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Old February 10th, 2013, 01:53 AM   #381
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That original plan looks like Plymouth, and it would have been horrible. Totally characterless and dead.
I dunno, it kind of looks nice and clean with little fuss. In my view, a lot of it would have depended on the materials used. There's certainly nothing brutalist there, and the clean lines chime with what's being going on recent. Personally I think it's good design with plenty of potential for good refurbishments over time.

Instead, we have the hotchpotch mix and mess with all sorts or architectural styles thrown together, with much of the brutalist elements casting a s**t stain on the city.

Problem is these bozos at CCC seem to be making things worse... Those pre war plans look solid... futuure plans for the look bit, dare I say it,Ikea flat-pack - fashionable for the moment, everyone's got it, it falls apart when you take your eyes off it, doesn't look solid at all.
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Old February 10th, 2013, 08:20 AM   #382
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I don't like the original plan, and it was rejected anyway. Gibson would have destroyed virtually every single pre-war building & street, including most of those around the Cathedral, and replaced them with what appears to be a cheap looking University campus. I think Coventry had a lucky escape. I think he put Ford's Hospital in the middle of a roundabout. It reminds me of bits of Milton Keynes.

The post-war buildings in Coventry generally haven't aged well. The University campus, which is what this would have looked like, is particularly bad, and the precinct isn't much better.
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Old February 10th, 2013, 10:49 AM   #383
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Has anyone ever been to any Coventry Society events?

I started following them on Facebook and they have a speaking event tomorrow by a town planner and author called Nick Corbet on 'transforming cities'. It sounds interesting I am planning on going.

http://www.coventrysociety.org.uk/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Transforming...535951-9840154
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Old February 10th, 2013, 10:57 AM   #384
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I follow the on facebook as well. I'd love to go to events, but I'm too busy at the moment with kids, work and hobbies.
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Old February 10th, 2013, 03:13 PM   #385
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More of our money wasted on dead spaces in dead areas surrounded by dead buildings:

http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/new...2746-32775394/

I'd rather they just turned it into cheap car parks.
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Old February 10th, 2013, 03:15 PM   #386
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HMV in Leamington has a closing down sale on... Don't rush there, as the selection is pathetic. It always has been. (I spent 60 quid in HEAD downstairs!)

It's unusual for a shop to be closing in Leamington, but staying open (For now) in Coventry. :-)
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Old February 11th, 2013, 11:36 AM   #387
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Turning derelict land into pocket parks is a sign of defeat, it has a rather permanent air about it unfortunately.

I agree about turning derelict land into cheap car parks, the empty Belgrade Plaza site would be perfect for that. Increasing parking would be something to boost the city centres economy whereas pointlessly small parks are just an economic drain.
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Old February 11th, 2013, 11:38 AM   #388
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Would much rather have a park than more derelict land.
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Old February 11th, 2013, 01:47 PM   #389
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Would much rather have a park than more derelict land.
But these 'parks' are totally pointless as no one uses them. They just cost money to maintain. And most of the land is privately owned.
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Old February 12th, 2013, 12:25 AM   #390
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Great talk at the Coventry society tonight about squares and the public realm generally. The thing that stood out for me was how the segregation of cars/pedestrians plus retail/commercial has been so damaging to the citys development.

The speaker made a great point that squares work at their best when people live around them. With Coventrys precinct design I can't see that happening anytime soon. Coventry needs truly mixed use buildings and vibrant spaces, and the ripping up of the 'Coventry Cross'. Not sure what layout would replace it exactly, but something more organic is needed.

If/when Coventry south goes ahead thats fine (yes it has problems but I'm not massively against it tbh) but I would love for the Coventry society to maybe influence how the second part of the city centre re-development takes shape. Given that Coventry South is at least 2 years away and the rest (Coventry North???) is 5-10, there is time to lobby Cllrs/planners hard to change things.

Maybe if a local civic group like the Coventry Society had existed after the war we wouldn't have the dire situation we have today both in terms of the awful initial design but also how the council has been so damn inactive in re-developing the city centre. Brum got its act together in the 80's, why the hell didnt Coventry City Council do the same!!!!

It was hardly a secret that Brum was planning to re-develop the Bull Ring since 1988, so why wasn't Coventrys leadership inspred to do the same!!!!
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Old February 12th, 2013, 12:42 AM   #391
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Thanks for reporting back. Sounds like it was a good talk. I've been voicing my (Un-expert, but observed!) opinion that the segregation has been damaging for years, and also that the council's endless attempts at 'squares' have been laughable in the extreme - costly mistakes that reinforce the failure of the post-war city.

