A new railway station serving a major football and conference stadium is set to open.
Football fans have expressed dismay after learning they cannot use the new railway station at the Ricoh Arena next month. The venue is home to Coventry City and the Wasps rugby team.
Train operator London Midland said the new hourly passenger service will have 75 seats – the stadium has 32,600. The operator said safety concerns mean the station must be closed for an hour after major events.
But conference delegates using the venue will be able to take advantage of the train service when it begins this autumn.
Andy Gibb, managing director of the Ricoh Arena, said: “This new transport link will mean visitors who have travelled 60 minutes from London Euston to Coventry will then only have less than a ten-minute journey to the Ricoh Arena.
“This is the first of a two-phase rail service and long-term, the station will be a very exciting development for the Ricoh Arena because it will significantly improve access for delegates attending conferences.
“Currently, we have a good transport system in place for visitors arriving for conferences thanks to our location near the M6 and the fact we have 2,000 on-site car-parking spaces as well as park and walk sites.
“This train station will enhance our transport links for delegates arriving from all over the UK.”
The National Sales Conference 2015 will take place at the venue in October.
Emma Marriott, account executive for Lincoln West, the conference organiser, said the event had taken place at the Ricoh for the last seven years and that logistics had never been a problem.
She said: “We have 44 exhibitors and the show attracts 600 national executives. Our delegates tell us that they like the central location.”