Future of Kenilworth Station unknown in government miscalculations

An artists impression of how Kenilworth's new station could look. ENGNNL00120130103151550

An artists impression of how Kenilworth's new station could look. ENGNNL00120130103151550

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Work on Kenilworth railway’s passenger service could be delayed or jeopardised after Network Rail announced it could not commit to billions of pounds of railway funding.

The Priory Road station build itself will not be affected, and passenger services are still planned to go ahead in 2016.

I recognise that these delays will cause disappointment for some passengers for which I can only apologise

Network Rail Chief executive, Mark Carne

But with major upgrades and improvements to the line between Kenilworth and Leamington now in doubt, it is not known how the new service will be affected.

The government has announced that going ahead with £37billion of investments including electrification work, double tracking and line modernisation across the UK’s rail network will far exceed the department’s budget.

Plans for mass electrification to provide a more efficient service on electric trains were found to have much higher costs than first assumed meaning projects could be scrapped or delayed by years.

Kenilworth was one of the lines set for improvements to increase line capacity and electrification before 2019 - with the new passenger station being tied up with work.

Warwickshire County Council has confirmed that there will be no delays to the building of the station for which government funding of £5million is already secure.

A council spokesperson said:“The Kenilworth Rail Station project is fully funded and the station build will still be going ahead.

“Warwickshire County Council and its partners will continue to monitor for any potential impact on the scheme and will be pushing ahead with the project, with the aim of opening in December 2016.”

But Network Rail said which specific projects are to be affected are not yet known.

He said: “We are not talking about specific projects at this stage. We have confirmed a review of our five year plan but the specifics of projects and what will be affected has not yet been made. These talks are expected to be ongoing in the next few months.”

Company chief executive Mark Carne told the Department of Transport that they were facing “stretching targets” with the pace of improvement behind expectation.

“It has become clear that Network Rail signed up to highly ambitious five-year targets,” he said.

“We were overly optimistic about the capacity of our company and our supplier base to step up several gears in order to achieve the plan.

“I recognise that these delays will cause disappointment for some passengers for which I can only apologise.”