Yes, you visit European towns and squares always tend to have people living around them and bars/restaurants/banks/retail on the ground floor. Even the small towns I visited in France last year had more character and life that Coventry, which is supposed to be one the UK's major cities.

Did the speaker say 'rip up the cross'? If so, I agree. The layout is poor. Surely a 'cross' should be the meeting point of routes, but in Coventry it isn't. It's just a planned cross in the middle of a planned precinct that has effectively died on two sides and in effect only works from top to bottom.

As for Coventry... Well they did try in the 1990s with Cathedral Lanes and West Orchards, but insisted on keeping the old layout and wedging them both in. Coventry South is more of the change. Bodging, kludging, tarting up... It's been going on for decades. In Birmingham they just swept away the mistakes, Coventry council are too proud of their legacy and seem to believe in the myth of the phoenix.

Even the Lower Precinct is... naff.

Anyway, thanks for the report, much appreciated.
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Old February 12th, 2013, 02:34 AM   #392
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Quote:
Originally Posted by We-Are-Borg-1987 View Post
Great talk at the Coventry society tonight about squares and the public realm generally. The thing that stood out for me was how the segregation of cars/pedestrians plus retail/commercial has been so damaging to the citys development.

The speaker made a great point that squares work at their best when people live around them. With Coventrys precinct design I can't see that happening anytime soon. Coventry needs truly mixed use buildings and vibrant spaces, and the ripping up of the 'Coventry Cross'. Not sure what layout would replace it exactly, but something more organic is needed.

If/when Coventry south goes ahead thats fine (yes it has problems but I'm not massively against it tbh) but I would love for the Coventry society to maybe influence how the second part of the city centre re-development takes shape. Given that Coventry South is at least 2 years away and the rest (Coventry North???) is 5-10, there is time to lobby Cllrs/planners hard to change things.

Maybe if a local civic group like the Coventry Society had existed after the war we wouldn't have the dire situation we have today both in terms of the awful initial design but also how the council has been so damn inactive in re-developing the city centre. Brum got its act together in the 80's, why the hell didnt Coventry City Council do the same!!!!

It was hardly a secret that Brum was planning to re-develop the Bull Ring since 1988, so why wasn't Coventrys leadership inspred to do the same!!!!
Well I'd been daydreaming at work about something radical. Not only should Coventry be a doughnut city - ie people should live in the city, where those that do make better use of the facilities and shopping around. It's also far more sustainable.

Second transport: Yes, it is a major Coventry bug-bear of mine....
(forget about costs for a minute, just open your imagination)
Radical idea 1: Tramline to far flung but potentially profitable places; fully integrated transport. A tramline from:

Town:------->
  • Train Station (Double track STOP: Station entrance)
  • Warwick Road
  • Little Park Street
  • High Street (signal controlled convergence track in order to get through narrow gap)
  • Broadgate (Back to double track the STOP: By the ramp)
  • Trinity Street
  • Ironmonger Row (Single track loop, clockwise, one way)
  • Burges (STOP:Outside McDonalds)
  • Hales Street (crossover pedestrian area back to double track)
  • Fairfax Street (STOP: Britannia/Bus Station )
  • Cox Street (STOP: University)
  • Gosford Street
  • Far Gosford Street
Outside town------->
  • Walsgrave Road (STOP: stops strategically placed along route)
  • Anstry Road (STOP: stops strategically placed along route)
  • Motoways Junction (STOP: Park and ride terminus)

Then, Radical idea 2: Tramline to Foleshill.

Town:------->
  • Train Station (Double track STOP: Station entrance)
  • Warwick Road
  • Little Park Street
  • High Street (signal controlled convergence track in order to get through narrow gap)
  • Broadgate (Back to double track the STOP: By the ramp)
  • Trinity Street
  • Ironmonger Row (Single track loop, clockwise, one way)
  • Burges (STOP:Outside McDonalds)
(same as first line and then......---->)
  • Bishop Street (off the loop and back to double track)
  • Tower Street (then over a 'hamburger roundabout)
Outside town------->
  • Foleshill Road (STOP: Stops strategically placed)
  • Courthaulds Way
  • Pridmore Road (then back onto...)
  • Foleshill Road (STOP: Stops Strategically placed)
  • Courthouse Green (STOP?: Over 'hamburger' roundabout)
  • Foleshill Road (STOP: Stops strategically placed)
  • Longford Road (STOP: Stops strategically placed)
  • Bedworth Road (over 'hamburger roundabout or flyover)
  • M6 Junction 3 (STOP: Park and Ride)

The 'loop' is clockwise around Ironmonger Row, Burges, Hales Street, Trinity Street, single track.

