Government praise for town’s railway project

Transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin visited the Kenilworth Station site.
Transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin visited the Kenilworth Station site.
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Ministers have praised work to bring back Kenilworth Station with final assurances that services are on the way in the long-awaited project.

Transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin visited the Priory Road station site on Monday where he welcomed impressive work done so far to get passenger trains rolling.

Transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin visited the Kenilworth Station site.

Transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin visited the Kenilworth Station site.

Speaking to councillors and long-term campaigners, he said he was hopeful that the initial plan to run trains between Leamington and Coventry will soon be extended to Birmingham and beyond.

“I wanted to come and see how the project was coming along and I am delighted to be here and to see that we are certainly moving closer with this project,” he said.

“It is looking like we are on course and on track.

“It’s staggering the amount of effort being put in by all parties and I think it is excellent that there has been so much public consultation to see how it should be done.

“It is absolutely essential that we invest in our infrastructure and rebuilding this station is just a part of that.”

The minister’s visit to the now empty site is his second in two years after he came to announce £5million of government funding for the rebuild project in the summer of 2013.

Work has started to clear the site ahead of construction of the station building.

MP, Jeremy Wright said with services to Leamington and Coventry due at the end of 2016, it was all thanks to tireless efforts of all those who never gave up.

“A great deal of campaigning for a lot of years has been in place to bring the station back to Kenilworth and bring people to our town, our businesses and our castle,” he said.

“We all knew the case for Kenilworth station and there has been so many false starts here that any indications we can get that this time it really is happening are valuable.

“Seeing activity and diggers here is another step forward which we all welcome.”

Campaigner, Graham Hyde, who has fought to get the project off the ground for over a decade, described the visit as another welcome step after years of hope.

“I have tried to reign people back over the years in case we hit another dead end, but I don’t think anything can stop it now,” he said.

The rail project is being managed by Warwickshire County Council and SLC Rail. Cllr Alan Cockburn said despite “hitting the buffers” quite a few times, the build has remained a top priority for the county council.

The site was used as a passenger station from 1844 to 1965. The station was closed to both goods and passenger traffic in 1965.

The original station building was demolished a number of years after the station closed.