Alok Sharma, the Member of Parliament for Reading West, has expressed his disappointment with the delay to the electrification of the Reading to Basingstoke line and the impact on Green Park station.
As part of the Government’s Spending Review, the Chancellor has announced that he will increase the Department for Transport’s capital spending budget, for investment in transport infrastructure to £61billion over the course of this Parliament, which represents an increase of more than 50% compared to the previous Parliament.
Network Rail have simultaneously published Sir Peter Hendy’s review on resetting Network Rail’s enhancements programme. The full report is available online here.
Alok Sharma said: “The Government is undertaking the biggest programme of railway modernisation since the Victorian era and I welcome the commitment made by the Chancellor in his Spending Review to increase the Department for Transport’s capital spending this Parliament by 50% to £61 billion and to ensure the electrification of the Great Western line goes ahead as a priority.”
Alok continued: “It is clearly disappointing that the delays to electrification of the Reading to Basingstoke line will impact plans for a new station at Green Park. I will continue to lobby the Department for Transport and to work closely with Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership to ensure that trains begin running to Green Park station at the earliest opportunity.”
Steve Capel-Davies, member of the Thames Valley Berkshire LEP Forum and Joint Chairman of the Berkshire Strategic Transport Forum, says: “It’s very disappointing to hear that electrification is to be delayed until Control Period 6, i.e. between 2019 and 2024. Despite this news, the LEP and its Local Transport Body (LTB) have agreed that Green Park Station remains a priority for investment through the Local Growth Fund as set out in the Strategic Economic Plan and Growth Deal for Thames Valley Berkshire. We will therefore continue to make the case for scheduling the work on the Great Western Mainline as soon as possible within this Period. In doing so we will engage in Network Rail’s December consultation and continue to collaborate with Alok Sharma MP, and other key stakeholders.”