The 'convergence track' is for the narrow section on the high street (Cov Building Society/Yates). this would be signal controlled and wouldn't be a big bottleneck problem

On line 1, main through traffic is re-routed through Clifford Bridge Road/Binley Road, upgraded to Axxxx road. Walsgrave road downgraded to Bxxxx road. Otherwise send tram route down Clifford Bridge Road/Binley Road.

What I LOVE about Coventry's road layout is that it hasn't been compromised too much with regard to tram running, and if anything those that did run trams could be reused in this way.

Don't underestimate the power of a light rail transit lines through the town, especially to the train station. We've actually started to see investment down a street which our council, BCC, has decided to put as a low priority in the city master plan. Apartments and a hotel already planned/under construction by the tram stop entrance and more to follow.

Radical plans certainly one which would attract commuters and businesses to Coventry.
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Last edited by Typhoon2000; February 12th, 2013 at 03:02 AM.
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Old February 12th, 2013, 12:29 PM   #393
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Typhoon2000 View Post
Well I'd been daydreaming at work about something radical. Not only should Coventry be a doughnut city - ie people should live in the city, where those that do make better use of the facilities and shopping around. It's also far more sustainable.

Second transport: Yes, it is a major Coventry bug-bear of mine....
(forget about costs for a minute, just open your imagination)
Radical idea 1: Tramline to far flung but potentially profitable places; fully integrated transport. A tramline from:

Town:------->
  • Train Station (Double track STOP: Station entrance)
  • Warwick Road
  • Little Park Street
  • High Street (signal controlled convergence track in order to get through narrow gap)
  • Broadgate (Back to double track the STOP: By the ramp)
  • Trinity Street
  • Ironmonger Row (Single track loop, clockwise, one way)
  • Burges (STOP:Outside McDonalds)
  • Hales Street (crossover pedestrian area back to double track)
  • Fairfax Street (STOP: Britannia/Bus Station )
  • Cox Street (STOP: University)
  • Gosford Street
  • Far Gosford Street
Outside town------->
  • Walsgrave Road (STOP: stops strategically placed along route)
  • Anstry Road (STOP: stops strategically placed along route)
  • Motoways Junction (STOP: Park and ride terminus)

Then, Radical idea 2: Tramline to Foleshill.

Town:------->
  • Train Station (Double track STOP: Station entrance)
  • Warwick Road
  • Little Park Street
  • High Street (signal controlled convergence track in order to get through narrow gap)
  • Broadgate (Back to double track the STOP: By the ramp)
  • Trinity Street
  • Ironmonger Row (Single track loop, clockwise, one way)
  • Burges (STOP:Outside McDonalds)
(same as first line and then......---->)
  • Bishop Street (off the loop and back to double track)
  • Tower Street (then over a 'hamburger roundabout)
Outside town------->
  • Foleshill Road (STOP: Stops strategically placed)
  • Courthaulds Way
  • Pridmore Road (then back onto...)
  • Foleshill Road (STOP: Stops Strategically placed)
  • Courthouse Green (STOP?: Over 'hamburger' roundabout)
  • Foleshill Road (STOP: Stops strategically placed)
  • Longford Road (STOP: Stops strategically placed)
  • Bedworth Road (over 'hamburger roundabout or flyover)
  • M6 Junction 3 (STOP: Park and Ride)

The 'loop' is clockwise around Ironmonger Row, Burges, Hales Street, Trinity Street, single track.

The 'convergence track' is for the narrow section on the high street (Cov Building Society/Yates). this would be signal controlled and wouldn't be a big bottleneck problem

On line 1, main through traffic is re-routed through Clifford Bridge Road/Binley Road, upgraded to Axxxx road. Walsgrave road downgraded to Bxxxx road. Otherwise send tram route down Clifford Bridge Road/Binley Road.

What I LOVE about Coventry's road layout is that it hasn't been compromised too much with regard to tram running, and if anything those that did run trams could be reused in this way.

Don't underestimate the power of a light rail transit lines through the town, especially to the train station. We've actually started to see investment down a street which our council, BCC, has decided to put as a low priority in the city master plan. Apartments and a hotel already planned/under construction by the tram stop entrance and more to follow.

Radical plans certainly one which would attract commuters and businesses to Coventry.
Any chance of putting that in some kind of map/diagram form? I'm feeling lazy and after about 4/5 points I can't be bothered to think anymore.

Personally I'm not a big fan of trams anymore. I think they're mainly the work of a mind with a rose-tinted view of the past. They got ripped up for a reason.

