Transport in and around Coventry
As close as possible Coventry is the most central city in England and Wales, subsequently it has excellent road and railway links to the north, south, east and west of the country. Probably the most distinguishing feature of Coventry and its road links is that nearby is the motorway split with the M1 running north eastwards and the M6 that heads to the North West. Its outer ring road system has the M6 to the north and two major ‘A’ class roads to the south. Its inner ring road, once the myriad of junctions is mastered, can quickly convey you from one point in the city centre to another. Public transport in Coventry is administered by the city council and includes excellent rail commuter links to the rest of the West Midlands.
Getting to and from Coventry:
Coventry railway station is just outside the city centre, on the south side on Station Square. Whilst several train operators use the station Central and Virgin Trains are the two main current users. Virgin operate the lucrative mainline express route to London Euston, the fastest journey time for this is just 1 hour 05 minutes - making it a viable commute for anyone working in the centre of London. Virgin also operates other services to the north and south of Coventry. As well as operating local commuter trains both SilverLink and Central Trains run services to London and other English cities and towns through Coventry station. To enter Coventry from London or the south-east the quickest route is via the M1 then the M45/A45, which brings you in to the south of the city. Alternatively, if you are arriving from north of Coventry you would use the M1 to junction 21 then the M69 to its junction with the M6, you can then either carry straight on to enter the city or go down the M6 to junction 3. From the west, Coventry can be approached by either the M6 or the A45. Birmingham International Airport is only 20 kilometres from Coventry city centre; Coventry also has its own airport, Coventry airport, to the south of the city. However, this only operates charter flights to a few tourist destinations in Europe, mainly for the Thompson’s holiday group. National coach services use the Pool Meadow Bus and Coach station, near Coventry University, as the main drop-off and pick-up point for the city. The fastest coach journey time between Coventry and London Victoria coach station is 2 hours and 10 minutes by National Express, who also run services from Coventry to other UK destinations.
Travel in and around Coventry:
Travelling around the city by the outer ring-road road is fairly straight-forward and rarely involves getting snarled up in traffic. The inner ring road does take some getting used to as there are many junctions and inter-changes which at times, for a new comer to the city, seem too close together and leave the driver with little time to register which one they actually want. However, once you are familiar with it the Coventry inner ring road is efficient and, like the outer ring-road, rarely comes to a halt due to heavy traffic. Travel Coventry, a National Express company, operates the main local bus routes from the suburbs and around Coventry city centre. It also runs services connecting Coventry with outlying villages as well as Birmingham, Solihull, Kenilworth and Leamington Spa. With effect from November 2007 GoVia will take over the commuter train services currently run by Central trains for Network West Midlands. With a commuting time of just 25 minutes between Coventry and Birmingham, the railway connections make living and working, or indeed shopping, to and from one city to the other very time effective. During the first half of the twentieth century Coventry was a major centre for the production of bicycles. Although no longer at the forefront of bicycle production, the city is now developing a series of cycle tracks to encourage citizens to once again use the bicycle as a form of everyday transport. The city is the point of convergence for two of the national cycle routes and is introducing cycle friendly Toucan Road crossing facilities to make cycling safer in the city. Helping to keep all travellers in Coventry and the West Midlands on the move is the Help2Travel service. This is a comprehensive information service keeping local residents and visitors up to date with public transport services, likely delays on the road network and any other travel related news that might be of benefit. Used more by Pleasure craft than for transporting goods, the Coventry canal is still active. It links the northern and southern canal systems, running from Fradley Junction on the Trent & Mersey canal down to Coventry, with other junctions on the way for the Birmingham canal and the Oxford canal.