KENILWORTH railway station will need more regular stops than already planned to make it a success.
Fraser Pithie, a freelance railway writer, has suggested Kenilworth will need a 30-minute frequency service for the full potential of the new station to be achieved.
Current plans for the station, set to open late next year, are for an hour shuttle service between Coventry and Leamington.
But Mr Pithie says a more regular service could be provided if trains running between Manchester and Bournemouth, that already run through the town, were made to stop.
He told The Observer: “If the hourly South Coast/North West Cross Country services were to stop in addition to the planned shuttle then Kenilworth could realise the success that stations like Tile Hill with a 30-minute interval service enjoy.
“There is also another constraint that makes providing a 30 minute interval service for Kenilworth service a challenge. Much of the railway line between Leamington and Coventry is single track with a section of double track in Kenilworth that enables trains to pass one another. This limits the number of services that can run along the route. Plans to double track most of the route, with the exception of the section from Kenilworth Common and Gibbett Hill, Coventry, have been delayed.
“Electrification, also planned for the route as part of a wider ‘electric spine’ investment for freight traffic between the south coast and north, has also been delayed due to funding and other priorities.
“At the moment it looks as if Kenilworth’s new station will open as planned but with an hourly shuttle service only.”
The Department for Transport’s New Station Fund is contributing £5million to the total £12million cost of the Kenilworth Station project, with the remainder of the funding being provided by local transport bodies and Warwickshire County Council.
Construction work on the new rail station, which will be located on the site of the former station, is underway.
The new station – replacing the town’s former station which closed in 1965 – will also include a ticket office, 90-space car park and cycle parking.
* DISABLED access is being installed at Warwick railway station.
It is part of Network Rail’s national £370million ‘Access for All’ programme.
MP Chris White, who has pressed for the move, said: commented: “ Improving access for people with disabilities locally is absolutely vital and the transport network is integral to that. As a major access route into the county town it is important that the station is as accessible as possible.”
The work is set to take place later next year or early in 2018.