For me they take the worst bits of buses and trains and slam them together. Trains are good for travelling longer distances, so you can use the speed and lack of other traffic using the system, but don't tend to drop you of where you want to be as they have to follow the rails. Buses are good for shorter distances as they can take you pretty much exactly where you want to go, but obviously don't go as fast.

Trams take up a lot of space, require very specific technology to be laid at a cost (and which other vehicles can't use) but are limited as to their destinations by the tracks and don't have the freedom of routes that buses have. And due to the local nature of them they rarely get much faster than buses due to the constant stopping and starting. I much preferred the bus-influenced SPRINT system.

I also find the tram system in Manchester a bit of a pain as a pedestrian, and in Birmingham to a lesser extent. But I'm a fan of the underground and the NY subway, even the 'L' in Chicago although it's a bit ugly, because they don't affect other modes of transportation by being at a different level. Also the fact those cities are so massive makes it viable.

I did once do a 'loop' of a subway system around the city stopping off at various major places like the train station, Broadgate, Hospital, Warwick Uni, the Ricoh etc. Can't be arsed to find it right now.
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Old February 12th, 2013, 01:36 PM   #394
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CovAD View Post
Any chance of putting that in some kind of map/diagram form? I'm feeling lazy and after about 4/5 points I can't be bothered to think anymore.

Personally I'm not a big fan of trams anymore. I think they're mainly the work of a mind with a rose-tinted view of the past. They got ripped up for a reason.
Well yeah, because of the pro-car (automotive) lobby

Quote:
Originally Posted by CovAD View Post
For me they take the worst bits of buses and trains and slam them together. Trains are good for travelling longer distances, so you can use the speed and lack of other traffic using the system, but don't tend to drop you of where you want to be as they have to follow the rails. Buses are good for shorter distances as they can take you pretty much exactly where you want to go, but obviously don't go as fast.
Worse bits of buses and trains... hmm...

  • Trains are too heavy and the safety regulations/measures for running a track are immense.
  • They are also expensive to run- even Sprinter types.Can you imagine trying to run trains through a Walsgrave neighbourhood?


  • Buses, as you say too slow, and can only carry up to 100 people (Bendis) or 88 (Double decker).
  • Diesel (or hybrid) operated so the pollution is actually located in the city, and loses efficiency within a few years and increases unreliability.
  • You've got to share the roads with hundreds of cars on it - that's hundreds of problems or potential accidents waiting to happen. Statistically speaking that's much higher chance of an accident per passenger than any mass transit system.
  • Choppy ride, even on the latest air suspension - You're at the mercy of Coventry City Council's attempt at road system maintainance.
  • Traffic jams... oh my word. Sit in rush hour for 45 minutes, or get into town/station by tram in 20 minutes - I know which I would chose.
You also get an expansion in neighbourhoods from tram stops as commuters find these areas more attractive to live and travel to work from. (this could be demonstrated by the point I made above).



A tube system is expensive to run and maintain, and LU only 'save costs' because most of their trains run above ground.. they never submerged the whole system. Policing/securing tube stations is costly.


  • Trams (lighter than trains), take the pollution out of the city (remember they still need power but the pollution is not in the city - better air quality to meet EC regulations).
  • They also recycle their power with regenerative braking.
  • Coventry is at an advantage in that the main streets are pretty much ready made for central reservation tram running, reducing costs.
  • Alstom Appitrack has reduced the cost and time taken to lay track in an automated and mechanised way.
  • You can carry up to 200 people on one train alone.
  • They accelerate faster than diesel buses.
  • Less moving parts and more reliable.
  • Park and ride at motorway junctions most likely to be used - buses are perceived as 3rd class travel so using the car is a much more attractive proposition. I'd like to point out that Nottingham's park and ride scheme appears to be highly popular judging by how full the car parks are.
  • You also get an expansion in neighbourhoods from tram stops as commuters find these areas more attractive to live and travel to work from. (this could be demonstrated by the point I made above).

Quote:
Originally Posted by CovAD View Post
Trams take up a lot of space, require very specific technology to be laid at a cost (and which other vehicles can't use) but are limited as to their destinations by the tracks and don't have the freedom of routes that buses have. And due to the local nature of them they rarely get much faster than buses due to the constant stopping and starting. I much preferred the bus-influenced SPRINT system.
But it's not really doing anything different to solve a problem. Sprint is just a gimmick or should only be used as a stop gap to a proper tram network. It still features all the disadvantages of buses too - even with bus lanes - Which are an even bigger pain because anyone uses a bus lane (illegally) regardless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CovAD View Post
I also find the tram system in Manchester a bit of a pain as a pedestrian, and in Birmingham to a lesser extent. But I'm a fan of the underground and the NY subway, even the 'L' in Chicago although it's a bit ugly, because they don't affect other modes of transportation by being at a different level. Also the fact those cities are so massive makes it viable.

