Say goodbye to the green escalators

A new escalator, stairs and a lift have already been installed behind the old escalators.

Works in the city centre to remove the green escalators from the Upper Precinct began on Monday this week.

It marks the start of work to transform the area, as well as the opening up of the space and the views towards Broadgate. 

The works will begin with the destruction of the glass conservatory area on the first floor, and the escalators themselves will be demolished shortly afterwards.

A new escalator has already been installed behind the old ones in the former Moss Bros building, plus new stairs and a lift, to improve access to West Orchards Shopping Centre.

The green escalators were installed in the early 1990s, linking the Upper Precinct to the then newly-built West Orchards Shopping Centre, but residents have since come to label it an ‘eyesore’ which blocks off the views of Coventry Cathedral. Residents even launched a petition to get it removed in 2016.

Councillor Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration, said: “We know that residents don’t like the escalator and want to see it removed – and it’s just the start of the work planned to improve the city centre.

“The Upper Precinct is going to feel much more open and modern once the escalator is out of the way and then we can crack on with the bigger work which will see new paving, planting, trees and water features installed.

“With the link between Hertford Street and Broadgate reopened and Coventry Point coming down we are really seeing big changes in the city centre. We have said we will make the best of the old and the best of the new and that is exactly what we are doing.”

The demolition comes as part of a wider plan to transform and modernise the city centre, which includes adding new seating areas, a water feature and trees and plants to the Upper Precinct, Smithford Way and Market Way.

Work has already begun in Hertford Street, which is being re-paved following the demolition of the former Nationwide building.

Councillor Patricia Hetherton, Cabinet Member for City Services said, “Our city centre is changing and it’s going to be very exciting. We want people to feel proud of their city and I’m sure getting rid of the rather ugly escalator will please many people.

“There is lots to do and of course there will be some disruption – but it will be worth it and we’d like to thank people for their continued patience.”

Stewart Underwood of Shearer Property Group said: “We are delighted to be building on the success of Cathedral Lanes and continuing our partnership with Coventry City Council to deliver the next phase of the City’s transformation.”