A reminder for Heritage Open Days………... Once again the Society provides an opportunity for the public to see the Hans Feibusch mural at St Mark’s Church on Stoney Stanton Road. Feibusch was a German painter and sculptor of Jewish parentage who lived and worked in Britain from 1933 until his death in 1998. After the Nazi party came to power, his life in Germany became impossible, and he emigrated to England. The church will open over Heritage Weekend on Saturday and Sunday September 13-14 (10am to 4pm)
With so much thought and resource put into the provision of a new pedestrian link with the city centre, it comes as something of a surprise to see such a poor development plan for our Grade II listed Rail Station. Member Les Fawcett provides us with a brief analysis of the current proposals. The rocketing number of passengers at Coventry station has led to an ambitious masterplan to increase the station's capacity to handle the throngs of people. We feared that the Friargate back -of-a-fag packet plan lacked access to the station and we asked the council how it would work in the absence of a detailed plan. Now, the station masterplan which you can see online at http://www.cwlep.com/userFiles/ coventry_station_report_20.3.14_low_res.pdf has realised those fears. Buses and car parking Clearly an afterthought, the proposed bus station and multi-storey car park are the wrong side of Warwick Road, giving passengers a long walk to the trains via a new tunnel under Warwick Road. This £multi-million tunnel would not be necessary if the bus station and car park were in the right place, i.e. beside the station. There's room for a bus station with a car park above, on the site of the former (demolished) multi-storey car park and the Rocket pub, that will sadly be lost in the Friargate development. This would not leave much room for the proposed retail units, but we have to ask whether it's right to make passengers walk past shops instead of parking or getting off a bus outside the station door as they have done for 50 years. The masterplan would create a virtual second station with the duplication of some facilities. The estimates include £700,000 to clad the ugly multi-storey car park that was built recently without planning permission. Network Rail claim that legislation allowing the creation of the railway in the 19th century, gives the right to erect buildings in connection with the operation of the railway. But this was meant to allow signal boxes and the like, not a multi-storey car park with all its traffic implications. The masterplan shows a 900 space new car park while the estimates allow for 500 spaces. Some of the spaces could be achieved by extending the recent
car park over its forecourt, using the existing entrance and ramps. That may be a better use of £700,000, given planning consent and listed building consent. Taxis Taxi space would be reduced, ignoring the ongoing problem of taxis clogging the streets approaching the station. There's room for taxi queuing in the yard east of the booking hall if the two-storey building there is to be demolished as proposed. New offices can be built over the yard. The plan proposes no less than 4 ticket barriers. Ticket barriers will be reintroduced when smart ticketing is established. They have to be accompanied by manually operated gates because wheelchairs and bikes cannot pass the turnstiles. Will any train company want to commit four members of staff to four sets of barriers?
Masterplan: Showing the extended platforms, retail units and walk through to an underpass for ongoing transport by bus ►A triumph of muddled thinking is continued over page
August 1914: When Warwickshire Went To War Chris Holland, former Head of History at King Henry VIII School, Coventry and former Chairman of the Heart of England Branch of the Western Front Associa'on considers the local response to the outbreak of war in Europe.
Monday, September 8 at 7.30pm Shop Front Theatre, City Arcade, Queen Victoria Road Refreshments Visitors welcome £2 admission for non-members
More news and views on our website: www.coventrysociety.org.uk