I did once do a 'loop' of a subway system around the city stopping off at various major places like the train station, Broadgate, Hospital, Warwick Uni, the Ricoh etc. Can't be arsed to find it right now.
KNUCKLE would be better serving Arena, certainly there isn't much need for a high frequency train service out there apart from on match days. Certainly, I feel that electrification between Leam and Nuneaton is important as, discussed somewhere in the forum, it'd help the rail network in the region as a whole (container trains and diverted passenger trains etc)

In general, part of the reason why Coventry is held back because of it's reliance of the car and the 3rd class nature of travelling by bus. We've experienced this in Birmingham but on a grander scale but like I say, Coventry itself has an advantage when it comes to planning the system. unlike here in Birmingham where CPOs might need to occur in order to get mass transit through a neighbourhood.
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This is Birmingham... FORWARD!!!
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Old February 12th, 2013, 03:35 PM   #395
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Typhoon2000 View Post
Well yeah, because of the pro-car (automotive) lobby


Worse bits of buses and trains... hmm...

  • Trains are too heavy and the safety regulations/measures for running a track are immense.
  • They are also expensive to run- even Sprinter types.Can you imagine trying to run trains through a Walsgrave neighbourhood?


  • Buses, as you say too slow, and can only carry up to 100 people (Bendis) or 88 (Double decker).
  • Diesel (or hybrid) operated so the pollution is actually located in the city, and loses efficiency within a few years and increases unreliability.
  • You've got to share the roads with hundreds of cars on it - that's hundreds of problems or potential accidents waiting to happen. Statistically speaking that's much higher chance of an accident per passenger than any mass transit system.
  • Choppy ride, even on the latest air suspension - You're at the mercy of Coventry City Council's attempt at road system maintainance.
  • Traffic jams... oh my word. Sit in rush hour for 45 minutes, or get into town/station by tram in 20 minutes - I know which I would chose.
You also get an expansion in neighbourhoods from tram stops as commuters find these areas more attractive to live and travel to work from. (this could be demonstrated by the point I made above).



A tube system is expensive to run and maintain, and LU only 'save costs' because most of their trains run above ground.. they never submerged the whole system. Policing/securing tube stations is costly.


  • Trams (lighter than trains), take the pollution out of the city (remember they still need power but the pollution is not in the city - better air quality to meet EC regulations).
  • They also recycle their power with regenerative braking.
  • Coventry is at an advantage in that the main streets are pretty much ready made for central reservation tram running, reducing costs.
  • Alstom Appitrack has reduced the cost and time taken to lay track in an automated and mechanised way.
  • You can carry up to 200 people on one train alone.
  • They accelerate faster than diesel buses.
  • Less moving parts and more reliable.
  • Park and ride at motorway junctions most likely to be used - buses are perceived as 3rd class travel so using the car is a much more attractive proposition. I'd like to point out that Nottingham's park and ride scheme appears to be highly popular judging by how full the car parks are.
  • You also get an expansion in neighbourhoods from tram stops as commuters find these areas more attractive to live and travel to work from. (this could be demonstrated by the point I made above).



But it's not really doing anything different to solve a problem. Sprint is just a gimmick or should only be used as a stop gap to a proper tram network. It still features all the disadvantages of buses too - even with bus lanes - Which are an even bigger pain because anyone uses a bus lane (illegally) regardless.



KNUCKLE would be better serving Arena, certainly there isn't much need for a high frequency train service out there apart from on match days. Certainly, I feel that electrification between Leam and Nuneaton is important as, discussed somewhere in the forum, it'd help the rail network in the region as a whole (container trains and diverted passenger trains etc)

In general, part of the reason why Coventry is held back because of it's reliance of the car and the 3rd class nature of travelling by bus. We've experienced this in Birmingham but on a grander scale but like I say, Coventry itself has an advantage when it comes to planning the system. unlike here in Birmingham where CPOs might need to occur in order to get mass transit through a neighbourhood.
The system was ripped up for economic reasoning. It was a massively subsidised system that had it been a private enterprise would have been unaffordable to run and maintain that didn't have either the scope or convenience of road transport. It's well known the roads generate way more in revenue than is spent on them. Yes they get potholed but people can get by even when they've got minor damage. A pothole in a tram system or a buckled/warped rail or with a fracture through it - everything has to stop until its fixed.

