'Already overcrowded'

The scheme, which will see new railway stations at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry and the Bermuda business park in Nuneaton, as well as more frequent trains and increased capacity, has been planned for 10 years.

Mark Whitelegg, from the rail users group, said: "It will be 2017 at the earliest that the whole scheme is delivered.

"Phase one, which they say will be completed in 2015, will involve the building of the two stations but that will be it.

"It will still mean the existing single-coach train will trundle every hour between Nuneaton and Coventry until 2017, when the line is electrified."

Mr Whitelegg said the project leaders, which include Coventry and Warwickshire councils, as well as Centro, the West Midlands transport group, blamed the failure to increase capacity on a lack of rolling stock.

"The service is already overcrowded," he said. "After all this time, you would have thought they could find an extra coach for this line.

"I have my doubts as to whether this scheme is actually going to happen."

Marcus Jones, the Conservative MP for Nuneaton, said: "There is a lot of frustration about this project, which I share.

"While this project has been on the drawing board for more than 10 years, the funding wasn't available until 2012."

A Coventry City Council representative said: "The first phase is going ahead as planned with work starting on the stations later this year and opening planned for May 2015."

Centro has not commented.

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