Coventry Stadium was set to host Rugby 7s, Judo and Wresting during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. The venue is situated on the outskirts of the city with limited space in the surrounding area to accommodate supporting transport operations.
A holistic and independent review was required to agree the zone-ex management strategy while minimised impact on the surrounding transport network. Any solution required by-in and coordination between the different authorities responsible for the area inside and outside the venue perimeter.
The exact venue egress and transport operations had to be established before the required train service schedule uplift could be determined. Additionally, a bespoke management strategy was required at Coventry station, the connecting shuttlebus interchange and the city centre park & ride operations.
The team began by visited the site to understand options for crowd management in the area surrounding the venue (zone-ex) and at various sites in the city centre hosting supporting transport operations.
The team then reviewed all venue overlay requirements (security infrastructure, spectator plaza, circulation space) and provided recommendations for spectator routing, stewarding plan, signage, crowd management structures for ingress and egress. Specified minimum road closure requirements during event operations were outlined along with a management system for maintaining athlete vehicle access.
Locations, designs and operational plans were determined for the park & ride and city centre spectator shuttlebus services that would avoid closing any lanes of the nearby A444 (a primary route in/out of the city) and maintained public vehicle access to the nearby retail park.
Detailed crowd management plans were developed for shuttlebus interchange at the city centre and park & ride pick-up at the bus station. This allowed the team to identify train service shortages and specify the required Games-time transport capacity uplift.
Throughout the Games planning phase, the team liaised with a range of stakeholder organisations such as Games Organising Committee, local council, transport authority and station management to agree and coordinate operational plans across the full spectator experience.
The plans provided by the team were integral to the development of the final overlay, crowd management structures and operations adopted on the ground during the Games across throughout Coventry.
The detailed spectator transport modelling conducted at Coventry train station informed the uplifted train service scheduled operated during the Games. This proved both necessary and sufficient to serve all spectators arriving by rail, avoiding significant travel disruption. The proposed crowd management systems were operated at the station and efficiently managed high passenger volumes whilst maintained public access throughout.
All required transport services were operated successfully at Coventry Stadium despite long-standing concerns in the planning stages due to the limited pedestrian network surrounding Coventry Stadium. The adopted operational plan also allows the nearby A444 to remain open whilst maintaining vehicle access to all nearby facilities.
Overall, the Rugby 7s events delivered an exceptional spectator experience with highly efficient transport operations accommodated in limited space around the existing venue site.