Imagine a tram system that was able to serve the wide ranging stops the buses do, and thereby be useful to everyone (disabled/elderly/parents)?

How long would it take a tram to do that route given the normal amount of rolling stock available? Of course you could then add more trams, but what's the cost of that rolling stock compared to a bus? Plus the extra expense of laying all the extra track down almost every road making them practically unusable by every other form of transport, unless you destroy a massive swath of stuff to lay them next to the existing roads. But then why not just widen the roads, whack in a bus lane that can then also be used by emergency services and in absolute emergencies normal traffic?

Have you not spotted how woefully inadequate the roads are for the traffic in Coventry? the ring road is serviced by single carriageways for christ sake because they can't find space to widen them. Yet you reckon there's the possibility of just laying down a tram line to the outer neighbourhoods no problem. If that space was there it'd have been turned into roads already. We can't even lay a heating pipe without massive complaints from residents let alone a goddamn mini railway.

In terms of convenience and scope, which is what local mass transit should mainly be about, a tram just doesn't cut it.
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Old February 12th, 2013, 04:09 PM   #396
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Newtroll, no worries. :-) The speaker didn't address the Coventry cross specifically, but he did mention how if pedestrians are the lifeblood of cities, then Coventry has alot of things blocking its arteries!

I think what limits the 2nd phase of the city centre re-development (Coventry North???) is the position of West Orchards. To an extent planners would have to work around it, which would limit the potential to change the street layout significantly. However, they could no doubt take chunks out of it and around it to make it work. The large service areas behind various parts of the precinct need eating into!

Spoke to some Coventry Society people who said the society campaigns reactively, but if they had the ability they would campaign more pro-actively. As the society is lobbying the council constantly, there is the potential for them to influence future phases of city centre development.

What would people want to see in Coventry North? Or indeed Coventry South as it may miss the 2015 start date so may be modified- especially the later sections (I am assuming the anchor store, hotel, car park and connected units will come first).

My wish-list would be:

-Ripping up the Coventry cross by creating new street patterns (possibly modelled on old street patterns). The key to this is eating into the service areas that exist behind the precinct.

-A museum to showcase the city’s heritage. Funding would be a problem, but if it was viewed as a long-term project it would be ok. This would include a 3-D walk through of the old city (spoke to someone last night who said that he knew someone who is working on a 3-D walk through of pre-war Coventry! Sounds really exciting!)

-More green space integrated into the design of the city centre. This would help encourage people to live in the city centre itself by making it more ‘liveable’.

- A one way system throughout the city centre (split into several parts). This would ensure pedestrian flows are prioritised not cut off by traffic but crucially by having single lanes of traffic previously pedestrianised areas of the precinct could be realistically opened up to give them extra life.

- I am increasingly thinking that maybe Friargate isn't such a great idea as it creates yet another business ghetto rather than being fully part of the city centre. If I worked in a Friargate office block, I wouldn't bother venturing into the city centre. Its a 5-10 minute walk getting from Friargate to the precinct, so you could end up losing 20 minutes out of an hour lunch break just walking around! Workers in Friargate will stay close to their offices. A better alternative would be too have office space within the ring road itself, to have a new business district integrated into the main retail area.


I am undecided about trams tbh. Anything that can help inject life into cities is to be applauded but I think the best thing to achieve more integrated transport in Coventry would be to move the bus station up by the train station. Or more realistically, replace pool meadow with smaller ‘bus hubs’ up by the station, paid for from by the money raised from selling off Pool Meadow.
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Old February 12th, 2013, 05:02 PM   #397
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The system was ripped up for economic reasoning. It was a massively subsidised system that had it been a private enterprise would have been unaffordable to run and maintain that didn't have either the scope or convenience of road transport. It's well known the roads generate way more in revenue than is spent on them. Yes they get potholed but people can get by even when they've got minor damage. A pothole in a tram system or a buckled/warped rail or with a fracture through it - everything has to stop until its fixed.

Imagine a tram system that was able to serve the wide ranging stops the buses do, and thereby be useful to everyone (disabled/elderly/parents)?

How long would it take a tram to do that route given the normal amount of rolling stock available? Of course you could then add more trams, but what's the cost of that rolling stock compared to a bus? Plus the extra expense of laying all the extra track down almost every road making them practically unusable by every other form of transport, unless you destroy a massive swath of stuff to lay them next to the existing roads. But then why not just widen the roads, whack in a bus lane that can then also be used by emergency services and in absolute emergencies normal traffic?

