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  1. Chris Halpin

Network Rail opens at former Peugeot site - full report

Seven years ago when french car maker Peugeot closed its factory at Ryton, the employment situation in the area looked pretty bleak.

More than two thousand people were made redundant when production lines stopped at the plant near Coventry in 2006.

The factory is long gone - but now new firms are building big, bringing hundreds of new jobs. Chris Halpin went to see the first company to move in - Network Rail.

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Thousands of parts in new rail distribution centre

Network Rail's new road and rail hub near Coventry stores hundreds of thousands of parts, to be distributed nationwide.

Inside the new distribution centre at Network Rail Credit: ITV News Central

The rail company are opening their new distribution centre on the site of the old Peugeot factory, at Ryton. The centre currently houses 150,000 parts, ready to be taken around the country.

Network Rail: Ryton hub means more 'efficient' service

Speaking about the opening of Network Rail's new road/rail hub at Ryton in Warwickshire, the head of the company's National Delivery Service said:

"Network Rail's first preference is to transport goods by rail. This is not always the right solution so we have an extensive road fleet to transport goods and equipment to our work sites and depots.

By bringing the logistics for this together at Ryton we can offer a more effective and efficient service for Network Rail. This will mean reduced costs and faster turnaround times when we do work on the railway."

– Martin Elwood, director of Network Rail National Delivery Service

What will Network Rail's new road / rail hub do?

Network Rail's new road haulage distribution centre is described as a 'significant' base for the firm's rail upgrade work.

The £25 million hub has been built at Ryton near Coventry because of its central location, close to the A45.

Here are some facts and figures about the new building and how it will help Network Rail's National Delivery Service (NDS).

  • New building covers 300,000 sq ft
  • Construction of the new hub took 11 months
  • New site has created 100 jobs
  • Road vehicles based there will supply 150,000 parts nationwide
  • Will make 50,000 deliveries every year
  • Replaces three former sites at Worcester, Lichfield and Ludgershall in Wiltshire
  • Help to maintain 1,250 vehicles in the rail fleet
  • Work in conjunction with the NDS control centre in Milton Keynes managing rail upgrade work
  • NDS team manages 28,000 work sites, 8,000 engineering trains and 17,000 on-track machines annually

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Coventry new national hub for Network Rail on the road

An aerial view of the site which is near the A45 and has close links to the rail network Credit: Network Rail

Bosses at Network Rail will today officially unveil its new hub for the firm's road vehicles which has been built at Ryton near Coventry.

The project cost £25 million and is on the site of the former Peugeot factory which closed in 2006.

The site will become a 'significant' hub for delivering parts around the rail network Credit: Network Rail

The new building covers 300,000 square feet and is being described as a 'significant' base for the rail company's fleet of road vehicles.

Network Rail's National National Delivery Service supplies 150,000 parts for trains and infrastructure, and the new site was chosen for its close location to the A45 and close links to railway lines.

The new building took 11 months to build and covers 300,000 sq ft Credit: Network Rail

Work began on site just over a year ago and the building has been operational since this August.

Network Rail opens £25m road haulage hub in Coventry

The new site at Ryton will be the national base for Network Rail's road vehicles Credit: PA

Network Rail is today opening a £25 million road haulage distribution centre at Ryton in Warwickshire which has created 100 jobs.

The site near Coventry is on the former Peugeot plant which closed in 2006.

It replaces three smaller bases in Lichfield, Worcester and Ludgershall in Wiltshire which bosses say will save £5 million a year in rent.

Grandfather speaks of anger at Network Rail

A man whose wife and seven-year-old grandson died on a tram crossing in Nottinghamshire has today given evidence at a hearing in front of MPs on the Transport Select Committee.

Laurence Hoggart’s wife Jean, 56, and grandson Michael Dawson died on the pedestrian crossing in Bestwood Village in November 2008. Today, Mr Hoggart spoke of his anger at Network Rail, saying they 'were not interested'.

In a statement read on his behalf, he said: "This has devastated my life and my family's life. Jean was the backbone of my family and it has broken my heart.

"I think that Network Rail have treated me badly. They wrote just one letter of apology, my solicitors discovered that the crossing was seen to be unsafe by Railtrack in 2000 and their advisers said a bridge should be built."

"That was eight years before they died, nothing was done. They did not care, they were only interested in making money."

"I think this greed is criminal and I have sued them for compensation and right up until the week before the case was due they stood against me, saying that Jean was 10% or 20% to blame."

Rail safety expert Peter Rayner told the panel that the arrangement at Bestwood was "fundamentally flawed" and resulted in "almost an impossible crossing".

He added that he believed there were "commercial considerations compromising safety".

Network Rail will give evidence next week to the inquiry.

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