Event marks the start of construction.
Kenilworth, UK, 12-Aug-2016 — /EuropaWire/ — A ‘spade in the ground’ event has marked the start of work on a new rail station for Kenilworth which is being built as part of a major rail enhancement scheme designed to encourage economic regeneration between Nuneaton and Leamington Spa.
The event, held at the Priory Road construction site, was attended by Jeremy Wright MP for Kenilworth, Warwickshire County Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Transport & Planning, Councillor Peter Butlin, and Mayor of Kenilworth, Cllr Richard Davies.
The project is being funded by the Department for Transport (DfT), Warwickshire County Council, and Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) as part of the £88.6 million Growth Deal Package for Coventry and Warwickshire.
The contract to build the new Kenilworth Rail Station has been awarded to GRAHAM Construction. Construction work on site will now begin following a long term campaign for funding by Warwickshire County Council and Kenilworth MP Jeremy Wright. Following detailed design, construction will be completed in 2017, with passenger services from Kenilworth operational later in 2017.
GRAHAM Construction has decades of experience in and around rail infrastructure and has worked on other significant rail projects such as Ibrox station, Adelaide Depot and the award winning Tennison Road bridge in Croydon. The project is being managed by Warwickshire County Council and SLC Rail.
Jeremy Wright MP will be joined by representatives from the Department for Transport (DfT), Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Warwickshire County Council, Network Rail, London Midland, Centro (The West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive), SLC Rail, GRAHAM Construction and ASK (A Station for Kenilworth).
The new station site was originally used as a railway station from 1844 to 1965. However, the station was closed to both goods and passenger traffic in 1965. The original station building was demolished a number of years after the station closed.
The new station design, which includes a main station building and footbridge, has been designed in a ‘heritage’ style, incorporating design elements from the original station, following a public vote that overwhelmingly opted for that style.
London Midland and Warwickshire County Council have been working together to develop the specification for the new station building, which will include a ticket office and also a community cafe.
The design has been developed to include heritage aspects as well as accommodating the sort of features you’d expect of a brand new station, such as cycle facilities and public wi-fi access, plus an external ticket vending machine.
Two original stained glass windows and a Kenilworth rail station sign salvaged from the town’s former station have been donated to Warwickshire County Council to be included in the new station design. The historic pieces were rescued and kept safe after they were saved from the demolition of the original station in the 1980s.
The station’s new bridge will mean that the facility and train services are accessible to all from both sides of the track. This is in addition to the existing Public Right of Way bridge, which will enable easy access on foot to residents east of the station.
The new London Midland rail passenger service from Coventry to Leamington, anticipated to start later in 2017, will mean that Kenilworth residents and businesses will be able to gain quick and easy access to a wide number of destinations on the local, regional and national rail networks with just one change.
It is hoped that Kenilworth will be a town centre ‘destination’ station, encouraging tourists and retail customers into town, while also providing a new community facility. The station will also improve access to job opportunities in the Nuneaton – Leamington Spa corridor.
Warwickshire County Council has a strong record of rail investment, with other recent projects including the building of a new station at Bermuda Park in Nuneaton and, prior to that, the opening of Stratford Parkway Rail Station in 2013.
Councillor Peter Butlin, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Transport and Planning at Warwickshire County Council, said: “I’m pleased to mark the start of work on the building of the new station at Kenilworth, which has been made possible with financial backing from the Department for Transport (DfT), Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Warwickshire County Council.
“We are investing in transforming Warwickshire’s rail network, and schemes like the new station at Kenilworth make a tangible difference to travellers. They join communities, attract tourists and secure economic development and I am looking forward to this work getting started.”
Nick Abell, Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership board member, said: “We are delighted that funding through the Growth Deal has helped to make this important project possible. The station will provide a vital transport link and boost for the local economy and we’re delighted to celebrate this milestone in the project.”
Leo Martin, executive director, GRAHAM Construction said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this contract by Warwickshire County Council and throughout the duration of this project we, as we do on all of our contracts, will work with the local supply chain as well as engaging with the local community to ensure there is minimal disruption during the course of this project.”
“Securing this project is very important to us as it cements our position as one of the leading contractors within the rail sector in the UK.”
London Midland Commercial director, Richard Brooks, said: “We are really looking forward to running the new service. Rail travel has never been more popular and demand is growing all the time. The new Kenilworth station will make journeys easier and simpler for people travelling between Coventry and Leamington.”
Councillor Philip Johnson, Chair of Warwickshire County Council’s Communities Overview & Scrutiny Committee, said: “The new rail station will greatly benefit the people and businesses of the town. Improving transport infrastructure in the county is a main priority for Warwickshire County Council.
“The station will bring various benefits to Kenilworth, attracting visitors and improving the local economy, while enabling people living in the town to reach a wide variety of destinations by train within just one change.”
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