Have you not spotted how woefully inadequate the roads are for the traffic in Coventry? the ring road is serviced by single carriageways for christ sake because they can't find space to widen them. Yet you reckon there's the possibility of just laying down a tram line to the outer neighbourhoods no problem. If that space was there it'd have been turned into roads already. We can't even lay a heating pipe without massive complaints from residents let alone a goddamn mini railway.

In terms of convenience and scope, which is what local mass transit should mainly be about, a tram just doesn't cut it.
True but the system never catered for park and ride patrons of which there would be plenty of. The old tram network back then ran unsustainable and unprofitable routes lots of place and would be inconceivable even today, so I'm not totally daft. What I'm talking about is a passenger intensive route (or two) which ties in with a rail link, town, the bus station and the M6. And I never suggested running the tramway through the ring road. The Walsgrave route would go under the bridge and the Foleshill Route would use a traffic controlled hamburger roundabout, similar to that in Wolvohampton.

What I'm little annoyed about is that you haven't even bothered following the route and instantly put it down as a crap idea. Please note that it is a concept with a certain logical thinking to it. I'm aware of how incompetent CCC is at running a city but I don't know, perhaps it's a Coventry thing then... lack of vision or positivity. I guess the city perhaps needs to decline and decay as it seems to see itself as no longer significant or actively forward looking - always looking for short term quick fixes which ultimately do nothing but add to it's current problems

Why can't there be another Severn Trent in town? More service sectors? It suffers from the same thing that Birmingham does.. but that's being fixed (albeit slowly)...

I like how they've pushed their lines in Nottingham and how successful it's become. Instrumental to that is their careful thought as to where they've routed them and wish to expand.

This isn't about rose tints (crikey, I'm only 33) but the serious business of moving large volumes of people, in comfort, linking up transport in a city, attracting people to public transport in the first place, and attracting investment to a city, whilst providing the environmental benefits to a city that would otherwise be surrounded in traffic jams and smog.

Buses have their place but don't add anything to a city and in the case of Birmingham, has actually made things worse and contributed to an out dated image of the city. LRT is back for a much modern age. Coventry, as usual, gets left behind.
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Old February 12th, 2013, 08:54 PM   #398
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True but the system never catered for park and ride patrons of which there would be plenty of. The old tram network back then ran unsustainable and unprofitable routes lots of place and would be inconceivable even today, so I'm not totally daft. What I'm talking about is a passenger intensive route (or two) which ties in with a rail link, town, the bus station and the M6. And I never suggested running the tramway through the ring road. The Walsgrave route would go under the bridge and the Foleshill Route would use a traffic controlled hamburger roundabout, similar to that in Wolvohampton.

What I'm little annoyed about is that you haven't even bothered following the route and instantly put it down as a crap idea. Please note that it is a concept with a certain logical thinking to it. I'm aware of how incompetent CCC is at running a city but I don't know, perhaps it's a Coventry thing then... lack of vision or positivity. I guess the city perhaps needs to decline and decay as it seems to see itself as no longer significant or actively forward looking - always looking for short term quick fixes which ultimately do nothing but add to it's current problems

Why can't there be another Severn Trent in town? More service sectors? It suffers from the same thing that Birmingham does.. but that's being fixed (albeit slowly)...

I like how they've pushed their lines in Nottingham and how successful it's become. Instrumental to that is their careful thought as to where they've routed them and wish to expand.

This isn't about rose tints (crikey, I'm only 33) but the serious business of moving large volumes of people, in comfort, linking up transport in a city, attracting people to public transport in the first place, and attracting investment to a city, whilst providing the environmental benefits to a city that would otherwise be surrounded in traffic jams and smog.

Buses have their place but don't add anything to a city and in the case of Birmingham, has actually made things worse and contributed to an out dated image of the city. LRT is back for a much modern age. Coventry, as usual, gets left behind.
As you say the old system ran unprofitable lines everywhere, so in order for it to be viable it has to have a limited scope. That's not what local based transit needs - it needs to cover a very wide area so as to be as convenient as possible. When I was in Birmingham every day the only people I knew who used the Metro lived around Wolverhampton. All the Birmingham based people took the bus home or drove. Thus it becomes a regional railway in order to work rather than the local system you outline, and that in essence is what NUCKLE is. In fact I look upon the NUCKLE project more as a tram service similar to the metro in Birmingham than a train.

I'm all for more ST's etc in the city centre along with more residential and entertainment. I accept there could be park and ride, but the current ST park and ride already pretty much fills up the memorial car park,which is reasonably substantial. Would each area have a vast swath of tarmac or an MSCP?

The rose tinted thing wasn't aimed specifically at you, but there are a great deal of people who look at the pictures of old and thing "doesn't that look lovely! Why can't we have that back?" They have images of the twee old ornate looking trams when the reality would be pylons, powerlines and characterless rectangular boxes.

