West Midlands Railway signals date for trains to replace buses on Bedworth line

Nuneaton to Leamington rail route via Coventry has once again had service disrupted

Bedworth train station
Bedworth train station

The end is in sight for people fed up with buses being used to replace trains on services between Nuneaton, Coventry and Leamington.

The link - with other stops including Bedworth, Bermuda Park and Coventry Arena - once again became a Cinderella part of the rail network when West Midlands Railway announced just before Christmas that it was suspending the services and replacing them with buses.

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The route has had a chequered history since it was launched as a new connection between Nuneaton and Leamington and on December 22, the operator announced the latest blow - that buses would take over from December 27 'until further notice'.

At the time, its customer experience director, Jonny Wiseman, said: “The significant increase in Covid-19 cases among our staff comes on top of existing traincrew shortages caused by delays to our driver training programme during the pandemic. In these circumstances we have no choice but to temporarily suspend the train service until further notice.

“I apologise to customers for the inconvenience and thank them for their patience and understanding. We are keeping the situation under close review and it remains our intention to reinstate the full timetable on this line as soon as possible.”

And on Friday, the news was announced on the company's website that a date had been set for trains to replace the replacement buses.

The comeback will be on Sunday, February 27, although the first services on the day will still be buses due to engineering work.

The news has been warmly welcomed. A spokesman for Bedworth Line and Hinckley Community Rail Group said: "This is fantastic news, finally on the Bedworth branch... we can say we will have a full service in operation.

"We would like to thank the community for their support and understanding during the times of difficulty and we never thought we would get a train service back this early but we have, we would like to thanks West Midlands Trains for seeing sense and finally introducing a service."