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Coventry railway station masterplan

Transforming Coventry Station to create an aesthetic gateway to the city to accommodate increasing passenger numbers while enhancing passenger facilities. The scheme included a new station entrance building, pedestrian footbridge and canopy extensions, as well as a multi-storey car park and bus interchange with pedestrian access tunnel beneath Warwick Road.

Project Overview

Coventry Station is a light and airy building, rebuilt in the 1960s and protected with Grade II listing. However since it was built, passenger numbers have increased substantially, doubling in the last ten years alone. The station is poorly integrated with other forms of transport and its facilities and appearance are no longer what passengers and city leaders expect of a gateway station.

Through the Coventry Rail Investment Strategy (prepared by SLC Rail) the City Council has set out its vision for the station and its immediate surroundings. To help the Council deliver this vision, SLC Rail were asked to help with its development and project management.

Coventry City Council recognised the challenges of the constrained site and the complexities involved in working with Network Rail and minimising the impact of changes to the station. In 2014 they asked SLC Rail to provide assistance with developing and delivering the scheme.

The Coventry Station Masterplan comprised of:

  • A new building, providing a second station entrance at the western end of the station.
  • A multi-storey car park above and adjacent to the second entrance building.
  • A new, fully enclosed and accessible, Equality Act 2010-compliant footbridge and extensions of canopies at the western end of the station.
  • An access tunnel beneath Warwick Road providing connectivity between the east and west of the site.
  • A new bus interchange, connected to the new entrance building by the pedestrian tunnel.
  • Highway modifications to improve access to the station and car parks.
  • Enabling works, including demolition of buildings and construction of temporary car parking.

Commercial and design management

The team from SLC Rail advised and assisted Coventry City Council to become station investors and subsequently negotiated the various legal and commercial agreements including the basic asset protection agreement (BAPA) with Network Rail that allows Coventry City Council and its contractors to go on-site to investigate and develop options for the project designs. They also agreed the specialist resources that Network Rail would provide to support the design development.

During the concept design development stages, SLC Rail were particularly focused on:

  • Ascertaining the optimum layout for the various elements of the scheme whilst taking into account the key constraining factors, specifically:
    • Operational railway and procedures
    • Site location and topology
    • Land ownership and acquisition
    • Stakeholder requirements
    • Highways network
    • Adjacent developments
    • Political sensitivities
    • Listed building status
  • Phasing of the works to minimise disruption to existing rail passengers and road users

Project management and delivery

The project management team from SLC Rail were working on behalf of the client, overseeing the project from GRIP stage 3 (outline design) to GRIP stage 8 (completion) including management of design and construction work, procurement strategies, liaising with stakeholders and managing programme budgets.

The Masterplan works were split into two phases:

Phase 1: Enabling works, access tunnel and footbridge and canopies
Phase 2: Second entrance building, multi-storey car park, bus interchange
In July 2015, a final layout was chosen by the client for Phase 2 of the works and GRIP 3 works commenced utilising WSP as the designers procured through the Professional Services Framework.

“SLC Rail has provided outstanding very tailored advice and expertise to craft a clear strategic document that directly relates to our needs. They’re not a standard ‘off the shelf’ consultancy and have what I suspect may be a unique ability to both explain the world of rail to the Council Members and business representatives, whilst also being able to draw on extensive rail industry contacts and talk ‘rail’ to them. They have provided Coventry with excellent value for money and a product that has done exactly what we needed.”

– Mike Waters, Transportation Manager, Coventry City Council

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