I agree with you about investing in infrastructure to attract investment. For all the grand Coventry South plans etc, I'd rather the council say they'd join up the services for buses and trains, get NUCKLE and SPRINT sorted and possibly consider paying for a branch to HS2 when that happens as it's more likely to attract investment. After that the redevelopment can largely be done by the private sector.

Buses belch out noise and diesel fumes, but Coventry did take some of the first electric buses about a year ago and by the time the planning and construction of a tram line was done I reckon we'll have quite a fleet of electric (or possibly fuel cell) buses up and running all around the country, so the environmental benefit would be minimal (possibly less if you take into account the fumes of heavy building machinery used in construction).

I don't think it's a lack of vision of either mine or yours, just a different view of how to achieve the same goal.
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Old February 12th, 2013, 09:37 PM   #399
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I have lived in a city with trams, and loved them. You don't really notice they are there and they are easy to use. I tried to use the bus the other day, and it's fucking hopeless. No information on bus stops, no clue when they are going to arrive, and the information that is there is confusing and muddled - there wasn't even a light in the bus stop so I had to try to decipher it with my phone's backlight! I'm also red/green colour blind and the colour codes they use were impossible.

I just think that the buses are aimed at people who use them all the time, and not really much good for occasional users.

When I lived in Sheffield I used the trams every now and then. Easy to see where they go, and you just turn up and one comes along every ten or 15 minutes... There's something effortless about them.

Coventry's an odd sort of city these days, with vast out of town areas of employment and retail and places like Warwick Uni which appear to be accessed by a country lane... I'm not really sure there's much demand for trams into and out of the city centre. Places like Warwick Uni and Walsgrave are 'edge cities' really and probably attract commuters, not the city centre (Which doesn't really have many employees these days.)

They did a report a few years back and the only route that was feasible for trams was Coventry -> Nuneaton, which is already served by an underused (For passengers) railway line.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 04:42 PM   #400
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I did a quick map of the routes of the suggested tram.



The north one to me seems to effectively run very close to the Nuneaton line, so I would suggest NUCKLE could take on this route without the need of affecting all the other traffic both during and after construction.

There is a potential issue with convenience and platforms would probably be needed along the way to allow for more stops, but these would be required for a new tram service anyway. Rail express services run on the same lines as regional services, so I don't see why this couldn't run on a similar basis - a regional line running faster regional trains with fewer stops with a slower, local tram like service as well. The planning and construction of that wouldn't be any more problematic than running a tramway along the road.

The Walsgrave Road one I'm also not sure about. FGS would probably suit being used as a tramline but Walsgrave Road is pretty narrow and can't be widened, so that would mean one of two things:

1. The tram sharing the road with other traffic, and thereby being no faster than a bus.
2. Walsgrave Road being closed to all other traffic and the political wrangling of shops complaining of lost trade, and problems presented to them in obtaining deliveries with the main route cut off. Residents of Barras Heath would also have problems getting out of the area due to this.

As you talk about Binley Road being upgraded for traffic I assume you would go for option 2,and although I fully agree a great deal of that road could be widened for more traffic it's not like that is a new thing. The space has been there for decades, but very little expansion work done, which indicates the political hurdles that would need to be overcome.

Also, if you shut it to all other traffic why not just do it for a bus lane? That could be operational immediately without any construction necessary (maybe a few signs put in/painted or coloured tarmac at most). It'd speed the bus up to an almost equivalent of the tram and also benefit all the local routes that then veer off into the smaller streets.

The city centre I'm sort of indifferent to. Again I feel a loop around the city centre could easily be served by an electric bus at the same sort of speed without the need for construction of a track.

The scope and convenience issue also rears its head. People in the south and west have no real use for it whatsoever, and even for some in the north it's not overly practical.

If the plan is to use it as a park and ride to get motorway travellers into town, why would people drive all that way to then get a small train into the city centre, when they could have driven the car to a train station more local to them and got a train into the centre anyway? Obviously not all people will be near a train station connecting to Coventry so may not be practical, but Coventry train station does still have a reasonably comprehensive service to the rest of the country.

And this is not a critique of this specific plan but a problem inherent with any system like this which hopes to reinvigorate the city centre, including some ideas of my own. It suffers from the inertia problem. Council can't get funding until they prove the demand is there (look how long NUCKLE took), but there's very little business currently in the city centre so it wouldn't get built. But the businesses won't go into the city centre until the people and infrastructure are there. So nothing happens as each party looks to the other to make the first move.
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