We are pleased to announce the resumption of our popular Open Meetings, to be staged on a monthly basis and featuring some special guests who we think will be of great interest to our Coventry City Supporters
The first meeting will take place on Monday February 22nd at the Royal Warwicks Club in Tower Street,Coventry with a 7.30pm start.
We are delighted to be joined by Coventry City Chief Executive Chris Anderson who will be on hand to answer your questions.
Entry to this event is free but we would ask you to register as the venue has a limit on attendance. You can register on our Eventbrite page, via the button on the countdown widget on this page, or by getting the Eventbrite App and searching for The Sky Blue Trust,
It promises to be an entertaining and interesting evening so please book your place early.
We look forward to seeing you on the 22nd.
Everybody is aware by now of the situation with the Arena Station – how a combination of Network Rail’s de-prioritising of the signalling and track work needed to enable shuttle services to run to Ricoh events, and the inability of London Midland (LM) to provide sufficient rolling stock for such a shuttle service in any case, have left us with a state of the art station that is not fit for purpose on busy match days. The hourly one coach train service to and from Nuneaton will call at the Arena on match days before kick-off, but will not call for an hour or more after the final whistle because of train capacity problems. According to a letter from LM in response to a query from one of our members, ‘…this position will remain until Wasps, Coventry City Football Club or events’ sponsors charter trains.’
This mess highlights the complex state of affairs left by successive reorganisations of the rail system in this country. Who precisely is responsible for this? Network Rail, who look after rail infrastructure or LM, who actually operate the trains?
We do have an early opportunity to lobby for improvements to the rail service. The Dept for Transport and West Midlands Rail are starting the process to select a rail company to take over the operation and development of rail services and stations in the West Midlands franchise area, which includes the Arena Station, from October 2017. As part of the consultation process they are holding public meetings at railway stations in the LM area. The Coventry station meeting is on Weds Feb 3rd from 15.30 to 18.00. Trust board members will be attending that meeting to lobby for a decent rail service to use the brand new station properly, to help ease traffic congestion on match days.
But the station controversy highlights another public transport problem that affects the increasing number of fans attending CCFC’s matches at the stadium – the total failure of those organising the public bus service to recognise that such matches are actually taking place! Despite the return of the Sky Blues to the Arena, the dedicated bus service from Coventry station via Pool Meadow direct to the Ricoh on match days has not been reinstated. Instead, fans using public transport are simply expected to get two normal service buses from the station to the Stadium, running to their normal daily timetables – and one of the recommended services is the legendary Number 5, a service especially designed for those who want to combine their match day experience with a scenic tour of North Coventry, an opportunity to finally finish reading War and Peace and a brisk half mile walk to the stadium.
If going to the match by bus or train can be coped with by fans once they have got used to arranging their day around it, then returning from the match to the City Centre or the station is an entirely different matter. Fans naturally all leave the Ricoh at the same time and there is no train service. So they are left to make their way over to the Foleshill Road and queue for anything between 15 and 30 mins, in order to flag down one of the few, usually single decker, buses that are in and around the area at that time. For night matches, this situation is truly intolerable. On the evening of August Bank Holiday last nearly 13000 fans attended the match against Southend to be faced on departure with a dwindling bus service operating to a Sunday timetable. The night matches against Crewe and most recently Walsall in the pouring rain were nearly as bad.
Contrast this with Colchester United, a club with modest crowds, half that of the City, that not only runs a continuous shuttle service to and from their out-of-town stadium, but even has a bus to drop home fans off at various pubs around the town after the game!