Ricoh Arena train station creates chaos

Since its opening on Monday, the train station at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena has created chaos and confusion amid fears of health and safety – both at the station and on the train.

The new station at the Arena, home to rugby giants Wasps and Coventry City Football Club, was built as part of a £13m investment in improving rail services in the area. It won’t be used by these fans, though – as it will stay closed on match days and after events due to crowding fears, unless extra services are chartered. It will be at least an hour after the final whistle that eventgoers will be able to use the service.

The project has been regarded locally as a joke and embarrassment, even before it opened after a string of push backs. The train operator, London Midland, can only offer an hourly service with a single 75-seat carriage in either direction at present. Arena owners Wasps said the club is working with London Midland about the possibility of increasing train services on match days but warned there was no “quick fix” due to a shortage of rolling stock in the UK.

Yesterday, iCov online editor Jessica Allen used the service shortly before rush hour and was met with massive overcrowding of the service from Coventry to Nuneaton – the line on which the Coventry Arena station operates. Some commuters could not even manage to board the train before its departure, with comments like having to “climb on the roof” to get home. She took the below photo with her phone with great difficulty, not even able to reach her camera for a better quality image:

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Andy Gibb, managing director of the Arena, said: “We are pleased the train station has opened since it will increase transport options for our visitors who are attending our business events at the Ricoh Arena during the week.

“We will now continue to work with London Midland to investigate the possibility of running special event services to add to the current timetable and support all the exciting events we have coming up.”

Wasps hope to trial a chartered rail service for their match at the Ricoh against Harlequins on February 28th.

Jessica Allen

 

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