Leamington's Commonwealth cash bid could to towards electric bus scheme

Victoria Park in Leamington will host the bowls for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Victoria Park in Leamington will host the bowls for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Almost £300,000 could be put aside to fund the installation of charging infrastructure for an electric bus scheme for when Leamington is a host for the Commonwealth Games in 2022.

Warwick District Council is planning to make a “significant funding bid” to the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) which has ring fenced a sum of £3.3 million for projects that will make a contribution towards the games.

Any money received from this will go towards essential works for the games for which Royal Leamington Spa Bowling Club in Victoria Park will be the venue for the lawn bowls and para bowls competitions.

Should this bid be successful, the council will allocate £280,000 from 2019 to 2021 from its community projects reserve to fund the charging infrastructure.

A council officer’s report said: “It should be noted that the improvements will have a strong legacy for the district after the 2022 games and hence benefit the residents of the district and visitors to the district for years to come.

“The Commonwealth Games project gives the council another opportunity to introduce electric bus services in Leamington.

“This would play a major part in tackling poor air quality in south Leamington which is getting worse due to traffic congestion and vehicle admissions.”

The authority also wants to put £50,000 from the reserve between 2019 and 2021 as a contribution to the Sustrans Route 41/Lias Lane cycleway upgrade.

The council has been working with Sustrans on a proposal to further improve the Lias line by using about £2 million Department for Transport funds to improve cycle access around HS2 - which is the use of the old railway line connecting Leamington to Rugby and Southam.

This upgrade would improve the route through Leamington and Warwick and the route from Leamington Railway Station to the bowls club.

An estimated 75 per cent of visitors for the bowling events are expected to arrive by rail and Warwickshire County Council has bid to the CWLEP for funds to improve the station’s forecourt, the underpass providing a link to Sayer Court and Avenue Road and signage or ‘wayfiding’ for the railway station to the bowls venue.

This bid also includes the establishment of a bike docking station network with one located at the station and others at Victoria Park and in Leamington town centre.

The bowls club itself is set for improvements.

The council report states: “The proposed improvements, whether the CWLEP bid is successful or not, present an opportunity to future proof the venue for the benefit of local clubs and Bowls England and ensure that the venue would be in a position to host future international and national events.