Rugby Green Party Deplores the Postponement of Rugby Parkway Rail Station Development

Rugby Green Party deplores the postponement of a much needed second rail station in Rugby after funding was turned down by short sighted Government rules.

Warwickshire County Council (WCC) was to contribute £2m toward the £11m Rugby Parkway project located off the A428 close to the Daventry International Railfreight Terminal (DIRFT), with £4million coming from the Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Deal fund. The station was intended to connect to the West Coast Mainline and provide a service of two to three trains per hour to Birmingham and London.

But WCC’s bid to secure the remaining £5million from the Government’s New Stations Fund was unsuccessful and has resulted in CWLEP withdrawing its contribution.

Quoted in the Rugby Observer, a spokesperson for WCC and CWLEP said

 It was not appropriate to earmark money from this round of Growth Deal funding. The county council needs to secure the other sources of funding and then work with the LEP to put the remaining finances in place.

The postponement means that residents in the 6,000 home Houlton development and commuters working at the expanding DIRFT site will be forced to travel into the surrounding town centres for a rail connection or not use rail travel at all leading to yet more air quality problems in Rugby itself.

Rugby Green Party spokesperson Lesley Summers said:

It is typical of this Government that transport planning is conducted in a wholly inappropriate and haphazard way. Their approach is competitive rather than collaborative making it grossly inefficient which will cost all of us far more in the long term.

The fact that the bidding is competitive means that there is a strong possibility of good quality schemes being rejected.  Instead we call on the Government to properly invest in a planned and integrated system which will benefit passengers and help the environment.