Alok Sharma, the Member of Parliament for Reading West has welcomed an announcement by First Great Western that £2.9 million improvement works to Theale Station are set to begin in October.
On Monday 13 May 2013, Alok met with representatives from Theale Parish Council, Theale’s Future, West Berkshire Council, First Great Western and Network Rail to hear about the completed plans for the station, which will benefit from a new ticket office, a new footbridge and associated lifts to improve access, as well as the development of park and rail facility and a new pedestrian entrance.
Alok Sharma said: “Together with the Theale’s Future organisation, I lobbied hard to win funding for the upgrade to Theale Station and so I am very pleased to hear about the progress being made with the project.”
Alok continued: “In addition to the recent makeover received by Pangbourne Station and the billion pound investment in Reading Station, the improvements to Theale Station will be yet another example of how Reading is benefitting from the biggest rail modernisation programme since the Victorian era.”
First Great Western’s General Manager East Claire Mann said: “First Great Western pride’s ourselves on putting our customers first and supporting the communities we serve. We recognise the key role that rail travel has in supporting the local and national economy and we are delighted to be working with West Berkshire Council and Network Rail to develop this exciting multi million pound project.”
Claire continued: “In the last year over £85 million has been invested across our network of 210 stations, by working with rail industry partners, the DfT, and local authorities.”
Amanda Hoyland, Network Rail Route Enhancement Manager, said: “Improving access to stations is an important part of building a bigger and better railway. The new lifts and footbridge will achieve this and help to better meet the needs of passengers and businesses at Theale.”
A proportion of the funding has come through a joint bid by West Berks and Reading Borough Council for the Department for Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund.
Hilary Cole, West Berkshire’s Executive Councillor for Transport Policy said: “The Council’s delighted to be contributing £1.127 million to this project. The Council worked hard to secure this money via the Government’s Local Sustainable Transport fund so that local people and businesses can benefit from these improvements without cost to the local tax payer.”