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Led by Les Fawcett on Monday, July 14 starting from The Red Lion at Walsgrave at 6.30 pm Short and long there-and-back walk. Stout footwear recommended Visitors welcome—no charge on this occasion

comment on the proposal, even suggesting that the need for rapid transit in the city should be back on the agenda. Senior member Cllr John McNicholas endorsed the concept. So clearly there is a fresh concern that in some areas of the city, like Cannon Park, the infrastructure for even more road traffic is unsustainable. But haven’t we been here before—more than 20 years ago! Remember the Midland Metro publishing routes in 1990? They could ease road congestion – from Tile Hill and Canley, through Earlsdon to the station, city centre, then out to Willenhall. The furore among residents in Earlsdon was interesting when they considered that Earlsdon’s shopping street would be obliterated by the trams. Quality building: The National Then there was the "bus that thinks it's a Automotive Innovation Centre tram"? It would be the first of its kind in the country in which vehicles can switch The development—a high quality designed from tramlines to ordinary roads. What a good idea especially when it could be National Automotive Innovation Centre for academic and business use, would see running through the streets of Coventry more than 1,000 people employed on the by 2008. A route would run directly to the Ricoh Arena. Another would run site. To accommodate the needs of its staff there’s a proposed multi-storey and along Kenilworth Road serving Warwick surface car park off Lynchgate Road, near University. One resident from Finham was reported to the Tesco supermarket. While there was widespread support for as saying: “Great idea! Just what the city needs, a type of public transport which is the project in principle , because of the traffic and inadequate traffic infrastructure, quick and which we can trust. Good idea too to run to the new arena, for home there were pleas from local people and their representatives for the application to and away supporters!” Another said: “I have been to other cities in this country be refused. where trams are currently running Significantly the former chairman of through the city centres and found they planning, Cllr Kevin Maton was there to When the Planning Committee met last month to consider a proposal for yet another development on the Warwick University land it was hardly surprising that residents in the area were up in arms over the prospect of yet more traffic in Cannon Park.

Coventry University got planning permission for its Health and Science building despite the objection from Coventry Society. We were concerned about the proximity of the massive six-storey proposal to both grade 2* listed buildings in Much Park St - Whitefriars Gatehouse (the former toy museum) and the merchant's house ruin. Planning officers negotiated a gap between the new and old buildings for the outline application that was approved last year. But this new application proposed to fill the gap with a horrendous gas bottle storage compound.

July 2014

have a very positive effect on noise and traffic pollution.” But we are where we are, and the plans for a National Automotive Innovation Centre were approved along with proposals for the new multi-storey car park on campus and outdoor parking near to Lynchgate Road, as well changes to the road layout and a new roundabout on Lynchgate Road itself. As objectors claimed: “The development is contrary to the NPPF and development plan policies as over 90% of staff are

Impression: The bus that thinks it’s a tram passing the Council House expected to travel by car. Isn’t it time the Council stopped its dilly dallying with paper proposals for an alternative transport scheme that will truly meet the needs of the city in the 21st Century? Whether it’s the “bus that thinks it’s tram” or Metro routes across the city, we need to start thinking beyond just more cars and car parking as Cllr Maton implied at last month’s planning meeting.

An objection from English Heritage led to the gas store being split in two with one part hidden by a wall fronting Whitefriars Lane, the other a small circular decorative metal cage inside the compound. We were not satisfied with this compromise and kept up our opposition, forcing the application to be heard by committee when the planners were trying to approve it themselves. There was a lot of debate in the planning committee and sympathetic comment by some councillors, but in the end their decision went against us.

More news and views on our website: www.coventrysociety.org.uk

41 july 2014  

July 2014 edition of the Coventry Society Newsletter.

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